Title: The One
Author: Patty Hayes
Written: March 1997
Spoilers: None
Rating: PG -Violence Classification: G - XAS
Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the television program "The X-Files" are the creations and property of Chris Carter, Fox Broadcasting, and Ten Thirteen Productions, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringements are intended. This work is not to be forwarded or distributed to any newsgroup, FTP, or WWW site without the permission of the author.

Summary: A group of possible abductees are looking for 'the one'. Is it Samantha, they are looking for?

This piece uses characters from my story Sensory Deprivation. http://fluky.gossamer.org/display.php?SensoryDeprivation You do not need to read that one to understand this one as I have added a little to explain, however, it would help to better understand the relationship of the characters.


Twelve-year-old Gina could see her stepfather, Mikey. She'd come to love him as her only father, her real father having died a number of years ago. Mike was sitting in a chair next to another man. What were they doing to him? "Mikey?" Why didn't he see her? Gina gasped as a third man struck her father. A fourth pulled a syringe and stuck the needle in a small bottle. Gina cried out again, "Mikey!" But he didn't hear her and the fourth man injected something into Mike's arm. Gina screamed as she was suddenly pulled away.


Jennifer paced, pushing her long dark blonde hair behind her ears. It had been two days since she'd heard from Mike. He always called when he was out of town on an assignment. Why not now? What was wrong? She remembered the first time they had met. He was standing guard at the hospital when Gina had been found. Then again at her home, he'd fallen in love with them there. He was so handsome. Tall, broad shouldered, soft brown eyes and hair, so strong yet so gentle. But most of all, he loved her and Gina like no one had ever loved them. She looked at the kitchen clock, three thirty. God, it was late. The sun would be up in a couple of hours. She put the coffee cup in the sink and was headed to bed when Gina began screaming.

When Jennifer opened the bedroom door, the cold air hit her so hard, it could've knocked her over. "Oh no. Gina!" She called to her. Gina was lying curled up in a ball. She was murmuring something in between screams but Jennifer couldn't tell what she was saying. "Gina, it's all right, I'm here, Momma's here." She sat next to her and tried to put her arms around her daughter but Gina was not to be soothed. It had been a year since Gina had showed signs of astral projection and now it was beginning again.

After a couple of minutes, Gina calmed down and the room was getting warmer. Gina was back and it was then that Jennifer finally understood what Gina had been murmuring.

"Mikey."


Mulder was awake when the call came in. Late nights and early mornings were normal for him. He and Scully were between assignments and their days had been shorter for the past week. He was bored.

"Fox, it's Jennifer Pascal."

"Yeah! Hi." Then he heard the waver in her voice. "Jenny, what's wrong?"

"Um, " She tried to remain calm. "I'm not sure. I haven't heard from Mike in two days and Gina, she ..." Jennifer placed a hand to her mouth.

"Calm down, Jenny. What's wrong with Gina?" Mulder knew the history all too well. He had witnessed Gina's abilities with astral projection, telekinesis and even pyrokinesis.

"She had an episode. I ... " She took a deep breath. "I think she left her body. She's all right now, but she calling Mike's name. I just know something's wrong."

"Where did Mike go?" Mulder liked the Pascals, they'd become good friends to Scully and himself. Mike was a fellow agent and had saved Mulder's life.

"He took an assignment in Philadelphia. He's been gone a week and he's called every day until two nights ago. Something's wrong, Mulder. I know it. Gina knows it." Her voice was becoming urgent again.

"Let me see if I can find out anything. Scully or I will call you in the morning, stay by the phone and call me if Mike gets in touch with you." He wasn't sure where to start with this one.

"Ok, thank you, Fox." She was beginning to sound calm.

"Try not to worry, Jenny, I'm sure he's fine. Mike's a tough old dog. Do you need anything for Gina? Is she all right now?"

"Yeah, she's sleeping again." She looked at Gina lying on the bed as she spoke.

"Stay with her and let me know if she does anything else." He placed the phone down and got up to get dressed.


Mulder led Scully into AD Walter Skinner's outer office. He called her right away and they met at the office as soon as they could. They had to wait an hour before Skinner arrived and he was a half an hour early.

"Agent Mulder, do you have an appointment?" This was not how Skinner wanted to start his day. He unlocked his door as they spoke.

"Sir, you assigned Mike Pascal to a case?" Mulder asked.

Skinner suddenly had a bad feeling about this. "Yes, why?"

"His wife hasn't heard from him in two days, Sir. She's worried about him. Has he checked in?" Scully spoke. She had a professional tone that Mulder lacked with Skinner.

"He's not due to check in until today. I'm sure he has everything under control."

Mulder was getting impatient. "Sir, his daughter had an episode last night. Now, you remember her case, we think something is wrong and we'd like to check it out. Can you tell us where he's assigned?"

Skinner stared at the two agents briefly before taking his seat. "We sent him and his partner, Andy Roberts, on assignment to Philadelphia. They were escorting a witness in a murder trial."

"Isn't that usually done by the US Marshall's office, Sir?" Scully asked.

"Yes, normally it is, but they were short handed because of the Hannigan trial and asked for our help. It was a simple transfer and guard. There shouldn't have been a problem." Skinner pulled a file folder from a stack and opened it. He rifled through the pages and pulled out the one with the location of the hotel the witness was being held at. He picked up the telephone receiver and dialed the hotel.

Mulder and Scully waited patiently and listened to Skinner's side of the conversation. "Well, when was the last time they checked in? Yeah, Ok. Thanks" He hung up and turned to Mulder. "They haven't been to the hotel in two days. I'll call the local office and see what's going on, I'll let you know when I hear something."

"Sir, I'd like to go up there, see if we can assist." Mulder sensed Skinner's hesitation. "I owe him, Sir. I don't want to waste time waiting for them to figure out what's wrong before we can do anything. Let us go up there."

Skinner looked over the file and kept them waiting on purpose. He was just as anxious to find out what had happened but he couldn't show it. Finally he answered. "All right, Mulder. I want a report from you by the end of the day." Mulder and Scully headed for the door and he spoke again. "Mulder. Let me know if you need help on this." Skinner was a hard ass, but he had the safety of all of his agents on his mind at all times and if one was down, he felt completely responsible.


Gina was having breakfast when Mulder and Scully arrived. "She doesn't remember anything." Jennifer spoke to the two agents in the living room. "She slept for a few hours more and when she awoke, it was as if nothing had happened."

"Do you think it might have been just a dream?" Scully asked.

"If Mike had called and I knew he was all right, I still wouldn't believe it was just a dream. It would've been a premonition." Jennifer stood and began to pace. She was too nervous to sit still. She spoke hesitantly. "Gina has said things that I've seen come true. It's like she's psychic, but doesn't really know it. Like it doesn't register with her as being odd."

"Like what?" Mulder's interest peaked.

"Well, at first it was just coincidences, I thought. Like answering the door before the bell rang. Once, we were getting ready to go shopping and she made me wait. We just sat here and a couple of minutes later the phone rang and it was Mike. He was just checking in, but he said he suddenly got an overwhelming urge to call. Those type of things. She's been doing it for about six months now. I've sort of gotten used to it. I thought it might be something like twins where one experiences pain when the other is hurt. You know?"

Mulder looked at Scully. "Now you don't think so?" Scully asked.

"No, I think it's something left over from before. A skill that was developed but never used maybe."

"Has she had any other episodes like last night?" Mulder had talked to Mike recently and there was no mention of it from him.

"No, not in over a year. She was doing so well. She's become very well adjusted at school, she's not afraid anymore. It didn't take long at all really and now .... it's starting again." Jennifer sat back down. "She knows something, something that's happened to Mike. He needs us."

Mulder remembered the case well. Close to two years ago, eleven year old Gina was found in a sensory deprivation tank. They'd stolen her from her home and experimented with the child. Deprived her from all the senses for over four years in order to develop her brain. What they hadn't counted on was Gina's unconscious need to survive. She had developed more than they ever dreamed possible. Telekinesis, pryokinesis, and astral projection. She killed her abductors, the scientists. But the men in charge escaped her wrath. She escaped a total breakdown and was able to recover to what they had hoped was a normal childhood. Remembering none of her ordeal. Producing none of the abilities developed. Until now.

In the kitchen, a wave of fear swept over Gina. She sucked in a breath and froze, her eyes shut immediately. It was there again. She was standing next to Mike, three men surrounding him. One drew back and hit him across the face with his fist. Gina gasped and tried to yell but nothing came out. Who were these people and why were they hurting him? She couldn't let them, she had to try to help.

Jennifer continued. "Maybe Mike's reaching out to her, to us." Mulder noticed the air becoming chilly and interrupted Jennifer.

"Jenny, do you have air conditioning on?" He was looking up for the vents. They weren't under an air vent and all three looked to the kitchen. Mulder was the first to stand.

Gina was sitting quietly at the table, not moving a muscle. One hand held a spoon, her wrist resting on the table, the other hand in her lap. Her brown eyes were closed and moving rapidly beneath the lids.

Mulder could see her jaw clenching, her short dark blonde hair falling in curls around her face, she was perfectly still. The room was as cold as a refrigerator, at least 50 degrees. Jennifer started for Gina, but Mulder grabbed her arm to halt her. "Wait."

The men were talking, all at once, all asking the same question. Where is 'the one'? The tall man drew back again and Gina ran to Mike to interfere. She felt herself enter Mike's mind, his body and she felt the pain that was meant for Mike.

They waited to see what Gina would do. Suddenly her head jerked right, as if she'd been slapped and the spoon went flying across the room. Then she jerked to the left. Tears began falling and they could hear a whimper. Mulder went to her first. "Gina, it's me. Fox Mulder. Listen to me. You have to come back, Gina. We can help Mike, but you have to help us. Tell us where he is, Gina. Come back now and tell us where Mike is." Welts formed on her face as if she had really been hit. A bruise was appearing along her jaw line. "Scully, take a look at this."

Both women came to Gina. Jennifer placed her hand on Gina's shoulder and spoke to her as Scully inspected the wounds. "Gina, it's Momma, talk to me."

Gina was crying, hurting, but she was keeping them from hitting Mikey. What did they want? Why were they hurting her. She heard her mother and looked around. She couldn't leave Mikey. She felt herself being pulled away again.

Jennifer became angry. "Gina! Talk to me now! You listen to me, wake up, talk to me." She shook her. After a moment, Gina's eyes fluttered and her whole body went limp.

She leaned against Mulder, who carried her to her bed. Gina was whimpering and murmuring. "Mikey. Mikey."

Jennifer tended to her as Mulder pulled Scully into the hallway. "Mulder, what happened in there?"

"Scully, I think she was out of body. I think she was with Mike."

"Mulder." Scully lowered her head, shaking it slightly.

"I know, Scully, but just listen for a minute. I've seen her do it before, we both have, but the welts.... I think she took them for Mike. You heard her, she's saying Mike's name."

"Mulder, what do mean, she took them? A welt or a scar from a hit or a beating is physical. Her body would've had to have been hit, not just her psyche."

"How do you explain them, then? I think she was protecting Mike from the pain. She could have far more abilities than we've seen. I don't think she can control all of them. It's human nature, Scully. We are genetically inclined to protect our loved ones. A mother lion protecting her cub. I don't think it's any different here. Mike is her father, she's trying to help him."

"But, Mulder, Mike is her stepfather. There's no blood relation to make the unconscious connection."

"So maybe it's not totally unconscious, she loves Mike like a natural father." Mulder was halted by a call from Jennifer. They rushed back into the bedroom. Gina was sitting up, crying. Jennifer was holding her.

"I saw him, Momma. They were hitting him. I tried to stop them." Gina was sobbing uncontrollably, Jennifer's arms wrapped around her.

Mulder knelt down next to them. "Gina, can you tell me where they are? Where Mike is?"

"I don't know, it was dark, I couldn't see very well." Gina tried to speak between tears. "I couldn't stop them, he told me to leave."

Mulder looked up at Scully.

"No, Gina, it's all right. Mike can handle this, baby. He'll be all right." Jennifer looked to the two agents, pleading for an answer.

"He knew you where there, Gina? Did Mike speak to you?" Mulder had to know.

"He just knew I was there, he told me with his thoughts." Gina was calmer now.

"Gina, I know this hard, but I need you to help us. Mike needs your help. Can you try to help me?" Mulder was a trained psychologist, he wanted to try something. Gina nodded. She was sitting up, away from her mother, but still holding her hand.

"I want you to close your eyes and clear your mind. Think of a white sheet of paper. Now I want you to try to remember being with Mike. Can you see him?" Gina nodded. "Ok, now look away from him. Look around the room. I know it's dark, but your eyes are adjusting to the darkness, tell me what you see." Mulder's voice was soft and calming.

Gina's brow furrowed and she flinched. "Another man is sitting next to him. They're in chairs, their hands tied behind them." She gasps and flinches again. The tears starting to fall again. "They're hitting him! It hurts!"

"It's ok, Gina, they're not hitting him now. It's just a memory. Can you tell where they are? We need to find them, Gina." Mulder took hold of her hand.

"It's a big empty room, in a building." She speaks between sniffles.

"The noise echoes, the floor is concrete, I think it's a warehouse. The ceiling is high and there are lights hanging from them, but most of them are out."

"Can you see anyone other than Mike and the other man tied up?"

"Yes, there's four others. They keep asking for 'the one'. They put a needle in his arm." Gina opens her eyes. "He told me to leave, Momma and I heard you calling."

"It's all right, Gina, you did good." Jennifer put her arm around her shoulder.

"Do you know what they mean by 'the one'?" Mulder squeezed her hand.

Gina shook her head. "No."

Mulder and Scully walked out to the living room.

"I've got to go up there, Scully."

"Don't you mean we, Mulder?"

"I'd like you to stay with Gina. She might be able to tell us more if something else happens."

"Jenny can call us, I'm going with you. Mulder, she killed the last people who messed with her, why didn't she do anything this time?"

"Maybe Mike told her not to, apparently he told her to leave, maybe she did do something and we just don't know it yet." Mulder answered.


It took a little over two hours to get to Philadelphia. They checked the hotel first, and no one had been there for over two days. The last call from their room was three nights ago and that was to Jennifer. They contacted the District Attorneys office next. The DA was handling the case the witness had been brought for. The witness had been found dead earlier that morning.

"Where did you find the body?" Mulder and Scully showed their identifications and briefly explained the situation.

"South Philly, near the Industrial Business Park. We haven't seen any sign of your agents yet, though." Homicide Detective John Karras reported the details surrounding the victim. "He was found overdosed on a new drug that's surfaced in Philadelphia a few months ago. It was injected and from what we can tell, he was injected only once. It must have been a hell of a dose. This drug is called Sky, they call it a 'sky high'. It's highly hallucinogenic and in a large enough dose, it can kill. It's only shown up here in a couple of cases, which is surprising based on the few I've seen. These people were really out there."

"Have you heard of any new cults in the area?" Scully looked sharply at Mulder as he asked the question.

"There have been rumors of one, but we haven't been able to find anyone who's willing to supply information. You suspect a cult?"

"We have reason to believe one may be involved and they have been known to use hallucinogenics before. It fits a profile." Mulder was leaning against a desk with his arms crossed.

Scully stood and shook the Detective's hand. "If you hear anything else or find something, please call us. Our hotel number is on the card along with my cell number, we'll be in town for a while."

They said their good byes and Mulder followed her out of the offices.

"Where do we go from here, Mulder?"


Mike's eyes slowly opened. He was a little fuzzy at first as he looked around the warehouse. The first thing he noticed was that the chair next to him was empty, Andy was gone. Where was he? How the hell was he going to get them out of this? Then he vaguely remembered seeing Gina there. He'd forced her to go back, she was doing something, but he couldn't put his finger on it. All he remembered was that she was in danger. He had to keep her from being there.

They'd been there for three days now, mostly kept drugged into unconsciousness. But now his mind was clearing. Two men approached him from the darkness. "What did you do with other man?" He spoke loudly, forcefully. These weren't men, they were just kids.

"Same thing that's going to happen to you if you don't shut up!" They paced. The two had seemed more agitated than Mike had seen any of them. "Now, tell us where is 'the one'?"

"I don't know what you're talking about. Who is 'the one'?"

"We've seen her, man. She has the answers. She knows what's going to happen." They spoke in a haze again. As if they slipped into a trance.

"Look, why don't you let me go. I'll find her for you. I'll bring her here." Mike tried to take advantage of their current state.

"You know where she is!" One yelled.

"Who, who are you talking about?!" He yelled back.

The other kid, still spaced out, answered. "Samantha."


Mulder and Scully pulled up to the industrial warehouses and parked. "Where do we start, Mulder?"

"Well, Gina said a warehouse and there are a few empty ones here. I think we can look around here first. It'd be a perfect place to hid someone. Seems pretty much deserted most of the time. Why don't we start on this side and work our way down."

They entered the first warehouse cautiously, weapons drawn. The warehouse was large and empty and they could see that no one had been there in some time. The third was just the same, only this one had several upstairs offices. Mulder checked out one side and Scully checked the other.

There wasn't anything there, Scully knew it. It was another dead end. She didn't know why they were dragging around this place. Suddenly she heard something from the end office. Her gun raised again, she approached the door. Glancing back, she thought about calling to Mulder, then thought better of it, after all, she could handle herself. The room was empty as far as she knew but the noise had not been her imagination. She walked over to the window and saw nothing below. As she turned to leave, a man was standing right in front of her. She brought her gun up but was struck from behind as a second man stepped out of the darkened corner.

He was heading back downstairs when he heard Scully yell. She'd called for someone to stop. "Scully!" Mulder raced up the stairs. With his gun in front he turned the knob on the door and pushed. The room was empty. "Scully?" He searched the warehouse from top to bottom. Scully was gone.


"No, man, I'm telling you, she knows. She was there, I remember her. " The kid paced. "Listen, Jimmy, she knows where the one is."

Scully awoke with a hell of a headache. She moved slowly to a sitting position on the concrete floor and looked around. A man's body was a few feet away from her, she scrambled to him, thinking it was Mulder, only to find Mike Pascal. "Mike!" She checked his pulse and found it strong. "Mike?"

He came to slowly, his head spinning. "Dana?" Mike couldn't believe it was her. "Damn! When did they get you?"

Scully looked at her watch. "I guess a couple of hours ago. Who are they, Mike? What do they want?"

Mike shook his head and rubbed his face in his hands. "I don't know, that's what's so strange. They keep asking for 'the one'. I don't know what the hell they're talking about. Apparently this 'one' can save them, it's got to be some sort of cult. This is the first time I've been kept loose. They keep shooting me up with something, some sort of drug. I was hallucinating, I even saw Gina for a while earlier."

"I don't know if it was an hallucination." As much as she didn't want to believe, Scully couldn't ignore what had happened earlier.

"What are you saying, Dana?"

"Jennifer called Mulder, Gina was having some sort of episode. He thinks it was astral projection. He thinks she was here with you. She told us of a warehouse, you were tied to chair with Andy next to you. Oh God, where's Andy?" Scully'd just remembered there were two missing agents.

Mike's eyes closed and his head fell back against the wall. "I think they killed him. He was gone the last time I came to. Dana, they mentioned a name. Samantha."

They both jumped when a door opened, the tiny room they were kept in was illuminated briefly. Long enough for Scully to have a look see. It was a nine by nine concrete walled cell with no windows and a single steel door. It could've been a document vault for whatever company occupied the warehouse before. If they couldn't get out through that door, they weren't getting out.

The two oldest looked to be maybe twenty and were well armed. They took Scully and Mike into a larger room, the one Mike had spent most of his waking time in. They sat in chairs as another kid tied their hands behind them to the chair . When the task was over, one of the group came forward with a syringe.

"You don't have to do that." Scully tried to reason with them. "Tell me what you want, you don't have to drug us."

"We can't be sure without this."

"Sure of what? What is that?" Scully's voice became louder as she struggled against the chair.

"Leave her alone!" Mike jumped forward, bringing the chair with him, succeeding in knocking down the kid with the needle.

"Hey, man!" The older kid known as Jimmy yelled at the sudden outburst. It took three of the kids, two boys and a girl, to set Mike upright again, then they gave him another dose. "Just sit still, man, we're not going to kill her. We just want some information."

"What do you want?" Scully asked calmly.

"We remember you, you were with us. Dana, I think that's your name. We want to know where 'the one' is. Only she can stop the pain. We won't be taken again." He spoke rapidly, almost like he was scared to death.

"I don't know what you're talking about. Who is she, who is 'the one'? How do you know me?"

"Her name was Samantha. She helped us, she helped you. They're coming back and we need her to stop the pain again." The girl spoke this time. She couldn't have been older than sixteen.

Scully was at a loss for words. 'Taken' was not a word she wanted to deal with. But, the name startled her. "What?"


Gina hadn't had another 'episode' since that morning. It was getting late in the day, darkness was coming and Jennifer still had not heard from Mulder or Mike. Lines of worry formed in her brow as she walked from one room to another, blindly.

Gina knew something was up. Something was wrong with Mike and she was involved somehow. She knew she was different from other kids. The premonitions, the visions. She hadn't told her mother about them, but she was experiencing all sorts of 'mind tricks'. It wasn't always pleasant but she suspected it had something to do with her 'illness' from two years ago and felt it was something she would have to live with the rest of her life. Now, Gina wanted to help. She wanted to use her abilities to help Mike. He'd been such a good father. He loved her so much.

She closed her eyes and concentrated, focusing on the image of her stepfather. Gina was conscious of the air around her becoming cold, like a winter breeze on a clear day. The blackness was slowly disappearing and she felt herself become as light as a feather. Soon, she felt as if she were floating and when she opened her eyes, she could see herself below, lying on her bed.

The scene turned into a bright whiteness and her eyes closed again. She felt like she was flying through the air, soaring like an eagle, the cold breeze bouncing around to keep her airborne. When she opened her eyes this time, she was in the warehouse with Mike and Dana.

Scully felt the coldness and remembered it from that morning in Gina's presence. Looking around for a draft proved futile. The room was completely sealed off. There were no windows at all, she began to believe that maybe they were underground. But the key was to keep these kids talking. "What did you say?"

"You know who she is. You saw her, she helped you too. Where is she? " The girl was standing close to Scully. She looked like she was about have a nervous breakdown. The drugs that Det. Karras spoke of had done the trick with these kids in Scully's opinion. The girl hugged herself, the coldness taking over the room. Suddenly the girls eyes became large. "Her partner!"

"What?" One of the boys yelled at her.

"Her partner, the other cop, he has a connection to Samantha, I feel it stronger than either of these two." This time, her voice was calmer, softer. Then her head lifted and she looked around expecting to see a stranger. "Someone's here, Jimmy. It's so cold."

Jimmy pulled the girl over to the corner and they were animated as they spoke. Scully caught one or two words. 'Girl' and 'presence' were two of those words. She looked at Mike and he hesitated, but then nodded.

"She's here Dana, she's in my mind, telling me not to worry, that she'll help us." He whispered to her.

His look was one of disbelief, confusion and finally belief. She was not convinced however, it had to be the drugs. But how did the teenagers know her name, why did they say they remembered her? Of course the name came from her badge and ID, but how did they know the name Samantha was associated with Mulder?

Mike knew Scully didn't believe, he wasn't sure himself, but he had to try something. He closed his eyes and as he spoke with his mind, she appeared before him. 'Gina, can you hear me?'

'Yes.'

'Are you all right?' He was still concerned for her safety.

'Yes.'

'Can you help us at all here?'

'I don't know.'

'Can these people see you?'

'I don't know. I think, maybe the girl.'

'Can you find Agent Mulder and try to bring him here?' They had to get help from someone. The drugs they had given him were beginning to take effect.

'I'll try, Daddy.'

Mike smiled, it was the first time Gina's ever called him 'Daddy'. He felt himself slipping under, the colors began swimming in front of his eyes. He would soon be unconscious. "Dana," he whispered again. "She's getting Mulder. Hang on."

Scully watched him go limp as he fell into unconsciousness, then turned her attention to the kids. The girl suddenly looked up, her head having hung down as she took the verbal lashing from the older boy. "She's gone now, I'm telling you a girl was here, I don't know where she came from, but she wasn't the one. Please Jimmy, they'll be here soon, let's just get out of here."

"No!" He yelled and walked away, looking at Scully. "Maybe they'll take her instead. Either way, she knows and the one will be there."


Mulder was not leaving the area. There was no way they had gotten Scully away from there. He knew they had to be somewhere in these warehouses. Backup was called for from his cell phone and inside an hour, there were six other agents beside him with another six being called in to help. They spanned out and searched the buildings again.

They found Andy Roberts a block away, in a dumpster. Mulder sighed and began to worry a little more. It looked like he died of an overdose, probably the drug the detective told them about. What would they do to Scully?

He was in the same building that Scully had disappeared in. Mulder kept returning to the same place. This had to be the place, she had to be on the premises somewhere. He was overlooking something.

Gina saw Mulder walking through the warehouse. There was a hidden door in one of the upper floor offices that had an elevator leading down to the basement. Within the basement were three small vaults where records had been stored for the previous occupants. The kids had come upon it by accident and had spent most of their time in those rooms hiding. Gina had to get Mulder to that door.

Mulder started when he felt a cold breeze blow past him. It was a gust of wind that came from nowhere. After looking around, he noted no areas where a draft could come from. He suddenly knew what had caused it. Or rather 'who' had caused it. He dialed Jennifer's number from his cell phone.

"Yes?" She answered expectedly on the first ring.

"Jennifer, it's Mulder. Where's Gina?"

"She's in her room, why?"

"I want you to check on her but don't do anything, don't say anything, just tell me what she's doing." He waited. Over the line, he could hear Jennifer moving through the house, opening the door to Gina's room and finally the gasp that came from her throat.

"She's lying on the bed, her eyes are closed and it's freezing in here." Jennifer began to panic. "What do I do?"

"Don't do anything, Jenny. Just stay there with her. Don't try to wake her unless it seems she's in trouble, I think she's here and I think she's trying to help me. Ok, Jenny? Do you understand?" He began walking towards the coldness as he spoke.

"Yes, I understand, please, Mulder. Call me back, don't leave me hanging." She hung up the line.

Mulder slipped the phone back into his coat pocket. "Where are you, Gina?" He felt another blast of air from his right side and he turned toward the stairs on his right. He took the stairs two at a time to the top and continued to follow the cold air.

He entered the last office and looked around. It was empty, bits of trash scattering the floor. Gina was frustrated, he was not following her. The closer she got to him, it seemed, the further away he went. She wasn't sure what to do. How was she going to get him to find that door? For some reason, Mike could hear and see her, but this man couldn't. Then she tried something that she had done that morning. She threw herself toward him and ended up passing through him to the other side of the room. Next to the door.

Mulder's hand clutched his chest, for a brief moment he panicked, not being able to breath. It was as if the breath had been knocked from him. He fell to his knees as he took a couple of deep breaths and began to relax again. "What the hell was that?" As he relaxed and focused again he saw the opening. At the floor, where the paneling met the baseboard, a crack that was about four feet in width and it didn't show up anywhere else along the base.


The kids were getting to a breaking point. They were arguing with each other, becoming highly agitated. Scully feared that they were going to do something stupid. She didn't really fear what they saying. It was unbelievable to her that someone or something would 'take' her or any of them for that matter. These kids were obviously under the influence of whatever drug they're using.

All of them jumped when a motorized noise suddenly started. The older boy, Jimmy, had a gun. Off hand she couldn't tell if it was Mike's or Andy's, she knew it wasn't hers. The three left the room, leaving her and Mike alone with the girl. She struggled with the ties that bound her but to no avail. All she could do now was wait. Her mind kept going back to Samantha. What did they know about her? How did they know about her? And what did they mean when they said she was taken with them?

"You know my name, what's yours?"

"Vanessa." She paced, back and forth in front of Scully, nervously biting her nails. "I'm not going back there. I can't go back."

"Vanessa, calm down. What are you afraid of, where do they take you? "

"The testing place." She stopped and put her hands to her face and Scully saw her visibly shiver.

"What do they do to you there?" Scully knew the girl was delusional, but maybe she could talk her way out of the ties.

"I don't remember. I just know it hurts, the pain, I can't take it again." Suddenly the girl was on the floor at Scully's feet. "You can't let them take me, please, I'll do anything."

Scully felt for the girl. She was on her knees, tears running down her face, begging for help. "My God, what did this drug do to her?' She thought to herself. "I can't help you like this. Tied up like this, Vanessa, I can't help." She waited for the girl to react.

Vanessa's eyes moved rapidly, she looked into Scully's eyes, then back at the door and over to Mike. "Can you help me?" She asked.

"Yes, Vanessa, I can help you."

Vanessa chewed on her lower lip, her brow furrowed as she thought of the consequences of what she was about to do. She stood and walked around behind Scully and untied the ropes.

Scully massaged her wrists for a moment then moved to check on Mike.

"No, you have to leave him tied. They'll be mad, they'll punish me!"

The girl became frantic again.

"It's all right, Vanessa, I just want to check him out." She checked his pulse and it was steady and strong. She lifted an eye lid and discovered Mike was conscious, he winked at her. She nodded in understanding. "He's not doing well, Vanessa, I need to lay him down. "

"No, you can't."

"I have to, Vanessa. Help me out here. It'll be ok, I won't let them hurt you." Scully could handle the girl alone, but the three boys might be tough to handle alone. She wanted whatever help from Mike she could get.


Jimmy and his two friends were waiting when the elevator door opened.

But no one was there. "Something strange here, Jimmy. I think Vanessa's right, we should just get the hell out."

"No, not yet. Let's check out the upstairs. Donny, you stay here. Take this. We'll be right back." He passed Donny a gun and the two entered the elevator.

Donny was the youngest of the three. Sixteen, small build, long blond hair. He reminded Mulder a little of Langley. Mulder stayed on top of the elevator car as it ascended to the top floor. He had a small army waiting for the pair at the top. Then he would go back down after Scully and Mike.

Jimmy had the gun ready as the door opened. The other kid stuck his head out first, Jimmy behind him moving slowly. Mulder quietly lifted the panel in the ceiling of the elevator. He could see the back of the kid with the gun at the opening. Grabbing the edge of the opening in the ceiling, he swung down and kicked the kid with both feet. Throwing him into the younger boy, the gun knocked from his hand, sliding across the concrete floor. Suddenly six other agents were in the room and had the two boys in custody. No shots were fired, very little noise was made. That's exactly the way Mulder wanted it to go. He made a second trip with the younger boy, who offered no resistance.

The he headed back down in the elevator.


Scully untied Mike and it didn't take much for them to turn the tables on the girl. She was a small girl, long straight brown hair that needed a good washing. She was unarmed, fragile emotionally. They had her convinced that she would be all right. But she wouldn't leave the room.

"I can't. They're out there. Don't make me." She was becoming hysterical again.

"Dana, let's take care of the rest, then we'll come back for her." Mike was fed up and wanted to find out what happened to Andy. He headed for the door, when the room suddenly became cold again. "Wait. " He told Scully.

He closed his eyes and searched for Gina. She was there in a moment.

She seemed to be looking around to see if he and Dana were all right. Satisfied that they were, she smiled. Mulder was coming back and they would be home soon. She could return now. "Mulder will be here in a minute. He knows we're here."

"How, how does he know?" Scully asked him.

"Gina told me."

"Is she still here?"

"Yeah, she's waiting for us to leave. Come on." Mike stood at the door and motioned for Scully. But Vanessa wouldn't budge.

There was a noise on the other side of the door. Mike took a stance and Scully stood opposite him and they waited. It opened slowly, then an arm with a gun in the hand swept the area and they realized it was Mulder.

"Mulder." Scully let out a sigh.

"Scully!" He let out the breath he'd been holding. "Are you all right? Mike, are you ok?"

"Yeah, buddy, we're fine. Did you find Andy?"

"Yeah, he didn't make it." He saw the girl cowering in the corner. "What's going on? We didn't get much from the other kids."

"Mulder." Scully began.

"It's you!" Vanessa cried out, looking at Mulder. "You have to help, you have to find her for me. She's the only one that can help." The girl was rambling, talking rapidly, not making sense to Mulder.

"Mulder, she .. " Scully tried again.

"Samantha." The girl cried out and suddenly had Mulder's full attention.

"What? What about her? Have you seen her?" Mulder moved toward her and the girl backed up.

"She helped us, she took away the pain." Her voice was soft and weak.

He looked to Scully and Mike, then back to the girl.

Scully moved next to him and spoke softly. "Mulder, she delusional. These drugs are hallucinogenic and we don't know how much she's taken. Look at her arms, there are tracks on both."

"How does she know the name, Scully? How does know to ask me?" His eyes were pleading with her.

"Mulder, it's a coincidence."

"You were there, you saw her!" Vanessa cried again. "Don't let them take me again."

Mulder looked from the girl to Scully. She shook her head, not knowing what to say. He walked to one of the chairs and pulled it up for the girl to sit on. Then retrieved the other and sat facing her.

"What's your name?"

"Vanessa."

"What does she look like? The one, Samantha, what does she look like? When did you see her?" He asked.

Vanessa looked down at her hands, a look of concentration crossed her face. "Last year. She was a little girl, about eight or nine, and she had long brown hair kept in braids. I think she had brown eyes. I don't remember everything, just that she stopped the pain."

Mulder ran his hand over his face and looked up at Scully. She stood with her arms folded across her chest, her head down. "Mulder, let's get out of here. We can talk about this anywhere but here."

They quickly made the few steps to the elevator. The air chilled around them and Mulder realized that Gina was still with them. "Do you feel that?"

"Yeah," Mike answered, "It's Gina." Mulder nodded. Mike whispered,

"Go home, baby, Daddy's coming home."

They stepped into the elevator that had returned but just as the door closed the girl slipped out. They heard her yelling as she ran back down the hallway. "They're coming!"

Mulder tried pushing the button, but the doors had closed and the elevator had begun to rise. Midway, the elevator stopped with a jerk. The interior light flickered on and off, then went out. The elevator car started to shake, Scully was knocked to the floor. Mulder pulled her up and held onto her as the car rocked back and forth, up and down.

"What the hell is going on?!" Mike yelled over the creaking of the shaking structure.

Mulder shook his head. Suddenly every crack and crevice, every opening to them shone a bright white light. It was as if the sun was closing in on them. Then, just as quickly, the light was gone and the elevator quieted and settled.

They stood still for a split second, then Mulder pushed the down button. When the car hit the bottom, he flew out and down the hall. Scully and Mike close behind. All three rooms were empty, the girl was nowhere to be found. She had vanished.

"They took her, Scully." Mulder closed his eyes and sighed.

Scully didn't respond, she was just as baffled, but had to believe there was another way out.


Later That Week

Mike spent a few days in the hospital making sure the drugs were flushed from his system. Apparently after Andy had been accidentally killed, overdosed, the kids changed to something simple to keep Mike unconscious. The drug 'Sky' had not been used on him.

Mulder and Scully met with him at his home. Mulder wanted to find out what Mike had learned from Vanessa. Gina's birthday was Monday and they were celebrating on this Sunday, so they had been invited for dinner and cake as well. They were met at the door by Gina. She had recovered well after the ordeal.

"Happy Birthday, kiddo." Mulder said as the door opened. He escorted Scully in and handed a bag of gifts to Gina.

"Hi, Agent Scully, Agent Mulder. Thanks! Come on in. Mom's in the kitchen and Dad's firing up the grill in the back yard." Gina lead them through the house to the kitchen. Everything seemed as normal as your average house in a middle class neighborhood. Scully stayed to help Jennifer, Mulder went on out to the back yard.

"Hey, Mike. I don't have to do that to get a good burger around here, do I?" Mulder asked, noticing the 'kiss the cook" apron Mike had on.

Mike laughed and shook Mulder's hand. "No, Mulder, we'll let Dana do that for you. She in with Jenny?"

"Yeah, I wanted a chance to talk to you alone." He lowered his voice as Gina came out with a plate full of hamburger patties. He waited for Gina to go back in before he started again. "Mike, the kids are gone."

"What!?" Mike stopped and turned. "What do you mean they're 'gone'? "

"Disappeared from their cells two days ago. I can't get anything from anybody. Even the prisoners in the adjoining cells won't talk to me. They got to them, Mike. The kids had answers, They didn't want those answers known. Did you hear anything, did they say anything at all, Mike?"

A moment of hesitation lapsed before Mike answered. He studied Mulder in that moment, an air of hope yet the look of defeat. It sadden him, he thought of his family, what it would mean to him if Mulder's situation had been his. But he'd had his share of losses as well. He knew a little of what Mulder was going through. "Mulder, the kids had me so doped up, I don't remember half of the three days I was there. They asked, no they demanded that I tell them where 'the one' was. They didn't say who they were looking for until the last day. They kept talking about being taken, but they never said by who or where. I'm sorry, Mulder, I wish I had some answers for you."

Scully came out the back door followed by Jenny and Gina. They set the picnic table with the fixings for a good outdoor lunch. Then joined Mike and Mulder at the grill. "Are you two going to burn these or what?" Jenny asked, patting Mulder's arm, trying the lighten the heavy mood emanating from the two men.

"That's the only way to eat them, Babe." Mike replied, flipping the burgers.

Gina watched the four adults standing around the grill, talking. Then she remembered something and ran to the house. A few minutes later she emerged with a box in her hands. "Agent Mulder?" She called to him. "Would you play a game with me?"

"Honey, Agent Mulder is going to just relax and talk, he doesn't want to play games right now." Jenny was ushering her toward the table. "Why don't you fix a plate, the hamburgers will be ready any minute now."

"But Mom, Samantha said he likes to play Stratego." She whined.

The silence was thick as all four adults looked at Gina. Stunned, Mulder was the first to move. "What, Gina? What did you just say?"

"She told me you like to play Stratego, that she never got to finish the game you were playing with her." She replied as innocently as if she were talking about last week rather than twenty three years ago.

"When? When did you talk to her, where did you talk to her? Gina, where was she?" Mulder was on his knees, his hands on Gina's arms. Scully came up behind him quickly, noticing an edge of panic in his voice.

Gina frowned and tilted her head as if thinking. "I don't know where she was. I followed the girl." She looked at Mike.

Mike's eyes were full of fear and Gina was scared that she may have upset them. May have done something she wasn't supposed to. "It's all right, Gina, tell us what happened."

"Remember, Dad? The girl in that basement? They were taking her away and I followed her. They didn't know I was there at first, but then a little girl came to us. She took the older girl's hand and they were leaving, but she stopped, then turned around and looked right at me." Gina continued.

"Who came for her, Gina? Who took the girl away?" Scully asked.

Again Gina thought, concentrating, wanting to make sure she was telling it correctly. "They were men in dark clothes. At first I couldn't see them, it was so bright, but then I could see and they were there. I think there were three of them. I lost them for a while but found her a little while later in a large white room. That's where Samantha was."

"What did she tell you, Gina?" Mulder's voice was barely a whisper.

"She said she knows you're looking for her and that she's all right."

She looked at Mulder as she spoke. "She said that you liked this game and that she never got to finish it. Oh, and that she'll be back one day." Gina was silent finally. Her head lowered as she tried to think if anything else was said. "That's all. She told me to go home. Everything went white again and when it faded, I was home."

Mulder stood slowly, breathing heavily, his eyes heavy with tears that threatened to spill over. He backed up, a look a disbelief crossed his face as he looked to Scully.

"Mulder, come on, you need to sit down." Scully had him by the arm, leading him toward the house.

"I'm sorry, Dad, I didn't mean to make him angry." Gina was confused.

"He's not angry, sweetie, don't worry about it. Go ahead and fix yourself some lunch. We'll be back in a minute." Then Mike turned to Jenny. "Honey, I think the burgers are done, take them off for me and cut off the fire. I'll be back." She nodded and with a look gave him the support he needed as he followed Mulder and Scully into the house.

Mike heard them talking as he entered the house. "Mulder, listen to me, it couldn't have been her." Scully was speaking. "She said that men came and took the girl. There was another way out of that warehouse, Mulder. There wasn't anything alien about it."

Mulder sighed heavily, his head in his hands. He looked up at Scully standing over him. "I went back to that warehouse, Scully, there was no other way out."

"Then how do you explain the age, Mulder? Gina said it was a little girl. It's been twenty three years."

"I know how long it's been, Scully!" Mulder shouted.

"Hey guys." Mike stepped in.

They looked to Mike, but were silent as they thought about what had just happened. Then Mulder continued in a somewhat calmer tone. "Scully, I don't know how to explain the age. Maybe Einstein was right. It's all relative. Maybe for me she's be gone for twenty three years, but for her it's only been a moment in time. I don't know." He stood and walked around the kitchen pacing.

Mike spoke up. "Maybe it's better for her if it's only been a moment. "

Mulder nodded. "Yeah, maybe." Another uncomfortable silence filled the room. "I have to believe she knows I haven't given up on her."

"She knows, Mulder. Where ever she is, she knows." Scully placed her hand on his shoulder.

The birthday party resumed, but Mulder remained quiet for most of it.

He watched Gina opening her gifts enthusiastically. He longed for the time when it would be Samantha's turn to be a child again. As selfish as it seemed, he was envious. Mike and Jenny glowing like new parents. Without looking at her, he reached over and grabbed Scully's hand and squeezed lightly. When would it be his turn? He had to keep believing that the time would come. He would find his sister and their lives would return to normal. Wouldn't it?

THE END


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