This is my first short story posting ever and am kinda nervous. It isn't very creative, and there are probably a lot of typos.
Scully has seen that look on Mulder's face more than once in the time that she has known him. It was the "do I have an X-file or what" look. All that she could do now was brace herself for the worst.
"You won't believe what I found in my newspaper today Sully," Mulder said with enthusiasm as he handed her a manila folder with confidential written on it.
Scully, humoring Mulder, takes the folder and thumbs through the five pages. Just as she had feared, it was about the mysterious disappearance of a 43-year-old male and his six sled dogs. The only traces of them where a couple of drops of blood near the recently abandon sled. Another piece of evidence, written in fine print and highlighted by Mulder, were bear-like foot prints with only three toes.
"It's probably just a bear that was born with some sort of birth defect," she replied skeptically.
"Oh yeah, well that still doesn't explain what happened to the man and his dogs. Besides, don't you think it is kind of unusual that one bear could attack seven living creatures, and not one of them escape? It must have been a pretty smart bear to unhitch the dogs from the sled."
"Maybe a couple of the dogs survived and went into the woods. You know, the man could have unhitched them to set up camp," she suggested, hoping to dampen his enthusiasm.
It didn't work. "Scully, why would the man set up camp at 11:00 in the morning? The search and rescue crew searched the woods for three days and found nothing. I think there is more going on than just a bear attack."
"Even if it is more than just a bear attack, what could we possibly do about it?"
"I thought you would never ask! I have booked a flight to leave tomorrow at 9 am for the wonderfully cold state of Alaska. Hope you remember to bring your mittens."
"What! Are you out of your mind? This is not a good time to be going out of state. I promised my mom I would come home for the holidays, besides I have some vacation time coming up and I don't want to waste it chasing*Bigfoot*."
"Come on Scully, it will be fun," he coaxed. "We will be staying at a log cabin about a mile from the murder site. It will be a nice change from the hectic life style here in Washington DC. You wouldn't want me to fend off*Bigfoot* by myself would ya?"
"Alright, I'll go, but we have to be back next weekend," she said, giving in. "That will give us a week and a half to investigate, and also give me time to make it to mom's for Christmas dinner."
"Thanks Scully, I owe you one!"
Even though she was skeptical about going, she was glad Mulder was so happy. Lately, he has been depressed about life in general. She figured it was because of how the other agents have been treating
him, and his little meeting with Skinner last week. She saw him pick up the manila folder as she was leaving to go pack for the long trip.
The plane trip was long but enjoyable. Mulder did his usual air travel activity, sleeping, while Scully typed up her theories out on her personal computer. When they arrived at the airport, they were greeted by an overfriendly forest ranger. "Hi, my name is Joe Parker."
"Hello, I'm agent Fox Mulder, and this is agent Dana Scully, Are you here to take us to the cabin?"
"Yes, the roads are pretty clear so we can use the park's four wheel drive pick-up," he said with an almost fake smile on his face. "Well times a wastin', so we should hit the roads."
It was about a three hour drive to the path that led up to the cabin. The park ranger pulled the truck over, and started to unpack the backpacks and equipment. The temperature was not what the two were used to and they quickly folded their arms for added warmth. "It's about a mile hike to the cabin. A few of my friends and I stocked the cabin with enough provisions to last a couple of weeks, plus an emergency supply if anything were to happen. The CB in the cabin has exact instructions, they are in the top desk drawer with some other useful information. There is plenty of firewood outside the back door for heating. There is some propane in the closet for the camp stove. Also there is some bottled water to drink. I recommend that you read all the 'in case of emergency' information first thing. If you two have any problems, feel free to call." The ranger then got in his truck to drive off, leaving them in the middle of Alaska with the closest house thirty miles away. They started the long cold mile walk to the cabin.
"Mulder, I have first dibs on the shower."
"Then I'll get the fire started because it is going to be cold if that's the only source of heat."
As they approached the cabin, they got an unpleasant surprise. It looked like just an old hunter's cabin which has not been used for quite a few years. Part of the roof were sagging in, and one of the windows was broken.
"Scully, this wasn't the picture I saw on the brochure."
She sighed. "Maybe it will look better inside."
The door was unlocked, yet hard to open. It was a mess. There was only one room with only one bed, a little propane stove, and antique looking desk, and a dresser. There was a little door in the back which happened to lead to a small room that was supposedly the bathroom. Since this place didn't have running water, it was more of a jonny on the spot with a metal tub in one corner.
The fireplace was the main concern right now however. Mulder quickly started making a fire.
"It could be a lot worse, Scully, we could be sleeping on the ground under the stars around a little campfire."
"It could be a lot better, Mulder."
After getting a nice roaring fire started, they started unpacking: of course, she thought of everything, while he gripped about what he had forgotten. He automatically knew he would be sleeping on the floor, and began making his bedroll.
The closet was full of canned foods, utensils, and water, as promised. In the desk, they found all the instructions for the CB and the stove, along with a long list of emergency procedures which the two were already familiar with.
"What should we do about dinner, Scully, I don't know how to cook much."
"You're in luck, my mom has given me a couple of pointers," she said as she took out a couple of cans and a can opener. "I hope you like canned soup."
"There's no problem here. I found these fishing poles in the corner, maybe tomorrow I can catch a couple ice fishing in the lake down the hill. As for right now, I'm really tired."
"Let's not forget the real reason we are up here, Mulder. First time tomorrow, we should take a hike into the woods for some evidence."
After eating dinner, Mulder go some snow and ice from outside to somehow start a bath. He boiled some water and added it to a tub of cold water. "Who says I can't enjoy a hot bath. Do you want to take on first?"
"Thanks for offering, I think I will," Scully said gratefully.
When she was finished, he was on the floor already asleep. Not use to seeing him so peaceful, she watched him by the fire for quite a while. Sleep is something Mulder never seems to get enough of.
Lately she has been worried about how much he has been pushing himself. It wasn't long when she too was overcome by a desire to sleep. After checking the fire one last time, it wasn't too long before both where peacefully sleeping the night away.
Mulder was the first up the next morning and already had the fire going when she awoke. "You're the lucky one. It was damn cold when I woke up, and I thought the fire would never catch. I was thinking we could check around the lake for footprints first. I talked to the rangers today, they said that we would only have a couple of days to investigate because a big winter storm is heading this way."
"Alright, I'll be ready in a flash."
"Where do you think we should begin?" Scully asked as they walked away from the cabin a few minutes later.
"Down on the other side of the lake."
The lake could be seen from the cabin, it was rather large. That time of the year it was completely frozen over even though the ice was thin in a couple of places. You couldn't walk in some places because the ice wouldn't support the weight of a human. The ranger said it was good for ice fishing. On the far side, the two saw a couple of deer, when the deer saw them walking their way, they took off running.
"I'll take some soil samples while you look for some footprints, Mulder."
Mulder began looking around for footprints, and found only prints from the two deer. He then went out a little way on the ice to look, and that is when he saw not one, but two different sized tracks leading into the woods from the lake. Also he saw a hole recently broken in the ice. As he followed the tracks into the woods, they became harder and harder to see, until finally they just disappeared.
"Scully, will you take a look at these, please," he called, making her look up. "There appears to be two*bears* that have been born with the same birth defects. Did you bring the camera?"
"Yes it's right here. That is strange, I don't know what to say. We should set up some motion detectors tonight."
"I've got an idea. Why don't I come down this evening and do a little ice fishing, and keep an eye out for anything unusual. But for now let's go to the cabin, I'm freezing."
At the cabin, Mulder rummaged through the ice fishing equipment, "an axe, a flashlight, takle box, couple of blankets, and of course the pole. Do you think I forgot anything?"
"No I think you got it all. You be careful out there, and stay within view of the cabin. It's starting to snow so don't be too long."
"I thought we had a couple of days of clear weather before the storm moved in."
Scully shook her head. "I talked to the ranger, and he said the storm is moving in quickly, and that we should depart tomorrow. He said to give them a call when we are ready."
Mulder set up a spot on the lake where Scully could see him. He doesn't fish often and was having problems. The hole he cut in the ice was a little too big, and uneven. His line kept getting all tangled up, and the artificial bait wasn't the best. It was still fun sitting in the middle of nature, wrapped up in a couple of blankets for warmth, and without the hectic sounds of a big city.
In fact it was one of the best days of his life until a black shadow covered his own.
Scully had gotten bored watching Mulder so she began typing on her computer. Every once in a while she would look up to check on Mulder.
This time however, he was not at the fishing spot, but being dragged to the other end of the lake by some huge creature. She rushed around getting her coat on and getting her gun, then she raced out the door.
There were two of them. When she approached the lake, she fired her gun just as they threw Mulder into the hole in the in the ice that they had made earlier. The creatures took off running, and Scully grabbed the axe.
She ran to where the hole in the ice was, but didn't find her partner. She cleared some of the snow away from the ice around the hole franticly searching. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, she saw him under the ice, he wasn't moving. The ice was thick and she had trouble chopping through it. It finally gave way and she pulled his lifeless body out.
This is when she was thankful for her CPR training. He was cold and blue. He had only been underwater for five minutes, but it seemed longer. Her attempts to revive him seemed hopeless. When she was about to give up, he took a small shallow breath.
"Mulder, don't try to move, I'll be right back." She went to get the blankets he'd left back where he was ice fishing.
When she returned, he was having a lot of difficulty breathing, so she rolled him on his side. "Can you help me try to move you to the cabin where is warm. I can't carry you - you are too heavy."
He didn't answer, and she tried to sit him up. To her relief, he painfully attempted to move. "That's it, just try to get to the cabin."
He collapsed four times on the way to the cabin, each time receiving encouraging words from his upset partner. She thought they would never get to the cabin. It was like it was a thousand miles away.
Walking into the cabin was like walking into a furnace. The forgotten fire had built itself up to a roar.
He collapsed right after they got inside the door, this time not able to get up. Quickly she began to remove his wet clothes.
This made him uncomfortable and he flailed around. "I don't want you to die of hypothermia, so please cooperate," she said while he continues to squirm.
She put him into bed and piled up the blankets, then put another log on the fire. When he began to shiver, she sighed in relief because his body was trying to warm itself up. She started inspecting his fingers and toes for frostbite. He was lucky, the gloves and boots did a good job of protecting him. Although he was warming up, he was breathing irregularly. On closer inspection, it looked as though something had tried to choke him.
He tried to talk, but she couldn't understand him.
Scully knelt down by Mulder to try to hear what he was saying, "Don't try to talk, you need to rest, and I don't want you using you throat muscles."
"S-S-Scully, d-did you s-s-see it," he whispered anyway.
"That doesn't matter right now, I want you to get some rest."
For some reason or another, the CB was not working. She tried repeatedly to radio in but all she got was static. Mulder was finally sleeping and had stopped shivering. She was barely satisfied with his breathing, but at least she was satisfied. Even though she didn't want to fall asleep, she quickly dozed off.
When she woke, Mulder was having a nightmare, and talking in his sleep, "please don't, I didn't , NO!"
"Mulder, wake up, MULDER!"
"What, Scully is that you, Where am I. I was at the lake ice fishing when..."
"You were having a nightmare. Something threw you in the lake, I pulled you out. Do you know you almost died?"
"All I remember are these red and green eyes, and big three fingered hands grabbing for my neck."
"How do you feel, you have been asleep for quite a while."
"I'm really tired, and it hurts to talk and my head hurts."
Scully placed her hand on his forehead, "You feel kinda hot, let me take your temperature."
Mulder put the thermometer in his mouth, and laid back. Images keep popping into his head. They were all scary, he felt fear that he had never felt before. The thing he could remember the most was the power of the thing that tried to choke him.
"Let me see Mulder, You have a 102 degree temperature. You need to get to the hospital, but I can't get through to the ranger station."
Mulder saw the concern in her eyes, "I'll be fine, we'll get through to them, you'll see, besides, someone will drive out in the morning to get us." Mulder felt some knife like pain in his head, and tried to hide it from Scully. "Have you checked the fire lately?"
As she turned to check the fire, the room around him became fuzzy and then dark.
He didn't know when they arrived at the hospital, so he realized that he must have been out a long time. Scully was sitting in a chair by the bed reading the newspaper. When she saw that he awoke she placed the newspaper aside to talk.
"Hi, I was worried about you, I have never seen you sleep so long."
"I feel much better," he said. "Where are we?"
"The Anchorage hospital, so we are still in Alaska. I thought you might want to know that they sent a team out to search for the two animals that did this to you."
"What? they will never find them. How long are they keeping me in here, I'm ready to go back to the city, I decided I don't like this climate."
"They said when you wake up, you are free to go."
The trip back to Washington D.C. was not pleasant. Scully came up with the conclusion that Mulder is not fun to fly with when he isn't sleeping. He talked nonstop through the whole flight about how happy he was to be getting back to the city, and h ow he couldn't wait for Christmas.
Scully knew she should have never invited him to come with her to her mother's house but she couldn't help it. Mulder didn't have nowhere to go and she felt sorry for him. She wondered if this would be the start of a relationship going somewhere.