gaunt figure walked toward a table when the bartender yelled, “hey, buddy, read the sign.” He was pointing toward a sign over the bar. He nodded an apology
and looked around for a place to put it. “Park it over there,” the
bartender said and jutted his chin toward a pile at the far wall. “Sorry,
pal, but those things get in the aisles and cause a tripping hazard.”
a problem.” He decided to forego the table and took a stool at the bar. “I know better but I’ve just had my butt chewed out by the big guy. I guess I’m a little preoccupied.”
hear ya. What can I get you?”
long, cool and guaranteed to take this sting out of my backside.”
there was a crash and they looked over to the pile that had toppled over. The
bartender went over and stacked them again then returned to the bar. “Damned
scythes, I don’t know why you guys still carry them; ain’t like you use them anymore. Hell, did you ever use them?”
rewarded with a hollow laugh. “No, I guess it just fits the image; you
know the grim reaper and all that. They aren’t nearly as bad as these stupid
hooded robes, talk about tripping hazards!” He grabbed the glass placed
in front of him and took a long drink then slammed down the glass. “Keep
‘em coming. Damn what a way to spend an afterlife.”
want to tell me what happened? Why’d you get an ass chewing?” The bartender asked as he set down another glass.
started oh, geez, can it really be ten years ago? It seemed simple enough when
I got the first casefile. This guy, Fox Mulder is his name, looked like an easy
catch. He was careless, ate terribly, smoked too much, drank like a fish, he
rarely slept and his job was a nightmare, real high risk. I mean this guy was
just waiting to check out. If he didn’t fall due to some health issue,
the stress would kill him and if that didn’t get him he was the poster child for a suicide.
I was in my glory days; I’d wrapped up a pretty impressive success rate. This
case was just too easy for an old campaigner like me. There was this new guy
in the department, an apprentice. You know, green, no confidence. He hadn’t worked a case yet so I thought this would be a good one for him to wet his feet with. I handed it off to him and I thought that was the last of it. Biggest mistake I ever made.”
take it that it wasn’t? The end of it, I mean,” asked the barkeep.
no, not even close! A year later I get called in and reamed out. The guy I gave the file to screwed up and Mulder was still alive.
Not only that, he’s cleaned up his act, well, at least a little bit. And
now he has this partner, a woman named Dana Scully, who was looking out for him. So
they give me back his casefile and added hers too.” He looked up from his
third drink and saw that a crowd had gathered to hear his tale of woe.
incompetent apprentice had really put my ass in a sling with the big guy. During
the time he had Mulder’s case he screwed, cripes, I don’t even know how many opportunities. He’d blown a slam dunk; nobody should be that bad.
here I am, cleaning up the mess left by this jerk and they stick me with Scully’s file too. Now, she’s nothing like her partner. Clean living, healthy
diet, doesn’t smoke, usually, exercises, not prone to taking unnecessary chances and she used very little alcohol. She’s a little too fond of the caffeine but that’s about it.”
another drink. “Still, I’m not afraid. Heck, they’re still field agents in the FBI; dangerous work on a good day. And, hey, I’m still me, right? The odds were definitely
in my favor”
what happened?” Came a disembodied voice from the crowd.
wish the hell I knew. They’ve been shot, drugged, exposed to diseases, been in car crashes, explosions, operated on, heck, Mulder jumped onto a moving train
and off of a burning oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico! Scully nearly had her head cut off and she had terminal cancer, which turned out to be not so terminal. They were exposed to the elements in Antarctica; no one even tries
to explain how they got out of that one. They’ve been probed and prodded,
beaten and thrown down stairs and out of vans. They’ve faced demolition,
devastation and enough stress and personal hardships and injustices to cause mass suicides.
Nothing, not a damned thing stops them. No matter what, they wouldn’t
die.” He put his head on the bar.
they transferring their case files?” The guy next to him asked in a voice
mixed with awe and trepidation. He could feel the fear that one of them would
be assigned this no win situation.
committee discussed it and they are closing the cases files on Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.” There was a collective gasp. “They don’t die,
ever!” His voice sounded tired after his narrative.
what happens to you?” Asked the barkeeper.
was talk of being transferred to a lower classification, insects to be exact.”
He looked up from the bar. “They die fast and in such volume. Do you have any idea of the paperwork? Mountains
the barkeep prompted.
with respect to my previous record they decided to give me one last chance.” He
turned around and looked at the others. “Anyone know anything about a Monica
Reyes and John Doggett?”