Author's Name: MJ
Title: Remembrance of Things Past
Archive: ArchiveX, allslash... okay, YES to Gossamer... Pairing:
Rating: G, maybe PG
Summary: Alex Krycek's mother talks about Alex's sixth summer.
Thanks to Kass, JiM, and Merri-Todd.
"Remembrance of Things Past"
Myrtle Beach. It must have been - when? Oh, around 1972, I'd guess,
the year before Samantha Mulder was abducted. We always spent
part of the cold season in Myrtle Beach, all of us. Well, not
ALL of us, that would be far too many people, but all of the New
York and D.C. crowd. The Mulders were there, as always. Protocol,
always protocol; one of the things I remember best. Women and
children had their space; dads were on a working holiday and met
together. They saw the families in the evenings. You just did
not interrupt the dads; what they were doing was too important.
We did Myrtle Beach for years. First we rented out hotels in their
entirety; then we built our own compound along the beach just
for our own crew. The other vacationers thought we were snobs;
no, we were just very private, but then, we had reason to be.
Snobs? I suppose we had reason to be snobs, too - after all, come
the great events of the future, we would be left with the world
in our hands and the hands of our children. Myrtle Beach was in
many ways our dress rehearsal for the lives we would lead once
our husbands had finished negotiations with our colleagues.
Myrtle Beach was extremely revealing every year if you kept your
mouth shut while the other women suntanned and just watched and
listened. I remember when I first noticed that Teena Mulder was
having an affair - oh, I don't blame her a bit. He was so handsome
back then. Not like now, with all the smoking. And Bill Mulder
- I still shudder. Nothing overtly wrong with him, you understand,
but not Ö well, not the sort of man your mother would automatically
love. Too reserved; absolutely withdrawn. I wondered back then
if he drank. Today - well, today I wonder if he didn't need Prozac
to have been invented for him. He could walk into any room and
everything would shift gears. It was never the same with him there.
No wonder Fox is the way he is. The poor boy. I was so pleased
when he went to Oxford. We all expected our children to become
the second generation of our work, and most of them have, but
when it came to Bill Mulder, I was so happy that his son got out.
At least, I think Fox was his. He looks no more like Bill than
he does like the obvious candidate, but then he takes after his
mother. But Fox abdicated the toy throne everyone had set up for
their children, who would become the next generation of the new
world order that no one knew about but us; he just didn't know
what it is that he was giving up.
Excuse me for rambling. I've spent forty-four years of my life
with the English language; you'd think I could tell a story straight
through. Teena Mulder was a fairly good friend of mine, though
I didn't see her often. She was up in Massachusetts all the time,
and almost never came to D.C. with her husband; my husband and
I did research together at Johns Hopkins under an alleged contract
from the U.S. Navy, and I only got to visit the Cape for a few
days in the summer. But we each had two children, we were both
better educated than most of the other wives, and Teena played
a formidable hand of bridge. I hated being excluded from the men's
discussions - after all, I worked with them - and Teena understood
that. She also didn't resent that I worked with the men, which
a few of the other wives seemed to do. Either I was a poor mother
for working so much, or I was a threat to them for being around
the men in the first place. Excuse me, but I have a doctorate
in biochemical engineering from Leningrad; do you think I even
enjoyed talking to most of their stupid, stuffy businessman husbands?
I take that back. The one Englishman was a pleasure to talk to,
very knowledgeable about world affairs. And Strughold himself
- actually, a very expert engineer, though people forget it constantly.
Back then he was making his second billion in electronic engineering.
Fox, Teena's son, was an absolute joy at the beach. A natural
swimmer, very good. A little fish, my mother would have said.
And he did look a great deal like her. He had always been a very
cute child, but as he got taller and thinner he looked increasingly
like her. Not quite feminine, you understand, butÖ really
quite beautiful. Strange word for most boys, but that was it.
Now, of course - well, you've seen him. It's hardly surprising
the turn things took with our children; just look at him. And
I'm sure he doesn't remember 1972 in the least. One of these days
he really will have to be told.
My daughter is a fine swimmer herself. She always was. Another
She tried out for the Olympics, you know, in the butterfly. She
just missed making the Olympic team. She and Fox were always having
a race out to the rocks and back, the best out of three circuits.
Now, my boy, my baby - oh. Quick on his feet, and he could always
run faster than anyone, but all of his natural grace and dexterity
absolutely vanished near water. Just like the Mulder children,
you couldn't have had two less alikeÖ and I know that both
of mine had the same parents and no genetic manipulation. Even
my boy's facility with languages is purely inherited; alien hybridization
isn't needed for very much if anything by my thinking. English,
Russian, German, and Spanish. Did I mention French? He tends to
use it in Canada; I'm afraid he wouldn't pass for a Frenchman
at all with that Quebecois patois of his. He passes as Spanish
and Mexican very nicely, however, and he once convinced Strughold,
back when he was in high school, that he was a Venezuelan oil
broker on the telephone. Now, that was funny. Even Strughold enjoyed
it, and he has no sense of humor whatsoever. Germans. Ha. But,
as I say, not a swimmer.
Anyway, my pride and joy, my little deer, must have been all of
six. And he absolutely worshipped Fox. At least it meant I got
time to myself. Fox and Tatiana would swim, and Sascha would sit
near the rocks and watch them until he got sunburned and looked
like a little Tartar or Mongol. They would come in for lunch,
then, and I spent a couple of hours with them; then they went
out to make more trouble. Fox, Tatiana, and Samantha, with Sascha
trailing in the rear behind his idol, distracted occasionally
by seashells, insects, and an occasional crab. It was all very
good. Those were wonderful times, back before the rift in the
ranks. Well, that had to come too, after what we discovered. When
your so-called colleagues are planning to destroy you, do you
keep doing business with them or do you call them on it? You can
resist, or your business is taken over. In our case, the business
is an entire planet. Take your pick - resist or serve, as Sascha
says. But then, he's always understood the problem. He listened
to that nice English business friend of ours, not Teena's husband
or, worse yet, her lover, who's quite demented on the subject
these days, you know.
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Fox and Tatiana were racing again,
to the rocks and back, in what was really slightly rough water.
Most of the swimmers wouldn't risk it that day, but those two
were strong swimmers; I was hardly concerned for them, nor was
Teena, who was teaching me some bridge strategies she'd learned
in Boston during the fall. Samantha and Sascha were sitting in
the sand building a really lovely sand fortress. Unstable, of
course, not just because it was sand, but because Sascha was showing
Samantha how to sculpt sand into bridges, and turrets, and all
manner of ethereal, unsupported fairytale architecture. It comes
from living in a household of engineers.
Sand castles. Is that all we were building? My English friend
said as much, back before he died. That wasn't so long ago --
a car fire in Washington. It was quite dreadful. ThingsÖ
just haven't gone as some of us had planned. Personally, I blame
Spender for that. He's soÖ oh, what's the word? Self-absorbed.
He doesn't really care, you know. As long as he survives, the
rest of the planet could die. He wouldn't mind, as long as our
friends -- we thought they were our friends then, you see -- told
him he could run his own dead planet.
Excuse me, I'm rambling. A prerogative of old age, you know. The
current was strong out there, as I said, and Sascha and Samantha
watched their castles get knocked down by the incoming water.
Then my babyÖ he decided as only six year olds do, that it
would be such fun to test the water coming in over his sandy spot.
Waves came in, and he and Samantha began challenging them, standing
up and waiting for the surf to roll in and break over them. One
wave, then another, some smaller, some larger. The children were
laughing; they loved to do that. I summered along the Black Sea
as a child; I know what fun it is. But then, a huge wave. Enormous,
coming in with the choppy current. It knocked Samantha down into
the sand. Sascha was smaller.
It knocked him down, too, but when the water receded, it took
Sascha along with it.
He yelled, of course, and I screamed for Tatiana. I have no idea
where the lifeguard was; probably off looking for a date. Tati
heard me, but so did Teena's son. And he saw Sascha first. He
swam ahead of Tati, grabbed hold of Sascha, who was delighted
to be saved by his hero, completely overwhelmed.
I have no idea if Sascha knows that Fox saved his life back then.
I'm sure that Fox doesn't remember a bit of it, from what Sascha
tells me. He usually tries to kill Svetlana Krycek's son these
days. Poor Sascha, he's always been just a little bit in love
with Teena's son.
In my philosophy class at Leningrad, my professor posed the following
problem: suppose you are shown a lovely child, then given a gun
and ordered to kill it. Say that you refuse, because it is wrong
to kill a child in cold blood. Then you are told that the future
is known; this child will grow to be Adolph Hitler. Is it then
right to kill the one child to prevent the probable death and
suffering of millions? Our families had lived through Hitler's
attack on the Motherland; we all said yes, of course.
I wonder if Fox ever studied that problem at university. I wonder
how he would feel if he remembered that he saved the boy who later
killed his father. If I were Sascha, I wouldn't remind him.
Make your voice heard!
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