By Shael (


Completed Nov. 29th, 1997


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All characters contained herein are the property of TenThirteen Productions and the Fox Network. No copyright infringement intended.


Rating of R for Language




Synopsis - Krycek ponders the events in his life.


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Sometimes I wonder what the hell I'm doing.


I should be a million miles from here. I should be back in my ancestral home in Russia, where it is the closest thing in my life to safety. But life has not been safe for so long, I would probably drive myself mad with paranoia.


Or boredom.


Too many people here know me, could easily recognize me. And if I'm caught I am dead. But I find myself drawn back, like a moth to the flame, to the last place I should be. I am staring up at the sky, or out at the Reflection Pool in front of the Washington Monument, wondering how the hell I got myself into this situation.


I was a rising star. I thought I could handle it. I was groomed for the best by the best. The old man had told me my future was bright and that if I played my cards right, I would soon have whatever I wanted - money, sex, power. Then I was assigned to Special Agent Fox William Mulder.


My star fell.


Sometimes I wonder why I was so stupid as to leave those damn cigarette butts in the ashtray. I noticed them and even thought about dumping out the damn ashtray. Cancerman is too savvy not to have noticed. I was set up, a precursor to the carbomb that was so spectacularly unsuccessful. And I wonder if Cancerman's praise was empty, and he was only trying to bring about my downfall. Make me dependent on him. Manipulate my life as easily as he manipulates world events.


It wouldn't be the first time he fucked with someone's life.


Or the last.


It had been a stupid piece of luck that I managed to escape that carbomb. I know that that bastard was trying to be efficiently ruthless and kill two birds with one stone. Destroy the digital tape, and one lowly rat on the Consortium's food chain with one fell swoop. I wish I had seen the look on his face when I called him, in the middle of a meeting no less. He handled himself with his usual aplomb, but I heard the tinge of worry in his voice.


That is when I decided it was time to get the hell out of the US. But not before alerting a few contacts of mine with questionable allegiances to the Consortium. I needed money to hide, and I needed a fence. Sometimes, I think I was lucky stumbling on that hacker who unscrambled *and* managed to decode the DAT. He didn't deserve the 'reward' I gave him once I had the information.


But I was more merciful than They would have been.


And then it was away to Hong Kong, to get lost in the shadows. Jeraldine Kallenchuk did keep her end of the bargain. We both made a tidy little sum selling the information on the DAT to the highest bidder. And the money tucked away in the Swiss bank account has been useful when I need to pay someone to look the other way.


Sometimes I pity poor Kallenchuk. She wasn't ready to run with the big dogs. I didn't particularly want to kill her, but when I heard *two* sets of footsteps, I knew I had been double crossed. But I had no idea that a ghost from my past would have been handcuffed to her.


I didn't expect to see Mulder again under those circumstances. And I did the stupid thing. I panicked and went straight to the airport. Right into his trap. I committed a stupid blunder. I watched for attack from my back and my sides. I didn't even think to watch under my nose.


Until Mulder's fist smashed into it.


Sometimes I wonder why he just didn't shoot me on sight. I would have. But at that point, I was more valuable to Mulder alive than dead. That and he probably wanted to beat me to a bloody pulp a couple more times before putting me out of my misery. But I can't figure out why he let me go into that bathroom alone. Typical Mulder arrogance. My guess is that he thought there were no holes in there that were small enough for a rat to squeeze through.


Sometimes I wonder if the olien was stalking me, or if it was the cosmos's sense of humor that it chose me as a host. I vote for ironic random coincidence, like meeting up with Mulder. I had hidden myself too well to be found.


Sometimes I wonder exactly what I did while I was under that being's influence. I have a few scattered memories - me driving Mulder somewhere, two soldiers writhing on the ground seared by a nuclear blast, Cancerman staring at me with the closest thing to fear I've ever seen in his eyes.


But my memories of the silo are all too clear.


When I first came to, I felt like all the hangovers I ever had decided to visit me at one time. Actually, it felt worse. There was oil everywhere. I was covered in it. It's smell was overpowering. I could taste it. When I pissed, it was clotted in my urine. I screamed and pounded against the glass window of the door, leaving smears when I finally collapsed against the door and slid to the floor, sobbing like a child.


I was half mad with hunger and thirst when I was freed. Those stupid wannabe military men weren't doing me a kindness. I was told to join, or they would kill me. And, as distasteful as I found these small minded men, survival instincts kicked in, so I joined. And then I began to see the potential of what I had stumbled into. With the information I had memorized from the DAT and a little working knowledge of the Consortium's command structure, I could embarrass the hell out of Cancerman.


And what better way to embarrass him than using Fox Mulder.


I had no compunctions about 'betraying' my 'brothers in arms.' I could have almost kissed Mulder for delivering me from those ideology spouting idiots. And I told him the truth about wanting to 'destroy the destroyers' and loving this country. Why else would I come back here?


Of course I expected him to hit me again. But I didn't expect to be cuffed to a balcony in Crystal City, aching from the cold and a sucker punch to the stomach. Or having to stare down Skinner. If anyone who would unravel my little scheme, it would be that damn ex-Marine. I was surprised that Cancerman hadn't taken care of Skinner the way he tried to take care of me.


But Mulder rescued me, hauling me back onto the balcony after I lured the hired courier to his death. I felt smug about that move. Let Skinner try to explain *that* to his superiors. And Mulder got me back to my mother country, the one place I least wanted to be.


Mulder only took me along as an interpreter out of necessity. He trusted me no farther than he could throw me. And what the hell he was looking for was a mystery to me. I know he would turn me in to the 'proper authorities' as soon as we returned to American soil. And from there I would be killed before I had a chance to expose anyone.


Sometimes I wish that was what happened, especially when I unexpectedly look at my left arm.


It's so ironic, I could almost cry. The one time I was completely honest with Mulder, it cost me the most. I had just succeeded in convincing (with promise of lots of money and a promotion) the commandant of the gulag to let me contact the one friend I had left in Russia - my cousin Comrade Arkady Artzen, the cousin who's surname I used on occasion. And then Mulder pulled the 'escape of the century' and took me along with him.


But I escaped from him, and walked right into the band of one armed men. I should have turned around and ran the other way when I saw them. They were obviously escapees from the gulag. So, to make up to the commandant for the Mulder fiasco, I would learn where they hid and return to the gulag with this gift.


I should have slipped into the night instead of waiting for the dawn like I had planned.


But, in shock and pain, I did manage to crawl back to the gulag. It was a pleasure to watch the men who disfigured me be put to death slowly. It was not done for my pleasure only. They were of no use to the commandant without the vaccination scar. Why waste precious resources caring for the useless? But cousin Arkady did give me a gift, a token to make up for what I had been through, in addition to getting me where I most wanted to be. He also promised to aid me in my plans for revenge and retribution.


So now I sit here in front of the Reflection Pool, watching the play of the lights on the water, dreaming up big schemes and plots. I happen to glance at my left arm. You can't really tell the difference between my artificial arm and my real one in the darkness. During the day, I keep in concealed beneath my leather jacket and gloves. Like my life of betrayal, lies and murder, I almost forget about it.