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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20

Faith and Dreams - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Valerie Jones
Last updated: 04/26/2007 02:10:46 AM

Chapter 2

Dana fiddled with her napkin while she looked back and forth between the man and woman who sat across from her. The little bistro they had gone to was incredibly loud-surprisingly so. She would not have guessed it from the outside. But it made her feel like they could really have a private conversation. Remy and Jean had gone to a fair amount of trouble to seem like nothing more than old friends of hers, and Dana wanted very much to ask who the act was for. She had gotten used to the idea that people were probably watching her, but most of the time she could ignore it. These two brought that paranoid feeling back full force.

"Now, what did you want to talk to me about?"

Jean and Remy exchanged glances as if trying to decide who would answer. Finally, Remy shrugged. "It would help if y’d tell us what happened t’ y’ partner."

Dana chewed on her lip for a moment. There was little she could tell him that wasn’t still classified under the auspices of an open FBI investigation, but maybe a little would be enough. "He died in a fire. We still don’t know how he got there, or what caused it..." She trailed off as the two across from her stared at each other. Dana would have sworn they were arguing, except that neither one said a word. Her own comments to Mulder about the strange woman Elizabeth floated through her mind, and she tried to refuse the conclusion she was drawn toward. Telepathy was completely unproven. But she had to admit that they certainly looked like they were talking to each other.


Both gazes snapped to her, and Dana chalked up another piece of highly circumstantial evidence. It seemed like they’d gotten so engrossed in their silent argument that they’d forgotten about her. "Do you mind?"

Jean had the grace to blush slightly. "Sorry." Then her expression became solemn. "Are you sure it was your partner that you buried?"

Dana’s gut twisted. "Yes." She wanted to get angry. Not only because thinking about Mulder hurt, but because the question tried to raise hope that Dana knew was useless.

Jean seemed to recognize her emotions. She spoke very gently. "This is obviously painful, and I’m sorry to ask, but how did you verify that it was him?"

Dana looked down at her hands. "The original identification was through a fingerprint. Later, I ordered a dental print and comparison. Both were positive."

"Well, dat sure leaves us wit’ a mystery, den." Remy wore a troubled frown.

"What do you mean?"

He shrugged. "Up until a couple o’ minutes ago, I would’ve sworn t’ y’ dat Mulder was lyin’ dead in our basement."

Jean watched as Agent Scully’s expression went from shocked to disbelieving, and then disappeared entirely.

Finally, "What do you mean?" she asked. Jean admired her self-control, which was far more than skin deep. She was holding her thoughts and emotions in check as well as her face.

Jean glanced at Remy. "He means that we have a dead man in our medlab. Both Remy and Ororo were convinced that he was your partner. Now, we aren’t certain what to think."

Scully looked back and forth between them. "I’d like to see this man."

Jean tried to keep her feelings off her face. She’d been expecting that, and still wasn’t certain how to answer.

Y’ can trust her, if dat’s what y’ wonderin’. She and Remy were linked telepathically, as they had been since arriving in this world, but still she was surprised. Remy was awfully perceptive some times of thoughts she was not projecting.

We aren’t supposed to reveal ourselves, remember? We have no idea what methods are available here to extract information from her mind.

So, erase everyt’ing once we gone.

I can’t do that without her permission, Remy.

Ask her den.

Jean hid her frustration. I have to reveal that I’m a telepath to do that. If she refuses, I can’t erase that knowledge.

Remy gave her a look of pure disgust, but before he could reply, Scully cleared her throat. "If you’re going to talk about me, I’d prefer you did it out loud where I can hear you."

Remy chuckled. Dat solves dat problem, neh?

"T’ought y’ might have figured us out," he said out loud.

Scully stared at him, as if she wasn’t quite certain what to make of his glib confirmation. Jean got the impression from her that she didn’t want to believe what she was hearing. But, since the damage was mostly done already, she didn’t see any reason to delay the inevitable.

Agent Scully.

As Jean expected, the woman jumped in surprise at the voice in her head. She stared at Jean, wide-eyed.

Yes, I’m speaking to you telepathically.

"How... ?" Scully bit off the rest of the question, pressing her lips firmly together. Can you hear me? she asked tentatively after a moment.

Jean nodded, oddly pleased. Clearly. And, since I have Remy linked in right now, he can hear you as well.

Scully’s gaze jumped to the Cajun briefly, then returned to Jean. She let out her breath in a sigh and nodded her acceptance. "All right. What now?"

Dana gripped the steering wheel tightly as she drove and tried not to think of anything at all. The red-haired woman who sat beside her stared out the window, apparently oblivious, but Dana knew better. That woman had spoken directly into her mind, as easily as if she’d said the words aloud. She’d read Dana’s thoughts as well, which was the scary part. Dana couldn’t help but wonder if Jean had seen everything about her, had read even her deepest secrets. Those things that she most wanted to hide immediately popped to the front of her mind when she considered what she did not want the telepath to see.

She glanced in the rear-view mirror. Remy was sprawled across the back seat of her sedan, apparently asleep. Jean noticed the direction of her gaze and glanced back as well. Then she turned to Dana with a smile.

"You’ll have to excuse Remy. He tends to catnap anytime you can get him to sit still for more than ten minutes."

Dana nodded, turned her attention back to the road. What could she say? Jean could read every response straight out of her head. Except that the woman was watching her with a puzzled frown, as if she didn’t quite know how to interpret Dana’s silence.

Dana flexed her fingers on the wheel, debating with herself. But eventually she couldn’t help but blurt out the question that kept spinning in her mind.

"Are you... reading my mind?"

Jean cocked her head, amusement dancing in her eyes. "No, I’m not. It would be unethical of me to read your thoughts without your permission."

Dana shot her a surprised look, and Jean grinned. "Honest." She held up a hand. "Besides, I would go completely insane if I walked around reading everyone’s thoughts all the time."

Dana found herself relaxing. For whatever reason, she believed Jean. Then she smiled at herself. Since she’d already accepted that she was sitting in the car with a woman who could literally read minds, why balk at believing that the same woman would do things simply because they were right?

"How much further?" Jean asked, her green eyes scanning the fields that surrounded the road for miles.

Dana glanced at the odometer. "Twenty miles or so. The compound site is still restricted, but I called in a favor." She fished in her jacket pocket and pulled out two temporary badges, which she handed to Jean. Jean looked them over critically, then nodded in approval.

They pulled up in front of the burned remains of the Iowa compound, and Dana felt a chill scrabbling up her back. There was a part of her that hated this place for what it had taken from her. But Jean and Remy had asked to see it. They were very interested in trying to piece together Mulder’s actions during the forty-eight hours before his death. What Dana had told the FBI, she had also told them, but she was aware that it would be of little use.

To Dana’s relief, the site appeared to be unattended, save for the guard. Remy and Jean looked over the charred remains, talking quietly.

"Hot fire," Remy commented as she came up beside them.

Dana glanced up at him. He was still looking out at the compound, shading his eyes from the midday sun despite the dark sunglasses.

"Yes," she answered. "Almost 8,000 degrees. The steel infrastructure was melted, and some of the cement. You can see the fused areas there." She pointed as she spoke.

"Dey know what caused it t’ burn so hot?"

Dana pursed her lips. "Not yet. We know it was a chemical fire, but the technicians were having trouble identifying the compound."

Jean cocked her head. "Where were the bodies found?"

"There." Dana forcibly controlled her reaction. One of those bodies had been Mulder.

"Out near de edge, neh?" Remy crossed his arms, rocking lightly on the heels of his boots. "De heat not quite so bad dere."

Dana nodded. "The investigators surmise that most, if not all, of the cult members were somewhere inside the structure when it burned. But, since the fire was so hot, there aren’t any remains with which to verify that assumption."

"So, jus’ a little evidence, but not too much, eh, chere?" Remy looked down at her, and Dana found herself wishing once again that she could see his eyes. His expressions were unfathomable through those glasses.

"What are you saying?" she asked.

He shrugged. "Ain’ sayin’ not’ing. But, y’ got t’ admit it’s a good way t’ cover y’ tracks. Great big mess like dis, a few bodies sprinkled around... folks look f’ de simplest answer t’ fit de facts, so if y’ don’ leave too many facts lying around, dey c’n come up wit’ an explanation pretty easy. Nobody ever look hard enough to see de real picture."

Dana blinked at him. "You’re as paranoid as Mulder."

He grinned impishly, but didn’t reply.

"Why don’t we get a little closer," Jean suggested. "I’d like to see if I can pick up any astral traces."

"Astral traces?" Dana asked doubtfully as she followed the pair towards the blackened remains. Neither one answered her. They were immediately engrossed in their survey of the ruined compound buildings. Dana watched them with interest. Remy was walking around the perimeters of the various foundations, pausing occasionally to study the ruin. He seemed to be working out the dimensions of the buildings from what was left. Why, exactly, Dana wasn’t sure. She’d shown them photographs of the compound taken before it burned. Jean, on the other hand, appeared to be doing absolutely nothing. She stood motionless near the center of the burned area where the heat had been most intense, her eyes closed.

Dana wandered over to where Remy was. He had dropped to a crouch and was studying an area of slagged metal with particular curiosity.

"Find something?" she asked.

He nodded. "Take a look." As she watched, he used his hands to dig away some of the dirt that surrounded the deformed chunk of metal at its base. Dana was fairly certain that the metal had been a support beam. Its shape seemed to suggest a tall beam that had bucked and then melted. But as Remy brushed away more of the dirt around the base, she could see that the beam had been attached to an extensive metal structure buried undergound. The heat of the fire had actually helped to expose it by incinerating some of the covering dirt. Curious, Dana knelt beside him to help dig. Together, they exposed more of the buried structure. Enough to discover the curved sides of a mammoth cylinder lying on its side. Remy rapped it gently with his knuckles, generating only a dull thunking noise.

Dana sat back and brushed the hair out of her face with the back of one dirt-covered hand. "That’s too solid to be pipe."

"Yep. I’m guessin’ it’s an actuator."

Dana tried to contain her disbelief. After all, the diesel engines used to power destroyers before the advent of nuclear powerplants had pistons of similar dimensions. But an actuator of this size, underground-- it would be able to exert enough force to lift half the hillside...

She stood up, surveying the ruin with a new perspective. It didn’t take her long to pick out the subtle pattern of building supports, like the one they were standing beside, the outlined a giant rectangle in the ground. There were two doors, she realized as she started across the ruin at a trot. And they came together right about... there. Her feet carried her to the spot, where she knelt down and began to dig.

"This is where the doors meet," she told Remy over her shoulder. She felt kind of frantic as she dug with her bare hands into the hardened earth. If there was an answer to the senselessness of Mulder’s death, she would find it here.

The shadow of someone standing over her made her pause and look up. Remy had come up beside her, but he was looking across the ruin toward Jean. Dana guessed that there was another telepathic conference going on. After a moment, Jean relaxed her stiff posture and opened her eyes. She approached them, her gaze sweeping the area. Dana could see her picking out the outline of the doors just as she had.

Remy gave Jean a doubtful look. "Y’ t’ink y’ c’n lift one o’ dese?" he asked her. His booted foot tapped the apparent edge of one of the door halves.

Dana looked at them in surprise. Move one of the doors? It had to weigh several tons, particularly with the earth that covered it. They would need a crane to pry something that big up.

To her relief, Jean shook her head. But her words were less comforting. "No, but I can move the actuator slides." Jean nodded toward the area where the actuator was buried. "There doesn’t appear to be any damage."

Dana found herself holding her breath as Remy motioned her away from the doors. They left Jean standing just in front of the joining of the massive plates and took up a position several paces behind her. Dana wasn’t entirely certain she wanted to see what would happen next. She had an inkling, and a little voice inside whispered that this might be more than she wanted to witness. More than she wanted to believe was possible. And more proof than she was ready to swallow.

Slowly, Jean raised her arms away from her body, her posture indicating intense concentration. Dana gasped as the ground quivered, and then the huge doors began to swing skyward. The remains of the buildings and even the ground remained attached as the pieces of metal swung wide. The doors opened to just a little beyond ninety degrees and then came to a halt with a short grinding noise.

Jean lowered her arms and turned around. Remy cocked his head, regarding her. "I sure hope y’ remembered de guard over dere."

Dana darted a glance over her shoulder toward the guard’s station. She did not see him.

"He’s unconscious," Jean told her when she looked back

Dana wanted to ask her how, but she was too enthralled by the gaping hole in the ground just beyond Jean’s feet. For now she would accept that the guard was unconscious, as Jean claimed, and that she had done it to him with some kind of telepathy that Dana held little hope of explaining. She wanted to know what was under the ground.

With more than a little trepidation, Dana walked to the edge of the chasm and looked down. She wasn’t certain whether to be disappointed or not by the fact that the huge space beneath the doors appeared to be empty. The Midwest sun shone down on a metal floor some sixty feet below her feet, but did not illuminate anything else. The edges of the underground space were lost in darkness, and Dana had the impression of an immense man-made cavern.

She gasped as Remy leapt off the edge of the chasm, but Jean only chuckled.

"Showoff. He’s going to wreck his knees if he keeps doing that."

Dana looked down as Remy landed on the metal floor with a boom that echoed around the cavern. He straightened immediately, showing no signs of pain. A moment later, he lit something that glowed a lurid pink and held it up. The circle of light began to move as he walked toward one side of the room.

"Shall we?" Jean asked.

Dana stared at her. "You’re not expecting me to jump?"

Jean smiled. "Of course not." She raised her arms and Dana tensed instinctively. "Just relax. This will feel a little strange at first."

"What--?" But then the world seemed to drop out from under her. Dana’s stomach jumped into her throat and she felt a moment of pure panic as she realized that the ground was, indeed, falling away beneath her feet. Instinctively, she tried to grab onto some kind of support and felt Jean’s hand on her arm. She forced herself to be still, standing rigid in the grip of whatever force was lifting her.

"You’re fine." Jean’s tone was reassuring. Dana looked around in amazement. They were flying! Or rather, floating. Gently, as if buoyed by some strange kind of air cushion.

"How are you doing this?" she demanded of Jean.

The woman gave her a rather sympathetic smile. "I’m also a telekinetic," she said, as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world. Dana could find no suitable response, considering her position.

Together she and Jean floated out over the chasm and slowly descended. Dana felt her feet touch down on the metal floor and the strange sensation of having her weight once more deposited on them.

Remy was off to her left, the pink glowing object held close to the ground as he knelt to examine something. Dana shook off her astonishment and went to see what he had found. Remy stood as she approached, offering her the object. It was a gun. Dana took it from him and studied it, frowning. It was the right model and caliber. And Mulder’s weapon had not been recovered. She checked the safety and then slid the gun into her suit pocket.

Dana shook her head, frustrated. "Do you know what this place is?" she asked Remy.

He shrugged. "If I had t’ guess, I’d say it was a hangar."

Jean cocked her head to look up at him. "That would explain where he got the ship, at least."

"Where who got what ship?" Dana looked between them.

Jean turned to her. "The man we thought was Mulder was killed in a... plane crash. The ship would have fit into this hangar pretty nicely."

Dana took another look around the cavern, concluding that it did indeed look like a hangar. She didn’t get a chance to form any other thoughts as Remy’s head snapped up, followed by Jean’s.

"Trouble," he said tersely. The light in his hand went out abruptly, plunging them into semi-darkness.

Dana looked up at the pounding of feet approaching the edge of the hole above them. A ring of soldiers formed around the edge, their automatic weapons pointing down into the cavern. Dana suppressed a sigh. Even dead, Mulder was still getting her into trouble.


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