An Alex Krycek backstory for the Sanctuary universe
An exploration of Krycek's life from his infection by the black oil through rescue from the missile silo
Eventually I remembered it all--being thrown up against the bathroom wall, watching the Oil slither out the woman's nose and mouth, but seeing it come straight through her skin, too, making its way to mine. The first of it went straight into my neck from her hand around my throat. There was this... sensation. Invasion, that's the only way I can describe it. Knowing you're being taken over and wanting to fight it but having your reactions stopped in that second of recognition. By then it was already too late.
I remember the woman crumpling to the ground once the Oil was out of her, and I thought of Mulder. What was I going to say? I figured I should warn him somehow, but it didn't matter what I thought. I was already moving, going out that restroom door, and when Mulder asked how I felt, I guess the Oil decided to show off its twisted sense of humor because the words that fell out of my mouth were, "Like a new man."
I was a bystander inside my own body. The Oil liked it warmer than I did, so it turned my thermostat up a couple of notches, which made me feel a little sick, but not to worry--it covered for me, held back the extra flush of color, didn't let me get nauseated enough to throw up. Close but not quite. Luckily we were sitting for the twelve hours to L.A., and an hour after that it was another five to D.C. Most of that time the Oil just shut me down, had me say I hadn't been sleeping well lately, which had been true enough since the salvage ship had pulled into San Diego. For a while Mulder tried to pry information out of me, but the Oil wasn't giving anything away and after a while he noticed he was getting strange looks from the passengers around us when he grabbed me by the collar or tried to rough me up, so he quit and just watched the movie and like I said, the Oil put me to sleep for most of the trip, which was just as well. Couldn't help thinking, though, how Mulder would react if he'd known he was practically rubbing elbows with one of those alien entities he'd always been so hot to confront. Hell, I was as alien as anything he could've wanted. If he'd only known.
Part of the time I could think clearly but other times I was overridden by what the Oil was running through my brain, as if I were just a low-priority user on a networked computer. I tried to figure what my chances were for getting away. Would the Oil let me get thrown in a jail cell and then just slither out, looking for someone else to take it to where it wanted to go? It did have an itinerary; I understood that much. The woman had come right for me and the Oil jumped to me because... I had to be going where it was headed, so hopefully that meant I'd end up somewhere out of Mulder's reach. Unless it decided to jump ship when it saw its next ride, leaving me disabled in Mulder's custody. And then? A lock-up, and the old man would pay some guard to kill me, or send in somebody posing as one. Or maybe I'd rate high enough to have him come in and do the honors himself, hand me a paper infected with an exotic virus or something. Nah. He'd want to show me I wasn't worth his time. He'd send someone else, some expendable lackey. I wanted to sweat, but the Oil wouldn't let me do that, either.
In L.A. Mulder shoved some food into me because I hadn't eaten on the plane. He said I looked a little weak and I said I sometimes get airsick on long flights, which is true enough, but I don't think he believed it. Probably he figured it was just the effect of finding myself captive. He tried to milk me for information again. He wanted to know what secrets I'd sold and the Oil said it was all Pacific salvage stuff, that Geraldine had been repping for me and that she pushed whatever would make her the most outfitting money. Which made sense; it was a good line. He asked about MJ-12 and I found myself reciting the papers chapter and verse. The only thing I could think--when I could squeeze in a thought of my own--was that the information must not be valuable, that giving it out was a smokescreen to throw Mulder off the trail to something more important. There had to be some significance there I could use--when I got a chance to put the pieces together. It was only a passing red flag at the time, one I hoped to compartmentalize for when I got my mind back, because I figured if I tried to do too much thinking for myself right now, the Oil might fight back in some way I'd regret. I might end up like that woman in the john in Hong Kong, and who knew whether she was dead or alive?
Talking was a trip in itself. I'd take in Mulder's questions, or some flight attendant's asking what I wanted to drink, and there'd be this slight delay while the Oil processed the question and decided on a response. I just sat there waiting to hear it, whatever it'd be.
When we got to D.C. Mulder rented a car and had me drive. He was close to home and his patience was nearly gone. He wanted that tape so bad he could taste it and he wanted the key to the locker I'd kept it in. I'd been worried about the locker key for the past hour, thinking the Oil wasn't going to want to hand it over and when it didn't, guess who was going to get pounded for holding back? But my hand went up with the key in it and Mulder had his little treasure. I wondered what the Oil was thinking but whatever it was, at least it saved me from getting beat on again.
I started for the skating rink where the locker was, but after a few miles the Oil had other ideas and we turned onto a darkened county road. About three minutes later Mulder spotted a car tailing us. Took a few seconds for the Oil to decide to take Mulder's suggestion and speed up, but it didn't get us anywhere; the tail car rammed us and we went off the road into a ditch. Mulder was out--hit his head on the dashboard--and I guess I lost a second or two but I could feel the Oil on alert inside me. Then a guy was beside the door, telling me to get out of the car--one of the old man's lackeys. He took me toward his car, demanded the tape and gave me a rifle butt in the gut when I told him I didn't have it. But the pain was cut short; it was literally forced out of me and I could feel the Oil gearing up again. Then there was this flush of heat and a light bright enough to blind me, and I was standing there looking down at this guy crumpled on the ground, his skin bubbling with radiation burns. A minute later the guy's partner showed up, tried the same routine with me. Got the same treatment.
Almost before I could shut my mouth I was in their car, turning it around, headed for the ice rink. It was after midnight and the place was closed, but I went around to the back and put a finger up against the door lock. There was another one of those flashes and the door opened when I tried it. Same routine with the locker. I took the tape out, shoved it in my jacket pocket and got myself out of there. Twenty minutes later I was standing behind the old man's chair. If he was surprised to see that it was me, he covered pretty well. But he'd been expecting the Oil. He had what it wanted, and whatever that was, it looked like I was going to find out soon enough. Cardenal popped in for a minute thinking he'd save the old man from me. I was really hoping he'd push it so I'd get to see him lying on the floor looking like those two guys who'd run me and Mulder off the road; stupid fuck deserved that. But he backed off when the old man barked at him. Guess you can't have everything.
When I left the old man's, I found myself on the road back to the airport. When I got there I bought a ticket routing me through Minneapolis to Fargo, North Dakota. I was sick of flying by then but I knew I wasn't going to get any say in the itinerary. So I got into my window seat, leaned into the corner and tried to sleep my way through the next few hours. When we landed in Fargo it was a rental car, some fast food, a pit stop and I was on the road again. Can't tell you what it feels like to have something foreign inside you stuffing food in your face, or wiping your mouth, or hauling you into the john because it's decided you'd better take a leak before you hit the road.
Then there was the old man. At first I figured I'd be getting away clean; the name I'd blurted out when I bought the plane ticket was Larsen, a good Norse name suited to the area, one designed to keep me from being traced. But then it hit me. The Oil had gone to the old man looking for directions; he'd know exactly where I was headed. Hell, he was probably on his way to intercept me once the Oil was finished with me. My heart wanted to pound, but no luck. I'd been overridden again.
The road I was on led into raw, snowy territory and when we got to the silos the pieces started to fall into place. I went down flight after flight of stairs, blasted out a couple of guards who happened across me and ended up in an underground hangar that held one of their ships. The Oil tightened inside me at the sight of it and sent me straight for the craft. I scrambled up on top. Sat there perfectly still for probably a good half-hour. I didn't know what the hell was going on and there was nothing I could do until the Oil decided to move me.
Finally it did. I made my way to a spot over the center of the ship and looked down. Right away I felt sick as a dog--like I wanted to die. Thought it must be some kind of radiation from the ship, but it turned out to be more nightmare than that. I slipped down onto my knees and it started--the Oil coming out of me any way it could and my consciousness coming back, and of the two--my mind and body--my mind was the worse off because at that point I had no memory at all of the last day and a half. Last thing I remembered was going into a Hong Kong airport bathroom with my nose feeling like it'd been run over and all of a sudden I was in this windowless cement cavern wretching black goo out of every opening in my face.
The Oil burned coming out--burned bad--and I got weaker and sicker as I watched it pool and disappear into the spiral on top of the ship. My body was shaking, wanting to collapse but the Oil wouldn't let me, not until all of it was out, and then I just crumpled, slipped down the side of the ship and dropped onto the cement. I don't know what happened after that, or how long I was out. When I came to, I noticed a square of light and I managed to make my way to a door, but it was locked. There was a hallway beyond it--empty, but the lights were on, which meant somebody had to be there. I yelled and pounded for all I was worth. If Mulder had any way, I knew he would've followed me. He wasn't going to give up on that tape, and even getting beat up by him again would be a cheap price to pay for being rescued.
I yelled until I was hoarse, pounded until I didn't have enough strength to stay standing. Finally I collapsed onto the floor below the door and just watched that square of light. I could taste the Oil and feel the trails it'd burned coming out of me. I wasn't having any trouble shaking now. Fact was, I couldn't stop.
No matter how I tried, I couldn't remember a thing that had happened after that Hong Kong bathroom. I had no idea where I was, except that the place I was in was big and dark and cold as hell. The only thing I had to hang onto was the fact that Mulder'd be royally pissed if I'd gotten away from him and he'd be trailing me even if he had to drag himself on his hands and knees to do it. I forced myself to keep looking at that patch of light in the window, as if somehow it would keep me alive. My brain was sluggish, half-frozen, but there was something in there, unfocused, that wouldn't go away. Gradually it got a little clearer and a little clearer until it stabbed me like a knife in the gut: a Morley. I could swear there was a faint whiff of Morley in the air. I think my heart missed a beat or two then, and the patch of light above my head went black.
I remember shivering... and shivering... but I was too far gone to think much about the fact that the old man had locked me in here to die. Spent a lot of time drifting in and out of consciousness. When I was awake my stomach ached something fierce; I was starving but I had no idea how long I'd been there. And it looked like things were only going to get worse.
Then at some point there were flashlights and voices in the dark--two voices. One of them kept saying 'Mr. Krycek' and I knew I should recognize it, but it didn't make any sense at the time. Then the lights were on and everything was just too damn bright. I had to keep my eyes closed and I was shaking again; I couldn't stop. But I couldn't get up, either. I didn't have the strength. After that I remember being moved, jostled. I was carried and then driven somewhere but I couldn't see anything. They must've put me out because I don't remember thinking about the Oil or anything else.
When I finally came around I was in a bedroom in a house--nice place, the kind that looks like someone enjoys spending time there. The first person to come in was a short-haired woman, a doctor. The second was the Brit, wearing a suit and tie the way he always did. He was the one who'd decided I was worth pulling out of that hole in the ground.
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