An Alex Krycek backstory for the Sanctuary universe
Trapped like a rat: behind the scenes
Not only had she dumped me; she'd ground her heel into me, and just at the point when I finally had all my cards lined up, as I was about to lay the winning hand on the table.
But I couldn't bring myself to believe it. Maybe I couldn't afford to. Marita would never do anything to compromise us; the program we'd been knocking ourselves out to put in place was not only her whole life; it meant our survival. There was no way she'd put it on the line by trying something stupid. So when I saw the Brit, my first thought was that she'd noticed him coming and hidden the boy to protect him. It was simple: the Brit would want the boy, Marita would have hidden him, end of story.
Since I didn't know where the kid was and wouldn't have told the Brit if I did, he didn't waste much time with me. He left me handcuffed to the wall, gave me one of his signature frowns and took off. It was about 5:30 in the afternoon. He didn't show up again until nearly 26 hours later, which didn't do much for the state of my only viable arm. Or any other necessities; he would have liked it if I'd ended up taking a leak in my pants but I managed to hold it. In the interim I'd been handed a lot of time to try and sort out what was going on.
I figured Marita'd be back to get me as soon as she was sure the Brit was gone; I held onto that theory for the first half hour or so. Then I started to worry that something might have happened to her. Maybe she'd stayed too close, the kid had made noise and the Brit had caught sight of them and caught them. In which case I was up Shit Creek. Granted, if they tried to interrogate the kid, the oil would get out into someone, but it wasn't going to knock out the whole group or their operation. In which case they were going to hang me out to dry, and Marita wouldn't be able to lobby on my behalf without arousing the old men's suspicion. And it would make no sense to give herself and the vaccine program up to save me.
She hadn't given me access to that vaccine retrieval code; she'd talked about it the last time we'd been together, in Mallorca at Christmas, but for whatever reason it hadn't happened. Now maybe that was for the better, because at least they wouldn't be able to get it out of me. Though the question was whether they'd caught her, and if they had, whether she'd been able to convince them she'd been retrieving the boy for them and that she was still loyal to the group. If so, there had to be some way she could eventually spring me, though my ties to Lev's camp were definitively cut now; there'd be no going back there. But we had the vaccine; what more could I need in Tunguska? Andrei had been my other resource at the camp, and now that connection was a piece of history, too. I spent a lot of time studying the metal plates that made up walls and ceiling, warding off the image of Andrei swinging from the pipes in that interrogation room.
I'd been up half a dozen times the night before with the kid, watering him down or taking him to the bathroom or doing whatever else it took to keep him quiet, so pretty soon, with the slosh and murmur of the ship, I drifted off, only to wake up about three hours later, shivering like anything. My sweater wasn't much defense against the chill of sitting on a steel floor. Aside from the cold and my aching arm, my first thought was that Marita might have taken pity on the kid and unsewn him to try to feed him or something, and if she had...
Fear snaked through me. I hadn't had a chance to warn her about what I'd had done to the kid; we'd barely had time to talk, and I knew, if I thought about it, that it would likely be a pretty big point of contention between us. At least until I had a chance to explain why I'd done it. But without a heads-up she'd never suspect the Oil was inside him, much less realize that it could jump from one host to another. And if it did, she was going to be its next logical host. Where would it take her? What would it do to her? The stuff wasn't above leaving behind the people it had used like trash tossed from a car window.
My body ached, my butt was frozen and if I sat there much longer, the lack of circulation in the only good arm I had might result in some kind of damage I didn't want to begin to imagine. I managed to get up and stomp around a while, warming myself as best I could. Hunger was gnawing at me but I wasn't close enough to reach the pack that had the food I'd brought along, and I had to face the fact that something had gone wrong in a major way. Marita would have been back for me long before now if she'd been able. The old men knew where I was, but evidently they had more important things keeping them busy. On the other hand, maybe it was a good sign; probably they were still chasing Marita and the kid. If she was free, I could wait this out a while longer.
The ship rocked and groaned but nobody came, and eventually I fell asleep again. When I woke up it was four in the morning and the thought occurred to me that the old men might be planning to just leave me here until I shriveled up and died. But someone from the crew would come down eventually; they couldn't count on nobody finding me. I thought about Marita and me three months ago in Mallorca. We'd seemed closer than ever there. Hell, there was no 'seemed' to it. We were.
The next fourteen hours repeated the pattern: fall sleep, wake up cold and hungry with my arm aching, and speculate about what had happened to Marita, when someone was going to come back for me... and what they'd do to me if it was one of the group and they'd caught her. The thought that she might have taken the boy deliberately crept in slowly, partly because it made no sense and partly because I didn't want to acknowledge the betrayal that came along with it. She'd objected from the start to handing the kid over to the old men. Though, granted, she'd do it to save her program if she were backed into a corner--hand him over to prove her loyalty and then be in the clear to keep distributing the vaccine. And she knew I'd have nothing to gain by outing her; destroying her program would be cutting off my own chances of survival. I thought back to the way she'd come onto the ship: the challenge in her eye, the electricity that was practically jumping between us, and how quickly she'd been ready to head for my bunk.
To lead me to my bunk.
I ran the scene over and over in my head, looking for clues, but I had to admit the details once we were together were more than a little blurry, pushed into the background by the heat of the moment. And I'd dozed off for a couple of minutes afterward. I remembered seeing her stand up, start putting her slacks back on... She'd been kind of tight-mouthed at that point but I figured it was just from the possibility of somebody walking in; Marita hated the idea of being caught off-guard in any kind of situation.
It was the oldest set-up in the book--woman sidetracks man with sex and then takes off with whatever--and if I'd fallen for it...
But what would make her do something like that? If I knew anything about Marita, it was that she'd never do anything that would put her program at risk; she'd put too much into it, and beyond that her investment was woven through with her loyalty to her father. So we'd been at odds over my plan to bring the boy here, but what was her idea? To take him to Mulder, of all people? As if that would have gotten us anywhere.
Whatever had happened, I was going to have to find myself a way out of this mess, a way to escape. I tried calling out for a while, hoping someone from the crew would come down and find a way to unlock me, but eventually I went hoarse, and my throat was already parched. Nobody showed. It reminded me all too much of the silo, pounding against the damn window while the lights went off and it began to dawn on me that the old man would be chasing everybody out and padlocking the place.
The Brit found me asleep, and threw me into a waking nightmare when he verified what I hadn't wanted to believe: that Marita'd taken the boy for herself and tossed me to the dogs in the process. Not only that, but somehow the Oil had gotten out of the kid and into her, and now she was lying in a coma in some Consortium facility, the group's latest guinea pig. I was... well, I was pretty much in shock. There was no logical reason I could see why she'd take a chance like that, but regardless of that, she'd fucked me as a damned diversion and then run. If she had problems with the way things were going--concerns--she could have said so when she came aboard. Should have. But she didn't. Not a damn word. And now the old men were going to tear me apart.
A goddamned diversion. Mulder ditching me when we were first partnered had nothing on this.
While I was still off-balance from the news he'd just given me, the Brit made his move. He'd suspected for a while that Marita was up to something; he just hadn't been able to figure out what it was. The fact that I'd been able to have the kid filled with Oil meant, he assumed, that I had an antidote and connections to a program the Russians must be running. Therefore I must have access to more vaccine, and whatever it was Marita and I had been doing with it, he wanted in. In exchange, he'd protect me from the group's wrath and shield our future activities from them. The Brit puts on a pretty convincing air of civility, but when things get bad enough, he goes right for the jugular.
But there was something more urgent on the Brit's mind than his private assault on our vaccine operation. There'd been another burning the night before, he said, this one on U.S. soil; rebels had attacked a gathering of colonist-tagged abductees in Pennsylvania. My kid was dead, one of the victims, and there were descriptions now, from among the survivors, of what the rebel attackers looked like: exactly what the boy had described to me. Can't tell you how that revelation turned my insides to ice.
Now, for as much as circumstances had put the Brit and me at odds on some things, survival hadn't ever been one of them. Neither of us had bought into the rosy gospel of pseudo-salvation the board had been dishing up all these years. If we acted quickly, there might be a chance to tip the Colonists out of their position of power by allying with these rebels, not because they seemed any more trustworthy than the colonists--the fact that they'd incinerated everyone in their path proved that--but in the hopes that the two sides would kill each other off or at least take their little turf war somewhere off-planet.
In a matter of a few days my life--and maybe the fate of this rock we all lived on--had taken a critical nosedive. There'd been two attacks already; how many more would come? How close together? How powerful were these two factions? And would our 15-year window to Occupation suddenly drop to zero, with an alien war in our laps and the victor taking--maybe devouring or incinerating--the spoils? One thing was for certain: no vaccine was going to protect us from that kind of threat.
Our little chat was interrupted by a phone call. The Brit didn't tell me who it was; he just pocketed the vial of vaccine I'd brought with me, unlocked me, shoved a gun in my back and took me out to his car. He had his driver blindfold me, so I don't know where it was I finally ended up, but it was a room somewhere with a lock on the outside of the door and the window painted over. He wasn't about to tell me where he was going or when he'd be back, and frankly, after the last 26 hours on the ship and the way things had turned out, I couldn't make myself care that much. He'd come back when he came back. In the meantime I at least had food, a bathroom and a bed. I ate what they brought me, kicked a couple of holes in one of the walls and then lay down, hoping with everything in me for a little oblivion. No matter what argument I made to myself, I couldn't figure out what Marita'd been thinking. In the end, she hadn't given me the access code. Had she been thinking about making this split--whatever crazy logic she'd used--for a while now? Had everything in Mallorca been a lie? If they somehow managed to kill the Oil in Marita, and do it soon enough, we could get the access code from her and keep the project going uninterrupted, though it seemed like a long shot. If not... Maybe she'd left a copy of the code with Ansbach. I'd just have to hope.
As I drifted toward sleep, the images returned to haunt me: Marita showing up in the ship's hold, the come-hither way she'd delivered that line about 'we've got them on the run', the way we'd gone for each other and how soon the kissing had led to my bunk. Every last bit of it a fucking lie. I told myself three, maybe four times not to dream about it, a message destined for my subconscious; it's not a completely foolproof technique, but it's surprising how often it can keep the worst stuff at bay. Because the last thing I needed at that point was to wake up with Fake Marita doing a loop in my head. Hell, I'd rather have had her come in and shoot me than do what she did.
The Brit didn't come back for me until late the next day. We had a move to make, he said. A rebel craft had crashed on the grounds of an air base, leaving one survivor. The group was likely to want to hand him over to his enemies, but if we got to him first, we'd have a chance at returning him to his people, showing our willingness to make an alliance and distinguishing ourselves from the group. Of course, we couldn't be seen trying to help him ourselves, which meant looking for someone else to do it for us.
Which is where Mulder came in. He was the Brit's idea, and for a minute I wondered if he'd been infected with whatever twisted logic had overcome Marita. Why was anybody so convinced that Mulder could accomplish anything that involved getting his head out of his ass and taking clear-eyed, strategic steps that would help us survive? But realistically, who else could we get to hunt down an alien flyboy? Who would believe our story? And because I was expendable and it would keep the Brit from having his disloyalty exposed to the group, I was elected to make the contact.
Believe me, there was nothing I wanted less at that point. Nobody I wanted to see less. Well, except Marita. But I had no choice. Even setting myself up in his apartment, I just wanted to be away from there. I did manage to knock him good when he came in; take my arm and see if you don't get a reaction from me, Mulder. And yet there was something about seeing him again, even with his tired protests of righteousness and his predictable scorn. Under the bravado he was shaken, off-balance, and what we were asking him to do, well, it was a crap shoot. Whether he'd succeed, or bring down some kind of retribution we couldn't anticipate on himself, there was no way of knowing. Alien factions were sitting just above the clouds; the planet could be toast tomorrow. And this was the guy I'd always figured I'd have shared the fight with.
I did my best sell job, though he didn't seem to be buying it; the Brit'd told me how they'd been messing with his head and had managed to convince him that aliens were nothing but a giant hoax floated by the Department of Defense. I have to admit it was weird seeing him laugh in my face, a convert to the ranks of alien naysayers. But then this was what had always made Mulder such a risk; he was too easily led; if you flashed the right images in front of him, too easily convinced. Too easy for the wrong people to convince.
If only things had played out some other way, taken a different turn for one or the other of us a few steps back, to change the roles we were playing out now.
© bardsmaid 2005 |