"Come on, Mulder. Lean on me if you have to," Scully
encouraged after he stumbled once again.
"Shut-up and keep moving!"
The agents had been walking for almost fifteen
minutes with a shotgun aimed at their backs. The
gunman didn't seem overly bright, but there was
something about him that warned that he had a rather
volatile temper. Scully hoped that Mulder could keep
up without pushing their captor over the edge. After
a few hundred feet they were directed to turn onto a
deer run to their right.
Mulder managed to keep going, his arms wrapped
tightly around his stomach. After he tripped over a
fallen tree branch, Scully was forced to support him
as they made their way through the forest.
After walking for almost an hour, Mulder was sure
that he couldn't go much farther. Once again he fell
to his knees and vomited beside the trail.
"Mr. Big-City F.B.I., I don't know what the hell's
the matter with you, but I'd suggest you get up and
get movin' before I shoot you with your own gun and
leave you here beside the trail."
Scully gently helped him up. "Come on, Mulder.
Maybe it won't be much farther."
"Why don't you just let him shoot me?"
His pain-filled eyes looked at her, filling her with
fear. Her partner was extremely ill and was just
about beyond caring what he said or did. Scully put
her right arm around his waist and he leaned into
her. "Just take one step at a time. We can do
They started back down the trail. Almost at once the
trees thinned and bright sunlight exploded in their
faces. They found themselves in a clearing
surrounded by trees on three sides and the edge of a
cliff on the other. The clearing had been taken over
by rows and rows of tall, green plants.
"Marijuana," Scully observed.
"That's right, Red. See that shed over there?
That's where you two are gonna spend the next day or
two. Now, let's head on over there and get you
Before they took two steps, a man resembling their
captor emerged from between two rows of plants.
"Wilson, what in the hell have you done now?" He was
"Found a couple of Feds looking at that platform.
Thought I'd better bring them in."
"Well, shit! We've got to get this stuff harvested
and get out of here! The sooner the better."
"One good thing about it, Wayne. We've got plenty of
labor, but I don't think Mr. F.B.I. will be much
help," Wilson laughed nastily. "He ain't feelin' too
"What did you do to him?"
"Nothin'! He was like that when I found him. Kept
holdin' his stomach and pukin' all the way here."
Mulder's right pant leg had ridden up as he stumbled
through the woods, revealing the small pistol that he
wore at his ankle.
"Wilson, you idiot! He's got a gun!" Wayne
exclaimed, stooping down to grab it from the holster.
"What? I already took one from him."
"Well, he had another one. You're lucky he didn't
put a hole in your head. Let me check those
backpacks then put 'em in the shed with the other
After a quick check Wayne declared the backpacks
safe. Wilson pushed the two F.B.I. agents into the
shed and threw their backpacks in behind them. He
quickly locked the door and went into the field to
join his brother.
Wayne and Wilson began arguing as soon as they
reached the first row of plants.
"Why did you have to bring those two Feds here?"
"They found the platform. What did you want me to
do? Kill them?"
"Of course not! It's just that we're in enough
trouble if we get caught. That plan of yours to keep
people away sure worked didn't it? First those two
kids run right into our arms and now we could get
life for holdin' those two F.B.I. agents especially
is he's sick enough to die!"
"As soon as we get the stuff harvested, I'll call
somebody to come and get 'em. All right?"
"Well, let's just hope that F.B.I. agent can hold on
until then," Wayne agreed. "The next time you come
up with some hare-brained idea to make money, make
sure it's legal."
"Think about how much we made from that first little
crop. All we have to do is get this cut and dried
and we can spend the winter some place warm."
"As long as that someplace warm isn't a jail cell.
It's your turn to feed those kids. Guess you'd
better make some sandwiches for the Feds too."
"Why do I always have to feed them? It stinks in
there," Wilson whined.
"Hey, you're the one that brought them here. Go on
and take care of them. After they eat you can bring
those kids out and let them help us cut some of this
down while we've still got some daylight. Be sure
the shed is locked. I don't want those Feds getting
"That guy ain't goin' far."
"Well, you just make sure he don't."
"Tyler and Zach I presume?" Mulder asked weakly as
soon as his eyes adjusted to the dark."
"Yeah, who're you?"
"We're Federal agents and we've been looking for
you," Scully answered.
"Well, looks like you found us. Fat lot of good
that's going to do," Zach replied sarcastically.
"We'll figure something out," Scully assured them.
"Are both of you all right?"
They both nodded yes.
"Just a little hungry. Two peanut butter sandwiches
and some water every day doesn't exactly fill me up.
I could use a shower too," Tyler chipped in.
"Don't talk about food," Mulder groaned, rolling into
a ball on his side.
"What's with him?"
"He's not feeling well," Scully explained.
"That's just great. First you get captured and then
he's sick. What kind of Federal agents are you?"
"Shut-up, man. I'm sick of listening to you gripe,"
Tyler said angrily.
Zach got up and walked to the far corner of the shed.
"Gettin' crowded in here."
"Mulder, how are you doing?" Scully asked, concern in
"No, you're not. I need to know, Mulder."
"Scully, I screwed up. I should have told you," he
stated with a shaky voice.
"Yes, you should have. Now, talk to me. How's the
"Bad. I thought it was a 24 hour bug, but it's more
than that," he shivered.
"Is there one particular area that hurts more?"
"No, just my stomach in general."
"Would you let me examine you?"
"Kind of dark for that don't you think?"
"I won't need much light," she assured him as she
pushed his shirt up. "Tell me if it hurts."
After a quick exam, Scully found that his left side
was a little tender but not terribly so.
"What's wrong with me?"
"I really don't know for sure. It could be any
number of things. We'll let the doctors at the
hospital decide when we get out of here. In the
meantime, I have something for nausea in my kit. I'm
going to give you an injection and then I want you to
drink some water."
"It won't stay down," he protested.
"You have to try. You're dehydrated and that little
hike didn't help matters."
"What are you talking about?" Tyler inquired.
"Yes, I'm also a medical doctor. I'm going to give
my partner something to help his nausea so he can
drink. He needs fluids."
Tyler processed the information. "Um, anything I can
do to help? I'm pre-med at school."
"Not right now, but thanks, Tyler. I'm Dana Scully
and he's Fox Mulder, but he'd rather you call him
Mulder," Scully smiled.
"I can see why," Tyler chuckled.
"Thanks, kid," Mulder moaned.
Scully brought out the first-aid kit then began
rummaging in her pack until she found a bottle of
water and a flashlight.
"I wish I had more light," she said turning on the
"Yeah, I hear you. All we get is the light that
comes in between the boards. Those cracks make it
damned cold at night too," Tyler supplied.
Scully found a syringe and the vial of medication.
"Tyler, if you could hold the flashlight while I fix
this injection I'd really appreciate it."
"Sure thing, Miss Scully."
She popped the seal on the bottle and drew out 25
cc's, all the while cringing at the sound of her
name. Coming from Tyler it made her feel like an
old-maid schoolteacher. "Mulder, I'm ready. It
needs to go in your hip and it's going to sting."
"Do your worst, then," he challenged, loosening his
jeans just enough to bare a spot for the injection.
"Oh, this is far from my worst," she laughed as she
jabbed the needle into his hip.
"Ow! Remind me not to be anywhere around when you do
your worst," Mulder commented, trying to rub away the
sting from the injection.
"Rest for a few minutes and let that take effect,
then I want you to drink a sip or two of water."
"Waste of time."
"You never know. Nothing ventured. Nothing gained."
"Do you think these guys are really going to let us
go?" Tyler asked hopefully.
"I'm hoping they will. I don't think they were
prepared for any of the complications they've
encountered. I suspect this might be the first time
they've done anything like this and if we don't push
them, I think the odds are pretty good that they'll
keep their word. They don't strike me as hardened
"That's a fortune in pot out there," Zach pointed
out. "Money talks. If it comes down to us or the
pot, you know what's gonna win."
"Zach, would you just shut-up!" Tyler yelled angrily.
"I'm sick and tired of listening to you whine. If
anything gets us killed, it will be that mouth of
The captives heard the lock on the door being opened.
"Get away from the door!" Wilson hollered.
They all moved toward the back wall.
"Here's your supper," he announced, tossing in a
grocery bag. "Damn, it smells worse than usual in
here. You, college boy!" He pointed to Tyler.
"Empty that slop bucket over the side of the cliff
and don't try anything. My brother's out there in
the field and he'll be keepin' and eye on you."
Tyler made his way to the door, a large white bucket
in hand, while Zach retrieved the bag with their
"Go on and make it quick and be careful with that
thing. I don't wanna be smellin' it outside."
Tyler wasn't gone long. He placed the empty bucket
in a corner and as he turned around Zach tossed him a
sandwich. He tore into it greedily.
"I want you two kids to finish up 'cause I got some
work for you to do outside. It's about time you
started to earn your keep."
Wilson stood at the door until the students were
finished. He motioned for them to walk in front of
him then shut the door and secured the lock.
"You can have my sandwich, Scully," Mulder offered.
"Thank you, but if you don't mind I'd rather save it
for Zach and Tyler. Besides, you might feel like
eating it later."
"Don't hold your breath," he sighed. "We can watch
those kids argue over who gets to split it. That'll
be more fun than watching me puke." He yawned
loudly. "Wow, that injection is making me sleepy."
"That's exactly what it's supposed to do. I want you
to take a sip of water now, then wait for about five
minutes and take another one," Scully directed as she
unscrewed the top of the bottle and offered it to her
He hesitated for a moment then took the bottle and
turned it up, taking a drink. "I don't know if this
will work, but that water sure felt good going down."
"Think positively, Mulder."
"How much marijuana do you think is out there,
"It's a lot."
"If those two guys pull it off they'll be quite
"They seem so amateurish that it wouldn't be
difficult for someone to double cross them," she
"I'd love a front row seat for that," he shivered.
Scully felt Mulder's forehead. "You are absolutely
"Nah, just a little warm."
The M.D. turned on the flashlight to search through
her first-aid kit. "Ta da!" she exclaimed, holding
up her prize, a battery operated thermometer. "Do
you think you can hold this under your tongue?"
"Yeah, but make it quick."
Scully put the thermometer under his tongue and took
his pulse while she waited for the beep. At the
sound of the tone she quickly removed it and clicked
on the flashlight. "102.1, Mulder. If you can keep
the water down, I have some Tylenol to help with that
"I just want to sleep right now," he stated wearily.
"Take another sip or two of water, then you can lie
down with your head in my lap if you want."
He nodded yes and took two quick drinks from the
bottle and handed it back to Scully. She replaced
the top and laid the bottle on Mulder's pack. When
she scooted to the back wall, her partner followed
her and stretched out, using her lap for a pillow.
"Oh, yeah. I could get used to this," he answered
"Let me tell you something, Mulder. You don't have
to be sick or injured to do this."
"Oh, really?" he asked, surprise on his face.
"Really. I like it when we're this close."
"So do I," Mulder agreed, his eyes crinkling up as a
huge smile spread across his face.
"Shh. Go to sleep."
"Mmm, you're so soft," he muttered as his eyelids
began to feel heavy. "Feels so good."
Scully was astonished at how quickly he fell asleep.
Her astonishment quickly changed to concern when she
thought how unlike her partner that action was, even
with the drug in his system. She relaxed her
shoulders and tried to get as comfortable as
possible, all the while thinking of the symptoms
Mulder had exhibited and what she might do to
alleviate his discomfort. She knew, deep down, that
it was serious, but his symptoms were so generalized
that a diagnosis at this point was impossible.
The only thing she knew for sure was that he needed a
hospital, and soon.
The Sky People-Chapter 4
Header and Disclaimer in Chapter 1
Scully was roused from her stupor by the sound of the
door being opened. The two students were dragged in.
Tyler sat beside her while Zach resumed his position
in the far corner. They were hot and sweaty, adding
to the already ripe smell in the close quarters.
"Fee, fi fo fum I smell the . . ."
"Mulder, that's enough," Scully admonished, trying to
keep from smiling.
"Sorry guys. Guess they worked you pretty hard."
"Yeah, they were in quite a hurry," Tyler answered.
"Wilson took off with what we cut down today."
"How long do you think it will take to finish the
job?" Scully queried.
"A day, day and a half at most," Zach answered,
apparently shedding his ill humor."
"Are you feeling any better, Mr. Mulder?" Tyler asked
"No, and please call me Mulder. Mr. Mulder was my
father." Mulder sighed and propped himself up
carefully on his elbows.
Scully hid a grin. It seemed she wasn't the only one
feeling the generation gap. "Mulder, do you think you
could get some Tylenol down?"
"Not right now. My stomach is doing flip-flops
"I'm sorry." She leaned over to feel his forehead.
"'S okay. Not your fault." He swallowed heavily,
looking even more uncomfortable.
"Just rest. Perhaps you'll feel better later."
"Don't think so." He sat up suddenly and looked
around. "Gonna throw up! Where?" He began to gag
as soon as the words were out.
"Anywhere," Scully replied, putting her arm around
his shoulders as he began to retch miserably.
Mulder didn't bring up much, but found that the
strain of vomiting made his stomach hurt all the
more. He sank back weakly onto Scully's lap, drawing
himself into a fetal position, shivering. "Told you
drinking was a waste of time."
"Yes, you did, but we had to try and you must keep
"Don't ask me to do that."
"Mulder, you have to try."
"I'll be okay. Jus' let me sleep."
"All right. You rest. We'll talk later," Scully
Using part of a wood plank he'd found earlier Tyler
turned the loose dirt over where Mulder had been
sick. After finishing his task, he threw the plank
toward an empty corner and sat down beside Scully.
"Thanks," she murmured as Mulder began to snore
"How sick is he?"
"He's quite ill and there's not a lot I can do for
him right now. Even if we could escape I doubt that
he would be able to walk out."
"I know I should have asked this earlier, but did
everyone else make it back okay?"
"Yes, Tyler, they did. Your parents and friends are
very worried about you."
"Did they even look for us?" Zach asked angrily.
"Of course, they did. The Forestry Service even
brought in dogs but this area is pretty well off the
beaten track. They probably didn't come in far
enough," Scully explained patiently.
"Dumb country hicks," Zach muttered.
"Zach, shut-up! We were the ones who were dumb. We
were so drunk that we ran right to them instead of
getting away from them."
"Casey should be waiting back at our car and the
sheriff is expecting a report tonight. I'm hoping
that another rescue crew will be in here by morning.
I tried to mark the trail as we moved along, so,
hopefully they will spot it and find us."
"That was quick thinking, Agent Scully."
"Let's just hope it works. Oh! I almost forgot!
Mulder couldn't eat his sandwich so you and Zach can
split it," Scully smiled, her free hand searching her
backpack. "And, I just happen to have a candy bar
for each of you if you're interested."
Zach made his way over in a hurry, eager for his
share of the unexpected bounty. "Thanks, Agent
Scully. Oh, wow! A Hershey bar!"
"With almonds," Tyler piped in. "Oh, this is
wonderful. The first thing I want to do when I get
out of here is to take a long, hot shower. Then, I
want a steak dinner with all the trimmings."
"Sounds like a plan, man." Zach giggled, his mood
changing for the better as he crammed the last of the
candy bar in his mouth.
After the sun set, the autumn air became quite
chilly. Mulder began to shiver anew while Scully
hugged him tightly trying to keep him warm.
The lock on the door rattled and they heard Wayne's
voice instruct them to stand back. The door opened
and he threw in a tarp and a worn-out quilt.
"Supposed to get cold tonight. That's the best I
could come up with. I'll try to have somethin' hot
for you to drink in the morning,"
"Thank you," Scully voiced.
"You're welcome. How's that partner of yours doin'?"
"Not very well I'm afraid. He needs to be
"What's the matter with him anyway?"
"I'm not sure."
"He's not catchin' is he?"
"I don't think so," Scully answered, surprised that
he was taking an interest in Mulder at all.
"Well, if those college boys work extra hard tomorrow
we'll probably be out of here by nightfall. We'll
call the sheriff to come and get you then," he
"I'm not sure my partner can wait that long."
"Looks like he'll have to." With that Wayne pulled
the door shut and locked it.
Tyler retrieved the quilt and tarp. "Which would you
prefer, Agent Scully?"
"We'll take the quilt. You and Zach can have the
tarp. It's larger."
Tyler helped the petite agent spread the quilt over
her prone partner and herself. The movement woke the
sleeping man. "What time is it?"
"Time for you to drink some more water," Scully
"You're not going to give up are you?"
"Nope. Even if you can't keep it down perhaps your
body will have a chance to absorb some of it."
"Let's get it over with it then," he sighed, trying
to sit up.
Tyler helped him into a sitting position while Scully
got the water ready. She handed it to Mulder who
took a long sip and then another.
"Gotta lay down again." His face was white as a
sheet and his voice very shaky.
Tyler assisted him again as Scully rummaged around in
her first-aid kit. "I'm going to give you another
injection for nausea and I'd like to include
something for pain if you'd let me."
Yeah, okay. My stomach is hurting more than it did
earlier," Mulder gritted out.
"All right. Just hang in there for a minute."
Tyler grabbed the flashlight and angled it so that
Scully could see. She prepared and administered the
injection without any reaction whatsoever from
"I'd like to take your temperature. Can you hold the
thermometer under your tongue?"
"I think so."
"Okay, open up."
In a short time they heard the familiar beep. Scully
removed the digital thermometer from her partner's
"I've had worse," he reminded her.
"I know, but I just hate to see you so
"I'll be okay as soon as I throw up again," he
corrected as he tried to sit up.
Tyler came to Mulder's rescue, helping him to sit up
and supporting him until the heaving stopped and he
collapsed. The sick agent felt himself being moved
backward and soon felt Scully's arms around him
again. "Sorry," he apologized.
"That's not something you can control," she pointed
"Should have told you before we ever left D.C."
"It's okay. Just rest."
"Can't. Stomach hurts too much."
"Give the injection some time to work. I can give
you a little more if I have to."
"Um, okay. Cold," he shivered violently.
"Let's get you covered up again."
"Don't want to be a cover hog."
"You're not. Your body heat is keeping me very warm
right now," Scully explained.
"Wow, I finally make you hot and I'm too damned sick
to do anything about it," he grinned.
"Mulderrr," she laughed, punching him playfully on
"Ow! You like it rough too?"
Tyler laughed at their banter. "You two must be good
"Yes, we are," Scully confirmed. "We've been
"Yeah, we're like an old married couple," Mulder
"An old married couple, Mulder?" she questioned
cocking her eyebrow.
"Yes, and I think the honeymoon is definitely over,"
he quipped, observing the look on her face.
"Don't pay any attention to him. I think he may be
delirious," Scully cautioned.
"Scully, you wound me. Oh!"
"What's wrong, Mulder?"
"Stomach . . .hurts!"
"Is it worse?"
He nodded yes, in too much pain to get the words out.
"I'm going to give you a little more pain medication.
Tyler, could you hold the flashlight for me?"
"Sure, Agent Scully." He found the light and flipped
the switch. In his haste to direct the beam where
Scully needed it, he dropped it, startling Mulder as
it shone directly in his eyes.
Scully's heat skipped a beat when she saw his eyes.
"Tyler, hand me the flashlight."
"I'm sorry Agent Scully, I . . ."
"It's all right, Tyler. I need to look at Mulder's
"What's wrong with my eyes?" Mulder asked, trying to
get away from the light.
"His eyes are yellow!" Zach exclaimed
"Yellow? Scully? Why are my eyes yellow?" Fear was
evident in his shaky voice.
"It's okay, Mulder."
"How can it be okay? My eyes aren't supposed to be
yellow," he gasped.
"It's just another piece of the puzzle falling into
place, that's all. It's just another clue to help
diagnose your condition," Scully explained.
"Will it go away?"
"Yes, when you get treatment they'll return to their
normal color." She passed the flashlight back to
Tyler. "Now, let's get that extra pain medication
After she administered the injection she pulled
Mulder close again. "What's wrong with me, Scully?"
he asked, his voice barely a whisper.
"It could be several things. Some of the things that
come to mind are pancreatitis, or the bile duct
leading into your liver could be blocked, or maybe
hepatitis. I can't be totally sure just yet."
"Is that serious?"
"Yes, it could be, but don't worry. We'll get you
out of here tomorrow night and get you to the
hospital. You'll be fine."
"Until then?" he questioned, dreading the answer.
"Until then I'm afraid you won't feel any better, in
fact you might feel worse. I'll try to keep you as
comfortable as I possibly can."
"Thanks, Scully. Feelin' really tired."
"Just rest, Mulder." She adjusted the quilt over him
and sat back, fingering the necklace she wore without
fail, and began to pray.