Partnership In-Service or How to Communicate With Your Partner or Die Trying
for anyone over twelve. A few curse words.
characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox Broadcasting. No
copyright infringement intended. Just for fun.
Not for profit.
problems arise when Mulder schedules their annual in-service.
Why did he always ignore the fine print? He had a college education for goodness sakes. He could read, damn it! He had entered into hundreds of rental
car contracts, apartment leases, credit card and cell phone agreements and even a fitness club membership and the fine print
never came back to bite him in the ass. So, why were the annual partnership in-service
descriptions so difficult to understand?
Perhaps it was because he hated them. His track record of avoidance was pretty impressive too, but this year it looked like there was only one
way to get out of it----death of a family member, preferably his own. Since he
thought that Skinner’s little post-it note attached to the memo seemed a bit harsh, Special Agent Fox Mulder decided
to bite the bullet and choose a seminar.
Quickly scanning the offerings, he noted one training
course that called for casual dress and promised mountains in early June. It
seemed like a good choice when mid-spring was already hot and steamy and June promised to be even worse.
He discovered that his partner always read the fine
print after he informed her that he had taken care of everything except remembering to tell her of his choice until after
the deadline for withdrawal had passed.
That’s how he happened to be hanging around hoping
that his partner would find him so they could share a little one-on-one communication and problem solving. Of course, that might be a little difficult since he’d parachuted into the top of a tree and lost
sight of his partner, Dana Scully, when an unexpected wind gust separated them shortly after jumping from a plane into the
very hot and humid air over some mountains in North Carolina. “Yeah, ass-hole,”
he muttered to himself, “learn to read the fine print.”
Special Agent Dana Scully couldn’t decide whether
she was so pissed at her partner that she didn’t want to see him again, or that she was worried that she would never
see him again. She began to gather her chute as the anger in her system erupted. “Damn it, Mulder! We could be in
a beautiful mountain lodge in Colorado, sipping wine, sampling cheese and getting to know each other better. We could actually talk to other people and have decent meals. And
the weather! Mulder, the weather is gorgeous there right now. There are even patches of snow still on the ground making the temperature absolutely perfect.”
She unhooked the harness and flung it to the ground. “So, what did you do? You had to
just skim the damned list and focus on casual dress and mountains. Couldn’t
you see the key words in the title? It’s survival training, Mulder! Survival! Well, I certainly hope you
managed to survive this jump!” The angry agent kicked her parachute under
a nearby bush and sat down on a convenient fallen tree. She pulled a map from
her pack and tried to figure out where to start looking for her missing partner.
“Okay, Mulder, the wind is coming from the southwest
which means I need to look to the northeast.” Scully looked at the map
again. “Hmm, you may have managed to do something right in spite of yourself. It looks like our supply drop is in that direction too.”
She managed to balance herself on the tree trunk and
walk to the higher end. “Thank God!”
She spotted him in a tree about a half mile to the northeast and he was moving.
She supposed that was a good sign. Taking a last look around, she noted
some storm clouds gathering to the west. “Perfect,” she muttered. “Mulder, your ass is mine.”
She put the map back into her backpack, took a long
drink of water from her canteen and made sure all equipment was tight and secure. She
started out, determined to make the best of the situation and also resolved to make Mulder pay dearly for his mistakes.
Mulder had landed in the tree facing northeast. Unfortunately, that meant he was facing the wrong way to see where Scully had landed. It also meant that he couldn’t see her making her way to him.
The stranded agent tried to twist around to survey
the entire scene, but his harness was caught, and he was stuck with pretty much one view.
After hanging there for almost half an hour, he was beginning to feel pins and needles in his arms and hands where
the harness was irritating some nerves or perhaps cutting off the circulation. Mulder
was pretty sure he would have to rely on himself to get out of the situation. Once
on the ground he would try to hook up with Scully and do his best to make amends for getting them into this mess.
Scully had not made good time in her attempt to reach
her partner. Her first detour occurred not quite five minutes into her hike when
she had to search for a place to ford a small stream. Recent thunderstorms had
dumped several inches of rain in the area causing rapids to form, and from the look of it, another storm was on the way.
At least she was able to keep Mulder in plain sight,
and he was moving quite a bit, which relieved her fear that he might have been seriously injured in the course of his parachute
jump. She tried to attract his attention but the rapidly running creek drowned
out her cries and he evidently couldn’t turn in her direction.
She had to slow down again when she discovered that
she was walking through a very swampy area. The mud sucked at her hiking boots
with each step and she had to turn her full attention to walking. When Scully
was back on dry land she looked for Mulder once again and found that he was still in the tree.
She estimated maybe ten minutes or less until she could reach him if she jogged the rest of the way. A flash from Mulder’s hand made her look more carefully. He
must have been able to reach his knife and it looked like he was trying to cut through the harness.
“Mulder, no!” Scully screamed as loud as she could, but her partner was still too far away to hear her. The damned fool was going to get himself killed. That tree
was much too high to cut his harness and drop to the ground.
Mulder fell from view, spurring her into a flat-out
sprint to his position. “Please, let him be alive,” she prayed. “So I can kill him for getting us into this.”
Mulder landed much harder than he had planned. The fall and subsequent landing knocked the air from his lungs. He quickly found that not being able to breathe had its advantages.
He couldn’t feel pain until his brain became oxygenated once again. As
each synapse fired into place, he was greeted with more unwelcome aches and sharp pain.
Most of the tortuous pain settled into his left shoulder. The injured agent attempted to sit up but was forced back down by a dizzying roar
in his head. “Don’t pass out,” he pleaded with his body and
within seconds, his head began to clear. Pushing up with his right arm, he was
able to sit up fairly straight. His left arm hung by his side, useless. It was dislocated and the accompanying pain was sickening.
He concentrated on breathing through it. His stomach was threatening to rebel and he tried to avoid that at all costs. He couldn’t risk anything that would cause more pain. After
several minutes his stomach calmed down and he was able to pay more attention to his surroundings.
He heard something or someone coming up behind him
and was thrilled to hear Scully’s voice instead of the growl of a large animal.
“Mulder, don’t try to move,” she instructed as she slid to a stop in front of him.
“Now you tell me,” he commented and closed
his eyes against the onslaught of pain that accompanied those words.
“Whatever possessed you to cut yourself loose
and drop from that height?”
“I didn’t know if you would be able to
find me and I had to do something. The harness was cutting off my circulation. Oh, shit Scully, this really hurts.”
“I imagine it does. You’ve managed to dislocate your shoulder.”
“What do we do about it?” he asked, closing
his eyes to try and get the dizziness under control once again.
“Well, at least you said ‘we’. I’m glad you’re thinking of both of us again.”
“I guess I deserved that.”
“Yes, you did but we can talk about that later. For now, we need to get your shoulder back in its socket. Let’s get you on your back again.”
It was difficult to believe that his petite partner was capable of causing such pain. Her
small foot suddenly felt like it belonged to a large football player when she planted it in his left armpit and jerked his
left arm for all she was worth. Then, with an audible click, he felt the most
wonderful relief when his shoulder slid back into place.
“Better?” Scully asked as she knelt beside
“Yeah, lots,” he panted, trying to sit
“Just lie there and rest for a few minutes.” She pushed against his chest to hold him down.
“Are you hurt anywhere else?”
“My back and left knee are a little achy, but
I think I’ll be okay.”
“Let me take a look before you try to get up.”
Mulder rolled his eyes, then thought better of it and
“Your jeans are too tight to roll up so I’m
just going to do the best I can right now.” She felt his knee through the
heavy denim and noted some minor swelling, but nothing out of the ordinary when she moved the joint.
The examination of his back was also negative for any
obvious injury. Mulder’s face registered some pain but nothing compared
to the shoulder injury.
“It’s probably a sprain or strain at the
very least. I can’t tell if it’s any worse until we can get some imaging done after we get out of here. I’m going to help you sit up and I’ll immobilize your shoulder.
Then we’ll see if you can walk.”
Mulder knew that he had to be able to walk. If they had to call for help he would suffer for quite a while and he wasn’t just thinking of his
injuries. He had gotten them into this wilderness survival thing, and even though
it had been a mistake, to admit defeat would not sit well with his partner.
Thunder rumbled behind them. “Damn!” Scully interjected. “Mulder, we
really need to find that supply drop and some shelter before that storm hits.”
Mulder turned carefully and observed the thickening
clouds. “Are you just about finished putting me back together?”
“That should do,” Scully answered, putting
a piece of tape over the clips on the Ace bandage that bound Mulder’s left arm to his chest. “Let me help you up and we’ll see if you can walk.”
“I’ll be fine. We really need to hit the road because I’d like to weather this storm someplace high and dry.”
The supply drop was absolutely perfect. It had managed to land about twenty feet in front of a roomy rock overhang.
Mulder reached down with his good arm and helped Scully drag the small crate to their shelter. Once there, they found the opening to a small cavern. Mulder
sighed in relief. Maybe his partner wouldn’t kill him just yet.
Scully stirred the weeds in front of the cave opening
with a stick she’d found nearby. A rattlesnake slithered out, shaking his
tail in anger as it retreated to a crack in the limestone outcropping. Scully
shot her partner a withering look. For a brief second Mulder considered taking
his chances with the pissed-off snake, but decided a pissed-off Scully and a dry cave might be a better choice when the thunderstorm
released all its fury with a wind gust that nearly blew him over.
By the time the windblown agent entered the cave his
partner had already managed to open the supply crate and was shining one of the small flashlights around their shelter. Satisfied that no more snakes were lurking about, she went back to examining their
“Did they give us anything good?” Mulder
sat down beside Scully and peered into the crate.
“If you had been paying attention during orientation
yesterday instead of passing me one note after the other begging for my forgiveness, you would know what was supposed to be
“Scully, look, I’m more than aware of the
fact that I screwed up. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve
said I’m sorry. What can I do to earn your forgiveness?”
“Oh, Mulder, I’ve already forgiven you.”
A look of genuine surprise appeared on his face. “Then, why have
you been making my life a living hell for the past two weeks?”
Scully stopped her inventory of the supplies and turned
to her partner. “Why? Let
me ask you a question. The next time Skinner sends down information about our
annual in-service, who will make the decision about which one to choose?”
“Well, I would hope that we would make that decision
together, but I’m willing to let you decide if that’s what you want.”
The penitent agent bowed his head and waited for her reply.
“I would like it very much if we could make that
Mulder raised his head and smiled for the first time
in days. “Could I ask? Exactly
when did you forgive me?”
“I think it was the day after you showed me the
confirmation email of your in-service training choice.”
“Then why did you make me suffer through the
past few weeks?”
“If I had patted you on the head, forgave you
and told you not to do it again, would you have listened to me?”
“Will you make an important decision for the
both of us again any time soon?”
“Not in this lifetime,” Mulder grinned.
“I do believe there’s hope for you yet.” Scully returned the grin.
“Scully, I love you.”
“Oh brother,” she chuckled and shook her
Agent Scully returned to the supply crate as her partner
sat back gingerly against the wall of the cave. Mulder couldn’t help smiling
even though his bum shoulder, knee and back were throbbing to beat the band. Life
was good and looking better every second.
The End . . .
Or Perhaps More To Come