RATales Archive

Ashes, Ashes

by Rocnrods

This is a story that I posted to ATXC last year and I was my first official piece of Krycek fanfiction. I have resumed writing this series so I have decided to go ahead and post it here

Ashes, Ashes
By: Rocnrods@aol.com
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Wish I did but I don't
Category: I have no idea
Spoilers: Emily and the rest of the fifth season, plus the movie
Summary: Emily has a late night visitor.

Part One

They take your genetic material and you never think about what they might do with it.

Blood, saliva, and sperm. . . it all goes in little containers into gloved hands and disappears to cold storage, presumably for tests. But you never know what truly happens to it until. . . until you are forced to see the consequences. My consequences now lie fevered in a hospital bed in San Diego.

My daughter. I dont know whether to scream or laugh at this turn of events. She is a pretty little thing. Blonde hair that will probably darken. maybe she will turn strawberry blonde.Maybe one day red like her mother's. Her other. Her biological mother. Dana Scully. Another don't know whether to laugh or cry turn of events.

I brush the blonde bangs off the sweaty forehead. She is burning with fever. She is dying. That is why I am here. To save her. To save my child and probably save humanity. I nearly choke trying to stiffle my laughter. Life is terribly ironic. I need to be quiet. Scully is sleeping in the next room.

She is drawn and pale with worry. Could such an attachment be formed in such a short time? Could she love a child that she did not give birth too. . . .it happens all the time I tell myself with adoptions and all. But how would Scully feel if she knew this was my child.

There is a soft sigh and rustle of hospital sheets. Large blue eyes meet mine. Emily is awake. She looks at me with curiousity but doesn't speak. She has been through enough proceedures and hospital stays not to be afraid of people standing over her bed in the middle of the night.

I speak to her softly, "Hello, Emily, how do you feel?"

She thinks for a moment as if she needs time to judge her own physical reactions finally she speaks in a tiny voice. "I'm hot"

I look around and see a basin sitting next to the small sink. Filling it with cool water I bring it back and take a cloth and begin to bathe her face.

"Better?" I ask.

She nods sleepily as her eyes close again.

I continue to mop her face with the cloth. She is truly beautiful. She will be a heart breaker when and if she grows up. She favors her mother. The soft line of her chin, the nose that will become aquiline as she grows, and the pale pale skin dotted fine freckles. But there are some traces of my heritage, when the baby fat melts there will be the painfullyhigh cheek bones and in her eyes I see green flecks beneath the blue. My child.

I have never given much thought to children. I do not like or dislike them. They are like the rest of the human race, they don't mean much to me. But this is my child, genetically at least. Something taken from me and her mother and made into something new. A new person. However there is something else in Emily, something not human, and it is killing her. I take the hypodemic from its case and tap it to remove the air bubbles. I approach the IV and my movement wakes her again. Her full lower lip trembles and I am afraid she will cry. I find a soothing tone in my voice that I never knew I had. It is not the low mocking tone I use to tease nor is it the bellow I use when I want to show strength. It is the tone my father used when I awoke from nightmares, the good voice not slurred by alcohol.

I speak softly "It's allright, Honey. This won't hurt."

I insert the needle and watch the green fluid mix with the clear liquid of the IV. She nods, but the lower lip still trembles. I dispose of the needle in the biohazard bag next to the bed. I reach out and touch her cheek. Stroking it, I have never felt anything so soft in my life. "It's okay," I whisper willing her to shut her eyes and let the antidote take effect. "It's okay, Emily. Daddy's going to make it all better.


Part Two

I watch Scully wake and stumble into Emily's room. I have hidden myself in a closet. How weak is that. She doesn't notice the slightly open closet door, but focuses only on the girl in the bed. Her daughter. Our daughter. Scully reaches out and strokes Emily's cheek as I did last night. Watching them together my stomach tightens. She is the mother of my child. The mother of my child who would shoot me on sight if she knew I was here. Scully brushes Emily's bangs off her face checking for the fever. I watch her face lighten as she realizes the fever has broken. She leans over the bed and presses her lips to Emily's forehead. The action is both motherly and clinical. I cannot see her face but I know she is smiling. I hear it in her voice when she whispers to the sleeping girl "Mommy's going to get the doctor and we will be right back"

Emily does not stir. Scully leaves the room glancing back before she disappears down the hall. I count to ten and open the closet door. I move to the bed and gently shake Emily. The sleepy blue eyes open and she gives me a shy half smile.

"Morning, Pumpkin" I don't know where this sentiment is coming from but I don't seem able to stop nor do I want to.

"Hi." Her voice is so soft I must strain to hear her.

"I have to go away for awhile, but I will come back to see you."

She pouts but says nothing.

"That nice lady Dana is going to take care of you. You like her don't you?"

Emily's smiles again and she nods

For the first time I notice that Emily is wearing Scully's gold cross. I reach out and touch it. I know what this cross means to Scully and what it means to Mulder, but now it hangs around my daughter's neck... I kiss Emily's cheek and tickle her sides lightly until she giggles and sighs. "I'll be around, Pumpkin. I will always keep you safe..."

I duck out of the room not allowing myself to look back. I am wearing a doctor's coat trying to blend into the crowded hallway. My eyes scan restlessly watching for Mulder or Scully, I don't particularly want to be shot in front of Emily's room My eyes graze the nurses' station and I freeze. A man flashes a badge to the RN on duty and asks for Scully. I hear him say that his name is Kresege and I have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. I slip into a supply closet and wait for him to walk by.

As he walks past the door I tap his shoulder, "Excuse me, Detective?" He turns and I grab his shoulder dragging him into the closet slamming into the shelving. He is stunned for a moment but then tries to push me away. I clutch his throat and pin him to the wall. I fight the snarl in my voice as I try to be quiet. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same thing."

I could snap his neck, kill him in a hundred different ways with just my hands, but I want more answers. I want to know how far this goes.

"Answer me, Mikal, why are you here?"

He sighs as if I am merely inconveniencing him, not holding his life in my hands. "I was sent here to handle the Sims situation and take care of the girl. Roberta Sims' body would be found and I would conduct a routine investigation, then her death would be ruled a suicide. The problem was eliminated, however Agent Scully became involved."

"Why was Emily placed here in San Diego."

"You know why. They wanted her close to some of the Scullys. She has uses besides merely being a guinea pig. "

My grip tightens on his throat. Two days ago she might have been a lab rat, but now she is my daughter. "They were going to let her die."

"She would have been allowed to live if Scully had not discovered her. She is very important but not irreplaceable.."

I know what he means but I need to hear more. "There are others?"

Even with my hand around his throat he manages to chuckle.


Part Three

He continues to chuckle until I squeeze hard on his throat. His chuckle turns into a gasp. I try not to smile. I have taken his gun and it now rests in the waist of my jeans. It would be easy to kill him with it, but for the moment I need him alive. "Where are they?" I open my hand a little allowing him to breathe again.

"I don't know." This is not a satifactory answer. My hand tightens on his throat again. He opens his mouth either to speak or assist the difficult breathing process. Again I release a little.

"Some are here. The nursing home, but they are just embryos." I have seen creatures like this. Floating in the strange green liquid, semialive perhaps semi concious. Unnatural creatures in unnatural states. My mind flashes back to Emily, sweet and soft against the hospital sheets. Did her life begin like that? I look at the man I have known for so long as he squirms under my hand.

"Are they mine"

"I don't know." He is probably speaking the truth about this. He is merely their guard. He is not enlightened to the great scheme, he is merely a foot solider in this secret war.

"Why are you here?"

"To distract Scully and Mulder from further investigations. We need time to move the site." This is logical, it was once my mission to distract Mulder from his investigations. "If the disease does not work fast enough I was also to kill the girl." He has been ordered to kill my daughter to keep Mulder and Scully from finding out more about how she came into being. Red rage blinds me. I want him dead now, to kill him before he can touch her. My strength surges and I throw him to the ground. I know if I continue to touch him he will die.

"Don't even think about it, Mikhal." I kneel next to him. He is still trying to catch his breath. "That is no longer part of your mission, because if anything should happen to Emily, there is no place they can hide you from me." I can hear the chill in my voice. The ice of a killer. A strange smile creeps over his face.

"You can threaten me, but I am not who you need to worry about. Mulder or Scully would probably shoot you on sight and. . ." He stops, still wearing that odd knowing smile.

"And what. . .?"

"Killing the girl is no longer my concern."

I make a mistake and anticipate him. "She will not die from her illness." For a moment he is suprised but then that ugly smile returns. "Someone else is here for her."

"No." My voice is so soft that I can barely hear it.

"The hunters discovered this section of the project. They are the true reason for the move. One is coming here. Emily is to be given over to him."

My hands find his throat again. He tries to fend me off but I am stronger than him. I have always been stronger than him. He kicks at me, but I avoid his flailing arms and legs. I am not suprised at how good it feels to watch his face turn red. To watch his eyes bulge and his lips turn light blue. Then he is gone. Unconcious, not dead and he will wake up with a hell of a headache. I cannot kill him here. I don't have time to deal with hiding a body.

The hunter has given me new concern. I know Scully will try to protect Emily but no matter how good her intentions she is not strong enough. I reach into my back pocket taking the out the black cylinder. I press the recessed button and watch the point slide out. I will protect my daughter and Scully will just have to follow my lead.


Part Four

I leave Kresge in the closet. My heart is pounding and I have gone to flight or fight mode. A hunter is coming for Emily and I am terrified. I walk by Emily's room. I need to see her. I am not like this. I don't panic. I don't fear, but now all I can think of is Emily. Two days ago she didn't exist for me and now she has become my greatest concern.. I peer into the small glass rectangle in the door.

Scully has returned with the doctor and Mulder. Pressing tightly into the corner I watch them. Scully is sitting next to Emily's bed speaking to her. I can't tell what she is saying but I imagine warm maternal words to distract Emily from the doctor's examination. Mulder is standing away from the bed looking uncomfortable. He doesn't want to be there and I don't particularly want him around my daughter. My daughter. My Emily.

I wonder what he thinks of this: of her. How could he not be captivated by that beautiful child. Mulder has moved closer to the bed reaching out placing his hand on Scully's shoulder. The doctor is speaking to them now his examination complete. I wish I could hear what he is saying. I want to be in that room to hear him say that she is getting better. To know that the drug I injected in her IV is taking effect. I want to be able to hold my daughter know that she will be well.

There are tears on Scully's face as she nods at the Doctor's words. I want these to be good tears. Mulder is still grimacing holding Scully's shoulder tighter. He seems to be pulling her back, away from the bed, away from Emily. Scully is holding Emily's hand. Emily's hand is so small even compared with Scully's.

My chest tightens again. Is this what it means to love? Is this what it means to be a father? Is that what I am? I push away from the door and the quiet scene inside. Scully is with her in a crowded hospital in the daylight. This is not when the hunter will strike. He will use the shadows and the quiet to hide himself when he tries kill my daughter. I need to rest, gather my thoughts, and make plans.

The adrenaline from my encounter with Kresge ebbs away. My anger will not save Emily. I glance back into the room for one more look before I leave the hospital. Scully is now sitting on the side of the bed cradling Emily in her arms. Mulder's hand has slipped from Scully's shoulder and his hands are crossed over his chest. His lower lip is stuck out like a petulant child. I nearly laugh out loud at his expression. I realize Mulder is jealous. Scully has been so many things to him for so long, partner, mother, sister, bodyguard,and savior, but now he is threatened. I whisper under my breath, "Sucks to be second place, Mulder."

I knew when I saw the cross around Emily's tiny neck that Scully had made her choice. Emily will come first to Scully. Heartened that Emily is in her mother's arms, I leave the hospital for now. I need to make some arrangements and prepare for the Hunter. Scully maybe able to keep her safe in the daylight, but tonight I need to be here. Again I will keep vigil, but as she gets well Emily will be removed from the public realm where I can protect her easily. She will go into the privacy of Scully's life. A privacy that can be easily invaded. I know I have invaded it. I can't think about that. Blood darkening red hair, then pooling on the varnished wood. It was supposed to be Scully. There will be no Aunt Melissa for Emily. I stop myself. This won't help now. I walk away. I want to pray for my daughter, but I know no god will listen to me. So I pray to Scully. I pray for her to protect Emily and keep her safe until I return.


Part Five

It's hard to walk away from the hospital. To catch a taxi and lose sight of the building. I can pick out Emily's window from the parking lot. I don't want to leave but I will do no good there now. Mulder and Scully are with Emily. I cannot protect Emily with Mulder there, it's too dangerous. The news that I am Emily's biological father will not endear me to him. I am sure that eventually Scully will order paternity tests out of curiosity. I am sure Mulder will be one of the comparison samples. They are either going to be really relieved or disappointed.

I don't know why they made me Emily's father. Perhaps the project scientists have a better sense of humor than I thought. Maybe the irony of the situation gave those bastards of the consortium a chuckle as they sipped their tea in the brownstone in New York. I don't know why, but I am her father. I reach into my interior jacket pocket and take out the pink bubblegum cigar. I can still hear Marita's voice when she handed this and the file to me. "Congratulations Alexi, it's a girl."

It took all my control not to hit her. At first I had thought she was joking or using some ploy to drag me back into the spiderwebs of boys in the brownstone. I have different life now. A life in Russia. Who would have thought it. It's not a great life but it's a life and I am attempting to restore a little of my soul. I have a house, a dacha actually, abandoned by some far-flung polit bureau chief when the USSR crumbled. It has taken time and some money but it has been restored to the state it was when the Romanovs were overthrown.

Money is no problem. I have skills and now I have an organization. I have been away from those consortium bastards since Tungunska. I touch my left arm. I almost lost this and so much more after the prison camp. But what have I found now? What of Emily?

I wasn't suprised to see Marita in Moscow, she has more miles on her than the Concorde, but I was surprised to find that she was looking for me. We ended up rutting in her hotel room as always. We don't love each other, I doubt we even like each other but somehow we always end up in bed.

I still can see her standing by the window and the dingy light that passes for the sun in the Moscow winter hitting her hair making the blonde seem very grey and I realized how old and how used she seemed. I remember wondering if that is how I appeared to her. Then she went to her briefcase and took out a large file and the pink bubblegum cigar. "Congratulations Alexi, it's a girl."

So many documents, medical tests, reports on DNA and tissue samples. I spread them out over that messed bed and began to read. There was a small picture of Scully in file with a bar code and numbers on the back. It looked like an FBI id shot. I thumbed through more and more of the papers and found a picture of myself, hair a bit longer, slicked back and my best "Gee Whiz Mr. Hoover" greenhorn agent face on. On the back of this was also a bar code and a series of numbers. Finally I reached the end and there was a picture of Emily. It was a casual shot taken at a birthday party. Emily posed behind her cake wearing a party hat, in the background were balloons, "Happy 3rd Birthday,Emily.", was done in red icing.

I remember looking up at Marita and uttering one word: "Bullshit."

She gave a small shrug of her shoulders and said, "Believe it or not, it does not matter the child will be dead within a week."


I look up from the pink cigar to the hand being waved in my face "Pardon?"

"We're here. That's 15.50"

I dig a twenty out of my pocket and climb out of the cab. The hotel is small and dark, only the most desperate of tourists or FBI agents would stay here while visiting San Diego. I open the door and collapse on the bed.


Part Six

Author's note: This section is rated R for character death (in a dream) and some uncharacteristic behavior by a certain G-man. I am also giving it a bit of a sap warning.

I don't normaly dream. Dreams are dangerous, people and things that you want to forget live in dreams. Look what Mulder's nightmares do to him. I have seen him twist and sweat in cars and on his couch fighting demons that exist only in his mind. I made myself stop dreaming. It's purely a matter of will. Tonight, however weakened by exhaustion and more emotion than I have allowed myself to feel in years, my walls crack and the dreams come.

I am home in Russia at my home, my dacha. It's snowing, not the dirty gray Moscow winter but the bright clean winter of the country. Lifting my head feeling the flakes tingle as they melted on my skin. It's wonderful. Then I hear the voice. "Daddy,"I turn to see Emily standing in the snow. She is so small and pretty in agreen snowsuit and a red knit cap. My daughter. My Emily, looking like Christmas.

"Play with me Daddy." Her tiny mittened hands bury themselves in the snow. I kneel next to her noticing how rosy her cheeks are afraid she is too cold. I cover her hands with mine helping her form the base for a snowman. There is a warmth inside of me I have never felt. I am content. The triple agent is happy to build a snowman with his daughter.

Emily giggles and then looks up and waves. "Hi Mommy."

I look up and even in this dream I expect Scully to be aiming a gun at me, but she is not. This Dana Scully is wearing a winter wrap coat that drapes loosely over her shoulders but is tight across her stomach, her very pregnant stomach. She does not venture out into the snow but smiles brightly as she takes a seat on the shoveled portico. She is beautiful. Her hair falls past her shoulders and she smiles the most serene smile. I stand and walk to her drawn by some odd need to touch her. It doesn't seem possible but her smile grows as I approach her. My gloved hand caresses her cheek and even through leather I can feel the warmth of her.

"You should be inside. It's too cold and there is ice you might slip." I am amazed to hear the kindness, compassion, and the worry in my voice.

"Just for a few minutes. I wanted to watch you two. " As she speaks she nuzzles her face against my palm and I feel my heart skip a beat. I can't deny her anything especially this simple pleasure.

Kneeling before her bench I allow my hand to slip down to her stomach. A warm new life is in there, another life created by the mixing of our genetics. She looks out at Emily still frolicking in the snow and sighs,

"She is a miracle, but I must admit I like how this baby was made much better."

I hear my own laugh... true laughter no mocking or forced joviality, but true amusement and joy. I move closer and kiss her swollen belly. "You're right this way is much better." I feel her hands stroking my hair and face. Her fingers hook under my jaw and raise my chin. "Tell me Alexi. . ."

I smile knowing what she wants to hear. I can't believe how easy it is to say. When I open my mouth to speak I feel the shot penetrate my chest just above my heart tearing me from her arms. I lay on the cold stone staring up at the Russian sky. Mulder is standing over me his Sig Sauer smoking from the cold and discharged bullet. He points it at my head.

"What makes you think you get to have a happy ending Krycek?" Mulder leans down so I can feel his breath against my ear. My own breath is shallow as I tense anticipating the shot, but there is none. Mulder walks away from me and I roll to my side watching him approach the tiny green figure standing in the snow.

Her eyes are huge and terror filled as Mulder points the gun at her and I can hear Dana scream. I shudder when the gun discharges and I watch the snow turn red. Mulder turns back to the house, but he is not aiming at me but at Dana. There is no way for me to stop him or protect her and I close my eyes when I hear the gun fire again. How can someone so small make such a loud noise as her body lands on the stones?

Mulder is standing over me. I open my eyes casting glances at the red snow and the crumpled figure and I know what it feels to be empty and truly alone.

Mulder points the gun at my head and I will him to take my life for I do not want to get up from this cold stone. I do not want to live to bury those bodies and feel the cold ground separate me from them forever. My voice is a harsh whisper. My lung is punctured from the bullet. Blood fills my mouth and throat. Tiny red bubbles form on my lips as I speak. "Just kill me."

Mulder smiles a cruel smile and looks down at me. He aims and I can see his finger go to the trigger. "With pleasure Alexi."

As he speaks Mulder's features melt and rearrange themselves into that of the bounty hunter. The muzzle flash blinds me. I wake up gasping for air, as if I have been breathing water. My chest hurts and I find deep welts on my hand from where I have dug my nails into my palm.

Slowly my heart rate returns to normal and I can breathe again. The room is half cast in shadows and I throw myself out of the bed. I stumble to the sink and run a cool rag over my face. The water feels so good and I flashback to bathing Emily's face when she was fevered. I try not to think of her body in the snow made bright with blood.

The dream has me shaken, not only Emily's death and the thought of my own, but of Scully's role in the dream. I remember how she looked, her soft red hair tumbling past her shoulders, the faint glow of her skin because of the pregnancy, and her stomach. . . I imagine running my hands over the round belly feeling the life in there. Scully has always been a nuisance, a problem, or a danger in my life, I do not know how to process this new picture of her. I dry my face and pull on a clean shirt and my leather jacket. It's time to go back to the hospital and to my daughter.


Part Seven

Someday this series will make sense. Parts one through six are posted on the Ratales homepage. There is a Christmas snippet that I will post if anyone is interested. Basic backstory to Ashes is that Alex Krycek is Emily's father and that he has been prompted to see her in San Diego. I get some really wonderful feedback on Ashes and I am grateful to everyone that has read and commented on the work. This hasn't been betaed and any mistakes are mine and mine alone.

I hadn't intended to take her. The thought never really crossed my mind. Now she is curled in my lap while her mother stands over a coffin filled with sandbags. I have whispered a thousand apologies to Scully in my mind, but this is the only way.

I stroke Emily's hair and she looks up at me with her big eyes.

"Where we going?" She is talking more than she did in the hospital. I was worried she was in shock when I got her out of there. She shook like a frightened rabbit and would not speak. I guess it is too much to expect a three year old to process international alien conspiracies and men who can change their shapes. I wonder if she has even realized that her adoptive parents are dead. I don't know how to explain death to her or the fact that I am really her father.

Our stewardess is very attentive chalking Emily's trembling little body and frightened eyes up to fear of flying. She has brought coloring books, peanut butter crackers, and a doll that was probably left by another child. She is a pretty brunette who smiles at us a lot and says Emily looks like me. I think I am being hit on. I don't particularly care, I stroke Emily's hair and say softly. "She looks like her mother."

I am sorry Dana. So so sorry.

Emily doesn't seem to be scared of me. In fact she has not let go of me since we left the hospital. Mostly she sits in my lap with her little face buried in my chest. She pulls my leather jacket around her as if she is trying to hide.

"Where we going?" She asks again and I realize that I never answered her the first time she asked.


I know she must be thinking of the Sim's home in San Diego but we are going to my home. We are going to Russia.

The flight as long and Emily sleeps most of the way, but she will not move off my lap. She tucks her head against my shoulder. I feel the light tickle of her breath as she inhales and exhales against my cheek. I have covered us with a blue airline blanket in case she gets cold but I find myself burning up. I have never held a child this close, no one ever told me they put off heat like a furnace. She dreams a little I guess, there are a few words, plaintive sighs, but there seem to be no nightmares. I was worried what would happen when she realized that monsters were real and they were out to get her. Maybe I am projecting but I get the sense Emily is tough, already the genetic coping mechanisms have kicked in. She is my child and Scully's how could she not have a keen survival instinct.

Somewhere over Germany, Emily wakes up and crawls off my lap into the seat next to the window. Now that she is awake I am worried. Will she scream for her mother, or will I become the big bad stranger who she tries to run from? Instead she rubs her big blue saucer eyes and turns pressing her nose against the glass looking at the clouds and the ground far below. She watches for a while then turns back to me. She blushes a little, "I need to go potty." I jump up from my seat forgetting that I have not unbuckled the seat belt. I manage to untangle myself and offer my hand to her. She takes it carefully and we walk down the aisle towards the restroom at the front. Our pretty stewardess is utterly charmed by an alert Emily and I am tempted to ask her to take her to the bathroom, but once we get to the door and determine it is not occupied.

Emily turns and with a firm set to her jaw that reminds me of her mother tells me that she can go by herself. Leaning down I open the door and tell her to be very careful and if she needs help to ask. She nods and heads into the bathroom. She closes the door but is careful not to lock it. Maybe she doesn't know about locks or maybe she feels better that I could easily open it from the outside. I lean against the door and listen to the little shuffles and sounds. It seems to take an awfully long time but finally the door swings open and she is struggling to do the snaps on the little overalls that I found in the closet of her hospital room.

She looks up at me with pleading eyes and once again I am hit by emotions that I don't understand, but I can only guess the nature of. I squat so that we are almost eye to eye and untwist her straps and refasten the snaps. "I can't reach the sink."

Looking up from her perspective the sink seems unbelievable high. On the mental list that I have been making of what we will need in Russia I add a stepstool. Picking her up I help her soap her hands and rinse them. I let her rub them with a paper towel as we go back to our seats. I help Emily buckle her belt and our helpful stewardess returns asking if Emily is hungry. I watch little hands wrap around a milk carton and carefully strip a banana of its skin, and the absurdity of it all hits me. If Marita or the Cigarette Smoking man could see this. If some of my more cutthroat associates could watch me tend to a child and feel like it was the right thing, the thing I was meant to do, they would probably die of shock. Or I would have to kill them.

Emily careful chews the banana and sips her milk while kneeling on the seat looking at the other passengers. Several have eyed her suspiciously Weary international travelers who dread the thought of a screaming unhappy child for thousands of miles of air travel. So far Emily has been refreshing to them. Even one very jaded looking man in a rumpled suit gives her a smile when she peeks around me to look up and down the aisle. She finishes eating the banana and drinking her milk and sets the skin and carton neatly on the fold down tray and then sets back in the padded airline seat. We sit there and I have no idea what to say, how to speak to her and explain what happened. Should I even try?

Then I feel the tiny hand on my wrist and I turn to see big eyes looking up at me.

"No more bad man?"

I nod, I can't explain that there maybe thousands if not millions of bad men in the atmosphere above us waiting for an opportunity presented by Emily's biochemistry to invade. I can't tell this to a three year old, not if I ever expect her to sleep again.

"No more bad man, Emily. Come here" I motion her into my lap lifting her up and marveling again at the tiny birdlike bones of her arms.

"Emily, I am your daddy."

She holds up two fingers, "Two daddies?"

I reach up and hold the two fingers. Just one daddy now.

"You know your mommy isn't around any more?" I think they have told her about Roberta Sim. I hope Emily didn't walk into that bathroom, to use the potty or looking for her mommy and come upon her floating in the shallow water.

End Of Part Seven