The Cycle of Axer Carrick
Part VI -- Cats Eyes
by Henry Wyckoff
December 1995


Chapter 3

Scully breathed out a deep sigh of relief, breathing in the rich scent of a nice Kenyan coffee, the cup sitting on the small table right in front of her. It was so nice and earthy a smell that she nearly forgot that she was living in a maelstrom.

She opened her eyes, and remembered that real life hadn't gone anywhere. Her blissful face slumped in regret. //It doesn't hurt to dream...//

Mulder sat across from her, looking outside the window of the Moss Cafe with interest. "Feeling better?"

Scully nodded. "I like this place. Nice feel. Nice music... Can't top it anywhere."

Mulder smiled, "I thought you'd like it. I've been meaning to try this place for years."

They both sat in silence as the sun rose, enjoying their coffee. Both knew that this was a rare moment that would rarely come, which was why they locked their workaholic urges away in a dark dungeon. They wouldn't talk about anything serious, until something serious hit them...

...They knew it was too good to last, because something serious did hit them. Deadly serious. Someone walked in through the front door. A man who raised dead ghosts from the past and promised to create future ones.

He was a man that they both knew, and hated. He had been instrumental in nearly bringing the both of them to their deaths, had personally caused the deaths of those who were close to Mulder and Scully, and had always been beyond the touch of the law or justice.

He went by many names. Patrick Morgan... Krycek... and now Frey. He looked far different now than when he was Krycek: he wore all white clothes of cotton, tall boots of an old world design, and two swords strapped to each hip. A thick beard hung from his face, and his hair had grown. Thick leather gauntlets were strapped to each forearm, and were engraved with elaborate knot-work designs. His eyes were friendly and open, as was his innocent smile.

Frey walked directly towards Mulder and Scully, oblivious to the fact that they both jumped up with their guns drawn. Gone were their looks of relaxation and tranquillity -- they were replaced by expressions of shock, anger, and grief.

Scully was the first to speak, "Hold it right there, Krycek!"

Frey's innocent look faded a little, replaced by something that could only be called pity. "Oh yes, I understand. You feel anger towards another. I'm afraid he is beyond your reach -- the evil within him was cut out. You must banish your own anger now, or else risk becoming diseased yourself."

Even Mulder found that a bit too weird. "Cut the crap! You aren't fooling anyone."

"Could we at least keep this civilized?" He sat down, keeping his empty hands up in the air. "Why do you think I would cause you any harm? Patrick Morgan might have harmed you for the money, but I am not that man."

Neither Scully nor Mulder lowered their guard or their weapons.

Frey frowned in disappointment, but didn't make an issue of it, "As you wish. I can understand why you don't trust me, but would you be willing to let me earn that trust? If both of you seek the truth, as you claim, then would you be willing to examine what I have to tell you?"

He waited patiently while Mulder and Scully fought within themselves. Growling, they sat down, but kept their own guns out. "Talk," ordered Mulder. "You have something you want to tell us? We're listening."

Frey took a moment to collect his thoughts. "You are angry that your justice has not touched the one you call Krycek, and you wonder why it is that I claim the evil within him has been destroyed. You also know what he is. You know that he is an immortal. Does this not suggest anything to you?"

The other two shook their heads. Frey continued, "Then I will tell you. Krycek had reached his hundredth year when he met you, and had taken several heads by then, but they were relative weaklings: drunks, children, and women who had lacked the strength, experience, or reflexes to keep their heads. He, like many immortals, did not understand that each time they take a head, they're gambling. Each time they take a head without strengthening their inner muscles, they weaken, even while they gain whatever power they may.

"Perhaps Krycek would have lived to take the head of an old one, but he didn't, and that's another branch of the tree. Instead, he picked up these..." Frey unclipped both swords, placing them up on the table. "You might say that he picked me up that evening in the Odinssons' church. You were told that ever since that evening, he'd behaved uncharacteristically, until he became insane -- a man pretending to be the Norse god Frey."

Mulder interrupted, "Get to the point."

Frey held up his hands in a stopping gesture, "Patience... Patience... Pick up the swords, and tell me what you feel."

Cautiously, Scully picked one up, and frowned. "Nothing out of the ordinary."

Frey nodded. "To you, they're just regular swords, and they would be the same for anyone else who held them -- except for me. You see, these swords were made for me: to trigger something deep inside of Krycek, or anyone who had taken the line of heads that he had. I hear that you, Scully, had tried to analyze the Spear of Odin, trying to find some chemical reason for the change in personality that comes in holding and using the Aesir weapons. You won't find any, because the cause of that change is physical, and not chemical."

That astounded Mulder, "What are you talking about?"

"It didn't have to be the swords that would release me. It could have been listening to just the right fable or song, looking at just the right picture, or visiting a ruin with enough of the items intact. Chemicals might bring about a change in personality, but only a memory could have freed me.

"Krycek brought me back into the world by virtue of 'remembering' me, and that's all that needed to be done. After what was a brief rest to me, I woke up in a vastly different time and place, and merged with him. To him, it seemed that he was remembering things that he had never experienced and gaining skills he never knew he had; to me, it was like crawling out from underneath several feet of moss, learning a new language and everything else that a newborn must learn -- the only difference being that I'm a fast learner."

Scully was shaking her head in disbelief, "I just can't accept any of this -- immortals and vampires, yes -- but not this!"

"Sit back and think, Scully," reasoned Frey. "What is it that one immortal passes to another? You've seen the transference of a Quickening -- what was it that passed?"

"If you're referring to that night in the Odinssons' church, all I saw was a bolt of lightning hitting Powys again and again."

"Right! Lightning -- which is electricity, but what is it really?" Frey looked like an elementary school teacher who was trying to bring enlightenment to a child by asking the right questions.

"It's a flood of electrons passing because of a difference of potential," Scully wasn't getting the point of it, and neither was Mulder. Both of their faces were blank.

"Right!" laughed Frey. "So there are two immortals, one being a point of high potential, and one being a point of low potential -- that is, after a head comes off. That means that there's an electric gradient, and when there's a gradient, there's movement. Doesn't this suggest something?"

They both shook their heads.

Frey was really enjoying himself, "Isn't electricity used for communication? For telegraphs, telephones, computers, and so on? Don't you see where I'm leading?"

Mulder finally lost his temper, "Enough of the mysteries! Just get to the point!"

Frey held up his hands again, "All right -- I just wanted you to see it for yourself. When an immortal transfers the Quickening to another, *only* electrons are transferred. To say that it's the only thing that gets transferred, however, is like saying that sound is only a series of pressure waves. The electrons that get transferred come in discrete pulses, and when you put them all together, what you get is a message. The sum of the electrons is what gives an immortal the increasing amount of power; the manner in which the electrons come is how an immortal can gain the wisdom and knowledge of other immortals.

"The power comes as easily as it does from eating food -- any immortal will feel it -- but the knowledge must be unlocked, as any memory might. But do you want to know the fascinating secret? If my head was taken, the *I* would truly die, even though the immortal taking my head would have my knowledge and power. The same is true for any immortal; what happens is that the patterns of electrons are a *copy*, a copy that can gain a life of its own, an identity of its own. Can't you see now? Is all of this less fantastic to you?"

Mulder's eyes were plastered open. "So you're saying that you're not claiming to be the mythologic Frey, but rather an immortal who was taken over by a pattern of electrons -- a copy of Frey -- buried somewhere inside, a pattern that was woken up with an object? I don't know what sounds more or less unbelievable."

"Wait!" snapped Scully, her eyes open. "How do you know all this? From what you claimed, you didn't know anything about science until after you 'took over' Krycek, and I know that Krycek didn't know that much. How do you know this?"

Frey smiled, "I did a lot of thinking about this. I was a lot more confused as you were, and so naturally I had to come up with a working theory -- something to convince me that I wasn't mad. It also helped to meet a rather unusual Bohemian in a coffee house -- I don't think he was an immortal, but he knew what I was from the moment I walked in. Maybe it was because he was feeling the effects of some drug, but regardless, his imagination was so fertile that he could see with clarity the problems that confused me. And his answers made sense."

"Who was he?" Mulder had let his curiosity get the better of him.

"Oh, some guy in Washington. I don't know his name, and he didn't know mine. I think names don't mean much to him, and neither did a lot of facts and figures."

Frey put his swords back. "Does this ease your hearts? Can you understand now why it is that your anger must be eased, or at least directed elsewhere? Your Krycek is dead, even if his body remains."

Mulder spoke flatly, "I don't buy a word of it."

Frey frowned, "Then so be it, but let it be known that I told you the truth. If you refuse to believe, then that's your concern, and not mine."

* * * *


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