The X-Files Origins: Mulder and Scully are teens in excerpts
If the X-Files reboot left you hungry for more Mulder and Scully, do we have a treat for you: In a new pair of YA novels — coming January 3, 2017 — authors Kami Garcia and Jonathan Maberry will delve into Fox Mulder and Dana Scully’s teenage years to uncover how Mulder became such a devout believer, and what made Scully a skeptic.
EW is thrilled to exclusively reveal an excerpt from each book below. Both are set during the spring of 1979, with Maberry’s The X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate following Scully and Garcia’s The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos focusing on Mulder, as both eventual FBI agents experience life-changing events that will set them on the paths to their future careers.
Excerpt from The X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate by Jonathan Maberry
April 3, 12:33 A.M.
Sleep was no escape.
None at all.
Deep in the night, Dana seemed to wake within a dream, knowing that she was dreaming, but afraid that this was every bit as real as the waking world. She knew that she didn’t have the lexicon to even put any of this into words that would make sense. The walls between fantasy and reality were broken, crumbling, irrelevant.
And that was terrifying.
Wasn’t that what happened when the mind fractured? Wasn’t that the definition of being insane?
The dream unfolded like a movie.
She woke in her room, but she wasn’t dressed in her pajamas. Instead she wore a dark suit that was almost masculine. Navy-blue pants and jacket, white blouse, the look softened only by the lack of a tie and a thin golden necklace from which her tiny cross hung. Her hair was stiffer, shorter, styled in a severe way she would never wear. Shoes with chunky heels.
The clothes were nothing she owned, but they fit her. She felt like she belonged in them. But when she stood up, there was something odd. A weight on her hip. Dana crossed to the mirror as she unbuttoned the jacket, and when she held the flap back, she saw the gun.
A small automatic snugged into a leather holster clipped to her belt.
“What . . . ?” she murmured.
Dana knew guns. Military brats always did. Her brothers and Dad took her and Melissa to the range in any town where they lived.
“You can’t touch a gun unless you’re going to be smart about it, Starbuck,” her dad said the first time they’d gone to a gun range. That was what he called her: Starbuck. And he was Ahab. It started when they’d first read Moby Dick together. A book she loved and Melissa hated. A book that created a connection with her father that Dana didn’t always feel. A connection that seemed to be interrupted way too often. Sometimes he was hard, distant, cold; and his coldness chilled her and pushed her away. But then he’d smile and there would be a secret twinkle there, as bright as the North Star, and he’d call her Starbuck and she’d call him Ahab and things would be okay.
The gun in the holster was not a model she had ever seen. She looked at the reflection of the weapon but did not touch it.
It’s not yours, said a voice inside her mind. Not yet.
Then she noticed that her reflection was wrong. Different. The face looking back at her wore the same frown she felt on her mouth, but this face was older. A woman’s face, not a girl’s. Not much older, though. Ten years? A little less. Old enough, though, to show that the years had not been easy ones. There was a rigidity to the face, a glitter of doubt and submerged anger in the eyes.
There was real fear there, too. Hidden, compressed, repressed, shoved down, pushed back. But there.
“I’m afraid,” said her reflection. Her voice was different, too. Older, not as soft, more controlled.
“Afraid of what?” Dana asked her reflection, speaking as if this was a different person.
The reflection answered. “I’m afraid to believe.”
Dana licked her lips. “Me, too.”
The reflection looked sad, as if that was the wrong answer. “What are you afraid of?”
Dana said, “I’m afraid that God is speaking and no one is listening.”
“I know,” said the other Dana. Motes of dust swam in the air on both sides of the mirror, moving in perfect synchronicity even though the two Dana’s were so different.
The woman with her face leaned close and whispered, “He’s coming for you.”
The woman suddenly gasped and drew her gun. It was so fast, with an oiled grace that could only have been possible after years of practice. She hooked her fingers on the edge of her jacket, swept it back, released, used her thumb to pop the restraining strap, closed her fingers around the gnarled hard plastic grips, slid the weapon out, raised it, took it into a two-handed grip, held it steady with one finger laid along the trigger guard. And all so, so fast. A heartbeat and then the gun was up. Pointed at Dana . . . no, pointed past her.
The gun barrel was a black eye, steady and deadly, but the face behind the gun was twisted into a mask of horror.
Dana spun around toward the darkness that suddenly filled her bedroom. For one heartbeat there was nothing to see.
And then he stepped out of the shadows.
The angel of light.
Devil or monster or ordinary man, she didn’t know which.
Tall, painted a cold blue by the spill of moonlight that slanted through her window. Dressed in clothes so dark it was as if he wore garments made of shadows. Wings folded behind his broad back.
But he had no face at all.
His curly black hair framed a face with high cheekbones and a strong jaw, but where there should have been eyes, a nose, and a mouth, there was nothing. Not a mask, she was sure. Nothing.
And yet she knew that he could see her. That he was smiling with the wrong kind of hungers. That he was completely aware of her—both the real her and the fantasy older version in the mirror.
The angel raised his hands, and Dana could see that he was holding up things he wanted her to see.
In his right hand he clutched several long, wickedly sharp iron nails.
In his left he held a crude mallet made of hardwood and steel.
The fingers of both hands were smeared with blood.
“Run,” whispered the older Dana. “I’ll try to hold him here. Run . . . run!”
Dana could not run. She couldn’t move. She could barely breathe.
The wings behind the angel’s back suddenly rustled and then they spread out, huge, broad, filling the room behind him. The moonlight showed them to her with crystal clarity. They were not the soft, beautiful feathered wings of an angel of heaven.
They were the black, leathery, mottled wings of something from the pit of hell.
Dana screamed herself awake.
Excerpt from The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia
Mulder Residence 6:18 P.M.
Mulder was used to ideas getting stuck in his head. Usually, they came from Star Trek episodes or books on quantum physics. A retired military conspiracy theorist was a first. But as Mulder walked back to the school parking lot to pick up his car, he couldn’t stop thinking about his conversation with the Major—and it was still on his mind as he drove to his dad’s apartment.
After listening to Gimble’s dad talk about aliens and running an imaginary black ops unit, it seemed crazy to take him seriously, but the Major had said something that made perfect sense to Mulder because he believed it, too.
There are no coincidences.
When Samantha disappeared, people on the island had called it a coincidence. As if a kidnapper just went out for a stroll that night and happened to pass Mulder’s house when he was suddenly struck by an overwhelming urge to abduct a kid?
What were the odds?
He was still thinking about it when he walked into the apartment. The television was on. For once, his father was home before him.
“Dad?” Mulder dropped his backpack in the hallway and grabbed a handful of sunflower seeds from a bag on the kitchen counter. He used to hate them and the shells his father left all over the house, and they still reminded him of birdseed. But two years ago he had started craving them out of the blue, and he’d been eating them ever since. At least they kind of made it feel like home.
“In here,” his dad called from the master bedroom.
Mulder’s dad had rented the apartment when his parents separated, which was code for getting divorced. The place was nice, but it felt more like a hotel than a home. Everything in the second-floor walk-up was brand-new—from the cassette tape player that his dad never used and the expensive toaster that never worked, to the desk in Mulder’s room that was the identical twin to the one in his room back in Chilmark (minus the Dune quotes written all over it).
Living with his dad for the school year—the “getting-to- know-each-other-better experiment,” as Mulder called it—wasn’t much different from the pre-separation status quo of ignoring each other.
When Mulder reached his dad’s room and spotted the open suitcase at the end of the bed, it reminded him of the other reason the apartment felt like a hotel. His dad was always leaving on a business trip or returning from one.
“Going somewhere?” Mulder leaned against the door frame, looking bored. If his dad didn’t care enough to spend any time with him, Mulder wasn’t going to let it bother him.
“New Mexico. It’s a quick trip. I’ll be back on Monday.” His dad didn’t look up from the shirts he was folding. “I want you to head over to Georgetown tomorrow. Spend some time on campus like we talked about. The sooner you make a decision, the better.”
Meaning the sooner Mulder made the decision his dad wanted him make. “Acceptance letters don’t come for two more weeks.” Unless, of course, your dad used his connections at the State Department to make sure that you were already accepted at the college he wanted you to attend. “I still have time to decide.”
His father tossed the shirt in his hand on the bed. “There’s nothing to decide. Kids don’t turn down acceptances to Georgetown University.”
Mulder crossed his arms. “Of course they do, or there wouldn’t be a waiting list. And I thought you were coming with me to show me ‘the lay of the land.’ What happened to playing tour guide?” His dad had never attended Georgetown, unless the campus tour counted, but he had the prospective students brochure memorized. “I’m going out of town, remember?” He gestured at the suitcase, irritated.
“Does everyone at the State Department work weekends, or just you?” Mulder sounded more bitter than usual.
“Most people don’t have my level of responsibility, and the project I’m working on is entering an important phase.” His father arranged the shirts neatly in the suitcase.
“I tried to get out of going, if that makes you feel any better.” His dad almost sounded sincere. “I know you don’t understand, but what I do is important. It’s bigger than me. I’m trying to do some good in the world. . . .” He stared at his half-packed suitcase, and for a second, he looked miserable.
Mulder almost felt sorry for his dad, but it didn’t last. Whatever prompted this heartfelt share session couldn’t make up for the past few years. Work was always his father’s priority, even when his family was falling apart, which didn’t make any sense to Mulder. As far as he was concerned, nothing would ever be as important as his sister and finding out what had happened to her.
His dad looked up and shook off any genuine emotion he might have been feeling. “It’s not like I planned to be out of town.
“I’m not thrilled about the idea of Phoebe staying here while I’m away.”
Phoebe was arriving Sunday. They had planned the trip months ago, after he realized they had spring break at the same time.
“Why? You don’t trust me?” Mulder clenched his jaw. Based on this conversation, the answer was obvious.
His father scoffed. “Give me a break. You’re a seventeen-year-old with a stack of Playboy magazines stashed under your bed.”
“I’ll be eighteen in October. Or did you forget again?” Mulder shot back. Last year his dad had called him a day late to wish him happy birthday. “I can write it down if that will make it easier to remember.”
Instead of apologizing for being a crappy parent, Bill Mulder pulled out the big guns. “Maybe I should call Phoebe’s parents and tell them she can’t come?” He reached for the phone on the nightstand.
As much as Mulder wanted to call his father’s bluff, he knew his dad would go through with it. And knowing Phoebe, her parents probably didn’t know much about the trip. So, for once, Mulder kept his mouth shut. He couldn’t screw up his chance to see Phoebe. He missed the hell out of her.
“No smart comment?” his dad asked, reveling in the lame victory.
There’s the Bill Mulder I know. Cold, distant, and condescending.
“Just let her come.” Mulder forced out the words through grit- ted teeth. “Please.”
“Sleep on the sofa and don’t make me regret trusting you.” “No problem.” Mulder almost laughed. His dad didn’t even know basic things about him—like the fact that he already spent every night on the sofa.
Mulder retreated to the living room, turned on the TV set, and slumped on the piece of furniture in question. A little back- ground noise would drown out his dad’s annoying voice if he ended up on one of his secret phone calls that Mulder didn’t give a crap about.
Two more months until graduation, and I’m outta here.
Then he could go back to living with his mom until August, when he left for college. If he figured out where he was going by then.
A newscaster’s voice droned on in the background. Mulder wasn’t really listening until he heard the words missing girl. He jerked forward and sat on the edge of the chair, listening.
“Sarah Lowe vanished from her home just before nine o’clock last night,” the reporter said as a photo popped up in the corner of the screen. A little girl with big brown eyes and crooked dirty- blond pigtails, wearing zip-up pajamas with elephants on them, smiled back at him. She looked around the same age as Samantha when she disappeared.
Mulder’s skin went cold.