Dana Scully had been hearing about the edge almost nonstop. This edge. People kept falling over it, kept dragging their partners over with them, kept pulling people they loved over this edge. It seemed unavoidable, inevitable. A horrible fate.
Typically the edge started out merely hovering on the horizon -- just within the line of sight. After a while it started to loom, to build. And then it came.
The edge was spoken of with great reverence. It was an edge of monumental stature. Apparently everyone understood what the edge was, even if they hadn't been there themselves.
Almost like the Grand Canyon, Scully mused.
But the edge was much more dangerous than the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon just sat there. It wasn't a big threat. Not too many people were taken by surprise by the canyon. The canyon did not attack people in their own homes.
The edge, on the other hand, stalked, prowled, and lurked. It had no territory, no boundaries. It could be anywhere. It was the greatest cat burglar of them all. It could break into bedrooms, offices, hotels, kitchens, elevators, and sleeping bags. It was a menace.
The edge caused total destruction, annihilation, absolute devastation. It caused people to writhe, twitch and spasm -- like a bad case of delirium tremens. It didn't sound pretty. It sounded like something mothers would warn their children about: "Don't touch strange dogs and stay away from the edge."
By all accounts the edge itself was as silent as a sleeping nun, but those who felt it approaching could be heard from miles away. Most of the time, all that could be managed from tightened throats were inarticulate wails, groans, howls and grunts. Sometimes the edge caused its victims to beg for mercy, screaming "please please," using their lasts breaths to send up half-formed prayers to God. Sometimes it was only the name of a loved one shouted out just as the edge overwhelmed them and silenced them for good.
Those overtaken by the edge did not go quietly. Scully idly wondered what happened to them afterwards. They probably had bad dreams. Horrible, nasty, sweaty ones.
Maybe the edge was part of the conspiracy. Not that she believed in conspiracies, but she had to consider Mulder's usual approach. Not that Mulder was here right now. Mulder...where was he?
She decided that it didn't matter where he was. She didn't need Mulder to discuss the edge. She could investigate this herself. She didn't need his help.
Besides, conspiracies were Mulder's answer for everything. That and aliens. If he was here, he might suggest that the aliens and the government were in this together. That perhaps alien technology made the edge possible.
Actually that sounded right up the Consortium's proverbial alley. Maybe the edge was some sort of mind control. Could the wrinkled old Cancer Man be behind the edge? She had seen the mass graves. This sounded no worse.
She sat at her desk, pondering the edge. Maybe the Lone Gunmen could help her find the edge. They could hack their way into anything...but would they assist her if Mulder wasn't around?
Mulder. Scully was worried. Mulder was really late. Had he fallen over the edge? Mulder was careless like that. Always tripping over things and bumping into the corners of furniture. He just didn't watch where he was going.
She debated calling Skinner. But would he understand about the edge? Skinner knew about clenched jaws and broad shoulders, but could he protect his agents from the edge? She decided to wait on that.
She went over to the file cabinets. Perhaps there was an x-file on the edge. It happened to people so often, all of the innocent people, all being thrown over the edge. It didn't have to be that way. She opened the drawer marked E and flipped through the files inside.
E.B.E.'s (Grey, Morphing, Oily, Other)
Eds (Jerse; Mr.; Van Blundht, Jr.; Van Blundht, Sr.)
Erlenmeyer Flask, The (Monkey Pee?)
Eves (6, 8, et al)
No mention of the edge. Maybe she was the only one who knew. She chewed on her lower lip. But she had no evidence. She always insisted Mulder have solid evidence.
A thought occurred to her. Perhaps Mulder had gone over the edge willingly -- by himself. He was always ditching her, so this latest treachery wouldn't surprise her in the slightest.
He was probably trying to protect her out of some misguided notion that she couldn't handle the edge because she was a woman. He probably didn't want her to get hurt while pursuing the edge. But Scully had seen a lot of ugly things in her time, and lived through many more. She could face this edge. She was sure of it.
She grabbed her overcoat and made sure she had her gun and her handcuffs. She had a feeling that where she'd find Mulder, she'd find the edge. It was time for some hard evidence.