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Infested

Title: INFESTED 

Thanks: I WANT TO THANK MY BETA LINDSEY, SHE IS THE BEST AND IS
ALWAYS SUPPORTIVE. ALSO A SPECIAL THANKS (I FORGOT ON MY LAST
STORY " BROKEN JAW") SHEILA PAUL. SHE IS A GREAT SOURCE OF
MEDICAL INFRMATION AND REALLY GOT ME THROUGH THE SURGICAL POST OP
PERIOD, SHE IS GREAT! IT'S GREAT TO HAVE SUCH A GREAT FANFIC
SUPPORT SYSTEM!
DISCLAIMER: THE CHARACTERS OF MULDER AND SCULLY BELONG TO CHRIS
CARTER AND COMPANY. ANYTHING ELSE BELONGS TO ME!
NOTE: THIS STORY WAS A DREAM. CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVE SUCH BAD
DREAMS! IT DEVELOPED INTO A STORY. HOPE YOU LIKE.

XFILES OFFICE

June 29, 2001He felt bored. He had taken off his jacket and his
tie and had his feet propped up on his desk. His partner was out
of town visiting her mother, actually they were taking a cruise
together and he was sitting in his office throwing pencils into
the ceiling. His concentration was off a bit and he actually felt
fairly lonely without his partner. As he was getting ready to get
a double sticker into the same ceiling tile the phone rang and he
almost toppled over in his chair.

He looked down at his phone and noted that it was an outside
line, maybe it might be Scully, he thought to himself. He quickly
picked up the phone, "Mulder."

" Hey Fox! This is Professor Gantt at the Smithsonian. Sorry to
bother you but I have a very interesting problem and I was
wondering if you would like to come with me to help solve it."

The let down was short lived and he actually needed something to
concentrate on for the next two weeks. Skinner had told him to
take a vacation, that he was not going out into the field without
his partner. " What kind of problem?" he asked with excitement.

" Snakes." He answered without any other explanation.

A roll of goose bumps rose behind his neck. His thoughts of
snakes had not been pleasant since his little trip to Tennessee.
The fear was still fairly vivid and the pain was still fresh in
his mind. "Where are these snakes
Robert?" he asked with a little hesitancy.

" They are in a small village outside of Cameroon. The villagers
have been reporting that a bus filled with tourists disappeared a
few days ago. Also that there have been reports of a large number
of snakes in the area." The professor hesitated for a few seconds
and then continued, "The villagers have rumored that the tourists
turned into snakes."

The words of the professor seemed familiar and he recognized an
old folklore he had read in a journal about a poisonous species
of snake that would infest the body of a man and take over his
soul. " Do you think that the story has any merit? Has anybody
got any proof?"

" That's why I called you Spooky. Nobody else would believe this
story." He waited but no response to his Spooky remark but none
came and he continued." A snake bit a villager several weeks ago
near Cameroon. He was very ill but he recovered. Afterwards he
described how he had come upon a snake that had talked to him and
then deceived him into following him into the dense jungle. There
he led him to a village of snake handlers and they performed a
ritual. The venomous snake bit him and the next thing he
remembered were voices that were speaking strange languages and
he was slithering along the cold ground. He spoke of watching the
other snakes go inside of people and taking their souls. He has
been afraid ever since, feeling that he will return to being a
snake."

Mulder was quiet and did not really know what to make of the far
fetched story but it did intrigue him and he didn't have anything
else to do but throw pencils into the ceiling." Are you going to
check out the story?"

" Only if you will go with me Fox. I want someone who will have
an open mind." Professor Gantt hoped that his friend would accept
and come on his journey to Cameroon.

" Let me call my boss and see if can take some time off and I
will call you back at the institute." Mulder's long fingers were
already playing with the computer keys, looking up poisonous
snakes in Cameroon. He knew that Skinner would welcome him taking
a vacation but he was a little hesitant to leave the country on
such short notice with Scully out of town.

"Don't let me down Fox. I really need your help on this one." He
added before he hung up the phone.

Mulder slid the phone back into the receiver and concentrated on
the computer screen. He would get the information and call
Skinner. He would also need to try to contact his partner but it
might be a bit hard since she was on a cruise with her mother. He
leaned back in his chair and read the screen.

July 17,2001

Scully entered the office expecting her partner to be sulking in
the corner but his chair was empty and unopened mail was piled on
her desk. She gathered the mail and placed it in the basket. She
was about to go and get a cup of coffee and call Skinner to find
Mulder's whereabouts when she noticed an envelope addressed to
her sitting on her desk. She picked it and noticed that it was
written in Mulder's handwriting. She quickly opened it and read
the note:

Scully, in case you get back early I have gone on a trip with a
friend but should be back by July 10th.

Mulder.

Scully placed his note into her pocket and turned and walked out
into the hallway towards the elevator. Mulder would have told
Skinner where he was going and maybe he might have even left a
message on her answering machine. She felt bad for not checking
messages when she got home last night and she was running late
this morning and had still had not checked them. She entered the
elevator and pushed the button.

When she arrived to in Skinner's office Kimberly greeted her,
"Director Skinner is not in, can I help you?

" Do you know what time he will be back in his office?" Her hand
was in her pocket fingering Mulder's note.

" He left a few days ago and did not mention when he would
return. Actually he went to search for your partner." Kimberly
stood and walked a short distance to a filing cabinet and pulled
out a folder. " He wanted me to give you this when you returned.
He told me to tell you that he could not wait. He felt an urgency
to find Agent's Mulder's whereabouts.

Scully took the offered folder and sat down and opened it up. She
knew that Skinner must of felt that her partner was in trouble
for him to attempt to find him. There was a letter addressed to
her and she felt a twinge of apprehension as she opened it up to
read the contents.

SCULLY

I have gone to find Mulder. When he did not return on July 10th I
was concerned but when he had not returned by July 12TH I
attempted to contact his colleague at the Smithsonian Institute.
They told me that he had not been heard from since he left for
Cameroon with Mulder on June 30th. He was to be back by July
10th.

We both know Mulder and we know his propensity for getting
himself into trouble. I would not be surprised to find him tied
up by the local natives. I will contact you on July 17th if I
have not returned.

AD Skinner

Scully tapped the paper for a few minutes and then stood. "If the
Director calls please put his call through to my office. I will
be there unless I call back."

She exited the office and went back to the basement and she sat
down to reread the letter and look through the file. Mulder had
evidently went with his colleague to Cameroon. She picked up the
phone and dialed her number and pressed the code to get her
messages. After browsing through the messages she came to a
message from Mulder on the morning he left for Cameroon. Again
she listened to the rest of her messages and another message was
left from Skinner letting her know of his concern for Mulder and
that he was going to search for him in a small town called
Cameroon.

After she finished and there were no further messages from Mulder
she looked over to the pile of mail. She started thumbing through
the envelopes and interoffice mail. A letter from Cameroon caught
her eye and she stopped and stared at the envelope. It was
addressed to her but it had been delivered as express
package five days earlier. She quickly tore the blue and white
envelope open and inside was a letter addressed to Special Agent
Dana Scully. She again tore the letter open and read the
contents.

Agent Dana Scully

My name is Kamarya. I am a physician in a small village, called
Benue, several miles outside of Cameroon. We have a patient that
had an ID for your FBI. His identification had a piece of paper
with your name and work address as an emergency contact.

Your friend is very ill and I need some information to assist in
his care. If you contact our Prime Minister in Cameroon he will
assist you in getting to our village.

Thank you very much

Kamayra

She felt numb after reading the letter and wondered what had
occurred to make her partner ill. If she had a clue to what made
him travel to Africa she would feel more at ease. She quickly
gathered her coat and keys and made a call to Kimberly to
announce that she could be reached at her cell number. She would
be getting reservations to fly to Cameroon today.

Flight 1733 to Nigeria

She had not received a call from Skinner and was getting very
concerned. She was on her tenth hour of flying and was feeling
exhausted both mentally and physically. Her plan was to fly to
London then to Nigeria and travel to Cameroon by a private
vehicle escorted by one of the native people. Attempts to contact
the Prime Minister of Cameroon had been to no avail. She hoped to
contact him upon her arrival.

Again she pulled out the letter from the physician and her heart
ached at the thought of Mulder being ill in a foreign country.
Especially a country with limited medical resources. She had
brought along antibiotics and medical supplies. She hoped that he
would be well by the time she arrived but Mulder did not have
that kind of luck.

Tucking the letter in her pocket she leaned back into the seat
and closed her eyes. She
knew that there would not get rest over the next few days.

NIGERIA

When the plane landed she exited to find her luggage. Kimberly
had made arrangements for her to be met at the airport after
customs. As she walked down the main walkway she noted a man
holding a sign with her name and she walked up to him, hoping he
spoke English. As she approached she greeted him, " Hi, my name
is Dana Scully.

"Hello. My name is Biola, I am your guide." He motioned her to
follow after he took her baggage. He turned after a few minutes
and spoke again, " I hear that you have been to Africa before."

Confused she nodded, " How did you know?"

He shook his head and laughed, " News travels very fast here. I
hear that you are traveling to Cameroon. Are you looking for a
ship there?"

She smiled, "Boy news does travel fast. Actually, I am searching
for my partner. His name is Fox Mulder. Have you heard the name?"

He shook his head, " No, I think I would remember the name Fox."

She smiled, " Do you know a Doctor Kamarya?"

" The snake doctor. He is very popular amongst the natives who
have been bitten by snakes. He has healed many people." He
answered as she approached his jeep. As he started to load her
luggage he looked at the visitor who had lost her smile. " He is
very good. If your friend was bitten he will do his very best to
save him."

She nodded and climbed into the passenger seat. She felt ill at
her stomach. Mulder never did anything the easy way and if a
snake had bitten him then she was almost certain that he was
having a difficult time. She fastened her seat belt and hoped
that the ride there would be swift.

Cameroon

The ride there had been long and hot and she longed for a hot
bath but she knew that she needed to find her partner and
therefore she needed to contact the Prime Minister. Biola drove
her to the embassy and promised her that he would not leave, the
streets were never safe especially in the evenings. He would wait
for her in the jeep.

The day was getting late and she almost did not expect to find
the Prime Minister in his office. He was also startled that
someone was stopping by his office so late in the day. " Hello my
name is Dana Scully, I am a Federal Agent with the FBI, in
Washington. I received a letter from a Doctor Kamarya that I
needed to contact you about my partner Fox Mulder."

" Nice to meet you Miss Scully. My name is Peter Mafany Musonge,
I received a message a week ago concerning your friend, evidently
a very poisonous viper bit him. He is being cared for a few miles
from here. Dr Kamarya has been awaiting communication from you.
When we did not hear anything from you we had contacted your
boss, a Mr. Skinner at your bureau of investigation. He came here
a few days ago and was taken to the hospital, where your friend
is located."

" Actually he was suppose to contact me yesterday but I had not
received any communication. I am concerned about both of them."
Her nervousness was reflected in her voice.

" Communication is very hard in the jungle. I have a driver who
can direct you to the hospital. It is a short drive away from
Cameroon, a small village called Benue. He does not speak good
English but I will tell him where you want to go and he will get
you there safely." He picked up a phone and directed his
secretary to find Maheed.

The Prime Minister explained to Maheed in French that he wanted
him to get the woman to Benue. He followed her to the jeep. She
explained to Biola that Maheed would help them to get to the
village. Biola went very quiet as the trip to the village began.
Scully wondered why the talkative man had quieted down around
Maheed. She knew better than to question the man, he had his
reasons and she was the outsider, therefore she remained silent.

The trip to the village took longer than thirty minutes and she
was getting more anxious as the rough trip through the jungle
continued. There were men armed with guns and
dressed in military uniform along the way and they were stopped
several times but Maheed would talk to the men and they would
allow them to pass. Finally they reached their destination and
Scully felt extremely relieved. It was just as she had pictured
it in her mind. The natives wore jewelry but dressed in very
little clothing due to the hot and humid climate. The hospital
was old and dirty on the outside and she hoped that was not an
indication of what she was going to find on the inside.

She grabbed her bags and turned to thank her drivers but they
were getting out with her and still felt the need to be
protective. They followed her inside of the hospital, Biola took
her bags to carry for her and he stood behind Maheed. She was
astonished to see such a clean and sterile environment inside of
the make shift hospital. Rows of white iron beds were draped with
white sterile looking sheets and most of the patients were
sleeping. Large wooden fans kept the air moving and provided very
little cooling effect.

Maheed turned to Scully and spoke in a low tone, " I will find
the doctor. Stay here till I return." He then left to find the
man who was taking care of her partner.

She turned to Biola, who had remained quiet. " Have you been here
before?"

He nodded," Only once a long time ago. I do not remember being
here though. I had been bitten by a very bad snake and almost
died. The memories are very bad." He spoke softly but did not
make eye contact.

She nodded in acceptance of the answer and she continued to look
around. The medical technology was as she thought very poor but
she was amazed at the cleanliness of the small wooden, make-do
hospital. She was so caught up with looking around she almost
jumped when a voice greeted her, " Hi, my name is Dr. Kamarya.
Are you Dana Scully?"

" Yes. I am looking for my partner Fox Mulder and my boss Walter
Skinner." She shook the doctor's hand and followed him across to
another room, leaving Maheed and Biola behind. She saw a man
sitting beside a bed, he looked very tired and worn. It was
Skinner and he was sitting beside Mulder's bed.

She made her way across the room and looked down at her
struggling partner. He was awake
but vented with a very old intubation set up and he was
restrained with white bandages that looped around his wrists. He
was very weak and his face was sweaty and his clothes were damp
with perspiration, the ceiling fan doing very little to cut
through the extreme heat of the jungle.

Skinner stood and hugged her shoulders. She felt his weight
against her as he held her tight. " He is having a difficult time
Dana. He is delirious with fever and the only time he rests is at
night."

Kamarya nodded, " He is a strong willed man and he struggles hard
to fight the venom. Unfortunately the venom is powerful and the
antivenin treatment is not working as I would hope." He paused
for a few minutes, " He has been bitten before?"

She nodded, " We were on a case when he was bitten many times. I
believe he had twenty two bites from various forms of poisonous
snakes." She bent down beside Mulder's bed and held his hand. He
looked at her with some recognition and his struggles stopped.
His eyes found hers and she could see his pain. She looked down
and saw the angry wound on his left upper thigh. It was dark red
and oozing yellow serous drainage. " He received a large dose of
antivenin over several days. He was in the hospital for over a
week due to his kidneys failing due to the venom." She explained
as she tried to comfort Mulder.

" His urine output has been very low since his arrival and his
fever is still elevated. We are looking at infection in the leg.
Unfortunately the antibiotics we have available are not working
well for him." He walked over and looked down at his suffering
patient then up at Scully. " I am concerned for him."

Scully quickly stood and went down the hallway, stunning both
Skinner and Dr. Kamarya. Within minutes she had returned with a
case. She opened it and pulled out a vial and two syringes. At
this point, even a fevered Mulder was paying attention to her
actions. " What have you been giving him?"

" Penicillin." The doctor answered as he watched as Scully pull
up the medicine into the two syringes. " What is that in the
vial?"

She glanced up at the physician and flipped
the syringe to remove an air bubble, "Erythromycin. I am going to
give him a large dose intramuscularly and then we are going to
start him on IV antibiotics. Also we need to start him on Keflex.
I would like to have him on Vancomycin but due to his Kidney
failure I am going to be conservative." She looked down at her
partner and smiled, " Hey I know you hate shots and I know that
you are already hurting but I need to get you started on a really
strong antibiotic. As soon as you start improving I am going to
take you home."

Even though his fevered mind could only see that someone else was
going to inflict pain on him he tried to cooperate. The voice had
told him he could go home if he did what they said. He attempted
to turn to his side but the restraints stopped him and within
seconds Skinner and Dr. Kamarya were assisting him to his side.
The sting of the needle was painful but the tube down his throat
stifled his scream. When they turned him to his other side his
first instinct was to grab at the syringe and stop the woman
giving the pain but somehow he knew that she was doing something
good, so he withstood the second painful entry of the needle into
his hip. When the trauma of the injections was finished they laid
him on his back to rest.

She was talking again to the doctor about getting him some
sedation so that his body could rest. The doctor felt it was good
for the person to fight to overcome the pain and the infection.
The woman's voice seemed to get stronger but the doctor won and
he stayed awake to fight against the tube in his throat. He knew
that he would get to rest at night. He looked forward to the
gentle ladies who would give him comfort.

When the argument had finished Skinner waved her away from
Mulder. Reluctantly she left but she kept him in her sight.

" He will get to rest soon. He will rest during the night."
Skinner's voice was calm and reassuring.

Her anger had not dissolved and all she could see was that Mulder
was suffering. " Not in this Hellhole he won't, he needs a real
hospital with real medicine and real doctors taking care of him."

Skinner shook his head. " You haven't seen everything. Watch and
be patient. They are very good at what they do and I believe Dr.
Kamarya will do his best to save Mulder."

" I believe that Mulder needs a hospital, regardless of what I
see here in this primitive Hell." She felt angry that Mulder had
suffered so much over the past week. She ached for his suffering
and she just wanted him to be comfortable. How could one be
comfortable if one had to fight tubes and pain constantly? She
shrugged her shoulders and moved back towards her friend. She
would try to give him some assurance that she would get him into
a hospital really soon.

8pm

When the room became dark the women came around and lit candles.
She was sure the place was a major fire hazard, especially with
the oxygen. Skinner had taken a break and went to sleep on an
empty cot in the corner of the room. Scully felt exhausted but
was afraid to leave Mulder's side. Several minutes later three
women entered the room and Mulder's eyes widened. He did not seem
happy with what was going to occur next. Dr. Kamarya entered
dressed in white pants and top, he looked as if he was ready for
bed. He reached over to a cabinet and pulled out a vial. Within
the vial were suppositories. As he placed a lubricant on the
small white medicine he gently rolled him over and with gloved
hands inserted the medicine into Mulder.

Within seconds Mulder's body was spasming with pain and he was
not happy about lying on his bottom. He was in terrible pain and
he was sweating profusely.

" What did you give him?" Scully was now up on both feet and was
very upset with how much her partner was suffering.

" It is a medicine made from a plant, found deep within the
jungle. It will only paralyze the voluntary muscles and when he
is relaxed his body will rest. The medicine is painful but it is
necessary." Dr Kamarya kept a close eye on his patient along with
Scully and when he was completely paralyzed the women entered
again all dressed in white.

The doctor motioned for her to follow him and she watched from
across the room as Mulder relaxed as the women hummed soft
African tunes as they massaged his body and washed away the dirt
and sweat. They each performed
different tasks and as they performed they continued to hum
softly. They removed the restraints and massaged his wrists then
they changed his wet gown. Rolling him over to his side they
changed his sheets and his blanket. They administered care to the
tube that entered his bladder and they combed his hair gently.
When they had finished he was sleeping soundly. They cleared away
the mess and sat down at his side. He was the only patient on a
ventilator so they continued to administer to him only. The
restraints were left off and hands continued to softly massage
his reddened wrists.

" How long does it last?" she asked quietly, careful not to
interfere with Mulder's sleep.

He usually sleeps for twelve hours. The medicine lasts a good ten
hours. The women will care for his needs tonight. You need to
sleep Agent Scully. Tomorrow will be a long day." Dr Kamarya
answered softly.

She walked back over to Mulder's bed and saw that he was sleeping
soundly. She quickly prepared two bags of the Erythromycin
antibiotic and the Keflex and handed them to the physician. One
of the women left Mulder's side and approached with some towels.
"Would you like to take a bath?"

" Yes, thank you." She followed her to a room with a bowl of
clean warm water and a changing room. She enjoyed the tepid water
and the clean clothes. She then returned to Mulder's bedside and
bent over and kissed him gently on the forehead as the women
looked on and then they helped her find an empty bed.

The women continued to care for Mulder's needs through the night.
The antibiotics were hung every six hours and Mulder slept. The
wound on his leg looked more infected the next morning and Dr.
Kamarya knew what had to be done.

A surgical tray stood on the table and a nurse stood at Dr.
Kamarya's side handing him instruments. Scully awakened and saw
the attention that was being given to her partner. She stood and
walked over to his bed and saw that the physician was making an
incision for drainage and that Mulder was awake, with restraints
intact. He looked pale and in a great deal of pain.

"What the Hell are you doing?" She almost
screamed out but her voice was more controlled but loud and
demanding.

Dr. Kamarya looked up at the very distraught woman and knew a
simple explanation would not suffice. " Agent Scully, your
friend's leg is very infected and we needed to get the infection
out. I have made a small incision so that it will drain and
hopefully the leg will heal. He will feel better in just a
while."

" Dr. Kamarya I have a medical degree and I took an oath to make
sure I did not inflict anymore pain than was necessary on any
patient. Mr. Mulder is definitely having a lot of pain and he is
not comfortable by any means. There are enough drugs in my case
to knock him out and allow the procedure to be painless. Why in
the Hell are you making him suffer?" She had bent down and had
started stroking Mulder's wrinkled forehead. His face was etched
in pain and his eyes were filled with unshed tears.

Dr Kamarya stood and bandaged the area tightly with sterile white
bandages. He then turned to look down at his patient and shook
his head. " I do not mean to go against your medical beliefs but
I do have my own beliefs that seem to work well. Mr. Mulder will
need to rest now and I will provide this for him. He endured pain
well and now will be administered to by our staff. Your drugs are
good but I believe my method is better. He is a fighter and he
withstands pain well, this man is strong and he will need this to
fight the infection that has invaded his leg."

He nodded to his staff to approach. Scully felt a strong hand on
her back and turned to find Skinner. She stood and faced her boss
with tears streaming down her face. " He is suffering too much
here. When they extubate him I want to take him home. Please make
arrangements." She then walked back to her bed and grabbed her
clothes and went to change.
Skinner went to get dressed also, he knew it would be a long day.
The staff started to clean and gently touch their patient. His
struggles stopped and he allowed the soft lull of their voices
and the gentle touch of their hands to comfort him to a state of
near sleep. They continued to administer gently and sing soft
soothing music. Mulder felt safe and the pain had faded. He just
wanted Scully. He wanted to go home.

The snake had caught him by surprise. Dr Gantt was infected with
the snake and it had
tricked him into going to the thick jungle. They performed a
ritual and he could barely remember getting bit by the venomous
snake. It had hurt as much as it had in Tennessee and he felt
that he would not survive but the women had found him and brought
him here to what he now referred to in his mind as medical Hell.
He looked around for his partner. He could not recall when she
had arrived but he was starting to remember more and he did feel
better since the slicing of his leg. He closed his eyes and
allowed the women to work. The water helped to cool his fever.

When Dr. Kamarya came back to check on his patient a few hours
later Mulder was sitting up in bed, propped up on soft down
filled pillows, with his eyes closed. The three women were gone
and Dr. Scully was sitting at his side. He pulled back the sheet
and surveyed his work. The wound was draining the yellow serous
fluid and he felt that the swelling was starting to recede. He
redressed the wound and covered the leg back up. He would take
the intubation tube out in the morning. It was almost eight
o'clock and time for the paralyzing drug for his patient.

Scully watched the doctor work and was going to remain silent but
she did feel that he had made the right decision concerning
Mulder's leg. The incision had helped drain the wound and Mulder
seemed to be in less pain. The wound would need stitches before
they traveled. She watched as the doctor walked towards his room
to change into his nightclothes. She would change also so that
when Mulder received the drug to help him rest that she would be
at his side. She stood and looked down at her partner and then
looked around for Skinner. He had been making travel plans for as
soon as Mulder was able to fly. She suddenly spotted him talking
with Biola.

Scully had bathed and changed her clothes and now was sitting
beside Mulder, holding his hand. The medicine had been given a
few minutes earlier and Mulder was in pain but she could tell
that he was starting to slow down his motions with the numbing
effects of the drug. After a few more minutes he was still and
the women appeared. Again the ritual started and they bathed him
and changed his bedding and his gown. Scully stood and bent down
to kiss him on the cheek and then walked across the room and
crawled into the bed. Skinner had already turned in for the
night. Within a few minutes she was asleep, feeling assured that
the women were caring for her partner.

Tonight was different. After Mulder had fallen to sleep the women
pulled back the sheet and started rubbing the sore leg. They
chanted in their native tongue and danced around the bed. Mulder
awakened and his eyes flew open when he recognized the ritual
song from the jungle. The snake could not be far away. He then
was surprised when one of the women opened the dressing on his
leg. He was paralyzed from the drug and could not move. His eyes
were blurry but his hearing was fine. They were summoning the
snake. Where were Scully and Skinner? Could they not hear the
women chant for the snake?

One of the other women looked down and noticed that he was now
awake. The tube down his throat kept him quiet and he did not
appear any threat to the ritual. She looked down and stroked his
face, then continued to hum and move around his bed. He now saw
them at his leg again and a hand was pulling at the numb wound on
his thigh and then what he saw was frightening, a snake, a viper
was breaking through the wound. It's head was now coming out and
blood covered it's eyes and mouth, his blood. The snake had been
inside of him and it was being lured out with the chants of the
three women.

Together they grabbed the snake and eased it out of the wound,
careful not to be bitten by the poisonous demon or to worsen the
tear in his leg. Two of the women carried the snake from the room
and only one stayed behind to care for him. She gently cleaned
the wound and dressed it as before. She then started to massage
his face, wiping away the sweat and cooing words of comfort. He
was exhausted and confused as to what he had just witnessed. He
wanted to be with Scully, he needed her to make sure that the
danger was over. The lady placed a soft hand over his eyes and
within minutes he felt sleep taking him under again.

Early the Next Morning

Scully awakened and opened her eyes. Her first glance was over to
her partner's bed and he was still sleeping but he was no longer
supporting the intubation tube. Dr Kamarya was standing at the
end of Mulder's bed writing notes.

She eased up out of the bed and slipped on her shoes and walked
over to the doctor's side. " How is he doing?"

Dr Kamarya looked up and smiled, the first time that Scully had
actually seen him smile
since she arrived days ago. " He is doing amazingly well. He leg
is almost completely without swelling and his temperature is
almost normal. He was able to breathe without the assistance of
the ventilator so I removed his tube." He walked over to Mulder's
side and shook his head, "He is very weak but he is doing better.
I believe your antibiotics did the job. He will need to keep them
going for a few more days."

" I would like to take him home soon. Preferably, very soon Dr.
Kamarya. Do you think he could travel?" She wanted to get him
back home to a hospital with pain easing drugs and modern
technology.

" Let's see how he does today and I will give my answer. I know
you are anxious." He slid the chart of his patient's progress
back into a slot at the foot of the bed and walked over to see
his other patients.

Scully looked over to see that Skinner was still sleeping. She
also saw Biola standing at the door of the acute ward. She walked
over to greet him since Mulder was still sleeping. " Good morning
Biola."

The man had a worried look and he seemed to very scared. " It is
not very good Miss Dana. Your friend is in danger and he needs to
leave as soon as possible."

His tone of voice frightened her," What kind of danger?"

"They performed the ritual to remove the Viper from your partner
last night. This has angered the infested people. They want him
back, they think he belongs to them." He was looking around to
see if anybody was listening. " You must leave and take him to
Nigeria to get a flight back to America. He is in great danger
here and they will come for him soon."

" Who is they?" Scully was stunned by the man's words and she
still had not located the man whom Mulder had come with to
Africa. Professor Gantt had not been found. Skinner was doing his
best during the day to talk to locals, to see if they had seen
the man but nobody could give him answers. She knew that the
local people had their superstitions and beliefs.

" The infested people, the men and women who
were infested with the venomous snake. They want to take him with
them and they will not allow anyone to stop them. Dr. Kamarya
knows who these people are and what they are capable of doing to
Mr. Mulder." Sweat was beading up on his forehead and his hands
seemed to be shaking.

She nodded, she believed the man. For some reason she had not
felt safe here and maybe since Mulder had the tube removed he
could give her answers. " Can you take us to Cameroon?"

" Yes but Maheed is one of them and he is dangerous. We must
leave soon." Biola handed her a note and then left her standing
in the doorway.

She looked down at the note and opened it, inside was a newspaper
article of a missing bus of tourists. Also there was a note which
gave her a location for them to meet and a time. She did not have
long to gather Mulder and Skinner and to meet Biola. She quickly
changed and packed. Mulder was still asleep when she returned but
Skinner was getting ready to go back into the village when she
grabbed his arm. "We need to leave. Mulder is in great danger
here."

" What are you talking about Scully?" he seemed confused and in a
hurry to get back out to hunt for the professor.

" Trust me. I believe that Mulder came here looking for a group
of people. A bus disappeared with tourists a several days ago."
She pulled out he article from her pocket and handed it to
Skinner," Local people, according to this article believe that
the snake people, individuals whose souls were taken by the
Viper, took these people. I also feel that Mulder and Professor
Gantt came here to look for these very same individuals. I
believe that somehow Mulder was bitten due to his desire to learn
the truth about their whereabouts. Biola thinks Mulder is in
danger, due to his bite." She left out the minor detail of Mulder
having a Viper removed from his body the night before. Even she
could not go that far.

" Scully this is just a little farfetched and there is a man
missing." Skinner was interrupted by a loud moan across the room
and when they looked Mulder was trying to get out of bed with
IV's and Foley catheter attached. The Foley catheter is what gave
cause for the moan. It had pulled when he moved over to the
opposite side of the bed and the tube in his bladder did not go
with
him. Quickly they rushed to his side and tried to get him to
relax. He looked at them and shook his head.

" They are coming. We need to leave." His low, damaged voice
whispered.

" Who is coming Mulder?" Skinner asked as Scully readjusted the
catheter.

He felt frustrated, and weak. He did not have time to explain but
he knew that they were coming and they were in danger. "You
wouldn't understand." He shook his head in frustration and tried
to stand.

" Try us Mulder. Please." Her voice was gentle and pleading.

He looked at his friend and continued to move in an upward
progression. He felt agitated and was feeling a need to move away
from this place, " They took a damned snake out of my leg last
night! The women chanted, just like the people did in the jungle.
Dr Gantt was infected, he is one of them."

That was all that Scully needed to hear and she reached over and
grabbed a syringe and placed it into the port to pull out he
water out of the bulb that held the catheter in place in his
bladder. Skinner followed her lead and was pulling out some
clothes for Mulder to wear as Scully removed the IV's.

Scully grabbed Mulder's chart, the case of drugs and the luggage.
Skinner grabbed Mulder and supported him underneath his arm.
Together they moved through the building to the destination on
the note Biola had left. When they reached an area behind the
makeshift hospital Biola was awaiting them in his jeep. They
quickly assisted Mulder into the back of the jeep and Scully
climbed in beside of him to aid in supporting his weakened body.
Skinner placed the luggage in the very back and climbed into the
jeep beside of Biola. The jeep took off with a jerk but soon they
were moving through the thick jungle.

Biola reached underneath the seat and handed Skinner a gun. It
appeared to be Mulder's sig. " You will need this."
He did not argue or question from where he had gotten the gun,
instead he just nodded and placed the gun on his lap with his
finger ready to fire upon anyone who tried to
interfere with the drive back to Cameroon.

Scully was feeling the bumps of the dirt road and she knew that
Mulder's leg had to be hurting due to the movements but he did
not complain. He mostly just stared off without speaking.

Scully felt the jeep slow down and Mulder tensed as a man ahead
was blocking the road. Biola, who had a firm grip on the steering
wheel of the vehicle, looked over at Skinner who was ready to
fire upon the stranger. The man approached the jeep after it had
came to a complete stop. "I was sent for the man with you. They
need him."

Biola shook his head, "He does not want to go with you. He is
ill."

" I repeat, I want the man. He is needed." The man was tall and
broad shoulder and his skin was dark like the night. He did not
move away from the jeep.

Skinner pulled up the gun and pointed at the man's head. " He
said "No". I believe you understand what that means. We are not
handing him over and you can tell your friends that we will use
whatever force necessary to protect him from whatever or
whoever."

" They will not be happy with this turn of events. They are
expecting him." The man then stepped aside and Biola moved the
vehicle forward.

After a few minutes Skinner sat the Sig Sauer back down on his
lap. "What do you think they will do next?"

Biola shook his head and turned to look in the back at his
passenger who was still staring off in a daze. "Do you hear them
Mr. Mulder?"

Mulder nodded and closed his eyes. " I hear the hissing of their
voices. They are calling me back."

He understood, he had been there too many years ago himself. "You
must be strong. You will only survive if you are strong."

Biola continued to drive through the thick jungle. He knew that
it would not be long before they were in Cameroon, a town
infested with the snake people.

Cameroon

Biola drove to his friend's house and parked the jeep. He knew
the man could not travel far without nourishment and he needed
fuel for the journey to Nigeria. An older, rather broad man
exited the small grassy hut and hugged his friend. " What stray
has Biola got for me to care for today?"

Biola pointed towards the jeep, " He was infested with the snake.
He is very weak and his leg is painful."

The older gentle understood, " Let's get him inside to rest and
my wife will fix him something to eat."

Skinner and Scully had overheard Biola and the man. He felt they
should keep moving but when they glanced over to a very tired
looking Mulder and they could not help but agree with Biola.

When they were inside a woman wrapped in a very colorful array of
fabric met them and helped to get Mulder into a soft bed. "He is
very weak. I will make him some soup. It will help him to
travel."

"Thank you." Scully responded as she sat down on a small stool
beside Mulder's now sleeping form. She wanted to take a look at
the leg due to some drainage on the bandage but she withheld, not
wanting to disturb his sleep. Actually she just wanted to get on
a plane and go home. She felt bad that Professor Gantt had
disappeared but it would be reported when they returned to
Nigeria. It also bothered her that she had been unable to thank
Dr, Kamarya but she would send him a message when she was home.

Skinner remained outside with Biola to help assist with readying
the jeep for the journey for Nigeria. He felt rather nervous in a
country with rules that were not obeyed by the majority of
people. He could sense Biola's urgency to get Mulder to the
airport in Nigeria. They had no guarantee of a flight to the
states when they got there but they would feel safer. He would
contact the US Embassy at his first chance. He needed to report
the strange happenings and
disappearance of Professor Gantt.

2 HOURS LATER

Mulder had finished trying to eat the soup but his stomach was
sensitive and he could tolerate very little. He had slept most of
the time while Scully, Skinner and Biola had eaten also.

It was discussed that Biola would take a back route to Nigeria.
It was near mid noon and the drive would be long. Supplies had
been loaded into the jeep and Scully had given Mulder his
antibiotic intramuscularly. He did not like the idea of being
stuck where he would have to sit but he did not have much of a
choice. She had also redone the bandage on his leg and given him
something for pain. She wanted him as comfortable as possible. He
still felt warm but she did not have a thermometer. The leg was
looking better though and she knew that he really needed to be
going back to a hospital as soon as possible.

Skinner and Biola assisted a very sleepy Mulder to the jeep and
allowed him to rest his head against a soft blanket in the back
of the jeep. Again Scully sat beside him and Skinner and Biola
took the front with the gun in hand. Biola too had armed himself
for the journey. Biola said good bye to his friend and they left
for the ride to Nigeria.

An hour later

Mulder was awake and he felt sick to his stomach. He wanted to
retch but he did not want to hold up the trip. He could still
hear the hissing voices but they were getting further away. He
attempted to stretch out his leg but it had cramped and was
painful. He grimaced at the attempt and Scully quickly caught the
look.

" Are you okay?" She asked quietly, so that the passengers up
front could not hear.

He looked over at his partner who was stained with dirt and dust.
Her hair was pulled back now into a ponytail and she was dressed
in khaki shorts and a tan sleeveless top. " I feel like Hell. All
I want is to go home." His voice still strained and weak from the
tube that was down so long. He tried to close his eyes and lean
into the blanket that he was using as a pillow.

" Are you in pain or nauseated?" Her concern was evident in how
she was caressing his face with one hand and holding his hand
tightly with the other.

He blinked his eyes and turned to face her, " I am really
nauseated but I don't won't anymore shots. My ass is starting to
really hurt."

" I'm sorry Mulder but if the nausea gets any worse then we'll
need to give you something. I don't want you to get dehydrated."
She reached back into the back of the jeep and pulled out a water
jug and she reached into the medicine case and pulled out gauze
pad. After pouring the water over the gauze she placed it on his
forehead.

He closed his eyes and slid down into the seat. " Thanks Scully.
For everything." He opened one eye and looked up at her. The sun
was still shining brightly overhead. He wanted to let her know
that he really appreciated her risking her life to come and get
him from the hospital. She really was his one in five billion,
well six now. He then relaxed with both eyes closed and wished
the nausea to leave.

They were almost to Nigeria when a loud noise rang through the
air. Skinner looked back to see a very startled Scully. Mulder
had lain down in the seat with his head on Scully's lap. He was
still snoring softly. Both Skinner and Biola readied their guns.
They were looking in all directions and seeing nothing.

" Thunder maybe?" Skinner asked hoping that it could be something
so simple.

Biola shook his head, " The sound was loud like a gun. The sky is
too bright for thunder."

" I'm trying to be optimistic." He paused for a second and then
turned to look at Biola." Do you think it is the snake people or
maybe thieves?" Skinner checked the gun to make sure the safety
was off.

" It is hard to tell. I doubt seriously that they gave up that
easily. We must hurry, he won't be safe if it gets dark." Biola
hit the gas sending everyone against the seat with a jerk.

A short time passed and another loud crack filled the air. Biola
did not think it was thieves but instead the snake people were
coming for Mulder. They had been quiet too long. He quickly found
some cover and parked the vehicle. The air now filled with what
sounded like loud gunfire.

Skinner and Biola helped to pull Mulder from the jeep and to
safety. Scully had taken a position beside of Mulder to assist
him sitting up due to his weakness.

Biola shook his head. " We are only a few miles from Nigeria.
They will not go there."

Skinner looked over at the man then back at the many places
around them that they could be hiding. They needed a plan because
they all knew that if nightfall came that Mulder did not stand a
chance. " We need a plan. Any ideas?"

Biola shook his head," Not yet. We need to get moving though,
night will be upon us soon." He turned to look at Skinner. " At
night they turn into snakes. If they bite you then you will
become one of them. Mulder did not change and neither did I when
I was bitten years ago. The women saved us but they will not give
up Mr. Skinner."

Skinner could not believe what he was hearing," Why did they not
come after you? You were bitten."

" I have learned to block their voices with the help of my
friend. They can not effect me anymore. Unfortunately your friend
has not had time to learn. He is susceptible to the hissing that
he is hearing. It is calling to him and he will feel the need to
go with them. He is very weak."

" We won't let him go." Skinner looked around the area and tried
to locate the position of the shooters. When he glanced over he
saw a very distraught Mulder. Scully was doing her best to try to
calm him down. Skinner rushed over to see if he could assist.

He felt the need to go to the sounds in his head. They were loud
and demanding him to come to come to them and his leg was
pounding." I have to go Scully."

Skinner sat down beside Mulder and placed a
firm grip around his waist, " Mulder, you need to stay put for
now." He looked over to Scully who had opened the case of
medication. She pulled out a vial and drew up in the syringe a
large dose of medicine. Skinner knew that he had to keep a firm
grip on his friend or he would try to flee.

Scully took Mulder's wrist into hers and Skinner assisted.
"Mulder I need to give you some medicine to help you rest. The
voices will leave you alone if you sleep."

He shook his head and again tried to break the hold that his
friends had on his arm and waist. " You don't understand. I have
to go Scully. Professor Gantt is calling for me. He is scared."

Scully could wait no longer and after finding a good vein she
placed the needle through the skin. " Just relax Mulder I will be
done in just a minute."

As the sharp object entered Mulder's skin he cried out then tried
to jerk away but now Biola and Skinner were holding him tightly.
Within minutes his eyes began to close and he was still
attempting to fight but he was too sleepy and after a few more
minutes he was softly snoring. They gently laid him down on the
thick grass and Scully tried to soothe the small jerky spasms of
his body that was occurring in his drugged state.

Biola shook his head and he looked on at the man on the grass,
"Will he be okay?"

Skinner stood and went back to his position and Biola followed.
Skinner shook his head and turned to Biola. " We need to get out
of here. Mulder needs a hospital as soon as possible." He looked
down at the gun, which had no extra bullets. His gun had been
taken prior to entering the country and he wondered basically if
any of them would survive.

Biola turned and looked at the spasming body of the man on the
ground and the way the red haired lady watched him and tried to
comfort him as she watched him suffer. He started pulling the
clothing out of the bags and stuffing them with grass and leaves.

" Biola, what are you doing?" Skinner asked, surprised and
bewildered by Biola's actions.

" Help me, please. We will fool them. The snake people will think
we are trying to escape. When it gets dark I will drive the jeep
with the stuffed clothing away towards Cameroon. They will
follow. Take Mulder to Nigeria. It will be at least a two-hour
walk but you need to go quickly.

Skinner shook his head, " There has to be a better way Biola. We
can wait them out until the morning. If you go they will catch
you and do to you what they did to Mulder."

A soft voice was now behind him also pleading, "Biola, you would
be risking your life. Skinner, Mulder nor myself could live with
that decision. You have been more than good to us. Please do not
put your life in danger for our well being. We will find a way
together to get out of this situation." She was taking some clean
bandages from the case and locating a roll of tape. She looked up
again at Biola, "Together Biola."

He reluctantly nodded and put away the clothing. He then sat down
with Skinner to watch for any motion from the brush. Scully
changed the bandage on Mulder's leg and attempted to make him
comfortable.

Two Hours Later

The sun had set and the sounds of the jungle seemed louder and
Mulder's quiet body was restless again. Biola knew that he did
not have long to act. The snake people would be upon them soon.
He had been thinking hard for the past couple of hours of what he
could do but even if they attempted to drive through the snakes
they would not make it and he knew that it would be unwise. He
had come to a decision and he knew what had to be done.

Scully was drawing up another syringe of Valium for Mulder. He
was fighting with all his might to get away and Skinner held on
tight. He was trying to reason with a mind filled with hissing
sounds of snakes and was not penetrating that barrier. She
grabbed Mulder's wrist and inserted the sharp needle. Mulder's
eyes grew wide and he attempted to pull away but with little
success. Again he cried out but within a few minutes he was
relaxing due to the sedative.

"They're coming Scully." He whispered from his tired throat. He
relaxed into her arms and closed his eyes, " They're coming."

His words scared her and she felt helpless out in the open but
they would be dead if they tried to move forward. She just hoped
they could figure out a way to get out of the jungle and to
Nigeria safely.

Skinner looked around and did not see Biola. He wondered if the
man had overheard Mulder. He went to the jeep but it was empty.
He took a few moments to look around then he turned to Scully,
"Have you seen Biola?"

She shook her head and started looking for Biola. " Where do you
think he went?"

" I don't know but I hope he isn't doing something stupid."
Skinner pulled the gun out of his pants and pulled out a
flashlight from the pack in the jeep. He flashed the light around
but he did not see or hear anything. He yelled out softly for his
new friend but no answer replied.

Scully would not leave Mulder. She did not want anything
happening to him in his drugged state. She also yelled out for
Biola but no answer was received.

Suddenly there was loud cry through the jungle, a cry of a man in
pain. Skinner and Scully quickly gathered Mulder up and placed
him into a lying position in the back of the jeep. Skinner got
behind the wheel and Scully gathered the medical case and climbed
into the passenger side. They both knew that Biola had sacrificed
himself for their safety.

Without any spoken words Skinner threw the jeep into drive and
hit the gas. He gave Scully the gun. He did not turn on the
headlights to attract attention. As they drove through the dark
thick jungle they heard the sounds of snakes but were not
bothered. Soon they could see the lights of the city and they
drove towards the airport.

Skinner assisted Scully in getting Mulder out of the jeep into
the airport terminal. " Get Mulder on board and get him out of
here."

Scully shook her head, " Not without you sir. We leave together."

" I have to go back and see about Biola. He risked everything for
us. It's what I have to
do Scully." Skinner started back towards the jeep after sitting
their bags down at the entry gate. " The plane doesn't leave for
another three hours. Maybe I will be back."

Scully nodded as she watched Skinner get into the jeep and head
back towards the jungle. She looked over at a sleeping Mulder and
knew that he would not be alive if it weren't for Biola's
bravery. She sat down and pulled Mulder close. She prayed
silently that God would watch over Skinner and Biola.

Skinner returned to the jungle and found nothing of the man who
had been their friend. He felt bad that Biola had probably lost
his life to save theirs. His only hope was that maybe Biola had
become one of them instead. He shook his head and corrected
himself, Biola would have rather died than become one of them. He
turned the jeep around and headed back towards the airport in
Nigeria.

FOUR HOURS LATER

Skinner had helped to clean up Mulder and get him situated on the
plane for the long journey home. Mulder's eyes were open and
staring out the window. He had not said anything since he had
awakened. He still had not told them what had happened to him in
the jungle. They both figured that whatever had happened had been
painful, too painful for him to talk about.

Finally Scully got the flight attendant to get him some juice to
drink. He was still not tolerating foods too well because of his
sore throat. He was very weak and still running a low grade
fever. She looked down at his bandaged leg and knew that it had
to be hurting him but he had not complained. He sat sipping at
the juice and remaining quiet.

 Skinner pushed back his seat and closed his eyes. He was tired
and he knew that the flight would end too soon and he would have
to tend to notifying Professor Gantt's family of the tragedy.

" Mulder you need to rest. Your body has been through a lot in
the past ten days. It's still fighting infection and you haven't
been off the ventilator very long." She was taking his blanket
and pulling it up over his bare legs. The cabin of the plane was
cool and she did not want him to get a chill and get his fever up
again.

He looked at his partner with sad eyes. He had felt bad for Biola
and his friend. "Can I have something to help me sleep?"

This was unusual for her partner to ask for any kind of medicine
and she knew that he was asking a lot. She stood and reached into
the luggage compartment and pulled out the medicine case. She
took out a bottle of pills and took out two and handed them to
Mulder.

He shook his head, "I can't take pills Scully. My stomach is
upset. Can I have a shot?"

" Are you having stomach pain Mulder?" She asked as she reached
to take the pills.

He shook his head again, " No pain just nausea."

She reached into the case again and placed the two pills back
into the container and then pulled out the vial of Valium and
drew up two milligrams. She did not want to have him unable to
arouse so she decided to give him a smaller dose. She then took
an alcohol swab and rubbed his upper arm and injected the
medicine. She then cleaned the area again and disposed of the
needle. He placed the cup of juice on his tray and leaned back
into the seat and closed his eyes.

The flight attendant noticed that the man was not feeling well
and offered to get him a pillow and another blanket. Scully
thanked her and when she arrived with the blanket and pillow she
also brought him a cup of ice. Scully placed the ice on her table
but closed Mulder's after handing the barely touched cup of juice
back to her and pushing the seat back into an almost lying
position. She then positioned the blankets and pillow for Mulder
and cut off the overhead light.

Scully then pushed her seat into a reclining position and was
careful not to topple the cup of ice on her table. She would
offer Mulder some when he awakened. She closed her eyes and tried
to sleep.

Skinner opened his eyes and tried to stretch in the small and
confining space. He finally stood and walked up to where Scully
and Mulder were seated. He was surprised that Mulder was missing.
Scully was curled up into
the leather seat sleeping soundly but Mulder was gone. He looked
around for the flight attendant.

The flight attendant was in the back of the first class section
beside the restroom and Skinner could hear retching noises coming
from the small space. He quickly made his way to the small room
and saw Mulder down on his knees. He was almost glad that they
were the only passengers in the first class section and possibly
the only passengers on the plane. " Mulder are you okay?"

Mulder shook his head but was unable to speak through the
retching. Skinner turned and walked back down the isle and bent
down to get Scully's attention." Hey Scully. Wake up."

She opened her eyes and almost jumped, startled by the voice. She
quickly composed herself and looked over to find an empty seat.
"Where's Mulder?" her voice was frantic.

"He is in the bathroom retching. Basically he is pretty
miserable." Skinner stood and started back towards the bathroom.

Scully reached back up in the overhead compartment and grabbed
the case with the multiple medications. She looked through the
meds that she had brought and found some Phenergan. After pulling
up fifty milligrams she headed back to the bathroom and found
Mulder down on his knees still retching. She bent down to get eye
level and raised her hand to his forehead. He still felt warm but
he was also clammy to touch. " Mulder, I'm going to give you
something for the nausea. It will hurt for a few minutes but
you've done this before."

He nodded in understanding and placed his head on the toilet rim,
he felt exhausted from all the retching and he just wanted to be
home in bed, his bed. He was surprised when he felt the sharp
object penetrate his lower buttocks, it was more sensitive and he
gritted his teeth due to the pain the liquid that was being
injected was causing. The pain did not leave when the needle
left, instead the burning sensation continued afterwards. "Can I
sit here for a few minutes?" he asked weakly.

She shook her head, " The medicine is going to make you really
sleepy Mulder. I need you back in your seat. I'll give you a bag
to
throw up in and a cool cloth."

He rolled his eyes and tried to manage to stand on his own but he
could not get up on his unsteady feet. Skinner and the flight
attendant along with Scully's help got him on his feet and to his
seat. The attendant quickly retrieved a cool cloth and turned up
the air over her sick passenger. Scully took the blanket and
draped it over his legs and the paper bag was placed in his lap.
She placed the pillow back underneath his head. Soon he was
sleeping and was oblivious to his surroundings.

Mulder slept through the refueling in London and now the flight
was taking them to New York. He was sleeping but Scully knew that
he was in need of some fluids but did not want to get the
vomiting going again. She felt that the nausea was probably a
reaction to the antibiotics. She did not want to get him more
dehydrated. She would keep the Phenergan going and have him sip
on some water or Sprite.

The plane had taken on several passengers in London and now the
first class section had several people. Skinner was now writing
up a report on his computer, which had survived its trip to the
jungle. He was also writing a letter to the family of Professor
Gantt. He wanted to give them the truth but instead he gave a
watered down version of what had occurred. He expressed his
deepest sympathies to the wife and his two daughters. He looked
over to his agents and saw that they were sleeping soundly now.
Mulder had been restless earlier but Scully had given him some
more Phenergan in his upper thigh. He honestly thought Mulder was
going to cry out due to the pain the needle and the medicine
inflicted as it entered the muscle. He really doubted that Mulder
would be able to walk off the plane. The incision was starting to
drain again and Scully was holding off on giving the antibiotic
until Mulder could keep down some fluids. And the way that Mulder
had wrapped himself in the blanket he knew that the fever had
returned.

The flight attendant walked down the isle checking on the
passengers. It was dark again outside and the plane seemed a
little bit cooler flying over the Atlantic. She had brought him a
blanket and a pillow and also had brought a blanket for Scully
and another one for Mulder. He put away his computer and slid
under the blanket after cutting off the overhead light.

Early the next morning Mulder was awakened early when the plane
landed in New York. They were getting closer to returning to
Washington. They did not have to change planes but they would
have to wait for refueling according to the overhead voice. He
reached over and shook Scully, who was still sleeping.

" Hey, Good morning. How are you feeling Mulder?" she asked as
she pushed back the blanket and stood to stretch.

" I need to go to the bathroom. Can you get Skinner to help me?"
he asked shyly as he also pushed back his blankets. His leg
appeared to be more swollen this morning and the bandage was
saturated with yellow drainage.

Scully turned and motioned for Skinner who immediately was at her
side. " Can you assist Mulder? I need to give him his antibiotic
and something for pain."

As Scully stood and moved into the isle Skinner stepped in and
took Mulder's arm and helped him to the bathroom. The plane would
be boarding other passengers soon and Skinner did not want
anybody bumping into Mulder's leg. He opened the door and
assisted Mulder inside and then closed the door to give him
privacy. After a few minutes Scully was standing beside him with
two syringes. "I don't think he will allow another needle stick
after the last one. I thought he was going to pass out Scully."

" His leg is getting worse. I had to stop the antibiotic
yesterday due to the nausea and retching but he needs to be on
the antibiotic. The drainage has increased and his fever is going
back up."

Skinner was interrupted when the bathroom door opened and Mulder
started to exit. "Mulder, Scully needs to give your medicine to
you now."

Mulder did not argue but instead looked down at his partner. "My
leg or my ass?"

She smiled and followed him into the tiny space. "Both. I need a
hip for the pain medicine and Phenergan and your leg will take
the antibiotic."

He turned towards the sink and leaned heavily
against the metal structure and tugged at his shorts. Scully
pulled the cloth down and exposed the very sore looking area. She
hated to inflict anymore pain but she knew that if the infection
got any worse that he could be looking at a lot worse than a sore
hip and leg. She rubbed the area with the alcohol swab and pushed
the needle into the sore skin but the burning as the liquid was
too much and Mulder moaned out loud. She looked up at a now very
shaky and sweaty Mulder. " Do you need to sit down?" she asked as
she pulled the needle out, grabbed a hand full of paper towels
and wet them under the cold water. She then placed them on his
face and helped him to sit down on the lid of the toilet.

"Let's get this over with Scully." He raised his shorts to expose
his thigh and closed his eyes.

 She again rubbed the sore skin on his upper
thigh and pushed the needle with the pain medicine and the
Phenergan. He kept his face covered with the paper towels but she
could tell that the medicine was hurting him going into his sore
muscle. She was glad that they would be home soon and Mulder
would be taken to Georgetown Memorial Hospital. She disposed of
the needles and opened the door. Skinner again assisted Mulder to
his seat and the flight attendant knew her job and the ice pack
appeared soon thereafter. Mulder closed his eyes and let the
medicine take effect. He just wanted to be home.

Before the plane took off for Washington Mulder was again asleep
and wrapped up in the blankets. Scully reached over after the
flight had gotten under way and pushed back his seat but he did
not arouse. She pushed back his blanket and changed his dressing,
which was saturated with yellow serous drainage. She knew that he
would need to get a drain placed when they arrived and also wash
the wound out with antibiotics. She would also need to have some
more blood work done to check for infection. The flight attendant
was making rounds and giving out breakfast trays. Scully took a
moment to go and wash her hands and then take a cup of coffee and
a bagel and some cream cheese. She did not disturb Mulder, who
was sleeping comfortably. Skinner also took the breakfast and a
cup of coffee. An overhead announcement was made that they would
be landing in forty-five minutes in Washington.

Georgetown Memorial Hospital
Three days later

Mulder awakened to the door being opened. Scully walked into the
room with a cup of coffee and seemed to be attempting to not make
any noise. She glanced down at her partner's half opened eyes and
grinned, " Hey, how are you feeling Mulder?"

He still was a little out of it and he wanted to answer but his
mouth was dry and he felt very tired. He nodded and closed his
eyes. He wondered how long he had been in the hospital and hoped
that at least it wasn't the mental ward. Not too many people saw
snakes crawl out of their bodies. He felt a warm hand brush at
his hair and he opened his eyes and saw his best friend looking
down at him with a cup of ice in her hand. "How about some ice
Mulder?"

He automatically opened his mouth and took in the cold chips and
slowly crushed them between his teeth. He wanted to go home but
the way his leg still hurt he knew that he would not be going in
the next day or two. He was finally able to get out a few words,"
Dr. Gantt?"

She placed the cup on the bedside table and started fixing the
blankets, " Still missing."

He nodded in understanding but he also wanted to know about the
man who saved them, " Biola?"

Scully seemed rather shocked that Mulder would remember too much
after they had left the hospital. She actually wished that he
would not remember too much of anything to do with his visit to
Africa. She knew that he needed an answer, " Skinner went back to
find him but he was nowhere to be found." She paused for a few
seconds and stopped her motions, "He is probably dead Mulder. He
was a very brave man."

He looked at his partner and smiled, "So are you and Skinner.
Thanks."

She grinned and returned to fussing over his bed. She looked down
at his bandaged leg with a drain peaking out with bloody
drainage. She did not want him to know how much she hated snakes
or the horror of finding him in the condition that she found him
in the hospital. She smiled," Only for you Mulder. Only for you."

He smiled and closed his eyes. He was tired and he felt safe.
Within a few minutes he was sleeping.

BENUE
HOSPITAL

The tube down his throat hurt and his multiple snakebites
screamed with agony. The women would come soon and take the
snakes away after the ritual. It would be a few more days before
he would be healed. He opened his eyes and watched as Dr. Kamarya
injected the antivenin into his IV. He hoped that the man and his
friends had escaped. He would try to contact them after his
healing. He needed to tell them that Professor Gantt had not
died. He needed to be saved.

THE END

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