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Happy Halloween! For a show about things that go bump in the night, this fandom is surprisingly short of genuinely scary stories. They must be hard to write, or at least write well. This isn't exactly a ghost story, but it's plenty disturbing all the same.

Vignette, Rated PG (disturbing imagery)
Keywords: ScullyAngst, MSR
Spoilers: It's sort of post-"Requiem," but a few years post, not immediately.
Summary: "It was enough, in the end..."

Send feedback to the author, if possible. Then please let us know what you think. The nomination post is always open for your suggestions. If you have a story you'd like us to read, that's the place to tell us about it.

"Ad Vitam Aeternam" translated means "To Life Everlasting." Perhaps that's warning enough...

Read Ad Vitam Aeternam. Also at Gossamer.

Date: 2013-10-31 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littlegreen42.livejournal.com
Haven't read the story, yet, but just wanted to comment on this:

For a show about things that go bump in the night, this fandom is surprisingly short of genuinely scary stories.

I wonder if that's because the X-Files is a scary show (well, I never thought it was that scary, but...), and when people write fic, they want to write about stuff that we didn't get from the show itself, so fic writers are less likely to focus on the supernatural/scary aspect of the show.

They must be hard to write, or at least write well.

I think scary stories are hard to write. I read a lot of horror fiction, and very rarely does it actually scare me.

Date: 2013-11-05 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com
I've read very few books that scared me. The Amityville Horror scared the pants out of me, but I was 10. And the Exorcist, because again, I was too young to see the movie but I'd managed to borrow the book from my local library.

I think films convey fear better than books. So I guess this is why there are so few genuinely scary fics around. I found Goshen's Secret World scary, because the drug that nearly killed Scully was horrible, then again I guess I was more creeped out than really scared.

Date: 2013-11-05 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com
Hm. I can't decide whether I like this one or not. The writing is good, that's for sure, but I have experienced a few "speed bumps" with this story:

1. It's dated. Yeah, I know it's frustrating when you write something while a show is airing and a few months down the line, pooof, your story is kicked out of canon and into the obsolete ditch. I got a few like those. Sadly, Scully having a girl is not canon, so as I was reading my brain went "wait, what? A girl?"

2. I don't find Mulder as a green blooded clone wildly original (says the woman with the clone fetish).

3. I LOVE streamlined fics, but this one could have done with a little fleshing out. It jumps from Scully explaining she and a returned Mulder spent "two years in the sun" which I assumed meant, they had moved some place quiet to raise their kid. And then a couple of paragraphs later, you find out that they were still working in dangerous positions enough to get Mulder shot and killed. It would have been nice to have a couple of transition lines to make that fact not just appear out of the blue. Ellipsis can be a double edge sword, it can either improve your story flow or wreck it when your reader goes "Wait, whut?"

4. Remember what the green toxic retrovirus did to Mulder in S2? Yeah, apparently nobody does. Scully breathing them should have sent her straight to the hospital, not waiting for the fumes to be "too much" and waiting to hear his last words with itching eyes. This ain't alien onions.

5. Scully stopping to look for Mulder because she has a child that looks and behaves like him? Sorry, I'm not buying it. it would give my Scully renewed determination to find him, not give up. These are the people who went to opposite poles to save each other. I think kids as the panacea for loss is a flawed concept, but what do I know?

6. I don't think Maggie Scully would be so oblivious of her daughter's grief to go on and on about Mulder.

HOWEVER, this story has some really nice moments too. I found it heartbreaking that Scully would think that two year of happiness was enough, like she knew her life would not be able to grant her more. And okay, even if I don't buy it, watching Scully stop fighting, accept Mulder's loss and finding solace in her child gave the story a nice sense of closure.

So this one was hit and miss IMO, but thanks for rec'ing it.

Date: 2013-11-07 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com
*grmfff* what is it with me and clicking the wrong button?

I so appreciate your commenting, even though you have mixed feelings about it. Most people won't.

I find that there are more things to discuss if a story has flaws than if the story is perfect (if there is such a thing). I guess my inner beta never shuts up. *g*

Well, I can't fault the writer for that. Most of what we read here is "dated," in that sense. I try judge the story on whether or not it works. The canon is closed now but it wasn't when people were writing 99% of these fics.

Oh definetely. I was just pointing out the things that pulled me out of the story flow. I know it can't be helped.

I've only read one other Mulder clone story. Is there a list somewhere?

Was that All the Mulders? I don't know of any list, but it seems to me there's been a few of them around. Ok, I've just checked Haven. Donna has written two apparently - True Family and Simple Choices. Then there's The Coriolus Effect by Zuffy. The Other Man by Jess M. which I seem to recall we discussed here and Any Other Name by Louise Marin. I haven't read any of these apart from The Other Man, though I can roughly guess which one are good and which one ain't. *g*

If you get your "day in the sun," you get attention, you get appreciated. Two years of happiness is more than she'd ever hoped for.

Ah, thank you for this! Pesky foreign idioms! ;-)

I'd love to see this story fleshed out. Mulder living a life with his child and with Scully, dying as described. Maybe he wasn't in the field that whole time, maybe he was working a desk job profilng and went out just that once to work a case and bam! That story could be brilliant.

I know right? I was reading something yesterday ( well attempted to read, was patient for a whole 10 paragraphs, then I followed the advice of....damn, can't remember who said it - that in doubt they always skipped to the smut if there was any and if that was bad then there was little chance they would enjoy the rest of the story. Which makes a lot of sense considering smut is a bloody nightmare to write and only talented writers can really pull it off. Anyway, the sex scenes were really bad, so I gave up with no regret.) the story was 50 000 words long and IMO it would have been better if the author had trimmed 70% of it. But in this case I think the story would have greatly benefited with being longer, if only to anchor emotional hooks with the reader, because this fic didn't really give me any time to get involved with its characters and I guess this is why I may have had this "meh" reaction when Mulder turned out to be a clone. I hadn't been "tuned" by the writer to care enough for this incarnation of him.

Date: 2013-11-07 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com

The series was very inconsistent about the green goo. I think Mulder's fear is supposed to convey how toxic he thinks he will be to Scully.

Yeah, I know, but she still breathes the fumes and seems all right, which doesn't match Mulder's mad panic. This could have done with some work. I'd have been happy with a line saying she had to check in with the hospital, or that whatever experiments she endured gave her a resistance or immunity. It was an easy fix. This is just sloppy.

The story is a little inconsistent about that, too. It starts out with her saying, "It troubled her for a long time afterward that she had not heard his last words to her." But it ends with her saying that she did understand that he was really gone this time. But it doesn't explain why she came to that conclusion.

Agreed. This story could have been great if more work had been spent on it. It feels a bit like it's been rushed.

Everyone is different in their response to grief. For me, talking about the person who has died is helpful. Scully doesn't sound disturbed by Maggie to me. She just tunes her mother out.

Hmm, you have a point. Has anybody ever written anything from the POV of Maggie Scully, do you know?

Scully deciding to accept that Mulder was truly gone was one possible ending to the series. I think him coming back as a hybrid fit the mythology better than having him dug up from a grave and "cured" from being a supersoldier with a course of anti-virals. Oh show.

IKR? It sounds even worse when you spell it out. What Drugs Were They On? *laughs*

Date: 2013-11-16 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mogster495.livejournal.com
I agree with you on most points. I agree this was very well written, but many of the same things bothered me. Particularly the part about her giving up looking for Mulder because of her daughter.

Date: 2013-11-16 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mogster495.livejournal.com
This story is very well written. I like the tone and the prose quite a bit.

'Stream of consciousness' stories are sometimes hard to follow. In Ad Vitam we don't know where Scully is experiencing these thoughts and emotions. If Foxsong had framed the stream of consciousness with a setting and plot, I think it would really work for the story.

I've always enjoyed Mulder as a jerk (probably says a lot about me but whatever). Sometimes I read stories about Mulder "spending two happy years raising their daughter" and I have to roll my eyes. Even if Mulder was a father, I imagine he would still pursue investigations into the paranormal. If he did I find 'two happy years' free from any kind of conflict hard to believe.

Before her daughter had been born, when she was only an idea, an abstract thought, the notion of giving up the search for Mulder had been unthinkable.
This was a very strong line for me. I can recall being pregnant and not really 'knowing' my baby. After she was born I started to know and understand her as a person, and not just a sonogram image. I think this line was very good and it really gave me the idea of Scully as a real mother.

I'm sorry," he was saying. "I'm so sorry. I had to. It was the only way I could come back. I think Mulder would agree to be modified or cloned to have alien DNA. It is an interesting idea, and a believable one (for an X File anyway). I think he would do it to further his cause and the X Files instead of reuniting with Scully. He would literally be living proof of alien existence, and could possibly thwart the whole conspiracy.

Date: 2016-08-07 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Agreeing with what has already been said, although the sticking point for me was that hybrid Mulder died from abdominal injury. The show has been quite consistent about only the stiletto to the back of the neck killing the alien bounty hunters, rebels and hybrids, so his convenient death is hard to believe. I can get past Scully having less problem with the green blood since they were outside and she was warned to stay away. Apparently she did stay far enough away to not hear his final words, and she did pass out from exposure so yeah, that bit plagued me less. Still I liked it. Liked the twisty darkness of it, flaws and all.


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