THINGS DONE: RUNNING FROM THE SHARKS
This is what REALLY happened after Jump the Shark.
Notices, Disclaimers, and other Administrivia:
1. The Lone Gunmen, Jimmy, Yves, Morris Fletcher, Schneider, Runtz,
any XF characters are the property of 1013 productions, whom, while they
richly deserve not to own them, in fact do. I prefer to avoid lawyers in
general, so I'll say right here and now, they're not mine!
2. Things Done is an OUTSIDE story of the universe created by Erynn
continued by Erynn and Sally in Things Undone. The timeline in this
story is not the same as the one in Things Undone. In the Things Undone
universe, Jump the Shark was just a stupid concept that never
materialized. However, when I figured out that Carter & Company had no
clue what really happened after JTS, I decided to write this. The
characters of Sari, Devi, Muladharma, and Palin are all Erynn's
creation. Deborah, Mel Scarlett, Anndie, Ed and Fred, and Maggie Rose
were stolen by me from some really terrific people I know and twisted,
folded, spindled and mutilated into the characters they are by me. Any
resemblances to their real life personae are probably accidental.
3. The narrator in this portion of the story is Mel Scarlett, who plays
Frohike's chickadee in the Things Undone universe.
4. No animals were harmed in the making of this story. A few computers
were cursed at but none were thrown through plate glass windows. Thanks
to The Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for providing far too many
meetings where I can let my mind wander off in ridiculous directions, to
Professors Jake Lusis (genetics) and Rob Rainey (biochemistry) for
allowing me to annoy them with idiotic questions, and for their patience
in answering them, to the five people who read this thing in its raw
incarnation, made suggestions, pointed out errors, and let me ramble on
about ideas without ever once slapping me, and to Starbucks for
providing rocket fuel when necessary.
5. I've said enough. Let's let Mel Scarlett tell us what really went
I had a sinking feeling all that day at work, and I knew it wasn't the
job, because it'd been relatively painless as days in trauma go. I
managed to get off shift on time, and was hoping that my low mood was
caused by that which happens in women of my certain age. I had decided
on a bubble bath and few shots of Wild Turkey, and off to bed. Usually,
that revitalizes me.
That, and the thought that in three months, Mel Frohike and I were
getting married. I'd be moving to DC, and we'd get a place. I did
indicate that I had no intentions of living in a decrepit warehouse, and
he agreed that that would truly be the last time he ever let Mulder help
him with a real estate deal.
Life had been good. Mark actually returned to school and was doing well,
and Lisa was happily married and enjoying motherhood. I was about to put
my house on the market. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why I
was so low.
As I disabled the security system I heard the phone ringing off the
hook. I was tempted to let the machine get it, but I managed to pick it
up. If it was about my failure to clock out, which I do from time to
time, I was going to tell somebody to do something that no proper
Southern woman would ever even imagine of doing.
"Yes?" I answered, a bit abruptly.
"It's Deborah." The voice on the other end was equally crisp, abrupt.
But that's Deborah. She completed her fellowship and was now a house
officer at GWU. She didn't get there by not getting to the point. "You
need to get down here."
"Oh God no. "What's happened to Mel?"
"I can't tell you about it over the phone, but there's a good chance
it's going to be bad. I'm going to need your help, among other things."
"You say 'going to be bad.' What do you mean by that, dear?"
"We don't have time to talk. Just get here. I'm going to give you
directions to the Sri Lankan consulate."
"Just listen, and get going."
I scribble furiously in my illegible script, hoping to the goddess I
don't get lost. If I do, it'll be because I can't read my own writing.
"Okay. I'm getting ready to go."
"And Mel? You'd better not plan on going back home."
"What are you--"
"I'll see you in four hours. And make sure you're not followed."
And the line went dead.
I find driving relaxing, as a rule. Not tonight. If someone was
following me, I couldn't tell. All I know was that I managed to screw up
twice once I got into DC. Horrible city. Mel and I had planned to settle
somewhere in the suburbs.
I finally locate the consulate. I was imagining something of a fortress,
but from the outside, it looks like a large, well kept home. Until I got
to the gate, where my identification is checked completely and my car
thoroughly searched. Not that there's much to search through. I tossed
in some clothes and cosmetics. That was the extent of it.
I'm ushered in, where I'm greeted by a young woman.
"Mel Scarlett! I'm so glad to meet you!" She embraces me as if I was
long lost friend.
"Don't mind her," the voice I recognize as that of Sari Thomas emanated
from behind her. "She's like that with everyone."
"I'm Devi," the woman introduces herself. "We're glad you're here."
"Is Deborah here?"
Devi's face, formerly suffused with warmth, becomes taut. Sari's face
set in nervous lines as well.
"Deborah's in the survival shelter. She'll want to see you," Sari leads
"Survival shelter?" I turn to Sari.
"All the consulates have them. Follow me. Devi, you've got the radio
equipment all set, keep monitoring."
"Yes, ma'am." The younger woman tries to keep her tone light, but the
warm greeting I received was the last bit of relaxation that I got from
We step on to an elevator, one not unlike the ones in the hospital,
except that they have multiple doors. Sari takes me down in silence.
"There's an area for medical treatment in the event of attacks of any
kind," Sari explains. "Deborah's in there."
Deborah is in a stark room and appears to be setting up what looks like
a portable intensive care unit.
"You're here, thank God!" Deborah jumps up and hugs me, which is unusual
for her. Deborah is a sweet girl, but she's never been overly warm. I
wrap my arms around her and can feel the tension in her long body.
"Sari, can you help us sort this stuff out?"
"Sure. Just tell me what to do and where to put things."
IV lines, Ringer's lactate, morphine, several varieties of antibiotics,
defibrillator paddles, suture trays, saline-glucose solution...not to
mention a whole array of pharmaceuticals and surgical instruments.
"Deborah, where did you get all this stuff?" I asked her.
"I work in a hospital, remember? I borrowed some things."
"You should have called me at work. I could have added to the
kitty...although it seems as if you could open your own hospital right
"That's the beauty of having interns. They do what you ask and they
don't ask too many questions since they think you're grading them on
it." She studies the piles in front of her. "Not that they're going to
have to worry about that much longer."
"What're you talking about?" I demand.
"What Deborah means is, we may have to bail out of here in a hurry.
means that we may have to come up with alternative employment plans."
What the dickens have I walked into?
"Did Mel ever tell you about Morris Fletcher?" Sari asks me.
"Was that the jerk that called him Sneezy?"
"That'd be him."
"You also know of their 'colleague, Yves Adele Harlow," Sari continues.
"Is that the one that Richard refers to as Hacker Bitch Barbie?"
"That's her." A note of jealousy creeps into Deborah's voice.
"She's in trouble," explains Sari.
"I'm afraid I'm still behind the curve here." I have a sinking intuition
about this, but I need more details.
"Are you aware the guys are working on a biological warfare piece?"
"Mel mentioned something about it." In very vague terms, I must admit.
"They've set up a meet tonight," Deborah explains.
"It's a long story, but let's cut to the chase in the name of time ,"
Deborah says. She tries to keep her tone clinical, but I know her well
enough to know that she's as nervous as a fish on a hook. "Langly and I
ate lunch today. We went out to Thurberville for it. He told me what's
going down. He said..." I hear the tears creeping into her voice.
"It's very dangerous," Sari says, trying to keep the tears from
overtaking her. "John didn't want us involved. None of them did."
"Basically, Langly had lunch with me...to say goodbye," Deborah is
sobbing softly now.
"So did John," Sari says quietly, her tone quivering.
"And they thought we were just going to let it happen?" I say sharply,
more than I'd intended. But it has the desired effect. Both women wipe
their eyes and their nervous sadness is replaced by cold, fierce
Deborah draws a hard breath. "Langly told me where it was going to
happen. I have a lot of paramedic buddies. Hard not to be a trauma
surgeon and not get acquainted. I...I made some arrangements with some
Paramedics are good buddies to have. And fortunately, they are, as a
rule, utterly insane.
"Whatever happens, they've promised to be near the scene and ready to go."
"What if they're interfered with?" It's always a possibility.
"Obviously you never met the Terror Twins," Deborah even laughs a
little. "Ed and Fred. Twin brothers, in the flesh. Good guys."
"How'd you bribe them?" Sari inquires.
She snorts. "Same way you always bribe a paramedic. All it cost me was
two fifths of Wild Turkey and a case of Sam Adams."
"I would have been happy to pay them," Sari breaks in.
"They didn't want money. They said they'd do it so long as I paid for
Paramedics live for the rush. Up the stakes, amp up the danger, and
they're salivating worse than Pavlov's dogs. That was the easy part.
"Deborah," I say quietly. "You know well enough that you can do your
best work and still have a horrible outcome." I feel the tears rising in
my eyes as I say that.
"Yeah. But don't ever let it be said that I didn't go down swinging."
She turns to Sari. "You said you worked in a leper colony. How much do
you know med-wise?"
"CPR, first aid, injections, wound care and debridement," she says,
looking slightly uncomfortable.
"That's all good. Well, we're about to give you a crash course in some
of the finer points."
I stare at the array of equipment around. "What about labs?" I ask her.
"Can't say I'm very comfortable about that. I've got one microscope
one portable centrifuge. My big problem is that one of the reasons I
became a surgeon was because histology wasn't my strong suit." We both
try to laugh, but it's a lame attempt. Still, whatever passes for humor
at this point.
"I wasn't bad in that department." I always liked cell biology.
"I've learned to identify some things under the microscope. And our
equipment was a lot more primitive than this at the ashram," Sari says
"Cool. Well, you're about to become an expert," Deborah informs her.
Deborah shakes her head. "I don't know yet. That's the problem."
Sari doesn't seem to be squeamish. We teach her to bag a patient, using
Deborah as our model, how to use the defibrillators, how to give an IV
push. She seems to understand these things pretty well. Deborah
instructs her on the oxygen controls. I do the pharmacology side and
explain what the various and sundry drugs we have in our
possession--quite illegally, I might add--do and what to give them for.
About the only thing that gives her a bit of a start was is when Deborah
explains how to put on a biocontainment suit. I have to admit that it
gives me pause as well.
Around 7:30, we join Devi. The housekeeper has prepared a snack for
None of us is hungry, but we force ourselves to nibble. The food is
delicious and beautifully prepared--to me, it looks more like a gourmet
banquet than a snack--but what we're really paying attention to is the
radio that's been set up to establish and keep in contact.
I'm nibbling on a bit of tuna sandwich when we hear a familiar voice,
that of John Byers, come over the radio. "We're in motion."
No one says a word. It's time to pay attention.