As season 10 approaches I find myself looking for the magic I felt when I lived in the world of Mulder and Scully. I remember vividly the first time I realized that Chris Carter was creating something that arced through seasons and stories with a grace that was humbling to behold. I had been catching episodes randomly, at friends houses, at work when there was downtime and eventually in my first apartment in a strange city where my only familiar friends were Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
I was obsessed. Every glance, every touch, every mystery consumed me completely and I wanted so very much more. I wanted the things I saw, the things I imagined, the things I dreamed. For hours of my day I would wonder what it would be like to have someone in my life that I could always count on to find me, to heal me and to back my stupid plays even while they lectured me about how it was all going to come apart.
It was what a die hard romantic needed more than air. It was 2000 when I found The Gossamar Project and fell into the sea that was fanfiction for the first time. It was EVERYTHING I could have dreamed of and then some. I spent hours glued to my computer, cheering when Mulder and Scully did the things I imagined between the scenes that we saw. One of my favorite authors there was Leyla Harrison. She gave me hours of chills and thrills because she had seen what I had seen and been inspired to share her gifts with the world.
I was a lurker, a silent admirer of her work, a fan who sat in the back and crying and laughing as she danced for me. I printed out her stories and read them over and over again. She was magic. In ink and paper she built doorways I ran through with abandon and joy like I had not known since I was small.
As the internet grew and more and more people started to communicate via it’s intricate web, I found out I was not her only fan. Chris Carter and his writing team had found her as well, and they liked her just as much as I did. With his power and in deference to her art he named a character after her on the show.
Leyla Harrison in canon was an FBI accountant who had avidly followed the adventures of Mulder & Scully through their travel receipts and their X-File reports. She wanted desperately to be the partner to Agent Doggett that Scully had been to Mulder, but was in over her head in the field for the first time.
She was brave and funny and eventually, in her perhaps inevitable hospital room stay, she called Mulder & Scully on their bullshit about how they escaped Antarctica when the Snow Cat ran out of gas and the space ship rose from the ice. It was the scene that any die hard fan would had dreamed to play, asking them to explain the things we had never been allowed to see.
I didn’t know then what it meant that Chris Carter would recognize a fanfiction writer in this way, because at the time I was not a fanfiction writer. For all the awe I felt then, it is nothing to what I feel looking back at his kindness and generosity to a fan.
I will forever be grateful to Carter, to Duchovny and to Anderson for creating something that inspired such emotion in me, and for being able to accept and embrace the fans that wanted to pay tribute and honor to their talent.
For all the emotion they created inside me, it was Alexander Skarsgård who got me off my ass and on my feet when it came to writing again, but it was Chris Carter who instilled in me the fragile belief that what I might do here when I finally got moving might have meaning.
So, hats off, tears on my face, I offer this tribute to Carter, his brilliant world and the difference he made to me personally. Thank you, Chris. I can’t wait to see your new X-Files. I have missed your story telling. 10:13/11:23