by Jordanna Morgan

I'm afraid this little introspective only has a chance of making sense if you have seen the Outer Limits episode, "Down To Earth". It presented a humorous and touching dramatic performance from an actor and comedian I adore, Colin Mochrie. "Reflections" is about the character he played.

It was a cold February night, and the stars shone brightly in the clear Nevada sky.

On the rooftop of Sector Twelve, the view had always been impressive. The complex lay in the desert, unmarked on any common map, far removed from the light and smog of human civilization. The spot was perfect for stargazing--something no one else ever seemed to notice. It was ironic that they, of all people, were too engaged in more terrestrial matters.

Not that Agent Fulson minded having the solitude of this place to himself. In fact, now more than ever, he was grateful to be alone.

He ascended often to the rooftop, to think. The starlight was usually a comfort and an affirmation to him. Not so since NAUFOC 2000... Not so, since that night with Boo.

Indulging in a quiet sigh, he hunched his shoulders in the warmth of his jacket and looked heavenward. The simplicity of that diamond irridescence was not for him. Not for one who knew what he knew, and did the things he had done. Tonight, those stars seemed like a multitude of tiny mirrors, reflecting small shattered fragments of him.

He was not fond of what he saw in those reflections.

It hadn't always been that way, he knew. Somewhere deep in the back of his mind, there were a name and a life he could never quite remember--he wasn't supposed to remember. But just enough of those memories lingered to keep his emotions alive... Just enough to let him be whatever they wanted him to be. He was their chameleon, their wolf in sheep's clothing.

He was also human. They hadn't taken that away from him--no, not yet. Boo had reminded him of that.

She had been all too clever. If only she hadn't found the fragment, he might not have had to give up his assignment in deep cover. It was more freedom than he'd had in years, and being the unassuming Dale LaRose had brought out a little more of that part of him that wasn't a stranger to himself.

The irony was that he had never lied during that facade of a life--except once. The once was when he told Boo that all his tales of alien abduction had been untrue. He still didn't know why he had given her that false denial; he had embellished his every truth so much that no one believed him in the first place. Which was as it should have been.

Yet the coy admission had only drawn her closer to him. Was it because the foundation of her own faith in extraterrestrials had been just as flimsy as he'd led her to believe his own was? ...If she only knew the things that he had seen, or what he had truly experienced.

He leaned his head back against the rim of the parapet. Closing his eyes, he thought of her, sifting the memories from that secret corner of his mind where even they did not reach.

Still vivid to him were the sensations, the warmth of her skin against his, the delicate scent of her perfume. His highly conditioned memory retained every soft word she had whispered to him. He didn't know if she had meant any of them, but somehow it had felt good to hear them.

For those few hours, he had not been an agent of the Trifab Commission. He hadn't even been Dale LaRose, two-bit security officer and paranoid UFO enthusiast. He had been, simply, a man. And Boo had been very much a woman--for a little while, his woman. Not like the few brief trysts with which he had occasionally amused himself. Deep within, she had meant something to him.

Where was she now? Had he destroyed her, as he had so many others? She believed she had seen him gunned down in cold blood before an auditorium full of witnesses--dying in her arms. Had his last deception broken her, sent her back to that terrible place she had confided to him, where her mind could fix on nothing but the question why?

That was just what Agent Fulson was supposed to have wanted; to tear her down, to remove what threat her intelligence and common sense could yet have been, after what she had discovered. But the part of him that lived on beneath the programming hoped she had been stronger. That part of him hoped she would make some sense of what had happened, would keep believing, would find her way to a measure of real truth. If she couldn't bring understanding to the world, at least she could hold it in her own heart, and know her efforts hadn't been in vain.

Perhaps, someday, he could find a way to give her that peace--even if only from afar. He owed her that much. He could do that much.

Smiling ruefully, he opened his eyes and looked up once more at the heavens. A flicker of distant brightness in motion caught his eye, and he watched as a shooting star traced its final path across the glory of the night sky.

"I believe."