Melissa Meditations: A White Buffalo Calf, A Miracle, and a Sacrifice

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Title: Melissa Meditations: A White Buffalo Calf, A Miracle, and a Sacrifice
Creator: Fialka
Date(s): June 1999
Medium: online
Fandom: The X-Files
External Links: Melissa Meditations, Archived version
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Melissa Meditations: A White Buffalo Calf, A Miracle, and a Sacrifice is by Fialka.

It was part of a series and was first posted to The Annotated X-Files Study Guide and is at Fialka's Candybox. The author comments that: "Many of these essays first appeared as discussions on OBSSE, Scullyfic and/or ATXA."

Later, it was reposted:
Sadly, when the old NBCI server went the way of so many really cool, free things on the net, I never could find another free site with enough space to house the whole Study Guide, and it didn't get enough traffic to warrant paying for 250mb on a server somewhere. Not to mention, I no longer have as much time on my hands as I did back then, so like the UFOs...well, it is another UFO. Some of it still appears to be here, if you can wade your way through all the advertising on FortuneCity. I sure won't be insulted if you don't. These essays are from the original site, and appear here unchanged. Unlinked titles got abducted by aliens somewhere along the way. If you find them wandering dazed by the side of the road, could you be so kind as to send them home?

The Essay's Origin

"The following essay was originally a discussion (mainly between myself and Tuatha de Danaan) that took place on the OBSSE mailing list just after the Season 6 finale. Much thanks to Tuatha for allowing me to reprint her part here. Comments added later are in brackets. Thanks also to the list for putting up with both of us going to quite incredible length. Comments in brackets were added as I reformatted the essay for inclusion here and were not part of the original exchange.

The discussion began, innocently enough, with the question of why, after all that has happened to her, Scully has remained with the X-Files. A general consensus was quickly reached that the not-so-accidental death of her sister has been a great driving force.

Then, in stepped Tuatha with an intriguing idea:

"I think it's about fate."

Isn't it possible that Scully sees this as a test of her own faith? Melissa was sacrificed to the truth, ransomed to it, and as a result Scully doesn't have a simple choice to walk away.

It isn't as if there aren't reasons for her to leave, but surely there would have to be serious consequence for her to find such a choice acceptable weighed against what has already been lost to pursue the truth.

It seemed to me based on what Albert Hosteen said that Melissa's death was inevitable, an exchange from the spirit world, so that Mulder could return to continue with Scully, (and to protect her, because without Mulder, Scully was vulnerable to TPTB.) so in a way Scully was right in believing that Melissa died for her, but she also died for Mulder, and for the continuation of their quest.

With that post, poor Tua inspired me to write what had to be an Obsse record for postal length: a 23k dissertation on Melissa Scully, sibling elements in The Relationship, and Heroic mythology. Rather than print the entire tome in its original form, I have selected the parts relevant to the post above, with Tuatha's subsequent comments worked in. The missing section can be found at Family Dinners."


My reading of this was always that Melissa died so that *Scully* could live, because Scully was fated to be part of the quest, was in fact instrumental to it, as the playing field had become her own body (though of course the Anasazi trilogy took place way before the cancer/ova arc). She has a mythic role to play in this story, and without her Mulder is not equipped to face the final onslaught. His need for her is way more than just emotional - she is the other half of The Hero. She is yang to Mulder's yin - at least professionally - each having strengths that bolster the other's weaknesses. Only working together are they strong enough to defeat the Dark Forces (heh heh heh).
In terms of the mythic confrontation, the one person at Scully's back *has* to be Mulder. He has to be what he's become to her - for better or worse, the only one she trusts. And Melissa's death ensured that. Scully could probably have told all her weird stories to her sister, thus diluting her reliance on Mulder and Fate cannot allow that. Their reliance on each other must be total, to the exclusion of all others. When they go to face the Dark Force, they must do it as one. Imagine it as this: Mulder is the warrior, Scully both the shield and the sword. Without her protection, Mulder would last about one second against their enemies, but all of Scully's magic is useless if she is in the wrong hands. In slightly less metaphoric terms, Scully's skill as an investigator does not include the strength and agility to make mental leaps to connect the evidence at hand. Mulder's skill is precisely that, but without the shield and sword of Scully's science (her 'magic') he sounds like a lunatic. He's likely to get the suspect then fail to convict for lack of prosecutable evidence. Together they are both able to fulfill their purpose - to vanquish the bad guys, in both the mundane and mythic sense.
Stylistically, I also think Melissa's death is the necessary parallel, the hole that the Project has ripped in the Scully family, as Samantha is the hole in Mulder's. Mulder's return is more a parallel to Scully's return in One Breath. She pulled him back from the dead, as he pulled her back - and both times it was at Melissa's urging, by Melissa demanding that they face their feelings for one another. I prefer to think that it was the strength of their love - however one wants to categorise it - that brought Mulder back to Scully, as it earlier brought Scully back to Mulder. Both refused to let the other simply drift away before they were finished. And I think part of what they need to finish is to come to terms with the exact shape and nature of that love, whatever it truly is. They cannot find the Truth without until they are strong enough to face the Truth within.