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"The Ortiz Syndrome"
story classification:Humor

Special Agent Dana Scully walked into the small basement office she
shared with her partner Fox Mulder. It was barely eight in the morning
but Mulder was already buried in a pile of manilia file folders.
After pouring herself a cup of hot choclate Dana sat down on the corner
of her desk,"What's so interesting,Mulder?"
Mulder jumped slightly causing one stack of folders to shift and fall to
the floor,"The Ortiz syndrome,Scully."He replied as he bent over to pick
up the scattered folders.
Dana knelt down to help not sure she had heard him correctly,"The *what*

"The Ortiz syndrome."Mulder confirmed as he placed the stack of file
folders back on his desk. He handed her one from the top of another
"Okay,I'll bite,what exactly is the Ortiz syndrome?"Dana asked as she
opened the thin folder.
Mulder grinned as he grabbed his coat from the back of his chair,"That
X-File explains most of it. Readers digest verison: TV characters who
disappear without a trace. Named after a character on seaQuest DSV."
Scully blinked,"Disappeared?"She repeated not quite believeing this
whole thing.
Mulder nodded,"There one season gone the next without a single mention."
Scully stood,"And this concerns us because?"
Mulder rose to his feet,"Because we're tv characters,Scully. We don't
want this to happen to us."He replied as he shrugged into his
jacket,"Let's go."
"Where?"Scully asked taking a sip of her hot chocolate.
Mulder paused in the doorway,"Didn't you read the file? We're going to
"What's in Atlanta?"Scully asked as she grabbed her coat and purse.
Mulder held the door for her,"Its not what's in Atlanta,its who's not."

"I'm Agent Bailey Malone in charge of the VCTF how can we help you Agent
Mulder?"Bailey asked as the trio stood in the VCTF's briefing room.
"We're here to investiagate the disapearence of one of your agents."Dana
Scully replied.
Malone blinked in surprise,"Disappearence? I'm afraid you're mistaken
Agent Scully all my agents are present and accounted for."
"That's what they want you to think."Mulder replied as he took off his
jacket and placed it on a chair.
"What *who* wants us to think?"Bailey asked,"Who exactly do you think is
Mulder exchanged a glance with Scully before saying,"We need to question
each of your agents sepeartely."
"I'm hoping it'll become clear to you once we're done with our
questions."Mulder replied.

John Grant winced as the bright spotlight was shone in his face. Raising
one hand to shield his eyes he glared at the FBI agents.
Mulder paced the small interagation room as Scully sat at the table
across from Grant.
"I still don't see what all this is about."Grant stated angerily.
"Does the name Nathan Brubaker mean anything to you?"Scully asked softly
as she studied the man in front of her.

Grant shook his head,"No,should it?"
Mulder stopped pacing turning to face the last of the VCTF agents he had
to question,"Special Agent Nathan Brubaker,wife Michelle. Graduated from
Harvard with a degree in corporate law before switching careers and
joining the Atlanta police department where he became your partner
before Malone formed the VCTF."
Grant shrugged,"Sorry,still doesn't ring a bell."He looked at
Mulder,"Can I go now?"
Mulder nodded,"Yes,tell the others I want everyone assembled in the
command center."
John looked at the agents warily,"Okay."
After Grant left Scully turned to her partner,"So what do you think?
They all claim to have never heard of Brubaker."
Mulder turned the chair around and sat so his forearms were leaning
against the back of the chair,"The Ortiz syndrome is worse than I
thought with this case. Nathan Brubaker was not a 'red shirt' in this
series all these people should have clear memories of him and what
happened to him after the season finale but they don't."
"What are you going to do? Even if you get them to remember Brubaker it
won't bring him back."Scully replied softly.
Mulder nodded as he stood,"True,but it'll at least give the character
some closure."

"Any idea what's going on?"Samanatha Waters asked as everyone took their
usual seats around the conference table.
Bailey shrugged from his spot at the oppisite end,"Who knows. They say
they're here to invesitagate an agent's disappereance."
"Disappearence?"Grace echoed as she leaned forward.
"But we're all accounted for."George added finishing Grace's sentance.
"I've heard of this Mulder."John Grant said as he scooted his chair
closer to the table,"His nickname around the FBI is Spooky."

Mulder heard Grant's comment but decided to ignore it. He walked around
the table to stand at Malone's left in front of the computer screen.
Dana choose to stand by the small set of stairs at the room's entrance.
"I'm sure you're all wondering why I gathered you here."Mulder began.
"We know why we're here."Grant interupted wearily,"Or we know why you
think we're here. Now why don't you cut the dramatics so we can all get
back to work?"
"John....."Malone said waringly.
"Agent Grant does have a point so I will make this short."Mulder replied
as he turned to face the group,"You're all gathered here because one of
the VCTF is missing and has been for the last two episodes."
"Missing?"Sam repeated looking around the room,"Everyone's here."
"That's what they want you to believe."Mulder replied.
"Who?"George asked.

"The writers of this show."Dana Scully replied as she rose and joined
Mulder,"All of you are suffering from a disease known as the Ortiz
Grace blinked,"The Ortiz syndrome?"
Scully nodded,"A form of memory block. Where one major character of a
televison series is there promentinantly throughout the show's history
and then one day vanishes."
"Vanishes with no mention or closure."Mulder added watching the group

"I know what you're refering to."Sam stated,"But there is no such
syndrome. Miguel Ortiz was mentioned in the third season premire of
seaQuest 2032."
Mulder shook his head,"No he wasn't,not directly. What Bridger said was
"We've lost a lot of friends.That's what war is.'"
"So the Ortiz syndrome does exist."Scully confirmed.

"I still don't see what this has to do with us."Bailey Malone said
"After questioning each of you seperately we've discovered that not one
of you remembers Nathan Brubaker."Mulder replied.
"That name does sound familiar."Grace said softly.
"I always wondered why there were more chairs in this room than
people."George added sadly.
Sam shook her head,"I don't understand if this Nathan Brubaker was such
an improtant person to us that we could so easily forget him."
"You didn't forget."Scully replied,"The writers did."

"How can we correct this Ortiz syndrome?"Malone asked.
"You have to remember Nathan Brubaker."Mulder replied walking around to
the left side of the table,"And you have to bring closure to the
character by telling the fans what the writers won't. You have to tell
them what happened after the finale last season."

"I remember now."John Grant said sadly as he leaned forward,"Nate called
me right after I brought Bailey to the hospital. He said that he and
Michele had talked things out."
Sam nodded,"That's right. You told me at the hospital that Nathan had
gotten a job offer in DC to work with a small law firm. Something about
putting the bad guys away and being able to do pro bono work."
"I'm sorry my friend."John said softly,"How could we forget you?"
"The important thing now is that you've remembered him."Mulder said as
he picked up his coat,"Now you can move on with your lives."
"What do we do if this happens again?"George asked as Mulder and Scully
headed toward the door.
Mulder grinned,"Take a group picture and put everybody's name under it."


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