I honestly don’t know what people see in the idea of multiple identities online. I’ve tried it. I’ve abandoned it. Way too much headache for zero return. One ID is more than enough. I simply haven’t the time or patience to be more than one me at a time.

That wasn’t always the case. Many years ago, I tried having multiple identities online. Robin Starveling was a nomenclature for my fan fiction, poetry, and other more artistic endeavors. Doktor Zachary Carleton was for my SubGenius stuff and less serious comedic fare. There were other alter egos too, that are less germane to this particular blog post. I eventually threw all that away and have gone by ZachsMind on pretty much everything in the past decade or so, but there are ..remnants of Robin Starveling scattered in cyberspace if you know where to look. If anyone ever finds Prosaic Asylum, let me know. I put that on GeoCities but I can’t find it anymore. I think it’s permanently lost. Oh well. And I recall writing something as a tribute to Laurie Anderson under the Robin Starveling name which I stumbled upon again many years later but can’t find today. Oh well.

I’m surprised Nine Minutes is still here. Below is a fossil that proves Robin Starveling once existed, but he evolved into me. If anyone else wants to claim to be Robin Starveling, you’re more than welcome. I stole the name from William Shakespeare so you are welcome to steal it from me. Just don’t be an ass about it.

I leave the following as I found it, copypasted and unedited. I’m even leaving the glaring spelling and grammatical errors intact. I pored over this a dozen times before posting it back in the nineties. It went thru a couple few drafts and yet STILL there are spelling errors. How humiliating, but that’s who I was and who I still am I suppose. The format doesn’t carry over to WordPress very well, but i wish to preserve it as it was long ago. A slice of my brain I left behind to find later. As in now.

No the flash.net email address doesn’t work anymore, at least not for me.

aka Doktor Zachary Carleton
aka Robin Starveling
aka etc etc…


From bobdobbs@flash.net Mon May 12 07:05:34 1997

Newsgroups: alt.tv.x-files.creative

Subject: Nine Minutes (1/1)

From: Zachary Carleton



XFILES FANFIC ARCHIVISTS: Please remove any other versions of this

story from your archives.


Title: Nine Minutes (1/1)

Author: Robin Starveling

Rating: PG (Language and Adult Situations)

Classification: X – X-Files

Spoilers/Timeline: This tale starts as a retelling of a portion of “The

Pilot” then jumps ahead to immediately after “Sanguinarium” in

the fourth season. Could possibly spoil those 2 eps for some.

Keywords/Misc Descriptions:

This is a “plotter” story, not a “shipper.” There’s NO romance.

It deals with Time Loss and Military/Conspiracies. Characters

from “The Pilot” are briefly mentioned.

Point Of View: 3rd Person Limited; lending towards Scully’s perspective

Summary: In a tale that spans four years, the missing nine minutes in

early March of 1992 are partially explained.


The following contains characters owned by Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen

Productions. The intent is fan fiction. It is my understanding that

Carter and 1013 are under legal restraints NOT to accept unsolicited

ideas or manuscripts and this is not written to be considered for the

series. If ideas or concepts contained herein are found in similar

X-Files episodes in the future, I publically relinquish any rights to

seek legal action against Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen or related

organizations and corporate entities regarding my publically expressed

USENET Newsgroup post. This is for entertainment purposes only. I give

my permission for this to be sent to newsgroups & archives as long as

this header stays with the work. Events and characters below are

fictitious. Any similarity to persons or events living, dead or undead

are purely coincidental. Objects in the mirror are closer than they


The Earth Is Flat.

Feedback of any sort is appreciated. Please write to bobdobbs@flash.net

if you have the inclination.


“There is in life only one moment and in eternity only one.

“It is so brief that it is represented by the fleeting of a luminous

mote through the thin ray of sunlight- and it is visible but a fraction

of a second.

“The moments that preceded it have been lived, are forgotten and are

without value;

“the moments that have not been lived have no existence and will have no

value except in the moment that each shall be lived.

“While you are asleep you are dead; and whether you stay dead an hour or

a billion years the time to you is the same.”

– Mark Twain

Nine Minutes

a work of Fan Fiction in tribute to The X-Files

by Robin Starveling

containing events written originally by Chris Carter




Collum National Forest, Northwest Oregon

Rural Highway 133

March, 7th 1992


It was a peaceful day and they were actually having a normal

conversation, considering they were discussing missing people and

unexplained deaths. Doctor Dana Scully had to smile despite herself. The

travel in the car with this strange dark man, assigned to her by her

superiors just days ago as her partner… Well, after their first

meeting, this pleasant “joyride” through Oregon’s beautiful woodlands

was sheer heaven.

She chuckled a bit, partly by what Mulder was saying, but also by the

mild euphoria this conversation had taken. She was so happy they were

getting along so well considering the circumstances.

“Is the medical examiner a suspect?”

Mulder spit out a sunflower seed husk to the floorboards. Nasty habit.

Good thing she wasn’t dating this one. Would be alot of work to do.

“We won’t know that until we do a little gravedigging. I’ve arranged to

exhume one of the other victims’ bodies to see if we can get a tissue

sample to match one of the girl’s,” he picked his teeth, which was

another habit about him she knew she would have to get used to, “you’re

not squeamish by that sort of thing, are you?”

This strange man known as special agent Fox Mulder, who was obsessed

with researching the X Files, the very project she was asked by her

superiors to debunk, knew from her records that she was a trained

medical doctor. She had done her residency in forensic medicine, but

even she had to admit she’d never done an autopsy on a body dug from a

grave before. “Not sure,” she said, “I’ve never had the pleasure.”

Suddenly the digital radio turned itself on and broke the awkward

conversation. It turned itself on at 107.3 and as Mulder reached towards

the radio in an attempt to turn it back off, It flipped itself to the

bottom range of frequencies with no noticable assistance. Must be a

short in the car, Scully thought to herself, but this was a brand new

rental car. That’s odd. Then she noticed the digital clock on the

dashboard was acting strange too. Suddenly it jumped from 11:30am to

2pm. Again, no noticable explanation. Maybe if they stopped the car and

looked under the hood she could determine-

Then a weird sound not coming from the speakers of the sound system made

her instinctively put her hands to her ears. “What’s going on?” she


Mulder stopped the car as his answer to her question. In silence, he

stepped out of the vehicle and like a man who has experienced this sort

of thing before, opened the trunk of the car and pulled out a red spray

can. Then he walked a few spaces behind the rental car and as she got

out of the car to watch him, Mulder methodically drew a large red X on

the black pavement of the road. Then he looked up at the sky for a

momenShe put her hands on her hips, almost dumbfounded. “What the hell


that about?” She asked him as he nonchalantly tossed the spray can back

in the car.

“Ah, you know. Probably nothing.”



That evening they were driving away from Collum National Forest, having

just been ‘scared away’ from the crime scene of the Karen Swenson murder

by the local detective, his shotgun, and threats of being thrown in jail

despite their FBI credentials. In truth, neither was frightened off, but

the detective seemed intent on using his gun, and there was no need at

this point in their investigation to completely alienate the local law


The drizzle that started when they were leaving the forest was getting

stronger now.

Mulder was driving again. Scully had made a mental note to indicate

later to her new partner that she did have a driver’s license, but it

had been a long day so she filed that concern to the back of her mind

for a later time. “What’s he doing out here all by himself?” Mulder

asked out loud not so much to Scully, but to himself.

“Maybe he has something to do with this.” She showed Mulder a handful of

ash she had lifted at the crime scene. “What do you think it is?”

“I don’t know. Is it a campfire?”

“It was all over the ground. I think something’s going on out there.

Some kind of a sacrifice maybe.” She felt this was important evidence.

Such ash scattered over such a wide area lended evidence to more than

just a campfire. Some sort of great energy was occurring in those woods,

but wasn’t affecting the local flora which meant it must be contained

somehow by man. Mulder didn’t seem to be concerned about it, instead he

reached into his pocket and pulled a red compass from his jacket pocket.

Undaunted, she continued, “What if those kids are involved in some kind

of a cult and that man knows something about it?” She was expecting him

to respond by saying the next logical course of action would be to speak

to the detective, preferably during the day in front of witnesses and

when he didn’t have his shotgun draped over his shoulder. However,

Mulder was intently examining his compass, paying attention to the road

a bit less than perhaps he should.

The compass was going crazy. Spinning from north to south. She only

glanced at it. His equiptment could be faulty. “I want to come back

here,” she said.

Mulder seemed nervous or agitated and it was beginning to bother her. He

looked at his watch as if late for something. She glanced again at the

compass, still in his right hand. It read west, then northeast.

“You okay, Mulder?”

“Yeah I’m just, uh…”

“What are you looking for?”

Then a bright flash of white light from outside Mulder’s window suddenly

made them both close their eyes.






The car had stopped. She was expecting them to crash, since Mulder

hadn’t been paying attention to the road. They must have passed a car

with it’s brights on. She hadn’t been looking out at the road. So much

for her academy training. She really should have been paying more

attention herself, she thought.

Mulder tried the ignition. The alternator made no sound. The battery

sounded dead.

“What happened?” For a new rental this piece of junk left a lot to be


“We lost power. Brakes, steering, everything!” He looked at his watch

again, “We lost nine minutes!” They both got out of the car into the

pouring rain, “WHOOOO!!!”

“We lost what?”

“Nine minutes! I looked at my watch just before the flash it was 9:03!”

He looked at it again, “It just turned 9:13!” He began wandering away

from the front of the car, walking down the road in the downpour.

Scully followed after him.

“Look!” he pointed at the pavement and in the barely lit, cloudy night

she could barely make out the red x he had painted earlier that day.

Mulder threw his hands into the air and looked up at the sky,

exhuberant, yelling at the heavens, “Oh yes!” Then he turned to face

Scully. “Abductees!”

She looked at him like he was a madman.

“People who have made UFO sightings! They’ve reported unexplained time


“Come on!”

“Gone! Just like that!”

She couldn’t believe her ears, “Now wait a minute, You’re saying that-

that time disappeared! Time can’t just disappear! I-It’s a universal


Suddenly, from about thirty feet behind them, the rental car’s engine

roared to life, and the headlights bathed luminescence over both of


“Not in this zip code!” Mulder ran to the car. Scully looked off after

him dumbstruck, then looked down at the Red X.

Dad was right, Scully thought to herself sullenly, I should have stayed

in medicine.


J. Edgar Hoover Building – FBI Headquarters

Washington D.C.

November 21st, 1996

9:03 am

“So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?”

“That’s quite a seque, Scully. From scanning these files for relation to

our recent twist of fate with the plastic surgery profession to the

holidays? Trust me, after what we’ve seen the last thing I want to think

about is carving turkey.”

“Well, what’s left of my family is out of town and-” God, had she grown

that detached? So much death had she seen in recent years, and she talks

about it like that? Maybe she DID need a holiday.

“I don’t know Scully. I was so looking forward to waking up late and

missing the Macy’s parade on TV. It’s a sort of tradition with me.” He

turned to her with a knowing smile, “Seriously, if you’re offering, I’d

love to have dinner with you next Thursday. I’ll uh, pencil you in.”

“Thanks. I think.” She smiled back. “Look, we’ve been at this since sun

up. Do we have to do this now? I’m starving.”

“Ugh,” Mulder looked down at the desk and all the pictures of the recent

‘accidents’ at the hospital. “How can you think of eating? Just the same

I could do for some fresh air.” They both looked at the clock at the

same time. “Man, we didn’t even order for pizza. I can’t believe we’ve

been at this for twelve whole hours.”

Scully walked towards the clock. “The clock’s busted. The second hand’s

not moving.”

Mulder blinked and looked down at his watch. It read nine oh three and

forty two seconds. am. He tapped on it. “My watch has stopped too, and

it’s digital. If it ‘stopped’ the battery would go dead and the screen

wouldn’t read anything.” He grabbed his coat and headed for the door,

“What’s going on here?”

Scully followed behind them, and a quick run up the stairs, since the

elevator wasn’t working, they witnessed what could be the strangest

sight they had ever seen.

No movement. No sound. Several people apparently rushing about in the

lobby of the FBI building, late for work no doubt, frozen in space.

Scully walked over to one individual in particular. Mister Frieburn who

was an accountant from the third floor. When this apparent time

discontinuity happened, he must have tripped on his untied shoe laces

just a second before.

“Lookit this!” She motioned for Mulder to come over. She pointed at his


Mister Frieburn, a sweet balding man who Scully recalled saying hello to

several times in the halls or at FBI’s cafeteria, was floating suspended

in space two inches off the ground, in mid fall. His briefcase was half

open, and she could see several sheets of paper filled with numbers,

frozen. When time returned.. IF time returned, the papers would probably

fly all over the lobby.

“You think if we closed the briefcase and put a mattress in front of


“No, Scully. Don’t touch anything!”

“This can’t possibly be happening?”

Mulder rolled his eyes, “After ALL you’ve seen!”

Scully scowled, “yes the last four years with you have been…

enlightening, but the laws of physics dictate that-”

He looked at his watch again. “Nine oh three. Why does that ring a


Then they heard a sound. Other than their voices and their footfalls the

entire place had been eerily silent but they heard what distinctly

sounded like a brief static from a walkie talkie. It came from behind

the security desk.

They looked at one another, and immediately, quietly, Mulder pulled his

gun from his trenchcoat. Scully reached for her purse but frighteningly

and embarrasedly realized she had left it downstairs.

Not missing a beat, and realizing whatever was back there would get

nervous that their conversation had stopped, “Damn, Mulder. I left my

purse downstairs.” She quietly slipped her feet out of her high heel

shoes but otherwise didn’t move, “I’ll have to go back downstairs to get


In a whisper, they could barely hear from behind and under desk, “abort

mission! Repeat! Abort mission!”

“Scully, that’s silly. What are we going to do now that time has

stopped? Head for your bank and use an ATM machine?” He motioned for her

to go around the other side of the desk.

She turned her back and tried almost successfully to throw her voice as

far as she could, “I’ll be right back!” Then she turned around and

tiptoed to the other side of the desk.

“I think I’m going to go over here and check these security monitors at

the desk. See if we’re the only ones moving.” As he approached the desk,

a man in army fatigues who looked greener than asparagus nervously stood

up with his gun drawn on Mulder.

“F-freeze!” Then Scully jumped him from behind, Mulder ducked, and a

plate glass window shattered behind him, as the military gent’s gun went

off. Mulder put his arms up to protect himself from the glass, but then

looked up to see them slowly stopping in mid air. The way the morning

sun reflected through them, it looked almost beautiful. He crawled away,

making sure not to get cut.

Most of the glass slowly wafted to the ground like feathers. Good thing

Scully can’t see this, thought Mulder. Or hear it. They’re not making

any sound. So much for her laws of physics dictating anything today.

Outside beyond the glass he saw a green truck with the sign “T. D. Unit

20968” on the side pulling away with a squeal of tires. He thought about

chasing after them, but then heard the military officer punching Scully

several times behind the desk. He stood back up and rushed around the


It wasn’t Scully being punched. “Wow. Remind me never to get rough with

you, Scully.” The man was turning black and blue before his eyes, laying

face up on the ground, disarmed, with Scully on top of his stomach.

“What’s going on here! I’m agent Scully this is special Agent Mulder. We

would tell you we’re with the FBI but you’re INFILTRATING our building!

So you obviously know. I want an explanation!”

Then they heard a clicking sound coming from his mouth, and the army

gent’s nose and mouth began foaming. She thought she heard him crying,

just before he burst into flames. Mulder grabbed Scully by the back of

her suit’s neckline and pulled her away. A big flash of light appeared

behind them, and a cloud of smoke that quickly dissipated leaving the

smell of burnt cinnamon.

“Yuck! That’s some cyanide capsule!”

Scully was beating out the flames on her skirt, and stinging from what

she assumed to be first degree burns on her inner thighs. “Mulder help

me!” Instinctively he obliged, throwing off his trenchcoat with a shrug

of his shoulders and covering her up with it.

Then they heard a ringing sound in the air, and through the pain Scully

pulled herself from Mulder and ran towards Mister Frieburn. When time

continued a second later, she caught him and his briefcase, preventing

his fall.

“Gee. Sorry Miss Scully. Didn’t see you there.”

“Hello sir. You might want to tie your shoes.”

“No time. I’m late for work!” He rushed off with a quick thank you and

ran up the stairs. Scully looked at Mulder, on his knees with a

trenchcoat in hand, looking back at her. Everyone around them seemed to

not notice that to them, they had just materialized in the room.

Everyone seemed in a hurry to get to work.

Scully’s legs felt raw. She stepped back to Mulder and helped him up.

They looked back at behind the security desk.

“Excuse me,” a muscular man in a suit carrying a cup of coffee brushed

past them and sat down at the nearby chair behind the desk. The place

where the military man had burst into flames was empty. No trace.

The man behind the desk sniffed at the air, looked at Scully, “nice

perfume miss.”

“Uh, thank you.”

Mulder knew the security man would notice the broken glass window

by the desk any second, and he wasn’t in the mood to attempt an

explanation. “Come on.” Mulder said covering Scully’s singed skirt with

his trenchcoat, “I think there’s a first aid kit downstairs.”

“What just happened here, Mulder?”

He looked down at his watch, “I have no idea. But these people might as

well quit rushing. They just lost nine minutes.”

Scully looked down at Mulder’s watch. It read 9:12am.



by Robin Starveling

featuring fictitious events written originally by Chris Carter

which were “inspired by actual documented events.”

Operation Cobweb


“Nine Minutes” by Starveling, Robin

This story was downloaded from the Gossamer Project on 9 September 2013.
Do not archive stories elsewhere without permission from the author(s).
See the Gossamer policies for more information: