"A New Beginning" by Zeke Ramone
an interview with Cassie - 13 November 2006
(spoilers: 8x25 "Semper Fi", 9x01 "Darkness Falls", 9x02 "Ad Noctum")

The season premiere has aired and we’re on to episode number two of the new season, which means we’ve already had glimpse of what the new season will bring us. Like you, I’m curious to find out what more we can expect from the new season. We’re here with Executive Producer Cassie who will hopefully give us the juicy answers to our questions.

Zeke Ramone: First I’d like to congratulate you and co-creator Kristi on nine full seasons of “Fox & Rat” Virtual Series. I’m just amazed that you have been able to keep going after all these years. What’s your secret to your success? Have you ever had burn out?

Cassie: The secret to our success is an active imagination and a desire to tell good stories and to tell them as well as we can. Honestly I can say that back in 1999 I never ever, ever, never ever thought that FRVS would go on for 9 seasons, and we’re already planning our 10th season so… this is just a HUGE accomplishment to be starting our 9th season. I should pinch myself or something, it’s almost hard to believe.

Have I ever had burn out? Yes, almost, I think. Season 3 and 4 of FRVS were written when Kristi and I were not too happy with the television series “The X-Files” and that made it extremely difficult to want to write FRVS since it has characters from “The X-Files”. Recently there hasn’t been burn out, but there’s been lack of motivation and I think that happens because Kristi and I already know most of what we’re going to do with season 10 and we want to write season 10 episodes, but first we have to finish season 9. We’re impatient and that gets us behind because we know we can’t work on season 10.

ZR: Let’s back track a bit to the season 8 finale, “Semper Fi”. This was your first season finale you wrote all on your own. Was there any pressure on you to live up to the standard you have for the new season? “Semper Fi” really seems to be different from the rest of season 8, perhaps this was a glimpse at what season 9 will bring us. Was this part of your strategy to weave in the new season?

C: I didn’t feel any pressure to live up to the standard of what season 9 is going to reveal itself to be. I knew exactly (well, almost exactly) how “Semper Fi” was going to end before season 7 was completed so I was well prepared and thought out heading into writing that episode. “Semper Fi” is really honestly the beginning of season 9, what happened at the very end of “Semper Fi” at the barracks was originally going to be a part of a season 9 episode, but it felt better to make it the season 8 finale. So really once you get to the last scene (barracks in North Carolina) in “Semper Fi”, you’re really reading a part of season 9. So yeah, it was a strategy to weave the two seasons together.

ZR: Like many other fans out there, I was shocked to see John Doggett killed off in the finale. Especially after a heartbreaking final scene he had with Dana. My question is this: Will Dana find out what happened to John? Will there be any way to, I don’t know... give the fans (and Dana) some closure to John’s character? It’s just heartbreaking the way they parted, especially now that he has died. I must say, this was a shock for me, especially coming from someone like you who is such a huge Doggett fan.

C: Why should sudden death give closure? *evil cackle* Actually… I’m going to go cry now, did you have to remind me that I was the one that gave John Doggett the axe? *sniffles* I seriously wrote so many Doggett/Scully drabbles over the hiatus because it’s so sad to not be able to write John and Dana together when I’m working on season 9 episodes… really, I wrote 8 drabbles/short stories of Doggett/Scully to help me get through Doggett’s death in FRVS.

ZR: Let’s talk a bit about John Montgomery. We last saw him in “Semper Fi”, and he’s been such a large role in the whole alien mythology and conspiracy. I’ve been lurking online a bit and it seems that many of your fans do not like him at all. Will we see him again in season 9? If so, can you tell us anything about his story arc?

C: For the record I will say that John Montgomery is my favorite original character of the “Fox & Rat” Virtual Series. I think it’s highly likely that readers will ‘see’ him again. As for his story arc I can say that there will be an episode later in the season dealing with his history with one of the characters who has died in FRVS.

ZR: Charles Scully made a couple of small appearances in season 8 (“Keep Your Enemies Closer” and “Semper Fi”). Though he was in the barracks at Camp Lejeune when they blew up, he left us with a bit of suspicion. We’ve never seen him before in the series. Is there any reason for that? Will we ever see him again? Was he an alien or converted into an alien? Is there anything you can tell us about him?

C: He’s a Scully, you can determine for yourself if that means he’s an alien or a conspirator. Maybe we’ll see him again in flashbacks, there’s always room for flashbacks in a season set up the way season 9 is set up. Kristi and I decided to use actor Max Martini as the image of Charles Scully, just because he’s a pretty redhead too. You can currently see Max starring in CBS’s “The Unit” (alongside Robert Patrick), definitely check it out to see the muscular arms and such.

ZR: Grandmama Reyes is one of FRVS’s most loveable characters. What was going on behind the scenes to decide to kill her off? Many of us thought she’d be one to live through Alien Colonization. Will we ever see her again?

C: What was going on behind the scenes in the decision to kill her off? Kristi and I are just plain mean. J/K Grandmama Reyes is not the kind of character who would want to live to see her precious planet destroyed by alien colonists, that’s pretty much the deciding factor in her death… well… that and perhaps she has passed the torch of her abilities to someone else. Just because a character has died, does not mean that character will not be explored, and that goes for any characters.

ZR: In “Darkness Falls” we see Scully getting that strange sensation in the base of her neck from the chip that was implanted into her. The last time we saw this was in the “Stranded” trilogy of season 8 when they were on an island with aliens. Is this going to be a high risk for her? Will the aliens find her, and if they do, what do they want with her? Is the Cigarette-Smoking Man behind any of this?

C: Isn’t the Cigarette-Smoking Man always behind these kinds of things? We saw in season 7’s episode 7x17 “Super Buddies Without A Cause”, that the Alien Bounty Hunter could use the chips in people’s necks to track them – to find the location of the New York Facility - so it is possible that if the aliens wanted to get Scully, they could.

ZR: Let’s talk about bit about Mulder, Krycek and Marita. They are stuck in the basement of the FBI. I’ve seen some chat going around that there is a fear that they will never get out and might be living in their grave already. What can you tell us about them this season? Will they get out? Will Marita go insane listening to only “The Streak”?

C: I will say that the beginning of season 9 is light on Mulkryita (FRVS exec speak for Mulder/Krycek/Marita), and that is because there isn’t a whole lot you can do with the characters so long as they are stuck down in their basement bunker. I promise though that mid-season will deal a lot with Mulkryita, so Mulder, Krycek and Marita fans have no fear. They’re probably safe as long as they’re in that bunker. Of course… it is possible that so much destruction has happened above them that when that bunker unlocks it could be impossible to get out and they could suffocate to death. Oh and “The Streak” was totally my idea to put in the series, that song is seriously one of the funniest songs in the world.

ZR: Krycek really stepped up in “Darkness Falls”. Yes, he was still a bit goofy, but at the end there when he realized the FBI was being attacked, he really stood up and took charge. I really liked seeing the serious side of him. What will this Alien Colonization do to his character? Is there a chance we will get to see him and Marita acting more mature together?

C: I think alien colonization will force Krycek to grow up. The world is not the world he knew yesterday, everything is different, the name of the game has changed. We’re definitely going to see some great Krycek/Marita scenes this season, it calls for it.

ZR: And now my final question about the end of “Darkness Falls”. What the heck is up with that rock Grandmama Reyes gave to Monica? That scene with the bees was something unexpected, I surely thought Monica and Brad we’re going to get attacked or something. Is there anything you can tell us about the rock? Is it really the key, and if so, the key to what?

C: It is a key to something, and I cannot say what that something is right now. Kristi and I are thinking of revealing that in season 10, but nothing is written in stone yet.

ZR: Thank you Cassie, but before we wrap this up, I’ve got a couple fan questions for you. The first question is from Levi121212 from Hungary who has translated FRVS for three years now and wants to congratulate you on your Virtual Series, “this is the best in the world”. Levi121212 question is this: How many episodes will season 9 have?

C: Wow a reader from Hungary who has translated our series? That’s so cool! I wish I knew how to say ‘thank you for reading, we’re glad you enjoy the show’ in Hungarian. Ok so, to answer the question Season 9 will have 26 episodes. The season 9 finale will be our 199th episode which means the season 10 premiere will be our 200th episode, now that’s a milestone.

ZR: Our next question comes from Goofy Spooky regular, Brenda who wants to know a couple things: What happened to John? Are Mulder and Krycek going to escape the bunker and if so, how? What is going to happen during Colonization? I can't wait for season nine to begin! I'm really hoping to see CSM die again!

C: The last we saw of John he was in the Marines barracks which were destroyed. The way I see it, Mulder and Krycek are FRVS’s original heroes, I don’t doubt that they’re going to get out of that bunker at some point, probably not without driving each other crazy too. The alien’s plans are to take over the planet that’s the big thing, people will be fighting for survival and trying to figure out what to do next. Some will live some will die. Alliances will be made that are unexpected and may infuriate some readers. Some relationships between characters will build stronger, some old flames may reignite. The world of FRVS that you’ve known from season 1 to season 8 will never be the same again, season 9 basically is a set up for the last season(s?) of FRVS. I can’t wait for season 9 to begin too, it’s unlike anything Kristi and I have ever done before. We hope you like it.

ZR: Skippygddss, another Goofy Spooky regular, would like to know if the forum will keep going after the series ends?

C: To tell you the truth Kristi and I haven’t even thought about that. So… I’ll go ahead and say: it will stay up as long as people are interested in participating in discussions about the series/episodes, and there’s been talk of FRVS “movies” after the series finale so even when the series ends, it’s likely that won’t actually be the end, the end, you know? The interactive part of the forum may die down as it usually does when no new episodes are airing, but that’s just the way it is (as fun as it can be to interact with the characters of FRVS). So yes, the forum will stay up as long as there’s interest in it.

ZR: Our next question comes from Emma Keturah, FRVS's Episode Reviewer, who even though she's in the know, would like to know if without the chip can they stop colonization?

C: I’ll answer this question as soon as Em admits that she is the huge David Hasslehoff fan. Ok, to actually be kind and answer your question… colonization cannot be stopped even with the chip in Scully’s neck, the information on that chip is important in human survival post-colonization.

ZR: Thank you Cassie. I look forward to reading the rest of the new season.

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