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FOLIE A DEUX
OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS
(Muzak playing in the VinylRight telemarketing office with about 100 telemarketers in Dilbertesque cubicles. GARY LAMBERT sits next to a young blond woman, NANCY AARONSON. GARY speaks into his headset.)
MAN: (voice) Hello.
GARY: (on headset phone) Hello. May I speak to Mr. Zachary Llosa?
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Yo-sa, not Losa. Speaking.
GARY: (on headset phone) Hello, Mr. Llosa. I’m calling on behalf of the VinylRight corporation which would like to put a crisp $100 bill into you hand by 5:00 tomorrow evening.
LLOSA: (voice on phone) I’m not really interested at this time.
GARY: (on headset phone, reading off of a monitor) Yes, sir. $100 all for allowing us the privilege of introducing you to VinylRight siding, The thousand-year siding that never needs painting or maintenance.
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Listen, I’m not really interested.
GARY: (on headset phone) Manufactured in America from Space-Age polymers it beautifies while it protects, while it adds to the resale value of your home.
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Look, I’m not interested. I have to go now. Sorry. I have to go. (hangs up)
(GARY dials another number, then hears insect sound. He looks suspiciously around, but doesn’t see anything. SUPERVISOR stops near GARY’s cubicle.)
SUPERVISOR: Yo, Gary. Dial and smile, Gary. See, if you’re not smiling, they can hear it.
(SUPERVISOR walks away.)
NANCY: (quietly making fun of SUPERVISOR for GARY) If you’re not smiling, they can hear it. Jerk. (into her headset.) Yes, Mr. Valenzuela. I’m calling on behalf of the VinylRight Coporation. We would like to put a crisp $100 bill into your hands by 5:00 tomorrow evening ….
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARY’s phone) Hello?
GARY: (on headset phone) Mrs. Edith Loach?
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARY’s phone) Yes, that’s me.
GARY: (on headset phone) Hello, Mrs. Loach. I’m calling on behalf of the VinylRight Corporation which would like to put a crisp $100 bill into your hand by 5:00 tomorrow evening.
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARY’s phone) You want to give me $100? Why?
(GARY stares in shock at shadow of a man sized insect creature in an office across the room.)
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARY’s phone) Hello? Did I win something?
GARY: (on headset phone, nervously) Yes, Ma’am. $100… All for allowing us the privilege of introducing you to VinylRight siding, the thousand-year siding that never needs painting or maintenance. Manufactured in America from…
(Hissing insectizoid sound. Begins to see large insect creature moving between the cubicles.
No one else sees it.)
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARY’s phone) Hello?
GARY: (on headset phone, getting very agitated) Manufactured in America from Space-Age polymers. It beautifies while it protects. While it … While it….
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARY’s phone) Hello? Hello?
GARY: (on headset phone, whispering) Mrs. Loach .. listen very carefully. It’s here.
SECRETARY: (voice on speaker) Sir, Agents Mulder and Scully are here.
SKINNER: Send them in.
(Door opens and MULDER and SCULLY enter.)
SKINNER: Agents have a seat.
SKINNER: I need you to go to Chicago as soon as possible to perform a threat assessment.
SCULLY: A threat assessment for whom?
SKINNER: VinylRight. They make siding. Their telemarketing hub in Oakbrook was the focus of an anonymous audio-taped manifesto, one which threatened violence. Apparently, several years back they had an incident in another office – A disgruntled employee with a gun. They feel they can’t be too careful.
MULDER: Why can’t the Chicago field office take care of it?
SKINNER: Because I prefer you did.
MULDER: (challenging) Because the manifesto contains bizarre overtones … claims of a paranormal nature?
SKINNER: It speaks of a monster stalking employees. Your insight into such claims should aid in assessing the threat, if any, posed by this person.
MULDER: (sarcastically) Monsters. I’m your boy.
(Later, MULDER and SCULLY are walking down hall from SKINNER’s office.)
MULDER: I must’ve done something to piss him off.
SCULLY: What do you mean?
MULDER: Get stuck with this jerk-off assignment or have I finally reached that magic point in my career where every time somebody sees Bigfoot or the Virgin Mary on a tortilla I get called to offer my special insight on the matter? (rubs his forehead showing his still taped fingers)
SCULLY: You’re saying "I" a lot. I heard "we." Nor do I assume that this case is just a waste of our time.
MULDER: Not yours, anyway. There’s no reason both of us should go to Chicago. I’ll take care of it.
SCULLY: Mulder …
MULDER: I’m monster boy, right?
(Chicago. MULDER is in PINCUS’ office listening to a tape.)
PINCUS: This was forwarded to us by a local radio station. Whoever sent it to them wanted them to play it over and over again 24 hours a day. They elected not to. (plays the tape)
GARY’S VOICE ON TAPE: Attention, people of Illinois. This is a warning of the utmost urgency. At VinylRight 12340 Wabash Terrace in Oak Brook there is a monster, an evil one that preys on the people there, but they can’t see it because it hides in the light. I see it. I know where to look. I can’t be the only one. We all must hunt it down and kill it because if we don’t … it will take us all.
(PINCUS stops the tape.)
MULDER: You recognize the voice?
PINCUS: We have 96 employees. Anyway, I’m hoping it’s not one of our people though I don’t know who else it would be.
MULDER: Your company had a violent incident in its recent history?
PINCUS: We have a plant in Kansas City. Back in ’94 one of the warehouse guys came in with a gun, threatened everybody. I think it was over a woman.
MULDER: May I borrow the tape?
PINCUS: Keep it. So I know our home office has to call you guys for insurance reasons, but this is probably just a crank, right? Some guy making a joke.
MULDER: Well, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Can you hire security for the building?
PINCUS: If you think we need to. I’m also conducting my own internal investigation – interviewing employees, seeing if they’re happy …
MULDER: Use you best judgement. I’ll be in touch.
(MULDER leaves the office and dials his cell phone from the telemarketers’ room.)
SCULLY: (on phone, voice) Scully.
MULDER: (on phone) Hi. It’s me. I need you to check on something.
SCULLY: (on phone, voice) What?
MULDER: (on phone) It’s a phrase, "Hiding in the light." It’s on this tape that I’m looking into.
SCULLY: (on phone) On the case that’s a total waste of time?
MULDER: (on phone) Yes, and I didn’t say that it wasn’t. Uh, "To hide in the light" or "Hiding in the light" – some form of that. I think it’s in an old case file somewhere that I got hidden away.
SCULLY: (on phone) Which one? There’s hundreds.
MULDER: (on phone) I’m not sure, but I appreciate it. (hangs up)
SCULLY: (to herself, not overjoyed) "Hiding in the light." (gets up to go look for the file)
(MULDER leaves the room. GARY and NANCY are at their cubicles. GARY stares at PINCUS’ office door.)
PINCUS: (voice over intercom) Nancy Aaronson, come to my office, please.
NANCY: (to GARY, rolling her eyes) Uh-oh. Now I did it. (starts to go)
GARY: Nancy …
PINCUS: (voice over intercom) Nancy Aaronson, come to my office, please.
NANCY: What, Gary?
NANCY: Don’t what? Gary, I love you, buddy, but you’re really, really weird.
(NANCY goes into PINCUS’ office. As she enters, Gary sees the shadow of and insect type of creature inside the office. Door closes. GARY hears NANCY scream. No one else does. He starts to go to PINCUS’ office, but the SUPERVISOR steps in front of him.)
SUPERVISOR: Dial and smile, Gary.
(GARY returns nervously to his cubicle.)
PINCUS: (voice over intercom) Mark Backus, come to my office, please. Mark Backus, come to my office, please.
(When NANCY comes out of PINCUS’ office and returns to her seat, from GARY’s POV her eyes are whited over and she moves like a zombie. Any other POV she looks normal.)
NANCY: See, nothing to it. He just wants to say "hi" to everybody. He’s going alphabetically.
(GARY, panicked, runs out of the office.)
SUPERVISOR: Hey, Gary. Gary Lambert!
FBI FIELD OFFICE
(MULDER is listening to the tape. While the tape is playing, the scene alternates between GARY preparing an assault rifle and MULDER taking notes.)
GARY’S VOICE ON TAPE: ….Wabash Terrace in Oakbrook, there is a monster .. an evil one that preys on the people there but they can’t see it because it hides in the light. I see it. I know where to look. I can’t be the only one. (MULDER rewinds) … urgency. At VinylRight, 12340 Wabash Terrace in Oakbrook, there is a monster .. an evil one that preys on the people there but they can’t see it because it hides in the light. I see it. I know where to look. I can’t be the only one. We all must hunt it down and kill it because if we don’t … it will take us all.
(MULDER’S NOTES: "… to be taken seriously. Exactness of performance indicates deliberate mindset. Tape likely recorded many times till perfect. Paranoia. Exclusion.")
(MULDER’s cell phone rings.)
MULDER: (on phone) Mulder.
SCULLY: (on phone) "Hiding in the light." That was a phrase spoken by one Jerrold Resnick to a Lakeland, Florida police investigator on August 9, 1992.
MULDER: (on phone) What was he describing?
SCULLY: (on phone) Well, Mr. Resnick was a deacon of his local church and apparently he was concerned that there was an evil presence amongst his fellow parishioners and that he alone was aware of that fact.
MULDER: (on phone) He was trying to warn them?
SCULLY: (on phone) Not as such. He showed up for mass one Sunday with four handguns and he began wounding people saying, "The afflicted ones wouldn’t bleed." He committed suicide a week later in his cell.
MULDER: (on phone) Scully, at the risk of you telling me "I told you so" I think it’s time for you to get down here and help me.
SCULLY: (on phone) I told you so.
(MULDER hangs up.)
(MULDER walking through VinylRight office. It appears deserted.)
MULDER: Hello .. hello?
(He sees NANCY hiding behind a doorway.)
NANCY: (whispering inaudibly) Shh! Get down! Get down!
(MULDER hears GARY cock a rifle behind him.)
GARY: Who are you?
(MULDER slowly raises his hands.)
(SCULLY drives up outside VinylRight building. Lots of police, crime scene.)
SCULLY: Who’s the agent in charge?
AGENT: Agent Rice --- tall guy in the suit.
(SCULLY, showing her badge, goes up to AGENT RICE and the SWAT TEAM AGENT.)
SCULLY: I’m Scully. Agent Mulder’s partner. What can you tell me?
AGENT RICE: Not much. TV news got the call. A man’s voice told them we needed to broadcast a "stunning revelation." Since then we keep ringing the phones, but nobody answers.
SCULLY: Who’s inside?
AGENT RICE: We can’t be sure of a total. It happened over lunch hour, so it could have been worse. The lot’s only got 18 cars. One’s a rental registered to Agent Mulder.
SWAT AGENT: We’re about to try him on his cell phone.
SCULLY: No. Not until we get a clear idea of the situation.
SWAT AGENT: There’s a small cafeteria in the building. We think our guy’s got everyone barricaded there, he couldn’t have picked a better spot – one door, no windows. We’re not going to get a clear idea of the situation unless someone in there talks to us.
SCULLY: If you make a phone call right now, it could compromise Agent Mulder. Sir, we need to find another way.
(Inside the building. VinylRight cafeteria. GARY holds a gun on the employees and MULDER. They are on their knees, hands behind their head. GARY straps two people to the exit doors. PINCUS, NANCY, and MARK BACKUS and another men are kneeling apart from the others. Some employees are crying.)
GARY: Move! Okay … come on. Now, get down. Down. Everybody stop crying! Just shut up! Everybody needs to be afraid of him. (indicates PINCUS) He’s the one that’s out to get you. I’m protecting you.
NANCY: Gary, what are you talking about?
GARY: Shut up! I’m not addressing you! I’m addressing the actual people over here, okay? I’m not talking to you, or you or you! (refers to PINCUS, NANCY, and another man.)
MULDER: Why should we be afraid of Mr. Pincus, Gary? I’d really like to hear what you have to say.
GARY: Who are you, anyway?
MULDER: My name is Mulder.
GARY: You said that already. What are you doing here?
MULDER: Applying for a job.
GARY: (snickering) Oh, man … did you come to the wrong place.
MULDER: I get that. Why should we be afraid of Mr. Pincus, Gary?
GARY: Because he’s a monster … Only you can’t see that because he’s clouded all your minds but he means to take us all one by one … harvest our souls …
(MULDER unbuttons his jacket while GARY’s back is turned.)
GARY: …make us into zombies… robots made out of meat. (cocks rifle)
PINCUS: Oh, God almighty …
MULDER: Gary, I want to believe that you’re protecting us, but, uh, I’m kind of afraid of that rifle. It makes it hard for us actual people to concentrate on what you’re saying.
GARY: (to MULDER) Why are you talking to me like I’m a three-year-old? Don’t act like you understand what I’m talking about, because you don’t … but you will.
(GARY turns away. MULDER unsnaps his holster. GARY almost catches him. GARY hears something on the roof and aims the rifle at the ceiling.)
GARY: Shhh! Everybody hold their breath. (Sees plaster falling out of ceiling vent.) Oh, you sons of bitches.
(GARY grabs NANCY and begins firing at the ceiling.)
NANCY: Gary, what are you doing?
(Outside, SCULLY and AGENT RICE duck behind a car at sound of gunshots.)
SWAT AGENT: Everybody hold your fire! What’s going on?
AGENT ON RADIO: (voice) He’s shooting the ceiling. Sounds like an AK.
AGENT RICE: We got to find out what the hell’s going on in that building. I’m calling your partner.
SCULLY: No. If it was safe to do so he would have called us already.
AGENT RICE: Agent Scully, we don’t have a lot of options here.
(SCULLY very worried.)
(Inside, GARY stops firing. His back is to MULDER, but just as MULDER reaches for his own gun, his cell phone rings. GARY turns the gun on MULDER.)
MULDER: It’s just my cell phone. Let me get it.
GARY: Put your hands behind your head.
(GARY sees MULDER’s gun. He takes out MULDER’s gun and hits MULDER across the face, splitting his lower lip. BACKUS attacks GARY from behind. GARY turns, shoots and kills BACKUS. Lots of crying from other employees. Cell phone keeps ringing. GARY pulls out MULDER’s badge. MULDER’s expression clearly says "I’m screwed." GARY looks at the badge and throws it to the floor.)
GARY: FBI? You happy now? You want to mess with me some more?
(GARY answers MULDER’s phone.)
AGENT RICE: (on phone, voice) Hello. Is anybody on the line? We heard gunfire. Is everyone all right?
GARY: (on phone) I just shot a zombie. Everybody thinks I killed him, but I didn’t.
AGENT RICE: (on phone, outside) Who am I speaking to?
GARY: (on phone) The guy that’s going to start killing actual people if you don’t put me on the damn TV! (hangs up)
AGENT RICE: (to SCULLY) I think he just shot a hostage.
SCULLY: (calm, but worried) Who?
AGENT RICE: He’s still asking for his 15 minutes of fame.
SCULLY: Give it to him.
(Two hostages drag BACKUS’ body away.)
GARY: Get it out of sight. You want to know why it jumped me like that?
MULDER: It’s not an it, Gary. It’s a he. It’s a man you just killed. What was his name?
MAN: Mark Backus.
GARY: Wrong! It stopped being Mark Backus when he turned it into a zombie …(looks at PINCUS) … and then he instructed it by means of mental telepathy to attack me … and so I shot it. I had no choice .. but it doesn’t matter because it was already dead. He wants us all like that – insects, not people .. mindless drones. He wants to take away who we are … to control us … so we’ll be his eyes and ears and spy on each other and help him do his dirty work.
PINCUS: Gary, if I’m the monster, what do you need all these people for? Why don’t you just let them all go?
GARY: You just wait till I put you on TV. Then they’ll see what you are.
(Cell phone rings again.)
MULDER: Answer the phone, Gary.
GARY: (answering phone) Dial and smile.
AGENT RICE: (on phone, voice) Okay. We’re sending you that cameraman -- Now just stay cool.
GARY: (on phone) Finally. Let’s do it.
(Outside, FBI has set up fake newsbroadcast for GARY)
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Warren, that is exactly what we’re hearing.
GARY: (to hostages) All you people put your butts against the door. Hurry it up! Go!
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) …. Going on here at Oak Brook Corporate …
GARY: (to hostages) You, get over by the counter. Move it!
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) … to an actual live feed from the ….
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) ….. that this person or people may have something important to say.
(Cameraman is now in the kitchen. Outside on a monitor, SCULLY sees MULDER, hands still behind his head, looking into the camera. GARY holds the rifle on MULDER.)
GARY: (to camera, referring to MULDER) You see who’s going to get hurt if you bust down this door?
(SCULLY very concerned.)
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) …. communication between the police and the people inside the building.
SCULLY: Is he getting this?
AGENT RICE: Closed circuit’s bouncing it back into the building. He thinks he’s going to be a star. (to cameraman, GARY can’t hear) All right. Show us the room.
(Inside, Camera begins to pan around the room.)
GARY: (voice) What are you doing?
CAMERAMAN: (voice) Hold on, my battery cable is twisted.
GARY: (voice) Well untwist it!
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) As to whether anybody was injured
AGENT RICE: (outside, looking at monitor) There. The exterior wall is clear. Entry team into position.
(Armored assault vehicle drives up into position.)
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) It sounded rapid – very rapid bursts. What we do know, however is that the police and the swat team on hand…
(SCULLY watches GARY and MULDER on the monitor.)
GARY: (to MULDER) Lie down on the floor. Do it.
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) …did not return fire. Warren, I’m getting a signal that the cameraman is in place …
GARY: All right. Put me on.
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) … and we’re about to switch to our live feed inside … Yes here it is. Here we go.
GARY: (clears his throat nervously, holds his rifle like a soldier) People of America … A monster walks among you. (to cameraman) Go. Pan over. Get up.
(Camera pans over to show PINCUS getting up off the floor.)
GARY: (raising gun) Now, I’ll show it to you .
(MULDER steps between PINCUS and GARY.)
MULDER: No, Gary.
GARY: Get out of the way.
MULDER: Don’t do this.
GARY: Get out of the way!
MULDER: Don’t do this, Gary.
(Lights go out.)
GARY: Get out of the way!
MULDER: Put down the rifle.
GARY: Get out of the way, now!
(Insect sounds. MULDER hears them, too.)
GARY: There. Look at it. Look at it!
(MULDER turns and instead of PINCUS, he sees the insect creature. MULDER stares in shock, then turns back to GARY.)
(Rumbling sound. FBI assault vehicle bursts through the wall. People scream. SWAT team runs in, and shoots Gary. Lots of screaming and crying. MULDER stares at PINCUS for a moment, then kneels down beside the dying GARY.)
GARY: (softly) Now, you know.
(Later, a body bag is zipped. SCULLY comes up to MULDER and takes his arm.)
SCULLY: (gently) You look exhausted.
MULDER: No, I’m fine.
SCULLY: Agent Rice has the situation in hand. Let’s get you out of here. Mulder?
(MULDER goes over to PINCUS who is getting his head bandaged.)
PINCUS: I can’t begin to thank you. I owe you my life. We all do.
MULDER: Do you have any idea why he fixated on you the way he did?
PINCUS: No, not at all. I feel like I barely even know the man. I mean, I try to be a good guy to work for.
MULDER: You mentioned another incident with another employee at a plant in Kansas City in 1994.
MULDER: Were you at that plant at that time?
PINCUS: Well, I wasn’t there when it happened, but yeah. Did I mention that?
(MULDER shakes his head "No." )
MULDER: What about Lakeland, Florida. Have you ever lived there?
PINCUS: I’ve been there. I have relatives there. Was there anything else?
SCULLY: Uh, no, Mr. Pincus. Thank you very much for your patience.
SCULLY: (to Mulder) What’s going on?
MULDER: (walking away from her) I don’t know.
(SCULLY worried, watches him.)
(X-files office. MULDER drawing red lines on a map connecting cities. Writes date 5/10/98. SCULLY enters. She is surprised to see MULDER.)
SCULLY: Mulder, why didn’t you take the day off?
MULDER: Close the door. There was a reason the phrase "hiding in the light" seemed so familiar to me. I found it or variations of it in five other X-Files. "Hiding in plain view" "Hiding in the open" "Lurking in the open." All to describe some sort of manifestation of evil which goes unnoticed be everyone except the claimant in each case.
SCULLY: Have you slept?
MULDER: Seven cities in all dating back ten years. VinylRight has offices within 50 miles of 4 of those cities. Greg Pincus has worked for VinylRight for ten years.
SCULLY: What exactly is it you think you have here?
MULDER: What if Gary Lambert was right?
SCULLY: Mulder, you’re not serious.
MULDER: Just bear with me for a moment. What if such a creature existed that could camouflage itself by clouding the minds of its victims? There are antecedents for it in nature. In the insect world, mantids are said to hypnotize their prey.
MULDER: What if it could induce a visual hallucination – a sort of temporary conversion disorder?
SCULLY: Well, what you’re describing would be more like some kind of a visual agnosia, an inability to recognize what’s before one’s eyes.
MULDER: Only Gary Lambert could see through it somehow, as could the others – maybe because of some heightened adrenaline level of maybe just because he knew where to look somehow.
SCULLY: Mulder, he was disturbed.
MULDER: Yeah, but did he see it because he was disturbed, or was he disturbed because he saw it?
SCULLY: He was mentally ill. This monster was a sick fantasy … a product of his dementia.
MULDER: I saw it, too. (worried, really asking her) Does that make me disturbed? Demented? Does that make me sick, too?
SCULLY: (pauses before answering) No. No, I mean, this … this kind of thing is not uncommon. You … you went through a terrible ordeal and sometimes people in close associations under tense conditions, the delusions of one can be passed on to the other.
MULDER: Folie A Deux? It’s not that, Scully. It’s not Helsinki Syndrome either. What I saw was real, and there may be a way to prove it.
MULDER: Lambert pointed out certain individuals he said had been victimized by Pincus, turned into zombies. The man he shot, Backus was one of them. If you would autopsy the body …
SCULLY: No. No, absolutely not.
MULDER: Scully, if this is all in my mind I would be very grateful if you would prove that.
SCULLY: Mulder, I am not going to serve the delusions of Gary Lambert, a madman, by giving credence to them.
MULDER: Then I’ll prove it without you. (gets up to leave the office)
SCULLY: Mulder …
(MULDER goes out the door.)
GARY LAMBERT RESIDENCE
OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS
(MULDER and AGENT RICE go up to the house.)
AGENT RICE: So, what are we looking for?
MULDER: I’ll know it when I see it.
(They find a map on the wall, same as MULDER’s, lines drawn on it, cities marked.)
AGENT RICE: What’s this about?
MULDER: Lambert was tracking his boss’s movements over the years.
AGENT RICE: Stalking him.
MULDER: Gathering evidence.
(AGENT RICE is disturbed by MULDER’s odd behavior. MULDER looks out the window and sees NANCY as a zombie standing in the yard. MULDER runs outside. AGENT RICE follows..)
AGENT RICE: What is it?
(Yard is empty.)
MULDER: Did you see her? You see where she went?
AGENT RICE: Who? You mind telling me what’s going on here?
(A car pulls away quickly. MULDER starts to run after it, then stops. PINCUS is driving. NANCY is passenger. They look normal but stare straight ahead.)
(SKINNER’s office. SCULLY enters.)
SCULLY: Sir? You wanted to see me?
SKINNER: Yes. I was hoping you could give me some insight into Agent Mulder’s recent behavior.
SKINNER: Why is he back in Illinois? I thought that case was closed.
SCULLY: Agent Mulder believes that there may be a connection between the Oak Brook incident and several other cases.
SKINNER: But you elected not to join him. The Chicago field office has been in contact with him. They describe his behavior as being erratic.
SCULLY: To the best of my knowledge, Agent Mulder is currently working on a legitimate investigation. I will join him in Illinois immediately.
SKINNER: Don’t you have an autopsy to do first? (SCULLY stares at him) This body Mulder sent to Quantico … Mark Backus, the shooting victim. You’re scheduled to do an examination.
Or didn’t you know that?
SCULLY: I’ll get right on it, sir. (starts to leave)
SKINNER: I there something you want to tell me, Scully?
SCULLY: (looks back at him) No, sir.
(SCULLY exits. SKINNER looks concerned.)
FBI FORENSIC PATHOLOGY LAB
(SCULLY and LAB GUY with BACKUS’ body.)
SCULLY: Let’s start with the photos. In fact, let’s just do photos. External exam only.
LAB GUY: This guy came a long way just to have his picture taken.
SCULLY: Knock yourself out.
(LAB GUY begins taking pictures as SCULLY turns away and dials her cell phone.)
LAB GUY: Case number 98-6522, Mark Backus 45-year-old Caucasian male. There are three one centimeter gunshot entry wounds on the left anterior chest wall with some burn stippling present.
SCULLY: (phone still ringing) Come on, Mulder.
LAB GUY: Judging from the corpse’s resolved rigor and fixed lividity as well as the decompositional bloating I’d place the time of death between 48 and 72 hours.
SCULLY: (turning, surprised) No. This man died late yesterday afternoon.
LAB GUY: Are you sure?
LAB GUY: Sure looks to me like he’s been dead longer than that.
(Body of MARK BACKUS does look quite decayed.)
(Night. Outside the house of another employee, GRETCHEN STARNS. PINCUS gets out of his car and goes around to the back of the house. MULDER drives up and follows him. No sign of PINCUS. MULDER stands on patio table and looks in a window. He sees GRETCHEN sitting on her couch watching an old Shirley Temple movie. Insect noises. MULDER sees the insect creature moving behind her. MULDER breaks the window. She screams. MULDER runs around to the front and kicks in the door. He sees GRETCHEN sitting still. She’s a zombie. Insect creature skitters on ceiling behind MULDER, he turns, but he doesn’t see it. Looking out a window, he sees it climb the wall to the roof and out of sight.)
(Next day. PINCUS’ office. GRETCHEN is being interviewed by SKINNER, MULDER and PINCUS.)
GRETCHEN: Suddenly, I became aware of this … this presence … and I could feel it creeping toward me. It was terrifying. And the next thing I knew… (looks at MULDER accusingly) … this madman’s inside my house. He breaks my window, kicks in the door and the whole time, he’s screaming about monsters -- I mean even worse than Gary.
SKINNER: Miss Starns, I apologize for this incident. I assure you it will receive my utmost attention.
PINCUS: Why don’t you take the rest of the week, Gretchen?
GRETCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Pincus. (looks again at MULDER) That man has no business carrying a gun, you ask me. (she leaves)
MULDER: (to PINCUS) You got to her, too, didn’t you?
SKINNER: Agent Mulder …
MULDER: I was too late. You changed her somehow. You infected her.
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, think very carefully about the next words that come out of your mouth. (to PINCUS) Once again, I apologize.
PINCUS: There’s no need. I’m well aware of the stress Agent Mulder has been under and I’m, uh, well, I still consider him a hero which is why I want to handle this privately.
SKINNER: We appreciate that.
PINCUS: For my part I’m happy to let this entire matter drop. I’m sure I can persuade Miss Starns to do the same, provided Agent Mulder is amenable.
MULDER: You don’t see what’s going on here.
SKINNER: (looking at MULDER directly) I’m afraid I do.
MULDER: (to PINCUS) Lambert knew your secret. He knew you were sucking the humanity out of these people, feeding on them!
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, that’s enough! I don’t want to hear another word out of you. If you care about your career, you’ll knock this crap off and apologize to this man because I will not …
(SKINNER continues to yell, but the sound of his voice fades. MULDER stares at PINCUS. He sees the insect creature.)
MULDER: (drawing his gun and pushing SKINNER out of the way) Get out of the way!
(SKINNER grabs MULDER and holds him down on the desk. MULDER struggles.)
MULDER: Look at it!
SKINNER: (holding MULDER down) Stop!
MULDER: (drops gun) Look at it! Look at it!
SKINNER: Relax! Stop struggling! Stop it!
(MULDER weakly gives up and stops struggling.)
CALUMET MERCY HOSPITAL
(MULDER is strapped down to a hospital bed. SCULLY pushes back the curtain and holds his hand which is strapped to the bed rail. SCULLY looks at him sadly.)
MULDER: Five years together, Scully. You must have seen this coming. (laughs softly) Did you examine Backus’ body? What did you find?
SCULLY: More or less what we thought we’d find.
MULDER: "More or less?" What is that supposed to mean?
SCULLY: The body showed signs of decomposition beyond what we expected to find which, in and of itself means nothing, really. Time of death is notoriously hard to quantify.
MULDER: Or, that Lambert was telling the truth and that man was dead before he was gunned down.
SCULLY: No, Mulder…
MULDER: Scully .. When that monster, Pincus – whatever the hell you want to call it – when he attacked that woman last night he did something to the back of her neck. H-he bit her there, or he injected something in there. There’s got to be evidence of that. You got to check for that.
SCULLY: Mulder, the case is over. There’s no more evidence to be gathered. There’s only my hope that you’ll be able to see past this delusion.
MULDER: (desperate) *You* have to be willing to see.
SCULLY: I wish it were that simple.
MULDER: Scully, you *have* to believe me. Nobody else on this whole damn planet does or ever will. You’re my one in … five billion.
(They look at each other, SCULLY still holding his hand.)
(Autopsy lab at Quantico.)
LAB GUY: Well, you just made it. I was about to ship him. Full autopsy this time?
SCULLY: No. Let’s flip him.
LAB GUY: Flip him over?
SCULLY: Yep. Give me a hand.
(SCULLY and the LAB GUY turn the body of MARK BACKUS over. SCULLY looks at the back of his neck, then shaves it with clippers. She sees three small puncture marks.)
(Night. MULDER’s hospital room. MULDER still strapped to the bed. NURSE prepares a LARGE! injection.)
MULDER: (innocently) We can do without these, huh? What do you say?
NURSE: (smiles) Sorry.
(MULDER winces as she gives him the injection.)
NURSE: There we go. (closes the bed curtain) Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.
(NURSE turns off light and leaves the room. MULDER starts to relax, then hears insect sounds. Through the curtain he sees the shadow of the insect creature in the window)
MULDER: Nurse. Nurse! Nurse! It’s here! Nurse! It’s here! (NURSE opens the curtain.)
It’s here! It’s at the window!
NURSE: What’s here?
MULDER: (trying to sound calm and rational) There is something … there is something at the window and it’s trying to get in here. Please unstrap me so that I can stop it.
NURSE: We’re three floors up. There’s nothing at the window.
MULDER: Undo my straps so I can check.
NURSE: (turning on light) I can show you …
MULDER: No, don’t! No! Just please …! Please.
NURSE: See? (taps closed window) Nothing’s going to get you.
MULDER: Okay. Just, uh … just untie me anyway please.
(NURSE looking spooky unlocks and opens window.)
MULDER: What are you doing?
NURSE: (sounding spooky) You just need some fresh air.
(As MULDER stares at her, NURSE tightens the straps holding MULDER and closes the curtain again.)
NURSE: I can’t be running in here all night, okay?
(Door closes as the NURSE leaves. Insect sounds begin again. MULDER begins to panic as insect creature crawls in his window and across the ceiling.)
MULDER: (yelling) Help! Somebody help!
(At NURSE’s station down the hall SCULLY is talking to the NURSE.)
NURSE: I’m very sorry, but it is after hours and Mr. Mulder is resting. I’ll have to ask you to come back in the morning.
SCULLY: (showing her badge) I’ve come a long way, and I know he wants to see me, so what do you say?
NURSE: I’m sorry. Really. It’s hospital policy.
(SCULLY stares at the NURSE, suddenly seeing her as a zombie. SCULLY runs down the hall, gun out, and kicks open MULDER’s door. She sees insect creature attacking MULDER in the dark room.)
MULDER: Help! Help! Help!
(SCULLY shoots at the insect creature next to MULDER. It jumps away and crashes through the window as she shoots it again. She looks out the window, but sees no sign of it. She looks back at MULDER.)
(SKINNER’s office. SCULLY alone with SKINNER.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully, I have to say I’m at a bit of a loss here. Do I infer correctly from this that you believe there’s some … merit to Agent Mulder’s claims?
SCULLY: I believe that Agent Mulder is mentally sound and fit for duty. Aside from that belief, I can only present to you the few hard facts that I’ve been able to gather. That, as per Agent Mulder’s assertions a toxin has been found to have been injected into the spine of the shooting victim, Mark Backus. As of yet, we’ve been unable to identify it. Furthermore, Gregory Pincus has apparently disappeared without a trace along with half a dozen other key witnesses integral to this investigation – among them, Agent Mulder’s nurse at the hospital and several VinylRight employees.
SKINNER: Men and women described by Mulder as zombies.
SCULLY: (sighs) I can personally vouch for the fact that there was an intruder in Agent Mulder’s hospital room.
SKINNER: Describe this intruder.
SCULLY: (pause) It was dark.
SKINNER: You must have gotten a glimpse. What did you see?
(Later, SCULLY joins MULDER at the elevator.)
MULDER: What did you tell him?
SCULLY: The truth … as well as I under stand it.
MULDER: Which is?
(They enter elevator.)
SCULLY: Folie A Deux. A madness shared by two.
(Elevator doors close.)
(Another telemarketing office. Camera pans across room to young male employees on headset.)
YOUNG EMPLOYEE: (on headset phone, nervous) Mr. Jaycox, may I take a few moments to tell you about the advantages of WeatherRight replacement windows? They keep down high heating and cooling costs. (he hears insect sounds) They beautify … They beautify and add value to your home as well as …. (he is very agitated, whispering now) Mr. Jaycox … It’s here!