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" Three Words" ~8x16~
ANNOUNCER: (CHRIS CARTER): Previously on The X-Files:
(Scenes from DeadAlive, 8X15)
(SCULLY standing with SKINNER at MULDER's grave, tears in her eyes.)
SCULLY: I can't truly believe I'm really standing here.
(ABSALOM talking to DOGGETT. Fishing boat finding BILLY MILES' body.)
ABSALOM: You found someone left for dead but who is not dead.
(DOGGETT talking to SKINNER about exhuming MULDER.)
DOGGETT: This is insanity. We saw the same body. Mulder wasn't just dead, he'd been dead for days.
(SCULLY talking in the hospital.)
SCULLY: Blood, electrolyte imbalances, a loss of brain function. I strongly believe that Mulder is infected with alien virus.
(SCULLY crying into MULDER's chest as he lies in the hospital room.)
DOGGETT: Somehow you healed these people. I want to know how you did it.
ABSALOM: You ask for my help but you refuse to believe in me.
(SCULLY in the operating room.)
SCULLY: If we can stabilize him and his temperature we can give him courses of antivirals. I think it could work.
(SCULLY sitting with MULDER in his hospital room. MULDER's hand twitches. SCULY gasps. New Episode Begins.)
(Early evening, but it is already dark. Behind the fence surrounding the White House, tourists are taking pictures. A mild-mannered looking MAN, mid-thirties, walks past them. He is watching the grounds intently. He is HOWARD SALT. He sees his opportunity. Nervously, he slips on a pair of black leather gloves and climbs over the fence. The TOURISTS watch as he begins running across the lawn to the White House. He is only a few yards from the front door when SECRET SERVICE GUARDS spot him. They surround him, guns in hand. HOWARD SALT puts his hands up, but still keeps trying to get to the front door as he pleads with the GUARDS.)
SECRET SERVICE GUARDS: Freeze. Freeze! Put your hands in the air! Freeze! Put your hands...
HOWARD SALT: I need to tell the president something. Need to tell... I need to tell the President something.
LEAD GUARD: Get down on the ground.
(Mass confusion. The GUARDS wrestle HOWARD SALT to the ground.)
HOWARD SALT: I need to see the President. He needs to know. Look, He needs to know. Aliens... aliens-- they're taking over the United States. He needs to know.
(The LEAD GUARD lowers his weapon, listening. In the struggle, HOWARD SALT's jacket has opened. There is a pistol inside.)
GUARD: He's got a weapon.
(HOWARD SALT removes the gun, muzzle down. It looks like he might be giving it up, but a GUARD grabs his wrist and the gun accidentally fires into HOWARD's stomach.)
GUARD: Get the weapon! Get the weapon!
LEAD GUARD: He's shot. He shot himself.
(HOWARD SALT moans in pain. The LEAD GUARD kneels next to him, concerned.)
LEAD GUARD: He's shot. He's been shot. Damn it. Stupid son of a bitch. What was he thinking?
ANOTHER GUARD: (off screen) Someone get a medic!
GUARD: (off screen) Get a medic!
(HOWARD SALT looks up at the LEAD GUARD and begs.)
HOWARD SALT: Please, the President... he needs to see this. Get this to him.
(HOWARD SALT hands the LEAD GUARD a homemade CD with the words "Fight the Future" handwritten on it. The LEAD GUARD stares at it.)
(MULDER's hospital room. MULDER sits alone in the room. He is wearing just a hospital gown. He has flashbacks of himself screaming during his torture aboard the spaceship: his cheeks being pulled, his nose invaded, his chest being cut open. He touches his scars. Flashback of another scream as his soft palette is being drilled. He swallows uncomfortably. Pregnant!SCULLY and DR. LIM enter the room.)
SCULLY: Mulder, you okay?
(MULDER is not okay, but takes a moment to collect himself, then turns to face SCULLY and the DOCTOR.)
MULDER: Yeah. For a guy who was, uh... in a coffin not too long ago I think I'm doing pretty damn good. I don't quite have my legs under me... yet.
(He has stood up and crossed to the other side of the room, uncomfortable looking at them. If the gown is open in the back, SCULLY should be getting a nice view.)
SCULLY: Well, you might want to consider sitting down when you hear what we have to tell you.
(MULDER sits, preparing for the worst news.)
SCULLY: Now, it's, uh... it's good news. It's... it's miraculous news.
(MULDER and SCULLY look at each other.)
DR. LIM: I can't possibly exaggerate the inconceivability of you sitting here. Let's be honest... your condition may be more incredible than your recovery.
SCULLY: Whatever neurological disorder you were suffering from, it's no longer detectable. After a course of transfusions and antivirals it has rid your body of the virus that was invading it. The scars on your face on your hands, on your feet, on your chest, they, they seem to be repairing themselves.
(MULDER touches the scars self-consciously.)
SCULLY: Mulder, you are in perfect health.
MULDER: (not sounding thrilled) Wow.
DR. LIM: How do you feel, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: Like Austin Powers.
(MULDER gives SCULLY a half-smile. She gives a small laugh, but neither finds the situation funny.)
(SCULLY and MULDER enter MULDER's apartment. SCULLY is carrying a medium- sized duffel bag.)
SCULLY: Must feel good to be home.
(SCULLY carries the duffel bag into the bedroom as MULDER looks around the apartment.)
MULDER: Something looks different.
(SCULLY has come back to the living room.)
SCULLY: (a little embarrassed) It's clean.
(MULDER chuckles, but without much humour. The situation is awkward.)
MULDER: Ah... that's it.
(SCULLY fingers her key ring as MULDER leans down and looks in the fish tank. SCULLY looks VERY pregnant.)
MULDER: Missing a molly.
SCULLY: Yeah. She wasn't as lucky as you.
(MULDER sits on his desk.)
SCULLY: Mulder... I don't know if you'll ever understand what it was like. First learning of your abduction... and then searching for you and finding you dead. And now to have you back and, uh...
(Her voice breaks.)
MULDER: Well, you act like you're surprised.
(MULDER chuckles at his own joke. SCULLY doesn't. MULDER stops laughing and looks away.)
SCULLY: I prayed a lot. And my prayers have been answered.
(MULDER looks at her stomach.)
MULDER: In more ways than one.
(SCULLY looks at her stomach.)
MULDER: I'm happy for you. I think I know... how much that means to you.
(SCULLY hesitates. It looks like she is about to cry. She starts to speak.)
MULDER: I'm sorry. I don't mean to be cold or ungrateful. I just... I have no idea where I fit in. Right now. I just, uh... I'm having a little trouble... processing... everything.
(SCULLY looks at him.)
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
PERKEY, WEST VIRGINIA
(Prison recreation room. One cheerful prisoner, MARION, is pushing a cart of books. ABSALOM is sitting by himself.)
MARION: It's Marion the Librarian, boys. I got the new Harry Potter.
(Other PRISONERS laugh as MARION holds up a book. MARION pushes the cart next to ABSALOM. MARION holds out a book and speaks respectfully to ABSALOM.)
MARION: Our Lord and Saviour. For you.
ABSALOM: I've got my books.
MARION: Expand your horizons.
ABSALOM: I know all I need to know.
MARION: Want to bet?
(ABSALOM looks up at the book that MARION is holding out. The title is: "The Coming Apocalypse.")
MARION: Put a rise in your Levi's.
(ABSALOM takes the book and opens it. Inside is a newspaper clipping about HOWARD SALT. "Census Worker Shot on White House Lawn." ABSALOM reads the article, tears in his eyes.)
(KERSH's office. KERSH is watching a news report [News 8] of the White House incident as SKINNER and DOGGETT enter.)
TV REPORTER: Again, our top story is the death of a man who jumped the fence at the White House last evening, his name now released. Howard Salt, a federal employee working on the US Census, got as far as the White House front door yesterday where he was stopped by security and shot accidentally by his own gun. According to a Secret Service spokesman, Salt appeared to be irrational and resisted arrest, shouting unspecified grievances against the U.S. Government and demanding to speak with the President. Co-workers describe him as likable and hardworking.
(KERSH turns off the TV and turns to face SKINNER and DOGGETT.)
KERSH: We never see them coming. People are so rarely what they seem. Gentlemen. Please, sit down.
(SKINNER and DOGGETT could not possibly look any unhappier to be in this office with this man, but they sit.)
KERSH: An application was submitted to me this morning by Agent Scully on behalf of our old friend, Fox Mulder, for reinstatement. I assume you both know about this.
(He hands copies of a file to both men.)
KERSH: To the X-Files.
DOGGETT: I thought Mulder just went home.
KERSH: Well, somebody's very anxious for him to get back to work. I wanted you both to see this before I deny the application.
(SKINNER opens the file.)
SKINNER: What is it?
KERSH: It's a review of the success rate of your X-Files since Agent Doggett joined the team. Damn impressive, John.
DOGGETT: Impressive, sir? The only thing impressive about my work on the X-Files is that I even know what's going on half the time.
KERSH: From this report, you and Agent Scully have had more arrests on percentage than she and Mulder over seven years. Take a look.
SKINNER: Well, that's not very fair to Agent Mulder. So many of his cases involve --
(KERSH finishes the sentence for him.)
(SKINNER glares at KERSH.)
KERSH: There lies the problem. The FBI isn't a place for personal crusades. I'm asking you both to make that understood … on my behalf.
DOGGETT: Well, you can't ask me to tell Mulder he's off the X-Files. It's his unit. He created it.
KERSH: I'm not asking you, John.
DOGGETT: You sent me to find Mulder. I found him. Don't charge me with driving a stake through his heart.
KERSH: Maybe you'd rather I close the X-Files. Then we'd both be getting what we want.
SKINNER: Let's go, Agent Doggett.
(DOGGETT doesn't move, glaring at Kersh.)
(DOGGETT follows SKINNER out of the office.)
(MULDER's apartment. Next day. MULDER is slouched comfortably on his couch, his feet up. He looks like he plans to sit there a while. SCULLY and SKINNER stand facing him. SCULLY is in a different outfit from the day before.)
MULDER: Kersh wants to put me behind a desk? That is not what Kersh wants.
SCULLY: No, I think Kersh wants you to quit, Mulder.
(SCULLY lowers her pregnant body onto the couch beside MULDER.)
SKINNER: It's more than that. He wants to punish you, to hurt you.
MULDER: And you by putting you in this position. And Agent Scully, for not giving up on me. Truth is, this is a bullet that was fired about eight years ago. It's a magic bullet that's been going round and round and right now it seems poised to hit me right in the back of the head.
SCULLY: Well, I think the question is, Mulder, are we going to sit here and let this happen?
MULDER: Scully, you're going to give birth in a couple months. You can talk as tough as you like but you know and I know and they know that in a little while you're going to have more important things than whether or not the X-Files remains open.
SKINNER: They're not closing the X-Files. Kersh aims to keep them open with Agent Doggett running them.
MULDER: Agent who?
(SCULLY avoids MULDER's eyes.)
SCULLY: I've had a partner for the last several months. He was assigned to help me find you.
MULDER: Mission accomplished. Does he know what he's doing at all, this guy?
SKINNER: About the paranormal? Not much.
MULDER: I see. Then maybe the question is not who fired this magic bullet, but whether or not it was a lone gunman.
SCULLY: Agent Doggett is above reproach, Mulder. He's being manoeuvred just like you.
MULDER: Well, good. At least he's manoeuvrable.
(MULDER gets up quickly and crosses to the bedroom.)
SKINNER: Where are you going?
MULDER: I'm going to get dressed. For the first time I feel like getting back to work.
(SKINNER looks at SCULLY.)
BASSETT COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
(Prison crew is working a roadside clean-up project. Several armed guards are on duty. ABSALOM is one of those digging. He makes sure the GUARDS are looking away, then bends down and hides an old nail studded piece of wood inside the sleeve of his orange jumpsuit. The transport vans arrive to take them back to the prison.)
PRISON ARMED GUARD: Wrap it up and fall in. Stay in line. Let's go.
(The PRISONERS all begin walking toward the vans. ABSALOM lets the piece of wood slide back down to his hand. He moves to a GUARD.)
PRISON ARMED GUARD: Get back in line—
(ABSALOM hits the GUARD with the nail-studded piece of wood and breaks away.)
PRISON ARMED GUARD: Hey, you!
(As ABSALOM runs, the other prisoners cheer.)
WOUNDED GUARD: Go get that son of a bitch.
PRISON ARMED GUARD: Nobody move! Stand down!
(The GUARDS in the van start the engine and sirens and begin chasing ABSALOM. A train is approaching. ABSALOM runs for the tracks. He crosses just before the train arrives. The van has to stop for the train. ABSALOM escapes.)
(DOGGETT house. Late evening. DOGGETT enters his house. He closes and locks the door, then sets his gun and holster on the table beside the door. He crosses to his desk and begins looking through the day's mail. He hears a click. He turns to see ABSALOM aiming the cocked gun at him.)
(DOGGETT house. ABSALOM still has the gun trained on DOGGETT. He pushes DOGGETT roughly to a chair.)
ABSALOM: Get over here. Over here now. Come on, sit down. Hands behind your back. Head down. Get over here. Over here now. Come on, sit down.
(DOGGETT does as ABSALOM says.)
ABSALOM: Hands behind your back. Head down. Down between your legs.
(ABSALOM feels the back of DOGGETT's neck.)
DOGGETT: Absalom. That's your name, right? What are you looking at?
ABSALOM: The back of your neck.
(ABSALOM sounds relieved to have found nothing.)
ABSALOM: Sit up, Agent Doggett. I had to make sure.
DOGGETT: Make sure of what?
ABSALOM: Make sure that you're still you.
DOGGETT: Yeah, I'm still me. So why don't you put that weapon down?
(ABSALOM shows DOGGETT the article about the White House shooting.)
ABSALOM: You see this? Huh, do you see it?
DOGGETT: "Man shot at the White House."
ABSALOM: They killed him for what he knew. Then they'll kill me, too.
DOGGETT: Not if you put the weapon down.
ABSALOM: No. They'll kill me anyway. I got one chance here. With you.
(DOGGETT starts to get up and make a grab for the gun.)
ABSALOM: Sit down. Didn't I tell you to sit down?
(DOGGETT backs down.)
DOGGETT: I'm not going anywhere.
ABSALOM: You're going with me. And I'm going to show you and you are going to spread the word. Doubting Thomas is going to spread the word.
DOGGETT: What word?
ABSALOM: The invasion has begun.
DOGGETT: What invasion?
ABSALOM: They're already here.
DOGGETT: Who's already here?
ABSALOM: Certain men have gone out among you and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city saying, "let us go, and serve other gods that ye have not known."
DOGGETT: I don't know what that means.
ABSALOM: I open my mouth... in parables. I utter things that... have been kept secret from the world.
(The telephone begins ringing.)
ABSALOM: On your knees, John Doggett.
FBI TASK FORCE BRIEFING ROOM
(Same time. FBI briefing room. SKINNER is leading the investigation into ABSALOM's escape. Other AGENTs listen and look at the slideshow. An image of ABSALOM is up, DOC # I –07294327. SCULLY is trying to call someone on her phone.)
SKINNER: He goes by the name Absalom. A self-styled prophet Agent Scully and I apprehended in Montana where he commanded members of a small UFO cult.
(SCULLY is getting no answer. She looks frustrated. The next slide is of a prison cell wall. The words "Fight the Future" and "Forever … " are hand written on the wall.)
SKINNER: These words were found on the wall of his cell after he escaped from a work detail 40 miles from the state prison. Now, we don't know they mean, but Absalom claimed to have knowledge of an alien invasion. There were also claims of healings of numerous abductees … that have been subjected to alien torture.
[CLOSED CAPTIONING HAD: "…who claimed to have been subjected to alien torture."]
(Slide image is of the abductees, including TERESA HOESE, that we saw at the Montana compound in This is Not Happening.)
(The AGENTS snicker. SKINNER is not amused.)
SKINNER: Claims that have never been substantiated... or refuted.
(SKINNER advances the slide to a brutal image of TERESA HOESE lying in a coma before she was healed. Her face is badly damaged. SCULLY looks away. SKINNER moves the slide again to an image of ABSALOM.)
SKINNER: But evidence of torture was real. Now, the only way we're going to get answers is to bring this guy in. Just know the man that you're looking for is dangerous. He's a felon, and he is capable of physical violence. All right, that's it.
(The AGENTS go their separate ways. SKINNER crosses to SCULLY who is still holding her phone.)
SKINNER: Where the hell is Agent Doggett?
SCULLY: I can't reach him.
(She clicks off her phone.)
SKINNER: I can't run this thing, Agent Scully. This is obviously an X-Files case.
SCULLY: I know. And I'm all over it. I will find him.
(SCULLY's phone beeps. She looks at the display.)
SCULLY: I don't know if this is going to make you feel any better.
(She shows SKINNER her phone. The message reads: "Where is everybody? Come on down. Mulder.")
(X-Files office. SCULLY and SKINNER enter. MULDER, dressed in one of his suits, is sitting in his chair, his feet up on the desk. He is looking at a copy of the photo of the abductees. He looks up at them happily. A picture of SAMANTHA is on the desk.)
SCULLY: (warning tone) Mulder...
MULDER: Who says you can't go home again?
SCULLY: What are you doing here?
MULDER: What's it look like?
SKINNER: It looks like you want to give them real ammunition to use on you, that's what it looks like.
MULDER: Hey, I am just down here visiting my buds. Where is this Agent Doggett anyway? What kind of hours does he keep?
SCULLY: Please, you do not want to stir that up right now.
SKINNER: Because we have a manhunt in progress and I want Agent Doggett running it.
(MULDER holds up the photo, tauntingly.)
MULDER: Anything to do with this? This Absalom abductee class picture?
[Closed Captioning calls it a "group photo?"]
SCULLY: Yes... It does. Why?
MULDER: Because I noticed that the man who was shot on the White House lawn is one of the men in that photograph. Top right hand corner. In profile. Howard Salt, if I'm not mistaken.
(SCULLY looks at the photo, glances resignedly at SKINNER, then back to MULDER.)
SCULLY: He's right. You're right.
MULDER: Consider that a freebie. The next one's going to cost you.
SKINNER: Why? What else do you know?
MULDER: Oh, I don't know anything. But you know me, I got a real big hunch. This Howard Salt was a multiple alien abductee, worked for the U.S. Census Bureau. Wanted to get word to the President, unspecified grievances. What do you want to bet those grievances were?
SCULLY: You think he knew something?
MULDER: I think they killed him for it.
SKINNER: The man jumped the White House fence. He had a gun.
MULDER: Once again, I'm a betting man. I'm betting he had more than that.
SCULLY: Mulder, you make it sound like this was a conspiracy.
MULDER: Ooh. There's that word again.
SKINNER: You're being paranoid, Mulder. Even for you.
MULDER: Do you want to hear something really paranoid? The FBI gets its way, there's going to be nobody down here to ask the paranoid questions. Nobody to find those faces in those photographs. Surely not this Agent Doggett.
(DOGGETT house. DOGGETT is lying on his stomach as ABSALOM duct-tapes the gun to his back.)
DOGGETT: Just what do you have in mind, if you don't mind my asking? It's my head that's going to get blown off if there's a screw up.
ABSALOM: We're going to get what that man at the White House died for.
DOGGETT: To get it? To get it where?
ABSALOM: You just concentrate on not screwing up, Agent Doggett.
(ABSALOM cocks the gun. DOGGETT flinches.)
ABSALOM: Either way, you and I are going to become overnight sensations.
FBI EVIDENCE ROOM
(MULDER and SCULLY enter an evidence storage room. SCULLY is not happy about it.)
SCULLY: Mulder, I know you know this, but if anything leaves this room you could be in violation of the law.
(MULDER is looking around the dark room.)
MULDER: Really? When I was dead I was hoping maybe they changed the rules.
SCULLY: Mulder, just being here could be used by Kersh as cause for dismissal.
MULDER: Then why don't you shut the door so he doesn't find out.
(After a moment, SCULLY closes the door. MULDER is cutting the plastic off of a stack of boxes.)
SCULLY: I just don't know what you're hoping to find in Howard Salt's personal effects.
MULDER: Neither do I, really. But maybe it's like Howard Salt's picture. I'll know it when I see it.
SCULLY: So you'll risk the consequences even though there may be nothing here?
MULDER: You don't get it, do you, Scully? The man shot at the White House, the prison escapee, there's something bubbling to the surface here. I want to know what it is.
SCULLY: Mulder, you've been through an ordeal that defies all logical explanation. How can you think that these two men have the answers when they defy all standard of credibility?
(MULDER has been looking through files from the boxes. He pulls out a laptop and boots it up.)
MULDER: Since when has an X-File not defied a certain standard of credibility? At least that's the way it used to work.
(MULDER gives SCULLY a challenging look. She meets his gaze.)
MULDER: Look, Scully, I need to make sense of what happened to me. So that I can stop it. Because if I can't stop it, it could happen to anyone. It could happen to you. And who's to say it's going to stop there?
SCULLY: Mulder, if you go down the X-Files will go down, too. I mean, theoretically, they could put you in prison for what you're doing here.
MULDER: Yeah, well, compared to where I just was, prison would be a Princess cruise.
(SCULLY sighs and starts for the door. MULDER sees something on the laptop. [CARRIK'S HUSBAND: It is a Macromedia Flash file made to look like some hybrid operating system known only to the FBI.] )
MULDER: Ho. Hey. What the hell is this?
(SCULLY listens to him. Lots of numbers.)
MULDER: The entire hard drive is taken up with this. Ten gigabytes of memory.
(Her curiosity piqued, SCULLY walks back over and looks at the screen,)
SCULLY: It's been encrypted.
(MULDER closes the laptop and removes the hard drive.)
SCULLY: What are you doing?
MULDER: I'm going to book myself on that Princess cruise.
SCULLY: I'll book it for you.
(SCULLY takes the drive and the responsibility from him. With a smile, he covers up the boxes again and follows her out of the room.)
FEDERAL STATISTICS CENTER
CRYSTAL CITY, VIRGINIA
(A car pulls up in front of a secured government installation. In a monitor we see DOGGETT, closely followed by ABSALOM, making their way to the Guard's station. A GUARD looks at them suspiciously.)
FBI GUARD ON INTERCOM: State your name and your business.
DOGGETT: Special Agent John Doggett, FBI.
(DOGGETT notes the security features in place. The GUARD types in DOGGETT's name and gets his picture and record. He buzzes open the door, but is still suspicious. ABSALOM keeps his hand poised at the middle of DOGGETT's back. As they pass, the GUARD looks at an infrared image. He sees the gun resting against DOGGETT's back. The GUARD picks up the phone to call security.)
(DOGGETT and ABSALOM are walking down a hall.)
DOGGETT: I hope you know I got no idea where I'm going down here.
ABSALOM: I just need access to wherever they compile all the available data from the current US census.
DOGGETT: And then what?
ABSALOM: Then you pick up the phone, you tell the FBI why you aren't coming to work until somebody pays us some serious attention.
DOGGETT: Just so you're not surprised, we might not make it that far. We passed through an x-ray scanner on the way in here back at the gate.
ABSALOM: Well, you better hope we make it. I'd hate to see you die in vain.
DOGGETT: That's sort of in your hands, huh? So just in case how about you tell me what's in this facility that's worth me dying for.
ABSALOM: It's all in the census data.
ABSALOM: Proof. That they're already here. That they're already among us.
(They have arrived at a glass walled white room containing two computer stations and several large server banks. ABSALOM tries to open the door. It is locked.)
ABSALOM: The proof is in there.
(Suddenly, a SWAT team enters the corridor. ABSALOM grabs DOGGETT tightly, holding the gun on his back. Very tense moment.)
ABSALOM: I got a loaded gun pointed at this man's head! He's an FBI Agent!
DOGGETT: Listen to him! Just back off!
ABSALOM: I'll pull the trigger!
(The SWAT team moves in closer.)
DOGGETT: Listen to the man!
ABSALOM: I'll pull it! Back off!
DOGGETT: Lower your weapons! Listen to him!
(One of the SWAT TEAM MEMBERS shoots ABSALOM in the head. The bullet leaves a welt on DOGGETT's right cheek. The cheek on his face, that is. DOGGETT watches in shock as ABSALOM's now dead body slides to the floor, a surprised expression on the face. DOGGETT stares at the SWAT TEAM MEMBERS.)
(SKINNER's office. DOGGETT is sitting in one of the comfy chairs away from the desk. He has a nasty wound on his right cheek where the bullet grazed him.)
SKINNER: It may not be the best way but it's certainly one way to catch an escaped convict. I'll give you that, Agent Doggett.
DOGGETT: I'd just as soon stick to the old-fashioned way, sir. Shot was a little too close for comfort.
SKINNER: You say this man claimed the U.S. Census Bureau had data information that he was after that connects to this man who was shot on the White House lawn?
DOGGETT: Proof, he said, that they were here among us … whoever they are.
(The door opens and MULDER enters.)
SKINNER: Agent Mulder.
MULDER: Is this John Doggett? You Agent Doggett?
(DOGGETT stands up to greet MULDER. MULDER shoves him roughly back down into the chair.)
MULDER: I hope you're not commending him as a hero for what he did …
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, back off.
(SKINNER grabs MULDER and pushes him away from DOGGETT.)
MULDER: … in this thing, 'cause he's not.
SKINNER: Back off! I'm not about to referee a boxing match.
(DOGGETT is confused and uncomfortably amused.)
DOGGETT: Just what's the problem here?
MULDER: The problem? You occupy an office that used to be devoted to finding the truth and now you're busy burying it. That's the problem.
DOGGETT: Whoa, you must've got your wires crossed somewhere, Agent Mulder.
MULDER: You got that man killed.
DOGGETT: I got him killed?
MULDER: Because of what he knew. What he was going to expose.
DOGGETT: You see this, Agent Mulder?
(DOGGETT points to the bullet wound on his cheek.)
MULDER: I see you sitting there, Agent Doggett. That's good enough for me.
(With a last look to SKINNER, the pissing contest over for now, MULDER turns and goes back out the door he came in. SKINNER is embarrassed, unsure what to say.)
SKINNER: You've got to understand what he's been through. I mean, now he's back and you're...
(Without a word, DOGGETT gets up and leaves through the other door. SKINNER sighs, looking at both closed doors.)
(SCULLY's apartment. FROHIKE opens the door for MULDER. They smile at each other.)
FROHIKE: You know, it's really not fair. You've been dead for six months and you still look better than me. But not by much.
(FROHIKE hugs him tightly around the waist. MULDER embraces him back and laughs softly.)
MULDER: Melvin. I'd be a whole lot happier to see you if you'd just take your hands off my ass.
(Embarrassed, FROHIKE lets go and steps back.)
(BYERS and LANGLY cross the room to greet MULDER.)
BYERS: I think it goes without saying that we're all, uh, tremendously relieved.
LANGLY: And not just because we got big questions about your involvement in a certain … blessed event.
(LANGLY glances over at Pregnant!SCULLY. Surprised, MULDER looks at SCULLY. Apparently ignoring them, SCULLY indicates the laptop on her table.)
SCULLY: So much for playing a hunch, Mulder. The, uh, Gunmen were able to decrypt the data that you found on Howard Salt's hard drive. It was a series of file directories that were downloaded the day that he died.
MULDER: Downloaded from where?
LANGLY: The FSC, the Federal Statistics Center.
BYERS: A government information bank used by the U.S. Census Bureau where your Mr. H. Salt worked.
MULDER: All right, what are you waiting for, boys? Get cracking.
FROHIKE: Unless you think we're all idiots, it's only Langly who's the idiot.
LANGLY: Don't make like it's my hacking skills. I've never seen such a radical counterdefensive.
SCULLY: Fifteen minutes after Howard Salt was shot at the White House, firewalls went up on every data bank at that very facility.
MULDER: Well, why do that?
(FROHIKE and SCULLY look at each other. MULDER smiles.)
MULDER: Because I'm right. Because they would kill to protect what's in those files.
BYERS: Unless you got a password we don't see any way short of that of getting a hold of this data.
LANGLY: And the thing is, even if you have a pass code you still have to break into the FSC just to use it. We all agree, you're going to have to let this one go.
MULDER: Oh. I see.
(GUNMEN look uncomfortable. MULDER looks directly at SCULLY.)
MULDER: Somebody's been doing a little campaigning for her cause.
(Stung, SCULLY looks away.)
MULDER: Well, just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win.
(SCULLY meets MULDER's smug look.)
(Rainy conditions at a track field. DOGGETT is wearing a trench coat and carrying an umbrella. KNOWLE ROHRER is jogging in a hooded track suit. CarriK has a Deep Throat flashback. He stops at a water fountain, gets a drink and spits part of it out as DOGGETT joins him.)
KNOWLE ROHRER: Your name came up today, John. Folks are all worked up. They say you dodged a bullet.
(Casually, DOGGETT leans down and gets a drink from the fountain. This is a covert meeting.)
DOGGETT: You can't dodge what you don't see coming, Knowle, that's for sure.
KNOWLE ROHRER: That should tell you something about who you're dealing with.
DOGGETT: Who am I dealing with? NSA? Secret Service? Military? Who?
KNOWLE ROHRER: You know better than that, John.
DOGGETT: They shot the man in cold blood. Didn't even stop to ask him his name.
KNOWLE ROHRER: The way I hear it he made it too easy. Taking a federal agent hostage in a government facility.
DOGGETT: They'd have shot him anyway.
(A FEMALE JOGGER runs by.)
KNOWLE ROHRER: Without a doubt.
KNOWLE ROHRER: You and I have been friends a long time, John. I tell you things. But this is a whole other level.
DOGGETT: Don't give me that doublespeak crap, Knowle. I'm being accused.
KNOWLE ROHRER: Accused? Of what?
DOGGETT: Of being used to get that man killed.
KNOWLE ROHRER: Well, that's insane.
DOGGETT: Oh, is it? Maybe I am being used, and I just don't know it. That's what I want to know from you.
KNOWLE ROHRER: I can't tell you that, John. But I can tell you something. One thing you already know. These men are very good shots.
DOGGETT: What don't I know?
KNOWLE ROHRER: Three words.
(Night. Outside SCULLY's apartment building. As SCULLY walks out of the building and hails a cab, DOGGETT crosses over to her.)
DOGGETT: Hold up!
SCULLY: Agent Doggett?
SCULLY: (to the CABBIE) Could you wait minute?
DOGGETT: Agent Scully, I'm sorry to surprise you. I don't mean to.
SCULLY: What are you doing here at is hour? You're freezing cold.
DOGGETT: I got something for Agent Mulder only I can't go up there. I don't know him, and I know he doesn't trust me so I'm going to ask you to get it to him.
SCULLY: What do you have to give him?
DOGGETT: Information about this escaped convict who took me hostage. One of his disciples was the man shot on the White House lawn.
SCULLY: Oh, yeah, Agent Mulder knows that already.
DOGGETT: What he doesn't know is that man had a computer diskette that he was trying to get to the President.
SCULLY: Who gave you this information?
DOGGETT: I can't tell you that but what I can tell you is … is this diskette was labeled with a pass code.
SCULLY: You have this, this password?
DOGGETT: It's three words: "Fight the Future."
(Movie theme plays. SCULLY sighs, knowing what is to come.)
(CUT TO: Short time later. SCULLY enters her apartment. MULDER is sitting on the sofa, resting. SCULLY looks upset.)
MULDER: Scully, what are you doing back? Did something just happen?
SCULLY: I'm, um... I'm not exactly sure I should tell you, Mulder.
MULDER: Scully, if you know something that can get us moving forward again, you need to tell me.
(SCULLY looks up at him. She is debating what to do, on the verge of breaking.)
(DOGGETT house. Someone is knocking at the front door. DOGGETT comes down the stairs to the door, gun in hand. No more gun left on the table beside the door!)
DOGGETT: Yeah, who is it?
SKINNER: It's Skinner. Open up, Agent Doggett.
(DOGGETT opens the door for SKINNER.)
DOGGETT: What're you doing here?
SKINNER: I got a call from Agent Scully. She's at her apartment, completely beside herself.
DOGGETT: Over what?
SKINNER: Mulder somehow got hold of a computer password to a database filled with secrets.
DOGGETT: What kind of secrets?
SKINNER: Names of people the federal government is tracking using the US census. Names of people who have a certain genetic profile. It's the same information he believes the shooter at the White House knew about. Also the guy that took you hostage.
DOGGETT: You said Scully was upset.
SKINNER: That Mulder was going to act on this information in some way that... What? You know about this?
DOGGETT: I gave Scully the password.
SKINNER: Where did you get it?
DOGGETT: I can't tell you that.
SKINNER: You know, I'm starting to wonder about you, too, John. Just whose side you are working on here.
DOGGETT: I'm starting to wonder about that myself. You said Scully's at her apartment. What's the number there?
SKINNER: That's why I'm here. I can't get a hold of them-- either one of them-- and I have no idea where they went.
(DOGGETT grabs his jacket.)
SKINNER: Where are you going?
DOGGETT: I can't tell you that, either. If I open up my mouth, I put you at risk. You're going to have to trust me on this.
(DOGGET leaves the house.)
FEDERAL STATISTICS CENTER
CRYSTAL CITY, VIRGINIA
(Night. SCULLY is waiting in the driver's seat of her car, engine running. She is looking intently at the building next to her. She is frustrated and worried.)
SCULLY: (softly) Oh, man.
(Suddenly, DOGGETT taps at her window. Startled, she lowers the window.)
SCULLY: What are you doing here?
DOGGETT: Where's Agent Mulder?
SCULLY: He wouldn't listen to me.
DOGGETT: Get out of here. Get going.
(SCULLY shuts off the engine.)
SCULLY: I can't do that to him.
(DOGGETT reaches in the car and cranks the engine back on.)
DOGGETT: Then do it for yourself. Look... I think I may have set you up.
DOGGETT: You just get out of here now and I'll explain it to you later.
SCULLY: No. You explain it to me now. Set us up how, and with whom?
DOGGETT: The same men that shoot first and ask questions later.
SCULLY: Agent Doggett!
(DOGGETT is gone, running toward the building.)
(Inside the compound, MULDER is walking toward the Guard House. He is wearing a mike and earpiece.)
MULDER: (on radio) Frohike? Langly? Byers? Let's go. I'm dying out here.
FROHIKE: (on radio) Well, let us just finish our cappuccino and biscotti, and we'll see what we can do.
(The GUNMEN are dangling by wires and harnesses in what looks like the wall next to the bathroom in the Matrix. Instead of plumbing, however, this wall apparently contains every important security cable in the complex.)
BYERS: (on radio) You can start walking now, Mulder.
MULDER: (on radio) Is the system bypassed?
LANGLY: You'll know if it's not.
MULDER: (on radio) Great.
(While the GUARD watches his monitors, MULDER runs past the windows and kneels down next to the door.)
LANGLY: (on radio) We hijacked the feed from the surveillance cameras.
BYERS: (on radio) What the guard is seeing on his monitors are still-frames from ten minutes ago.]
(A phone rings. The GUARD goes to answer it.)
FROHIKE: (on radio) Smile, buddy boy. The eye in the sky is watching.
LANGLY: (on radio) We'll be watching Mulder get busted if I don't find that override circuit.
LANGLY: This wiring must have been colour-coded by Helen Keller.]
BYERS: (on radio) Everything's under control, Mulder. Just hold tight.
LANGLY: (on radio) Okay, got it!
(The GUNMEN's monitor shows a sector cleared. The door near MULDER clicks open.)
FROHIKE: (on radio) And voila!
(MULDER enters the compound and begins walking down the hallway. DOGGETT now arrives and after looking around, follows MULDER through the door. The GUARD is still away.)
MULDER: (on radio) Come on, guys. I'm on autopilot here.
FROHIKE: (on radio) Go left, Mulder. There should be a pair of glass doors up about a hundred yards up.
BYERS: (on radio) According to our information, those doors will lead you straight into the databanks.
BYERS: (on radio) According to our information, those doors will lead you straight into the inner sanctum - the FCS databank.]
(MULDER runs to the doors. They are locked.)
MULDER: (on radio) Hey, who's working on the locks, fellas?
FROHIKE: (on radio) Stand by. There you go.
(The doors open and MULDER enters the white room and closes the door behind him..)
LANGLY: (on radio) Mulder, there ought to be two work stations in the middle of the room. Either one will give you access to the data.
LANGLY: … so I say log on and start downloading.
BYERS: (on radio) In the meantime, we'll try and keep the firewall disabled so you can transmit the data out.]
(MULDER sits at one of the stations. When the computer asks for the security code, he types in "Fight the Future." Lots and lots of files come up on the screen.)
MULDER: Let's do some e-mailing.
(DOGGETT has arrived and is pounding on the glass doors to the room. MULDER ignores him and keeps accessing the computer files.)
DOGGETT: Agent Mulder, get out of there! Agent Mulder!
(DOGGETT keeps knocking.)
FROHIKE: (on radio) Mulder? What the hell's that?
DOGGETT: Your life's in danger if you don't get out now.
MULDER: (on radio) Just a fly buzzing around the window.
(Suddenly, one of the glass door shatters as DOGGETT shoots it. MULDER stares in surprise as DOGGETT walks over to him. The GUNMEN swing around on their cables grabbing their ears in pain from the shock of the gunshot over the radio headsets. Very funny.)
DOGGETT: Agent Mulder... get out. You're coming with me. I'm here to save you, whatever you may think.
MULDER: I think you're trying to keep this information from ever seeing the light of day, just like you did once before, Agent Doggett. That's what I think.
DOGGETT: Agent Mulder, I don't even know what that information is.
MULDER: Well, you're about to, along with a lot of other people. There going to learn that they've been targeted because of their genetic profiles for abduction and replacement by alien facsimiles. What do you say we start off with the Washington Post, huh?
DOGGETT: You can believe whatever you want, but that information is never going to make it out of here.
MULDER: What are you going to do, shoot me?
(Outside in her car, SCULLY sees several military jeeps arrive. She takes out her cell phone and dials a number. One of the GUNMEN's phones ring. They all answer.)
GUNMEN: (on phone) Hello.
SCULLY: (on phone) Something's wrong.
(It was BYERS' phone. The others hang up. You would think they, of all people, would have programmed different rings for each phone, lol.)
BYERS: (on phone) What are you talking about?
SCULLY: (on phone) I think we've been set up. You have to get Mulder out of there.
BYERS: (on phone) Right now that's basically impossible.
(FROHIKE sees the jeeps arriving.)
FROHIKE: (on radio) Uh-oh. Mulder? You'd better start typing fast.
MULDER: (on radio) Why?
FROHIKE: (on radio) The cavalry just arrived.
(MULDER turns angrily to DOGGETT.)
MULDER: You son of a bitch. You set me up.
(The SOLDIERS are moving in.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Get him out of there, Gunmen.
LANGLY: (on radio) We're working on it.
DOGGETT: Come on, Agent Mulder.
(DOGGETT grabs MULDER's arm.)
MULDER: Hey, get off of me.
(MULDER pushes him away and sits back down at the terminal.)
DOGGETT: If I set you up, I wouldn't be here trying to convince you to go. They're coming to kill you. They're going to kill me, too. That's the set up.
LANGLY: (on radio) Mulder, I think you better listen to the man. They got the data trapped and I can't get it uploaded let alone start transmission.
(On LANGLY's screen, we see that the data is not being uploaded.)
SCULLY: (on phone, worried) What is happening, Byers?
BYERS: (on phone) I'm trying to figure that out. (on radio) Mulder, are you there?
MULDER: (on radio, sounding depressed, glaring at DOGGETT) Yeah, I'm here.
BYERS: (on radio) It's look like there's really, uh... no good way out of there. Uh... except...
MULDER: (on radio) Except what?!
(The SOLDIERS are very close.)
BYERS: (on radio) It's a long shot, but, uh... worth a try, especially given the alternative.
(MULDER looks intently at DOGGETT as he listens to BYERS.)
BYERS: (on radio) Here's what you do.
(The SOLDIERS enter the white computer room. It is deserted. They begin searching around the machines. Camera pans up to show a ceiling tile being carefully lowered back into place.)
(Day. Track field. KNOWLE ROHRER finishes a run and takes a long drink from the water fountain. Breathing heavily, he pulls off his hooded sweatshirt exposing the tank top underneath. He looks at DOGGETT in surprise.)
DOGGETT: You've got two minutes, Knowle. Two minutes to give me one good reason why I shouldn't put your name in lights. Why I shouldn't expose you for the lying bastard you are.
KNOWLE ROHRER: Hey, John, nice knowing you.
(KNOWLE ROHRER starts to walk away.)
DOGGETT: You see that man across the park?
(SKINNER is walking toward them and stops a few yards away.)
DOGGETT: You walk, that man puts your name on all the wrong desks.
KNOWLE ROHRER: I get it John. You asked me for information, I tell you what I can. What you do with it is out of my hands.
DOGGETT: You knew what I would do with it. That's when you gave it to me.
KNOWLE ROHRER: You expose me and then what? Where are you going to get your answers? 'Cause you're standing on the tip of the iceberg, my friend.
DOGGETT: You're full of crap.
KNOWLE ROHRER: Am I? What is it you think those men were trying to protect? Census data? You need me worse than you know. DOGGETT: I don't need someone using me to get another man killed.
KNOWLE ROHRER: You think this about Mulder. It's about the truth, John.
DOGGETT: What truth?
KNOWLE ROHRER: You got it all right in front of you. It's all in the X-Files. I'm just one man trying to point you in the right direction.
(DOGGETT walks away to join SKINNER. As KNOWLE ROHRER leans down for another drink, we see a couple of strange lumps on his neck. He looks after DOGGETT and SKINNER with an odd smile on his face.)
[TO BE CONTINUED ...]