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(Night. A windy rural location. Car draws up outside house. A man gets out. Inside the house there's a monitoring machine, bleeping regularly and showing red figures: 62, changing to 63. DrWeesh adds that this is measuring somebody's heartrate.)
YOUNG MAN: It's freezing out there.
OLDER MAN: You weren't gone long.
(The YOUNG MAN hangs up his coat and goes to the fire.)
OLDER MAN: Did you do what I asked?
YOUNG MAN: Yes.
OLDER MAN: It's important, Gary. Promise me you did it.
YOUNG MAN: You're sick, Dad. You should be in a hospital not stuck out here in the middle of nowhere. You don't owe this guy Stites anything.
OLDER MAN: It's not about owing.
YOUNG MAN: I freeze my butt off, checking and re-checking the locks every night. For what?
OLDER MAN: You don't need to know.
YOUNG MAN: Yeah, that's for sure. I'm gonna fix some dinner.
(The YOUNG MAN leaves the room.)
(The camera looks down from above on the OLDER MAN in his wheelchair. The fire flares, the bleeping grows faster, he notices there's a window open, the read-out on the monitor shows 76 and rising rapidly - 79, 83. The OLDER MAN seems to be suffering some kind of seizure. The bleeping increases to a very fast rate.)
(The camera pans down from over the OLDER MAN to around and to the side of him. He's having trouble breathing.)
OLDER MAN: Oh, Lord.
(Something lunges at the OLD MAN.)
(CUT TO: Kitchen. A microwave bleeps. The YOUNG MAN takes out a package. Then hears the monitor emitting a continuous *flatline* tone.)
YOUNG MAN: Oh, God.
(In main room he sees the wheelchair overturned, the wheel spinning)
YOUNG MAN: Dad?
(He switches off the monitor. Looks around. Sees open door. Goes slowly towards it. Hears something behind him. We see a slithery, snake-like creature, or the tail of a slithery creature. Something suddenly lunges towards him, too fast to recognize. We see razor sharp teeth just as the picture fades to the opening credits.)
(FBI Basement Office. SCULLY is collecting her things and putting them in a box. She picks up the fused coins from the Dreamland I and II episodes (6X04/6X05) and looks at it with a smile. Then she picks up Queequeg's bone-shaped collar tag. She is sad.)
DOGGETT: Agent Scully.
(SCULLY conceals her sadness and smiles brightly at DOGGETT.)
DOGGETT: Can I take your coat?
SCULLY: I'm not staying, Agent Doggett. My doctor told me to take my maternity leave. In fact, she insisted on it.
DOGGETT: That's not bad, Agent Scully, you could use some time for yourself.
(SCULLY picks up the box and walks towards DOGGETT. She is holding something in her hand.)
DOGGETT: What is it?
SCULLY: It's a medallion commemorating the Apollo 11 space flight. I'd like to give this to you, Agent Doggett.
(He looks at it. It's about 2 inches in diameter, with a gold edge. The picture is of the moon surface with an eagle touching down, and the earth in the distance.)
SCULLY: Agent Mulder gave it to me a few years back. It symbolizes team-work, partnership. (DOGGETT looks at the reverse of the medallion. Inscribed are the words "Commemorating Apollo 11 and it's mission to the moon. July 1969"). It means no-one gets there alone. And after this past year and everything that we've been through, it just, (pauses) I wouldn't be here without you.
(SCULLY embraces DOGGETT and they hug.)
(SCULLY nods a couple of times and moves towards the door.)
DOGGETT: Agent Scully. This pregnancy leave - it's just a leave, right? I mean, you are coming back eventually?
(SCULLY smiles, a warm yet wistful smile, and walks out the door.)
(DOGGETT looks unsure, looks around the office - the "I Want to Believe" poster is still there on the wall.)
(Then he hears footsteps and whirls around towards the door, smiling.)
DOGGETT: You're not gone five minutes, Agent Scully, and already I'm starting to feel a stranger in my own off ...
(his voice trails off as he sees the person who is standing in the doorway.)
HARRISON: I'm sorry?
DOGGETT: Can I help you?
HARRISON: I'm here to help you, actually. I'm Leyla Harrison. I've been looking forward to meeting you.
HARRISON: I've got a case here. An X-File, I think. At least the local PD can't explain it. A murder last night in up-state New York. I've booked us on a flight to Buffalo, Niagara. Here's the crime report.
DOGGETT: I'm sorry, Ms. Harrison. Who are you?
HARRISON: (Smiling) Oh, gosh. They didn't tell you? This is so embarrassing. I, uh, I'm your new partner.
ELLICOT, NEW YORK
(Overhead shot of car drawing up. DOGGETT gets out - as does HARRISON. She gets a clipboard out of her shoulder bag. We see the Coroner's van. A body is transported on a gurney - we see it's the corpse of the OLDER MAN)
HARRISON: I've asked that the body be sent to DC. It was found in the woods about 50 yards beyond the house. Maybe we should begin there.
DOGGETT: Let's begin inside the house.
HARRISON: OK then.
(CUT TO: Inside house. DOGGETT ducks under police tape and puts on gloves. HARRISON reads from a file.)
HARRISON: The deceased is Arlen Sacks, aged 72, caretaker for the estate on which this house is situated. There were no signs of physical trauma but local PD suspect homicide due to the dumping of the body. Mr. Sacks was confined to a wheelchair for the last few months and cared for since then by his son Gary, who's their chief suspect.
(He's examining a substance he's picked up on his latex-gloved finger.)
HARRISON: Um, because he's missing too.
DOGGETT: Someone killed this man without leaving a mark. That would suggest premeditation and an attempt to disguise a murder. That doesn't fit with dumping the body in the woods and fleeing the scene, both of which indicate panic, haste.
(DOGGETT goes to window)
HARRISON: That's great. What was that last part again about the premeditation? (DOGGETT is looking at something on his glove.) What is that? Slime?
DOGGETT: There's a small streak of it on the floor over there, too.
HARRISON: So it's not someone, it's something? (DOGGETT looks at her) God, this really is an X-File, isn't it?
DOGGETT: Congratulations. (Harrison takes out her clipboard again, ready.)
(Outside in a wooded area. HARRISON is following DOGGETT.)
HARRISON: I gave the slime to the Buffalo PD. I told them we wanted to see the results right away.
DOGGETT: How much field experience do you have, Agent Harrison?
HARRISON: Um, actually this is my first time in the field.
DOGGETT: Let me guess - Deputy Director Kersh handed you this job, filling in for Agent Scully.
HARRISON: Yes, yes he did.
DOGGETT: I don't know how to tell you this, Agent Harrison. You're being used. Deputy Director Kersh is no friend of the X-Files.
HARRISON: I don't think you understand something, Agent Doggett. I begged for this assignment.
(DOGGETT stops in his tracks and turns to HARRISON.)
DOGGETT: You begged for it.
HARRISON: I was in accounting. I processed Agents Mulder and Scully's travel expenses.
DOGGETT: Then you are qualified.
HARRISON: Maybe I'm not. But I know the X-Files, Agent Doggett. Inside and out. Other people don't even want to admit these questions exist but you face them every day. I am just so excited to be part of this. Aren't you?
(DOGGETT is impassive.)
(The camera enters a taped-off area in the woods, and DOGGETT kneels down.)
HARRISON: Mr. Sacks' body was found here but they found no footsteps leading to it.
(DOGGETT finds some more slime on his gloved finger.)
HARRISON: Oh my god. There's more of it.
DOGGETT: Looks like it.
HARRISON: You know what that could be? It could be bile.
DOGGETT: (DOGGETT stands up, taken aback) Bile?
HARRISON: From a liver-eating mutant. Mulder and Scully chased one into an escalator once. It died but, but, there was just ... (Harrison is referring to the events in 1X02 Squeeze and 1X20 Tooms)
DOGGETT: This is not a liver-eating mutant, Agent Harrison.
HARRISON: It could be an alien that shed its skin. According to Agent Mulder's case reports they leave behind a mucus-like residue when they, ah, (pause) You don't think it's that either. I'll take a sample of this and have it sent to the lab for comparison. (Possibly referring to 6X01 The Beginning.)
DOGGETT: That's good thinking, Agent Harrison.
(HARRISON goes off)
(We hear an animal-like noise. DOGGETT sees something in the woods. We see a creature's tail. He follows it.)
(Knock on door, it's SCULLY's apartment. MULDER is at the door.)
MULDER: Hey. Ready to roll?
SCULLY: Yeah. I'll just get my keys.
MULDER: Hey, don't forget this. (He picks up a cushion and stuffs it under his shirt). Relax the back, breathe in, breathe out (makes panting noises).
SCULLY: How do you know all these things, Mulder?
MULDER: I'm unemployed. I have a lot of time on my hands. Oprah. I watch a lot of Oprah.
SCULLY: Thank you for doing this with me.
MULDER: What's the matter?
SCULLY: I don't know, I, uh, maybe it's hormones, or, I just, it's just, I'm just feeling so strange about all this.
MULDER: This having-a-baby this?
SCULLY: No, no, leaving work, I guess. I mean, I, I walked out of that office today feeling like a deserter.
MULDER: You paid your dues there, Scully. More than paid them. You're concerned about Agent Doggett?
SCULLY: You know, the entire time that I was down there I had someone to watch my back.
MULDER: I'm betting that Agent Doggett can take care of himself. He's a big boy. You gotta worry about the little boy. (Smiling) Or little girl. Boy? Or girl?
(SCULLY is enigmatic.)
(DOGGETT is walking through the woods. He emerges onto a lawn in front of a large secluded house.)
(CUT TO: Inside. It's dark. DOGGETT walks along a corridor. The house seems shut up, plastic sheets covering objects on the wall. He walks into a room where plastic sheets cover everything. He pulls a sheet off a desk with a computer and books on it. There are also some collecting tubes used for blood samples. He picks up a book: "The Sixth Extinction" by Richard Leakey. He opens it - there's a hand-written message inside the cover "For Herman Stites. May you find what you seek."
Cut to view along corridor, camera pushes forward at low level very fast, then moves up and over and then down. Stops at the entrance to the room.
Close-up of DOGGETT who senses something and slowly pulls out his gun. Looking over his shoulder, he turns slowly and walks towards the corridor. He hold his gun in both hands and points to whatever is in the corridor. Agent HARRISON walks around corner into room almost bumping into DOGGETT's gun.
(DOGGETT lowers his gun and leans in towards HARRISON.)
DOGGETT: (Quietly) Agent HARRISON, what are you doing here?
HARRISON: I followed you.
(DOGGETT puts his finger to his lips, and whispers.)
DOGGETT: It's here.
HARRISON: It? What it?
DOGGETT: You're armed, right?
HARRISON: What do you want to me to do.
(CUT TO: Camera shot of HARRISON's gun in her noticeably shaking left hand.)
DOGGETT: I want you to go outside, and I want you to stand by the front door. Whatever it is, I'm gonna to try and flush it out.
(HARRISON looks a little nervous, then walks off.)
DOGGETT: Agent Harrison? (HARRISON turns round) Take the safety off.
(HARRISON clicks off the safety and heads back down the corridor)
(CUT TO: Outside. HARRISON exits the house and closes the front door. She looks around nervously. She hears a slithering sound above her. She turns around, worried, looks up towards the roof from where something suddenly lunges very rapidly at her.)
(Cut to DOGGETT inside. He hears gun-shots. He goes out the house. There's no sign of HARRISON.)
DOGGETT: Harrison! Agent Harrison!
(He sees a trail in the lawn, leading to the woods. He follows it to an area under the trees, covered with fallen leaves. He hears sounds coming from underground. Suddenly the ground gives way beneath him and he falls through. It is a double trap door, which then closes up.)
[Fade to black]
(We are in the woods. There are Police Officers and others searching the area. One of them is AD SKINNER. His cell phone rings. He answers.)
(Cut to SCULLY)
SCULLY: Is it true?
SKINNER: (on phone) Agent Scully.
SCULLY: I can't reach Agent Doggett and someone told me he's gone missing.
(Cut to SKINNER)
SKINNER: He was investigating a murder. He hasn't reported back.
(Cut to SCULLY)
SCULLY: Why wasn't I told?
(Cut to SKINNER)
SKINNER: Agent Scully, don't worry.
SCULLY: (on phone) I'm heading into the Bureau right now.
SKINNER: No, you're not.
(Cut to SCULLY)
SCULLY: Sir, are you ordering me not to go looking for Agent Doggett?
SKINNER: (on phone) I've got every available law enforcement officer out here.
(SCULLY doesn't look pleased.)
(Cut to SKINNER)
SKINNER: You are on maternity leave now. Just trust that we are doing everything that we know to do.
(Cut to SCULLY)
SCULLY: I know that you are. But what if it's not enough?
(SKINNER doesn't know what to say. SCULLY hangs up. As she puts down the phone, we see a *very* pregnant Scully.)
(DOGGETT is lying unconscious on the ground. He comes to and sits up - his head clearly hurts. He gets to his feet holding his gun and flashlight. He is in a dimly lit underground chamber with a tunnel leading off. He looks up and points his flashlight to the ceiling, showing the deep shaft down which he fell. He switches on his cell phone - "No service").
(Autopsy room. MULDER enters. SCULLY is in scrubs. She hands a sample to an assistant.)
ASSISTANT: I'll just take this to the lab.
SCULLY: Thank you.
(The Assistant leaves - MULDER and SCULLY pause until she has left the room.)
MULDER: It seems like old times. You in scrubs, slicing and dicing.
SCULLY: What are you doing here, Mulder?
MULDER: Actually, I, I wandered away from my tour. (He indicates his visitors badge.) Better question is what are you doing here?
SCULLY: I found something that may prove helpful in locating Agent Doggett. This is Arlen Sacks, the murder victim Doggett was investigating. This old man was not murdered, Mulder, he died of heart failure evidently after he was blinded by a chemical substance of some kind. The orbits have residual traces of a slimy substance, (She takes a swab and wipes the corpse's eye.) known as hydrolytic enzymes.
MULDER: Venom. Produced by reptiles.
SCULLY: How do you know that.
MULDER: Before Agent Doggett and his partner went missing they sent in samples to be analysed. Hydrolytic enzymes. Skinner told me.
SCULLY: I, uh, I also found some bacteria in the venom which I am going to do a culture on.
MULDER: Let somebody else do it. (Making a point) There are other concerns right now.
SCULLY: I know. But this is an X-File, Mulder, and you are out of the Bureau. If now I go home, where is Skinner going to find someone qualified to look into this.
MULDER: I know where he could find somebody ...
(DOGGETT exploring tunnels - opening what looks like a cell door which squeaks on rusty hinges. He steps on something - look like lumps of meat. He crouches down and picks up what seems to be the head of a dog/wolf minus its skin and flesh. He hears a slithering sound and quickly stands up and shines his flashlight around. There's no sign of it. He stands still and slowly looks over his should but sees nothing. He turns back and something lunges at him, squirting liquid in his face and knocking him to the ground. The creature runs off, climbing the walls and ceiling. We see it's a lizard-like creature with black skin. DOGGETT fires five times as it escapes. The liquid that the creature squirted at him is beginning to take effect. DOGGETT rubs his eyes, then we see his POV - his vision is blurred. The metal door opens, squeaking on its hinges. He turns and points his gun.)
HARRISON: Agent Doggett?
DOGGETT: Right here.
(They walk towards each other.)
DOGGETT: Are you alright?
HARRISON: It's burned my eyes with something. My vision's all blurry.
DOGGETT: Makes two of us.
HARRISON: Three, actually.
(They are walking down another tunnel. There's someone sitting propped up against the wall, his face looks badly burned.)
HARRISON: I think this is Gary Sacks, the son of the murder victim.
DOGGETT: (to HARRISON) How did you get down here?
HARRISON: It dragged me down here. Not sure. So what do we do now.
DOGGETT: I don't know.
HARRISON: Mulder and Scully investigated a case once in Florida, that involved subterranean men who took people underground. (Referring to 5X04 Detour)
DOGGETT: No. This is not a man. I fell through some kind of trap. I guess that someone put that there to provide live meals for this thing.
HARRISON: You're not saying that includes us?
DOGGETT: I don't intend to wait around to find out. These tunnels were built by bootleggers back in prohibition. There's got to be one that leads back to the house.
HARRISON: There's something up there, I think, some kind of light. (They look up, and make out a blurry light high above them.)
DOGGETT: I can't tell how high up that is.
(A dark blue car draws up at the crime scene in the woods. MULDER gets out.)
SKINNER: Mulder, you're not supposed to be out here.
MULDER: I'm not out here. (Looking around) What happened to the search?
SKINNER: The police in West Ellicot found Doggett's car parked at a convenience store about half an hour from here.
MULDER: How did it get there?
SKINNER: I don't know, but we are re-directing our searches.
(MULDER looks around then walks away.)
SKINNER: Where are you going?
MULDER: I think I'll take a walk in the woods.
SKINNER: We've already had 40 people looking around out there, Mulder.
MULDER: Now, what the hell, I'm out of a job already, right?
(CUT TO: DOGGETT climbing up the brick-built shaft towards the light. HARRISON watches anxiously)
(CUT TO: MULDER in woods, where the body was found.)
(CUT BACK TO: Agent DOGGETT, still climbing up the shaft.)
(Outside STITES' house. MULDER appears from out the woods and stops on the lawn.)
(CUT BACK TO: Shaft - Agent DOGGETT is still climbing.)
(Back outside the house - MULDER picks up something on the ground on the edge of the lawn.)
MAN: (Offscreen) I thought all you people left.
MULDER: You are?
MAN: Herman Stites. I own this property.
MULDER: You're just the man I want to speak to, Mr. Stites. Have you seen anything unusual around here?
STITES: Unusual? How?
MULDER: Dangerous animals, reptiles.
STITES: I'm confused. I thought the police were looking for a man. Arlen's son, Gary.
MULDER: That is what they are looking for.
(CUT TO: DOGGETT, nearly at the top of the shaft. He looks back down on HARRISON - a blurred figure standing a long way below. He goes back to climbing but suddenly loses his grip and slides back down a short distance, hanging on with his hands.)
HARRISON: Agent Doggett?
DOGGETT: I'm alright.
(Camera pans up above ground.)
MULDER: I don't think Gary Sacks committed the crime, Mr. Stites. I think he is a victim himself.
STITES: I didn't catch your name, Agent.
MULDER: Kersh. Alvin Kersh.
STITES: I am a scientist, Mr. Kersh.
MULDER: What kind of scientist are you?
STITES: Biologist. So I know something about animals. They don't generally carry men off into the woods like poor Mr. Sacks.
MULDER: I don't think this was an animal. I think it was a man using some kind of reptile venom to blind them first.
STITES: That would be quite a trick.
MULDER: Well, you would really have to know what you were doing. You would have to be, say, a scientist.
STITES: Are you accusing me of something, Mr. Kersh?
MULDER: No. I'm just thinking out loud, Mr. Stites.
(MULDER walks back to the woods. STITES looks at MULDER, thoroughly pissed off.)
(CUT BACK TO: Overhead shot of DOGGETT very close to the top of the shaft. He pushes up a metal grating and gets one hand on the ground. He sees feet approaching, a figure - it is STITES.)
DOGGETT: I need a hand.
(STITES stands on DOGGETT's left hand. DOGGETT grimaces in pain and lets go. He falls back down the shaft into the chamber below.)
(Fade out and then back in.)
HARRISON: Agent Doggett. What happened?
DOGGETT: I lost my grip, with a little help from the man upstairs.
(They hear a sound from above. STITES is standing on the edge of the shaft.)
DOGGETT: Hey! Hey!! Hey!! I'm a Federal Agent!
(STITES starts replacing the metal grating.)
HARRISON: I don't understand. Why would he want to keep us down here?
DOGGETT: You wanted to face the unknown, Agent Harrison, well you're facing it now.
HARRISON: But who is he?
DOGGETT: Some kind of scientist, I think. I saw some books and papers on biology in his library.
HARRISON: It could be some kind of symbiotic relationship between this man and this creature. Mulder and Scully ...
DOGGETT: (Interrupting) Mulder and Scully aren't here, Agent Harrison, we are. And wild speculation isn't going to help us find the way out.
HARRISON: You think I'm pretty foolish, don't you.
DOGGETT: I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you want to take leaps unsupported by the facts. Now what I want you to do is, stay with that guy right there while I look for another way out. And if this thing comes near you (he gives her his gun) I want you to shoot.
(HARRISON nods. DOGGETT walks off and HARRISON turns to Gary Sacks.)
HARRISON: Agent Doggett!
(DOGGETT comes back.)
HARRISON: He's gone.
DOGGETT: What do you mean, he's gone?
HARRISON: I don't know. It must have taken him.
(Night. We are looking at the tarmacked ground. Small objects fall to the ground. The camera pans up. It's MULDER sitting in his car, spitting out sunflower shells. He is watching STITES' house. His cell phone rings.)
(This scene switches back and forth between MULDER and SCULLY as they speak.)
SCULLY: Mulder, what are you doing?
MULDER: I'm spitting sunflower shells on Herman Stites' driveway. What are you doing, Scully?
SCULLY: I just got off the phone with Skinner who is furious. This man Stites just called him saying you've been impersonating Deputy Director Kersh and making baseless accusations.
MULDER: Well, what's he mad about? Me impersonating Kersh or me harassing Stites?
SCULLY: Mulder, the victim had reptile venom in his eyes, are you now saying that it was a man who did this?
MULDER: What are you saying it is, Scully?
SCULLY: I know this may be hard to believe coming from me but some kind of reptile attack is the only explanation consistent with the scientific evidence.
MULDER: I don't think it is a monster we are dealing with here, I think it is a man.
SCULLY: Now why do you say that?
MULDER: You re-gifted.
SCULLY: I'm sorry?
MULDER: My Apollo medallion.
SCULLY: You found it?
MULDER: Yeah. I found it on the grass on Stites' estate. Doggett must be around here somewhere.
(The door behind SCULLY opens, so she turns round, it's the assistant.)
ASSISTANT: Agent Scully.
SCULLY: I gotta go.
(CUT TO: SCULLY. She hangs up and follows the assistant out. MULDER clicks off his cell phone.)
(Cut to a computer monitor - it shows what looks like a bacterial culture in close up. The culture is stained pinkish-red.)
SCULLY: What am I looking at?
ASSISTANT: As you asked, we cultured the bacteria from the hydrolytic enzymes that were sprayed in the old man's eyes.
SCULLY: It looks like they're breaking down the tissue. (The computer screen zooms in on the culture.)
ASSISTANT: That's exactly what they're doing. The venom blinds its victim, then the bacteria excretes protease and collagenase throughout the victim's body.
SCULLY: Digestive enzymes.
ASSISTANT: Muscle, bone, all of it is slowly liquefied for easy digestion while the victim's skin is made hard and brittle forming a sac or shell from which the reptile can drink.
SCULLY: So the reptile sprays its victim, then all it has to do is wait.
ASSISTANT: There are precedents for this sort of thing in nature.
SCULLY: Yeah, but there are no species that can do all of this. At least not yet.
ASSISTANT: (Turning to SCULLY) What do you mean?
(DOGGETT feeling his way along the tunnel, using his torch. His vision is very blurred.)
DOGGETT: Talk about the blind leading the blind.
(HARRISON is following him, holding on to him.)
HARRISON: I owe you an apology, Agent Doggett.
DOGGETT: You're doing fine, Agent Harrison. Hang tough.
HARRISON: You're right. I am not qualified.
DOGGETT: We're going to find a way out of here, Agent Harrison.
HARRISON: I don't think I am.
DOGGETT: What is it?
HARRISON: Whatever happened to Sacks, I think it's happening to me. I'm completely blind now.
(They hear a sound. It is the creature again. It squirts more liquid. DOGGETT fires six bullets. The creature slithers off. He runs after it, round a corner and finds a door in front of him. It's locked.)
HARRISON: Oh god. Agent Doggett!
(DOGGETT returns to HARRISON.)
HARRISON: I think it's Gary Sacks.
(A man is lying on the ground, his skin is very red and glistening.)
(MULDER is in his car. His cell phone rings.)
SCULLY: You were right about Herman Stites, Mulder.
MULDER: What did you find.
SCULLY: Well, Stites is a crypto-biologist, specialising in reptile genetics. Listen to this. It says here that he published a monograph last year claiming to be on the verge of creating a new species of reptile.
MULDER: You don't think he succeeded, do you?
SCULLY: I don't know. He dropped out of sight and never published a follow-up. But Mulder, the bacteria inside this venom - if Stites is genetically altering reptile breeds it may explain the peculiar properties.
(MULDER sees something moving in the woods.)
SCULLY: Mulder, are you listening to me?
(Something is moving through the trees.)
SCULLY: Mulder? (Worried) Mulder?
MULDER: I think Mr. Stites may have a lot more than that to explain.
(He clicks off his cell phone and moves out of the car, runs towards what he has seen.)
SCULLY: Mulder! Mulder!
(MULDER sees the creature on the lawn in front of STITES' house. He chases after it. It has a human-like head. MULDER sees it climb up the walls on to the roof. He runs to the front door which is locked. He bangs on it.)
MULDER: Mr. Stites! Mr. Stites, open up!
(Cut to inside the house. The creature is coming down the stairs. It changes into a naked STITES. We hear Mulder banging from the outside.)
MULDER: Mr. Stites! Open the door!
(Cut to outside)
MULDER: Mr. Stites!
(STITES looks towards the door. There is something on his face - it seems to be a small area of skin that hasn't transformed back from the reptile. He wipes at it and it reverts back to human skin.)
MULDER: Mr. Stites!
(He bangs on the door again. Then he walks away and starts dialling a number on his cell phone. The door opens. STITES is standing there in a shirt and trousers.)
STITES: What do you want?
(MULDER pushes his way into the house and STITES closes the door.)
MULDER: Where is it, Mr. Stites? This thing you're protecting, this creature of yours. I don't think you meant for it to, but it got out last night and attacked the caretaker and his son and then it attacked my colleague. (STITES doesn't respond.) Now, I can have 50 men in here to comb this place within the hour. (STITES still doesn't respond.) Where are they, Mr. Stites?
(Cut to HARRISON, sitting on the ground. DOGGETT goes up to her. She gasps in fear.)
DOGGETT: It's alright. It's just me. It don't make any damn sense. There's no exit except that door.
HARRISON: Maybe it does.
(They hear banging on the door.)
MULDER: Agent Doggett!
DOGGETT: Right here.
(He helps HARRISON up. MULDER comes round the corner followed by STITES.)
MULDER: It's alright, Agent Doggett. We're gonna get you out of here.
DOGGETT: Who's that with you?
MULDER: It's the man who lives here.
DOGGETT: He's been protecting this thing. He's kept us down here.
MULDER: Agent Doggett, I know ...
HARRISON: It's him. He's not protecting it, he *is* it.
(They turn to see STITES has disappeared. MULDER runs to the door. It's locked.)
DOGGETT: Agent Mulder.
MULDER: Agent Doggett. I don't have a weapon. I'm coming to get yours.
(There's a sound of movement above them.)
MULDER: Or, I'm not.
(DOGGETT takes out his gun.)
DOGGETT: Mulder, I can't see. Mulder, where is it?
MULDER: It's right above you. It's coming this way.
DOGGETT: Where, Mulder? I can't see.
MULDER: Get down. Aim at the sound of my voice.
DOGGETT: No! I'll shoot you.
MULDER: You're not going to shoot me.
DOGGETT: I can't see!
MULDER: Aim at the sound of my voice.
DOGGETT: Where is it!
MULDER: Aim at me!
MULDER: I'll tell you when to fire. Fire!
(DOGGETT fires instantly, twice.)
DOGGETT: Agent Mulder! Agent Mulder!!
(Mulder appears right beside DOGGETT.)
MULDER: Right here. Right here, Agent Doggett. (DOGGETT is relieved.)
(MULDER crosses to the body of the creature. It transforms back to STITES. There are two bullet wounds in his upper chest.)
WASHINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
(DOGGETT is leaving a hospital room. He looks back through the window. MULDER and SCULLY approaching the corridor.)
SCULLY: Agent Doggett.
DOGGETT: Is this it? (pointing towards SCULLY's abdomen)
(MULDER and SCULLY look at each other, smiling.)
SCULLY: No. No.
MULDER: We just came by to visit Agent Harrison.
SCULLY: How is she?
DOGGETT: She's on the same anti-venom treatment I got. Her eyesight's pretty much back, the doctors say she's gonna be fine physically.
SCULLY: Skinner said she won't be returning to the X-Files.
DOGGETT: That was her choice. So it's gonna be me for a while.
(SCULLY looks thoughtful.)
MULDER: I want to return something to you that I think you deserve to keep.
DOGGETT: I appreciate the gesture but if it's all the same to you, there's someone else who should have it.
(Cut to HARRISON, smiling, holding the Apollo medallion.)
HARRISON: No way. This means, I can't tell you what this means to me.
(MULDER looks a little awkward.)
HARRISON: Can I ask you something?
(SCULLY looks impassive, perhaps not sure what's coming.)
HARRISON: When you went to Antarctica to save Agent Scully from being taken by that spaceship and you ran out of gas in your Sno-cat. How did you get back?
(SCULLY looks enquiringly at MULDER, who is looking perplexed. Throughout the following dialogue, MULDER and SCULLY talk across each other, SCULLY is being scientific, MULDER is being MULDER, HARRISON is enjoying the banter. The whole scene is *very* enjoyable to watch.)
SCULLY: Um, well, first of all, it was never (coughs) actually proven that it was a spaceship ...
MULDER: It wasn't?
SCULLY: Well, no, what happened was that we fell off of something that ...
SCULLY: ... that rose out of the ice.
MULDER: Well what do you think that was?
SCULLY: Well, I don't know what it was. But we never got, we didn't actually get to see a spaceship.
MULDER: I can't believe that you're saying it's not a spaceship.
SCULLY: Well, it couldn't have been a spaceship.
MULDER: Course it was a spaceship.
SCULLY: Well, we don't know it was a spaceship. But you don't have a picture of it or anything.
MULDER: You know it was a spaceship. You saw it.
SCULLY: No, no, no, no, remember, I was unconscious and when I woke up there was no spaceship.
MULDER: Now, come on, Scully. It was a spaceship.
SCULLY: Mulder, n-n-n-no.
SCULLY: And you were frozen, and I hugged you .... (Their voices trail off.)
(Camera pans out to corridor. DOGGETT is standing looking in as MULDER and SCULLY continue their debate. He looks sad and walks away down the corridor. Alone.)