(Two janitors are cleaning the lobby after hours. A radio is playing, and the younger one is dancing with his mop. The older one looks over at him.)
JANITOR 1: [They don't pay you to dance, Roberto!]
JANITOR 2: Okay, okay.
JANITOR 1: (pointing overhead at the security camera) [God is watching.]
JANITOR 2: Okay.
(The first janitor lays a cigarette on end on the floor. The floor begins to shake and the cigarette vibrates across the floor tile. The security camera shakes in its support, and a loud thumping is heard. The first janitor turns off the radio, and he and second janitor look toward the large front window. Suddenly it shatters. They duck, then run to the window to look outside. A path of destruction works its way up the street. First a car is crushed, then a street sign is bent and a sidewalk stand is crushed. A second car is then crushed and shoved onto the sidewalk. The janitors look on in amazement. The first janitor crosses himself.)
JANITOR 1: Santa maria san locos.
(Some road construction men are drinking coffee when they hear an approaching rumble.)
WORKER 1: What the hell is that?
(They see nothing, but the road barricades leading to them are crushed one by one.)
WORKER 2: Hey! Get out of the way!
(They scatter except for the first worker who stays in the roadway. He is suddenly thrown backward and there is the sound of an angry elephant. The other men go to their fallen co-worker.)
WORKER 3: He's hurt bad, man!
WORKER 2: Hurry up! Get an ambulance!
(It is early morning and a truck tractor is bob-tailing down a highway in the fog. The driver calls in on his CB radio.)
BREWER: (to CB) This is Wesley Brewer out on Route 7. Looks like About an 8:00 ETA on that trailer pickup. This fog's gonna slow me down.
DISPATCHER: (on CB) 10-4, Wesley.
(Out of the fog ahead, an elephant suddenly appears, heading straight for the tractor.)
BREWER: Mother of God!
(He slams on the brakes, and the tractor comes to a stop inches from the elephant. The elephant moves alongside the cab and stares at Brewer for a moment, then moves on.)
(Two state police cars speed down the highway, sirens blaring. They stop at a group of people standing on the road. A young child is crying. They approach the elephant, lying on its side in the road.)
WOMAN: She was just lying there when we found her, officer.
(The elephant is alive but unable to get up. As the young child continues to cry, another child kneels in front of the animal. The elephant moans.)
(Scully is outside the Idaho Mutual Trust Building, interviewing the two janitors.)
SCULLY: So you saw nothing when the window broke? No one outside?
JANITOR 1: No.
JANITOR 2: (shaking his head) Nothing.
JANITOR 1: We heard a noise like thunder. Then glass everywhere.
SCULLY: Okay. Thank you.
(The janitors leave. Mulder, who was in the building, climbs out through the broken window frame.)
MULDER: What did the janitors say?
SCULLY: They claim they didn't see anything.
MULDER: That's not surprising. The security monitors don't have a recording of anything either. Just a giant implosion of glass like some kind of giant shock wave.
SCULLY: What the janitors describe sounds more like a sonic boom.
MULDER: No sonic boom did this. (points to the crushed car on the street) The construction worker who was killed had his spine crushed like a string of seashells, a circular abrasion on his torso in roughly the shape of an elephant's foot. Other workers at the site said they felt the ground shake followed by a faint whiff of animal odor in the wind.
SCULLY: Mulder, if you're still suggesting that the elephant did this, it just defies logic. Somebody would have seen it.
MULDER: Well, if somebody would have seen it, Scully, we wouldn't be here. Another vehicle would have left evidence of a collision - distress to the metal, or paint. I can see signs of neither of those things. I'd be willing to admit the possibility of a tornado but it's not really tornado season. I'd even be willing to entertain the notion of a black hole passing over the area ... (Scully gives him a skeptical glance) ... or some cosmic anomaly, but it's not really black hole season, either. (he smiles) If I was a betting man I'd say that it was, uh, ...
SCULLY: An invisible elephant?
MULDER: I saw David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear once.
MEECHAM: Agent Mulder?
(A man approaches who just drove up in a panel truck.)
MEECHAM: Ed Meecham, Fairfield Zoo. Sorry for the holdup. We had trouble transporting Ganesha's body this morning.
MULDER: This is Agent Scully.
MEECHAM: (to Scully) Hi.
SCULLY: Have they determined what he died of?
MEECHAM: She. Ganesha was a 12-year-old Indian female. Near as I can figure, she ran herself into exhaustion.
MULDER: How did she escape?
MEECHAM: Well now, there's a puzzle. When I got the call this morning, I expected to find her cage open or something but it was locked tight just like I left it.
MULDER: Any idea how she could have escaped a locked cage?
MEECHAM: No, sir. No signs of tampering.
MULDER: I've read about something called the elephant rebellion in zoos across the country - a high incidence of elephants turning on their keepers, destroying their pens. Was Ganesha ever a problem like that?
MEECHAM: Elephants are very big, very willful animals.
MULDER: So you're saying there were problems?
MEECHAM: Well, the person you're gonna want to talk to about that is Willa Ambrose.
MEECHAM: She's a naturalist. She was hired by the Board of Supervisors last year to oversee things. Well, now she's supposed to be the reigning authority.
MULDER: Well, let me ask you something. In your opinion, the damage here on the street - could this have been caused by an escaped elephant?
MEECHAM: In my honest opinion?
MEECHAM: Sure. Will you excuse me?
(Meecham walks away. Mulder walks along looking at the trash on the street.)
SCULLY: What're you looking for, Mulder?
MULDER: A local paper. I want to see if David Copperfield's in town.
(The zoo is open. Mulder and Scully approach a zoo worker.)
SCULLY: Excuse me. We're looking for Willa Ambrose.
WORKER: (pointing) There.
SCULLY: Thank you.
(They approach Willa Ambrose, who is standing with a clipboard along one of the zoo's paths.)
SCULLY: Miss Ambrose?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yes.
SCULLY: I'm Agent Dana Scully. (flashes her badge) This is Agent Mulder. We're with the FBI.
WILLA AMBROSE: How can I help you?
SCULLY: Well, a federal employee was fatally injured last night, and there seems to be a case developing around the elephant that escaped from your zoo.
WILLA AMBROSE: It was my understanding that the eyewitnesses to the accident said that they didn't know how the man was killed.
MULDER: Actually, what we're trying to determine is how Ganesha escaped.
WILLA AMBROSE: Well, what did Ed tell you?
MULDER: He said he found the cage locked, the same way he left it.
WILLA AMBROSE: What more can I say?
MULDER: I don't want to belabor this, but a man was found trampled to death. An animal from your zoo was found 43 miles from here. No one's looking to place any blame, we're just trying to understand the facts that led up to this incident.
(They are now in a concrete building, and Willa shows them a heavy padlock on a seven-foot heavy metal door.)
WILLA AMBROSE: This is where Ganesha was held when she wasn't in her habitat.
MULDER: Who has keys to this lock?
WILLA AMBROSE: Only myself and Mr. Meecham. Otherwise, this is a restricted area. (Scully is looking at the tops of the bars to the cage) Elephants aren't particularly good jumpers if that's what you're thinking.
SCULLY: No, I was just wondering why such a small pen for such a large animal.
WILLA AMBROSE: The zoo was built in the 1940s. The pens and habitats are all too confining. I was brought on to expand and create more humane environments. Unfortunately, these things take time.
(Mulder has been looking at a tie-down ring with chains attached.)
MULDER: Those, uh, chains on the ground there?
WILLA AMBROSE: Those are tie-downs. They're meant to restrict the animal's movement. I disallowed their use when I came to work here.
MULDER: Disallowed their use by whom?
WILLA AMBROSE: It was Ed Meecham's practice. It reflected an old, nonprogressive zoo policy.
MULDER: How's your relationship with Ed Meecham?
WILLA AMBROSE: I'm his boss and I'm a woman, and Ed doesn't like that much.
SCULLY: Would he be vindictive enough to let Ganesha go as an act of sabotage?
WILLA AMBROSE: Well, if he did that would be foolish. The facility is running at a deficit and in danger of losing its funding.
MULDER: Have you spoken about the incident with Ed?
WILLA AMBROSE: No. I think Ed's got enough dealing with the W.A.O.
MULDER: It's the Wild Again Organization - they're a radical group that believes any captive animal is a crime against nature.
WILLA AMBROSE: Believe me they're gonna have a field day with this one. Excuse me.
(Among the debris from the previous night's accident, Scully and Mulder are talking to Kyle Lang, leader of the local W.A.O. Scully and Mulder are examining some photographs taken of Ganesha lying on the highway.)
KYLE LANG: The W.A.O. believes only tragedy results from keeping animals in captivity. In the wild, an elephant like that would roam an area 20 square miles, minimum. Ganesha weighed in excess of 5000 pounds, and she was being held in a 50 by 50 foot cage.
SCULLY: And you consider that inhumane treatment?
KYLE LANG: It's like you or I living in a pickle barrel.
SCULLY: According to FBI files, you've been arrested over a dozen times for activities involving the kidnapping of circus and zoo animals.
KYLE LANG: The W.A.O. sees it as liberation.
SCULLY: Hmmm. Were you involved in the liberation of Ganesha?
KYLE LANG: That would make me an accessory to murder, wouldn't it? (Scully arches her eyebrows) Endangering these animals is against everything we believe. These are incredibly spiritual creatures. Their rituals and behavior are linked to a past no man ever witnessed. Did you know they actually bury their dead? They can visit an elephant graveyard centuries old and know instinctively where the bones of their ancient ancestors lie.
MULDER: What do you think Ganesha was running from?
KYLE LANG: You want to see what she was running from? I'll show you.
(They are now in the W.A.O. office. Lang is showing them a video of two men forcibly pulling an elephant to its feet. Another younger member of the W.A.O. is in the room with them.)
KYLE LANG: This is how Ed Meecham treats these majestic animals.
MULDER: This is still going on?
KYLE LANG: Ed Meecham's a barbarian. He's been torturing animals at the Fairfield Zoo for years. We figure he's still at it. Eventually we're
gonna get some proof. We're here to put pressure on the zoo. We're keeping track of what goes on there.
MULDER: Even though Willa Ambrose claims that she's put a stop to most of his old practices?
KYLE LANG: Whatever Willa Ambrose's intentions, she's too preoccupied to really know how Meecham operates.
SCULLY: Preoccupied with what?
KYLE LANG: A lawsuit she's fighting against the Malawi government over a lowland gorilla named Sophie. Willa rescued her from a north African customs house ten years ago. Raised her like a child. Now the Malawi government wants her back.
SCULLY: Will they win?
KYLE LANG: This is a perfect example of man's imperialism over the animal kingdom - this craven impulse to turn animals into objects for our own selfish pleasure.
SCULLY: I thought you said she rescued this gorilla.
KYLE LANG: Yeah, rescued her so she could spend a life behind bars. Her obligation should have been to return the gorilla to the wild. All animals should run free.
SCULLY: Even if that means trampling a man to death?
KYLE LANG: Maybe he should have gotten out of the way.
MULDER: I'm sure he would have if he'd seen it coming. Thanks for your time, sir, and we'll get back to you soon.
(Scully appears annoyed at Lang. On their way out, Scully notices a video camera on a shelf.)
(They step out of the W.A.O. office. It is now dark.)
MULDER: It's all happening at the zoo, Scully.
SCULLY: Well, we found our suspects.
MULDER: You think they busted out the elephant?
SCULLY: Well, you heard the man - "all animals should run free."
MULDER: What about all the eyewitness accounts, the security tapes from the video camera, the fact no one saw an elephant until it was miles away from the zoo?
SCULLY: Well, the lights they were using at the construction site were mercury vapor, 10,000 candlepower. They can restrict a man's ability to adjust his vision to the dark. And their security cameras are poor quality. A gray elephant may not have registered an image on tape in the dim light in front of the building.
MULDER: Ah, I'm not buying it, Scully. I think these guys are all talk.
SCULLY: These guys are dedicated to exactly this kind of activity, unabashedly. Did you check out the night vision camera they had lying on the shelf?
SCULLY: It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to capitalize on their success.
MULDER: By doing what?
SCULLY: By liberating another animal. Willa Ambrose said that the zoo was in trouble financially. A loss of another big exhibit could shut them down entirely.
MULDER: All right. You keep an eye on the W.A.O.
SCULLY: And where are you going?
MULDER: Talk to the animals.
(Mulder is in a satellite conference room. Frohike and Byers are projected onto the screen.)
FROHIKE: Beam me up, Scotty.
MULDER: Did anybody ever tell you the camera loves you, Frohike?
FROHIKE: Yeah, the arresting officers at the "Free James Brown" rally.
BYERS: So what's this costing the taxpayers, Mulder?
MULDER: Uh, about 150 bucks an hour.
FROHIKE: Ouch. Almost as much as Bill Clinton's haircuts.
MULDER: Where's Langley?
BYERS: He has a philosophical issue with having his image bounced off a satellite.
FROHIKE: What are you doing in Idaho?
MULDER: I'm in the town of Fairfield. What do you know about it?
BYERS: They got a little zoo there. Lots of strange lore - animals escaping, disappearing without a trace.
MULDER: Any idea why?
FROHIKE: You're not far from the Mountain Home Air Base. Major UFO hot spot.
BYERS: Weird fact, Mulder. No animal at Fairfield Zoo has ever brought a pregnancy to term.
FROHIKE: Not a cub or a chick.
BYERS: The woman who runs the zoo has a gorilla that knows sign language - supposedly with a vocabulary of 1,000 words.
(Mulder's cell phone rings. Frohike steps toward the camera.)
FROHIKE: If that's the lovely Agent Scully, let her know I've been working out. I'm buff.
MULDER: (smiling) (to phone) Mulder.
(It is the lovely Agent Scully. She is a short distance from the entrance to the zoo.)
SCULLY: Mulder, it's me. I was right. I just followed the kid from the W.A.O. to the zoo. He's just about to make it over the fence.
MULDER: All right, I'll be right there, Scully.
(The kid scales the chain-link fence. Scully runs to the fence and climbs over it as well. The kid walks through the zoo, with Scully keeping a discreet distance. The kid climbs over a stone barrier. As Scully approaches the barrier, a hand grabs her shoulder and turns her around. She gasps in surprise.)
ED MEECHAM: What the hell are you doing here?
SCULLY: There's a member of the W.A.O. on the premises.
ED MEECHAM: Come with me.
(They enter a zoo building, as the kid continues through the zoo. He pulls the night vision camera out of a flannel bag.)
(Mulder pulls up at the zoo entrance and he also climbs the fence.)
(The kid walks alongside a tiger's cage, and the tiger snarls at him. Several other animals, including a lion, a cougar, a baboon and several birds, start making lots of noise.)
(Scully and Meecham are still inside a zoo building. They hear the racket outside.)
SCULLY: What's going on?
(In another building, Willa Ambrose looks up as Sophie, in a cage across the room, also become agitated.)
WILLA AMBROSE: (motioning with sign language) It's okay, Sophie. Calm down.
(Outside, the kid points the night vision camera at the tiger and begins filming. Suddenly, there is a blinding light and the kid shields his eyes. When the light fades, the tiger has disappeared. He hears a roar behind him and whirls around but sees nothing. He is knocked to the ground and drops the camera, which is still filming. His face has several large cuts as if he's been clawed. He is then grabbed by the neck and thrashed from side to side, although there is no animal visible. He screams as the camera continues filming.)
(Scully is questioning Kyle Lang. Several police officers are also in the room.)
KYLE LANG: I don't know what you're talking about.
SCULLY: You have no idea what he was doing at the zoo?
KYLE LANG: If you're asking me if I have any idea of his intentions, the answer is simple. Not the slightest.
(Scully holds up a plastic bag with the night vision camera in it.)
SCULLY: What if I said I saw this camera sitting up there on the shelf yesterday?
KYLE LANG: Guess I never noticed it before.
SCULLY: A tiger is missing, and a member of your organization is dead. For such a principled man, you show an amazing lack of emotion.
KYLE LANG: If the tiger killed this person, then it was a natural act.
SCULLY: Well, if I find evidence that he was releasing those animals under your orders, I'll make sure you spend the rest of your life behind bars.
(Mulder opens the door and enters.)
(He motions to her. Scully walks out, handing the bag with the camera to an officer at the door. They walk through the building.)
SCULLY: You know, that guy really pisses me off.
MULDER: You okay, Scully?
MULDER: You calmed down?
(She shoots him a not-so-pleasant look.)
SCULLY: Have they found the tiger yet?
MULDER: No, but I looked at the cassette from the kid's recorder. He wasn't killed by the tiger.
MULDER: Unless it's trick photography, that kid was killed by some kind of phantom attacker.
SCULLY: You saw his body, Mulder. That kid was mauled to death. He had deep claw marks on his chest and on his back.
MULDER: I can't explain it either, but I know someone who might be able to.
(Mulder and Scully are walking through a building at the zoo.)
MULDER: Excuse me? Miss Ambrose? May we have a word with you?
(Willa Ambrose is carrying a clipboard and was just going into a room with a "Sick Animal - Restricted" sign on the door.)
WILLA AMBROSE: I don't know anything more than I've already told the police. I have nothing to say.
MULDER: Is this where you keep Sophie?
WILLA AMBROSE: Sophie is ill.
MULDER: You think we could meet her? We're not here to try to take her away from you.
(She opens the door.)
(Sophie is sitting in her cage, moaning.)
WILLA AMBROSE: About six weeks ago I had to take Sophie out of her public habitat. She'd become so withdrawn and depressed, she'd curl into a ball in the corner of her cage and just shiver.
MULDER: Did you ask her why?
WILLA AMBROSE: All the time.
MULDER: What'd she say?
WILLA AMBROSE: "Light afraid." Literally, she's afraid of the light.
SCULLY: She speaks to you?
WILLA AMBROSE: Over 600 words using American sign language. She understands over a thousand. I'll show you her vocabulary list.
(She steps over to her desk.)
SCULLY: Is this who you wanted to speak to, Mulder?
MULDER: It's basic investigative procedure, Agent Scully - interview all possible witnesses.
(Willa returns and hands both of them a piece of paper.)
WILLA AMBROSE: Gorillas are highly sensitive creatures, and Sophie's use of language skills makes her even more so.
SCULLY: Why would she be afraid of the light?
WILLA AMBROSE: Well, you've obviously heard about the trouble with the Malawi government. There's a chance that Sophie could be taken away from me, and I think that she knows that.
(Mulder has been looking at some "drawings" on the wall.)
MULDER: Are these Sophie's?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yes.
MULDER: What do you think they mean?
WILLA AMBROSE: Well, until recently Sophie desperately wanted a baby. The brown object in the center (points to one of the drawings) is her expression of that.
MULDER: Have you tried to mate her?
WILLA AMBROSE: We were looking for a partner but under these stressful conditions I didn't want to put her through it.
MULDER: Do you have a veterinary facility here?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yeah.
MULDER: All right, this may seem like a rather strange request but it might help explain what's been going on here. I'm gonna need your help on this, too, Scully.
(Mulder and Scully are standing on a scaffold, while Willa works below, exposing Ganesha's chest cavity. Scully is wearing gloves and coveralls and a flashlight on her head.)
SCULLY: I hope you know what you're getting us into, Mulder.
MULDER: I'm pretty sure of what we're gonna find.
SCULLY: This isn't exactly in my job description.
MULDER: And the next thing you know, they'll be doing it on MTV Sports.
WILLA AMBROSE: (from below) Okay. The elephant's cavity is clear. I'm ready for you.
(Scully climbs down the scaffold to join her.)
WILLA AMBROSE: The knife's right down there.
MULDER: I've been told there's never been a successful pregnancy at the Fairfield Zoo.
WILLA AMBROSE: Sounds like you've been talking to Kyle Lang.
(Scully takes the knife and kneels down, out of sight. Various squishing noises are heard.)
MULDER: Well, is it true?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yes. But I don't think for the reasons Kyle claims - not because Ed Meecham has done anything to these animals.
MULDER: Why then?
WILLA AMBROSE: Because bringing a pregnancy to term in captivity is always difficult.
MULDER: But a perfect failure rate?
WILLA AMBROSE: I know. It's one of the things I was determined to change when I came to the zoo.
MULDER: Was an attempt ever made to mate Ganesha?
WILLA AMBROSE: No. Mating an elephant out of the wild is rarely successful. There have only been six elephants born in captivity over the last ten years.
(Scully re-appears with a large piece of elephant tissue that she hands to Willa.)
WILLA AMBROSE: Here's the uterine tissue, but I'm still not clear on what you expect to find.
(Scully is now examining the uterine tissue with a magnifier.)
SCULLY: You're right, Mulder. The signs in the uterus and ovaries are unmistakable.
WILLA AMBROSE: So what did you find?
SCULLY: This animal had been pregnant.
WILLA AMBROSE: What are you talking about?
SCULLY: There's evidence of hyperplasia and the corpus luteum is ruptured.
WILLA AMBROSE: That's not possible.
MULDER: Neither is an invisible elephant.
WILLA AMBROSE: What is going on here?
MULDER: Whatever it is it's been going on for some time, and I think you'll find evidence of the same thing when your tiger returns.
(Two workmen are carrying a large piece of wood over their shoulders.)
WORKER 1: I still can't believe you bet on the Chargers.
(There is a loud thump in the background. The other worker stops.)
WORKER 2: You hear that?
WORKER 1: Hear what?
(There is a second sound, much closer and sounding more like a roar. The two men look to their right, wide-eyed.)
(Some time later, police and emergency vehicles surround the building. A van pulls up, and Ed Meecham gets out with a rifle.)
ED MEECHAM: Where's the tiger?
POLICEMAN: Somewhere inside the construction site. He's got two men trapped in there.
(Willa, Mulder and Scully approach.)
WILLA AMBROSE: Put the gun away, Ed.
ED MEECHAM: You want to be responsible for another death, Miss Ambrose?
WILLA AMBROSE: I think we can capture this cat without any harm to anyone.
ED MEECHAM: This is no time for wishful thinking.
WILLA AMBROSE: I'm ordering you, Ed.
ED MEECHAM: (with sarcasm) Yes, ma'am. Lead the way.
WILLA AMBROSE: Thank you.
(Willa steps past him. She moves through the construction site, loading a tranquilizer into a gun. Mulder and Scully follow some distance back.)
SCULLY: How'd the tiger get all the way across town without being spotted?
MULDER: I don't know, but we better find it before Meecham does.
(Meecham stands nearby, still carrying his gun.)
(The tiger moves through the building. The two workmen are on a grating just above the animal. Willa Ambrose moves into the same area. The workmen call to her from above.)
WORKER 1: (whispers) Hey! Shhh! It was just here.
(Willa moves slowly through the area. The tiger watches from the shadows, then makes a run at her. Willa hears the tiger roar at the last moment and turns, her hands up. A shot is fired. Mulder and Scully hear the shot and run toward it, finding Meecham lowering his weapon. The tiger is dead at Willa's feet.)
ED MEECHAM: It's all right, Willa. They don't all talk and draw pictures.
(A sign on the entrance to the zoo reads "Zoo Closed to the Public Until Further Notice." Inside, in a room looking out into the zoo's aquarium, a board meeting is concluding.)
BOARD MEMBER: This last incident has left the Board with no choice but to withdraw all funding.
WILLA AMBROSE: Well, if that's your decision, there's nothing else I can say.
BOARD MEMBER: I'm sorry.
(The board members leave. Willa is near tears, a combination of sorrow and frustration, as Mulder enters and closes the door behind him.)
WILLA AMBROSE: I'm out of a job. They've cut off all funding. The animals are being shipped out to other zoos starting Monday.
MULDER: I'm sorry.
WILLA AMBROSE: It could not have happened at a worse time.
MULDER: You mean for Sophie?
WILLA AMBROSE: What I had going for me was my position here. Having a place for her. Have the results come in on the tiger?
MULDER: Agent Scully just finished the test. The tiger had been pregnant too.
WILLA AMBROSE: It's impossible. Theres no chance those animals could get pregnant. No way.
MULDER: What if they've been artificially inseminated?
WILLA AMBROSE: That's an extremely fine and complex process. I would have known.
MULDER: Unless it was done somewhere else.
WILLA AMBROSE: Where?
MULDER: What do you know about alien abduction?
WILLA AMBROSE: (laughs in disbelief) You're ... you're ... you're kidding me. (Mulder stares at her with no response) You think these animals were taken aboard some space ship?
MULDER: I don't know where they're being taken but there's obviously some problem getting them back. Due to what is probably an astrological variation, a trouble with the time-space continuum - these animals that are being taken from locked cages are being returned roughly two miles westsouthwest of the zoo.
WILLA AMBROSE: Aliens impregnating zoo animals?
MULDER: Yes, and harvesting the embryos.
WILLA AMBROSE: Why?
MULDER: Maybe their own Noah's ark? To preserve the DNA of these animals that we're depleting to extinction. Whatever it is, that's probably the reason why you've never had a successful birth at this facility.
WILLA AMBROSE: I think that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard.
MULDER: I understand that you might think it's ridiculous. Maybe you should ask Sophie.
WILLA AMBROSE: You think this is what she's so afraid of?
MULDER: I believe she's pregnant, and she's afraid of them coming for her baby.
(Mulder and Willa are standing at the door of Sophie's cage.)
WILLA AMBROSE: (signing to her) Sophie, come here. I want to ask you a question. It's okay, Sophie. Come here.
(Sophie makes a motion with her arms.)
MULDER: What'd she say?
WILLA AMBROSE: She says, "man, woman - hurt." She thinks you or your partner are going to hurt her or me. Sophie ... (signs again) ... man, woman are here to help you. They want to know about Sophie's baby.
(Sophie moans and seems uneasy.)
MULDER: Can I ask her a question?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yeah.
MULDER: Will you ask her if she wants to leave here?
WILLA AMBROSE: (signing) Sophie - do you want to leave here?
(Sophie motions with her arms again.)
WILLA AMBROSE: She says "light afraid." (signs again) Sophie, what are you afraid of? Tell me.
(Sophie motions again.)
MULDER: What did she say?
WILLA AMBROSE: She said, "baby go flying light."
(Scully knocks and enters.)
SCULLY: I just finished up in the infirmary. A sheriff's deputy came looking to serve you papers. I think it's about Sophie.
WILLA AMBROSE: What am I going to do?
MULDER: Whatever you do, you can't leave Sophie here. Not if you want to protect her.
WILLA AMBROSE: I have nowhere else to take her.
DEPUTY: (knocks, then enters) Excuse me. Willa Ambrose?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yes.
DEPUTY: I'm serving you with a court order to release a gorilla named Sophie into protective custody.
(Willa takes the order from the deputy.)
(A vehicle pulls up in front of a downtown building. Kyle Lang is typing a report at his desk. Willa Ambrose appears in front of him.)
KYLE LANG: What are you doing here?
WILLA AMBROSE: I've come to ask for your help, Kyle.
KYLE LANG: Help with what?
WILLA AMBROSE: Sophie. They've taken her into protective custody.
KYLE LANG: Let her go, Willa.
WILLA AMBROSE: They're putting her in an iron cage as we speak - without bars, without windows. It'll kill her.
KYLE LANG: Sophie's been behind bars her entire life. Let her go home, Willa. She'll have the freedom she deserves.
WILLA AMBROSE: (angrily) Freedom to what - be killed by poachers and have her hands cut off as souvenirs?
KYLE LANG: They've promised she'll be in a preserve.
WILLA AMBROSE: She's mine, Kyle! I won't let her go! (pleading) Please, come on. We can find a place for her here - a private reserve. You know people.
KYLE LANG: (shaking his head) That's against everything I stand for.
WILLA AMBROSE: She's pregnant.
KYLE LANG: What?
WILLA AMBROSE: Sophie's pregnant.
KYLE LANG: I don't believe you, Willa.
WILLA AMBROSE: It's true.
KYLE LANG: Well what if she was? Is the baby gonna live out its life behind bars, too? Look, Willa, she doesn't belong to you. She's not your child. She belongs with other gorillas, not selling tickets for a zoo.
WILLA AMBROSE: You won't help me?
KYLE LANG: No.
(Ed Meecham is driving a forktruck, carrying a large metal cage. He sets it down. Mulder watches from a short distance. Scully approaches him.)
SCULLY: You want to see something interesting?
(She hands him a newspaper clipping.)
MULDER: Where did you get this?
(The clipping shows a younger Willa Ambrose and Kyle Lang, standing with his arm around her shoulder. The headline below reads "Naturalists Willa Ambrose and Kyle Lang will bring the animal back to the U.S.")
SCULLY: I was looking for a pen to finish my report in Willa's office, and it was in her drawer.
MULDER: It's a small world, after all.
(They look up to see Willa approaching the large steel cage. Sophie starts banging on the cage and moaning loudly, and Willa rushes to the front of the cage and signs to Sophie.)
WILLA AMBROSE: It's okay, Sophie. It's okay, honey. Sophie, Sophie, Sophie - don't worry. I'm with you.
(Sophie calms down. Mulder and Scully look on, then step away. Willa is fighting back tears as Sophie nuzzles her hands through a hole in the door of the cage.)
WILLA AMBROSE: I love you too.
(At night, a truck pulls up in front of the main zoo entrance and Kyle Lang gets out. Kyle steps into Willa's office.)
KYLE LANG: Willa?
(No one is there. He walks through the zoo building and opens the door marked "Maintenance Entrance.")
KYLE LANG: Willa? Are you there?
(No answer. He walks into the darkened area, passing cages of animals.)
KYLE LANG: Willa? Where are you? Willa?
(He steps to Sophie's cage and looks in but it is empty. He is suddenly thrown across the room and into another cage. He looks up to see a large metal cage falling onto him. He screams.)
(Willa is being questioned by Scully and Mulder in her office.)
WILLA AMBROSE: I told you, it happened exactly the way it did with the tiger. I heard the animals going crazy. I got out of bed to check on Sophie and she was gone. That's when I found Kyle.
SCULLY: Do you have any idea what he would have been doing at the zoo?
WILLA AMBROSE: No.
SCULLY: We have a witness who says that you visited Kyle's office yesterday. Is that true?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yeah.
SCULLY: For what purpose?
WILLA AMBROSE: Basically, to tell him he'd won. That the zoo was being shut down, that Sophie was being taken into protective custody.
SCULLY: Did you ask him to help you take Sophie to prevent her from being taken from you?
WILLA AMBROSE: No. That would be against everything Kyle believed in.
SCULLY: But he helped you to rescue her originally, isn't that correct? He had a connection to you and to this animal that went back several years.
WILLA AMBROSE: Whatever connection he and I had was over long ago.
SCULLY: But you asked him anyway ... to help you.
WILLA AMBROSE: No.
SCULLY: Then what was he doing here last night, and why did he give you this note?
(She hands her a small piece of paper. On it is written "Willa - Let's talk. Kyle.")
WILLA AMBROSE: I don't know. I told you.
SCULLY: Did he make a habit of visiting the zoo?
WILLA AMBROSE: If he did, it was probably late at night after he jumped over the fence like a good W.A.O. soldier. Anyway, why don't you ask Agent Mulder what he thinks happened? He seems to have a novel theory. Maybe it was alien abduction.
MULDER: Scully, can I talk to you for a second?
(They step outside.)
SCULLY: You think she's telling the truth?
MULDER: Why do you say that?
SCULLY: Well, Kyle Lang's death and the disappearance of the animal match the previous incidents.
SCULLY: And you've been pushing this alien abduction angle.
MULDER: I still am, but in this case, Willa's reactions are all wrong.
SCULLY: You mean to losing Sophie?
MULDER: I think she knows where Sophie is, and Kyle Lang died because he knows what she's capable of.
SCULLY: You think she killed him?
MULDER: I think she'd do anything to protect that animal.
SCULLY: Even wait atop a stack of crates for a former lover to walk underneath?
MULDER: I think an examination of the body will give us a lot clearer picture of what happened last night. You do that, and I'll check out the warehouse.
(Mulder walks through the warehouse, examining Sophie's cage and seeing some straw just outside the door to it. He hears a noise and steps over to see Ed Meecham closing an electric door at the loading dock. Outside, it looks to be late afternoon.)
(It is now dark, and Ed Meecham backs his truck up to another loading dock. He gets out, carrying a gun, and enters the building. Mulder watches from his car, then gets out.)
(In her office, Willa is packing up her belongings, including a picture of Sophie and her. Scully enters.)
SCULLY: Looks like you're in a hurry.
WILLA AMBROSE: Well, there isn't much to hang around for, is there?
SCULLY: I'm afraid there is. I found evidence that Kyle died a wrongful death. He was hit with a cattle prod. There's gonna be an investigation so I have to read you your rights.
WILLA AMBROSE: It was an accident. Kyle surprised Ed. He wasn't supposed to be there.
SCULLY: Ed Meecham took Sophie?
WILLA AMBROSE: Yes. (near tears) There was no one else to turn to.
SCULLY: Where is she, Willa?
WILLA AMBROSE: Ed has her. She's in some building on the road to Boise.
(Ed Meecham walks through the other building, carrying a flashlight in one hand and the gun in the other. Mulder steps in front of him, gun raised.)
MULDER: Put it down, Ed. There's been enough violence, don't you think?
ED MEECHAM: I didn't kill Kyle Lang.
MULDER: Put down the gun and we'll talk about it.
ED MEECHAM: (putting down the gun) I was only doing what she paid me to do.
MULDER: (picks up the gun) Where is the animal, Ed?
ED MEECHAM: Down the hall.
MULDER: Okay. You show me where - we're gonna go there together. Come on.
(They walk through the building, Mulder following with his gun on Meecham. They approach a storage room, and there are loud roars and banging noises coming from it.)
MULDER: What's she doing?
ED MEECHAM: She's throwing herself against the door. She's gone crazy.
(Mulder steps to the door and looks through the reinforced glass at the top of it. Something hits the glass, startling him. He backs away.)
MULDER: She's scared.
ED MEECHAM: Yeah? Well, she's gonna kill herself.
MULDER: Okay, Ed. Well, you're going to have to save her. Take your tranquilizer gun. I'll be right behind you.
(He hands Ed the gun and takes his flashlight. Ed opens the door.)
ED MEECHAM: I've only got one dart in this thing, so you got to get her out in the light.
(Mulder points the flashlight around in the room.)
MULDER: You see her?
ED MEECHAM: I think she's over in that corner over there.
(Sophie suddenly comes out of the shadows, knocking Mulder down. Meecham ducks out of the room, locking the door behind him.)
MULDER: Hey, Meecham!
(Meecham disappears, leaving Mulder in the room with Sophie.)
MULDER: I'm not gonna hurt you.
(Sophie moves toward Mulder, striking him again. She then moves away and sits accross the room. Dazed, Mulder watches as she motions with her arms. Then there is a blinding light as Mulder loses consciousness.)
(Some time later, Scully is unlocking the door to the room. Mulder lies on the floor, alone in the room. A policeman is with Scully.)
SCULLY: Mulder? Mulder?
(She sees him and rushes to his side. He is bleeding from a cut on the top of his head. Scully touches his head and he awakens, moaning loudly.)
SCULLY: Sorry. Lie still.
MULDER: Where's Sophie?
SCULLY: Lie down. (to policeman) Can we get a paramedic in here?
POLICEMAN: Yes, ma'am.
SCULLY: Ed Meecham's been arrested. We picked him up on the way to Boise. That's how we found you here.
MULDER: They took Sophie.
SCULLY: Who did?
MULDER: Where's Willa?
SCULLY: She's outside. She's going in to make a statement about Kyle Lang.
MULDER: I got to talk to her.
(He gets up and hurries out of the room. Scully picks up his gun and follows. Mulder runs outside, where it is early morning and foggy. Willa gets out of the back seat of a police car as she sees Mulder approaching.)
WILLA AMBROSE: Where is she?
MULDER: She's gone.
WILLA AMBROSE: What did he do to her?
MULDER: It wasn't Ed. She tried to tell me something.
(He motions with his arms, like the ones Sophie made earlier.)
MULDER: What is that?
WILLA AMBROSE: That doesn't make any sense.
MULDER: What does it mean?
"Man save man."
(A report is heard from the police radio.)
DISPATCHER'S VOICE: (on radio) We've just received a report of a large animal spotted down off the interstate just west of the service road off ...
MULDER: That's her.
WILLA AMBROSE: She's heading back towards the zoo.
(They quickly get into the car.)
(Later, their car approaches the site. There are several cars and police vehicles there, along with a number of bystanders. They get out of the car.)
WILLA AMBROSE: (to an officer) Where is she?
OFFICER: (pointing) Over there.
(Willa runs in that direction.)
SCULLY: (to officer) What happened here?
OFFICER: Animal got hit by a car. Ran off in the field.
(Mulder and Scully run after Willa, crossing a field. Willa comes to Sophie, who is lying dead. She throws herself to Sophie's side, crying.)
WILLA AMBROSE: Oh, no. Oh, no, no. Sophie! Sophie! Oh, no, no.
(She puts her head down on Sophie as Mulder and Scully watch.)
(Mulder and Scully drive away from the area. Both stare straight ahead somberly.)
MULDER: (voiceover) Willa Ambrose and Ed Meecham have been charged with manslaughter for the death of Kyle Lang. And though the courts will rule on this matter, and justice will be no doubt be served, the pall of a greater tragedy remains. The motives of the silent visitors who set these events in motion remain unclear. Could this be a judgement on a global rate of extinction that has risen to 1000 times its natural rate in this century? An act of alien conservation of animals we are driving hard toward oblivion? And if so, might it follow that our own fate and existence could finally be dependent upon the conservatorship of an extraterrestrial race? Or in the simple words of a creature whose own future is uncertain, will "man save man?"
(As they drive, they pass a church with a sign in front on which is written "Man has no pre-eminence above a beast: for all is vanity. Eccl 3:19.")