(Muzak playing in the VinylRight telemarketing office with about 100 telemarketers in Dilbertesque cubicles. GARY LAMBERT sits next to a young blond woman, NANCY AARONSON. GARY speaks into his headset.)
MAN: (voice) Hello.
GARY: (on headset phone) Hello. May I speak to Mr. Zachary Llosa?
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Yo-sa, not Losa. Speaking.
GARY: (on headset phone) Hello, Mr. Llosa. Iím calling on behalf of the VinylRight corporation which would like to put a crisp $100 bill into you hand by 5:00 tomorrow evening.
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Iím not really interested at this time.
GARY: (on headset phone, reading off of a monitor) Yes, sir. $100 all for allowing us the privilege of introducing you to VinylRight siding, The thousand-year siding that never needs painting or maintenance.
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Listen, Iím not really interested.
GARY: (on headset phone) Manufactured in America from Space-Age polymers it beautifies while it protects, while it adds to the resale value of your home.
LLOSA: (voice on phone) Look, Iím not interested. I have to go now. Sorry. I have to go. (hangs up)
(GARY dials another number, then hears insect sound. He looks suspiciously around, but doesnít see anything. SUPERVISOR stops near GARYís cubicle.)
SUPERVISOR: Yo, Gary. Dial and smile, Gary. See, if youíre not smiling, they can hear it.
(SUPERVISOR walks away.)
NANCY: (quietly making fun of SUPERVISOR for GARY) If youíre not smiling, they can hear it. Jerk. (into her headset.) Yes, Mr. Valenzuela. Iím calling on behalf of the VinylRight Coporation. We would like to put a crisp $100 bill into your hands by 5:00 tomorrow evening Ö.
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARYís phone) Hello?
GARY: (on headset phone) Mrs. Edith Loach?
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARYís phone) Yes, thatís me.
GARY: (on headset phone) Hello, Mrs. Loach. Iím calling on behalf of the VinylRight Corporation which would like to put a crisp $100 bill into your hand by 5:00 tomorrow evening.
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARYís phone) You want to give me $100? Why?
(GARY stares in shock at shadow of a man sized insect creature in an office across the room.)
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARYís phone) Hello? Did I win something?
GARY: (on headset phone, nervously) Yes, Maíam. $100Ö All for allowing us the privilege of introducing you to VinylRight siding, the thousand-year siding that never needs painting or maintenance. Manufactured in America fromÖ
(Hissing insectizoid sound. Begins to see large insect creature
moving between the cubicles.
No one else sees it.)
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARYís phone) Hello?
GARY: (on headset phone, getting very agitated) Manufactured in America from Space-Age polymers. It beautifies while it protects. While it Ö While itÖ.
ELDERLY WOMAN: (voice on GARYís phone) Hello? Hello?
GARY: (on headset phone, whispering) Mrs. Loach .. listen
very carefully. Itís here.
SECRETARY: (voice on speaker) Sir, Agents Mulder and Scully are here.
SKINNER: Send them in.
(Door opens and MULDER and SCULLY enter.)
SKINNER: Agents have a seat.
SKINNER: I need you to go to Chicago as soon as possible to perform a threat assessment.
SCULLY: A threat assessment for whom?
SKINNER: VinylRight. They make siding. Their telemarketing hub in Oakbrook was the focus of an anonymous audio-taped manifesto, one which threatened violence. Apparently, several years back they had an incident in another office Ė A disgruntled employee with a gun. They feel they canít be too careful.
MULDER: Why canít the Chicago field office take care of it?
SKINNER: Because I prefer you did.
MULDER: (challenging) Because the manifesto contains bizarre overtones Ö claims of a paranormal nature?
SKINNER: It speaks of a monster stalking employees. Your insight into such claims should aid in assessing the threat, if any, posed by this person.
MULDER: (sarcastically) Monsters. Iím your boy.
(Later, MULDER and SCULLY are walking down hall from SKINNERís office.)
MULDER: I mustíve done something to piss him off.
SCULLY: What do you mean?
MULDER: Get stuck with this jerk-off assignment or have I finally reached that magic point in my career where every time somebody sees Bigfoot or the Virgin Mary on a tortilla I get called to offer my special insight on the matter? (rubs his forehead showing his still taped fingers)
SCULLY: Youíre saying "I" a lot. I heard "we." Nor do I assume that this case is just a waste of our time.
MULDER: Not yours, anyway. Thereís no reason both of us should go to Chicago. Iíll take care of it.
SCULLY: Mulder Ö
MULDER: Iím monster boy, right?
(Chicago. MULDER is in PINCUSí office listening to a tape.)
PINCUS: This was forwarded to us by a local radio station. Whoever sent it to them wanted them to play it over and over again 24 hours a day. They elected not to. (plays the tape)
GARYíS VOICE ON TAPE: Attention, people of Illinois. This is a warning of the utmost urgency. At VinylRight 12340 Wabash Terrace in Oak Brook there is a monster, an evil one that preys on the people there, but they canít see it because it hides in the light. I see it. I know where to look. I canít be the only one. We all must hunt it down and kill it because if we donít Ö it will take us all.
(PINCUS stops the tape.)
MULDER: You recognize the voice?
PINCUS: We have 96 employees. Anyway, Iím hoping itís not one of our people though I donít know who else it would be.
MULDER: Your company had a violent incident in its recent history?
PINCUS: We have a plant in Kansas City. Back in í94 one of the warehouse guys came in with a gun, threatened everybody. I think it was over a woman.
MULDER: May I borrow the tape?
PINCUS: Keep it. So I know our home office has to call you guys for insurance reasons, but this is probably just a crank, right? Some guy making a joke.
MULDER: Well, itís best to err on the side of caution. Can you hire security for the building?
PINCUS: If you think we need to. Iím also conducting my own internal investigation Ė interviewing employees, seeing if theyíre happy Ö
MULDER: Use you best judgement. Iíll be in touch.
(MULDER leaves the office and dials his cell phone from the telemarketersí room.)
SCULLY: (on phone, voice) Scully.
MULDER: (on phone) Hi. Itís me. I need you to check on something.
SCULLY: (on phone, voice) What?
MULDER: (on phone) Itís a phrase, "Hiding in the light." Itís on this tape that Iím looking into.
SCULLY: (on phone) On the case thatís a total waste of time?
MULDER: (on phone) Yes, and I didnít say that it wasnít. Uh, "To hide in the light" or "Hiding in the light" Ė some form of that. I think itís in an old case file somewhere that I got hidden away.
SCULLY: (on phone) Which one? Thereís hundreds.
MULDER: (on phone) Iím not sure, but I appreciate it. (hangs up)
SCULLY: (to herself, not overjoyed) "Hiding in the light." (gets up to go look for the file)
(MULDER leaves the room. GARY and NANCY are at their cubicles. GARY stares at PINCUSí office door.)
PINCUS: (voice over intercom) Nancy Aaronson, come to my office, please.
NANCY: (to GARY, rolling her eyes) Uh-oh. Now I did it. (starts to go)
GARY: Nancy Ö
PINCUS: (voice over intercom) Nancy Aaronson, come to my office, please.
NANCY: What, Gary?
NANCY: Donít what? Gary, I love you, buddy, but youíre really, really weird.
(NANCY goes into PINCUSí office. As she enters, Gary sees the shadow of and insect type of creature inside the office. Door closes. GARY hears NANCY scream. No one else does. He starts to go to PINCUSí office, but the SUPERVISOR steps in front of him.)
SUPERVISOR: Dial and smile, Gary.
(GARY returns nervously to his cubicle.)
PINCUS: (voice over intercom) Mark Backus, come to my office, please. Mark Backus, come to my office, please.
(When NANCY comes out of PINCUSí office and returns to her seat, from GARYís POV her eyes are whited over and she moves like a zombie. Any other POV she looks normal.)
NANCY: See, nothing to it. He just wants to say "hi" to everybody. Heís going alphabetically.
(GARY, panicked, runs out of the office.)
SUPERVISOR: Hey, Gary. Gary Lambert!
(MULDER is listening to the tape. While the tape is playing, the scene alternates between GARY preparing an assault rifle and MULDER taking notes.)
GARYíS VOICE ON TAPE: Ö.Wabash Terrace in Oakbrook, there is a monster .. an evil one that preys on the people there but they canít see it because it hides in the light. I see it. I know where to look. I canít be the only one. (MULDER rewinds) Ö urgency. At VinylRight, 12340 Wabash Terrace in Oakbrook, there is a monster .. an evil one that preys on the people there but they canít see it because it hides in the light. I see it. I know where to look. I canít be the only one. We all must hunt it down and kill it because if we donít Ö it will take us all.
(MULDERíS NOTES: "Ö to be taken seriously. Exactness of performance indicates deliberate mindset. Tape likely recorded many times till perfect. Paranoia. Exclusion.")
(MULDERís cell phone rings.)
MULDER: (on phone) Mulder.
SCULLY: (on phone) "Hiding in the light." That was a phrase spoken by one Jerrold Resnick to a Lakeland, Florida police investigator on August 9, 1992.
MULDER: (on phone) What was he describing?
SCULLY: (on phone) Well, Mr. Resnick was a deacon of his local church and apparently he was concerned that there was an evil presence amongst his fellow parishioners and that he alone was aware of that fact.
MULDER: (on phone) He was trying to warn them?
SCULLY: (on phone) Not as such. He showed up for mass one Sunday with four handguns and he began wounding people saying, "The afflicted ones wouldnít bleed." He committed suicide a week later in his cell.
MULDER: (on phone) Scully, at the risk of you telling me "I told you so" I think itís time for you to get down here and help me.
SCULLY: (on phone) I told you so.
(MULDER hangs up.)
(MULDER walking through VinylRight office. It appears deserted.)
MULDER: Hello .. hello?
(He sees NANCY hiding behind a doorway.)
NANCY: (whispering inaudibly) Shh! Get down! Get down!
(MULDER hears GARY cock a rifle behind him.)
GARY: Who are you?
(MULDER slowly raises his hands.)
(SCULLY drives up outside VinylRight building. Lots of police, crime scene.)
SCULLY: Whoís the agent in charge?
AGENT: Agent Rice --- tall guy in the suit.
(SCULLY, showing her badge, goes up to AGENT RICE and the SWAT TEAM AGENT.)
SCULLY: Iím Scully. Agent Mulderís partner. What can you tell me?
AGENT RICE: Not much. TV news got the call. A manís voice told them we needed to broadcast a "stunning revelation." Since then we keep ringing the phones, but nobody answers.
SCULLY: Whoís inside?
AGENT RICE: We canít be sure of a total. It happened over lunch hour, so it could have been worse. The lotís only got 18 cars. Oneís a rental registered to Agent Mulder.
SWAT AGENT: Weíre about to try him on his cell phone.
SCULLY: No. Not until we get a clear idea of the situation.
SWAT AGENT: Thereís a small cafeteria in the building. We think our guyís got everyone barricaded there, he couldnít have picked a better spot Ė one door, no windows. Weíre not going to get a clear idea of the situation unless someone in there talks to us.
SCULLY: If you make a phone call right now, it could compromise Agent Mulder. Sir, we need to find another way.
(Inside the building. VinylRight cafeteria. GARY holds a gun on the employees and MULDER. They are on their knees, hands behind their head. GARY straps two people to the exit doors. PINCUS, NANCY, and MARK BACKUS and another men are kneeling apart from the others. Some employees are crying.)
GARY: Move! Okay Ö come on. Now, get down. Down. Everybody stop crying! Just shut up! Everybody needs to be afraid of him. (indicates PINCUS) Heís the one thatís out to get you. Iím protecting you.
NANCY: Gary, what are you talking about?
GARY: Shut up! Iím not addressing you! Iím addressing the actual people over here, okay? Iím not talking to you, or you or you! (refers to PINCUS, NANCY, and another man.)
MULDER: Why should we be afraid of Mr. Pincus, Gary? Iíd really like to hear what you have to say.
GARY: Who are you, anyway?
MULDER: My name is Mulder.
GARY: You said that already. What are you doing here?
MULDER: Applying for a job.
GARY: (snickering) Oh, man Ö did you come to the wrong place.
MULDER: I get that. Why should we be afraid of Mr. Pincus, Gary?
GARY: Because heís a monster Ö Only you canít see that because heís clouded all your minds but he means to take us all one by one Ö harvest our souls Ö
(MULDER unbuttons his jacket while GARYís back is turned.)
GARY: Ömake us into zombiesÖ robots made out of meat. (cocks rifle)
PINCUS: Oh, God almighty Ö
MULDER: Gary, I want to believe that youíre protecting us, but, uh, Iím kind of afraid of that rifle. It makes it hard for us actual people to concentrate on what youíre saying.
GARY: (to MULDER) Why are you talking to me like Iím a three-year-old? Donít act like you understand what Iím talking about, because you donít Ö but you will.
(GARY turns away. MULDER unsnaps his holster. GARY almost catches him. GARY hears something on the roof and aims the rifle at the ceiling.)
GARY: Shhh! Everybody hold their breath. (Sees plaster falling out of ceiling vent.) Oh, you sons of bitches.
(GARY grabs NANCY and begins firing at the ceiling.)
NANCY: Gary, what are you doing?
(Outside, SCULLY and AGENT RICE duck behind a car at sound of gunshots.)
SWAT AGENT: Everybody hold your fire! Whatís going on?
AGENT ON RADIO: (voice) Heís shooting the ceiling. Sounds like an AK.
AGENT RICE: We got to find out what the hellís going on in that building. Iím calling your partner.
SCULLY: No. If it was safe to do so he would have called us already.
AGENT RICE: Agent Scully, we donít have a lot of options here.
(SCULLY very worried.)
(Inside, GARY stops firing. His back is to MULDER, but just as MULDER reaches for his own gun, his cell phone rings. GARY turns the gun on MULDER.)
MULDER: Itís just my cell phone. Let me get it.
GARY: Put your hands behind your head.
(GARY sees MULDERís gun. He takes out MULDERís gun and hits MULDER across the face, splitting his lower lip. BACKUS attacks GARY from behind. GARY turns, shoots and kills BACKUS. Lots of crying from other employees. Cell phone keeps ringing. GARY pulls out MULDERís badge. MULDERís expression clearly says "Iím screwed." GARY looks at the badge and throws it to the floor.)
GARY: FBI? You happy now? You want to mess with me some more?
(GARY answers MULDERís phone.)
AGENT RICE: (on phone, voice) Hello. Is anybody on the line? We heard gunfire. Is everyone all right?
GARY: (on phone) I just shot a zombie. Everybody thinks I killed him, but I didnít.
AGENT RICE: (on phone, outside) Who am I speaking to?
GARY: (on phone) The guy thatís going to start killing actual people if you donít put me on the damn TV! (hangs up)
AGENT RICE: (to SCULLY) I think he just shot a hostage.
SCULLY: (calm, but worried) Who?
AGENT RICE: Heís still asking for his 15 minutes of fame.
SCULLY: Give it to him.
(Two hostages drag BACKUSí body away.)
GARY: Get it out of sight. You want to know why it jumped me like that?
MULDER: Itís not an it, Gary. Itís a he. Itís a man you just killed. What was his name?
MAN: Mark Backus.
GARY: Wrong! It stopped being Mark Backus when he turned it into a zombie Ö(looks at PINCUS) Ö and then he instructed it by means of mental telepathy to attack me Ö and so I shot it. I had no choice .. but it doesnít matter because it was already dead. He wants us all like that Ė insects, not people .. mindless drones. He wants to take away who we are Ö to control us Ö so weíll be his eyes and ears and spy on each other and help him do his dirty work.
PINCUS: Gary, if Iím the monster, what do you need all these people for? Why donít you just let them all go?
GARY: You just wait till I put you on TV. Then theyíll see what you are.
(Cell phone rings again.)
MULDER: Answer the phone, Gary.
GARY: (answering phone) Dial and smile.
AGENT RICE: (on phone, voice) Okay. Weíre sending you that cameraman -- Now just stay cool.
GARY: (on phone) Finally. Letís do it.
(Outside, FBI has set up fake newsbroadcast for GARY)
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Warren, that is exactly what weíre hearing.
GARY: (to hostages) All you people put your butts against the door. Hurry it up! Go!
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Ö. Going on here at Oak Brook Corporate Ö
GARY: (to hostages) You, get over by the counter. Move it!
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Ö to an actual live feed from the Ö.
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Ö.. that this person or people may have something important to say.
(Cameraman is now in the kitchen. Outside on a monitor, SCULLY sees MULDER, hands still behind his head, looking into the camera. GARY holds the rifle on MULDER.)
GARY: (to camera, referring to MULDER) You see whoís going to get hurt if you bust down this door?
(SCULLY very concerned.)
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Ö. communication between the police and the people inside the building.
SCULLY: Is he getting this?
AGENT RICE: Closed circuitís bouncing it back into the building. He thinks heís going to be a star. (to cameraman, GARY canít hear) All right. Show us the room.
(Inside, Camera begins to pan around the room.)
GARY: (voice) What are you doing?
CAMERAMAN: (voice) Hold on, my battery cable is twisted.
GARY: (voice) Well untwist it!
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) As to whether anybody was injured
AGENT RICE: (outside, looking at monitor) There. The exterior wall is clear. Entry team into position.
(Armored assault vehicle drives up into position.)
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) It sounded rapid Ė very rapid bursts. What we do know, however is that the police and the swat team on handÖ
(SCULLY watches GARY and MULDER on the monitor.)
GARY: (to MULDER) Lie down on the floor. Do it.
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Ödid not return fire. Warren, Iím getting a signal that the cameraman is in place Ö
GARY: All right. Put me on.
FAKE ANCHORWOMAN: (outside, on headset) Ö and weíre about to switch to our live feed inside Ö Yes here it is. Here we go.
GARY: (clears his throat nervously, holds his rifle like a soldier) People of America Ö A monster walks among you. (to cameraman) Go. Pan over. Get up.
(Camera pans over to show PINCUS getting up off the floor.)
GARY: (raising gun) Now, Iíll show it to you .
(MULDER steps between PINCUS and GARY.)
MULDER: No, Gary.
GARY: Get out of the way.
MULDER: Donít do this.
GARY: Get out of the way!
MULDER: Donít do this, Gary.
(Lights go out.)
GARY: Get out of the way!
MULDER: Put down the rifle.
GARY: Get out of the way, now!
(Insect sounds. MULDER hears them, too.)
GARY: There. Look at it. Look at it!
(MULDER turns and instead of PINCUS, he sees the insect creature. MULDER stares in shock, then turns back to GARY.)
(Rumbling sound. FBI assault vehicle bursts through the wall. People scream. SWAT team runs in, and shoots Gary. Lots of screaming and crying. MULDER stares at PINCUS for a moment, then kneels down beside the dying GARY.)
GARY: (softly) Now, you know.
(Later, a body bag is zipped. SCULLY comes up to MULDER and takes his arm.)
SCULLY: (gently) You look exhausted.
MULDER: No, Iím fine.
SCULLY: Agent Rice has the situation in hand. Letís get you out of here. Mulder?
(MULDER goes over to PINCUS who is getting his head bandaged.)
PINCUS: I canít begin to thank you. I owe you my life. We all do.
MULDER: Do you have any idea why he fixated on you the way he did?
PINCUS: No, not at all. I feel like I barely even know the man. I mean, I try to be a good guy to work for.
MULDER: You mentioned another incident with another employee at a plant in Kansas City in 1994.
MULDER: Were you at that plant at that time?
PINCUS: Well, I wasnít there when it happened, but yeah. Did I mention that?
(MULDER shakes his head "No." )
MULDER: What about Lakeland, Florida. Have you ever lived there?
PINCUS: Iíve been there. I have relatives there. Was there anything else?
SCULLY: Uh, no, Mr. Pincus. Thank you very much for your patience.
SCULLY: (to Mulder) Whatís going on?
MULDER: (walking away from her) I donít know.
(SCULLY worried, watches him.)
(X-files office. MULDER drawing red lines on a map connecting cities. Writes date 5/10/98. SCULLY enters. She is surprised to see MULDER.)
SCULLY: Mulder, why didnít you take the day off?
MULDER: Close the door. There was a reason the phrase "hiding in the light" seemed so familiar to me. I found it or variations of it in five other X-Files. "Hiding in plain view" "Hiding in the open" "Lurking in the open." All to describe some sort of manifestation of evil which goes unnoticed be everyone except the claimant in each case.
SCULLY: Have you slept?
MULDER: Seven cities in all dating back ten years. VinylRight has offices within 50 miles of 4 of those cities. Greg Pincus has worked for VinylRight for ten years.
SCULLY: What exactly is it you think you have here?
MULDER: What if Gary Lambert was right?
SCULLY: Mulder, youíre not serious.
MULDER: Just bear with me for a moment. What if such a creature existed that could camouflage itself by clouding the minds of its victims? There are antecedents for it in nature. In the insect world, mantids are said to hypnotize their prey.
MULDER: What if it could induce a visual hallucination Ė a sort of temporary conversion disorder?
SCULLY: Well, what youíre describing would be more like some kind of a visual agnosia, an inability to recognize whatís before oneís eyes.
MULDER: Only Gary Lambert could see through it somehow, as could the others Ė maybe because of some heightened adrenaline level of maybe just because he knew where to look somehow.
SCULLY: Mulder, he was disturbed.
MULDER: Yeah, but did he see it because he was disturbed, or was he disturbed because he saw it?
SCULLY: He was mentally ill. This monster was a sick fantasy Ö a product of his dementia.
MULDER: I saw it, too. (worried, really asking her) Does that make me disturbed? Demented? Does that make me sick, too?
SCULLY: (pauses before answering) No. No, I mean, this Ö this kind of thing is not uncommon. You Ö you went through a terrible ordeal and sometimes people in close associations under tense conditions, the delusions of one can be passed on to the other.
MULDER: Folie A Deux? Itís not that, Scully. Itís not Helsinki Syndrome either. What I saw was real, and there may be a way to prove it.
MULDER: Lambert pointed out certain individuals he said had been victimized by Pincus, turned into zombies. The man he shot, Backus was one of them. If you would autopsy the body Ö
SCULLY: No. No, absolutely not.
MULDER: Scully, if this is all in my mind I would be very grateful if you would prove that.
SCULLY: Mulder, I am not going to serve the delusions of Gary Lambert, a madman, by giving credence to them.
MULDER: Then Iíll prove it without you. (gets up to leave the office)
SCULLY: Mulder Ö
(MULDER goes out the door.)
(MULDER and AGENT RICE go up to the house.)
AGENT RICE: So, what are we looking for?
MULDER: Iíll know it when I see it.
(They find a map on the wall, same as MULDERís, lines drawn on it, cities marked.)
AGENT RICE: Whatís this about?
MULDER: Lambert was tracking his bossís movements over the years.
AGENT RICE: Stalking him.
MULDER: Gathering evidence.
(AGENT RICE is disturbed by MULDERís odd behavior. MULDER looks out the window and sees NANCY as a zombie standing in the yard. MULDER runs outside. AGENT RICE follows..)
AGENT RICE: What is it?
(Yard is empty.)
MULDER: Did you see her? You see where she went?
AGENT RICE: Who? You mind telling me whatís going on here?
(A car pulls away quickly. MULDER starts to run after it, then
stops. PINCUS is driving. NANCY is passenger. They look
normal but stare straight ahead.)
(SKINNERís office. SCULLY enters.)
SCULLY: Sir? You wanted to see me?
SKINNER: Yes. I was hoping you could give me some insight into Agent Mulderís recent behavior.
SKINNER: Why is he back in Illinois? I thought that case was closed.
SCULLY: Agent Mulder believes that there may be a connection between the Oak Brook incident and several other cases.
SKINNER: But you elected not to join him. The Chicago field office has been in contact with him. They describe his behavior as being erratic.
SCULLY: To the best of my knowledge, Agent Mulder is currently working on a legitimate investigation. I will join him in Illinois immediately.
SKINNER: Donít you have an autopsy to do first? (SCULLY
stares at him) This body Mulder sent to Quantico Ö Mark Backus, the
shooting victim. Youíre scheduled to do an examination.
Or didnít you know that?
SCULLY: Iíll get right on it, sir. (starts to leave)
SKINNER: I there something you want to tell me, Scully?
SCULLY: (looks back at him) No, sir.
(SCULLY exits. SKINNER looks concerned.)
(SCULLY and LAB GUY with BACKUSí body.)
SCULLY: Letís start with the photos. In fact, letís just do photos. External exam only.
LAB GUY: This guy came a long way just to have his picture taken.
SCULLY: Knock yourself out.
(LAB GUY begins taking pictures as SCULLY turns away and dials her cell phone.)
LAB GUY: Case number 98-6522, Mark Backus 45-year-old Caucasian male. There are three one centimeter gunshot entry wounds on the left anterior chest wall with some burn stippling present.
SCULLY: (phone still ringing) Come on, Mulder.
LAB GUY: Judging from the corpseís resolved rigor and fixed lividity as well as the decompositional bloating Iíd place the time of death between 48 and 72 hours.
SCULLY: (turning, surprised) No. This man died late yesterday afternoon.
LAB GUY: Are you sure?
LAB GUY: Sure looks to me like heís been dead longer than that.
(Body of MARK BACKUS does look quite decayed.)
(Night. Outside the house of another employee, GRETCHEN STARNS. PINCUS gets out of his car and goes around to the back of the house. MULDER drives up and follows him. No sign of PINCUS. MULDER stands on patio table and looks in a window. He sees GRETCHEN sitting on her couch watching an old Shirley Temple movie. Insect noises. MULDER sees the insect creature moving behind her. MULDER breaks the window. She screams. MULDER runs around to the front and kicks in the door. He sees GRETCHEN sitting still. Sheís a zombie. Insect creature skitters on ceiling behind MULDER, he turns, but he doesnít see it. Looking out a window, he sees it climb the wall to the roof and out of sight.)
(Next day. PINCUSí office. GRETCHEN is being interviewed by SKINNER, MULDER and PINCUS.)
GRETCHEN: Suddenly, I became aware of this Ö this presence Ö and I could feel it creeping toward me. It was terrifying. And the next thing I knewÖ (looks at MULDER accusingly) Ö this madmanís inside my house. He breaks my window, kicks in the door and the whole time, heís screaming about monsters -- I mean even worse than Gary.
SKINNER: Miss Starns, I apologize for this incident. I assure you it will receive my utmost attention.
PINCUS: Why donít you take the rest of the week, Gretchen?
GRETCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Pincus. (looks again at MULDER) That man has no business carrying a gun, you ask me. (she leaves)
MULDER: (to PINCUS) You got to her, too, didnít you?
SKINNER: Agent Mulder Ö
MULDER: I was too late. You changed her somehow. You infected her.
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, think very carefully about the next words that come out of your mouth. (to PINCUS) Once again, I apologize.
PINCUS: Thereís no need. Iím well aware of the stress Agent Mulder has been under and Iím, uh, well, I still consider him a hero which is why I want to handle this privately.
SKINNER: We appreciate that.
PINCUS: For my part Iím happy to let this entire matter drop. Iím sure I can persuade Miss Starns to do the same, provided Agent Mulder is amenable.
MULDER: You donít see whatís going on here.
SKINNER: (looking at MULDER directly) Iím afraid I do.
MULDER: (to PINCUS) Lambert knew your secret. He knew you were sucking the humanity out of these people, feeding on them!
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, thatís enough! I donít want to hear another word out of you. If you care about your career, youíll knock this crap off and apologize to this man because I will not Ö
(SKINNER continues to yell, but the sound of his voice fades. MULDER stares at PINCUS. He sees the insect creature.)
MULDER: (drawing his gun and pushing SKINNER out of the way) Get out of the way!
(SKINNER grabs MULDER and holds him down on the desk. MULDER struggles.)
MULDER: Look at it!
SKINNER: (holding MULDER down) Stop!
MULDER: (drops gun) Look at it! Look at it!
SKINNER: Relax! Stop struggling! Stop it!
(MULDER weakly gives up and stops struggling.)
(MULDER is strapped down to a hospital bed. SCULLY pushes back the curtain and holds his hand which is strapped to the bed rail. SCULLY looks at him sadly.)
MULDER: Five years together, Scully. You must have seen this coming. (laughs softly) Did you examine Backusí body? What did you find?
SCULLY: More or less what we thought weíd find.
MULDER: "More or less?" What is that supposed to mean?
SCULLY: The body showed signs of decomposition beyond what we expected to find which, in and of itself means nothing, really. Time of death is notoriously hard to quantify.
MULDER: Or, that Lambert was telling the truth and that man was dead before he was gunned down.
SCULLY: No, MulderÖ
MULDER: Scully .. When that monster, Pincus Ė whatever the hell you want to call it Ė when he attacked that woman last night he did something to the back of her neck. H-he bit her there, or he injected something in there. Thereís got to be evidence of that. You got to check for that.
SCULLY: Mulder, the case is over. Thereís no more evidence to be gathered. Thereís only my hope that youíll be able to see past this delusion.
MULDER: (desperate) *You* have to be willing to see.
SCULLY: I wish it were that simple.
MULDER: Scully, you *have* to believe me. Nobody else on this whole damn planet does or ever will. Youíre my one in Ö five billion.
(They look at each other, SCULLY still holding his hand.)
(Autopsy lab at Quantico.)
LAB GUY: Well, you just made it. I was about to ship him. Full autopsy this time?
SCULLY: No. Letís flip him.
LAB GUY: Flip him over?
SCULLY: Yep. Give me a hand.
(SCULLY and the LAB GUY turn the body of MARK BACKUS over. SCULLY
looks at the back of his neck, then shaves it with clippers. She
sees three small puncture marks.)
(Night. MULDERís hospital room. MULDER still strapped to the bed. NURSE prepares a LARGE! injection.)
MULDER: (innocently) We can do without these, huh? What do you say?
NURSE: (smiles) Sorry.
(MULDER winces as she gives him the injection.)
NURSE: There we go. (closes the bed curtain) Sleep tight. Donít let the bed bugs bite.
(NURSE turns off light and leaves the room. MULDER starts to relax, then hears insect sounds. Through the curtain he sees the shadow of the insect creature in the window)
MULDER: Nurse. Nurse! Nurse! Itís
here! Nurse! Itís here! (NURSE opens the curtain.)
Itís here! Itís at the window!
NURSE: Whatís here?
MULDER: (trying to sound calm and rational) There is something Ö there is something at the window and itís trying to get in here. Please unstrap me so that I can stop it.
NURSE: Weíre three floors up. Thereís nothing at the window.
MULDER: Undo my straps so I can check.
NURSE: (turning on light) I can show you Ö
MULDER: No, donít! No! Just please Ö! Please.
NURSE: See? (taps closed window) Nothingís going to get you.
MULDER: Okay. Just, uh Ö just untie me anyway please.
(NURSE looking spooky unlocks and opens window.)
MULDER: What are you doing?
NURSE: (sounding spooky) You just need some fresh air.
(As MULDER stares at her, NURSE tightens the straps holding MULDER and closes the curtain again.)
NURSE: I canít be running in here all night, okay?
(Door closes as the NURSE leaves. Insect sounds begin again. MULDER begins to panic as insect creature crawls in his window and across the ceiling.)
MULDER: (yelling) Help! Somebody help!
(At NURSEís station down the hall SCULLY is talking to the NURSE.)
NURSE: Iím very sorry, but it is after hours and Mr. Mulder is resting. Iíll have to ask you to come back in the morning.
SCULLY: (showing her badge) Iíve come a long way, and I know he wants to see me, so what do you say?
NURSE: Iím sorry. Really. Itís hospital policy.
(SCULLY stares at the NURSE, suddenly seeing her as a zombie. SCULLY runs down the hall, gun out, and kicks open MULDERís door. She sees insect creature attacking MULDER in the dark room.)
MULDER: Help! Help! Help!
(SCULLY shoots at the insect creature next to MULDER. It jumps
away and crashes through the window as she shoots it again. She looks
out the window, but sees no sign of it. She looks back at MULDER.)
(SKINNERís office. SCULLY alone with SKINNER.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully, I have to say Iím at a bit of a loss here. Do I infer correctly from this that you believe thereís some Ö merit to Agent Mulderís claims?
SCULLY: I believe that Agent Mulder is mentally sound and fit for duty. Aside from that belief, I can only present to you the few hard facts that Iíve been able to gather. That, as per Agent Mulderís assertions a toxin has been found to have been injected into the spine of the shooting victim, Mark Backus. As of yet, weíve been unable to identify it. Furthermore, Gregory Pincus has apparently disappeared without a trace along with half a dozen other key witnesses integral to this investigation Ė among them, Agent Mulderís nurse at the hospital and several VinylRight employees.
SKINNER: Men and women described by Mulder as zombies.
SCULLY: (sighs) I can personally vouch for the fact that there was an intruder in Agent Mulderís hospital room.
SKINNER: Describe this intruder.
SCULLY: (pause) It was dark.
SKINNER: You must have gotten a glimpse. What did
(Later, SCULLY joins MULDER at the elevator.)
MULDER: What did you tell him?
SCULLY: The truth Ö as well as I under stand it.
MULDER: Which is?
(They enter elevator.)
SCULLY: Folie A Deux. A madness shared by two.
(Elevator doors close.)
(Another telemarketing office. Camera pans across room to young male employees on headset.)
YOUNG EMPLOYEE: (on headset phone, nervous) Mr. Jaycox, may I take a few moments to tell you about the advantages of WeatherRight replacement windows? They keep down high heating and cooling costs. (he hears insect sounds) They beautify Ö They beautify and add value to your home as well as Ö. (he is very agitated, whispering now) Mr. Jaycox Ö Itís here!