(Night. A car pulls up and parks near a dark forested area. The bumper sticker says, "My son is an HONOR STUDENT at Adams High". TONY, a fresh-faced teenager, gets out nervously, passes a rusted No Trespassing sign and walks a few yards into the forest. He sees no one.)
TONY: Max. Max, you there?
(A flash of light as MAX, another teenager, lights a cigarette calmly. He is suddenly directly in front of TONY, and has his arm draped around his girlfriend, CHASTITY.)
MAX: You're late, kid. You get lost?
TONY: Sorry. Had to wait till my mom took off.
CHASTITY: It's way past his bedtime, Max. He's not cut out for this.
TONY: Cut out for what?
MAX: Oh, there's more here than just trees. Before you can find out what, I got to know that you're not going to tell anyone about this place.
TONY: I won't. I swear.
MAX: It's a vow, Tony. Don't make it if you're going to break it.
TONY: I won't break it, man. Not ever.
MAX: No matter what? (leans close to TONY's ear) Even if someone dies tonight?
(TONY looks even more nervous. The sound of a car approaching, they all look in the direction it's coming, TONY turns around, a siren blares and TONY sees a police car pull up. When he turns back to MAX and CHASTITY, they are gone. Surprised, he looks around.)
(DEPUTY FOSTER uses his flashlight to look at TONY's Virginia driver's license. Reed, Anthony, 4830 Bemis, Pittsfield, Virgina, 23226. They stand beside TONY's car.)
DEPUTY FOSTER: Anthony Reed. Got any outstanding warrants, Anthony?
TONY: No, of course not.
DEPUTY FOSTER: Well, I'm going to have to check it out for myself so put your hands on the vehicle.
TONY: Look, I was just taking a walk.
DEPUTY FOSTER: Uh-huh. Right past all those big "no trespassing" signs? Now, you just stand there for a minute.
TONY: Come on, man, I didn't do anything.
(DEPUTY FOSTER leaves TONY with his hands on the roof and heads back to his cruiser, out of TONY's sight.)
DEPUTY FOSTER: I wish I had a nickel for every time I had to drag you kids out of these woods. It would be a lot of nickels. (on radio) Deputy Foster to Dispatch...
(TONY sees a blur of light and color pass him, there is a loud thud. DEPUTY FOSTER grunts and his flashlight falls to the ground.)
WOMAN ON RADIO: Dispatch to Deputy Foster, can you repeat that request?
WOMAN ON RADIO: Dispatch to Foster. I didn't quite copy your last transmission.
WOMAN ON RADIO: Dispatch to Foster. Do you copy?
(TONY slowly walks around the car. He picks up the police flashlight, then drops it quickly. It is covered in blood which is now smeared on TONY's hands.)
WOMAN ON RADIO: Deputy Foster, this is Dispatch. Do you copy? Deputy Foster, sir, what's your 20?
(TONY looks inside the police car. DEPUTY FOSTER's head has been completely crushed in. Very bloody.)
(SCULLY gets off an elevator and walks up behind MULDER in the hall. He is dialing on his phone - probably her. She touches him on the back with a file folder to get his attention. He seems happy to see her and smiles as they walk down the hall.)
MULDER: Uh. There you are. Heavy traffic?
SCULLY: Slow going. Let's just say I had ample time to read the police report that you faxed me.
MULDER: Thoughtfully provided by the local authorities even though it doesn't begin to tell the whole story.
SCULLY: Sheriff's deputy is slain during a routine patrol. It's a tragic occurrence but I don't see the mystery here, Mulder.
MULDER: Except that the deputy was beaten to death by an invisible assailant.
SCULLY: Yes, but that's according to the young man who's accused of his murder.
MULDER: One Tony Reed, and I'm guessing wrongfully accused. He's an "A" student moved here a few months ago from Philadelphia. He's never been in trouble in his life.
(They enter the morgue. SCULLY puts on a pair of rubber gloves from a box on a cart next to the body.)
SCULLY: Mulder, tell me you've got more than SAT scores to show that this Tony Reed didn't commit this crime.
MULDER: Maybe. Take a look at the body.
(SCULLY flips back the sheet and looks at the smashed head of DEPUTY FOSTER. She looks back up at MULDER in disbelief.)
MULDER: The former Deputy Ronald Foster. As you can see, the report doesn't quite do it justice.
SCULLY: Oh, my God, it looks like he was hit with a sledgehammer.
MULDER: Police flashlight. One blow.
(SCULLY looks at him in disbelief again then examines the body.)
SCULLY: The damage to the maxillofacial bones and the cranium is consistent with a blunt-force trauma, but... I'd say that, uh, Tony eats his Wheaties.
MULDER: Check out the back of his head.
(SCULLY looks. She sees twisted glass and metal amid the bloody hair.)
SCULLY: Ugh. His eyeglasses.
MULDER: Penetrated to the back of his skull. Babe Ruth couldn't hit this hard, let alone a high school sophomore.
SCULLY: Well, maybe if he was under the influence of PCP or some kind of stimulant.
MULDER: No, his tox screen came back negative.
SCULLY: Well, even so, I mean, stress and fear may have triggered an adrenaline response which is known to enable feats of near-superhuman strength.
(They turn to see SHERIFF HARDEN, fifites, enter the morgue. He is not a happy man.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: Agent Mulder? How long are you planning on being down here?
MULDER: Uh, Sheriff Harden, this is my partner, Agent Scully.
SHERIFF HARDEN: (ignoring SCULLY) How long you planning on being down here? I'd like Ron left in peace. I don't know what there is to see, anyway. We got the kid who did it.
SCULLY: Sheriff, we don't mean to second-guess you. We're just hoping to be of some assistance.
SHERIFF HARDEN: Well, I don't need it. I got the murder weapon with bloody fingerprints and once the state crime lab matches that up with Tony Reed, it's open and shut.
MULDER: Well, uh... we're done here. (casually to SCULLY) Right? But, Sheriff Harden, you won't mind if I talk to Tony Reed, do you? I mean, it won't hurt your case and if he did do it, you'll want to know why.
(SHERIFF HARDEN considers.)
(Later, MULDER and SCULLY enter the police station. A PRETTY BLONDE YOUNG WOMAN bumps into MULDER as they pass. MULDER turns and she and MULDER smile at each other. It is CHASTITY, the girl from the forest, on her way out of the interrogation room. When he turns back to SCULLY, she must give him a look because he chuckles at her as they enter the interrogation room.)
MULDER: (defensively, laughing) What?
(She must let it pass. They enter the room. TONY is sitting at the table.)
MULDER: Well, Tony, this must be your lucky day for visitors. This is Agent Scully with the FBI ...
TONY: (interupts) I'm not talking anymore. Okay?
SCULLY: Well, that might make things worse and they seem pretty bad already. In your statement you say that Deputy Foster stopped you but you don't say why.
(She pushes a folder toward him.)
MULDER: Come on, you were cruising, right? I mean, a small town like this you're not exactly living La Vida Loca. I know-- I grew up in Dullsville, too, you know. Nothing to do but drive and park.
TONY: How long ago was that?
(MULDER takes the verbal hit.)
TONY: Look. Don't you think I know what you're doing? You're like the tenth cop who's come in here trying to relate to me till I confess.
SCULLY: If you didn't do it, it's all the more reason to clear it up.
TONY: Everything I know is in my statement.
MULDER: Okay, but bear with us 'cause we're old and stupid. (SCULLY appears to hide a smile by looking down.) How long was it between the time you heard the scream to the time you found Deputy Foster?
(TONY doesn't answer.)
SCULLY: Tony, you're not likely to get a fairer hearing than this.
TONY: Maybe ten... 15 seconds.
MULDER: Okay, but you didn't see anyone near the patrol car? You didn't hear anything? And you're still gonna stick with your story that you were the only one there. Is that right?
(Long pause. TONY is very uncomfortable.)
TONY: I want to go back to my cell.
(MULDER and SCULLY go out into the hall and speak quietly.)
SCULLY: 16 years old and his life is over unless he starts telling the truth.
MULDER: If you really think he's guilty, Scully, why don't you ask yourself this: why wouldn't he make up a more plausible cover story? Why didn't he say that, uh, a pickup full of hillbillies drove by and clobbered the Deputy and ran away?
SCULLY: I'm not saying he's guilty, Mulder. I'm inclined to agree that Tony Reed did not commit murder but I think that he saw the person who did, and he may be covering up for him.
MULDER: I'm not sure there was a person to see. I think there was a force at work here.
SCULLY: What kind of force?
MULDER: I don't know-- some kind of territorial or spiritual entity, maybe. (SCULLY sighs) Poltergeists have long been associated with violent acts like this and they tend to manifest around young people. They seem to be drawn to the turmoil of adolescence.
SCULLY: (innocently, almost coy) Mulder. Rather than spirits... can we at least start with Tony's friends? (looks like she is playing with his tie) Please? Just... for me? I think there's one person in particular I'd like to talk to.
(MULDER looks meaningfully at the door where CHASTITY left, then back at SCULLY.)
(CHASTITY, bored, is sitting in a school classroom. It is two minutes to noon. The class is taking a test. A male teacher, MR. BABBITT, is sitting at the head of the room.)
MR BABBITT: Let's wrap it up, people. Two minute warning.
(CHASTITY looks up at the clock. It clicks back one minute, then up to two minutes until noon again. MAX casually enters the classroom, smiles at CHASTITY, and goes up to MR BABBITT's desk.)
MR BABBITT: There goes half your grade, Max. You missed the midterm.
MAX: Not if I take it right now.
MR BABBITT: In one minute?
MAX: Oh, I've been studying.
MR BABBITT: (handing him the test) I don't care who your father is. You fail my test-- it sticks.
MAX: Well, I guess I'd better ace it, then, huh?
(MAX takes the paper, turns and smiles again at CHASTITY. She gives a little wave with her pencil.)
MR BABBITT: Take your seat, young man.
(MAX turns back to MR BABBITT and tosses the test paper back on the desk. All the questions have been penciled in.)
MAX: Piece of cake.
MR BABBITT: It is when you mark them at random.
MAX: Go ahead-- check it.
(MR BABBITT puts the transparent master over the marks on the paper. Every question is correct. He looks back up at MAX.)
MAX: Maybe I got more going on than people know.
(The bell rings. MR BABBITT is not pleased. The STUDENTS begin leaving the classroom. As CHASTITY leaves, she is stopped by MULDER and SCULLY who have been waiting in the hall.)
SCULLY: (showing her badge) Chastity Raines? I'm Agent Scully. This is Agent Mulder. We're with the FBI.
CHASTITY: Yeah, I remember you.
(She begins walking to her locker. MULDER and SCULLY follow.)
MULDER: Chastity, what did you and Tony talk about this morning?
CHASTITY: He didn't kill that cop.
MULDER: How can you be so sure?
CHASTITY: Tony just doesn't have it in him.
SCULLY: Do you?
(CHASTITY looks back at them, then opens her locker and gets out a man's purple and yellow school jacket and puts it on.)
MULDER: Were you there when it happened?
CHASTITY: Look, I got to go.
SCULLY: Do you realize that Tony could go to prison for the rest of his life for this?
(CHASTITY pauses as she does up her jacket, looking at SCULLY and contemplating what she just said.)
MULDER: Chastity, if you know something now is the time to mention it.
(MAX comes over and stands possessively behind to CHASTITY.)
MAX: Unless they got a warrant, you don't have to say nothing.
MULDER: Wow, you must be her lawyer.
MAX: Let's go.
MULDER: Gee, butting in to our investigation. I wonder what your father, the sheriff, would think.
MAX: How do you know who my dad is?
(MULDER points at the name one of MAX's school folder. We also see that the date is 11/12/99.)
MULDER: You got the same last name.
MAX: Oh, you're good. We're done here. Come on, babe. (to SCULLY as he walks away with his arm around CHASTITY) You must have been a Betty, back in the day.
(MULDER and SCULLY watch them walk down the hall.)
SCULLY: A "Betty"?
MULDER: Back in the day.
(MULDER notices the back of the school jacket on CHASTITY as she walks down the hall - "Adams High Panthers" with the word "SUCKS" added at the bottom. SCULLY's phone rings.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Scully. (pause) What about the murder weapon?
(MULDER, SCULLY, and SHERIFF HARDEN are in front of an evidence locker.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: All I know is, we put the flashlight in here and now it's gone. It's like it just disappeared into thin air.
SCULLY: How many people have access to this room?
SHERIFF HARDEN: Only me and the dozen deputies under my command.
(MULDER finds a small strip of something on the floor. He picks it up and examines it.)
SCULLY: (glancing up at a video camera) What does the tape show?
SHERIFF HARDEN: That no unauthorized persons came in and no one went anywhere near this locker.
MULDER: (holding up the item he picked up) Was this here before?
SHERIFF HARDEN: I don't know.
SCULLY: Can we take a look at the surveillance tape?
(Later, they are watching the surveillance tape. A guard is sitting at a desk beside the locker.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: You can see that the flashlight was properly secured. It's not like we're running some kind of a half-assed operation here.
SCULLY: No one's saying that you are, Sheriff.
SHERIFF HARDEN: Here's when the state police showed up to take it to the crime lab. There's me going to get it. We open up the locker and it's gone. I maybe, uh, didn't give y'all the warmest welcome but if you have any ideas...
MULDER: (reaching for the remote) May I?
SHERIFF HARDEN: I watched it a dozen times.
SCULLY: Could there be a malfunction with the VCR?
(MULDER begins replaying the tape, slowly.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: I don't see how plus there's no gap in the time code. The murder weapon was the only hard evidence we had. Without it, we got no case. You know what I got to do now? I got to call Ron Foster's widow and tell her that I got to turn his killer loose.
(SHERIFF HARDEN sighs and leaves.)
MULDER: Scully, check this out.
SCULLY: What am I supposed to be seeing?
MULDER: (advancing the tape one frame at a time) Oh, here it comes. Now you see it... and one more frame... now you don't. What do you make of that, Scully? Take another look. Now it's here... Now it's not.
(On the tape, there is a blur on one frame, no blur in the next.)
(TONY and his Mom, MRS. REED, enter the modest house and TONY goes up to his room. MRS. REED comes in behind him. She has a heavy New England blue-collar accent.)
MRS. REED: Are you ready to be straight with me?
TONY: Leave me alone, Mom. Would you just leave me alone? I'm tired.
MRS. REED: This isn't like a bad report card, Anthony. A man is dead.
TONY: I told you, I didn't do it.
MRS. REED: It's just that what you say happened doesn't make sense. There's got to be more to it.
TONY: Well, there isn't. Okay?
MRS. REED: Are those kids involved in this? That boy Max?
TONY: No. Mom, they're the only friends I have here.
MRS. REED: Well, you're done seeing them.
TONY: You don't even know them.
MRS. REED: I do know them-- I was your age once. Tony... we came here to get a fresh start, get away from them bad schools... the wrong crowd. You are doing so well here.
TONY: How would you know? You're never around.
(TONY feels guilty.)
MRS. REED: You think it's my dream to work two jobs? I'm doing it for you, Tony.
TONY: I just want to get some sleep. That's all I want.
MRS. REED: You got a chance at a good life... a real future. We didn't come all this way so you could throw it away.
(She leaves him alone in his room. He lies down. There is a small ping sound like someone throwing rocks at his window. TONY looks out and sees MAX standing by a car at the curb. MAX smiles at him and indicates with his head that TONY should come down and join him.)
(Later, TONY is the passenger in the car driven by MAX down a rural road.)
MAX: Listen to that, man. This car's got guts. Sort of like you that way.
TONY: Who's car is this, Max?
MAX: Chastity told you to shut up, sit tight, and things would be fine. You did that-- it tells me a lot.
TONY: Everything's not fine. We're in a stolen car; a cop is dead.
MAX: Calm down, man. He'd been snooping around. He had to go.
TONY: What do you mean he had to go? What happened out there?
MAX: You got to learn not to ask so many questions.
(MAX pushes his foot down on the gas pedal, the speedometer now pushing 100.)
TONY: Slow the hell down, man. You're freaking me out!
MAX: (smiling) You ain't seen nothing yet.
(He starts to weave the car down the road.)
TONY: Max, look out!
(TONY looks over at MAX in the driver's seat ... MAX is gone. TONY grabs the wheel. As the car starts to crash into a tree, TONY puts his hands in front of his face defensively. The car crashes, the tree cutting the car practically in two. TONY is now standing a few feet from the wrecked car, his hands still in defense-mode and frozen in mid-air. He puts them down and stares at the car in disbelief. MAX startles him by stepping up behind him.)
MAX: I'm going to make you one of us... But I call the shots. Always remember that.
(X-Files office. CHUCK BURKS, the paranormal lab guy, is sitting at MULDER's desk looking at images from the surveillance video on the computer. MULDER and SCULLY enter.)
MULDER: Hey, Chuck.
SCULLY: Sorry to make you trek over here for what's probably a glitch.
MULDER: What'd you come up with?
(MULDER takes off his coat and hangs it over the back of the chair. CHUCK BURKS gets up and MULDER sits in front of the computer, SCULLY beside him.)
CHUCK BURKS: Nothing but eyestrain at first. Then I ran it through my imaging software. I'm here to tell you, it's not a glitch. It's what the camera saw.
MULDER: Buckle up, Scully. I believe Chuck is about to take us on a ride into the paranormal.
CHUCK BURKS: Well, yes and no. Initially, I was thinking spectral manifestation but, uh, with spirit activity you'd expect to see light streaks, auras, atmospheric disturbances, translucent figures. Whatever this is... it's not a ghost.
SCULLY: Especially since ghosts don't go around leaving synthetic polymers in their wake.
MULDER: That's what the gunk on the floor turned out to be.
CHUCK BURKS: Ah. I dig a mystery with layers.
MULDER: (smiling) Chuck, I get the feeling you don't know what the hell this is.
CHUCK BURKS: I cross-referenced the shape's silhouette against every organic and inorganic object in the Library of Congress database. The closest match was a Soviet Acula-class submarine.
SCULLY: I think we can rule that out.
CHUCK BURKS: And then there's this weirdness. My enhancement brought up this dark edge... around the anomaly.
MULDER: A shadow.
CHUCK BURKS: It would fit with the lighting in the room. The problem is, it can't be throwing a shadow unless...
MULDER: Unless it's a solid object.
SCULLY: Which is impossible because it only appears for a single frame.
CHUCK BURKS: One-thirtieth of a second. Now, maybe, uh, SCAG can give us a clearer picture.
CHUCK BURKS: Spectrographic color attribute generator. I'm, uh, beta-testing it for JPL. It's still in the tweaking phase but the basic idea is I assign known color values onto the black-and-white image. Then SCAG assigns chromatic values throughout the frame in effect, making an educated guess at, uh...what all the colors might be. It still needs fine-tuning.
(MULDER leans forward with his finger pointing at the now colored image on the screen. Purple and yellow streaks.)
MULDER: You recognize these colors, Scully?
(Big sign for Adam's High School Panthers in the school hallway. Like the back of the school's jackets, the colors are purple and yellow. As TONY walks through the halls, other STUDENTS turn and look at him. He goes over to CHASTITY. She speaks softly and sadly. She looks more tired than she has in previous scenes.)
CHASTITY: Hey, Tony.
TONY: Everyone's looking at me like I'm a criminal.
CHASTITY: I'm not. I heard you took a ride.
TONY: What was that? How did he do it?
CHASTITY: You'll find out.
TONY: Maybe you were right... About me not being cut out for this.
CHASTITY: It's a little late for second thoughts.
(MAX shows up and puts his arm around CHASTITY.)
MAX: (threatening) You trying to move in on my girl?
(TONY has no response. The bell rings.)
MAX: (grins) Saved by the bell.
(They go into MR BABBITT's classroom. Other STUDENTS are staring at TONY. MAX leans forward.)
MAX: Hey... you want to stare at someone, stare at me.
(Immediately, all the other STUDENTS turn away. MR BABBITT begins handing back test papers.)
MR BABBITT: Well, class... I've graded your midterms. Save for a few of you, the news is not good. Mr. Pembleton... What happened? (PEMBLETON looks despondent) Welcome back, Mr. Reed. Expect to make up the test tomorrow. Mr. Harden, you're here on time for a change.
(MAX's paper has a big, red "F" on it.)
MAX: What's this?
MR BABBITT: Self-explanatory, isn't it?
MAX: I got every answer right.
MR BABBITT: Not because you knew the material.
MAX: Are you saying I cheated? How?
MR BABBITT: I have no idea how, but you did, and I won't tolerate it.
(MAX gets up, tosses the test to the floor, and angrily walks out of the classroom.)
MR BABBITT: Back to business, people. Mr. Geider... Mr. Baker...
TONY: (whispering to CHASTITY) How do I tell Max that I want out?
CHASTITY: (whispering) I wish I could help you, Tony. I can't even help myself.
(Later in the lunchroom. TONY is picking at his food. MR BABBITT carries his tray down the aisle. Suddenly, MR BABBITT appears to trip over his own feet and sprawls out on the floor spilling the contents of his tray. STUDENTS laugh. MAX is standing at the end of the lunch room, arms folded, threatening expression.)
BOY: (laughing) Babbitt!
(Camera on MAX again as he crosses his arms, then MAX becomes a blur. MR BABBIT is now staring at his suddenly bloody hands. His face is also bloody, as if he has been severely beaten. STUDENTS recoil in horror. TONY looks over at MAX as he uncrosses his arms, never taking his eyes off MR BABBITT. MAX blurs again and a table slams into MR BABBITT's gut, then slides with him down the lunchroom and slams into the wall, shattering the plaster through MR BABBITT's body. MR BABBITT, still alive, looks up weakly at MAX.)
GIRL: Oh, my God!
(Camera on MAX blurs again and a lunchroom chair flies through the air toward the camera and MR BABBITT's head.)
(LATER: SCULLY ducks under the police tape holding back numerous curious students and enters the lunch room past a COP.)
SCULLY: Excuse me, please. Thank you.
COP: (to curious students and reporters) Just stay back.
(SCULLY joins MULDER who is already in the room looking at the scene.)
MULDER: I'll show you my theory if you show me yours.
SCULLY: (looking at the squished MR BABBITT) Based on the eyewitness accounts of the students I spoke to, at this moment I'd have to say that I don't have one.
(The camera now shows MR BABBITT pinned to the wall by the table and the chair. Funny in a macabre sort of way.)
MULDER: What about for these globs of goo?
(MULDER shows her more pieces of burnt rubber as they start to walk away from MR BABBITT.)
SCULLY: The ones we found in the evidence room?
MULDER: Yep. I'm guessing Max Harden could tell us how they got there.
SCULLY: You think Max did this? Based on what?
MULDER: I spoke to a few students myself. Apparently, Max was angry at Mr. Babbitt because he failed him on his mid-term exam so he had motive.
SCULLY: Well, he may have had motive but he didn't have opportunity. There was nobody here who saw him even go near the victim.
MULDER: Maybe he didn't need to. I pulled his records. Rising attendance and discipline problems over the last few months, but look at his transcript. (shows folder) As his behavior was getting worse his grades were going through the roof. This kid has changed, Scully.
SCULLY: Well, Mulder, he's a teenager. Everything about him is changing. His body and his brain chemistry is in a state of unparalleled upheaval, plus there's peer pressure and substance abuse. Any one of these factors could alter his behavior radically.
MULDER: But what if it's given him a kind of psychokinetic or paranormal ability ... (SCULLY's eyebrow shoots up.) ... that allows him to exert force over a victim without ever laying a finger on him?
SCULLY: That's your theory?
MULDER: Yes, it is. Soon to be proven as soon as I get Max in for questioning.
DEPUTY: Agent, you needed to speak to Sheriff Harden?
MULDER: Yeah, I want to talk to him about his son.
DEPUTY: Uh, he's with him now. They're taking him to the emergency room. Max just collapsed in the parking lot.
(School corridor. TONY stops CHASTITY who is walking down the hall.)
TONY: You hear about Max? You okay? Where are you going?
CHASTITY: (upset) Tony, the less you know, the better, all right?
(She continues walking down the hall.)
(Rural road. TONY has followed CHASTITY to the area where he met her and MAX in the teaser. He sees her run into the forest. He follows, but loses sight of her. He finds and enters a cave. In the center of the cave a shaft of light shines into a bright circle. TONY cautiously puts his foot into the light. His whole body shimmers and he pulls his foot back and rubs his right arm as if he was punched. He hesitates a moment, then steps fully into the light. His whole body shimmers and blurs violently and impossibly fast.)
(MAX's hospital room. SHERIFF HARDEN is standing by the bed. MULDER and SCULLY enter.)
MAX: What? No candy? No flowers?
SHERIFF HARDEN: My deputy told me you were coming and why, so you can just turn right around. Whatever the hell happened at that school, my son didn't do it.
SCULLY: Sheriff, we'd like to ask your son a few questions if that's okay.
SHERIFF HARDEN: The boy's sick. The doctors can't even say what's wrong with him.
MULDER: Max could tell them. You know why you collapsed don't you, Max?
MAX: Yeah, too much teen spirit.
MULDER: You think? Smells like murder to me.
SHERIFF HARDEN: Who do you think you're talking to here?
MAX: Yeah, it's not like you got a damn thing on me.
MULDER: You got a problem with authority figures, don't you, Max?
MAX: If I wasted Babbitt, then how did I do it? Am I like Carrie or something? I used some kind of mental powers?
(MAX coughs weakly.)
MULDER: No, something else. You figured out a way to tap into something that gives you superhuman powers. It came in handy with Babbitt and Deputy Foster.
MAX: Man, you're whistling "Dixie."
SCULLY: (reading MAX's file) High temperature and heart rate, low blood sugar, electrolytes show acidosis. All of these symptoms are consistent with extreme exertion and withdrawal.
SHERIFF HARDEN: Withdrawal? From what?
MULDER: The rush. I think whatever it is that gives you the power to rearrange furniture and turn a flashlight into a battering ram also gives you quite a buzz.
MAX: Well, if I can do all that, then what's stopping me from doing it to you?
MULDER: I don't know. Maybe the effect's worn off. Maybe you need another fix.
MAX: Well, as soon as I blow out of here, I'll be sure to get one.
SCULLY: That's not going to happen any time soon. Your condition's getting worse and we're not going to be able to help you unless you can tell us what's going on.
SHERIFF HARDEN: Boy, is any of this true?
SHERIFF HARDEN: You'd better pray I don't find out it is.
MULDER: Sir... Can we have a word outside?
(MULDER and SCULLY exit the room with SHERIFF HARDEN. MAX is in room 224.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: He's not a bad kid. He just needs discipline.
MULDER: If your son is in trouble I'm sure you'd want to know about it. With that in mind we'd like permission to search your house.
SHERIFF HARDEN: You're not getting it. I'm not ready to jump on a bandwagon and call my boy a murderer.
(SHERIFF HARDEN leaves)
SCULLY: There's some test results missing from Max's chart. I think we should track them down.
(SCULLY hands MAX's file to a NURSE as she and MULDER start down the hall.)
NURSE: (entering the room) Thank you.
(CHASTITY is in the hallway outside MAX's room. She watches MULDER and SCULLY walk away.)
(Later, MULDER and SCULLY are in an x-ray type of viewing room. SCULLY is putting up images of MAX's tests.)
SCULLY: Hot off the presses.
MULDER: Anything interesting?
SCULLY: This can't be right.
MULDER: What is it?
SCULLY: Oh, my God.
SCULLY: Evidence of cerebral lesions from repeated concussions... arthritis in his spine and major joints. Stress fractures, numerous muscle and... and ligament micro-tears.
MULDER: What would cause this?
SCULLY: In a teenager? I can't even imagine. This is the kind of thing that you'd see in someone who's crashed race cars or played pro football for 15 years. Whatever Max is doing, it's killing him.
MULDER: I think I'm starting to get it.
(SCULY stares at him.)
(NURSES station. The NURSE sits at her desk. She hears a beeping. She looks up to one of the video monitors to see CHASTITY in MAX's room unhooking his IV and helping him get out. The NURSE gets up and goes into MAX's room. No one is there but MAX.)
NURSE: I thought I saw a young lady come in here.
MAX: I wish.
(The NURSE, still suspicious, walks out of the room. Behind her, CHASTITY pushes a wheelchair into MAX's room.)
(MULDER tosses a large envelope onto a table.)
MULDER: Max Harden's personal effects.
(MULDER removes a sneaker from the envelope. The bottom of the sneaker looks like it has been burned off.)
MULDER: Oh... This is it. Those globs we found? This is where they came from. Speed, Scully. Somehow, Max Harden has found a way to move faster than the eye can see.
MULDER: That would explain how Babbitt was killed. It would also explain how a chair and a table appeared to move on their own with enough force to penetrate a wall. Force equals mass times acceleration, isn't that right?
SCULLY: Yes, Mulder, but it's impossible. The human body just isn't designed to move like that.
MULDER: Exactly. That is, that is why his is falling apart.
(The NURSE opens the door.)
NURSE: Agents, could you...?
(MULDER and SCULLY follow her to MAX's now empty room.)
(Forest. MAX and CHASTITY have entered the forest. MAX is stumbling, CHASTITY trying to stop him.)
CHASTITY: Max, Max, please, don't do this. You can stop.
MAX: Sure, just like you can.
CHASTITY: I mean, hurting people. Haven't enough people been hurt? This is not why I got you out! Look, let's just leave here, okay? Let's just go away.
MAX: And do what?
CHASTITY: Find a place to get some help.
MAX: Help for what? This is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I can't go back to things standing still... and neither can you.
(He walks off and leaves her. TONY stumbles toward her.)
CHASTITY: Tony, what are you doing here? You went in that cave, didn't you? You shouldn't have done that.
TONY: It was such a rush... Moving fast like that.
CHASTITY: I didn't want this for you. How did you find it?
TONY: I followed you. I was worried about you.
CHASTITY: That's so sweet. I wish things were different than how they are.
TONY: Maybe they can be. With Max in the hospital, we could go to the cops.
CHASTITY: He's out.
(To the sound of bells jingling, SHERIFF HARDEN enters his house. He goes upstairs into MAX's room and looks around. There is a poster of The Doors ["No One Here Gets Out Alive"] on the door. There is a stuffed figurine hanging from the ceiling with blood on its head, a road sign with a UFO on it on the wall and several burned out pairs of shoes in the closet. He finds the DEPUTY's flashlight in one of the drawers.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: Oh, my God.
(He hears the door bells jangling again and goes down to investigate. )
SHERIFF HARDEN: Hello?
(The door slams and there is the sound of more bells jangling. He walks into the livingroom cautiously.)
(The SHERIFF spins around to see MAX in the foyer behind him holding the flashlight.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: You killed Ron Foster.
MAX: Yeah, I did.
SHERIFF HARDEN: Why?
MAX: I don't know. You want some great reason?
SHERIFF HARDEN: You little son of a bitch!
(He starts walking toward MAX and MAX blurs. Suddenly, SHERIFF HARDEN doubles over as if he has been hit in the stomach.)
SHERIFF HARDEN: Ow!
MAX: He thought he was really something-- always liked to push people around. Same as Babbitt. Same as you. I'm not afraid of you anymore.
(MAX raises the flashlight to whack the SHERIFF. Sound of bells jangling. TONY, having busted through the door, holds a gun to MAX's head and the flashlight in his other hand.)
TONY: I can't let you do this, Max.
(Hospital. SHERIFF HARDEN is on a gurney being wheeled down a corridor. SCULLY follows. MULDER joins her and she stops.)
MULDER: Yo, Scully... How bad are his injuries?
SCULLY: Well, it's too soon to tell. He's unconscious and bleeding internally apparently from a blow to the abdomen.
MULDER: Yeah. Delivered with this: (holds up flashlight) Max's weapon of choice against cops.
SCULLY: Why would he leave it behind? You think he's doing it to taunt the police?
MULDER: No, I think somebody intervened. I think that's why the Sheriff is still alive and why his gun is missing.
SCULLY: But if he can do what you claimed then... then who could possibly intervene?
MULDER: It's someone who knows exactly how Max does what he does and someone who's finally standing up to him.
SCULLY: Tony. How do we find him?
MULDER: Well, I would guess the source where Max gets his power from.
SCULLY: The woods near where the deputy was killed. You know, Tony never came clean about what he was doing out there.
MULDER: Well, maybe that's why the deputy was killed. Maybe he got too close to the truth.
(Rural road. CHASTITY is driving, TONY is the passenger.)
TONY: Chastity, we don't have to be doing this. I told you, I took care of things with Max.
CHASTITY: No, you didn't, and you shouldn't have tried.
TONY: He was gonna kill his father. I had to stop him.
CHASTITY: You stopped him because he let you. He was slowing down. Tony, you've slowed down, too. If we don't get back to the cave before Max does, we're history.
(They get to the site with the no trespassing signs and run into the woods. TONY stumbles and falls.)
TONY: I'll catch up.
(CHASTITY runs on ahead. TONY follows more slowly and enters the cave. He sees CHASTITY lying crumpled on the floor near the pool of white light. He runs to her side.)
(There is a blur of light and color. TONY touches her gently.)
TONY: Are you okay?
MAX: You're late, kid.
TONY: What did you do to her?
MAX: Well, she took a swing at me. You believe that? You got it all turned around.
(There's a blurr and TONY is thrown against the far wall. He looks down at the gun holstered at his waist. MAX blurrs and the gun is gone, now in MAX's hand and pointed at TONY.)
MAX: Come on, man. Who do you think you're dealing with?
(MAX tosses the gun into the middle of the floor.)
MAX: All I ever wanted was for you to be my friend, Tony. You stuck a knife in my back. Now I'm going to mess you up.
(CHASTITY moves slightly, then there is a gunshot. MAX yells and freezes as a bullet fired by CHASTITY into his back explodes out of his chest and slowly travels through the air. Very Matrix. TONY is also frozen.)
CHASTITY: I'm sorry, Tony. I can't go back.
(She steps in front of the slowly travelling bullet. It finishes its path with the end of the gunshot sound and she and MAX fall to the ground dead. TONY unfreezes.)
(Outside, MULDER and SCULLY have parked their car and hear the gunshot. They run to the cave and look at what has happened. TONY holds the now dead CHASTITY.)
(TONY's hospital room. MRS. REED sits beside the bed. TONY looks up and sees SCULLY in the doorway. SCULLY turns to MULDER who has just arrived.)
SCULLY: Did the USGS show up?
MULDER: Yeah. 18 geologists and three semis full of gear. They covered every inch of that cave.
SCULLY: And what did they come up with?
MULDER: Nothing. Well, bat guano and above-normal magnetic field readings but nothing that would cause a physiological effect.
SCULLY: What'd you expect them to find, Mulder?
MULDER: I don't know. A vortex, like the one in Oregon. Gravitational aberrations, unique chemical compositions, uh, relics that would indicate that the cave was a sacred site... something, anything. I don't know.
SCULLY: Well, you and I were both in there and nothing happened to us. We're still slowpoking around.
MULDER: What if we're too old? Well, you said that teenagers differ from adults chemically and physiologically. What if whatever is in that cave affects only them?
SCULLY: Well, that's doubtful. But no more so than any other theory. I mean, it's worth checking out.
MULDER: Yeah? Well, we can't. As of an hour ago, they pumped concrete into the cave. Sealed it for precautionary reasons. We'll never know. How's he doing?
SCULLY: Bruises and muscle strains, mostly. He'll recover... go back to being a normal kid.
(MULDER and SCULLY look into the room. The MOTHER leaves. We see the clock go from 2:59 to 2:58 to 3:00.)