ANNOUNCER: (Chris Carter?) Previously on the X-Files...
(Under KERSH's line we see scenes from last week, SCULLY looking at herself in the mirror, SKINNER looking up at the UFO that took MULDER in Requiem, SKINNER and SCULLY in KERSH's office.)
KERSH: You and AD Skinner are the two primary witnesses to Mulder's disappearance. I want your statement taken ASAP.
SKINNER: Taken by who?
KERSH: My task force leader on this, Special Agent John Doggett.
(DOGGETT is sitting in the bullpen just as SCULLY turns over his badge to read his name.)
(SKINNER is talking to the LONE GUNMEN.)
SKINNER: Look, if we knew where that ship was going we've got a chance to find Mulder.
(CUT TO: MULDER screaming as the mouth drill penetrates his soft palate.)
(SCULLY is with the GUNMEN and SKINNER having her "revelation.")
SCULLY: It just came to me... why they took Mulder, why they're in Arizona. They're looking to find the whereabouts of a boy named Gibson Praise.
(DOGGETT looks at the picture of GIBSON PRAISE that was slipped under his door.)
(GIBSON PRAISE walks into one of the schoolrooms.)
(In Arizona, DOGGETT's irritating aide, AGENT CRANE, is on the radio to DOGGETT.)
AGENT CRANE: We've just confirmed a location on this kid. He's at a school for the deaf in a place called Flemingtown.
(DOGGETT hears the report, then we see him hurriedly enter the school.)
DOGGETT: (to the PRINCIPAL) Keep an eye out the window. (notices SCULLY and SKINNER) What are you doing here?
SCULLY: What are you doing here?
DOGGETT: Trying to find Mulder.
(Outside, GIBSON PRAISE is walking quickly away from the building. As he rounds a corner he stops and looks up in fear at a tall man in a gray T-shirt. We cannot see them man's face.)
(Under SCULLY's voiceover, camera pans over the nighttime desert. A bright light illuminates a spot on the ground. A slowly rotating angular aircraft beaming the light from its belly hovers above the ground, stops several yards from the sand, then the light goes out and the craft shimmers into invisibility.)
SCULLY: (voiceover) We live in a darkness of our own making... blind to a habitant world all but unseen by us. A world of beings traveling through time and space imaginable to us only as flights of fancy. Who are these beings we dare to imagine but fear to accept? What dark work goes on inside their impossible machines... cloaked from us by invisible forces? If they know our secrets, why can't we know theirs?
(Camera pans across the desert. At the edge of a cliff we hear and see GIBSON PRAISE being led by a tall man in a gray T-shirt.)
GIBSON PRAISE: Stop it! Please! Let me go! Stop it! Let me go! Let me go!
(DOGGETT catches up to them and holds his gun on the man.)
DOGGETT: Let the boy go! Let him go, Mulder!
(The man is MULDER, but his face is blank and expressionless.)
DOGGETT: Let him go, or I will be compelled to use my weapon. Now, I don't want to do that, Agent Mulder. I don't want to shoot.
("MULDER" casually releases GIBSON PRAISE's arm. GIBSON PRAISE runs away. "MULDER" walks few steps toward the edge of the cliff. DOGGETT follows.)
DOGGETT: Now, are you armed? Come on, damn it. This is just stupid, Agent Mulder. Don't turn this into a movie. Just tell me if you've got a gun. It's too hot for this B.S. (no response) All right, then, lie down. Lie down on the ground. Keep your hands out. Lay down on your belly there.
("MULDER" looks at the ground then back at DOGGETT. DOGGETT stares at "MULDER" who looks coldly back at him. "MULDER" begins walking backward toward the cliff.)
DOGGETT: For crying out loud, what are you doing? Agent Mulder, stay there!
(DOGGETT lowers his gin and runs toward "MULDER." The man who appears to be MULDER deliberately and calmly falls off the side of the 100 foot cliff and plummets to the ground below. Shocked, DOGGETT runs to the edge and looks down. "MULDER" is lying motionless on the desert floor. DOGGETT's AGENTS, including the irritating aide, AGENT CRANE, come running toward him.)
DOGGETT: He went over! Over the edge!
AGENT CRANE: Who?
(They look down. "MULDER" is lying far below, unconscious, his arm and who knows what else, badly broken. Close-up on him. His eyes open and he draws in a sudden breath.)
(Later, on the desert floor at the base of the cliff. DOGGETT and his agents are investigating the scene. They look a little confused.)
FEMALE AGENT: I have no explanation...
DOGGETT: Right, I'll talk to Scully. You guys head back to the school.
(An SUV pulls up beside the other trucks. SKINNER is driving. SCULLY gets out of the passenger side and walks up to DOGGETT.)
SCULLY: Where is he? Where's Mulder?
DOGGETT: I don't know.
SCULLY: You don't know? I heard an agent say over the radio that you saw him.
DOGGETT: Oh, yeah, I saw him. I saw him back right off that cliff there and I saw him fall right over there.
SKINNER: Then where is he?
DOGGETT: He's gone.
SKINNER: Come on, he can't be gone.
DOGGETT: Yeah, he can't be, but he is.
(SCULLY goes over to where DOGGETT indicated. SKINNER looks back up at the huge cliff behind them. Then at DOGGETT.)
SKINNER: That cliff there? He fell from there? It's impossible... a fall like that.
DOGGETT: A cop sees things. A man drops five stories, dusts his head off and goes back to work. An old lady gets shot point-blank in a Chinese restaurant, plucks the slug out of her egg foo yung. But even if Mulder survives this, what he does then is too much. You got your point of impact there where Agent Scully is standing... clear and identifiable. And a set of tracks here leading down to the wash. Look at these tracks. What do you see?
(SKINNER looks down at the tracks.)
DOGGETT: Mulder was running.
(SCULLY walks over to them.)
SCULLY: (confidently) It wasn't Mulder.
DOGGETT: That's the one thing I'm sure of.
SCULLY: It may have looked like Mulder, but it wasn't Mulder.
DOGGETT: I told you I knew Mulder. Okay, maybe I didn't know him that well. But I know who it was up there, and it was Fox Mulder.
SCULLY: I'm sure it did look like Mulder, and you have every reason to believe that it was him... but it was not Mulder. (she looks at SKINNER, then back to DOGGETT) I told you that I've seen things... things that I can't explain. Well, I have seen what looks like a man … transform into another man.
DOGGETT: What looks like a man, but who's not a man?
(SCULLY sighs and looks at SKINNER again.)
DOGGETT: So, what is he?
SCULLY: You don't want to know.
(SCULLY begins walking away.)
DOGGETT: He's not a man? What the hell is he? Hey, don't turn your back on me.
(DOGGETT's voice stops SCULLY and she turns back to him.)
DOGGETT: (reasonably) I'm asking you a legitimate question.
(SCULLY looks at DOGGETT.)
SCULLY: He's alien.
(DOGGETT looks to SKINNER, then back to SCULLY.)
SCULLY: He's a bounty hunter.
DOGGETT: Looking to collect a bounty on...?
SCULLY: On Gibson Praise... because he's part alien. He's a human anomaly.
DOGGETT: So, this alien bounty hunter... he disguised himself as Mulder to come out here and grab the boy?
SCULLY: (avoiding eye contact) To take him back to his ship... where we believe Mulder is.
DOGGETT: You know, Agent Scully... you're, uh, you're starting to remind me a lot of Agent Mulder yourself.
(DOGGETT goes to his truck.)
SCULLY: Well then, you explain it to me.
(DOGGETT ignores her and leaves. SCULLY and SKINNER are left together.)
SKINNER: If it's true or possible, what you're saying-- that there's someone like this out there, this bounty hunter-- he could just become anyone. You, me, any damn one of us.
SCULLY: I think that it is true. And possible. And wherever Mulder is right now... he better damn well be smiling.
(She glances up at the sky, then walks away from SKINNER.)
(Back at the Flemingtown School. All the teachers, faculty, and students are outside, surrounded by the FBI agents.
SECRETARY: Is this authorized?
(The fleet of SUVs pulls up. DOGGETT gets out of the passenger side of the lead vehicle.)
AGENT MOSLEY: Right. They're here.
DOGGETT: Any sign of him? Mulder?
AGENT CRANE: Not according to these people. We went through the school.
(Together, they look at the faculty and students. One of the students, THEA, looks back at them.)
DOGGETT: You're better than this.
AGENT CRANE: Sir?
DOGGETT: He's got to be here somewhere. Let's search the school again.
(Inside the school, "MULDER" enters an empty lab. He looks down at his broken arm. With his other arm he sets the broken arm correctly, then with a smile morphs into the ALIEN BOUNTY HUNTER. Nice cold-faced work by Duchovny. A moment later, DOGGETT enters the lab and discovers … )
(… the PRINCIPAL of the school.)
DOGGETT: Sorry, I thought you were... I thought they cleared you out of here.
(The PRINCIPAL nods silently. AGENT CRANE enters.)
AGENT CRANE: Find something?
DOGGETT: (looking at the PRINCIPAL) No. Let's keep looking.
(DOGGETT and AGENT CRANE leave the room and join the team outside again. AGENT CRANE exits the building on the radio.)
VOICE ON RADIO: Administration building is clear.
AGENT MOSLEY: (on radio) Copy, check it again.
(SKINNER and SCULLY are together near the cars.)
SKINNER: What I want to know is how Doggett got out here. How did he even know where we were going?
SCULLY: I don't know. But he's going to turn this place upside down looking for the wrong person.
SKINNER: What happened to Gibson Praise?
SCULLY: Well, whatever happened to him, he's long gone. Wherever he is, he's three steps ahead of us.
(SKINNER nods to the girl, THEA, who is getting on a bicycle at the edge of the property. As she rides off, SKINNER looks at AGENT CRANE as he comes out of one of the doors of the building behind them.)
SKINNER: Don't look now but we've got a pair of eyeballs on us. Just start walking, I'll be right behind you.
(SCULLY and SKINNER walk around the corner of the building beside them. AGENT CRANE runs after them. As he round the corner, he finds only SKINNER. SKINNER firmly commands the man's attention. Scully is nowhere in sight.)
SKINNER: Can I talk to you for a minute?
(CUT TO: SCULLY is following THEA through the desert. Not bad for a fair woman with no water in 3-inch heels following a teenager on a bicycle. SCULLY loses sight of the girl. She stops, shades her eyes and looks around. She steps on something that makes her look down. It is flexible and echoey. She uncovers a sand covered wooden trapdoor with a rope. Inside the area beneath the trapdoor, SCULLY finds GIBSON PRAISE, sitting, and THEA.)
GIBSON PRAISE: (accusing) You shouldn't have come here.
GIBSON PRAISE: You shouldn't have come. You'll lead them to me.
SCULLY: I'm here to protect you, Gibson.
(SCULLY sighs deeply as she comes closer to the children.)
SCULLY: I know you know that's the truth. I know you know my thoughts.
GIBSON PRAISE: I know they took the man you work with … Mulder. And now, they've come to take me.
SCULLY: (coming closer, gentle) The only reason they want to take you, Gibson … is because you're a special boy. They want to take you because of what you are.
(THEA's voice is intelligible, but her pronunciation is that of someone who has been deaf all her life. She signs along with her words as she speaks to GIBSON PRAISE. There is an old Oklahoma license plate on the wall behind him - #00-0000.)
THEA: I'm sorry. I didn't know that someone was following me.
GIBSON PRAISE: My friend Thea knows. She's the only one at school I've told. She says the FBI is looking for me, too. She's afraid for me.
SCULLY: She has a right to be afraid. We don't know who to trust now.
(GIBSON PRAISE winces and looks down at his leg. SCULLY lifts the cloth covering the nasty wound.)
GIBSON PRAISE: I fell when I was running away.
SCULLY: I think you might have broken it, Gibson.
GIBSON PRAISE: If they find me, they'll take me. I know it. I've always known it.
SCULLY: I'm going to make you a splint, Gibson, okay? I can set your leg, but, uh... I'm going to need a car to get you out of here. (SCULLY rises and breaks off a couple of pieces of wood from a crate.) I'm going to come back for you. I promise. I'm not going to let anything bad happen to you.
GIBSON PRAISE: You said that to me once before.
(Guilty, SCULLY looks away from him and begins splinting his leg.)
(Bright lights. They are headlights. At the school. Night. DOGGETT is still directing the agents around him. Agents are getting into trucks and driving away, continuing the search for GIBSON PRAISE and MULDER. A cell phone rings. AGENT MOSLEY, a young efficient agent, answers it.)
AGENT MOSLEY: (on phone) Yeah?
(AGENT MOSLEY listens, then hands the phone to DOGGETT.)
AGENT MOSLEY: Deputy Director, for you.
DOGGETT: (on phone) Yeah, this is John Doggett.
KERSH: (on phone) Agent Doggett, I'm getting reports from Arizona...
DOGGETT: (on phone) Yes, sir.
KERSH: (on phone) ...That you found Agent Mulder.
DOGGETT: (on phone) I'm afraid somebody jumped the gun on that. I saw him, sir, but I...
KERSH: (on phone, threatening) What do you mean, you saw him? What the hell is going on out there?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Well, we're 'round the clock here. I've got local SAR, a rolling ground cordon and an eye in the sky. We're on top of the situation.
KERSH: (on phone) How does the FBI find a man and then lose him in the middle of the desert? 'Cause I'd like to know. (pause) Agent Doggett, are you there?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Yeah. I heard the question.
KERSH: (on phone) I put you in charge out there, Doggett. Now do the damn job.
(DOGGETT clicks the phone off dejectedly. He looks over at SKINNER, still dressed casually. SKINNER is, well, smirking. DOGGETT is offended.)
DOGGETT: This amuse you? I amuse you?
SKINNER: No. It just made sense to me. How you found your way out here. Who led you to Gibson Praise.
DOGGETT: You think I was spying on you?
SKINNER: No, but I think our new Deputy Director was. You're being made a pawn in a rigged game.
(DOGGETT looks at him a moment, then indicates for SKINNER to walk apart with him. Two manly-men talking about manly things.)
DOGGETT: All right, you've painted me the picture, now put it in a frame.
SKINNER: All right. You've got a good rep, Agent Doggett. You don't compromise, you don't quit. You're a damned good FBI agent-- best of the best. Lot of guys put you in the Director's chair one day. Which is why you've been set up to fail. There's no amount of search and rescue or rolling cordons or eyes in the sky that are going to turn up Mulder. It's just the wrong approach.
DOGGETT: It's not a question of approach. It's the only approach I got.
SKINNER: The only way you're going to find Mulder is to give into the truth. To listen to Scully. But even then... say you did find him, even then you lose. You put anything about aliens or UFOs or alien bounty hunters in your report... Kersh will ruin you. I'm betting that was his plan.
(Long pause. DOGGETT stares at SKINNER, then raises his voice to be heard by the five or so agents lounging around another truck.)
DOGGETT: Is Agent Scully here? Where's Agent Scully?
(AGENT MOSLEY snaps into action and pulls out his radio.)
AGENT MOSLEY: (on radio) I need someone who's with Agent Scully to put her on a radio. Someone... with Agent Scully.
(CUT TO: In the dormitory building, AGENT LANDAU looks around the agents around him. He sees a man come out of the bathroom.
AGENT MOSLEY: (voice on radio) Anyone got a twenty on Agent Scully? Is anyone out there with her?
(When AGNET LANDAU looks back toward the man walking toward him, he now sees SCULLY.)
AGENT LANDAU: (on radio) I'm with Agent Scully.
(CUT TO: Outside at the trucks.)
AGNET MOSLEY: Then who's this?
(MOSLEY looks up at someone walking toward them from the desert. It is SCULLY, looking tired. She did just spend a few hours in the desert.)
AGENT LANDAU: (voice on radio) Go for Agent Scully.
SCULLY: (reacting to the three men staring at her) What?
(DOGGETT doesn't take his eyes off of SCULLY.)
DOGGETT: Give me the radio.
(MOSELY hands DOGGETT the radio.)
DOGGETT: (on radio) You're with Scully?
(CUT TO: Dormitory. AGENT LANDAU is still with the WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE SCULLY.)
AGENT LANDAU: (on radio) Right across the room from her.
(CUT TO: Outside with the trucks. SCULLY is suspicious.)
SCULLY: From who? From me? Where?
DOGGETT: (on radio) What room? Where are you?
(CUT TO: Dormitory.)
AGENT LANDAU: (on radio) Bunkhouse. We're in the dorm.
(CUT TO: Outside.)
SCULLY: Tell him to hold her. Tell them not to let her out of his sight!
(SCULLY begins running toward the building. The others follow.)
DOGGETT: (on radio) Hold Scully. We're coming to you.
(CUT TO: Inside the dormitory. AGENT LANDAU approaches the WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE SCULLY as she walks away from him.)
AGENT LANDAU: Agent Scully--
(The WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE SCULLY grabs AGENT LANDAU by the neck. She only uses one hand. It looks pretty painful. He can't breathe and blood is drawn as he chokes. Her face shows no emotion, just like MULDER on the cliff earlier with GIBSON. She lets go and runs through the crowd of agents as SCULLY, DOGGETT and the others burst into the dorm.)
(They all chase the WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE SCULLY, catching only glimpses.)
SCULLY: There she is. Do you see her?
(SCULLY sees her go into the bathroom. As SCULLY runs to the door, she stops when she sees her reflection in the door mirror. She stares at herself for a moment. AGENT CRANE comes out of the room.)
SCULLY: Where did she go? Did you see her?
AGENT CRANE: No.
SCULLY: She ran right back here. I saw her.
(SCULLY looks back at DOGGETT.)
SCULLY: You saw her.
(DOGGETT doesn't answer. SCULLY goes over to AGENT LANDAU who is wounded and gasping for breath on the floor. SCULLY begins trying to treat him.)
SCULLY: Agent... Can you breathe?
(AGENT LANDAU looks up at her and begins heavy panicked breathing. SCULLY backs away out of concern for the man.)
SCULLY: He thinks it was me. He thinks that I did this to him. (to DOGGETT) How is that possible?
(SCULLY looks around at everyone in the room.)
SCULLY: It's someone in this room.
(SCULLY walks away from them all. Camera focuses on THEA staring at someone. Cut to this person's hand covered in blood, then pan up to reveal that it is AGENT CRANE, DOGGETT's assistant. THEA, nervous, backs away and leaves the room.)
(Shot of invisible alien ship in the desert. We see MULDER on the alien operating table through a blurred camera lens. His face is still stretched by the clamps. His eyes fly open.)
(CUT TO: GIBSON PRAISE waking up suddenly in the underground bunker.)
GIBSON PRAISE: (gasping) Mulder!
(GIBSON PRAISE gasps for breath.)
(Siren wails as an ambulance arrives and AGENT LANDAU is wheeled out into it. DOGGETT watches. SCULLY watches, then head down, heads toward one of the trucks. SKINNER follows her.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully. Where are you going?
(SCULLY ignores him and gets into the truck and locks the door. SKINNER comes to the window.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully.
(SCULLY feels frantically under the floormat. SKINNER holds up the car keys for her to see.)
SKINNER: (calmly) Get out of the car.
(SCULLY looks at him, then gets out the passenger side.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully!
SCULLY: Who are you?
SKINNER: Who am I?
(SCULLY pulls her gun on SKINNER. A second later he pulls his on her.)
SCULLY: Drop your weapon and turn around.
SKINNER: I won't turn around.
SCULLY: Just do it! I know how it works-- kill shot to the back of the neck.
SKINNER: Scully, you're pointing your weapon at a friend.
SCULLY: Turn around, or I'm going to assume that you're not who you say you are.
SKINNER: Scully, it's me! Skinner!
(Long pause. SKINNER lowers his weapon and turns around.)
SKINNER: I can prove it. I know your secret-- who else knows it?
SCULLY: (still pointing the gun) Okay... then tell me.
SKINNER: You tell me. How do I know it's you?
(SKINNER suddenly turns and takes SCULLY's weapon from her hands. They both breathe heavily.)
SKINNER: I don't like pointing guns at pregnant women any more than I like them pointing guns at me.
(Tense moment, he hands her gun back to her.)
SKINNER: This has gone too far, Scully.
SCULLY: No. That's what's wrong here. It hasn't gone far enough. I need those car keys.
SKINNER: And what do you think you're going to do?
SCULLY: (tearing up) Look, we are being hampered here by the FBI, by John Doggett, by doubt, by our own mistrust. Whatever it is, it is working... as long as we let it.
SKINNER: You told me Mulder wouldn't allow it. Wouldn't let me ruin my career over this. Over him. But what about you, Scully? I mean, my god, you've got even more at stake.
(SCULLY's voice is cracking. She is barely holding back tears.)
SCULLY: I-I can't take the chance that I'm never going to see him again.
SKINNER: Mulder could just come walking out of the dark-- we don't know.
SCULLY: Look... we've got one last chance here waiting for us out there in the desert-- Gibson Praise. It may just be who gets to him first.
SKINNER: Get in the car. I'll drive.
(With SKINNER driving, they leave in the SUV. THEA(?) watches them go.)
(Later in the desert, flashlights in hand, SCULLY and SKINNER get out of the truck and go to the trapdoor.)
SKINNER: He's not down there.
SCULLY: I told him to stay here. He was supposed to stay here. (yelling) Gibson! (she sees something a few yards away) I found him.
(They run toward GIBSON PRAISE sitting on the desert floor staring at a section of the desert.)
SCULLY: Gibson. What are you doing out here? Why didn't you answer me, huh?
GIBSON PRAISE: (weakly) He's here. I hear him.
SCULLY: (glances up at SKINNER) What are you talking about?
GIBSON PRAISE: Mulder. He's somewhere out there.
(SCULLY feels his forehead.)
SCULLY: He's got a really bad fever. I think his leg might be infected.
SKINNER: All right, we got to get you to the hospital, okay, buddy?
GIBSON PRAISE: (to SCULLY) You're so close now.
(SKINNER has crossed over to GIBSON PRAISE and gently lifts the boy into his arms.)
SKINNER: I'll carry you. Put your arm around my neck. Watch your legs.
(As SKINNER heads back to the truck, he realizes SCULLY is not following. She is looking off into the desert.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully.
SCULLY: You take him to the hospital.
SKINNER: What about you?
(SCULLY doesn't answer or look back. SKINNER takes GIBSON PRAISE onto the truck.)
(SKINNER, still carrying GIBSON PRAISE, enters the emergency area of the hospital.)
SKINNER: I got a boy here who needs emergency medical attention.
(Hospital personnel place GIBSON PRAISE on a gurney.)
(Later, GIBSON PRAISE is resting in a hospital gown in a room. He is sleeping, but then his eyes fly open in panic. SKINNER approaches with concern.)
SKINNER: What? Are you okay? What's wrong?
(GIBSON PRAISE's focus is on the chairs outside the open door. SKINNER looks. No one is there.)
SKINNER: It's okay, Gibson, lie down. Lie down.
(GIBSON PRAISE's panic increases. When Skinner looks back at the door, THEA is there. She enters. Her face is cold and emotionless. GIBSON PRAISE looks at her in terror as she closes the door.)
(Nighttime desert. SCULLY, alone, is walking across the sand, flashlight in hand. Mystical woman's chanting voice music from Within is playing.)
(Her call is one of desperation. She wants an answer, but deep within she knows one is not forthcoming. She walks several more fruitless paces.)
(No answer. She looks around. Nothing. She is alone. Despondent. Then, far above, she sees a bright light getting closer. She looks up it in hope and awe.)
SCULLY: Oh, my god.
(More mystical chanting music.)
(SCULLY still looking up at the light. More mystical chanting music, then it blends into the sound of helicopter blades as we see that the light from the craft is not the flickering circular form we saw in the teaser, but the image of a police search light. The police helicopter lands, and DOGGETT gets out and crosses to SCULLY. She is bummed, to say the least but still defiant.)
SCULLY: For someone who claims he's not following me, you sure have a knack.
DOGGETT: Hey, you're where the action is.
SCULLY: What does that tell you? That I'm crazy or that I'm right?
DOGGETT: Wandering around in the desert in the dead of night, you call it.
SCULLY: You say you want to find Mulder but you won't do what it takes. You're afraid that I'm right.
DOGGETT: I'm not afraid of anything. Except that maybe Mulder's got even you believing in this crap now.
SCULLY: You've seen this crap for yourself now. How do you explain what took place today?
DOGGETT: Let me ask you something hypothetically. Now, if you were to find him out here or this ship or this alien bounty hunter, what would you do then?
SCULLY: I know what Agent Mulder would do. He'd do whatever it took.
DOGGETT: You mean lie. Like you've been lying to me. And flout orders like you've done every step of the way on this thing. Is that what it takes, Agent Scully?
SCULLY: Give a little, get a little, Agent Doggett.
DOGGETT: You knew where the kid was, you knew where the kid was and you wouldn't tell me-- why?
SCULLY: What kid? I don't see any kid.
DOGGETT: You're lying to me again! Assistant Director Skinner took him from here to the hospital.
(Pause. She steps closer to him.)
SCULLY: How do you know that?
DOGGETT: There's one thing I know for sure in this case and that's that Mulder is after this boy Gibson Praise. Why? It beats the hell out of me. But when he goes after that kid, my men are going to be waiting for him.
SCULLY: Your men... followed Assistant Director Skinner?
(She sighs and begins walking back toward the helicopter. DOGGETT runs after her.)
DOGGETT: Hey, where you going? Agent Scully, where you going?
SCULLY: Your men are at the hospital?
DOGGETT: They got it controlled. Nobody goes in or out of that building without them knowing about it.
SCULLY: How do you know that they're your men?
(DOGGETT follows SCULLY. They get into the helicopter and it lifts off. As it does, we see the shimmering of the invisible UFO only a few feet away. Inside, MULDER is still on the evil table, fully conscious. Something is definitely over his crotch. He is apparently aware that SCULLY is nearby.)
MULDER: (yelling) Scully! Scully!
(Inside the hospital. SCULLY and DOGGETT enter. Other agents are in the waiting area.)
SCULLY: Where's the boy?
AGENT CRANE: Door at the end of the hall, with AD Skinner.
SCULLY: Are you certain about that?
AGENT MOSLEY: Why don't you get yourself a visual in the exterior window. The night nurse has been checking the boy every 20 minutes-- he's fine.
AGENT CRANE: We have hospital personnel going about their business. We're just laying back, waiting for Mulder.
SCULLY: Yeah, every minute that you wait, that boy's in danger. He's exposed.
AGENT MOSLEY: No one's getting past us, Agent Scully. No one's gotten past us.
SCULLY: You believe that, Agent Doggett?
(Long moment as DOGGETT looks at SCULLY. Then, decisively, he crosses down the hall to GIBSON PRAISE's room. SCULLY follows, taking out her gun. DOGGETT looks at her questioningly.)
SCULLY: (sarcastically, yet serious) Hey, if something tries to rip your throat out, I got you covered.
DOGGETT: (knocking loudly at the door) A.D. Skinner... this is John Doggett.
(He opens the door. The room is empty.)
DOGGETT: What the hell is this? What the hell is going on?!
(SCULLY runs back out of the room toward the agents.)
SCULLY: There's no one in that room.
(SCULLY begins looking in other rooms and stairwells.)
SCULLY: I'm looking for a patient, a boy, 12 years old. He may still be in this building.
(In GIBSON PRAISE's room, DOGGETT's agents have joined him. DOGGETT looks at the window. He is clearly frustrated.)
DOGGETT: The window doesn't even open. How's a grown man and a boy get out of the room except by that door?
(DOGGETT looks up at the dropped ceiling.)
(SCULLY enters another room. The bathroom door opens. It is SKINNER.)
SKINNER: Agent Scully.
(SCULLY pulls her gun on him. They speak in hushed tones.)
SKINNER: It's okay, I've got him. Gibson.
SCULLY: How did you get here? How did you get him out of that room?
SKINNER: We went up through the ceiling. I don't know who to trust.
SCULLY: Where is he?
SKINNER: He's right here. They're going to find him.
(CUT TO: DOGGETT looking up under the dropped ceiling in GIBSON PRAISE's room. His flashlight finds an unconscious SKINNER, his eyes badly wounded.)
(CUT TO: SCULLY slowly crossing to where "SKINNER" has indicated. She sees GIBSON PRAISE through a window. He sees her and violently shakes his head. As she is about to react, "SKINNER" grabs her around the throat and flings her across the room where she crashes into a glass wall. GIBSON PRAISE runs into the room to help. He distracts "SKINNER" long enough for SCULLY to grab her gun and shoot him through the throat.
(Out in the hall, DOGGETT and his agents, guns drawn are approaching her location.)
DOGGETT: Agent Scully!
(In the other room, "SKINNER" has fallen to the ground and (glasses and all) morphed into the ALIEN BOUNTY HUNTER as green fluid bubbles through the bullet wound. Then, as SCULLY and GIBSON PRAISE watch, he dissolves into toxic green fluid. DOGGETT and the other agents enter. He first looks at SCULLY, then at the nasty green fluid at his feet. Does he lose his first pair of shoes to green slime.)
DOGGETT: An agent needs help!
(He crosses to SCULLY and lifts her into his arms, resting her against his leg. She begins to cry, and embarrassed covers her eyes.)
DOGGETT: (yelling out the door) I said an agent needs help!
(SCULLY continues to cry, hand over her face. DOGGETT holds her as best he can. GIBSON PRAISE stand nearby. Only DOGGETT and GIBSON PRAISE stay with her as she cries.)
(DOGGETT is in KERSH's office. KERSH is looking at hospital images from the case.)
KERSH: The best I can say is it's lucky it all happened at a hospital.
DOGGETT: Very lucky, yes, Sir.
KERSH: I assume the hazardous materials or chemicals which caused this must have been medical.
DOGGETT: That has not yet been determined, sir.
KERSH: So much here is undetermined... as remain the whereabouts of Mulder. But some of your … facts... like "a man falls from the cliff and disappears..." "An agent has his throat crushed by an assailant who vanishes into thin air." This reads like a piece of pot-boiled science fiction.
DOGGETT: You mean it reads like an X-File. But that's what you intended, wasn't it, Sir? When you assigned me to the case.
KERSH: I'll ask the questions, John. You just give me some damn answers. (hands him the file) Don't come back until you do.
(SCULLY's hospital room. SCULLY, badly bruised, is asleep. She wakes up as a get- well card with rainbows and butterflies is placed in her hand. She looks at the card, then at DOGGETT sitting next to her.)
DOGGETT: My dad always said it's not who wins or loses... it's who takes the worst beating that counts.
SCULLY: That supposed to cheer me up?
DOGGETT: I thought so. But then I never did get to see your opponent.
SCULLY: And you never will. You still don't believe me.
DOGGETT: What I don't believe is how long they're keeping you here.
SCULLY: Oh, it's just some things they have to check out... make sure of.
DOGGETT: Well, I've got some things I thought you'd want checked out. A.D. Skinner is in stable condition, resting comfortably and awaiting diagnosis and further study. Ditto Agent Landau, his throat. Gibson Praise is right now a ward of the state but I asked for special protections, as I assumed you would yourself.
SCULLY: What are you doing here, Agent Doggett?
DOGGETT: Keeping you apprised of the case.
SCULLY: That's not your job.
DOGGETT: It is, actually. And officially. I'm... assigned now to the X-Files.
(SCULLY does not take this well. DOGGETT looks down and begins to leave the room.)
DOGGETT: Whatever you and I may differ on, I'll find him, Agent Scully.
(With SCULLY staring after him, DOGGETT exits.)
(CUT TO: MULDER lying on the very uncomfortable table. As the camera pans around him, we see six ALIEN BOUNTY HUNTERs with stoic expressions step up to surround him.)