(Night. Pan across mailbox in shape of house. Pan up to show it's a model of the house behind. A balding man wearing a suit and white shirt comes up and opens the mailbox. There's no mail. He walks up some steps to the front door. The front door is locked. He searches his pockets for the key then bends down and lifts a plant pot, and takes out a key. He unlocks the door then puts the key back under the plant pot. He picks up the remote and switches on the TV and channel surfs to a weather report. He pauses briefly then changes to what sounds like a reality cop program. He wanders off, he seems tired. )
(As he leaves the room, to the accompanying sound of cops shouting "get on the ground", the front door opens. A SECOND MAN, slightly balding and wearing a coat and hat and a blue shirt, comes in. He sighs and puts his hat on the hatstand. He notices the TV. He puts his coat on the stand then goes over and picks up the remote. As he sits down he changes the channel. He leans back in the chair and loosens his tie. In the kitchen the FIRST MAN takes a carton out of the refrigerator and drinks from it but then sniffs it and grimaces slightly. He then takes out a bottle of beer and humming slightly wanders out of the kitchen,. As he does so, the SECOND MAN enters the kitchen and opens a cupboard. Cut to the FIRST MAN who is sitting on the lavatory, reading a magazine. He drinks from the bottle. )
(In the kitchen, the SECOND MAN is drinking from a carton, he sniffs it and then grimaces slightly. He takes out another bottle of beer. The FIRST MAN exits the bathroom and goes down the hallway. The SECOND MAN comes out of the kitchen and heads into the bathroom. He sniffs, grimaces, then takes down an aerosol airfreshener which he sprays around. The FIRST MAN is sitting in the armchair in the lounge, he switches the TV off, then bends down to pick something off the floor. The SECOND MAN comes into the lounge through a door behind the armchair. He drops a newspaper on a table and goes off towards the kitchen. The FIRST MAN sits back up in the chair holding his shoes. He drinks from the bottle then gets up and goes off to the door at the back of the room just as the SECOND MAN comes back in via the door near the front door. He's going through his mail. He notices the TV is off then picks up the bottle the FIRST MAN left behind and looks at it, puzzled.)
(In the bedroom, the FIRST MAN is undressing and climbs into bed next to a sleeping WOMAN. He cuddles her and she smiles but doesn't open her eyes. The bedroom door opens and the SECOND MAN comes in. He starts to undress while sitting on the end of the bed. Then he climbs into the bed next to the FIRST MAN.)
WOMAN: (laughing) Honey!
FIRST MAN: (laughing) Hey! What are you doing with your hands?
(Suddenly the SECOND MAN sits up, gets out of bed, switches on the light, he screams, the FIRST MAN screams, the WOMAN screams.)
(The WOMAN gets out and runs round to the SECOND MAN leaving the first man still in the bed..)
SECOND MAN: What the hell is this?
FIRST MAN: Who are you people and what are you doing in my bed?
(Fade to black.)
(Street scene. Pan down to outside a breakfast bar. JIMMY enters with BYERS. JIMMY points at a lone diner sitting in the middle of the diner.)
JIMMY: Must be him.
BYERS: Mmmm. OK. Jimmy, I just want to remind you -
JIMMY: That I'm only here to observe. Absolutely. (BYERS nods.) But my name goes on the story, right?
BYERS: You took the call so your name goes on the story - *if* we publish it.
BYERS: It's a big "if".
JIMMY: Big if. (He laughs) Man, my first story.
(They walk towards the diner. It's the FIRST MAN in the teaser, he's drinking black coffee.)
BYERS: Adam Burgess?
BURGESS: Yes, yes. Adam Burgess, that's me.
(He shakes BYERS' hand.)
BYERS: John Byers. This is my associate, Jimmy, whom you spoke with on the phone.
(JIMMY enthusiastically shakes BURGESS' hand. They all sit.)
BURGESS: Thank you. Thank you so much for coming. I was worried that you weren't going to show up and I am just -
BYERS: Um. Mr. Burgess, if Jimmy understood you correctly you're the victim of some sort of identity theft, is that right?
BURGESS: My whole life is gone.
BYERS: I'm sure it can feel that way. There's certainly a growing problem on the internet. What was accessed, your bank account, credit cards?
BURGESS: No, no, no. My *whole life* is gone. There are strangers living in my house. Lois, my wife, I don't know where she is now. Neighbours, they don't know who I am anymore. Police cars are chasing me. I'm telling you, I thought I was losing my mind, but then last night when I was spending the night in the dumpster behind the pet store, I saw this.
(He shows them a crumpled copy of "The Lone Gunman" (Headline "AIRPORT TOILETS - IS YOUR DNA S(AFE)"). BYERS and JIMMY reel back from it.)
BYERS: Thus explaining the smell of cat urine.
BURGESS: Yeah. Well, when I saw this paper, I knew that you would be the people who would believe me. Would understand.
BYERS: Understand what?
BURGESS: That I'm from a parallel reality and aliens brought me here.
(JIMMY is amazed and delighted.)
BURGESS: It's the only explanation that makes any sense at all.
BURGESS: Everything in my life exists as it always has - home, neighbourhood, everything - but I am a stranger in this reality.
(JIMMY is now looking puzzled.)
BURGESS: And I have proof - I think.
(JIMMY is looking a bit more cheerful. )
BURGESS: Proof of alien contact.
(He hands over a small clear plastic container which has blue-coloured liquid in it. BYERS takes it, lifts the lid slightly and sniffs the contents.)
BURGESS: I found this in every crevice of my body, all over, everywhere.
(BYERS is taken aback, and quickly stops sniffing it. JIMMY looks at BURGESS, astonished.)
BURGESS: (Mouths) Everywhere.
(BYERS puts the container back on the table and uses a napkin to wipe his fingers.)
BURGESS: I believe this alien goo. And my body was submerged in this to keep me alive in space.
BYERS: I'm sorry. We can't help you.
BYERS: I'm sure there are professionals who can.
BURGESS: No, wait, wait, please. I'm not crazy.
BYERS: I'm sorry. Best of luck to you.
(JIMMY has now got to his feet, rather reluctantly, and begins to follow BYERS.)
BURGESS: Listen! My name is Adam Burgess, I live at 43 Deck Street, I have a wife that loves me. All I want to do is go home. Please, please, I just want my life back.
BYERS: I'm sorry.
(They walk off. BURGESS put his head in his hands. JIMMY stops BYERS.)
JIMMY: What about that alien goo?
BYERS: Jimmy. (sighs) I don't think real alien goo smells like lavender hand lotion. There's no story here.
(BYERS walks off and JIMMY turns to BURGESS. He spots something.)
(BYERS comes back. JIMMY points to the back of BURGESS' neck.)
JIMMY: Well, what about that?
(There's a scar and the shape of an implant under the skin low down on BURGESS' neck.)
(A view of FROHIKE's face via a large magnifier.)
(We cut to a view of BURGESS' neck via the magnifier.)
BURGESS: Is it the aliens - did the aliens do this? Or the government? Or aliens working for the government.
FROHIKE: I think we need to have a little meeting before we come up with the definitive answer. (he gestures to the others) Gentlemen.
(FROHIKE, BYERS and JIMMY walk away.)
FROHIKE: Byers, where did you find this guy?
BYERS: He found us. Or, rather, Jimmy.
FROHIKE: Yeah, figures. Anyway, I'm not ready to call Mulder just yet.
JIMMY: How do you explain his neck?
FROHIKE: Maybe self-mutilation. We should check to see if his nipples are pierced.
(LANGLY arrives holding the plastic container.)
LANGLY: There's nothing alien about this space goo. It's basically udder cream. Use it for lubricating a cow when you're jerking it for milk.
JIMMY: Why was it all over his body?
FROHIKE: Yeah, we don't need to go there.
LANGLY: Guy's obviously a nut job. I say we introduce his lubricated butt to the door.
BYERS: I was ready to dismiss him too, but that thing in the back of his neck looks to me like an electrical contact, and he didn't even know he had it. Somebody surgically implanted it. Why? What is it?
(They exchange looks. FROHIKE sighs.)
(Later. FROHIKE wheels a large contraption while JIMMY is putting a covering around BURGESS.)
BURGESS: Uh. What is all this?
FROHIKE: This is Betsy. She's sort of a home-made MRI machine. Big magnets gonna take a picture of your head.
(He lowers metal plates either side of BURGESS' head.)
JIMMY: Is it safe?
FROHIKE: Well, just so long as I don't get it near your testicles.
(BURGESS looks alarmed. JIMMY backs away. BURGESS looks closely at FROHIKE.)
BURGESS: Do I know you from some place? You look familiar to me.
FROHIKE: I have one of those faces.
(FROHIKE pulls down the face plate of the helmet he's wearing - it looks like a welding mask.)
FROHIKE: OK. Assume the position.
(He pulls a chin rest round in front of BURGESS' face. Suddenly BURGESS' hand flies up and sticks to one of the magnets. He pulls his hand free leaving his watch behind stuck to the magnet.)
FROHIKE: Oh. Sorry.
(Cut to monitor showing scan of BURGESS' head.)
LANGLY: We have a brain. And it answers one question.
(BYERS looks closely at LANGLY's monitor. JIMMY and FROHIKE join them.)
BYERS: Look at this.
(The image rotates showing wires spread over the top of BURGESS' brain.)
BYERS: It is a contact. Connected to some sort of wiring.
LANGLY: It reaches all though his cerebral cortex. What the hell is this?
(They all look at BURGESS, still in the contraption.)
(Outside the house seen in the teaser. The Lone Gunmen's VW draws up. BYERS is driving, FROHIKE is next to him and BURGESS next to FROHIKE. LANGLY and JIMMY are sat behind.)
BURGESS: (Looking around) Yeah, yeah, that's it. That's 43 Deck Street. That's my house.
FROHIKE: Yeah. Prove it.
BURGESS: Prove it, OK. (thinks) OK. Every morning about this time Frank Langdon goes to work with his newspaper and his cup of coffee.
(He points. They look as a man comes out of a nearby house, exactly as described.)
BURGESS: And his wife Susie usually chases him out with a goodbye kiss.
(WOMAN wearing blue robe does exactly this. We see them hug and hear her say "Bye, honey".)
BURGESS: Oh. (pointing to a man running) Jimmy Goganza. He just took up jogging but he can't seem to beat the butts.
(JIMMY lights up a cigarette and starts coughing.)
BURGESS: And, uh, yeah, over here.
(He gestures to a house - a WOMAN is looking out through the curtains.)
BURGESS: Old nosy Rosy. She's always watching everybody's business. Now, if you want, we can wait here for fifteen minutes for Karen the college student - no underwear - I, er, re-arrange my work schedule for that one.
(He grins, then becomes serious.)
BURGESS: You see what I'm talking about. I mean, this is my home, my neighbourhood.
FROHIKE: Yeah. Only the Maryland real estate records say it's not.
LANGLY: Furthermore, we can't find any records on you whatsoever. No driver's license, no social security number.
FROHIKE: Not even a Blockbuster card. It's like you don't exist.
BURGESS: But I do. Just in a reality parallel to yours. It's got to be the aliens, I'm telling you.
BYERS: Adam, can we leave aside the aliens and look for a more earthbound explanation.
JIMMY: Which is?
BURGESS: (to FROHIKE) I swear I know you.
FROHIKE: Byers, can we switch seats?
BYERS: How does a man get to know a place so completely, in such vivid detail when every indication is that he's never lived there?
(They all ponder this one.)
BYERS: Jimmy. How many huts are there on Gilligan's Island.
JIMMY: Four, not including the tree house Gilligan built the time he thought nobody liked him.
BYERS: (Smiling) Exactly.
(Cut to FROHIKE tinkering with a large electrical junction box outside the house. He pulls something out.)
FROHIKE: (into microphone) Blackout. You're good to go.
(The others get out of the VW. BYERS is carrying a large holdall. They go to the front door of the house. BURGESS goes to open it, then bends down and picks up the keys from under the flower pot and shows them to the others.)
BURGESS: Hey! Ah ha! How did I know that was there? Mmmm?
(He unlocks the door and shows them in. BYERS is carrying a very large bag)
JIMMY: Byers, I'm sorry. I still don't follow. You thinking that Adam never actually lived here but instead he watched the house on TV?
BYERS: Through hidden cameras. Maybe somehow the images were fed through the input wiring in the back of his neck.
BURGESS: That's crazy. I lived my life, I didn't watch it on TV.
JIMMY: So why cut the power to the house?
LANGLY: Because if Byers is right we have to kill the live feed or we get video-taped ourselves. Less talking, more stalking. Let's get this over with.
JIMMY: But, what about me? Well, what do I do.
(BYERS looks at LANGLY.)
LANGLY: I wouldn't.
JIMMY: Look, come on, guys. I took the call, technically it is my story.
(BYERS hands JIMMY a piece of equipment - looks like a metal detector. JIMMY grins, but immediately the detector on the end swings down. BYERS helps him to right it.)
LANGLY: General is in Kindergarten. I'll check the bedroom.
(Cut to FROHIKE outside with a pair of bolt cutters. He sees a young kid go by on a bicycle. The kid looks at him but doesn't stop.)
FROHIKE: That's it, kid, keep riding. There we go. Nothing to see. (The kid turns the bike round.) Perfect. Oops. Didn't see that coming.
(Cut to inside. A detector is being passed over a wall. It beeps. It's being held by JIMMY who's astonished. So is BURGESS.)
BURGESS: You found something!
JIMMY: I don't know. Could be.
(JIMMY marks the wallpaper.)
(Cut to outside. FROHIKE is hiding the bolt cutters behind his back as the kid pushes open the gate and walks up to him.)
KID: Who are you?
FROHIKE: I'm with the city. We're checking the groundwater for high levels of magnesium. Known to cause uncontrollable drooling in pre-pubescent children.
KID: What's behind your back.
(Inside the house. JIMMY is moving the detector along the wall, BURGESS following. Again the alarm sounds.)
BURGESS: My god. Maybe he was right.
(JIMMY marks the wall.)
KID: I saw you messing around with that box. You did something.
FROHIKE: Oh, is that so, Einstein?
KID: I think you're a burglar. What's behind your back?
FROHIKE: It's gonna be an ass-paddle, if you don't back off, kid.
(Inside. Another alarm. BURGESS marks it.)
BURGESS: We gotta see what this is.
(BURGESS goes over to a table, picks up a cordless electric jigsaw and puts on safety glasses.)
JIMMY: Woah, w - w - w, I - I - I don't think that's a good idea.
BURGESS: This is my house. I need to know what's going on in my own house.
(He starts the saw and goes over to the wall.)
JIMMY: Byers! Langly!
(Outside. FROHIKE hears the saw. Then he notices the nosy neighbour watching him.)
KID: What's that noise? I'm telling my Mom on you.
FROHIKE: Woah! Woah, little man. (He tosses away the bolt cutters.) Let's keep it friendly. What d'you say? (Pulls out his wallet.) Five bucks make it right?
(The kid hesitates, then stamps on FROHIKE's foot. FROHIKE yells.)
FROHIKE: Son of a - . You'd better run you little bastard. Hey!
(The Kid is throwing mud at him.)
(Inside, BURGESS is cutting through the wall, following JIMMY's markings. LANGLY and BYERS rush in.)
LANGLY: What the hell do you think you're doing?
BURGESS: (shouting) I need to know.
(Outside, the kid is still throwing stuff at FROHIKE. FROHIKE runs for him and grabs him.)
FROHIKE: Come here, Einstein - I don't think so.
(A police siren wails as the car turns into the road. It stops by the fence and two cops get out.)
FROHIKE: (To cops) I guess this looks bad.
(Just as he says this, a large section of the front wall of the house behind him falls out, revealing JIMMY, BYERS, LANGLY and BURGESS. FROHIKE looks behind him, then back at the cops who stand there, with hands-on-hips attitudes.)
FROHIKE: I guess this looks worse.
(We see the Gunmen peering out from inside the house, through a huge square hole missing from the front wall.
(A man in lab coat, at computer. A beeping sound starts and an error appears on the screen.)
message P1 - BR Media Offline
ASSISTANT: Dr. de Vico, we're off-line. Disturbance at the source.
(A WOMAN comes over. She has a Band-Aid above her left eye.)
DE VICO: Send someone out there to check. It may be him.
ASSISTANT: What about the test subjects. They're coming out of it.
DE VICO: Put them in sleep mode, for now.
(The assistant types while the camera pans up to show DE VICO walking towards some large tanks filled with a blue liquid. Inside the tanks we can see humans with eye-masks and breathing apparatus. They appear agitated. Pan across to DE VICO who is standing by a liquid-filled tank that does not seem to have a body in it.)
(Cut to FROHIKE lying down on a bunk in a cell. He wakes up and rubs his face with his left hand which is encased in a black, finger-less glove. We see another hand similarly clad plus a third ungloved hand. FROHIKE notices this and sits up and we see JIMMY sleeping by his side. FROHIKE jumps up in alarm, waking JIMMY. BURGESS is in the cell, standing by the door.)
FROHIKE: (to JIMMY) I told you to sleep facing the wall. What the hell's the matter with you.
(He feels his chest.)
FROHIKE: (Whispering, in disgust) My nipples hurt.
(JIMMY covers his face with his hand.)
FROHIKE: (to BURGESS) What you looking at?
(FROHIKE backs away. We see BYERS and LANGLY, sitting on a bench, BYERS is yawning.)
LANGLY: Man, we're screwed.
BURGESS: There is no law against a man vandalizing his own house.
LANGLY: It's not your house. Get it through that slot in your head. You carved up some strangers' living room and we're on the hook for it.
LANGLY: What? Why would someone want to pump his head full of images of a happy suburban life. Make him think he's got a home and a wife and all that.
BURGESS: I do have a home and a wife.
LANGLY: Says you. Byers is right. You can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
BURGESS: I have a home and a wife, Lois.
LANGLY: If Byers is right you could be somebody completely different and not even know it.
BURGESS: (Angry) Judas H Priest! You go on, and on, and on, and-on-and-on, yammering like some little nancy. If you don't shut that hole of yours I'm gonna stick my thumbs in your eyes and ride you like a pogo stick. I'm just gonna -
(BURGESS blinks, and quickly becomes calm.)
BURGESS: Did I just say that? I am sorry. Wow. I don't -
(He switches back to angry mode.)
BURGESS: Wow! You see that screw? You see the screw? Hey! (He grabs the cell bars) Hey! Flatfoot! Shouldn't we be having a morning slop by now! Hey! Hey!
FROHIKE: Something else entirely.
(The guard unlocks the outer door. BURGESS is calm again. The rest are bewildered. The guard enters the corridor outside the cell, followed by YVES.)
YVES: Well, isn't this cosy. So, who's going to tell me what I'm paying for.
(Cut to TV showing a football game. LANGLY adjusts the set. They are back at the Lone Gunmen's offices. BURGESS is sat in front of the TV, the others are sat at a table, a little way behind him. LANGLY sits beside him.)
LANGLY: (to BURGESS) You just take it easy.
(At the table, the computer monitor shows the brain scan as before. JIMMY is explaining it to YVES.)
JIMMY: (pointing at the screen) Basically, what you're looking at here is a cross-section of Mr. Burgess' brain. This is the top and this is the bottom.
YVES: (pointing at the screen) This is the front, that's the back.
BYERS: What do you make of these?
YVES: Conduits for electrical stimuli. Possibly behaviour modification.
FROHIKE: Well, if so, who was he before they modified him?
(The TV shows a commercial - a man in a restraint jacket in front of a bank of TVs: "TV's stereos, speakers, DVD players, CD players".)
(Pan to BURGESS who sits forward. The man in the commercial continues: "video recorders". LANGLY is watching the screen, smiling.)
(Cut to TV. The man has shaken off the restraint jacket: "They call me Maniac Marvin but they can't stop me." Another man appears with a butterfly net: "He's escaped." BURGESS is now looking serious and angry.)
LANGLY: (smiling) I love this guy.
(Suddenly BURGESS punches LANGLY, then leaps on him and hits his head on the floor. The others rush to the rescue. BURGESS is shouting. BYERS looks from him to Maniac Marvin on the TV. He notices something.)
(Day. Outside Maniac Marvin's Electronic Warehouse. LANGLY, JIMMY, BURGESS and BYERS get out of the VW.)
BURGESS: I honestly don't know what came over me, guys. I mean, I have never even heard of this Maniac Marvin. I can't imagine why the mere sight of him would cause me to react like that.
BYERS: That's what we hope to find out. (shrugs) This man may know you. Right now he's the only lead we have.
BURGESS: Well, let's do it.
LANGLY: Uh-uh. (points to BURGESS) Maniac Adam stays here with me. We can't afford the damage bill if he loses it again.
(BYERS and JIMMY walk off towards the shop.)
(Cut to the Lone Gunmen office. The door buzzer sounds. There's a WOMAN outside. FROHIKE unlocks the door. It's DR DE VICO.)
DE VICO: I'm looking for Adam Burgess. He was arrested last night along with some people at this address. Is he here?
(YVES walks up. Neither she nor FROHIKE respond to DE VICO.)
DE VICO: Can you tell me where I can find him? Please. He needs me.
YVES: I'm sorry. You are?
DE VICO: I'm Lois, his wife.
(Cut to Maniac Marvin's Warehouse.)
MARVIN: (to assistant) Would it kill you to push the warranties a little bit harder? You gotta make it sound like it's something they can't live without. Like, like air, for God's sake.
JIMMY: Oh man. It's really him.
MARVIN: (to assistant) I got my eye on you.
(MARVIN notices BYERS and JIMMY and walks over to them. He has a black eyepatch over the left eye.)
MARVIN: You the gentlemen who had the question?
JIMMY: (laughing) Oh man. You are a maniac. That's funny. (Screeches) You should, like, wear a pirate's hat.
MARVIN: The eyepatch is for real. I wear a glass eye during the commercial shoots. Let me guess, you gentlemen bought the Okahira widescreen TV and now you want a refund because the picture looks just like a funhouse mirror. (laughs) Tell you something, the Okahira needs a break-in period and that way it gives the ions a chance to bond with the vertical hold and you get something that looks like a picture.
BYERS: No. Sir. (He holds out a picture of BURGESS) Do you recognize this man?
(MARVIN looks carefully at the photograph.)
MARVIN: I can't say I do. (laughs) Is that it?
(Outside. BURGESS and LANGLY are waiting. BURGESS notices a cardboard advert being placed in the window for Marvin's Midget Wrestling. He becomes very angry and wrestles LANGLY to the ground.)
(Cut back to inside.)
MARVIN: So this guy got all hot and sloppy when he saw my face, is that right? I guess I have that effect on people - the ladies mostly. (He winks.) Sorry, gents. I can't help you.
(They hear the noises from outside and turn to see that BURGESS has pushed LANGLY up against the window.)
JIMMY: Oh, damn.
(JIMMY and BYERS rush off, leaving MARVIN leaning on the counter. MARVIN moves his arm to disclose another photograph which he picks up - it's BURGESS with a short WOMAN.)
(Later. The Lone Gunmen offices.)
BURGESS: I am so, so, sorry. I - really - I'm just very very sorry.
(He is saying this to LANGLY who is sitting in a chair holding an ice-pack to his head.)
LANGLY: Blow it out your neck hole, weirdo.
LANGLY: The guy's spazzes at the sight of stereo salesmen and midgets - who knows what else is gonna set him off next.
YVES: Let's find out.
(She swivels a monitor so BURGESS can see it, then rotates the keyboard and starts typing. The monitor shows footage taken from the security camera at the front door.)
YVES: We pulled this video-grab from the outside security camera.
(The monitor shows several pictures of DR DE VICO/"Lois", each larger and clearer.)
YVES: Do you know this woman?
(BURGESS gets up and moves to the monitor.)
BURGESS: That's Lois. My God, you found her. This - this is my wife. This is my beautiful - (turns to YVES) Where is she?
YVES: She's not your wife. She only claims to be.
BURGESS: What are you talking about?
FROHIKE: We think she's your keeper. And you're her lab-rat.
YVES: She wouldn't tell us much. Only that you were undergoing some sort of therapy.
FROHIKE: She says she was transporting you some place and that there was a car accident. Apparently you just wandered away from the scene.
YVES: And found your way home - what you thought was home.
FROHIKE: She wouldn't tell us about those wires in your brain, but we think they allow you to see things and hear things and feel things that aren't really there. Things she wants you to see.
BURGESS: You two are crazier than I am. Now, where is Lois?
FROHIKE: Um, we told her we didn't know where you were. We figured you could use a little time. You owe it to yourself to find out who you really are.
(BURGESS walks away from them.)
BURGESS: I know who I am. I'm Adam Burgess.
YVES: No. There's no record of an Adam Burgess, because Adam Burgess doesn't exist. You're someone else - you need to remember who.
(BURGESS is upset, then while looking at FROHIKE he suddenly undergoes an hallucination where FROHIKE is transformed into a midget wearing a wrestling outfit. The hallucination screams at BURGESS, who screams back. He runs at FROHIKE and wrestles him to the ground. The rest pull him off while he yells at FROHIKE.)
BURGESS: I am not you! I will never be you! Never! Never! Never!
(FROHIKE, confused and still lying on the floor, doesn't know what to make of this.)
(Fade to black.)
(Monitor showing midget wrestling match. One of the contenders is the same as BURGESS' hallucination. THE GUNMEN, YVES and BURGESS are watching the monitor.)
BYERS: This man is the Dwarf Santini. This the man you thought you saw.
JIMMY: You said you'll never be like him. Who is he to you?
(BURGESS goes over to the monitor, more scenes from the match can be seen with Dwarf Santini yelling as he did in the hallucination. BURGESS takes out the video, drops it onto the floor and stamps on it until it breaks.)
FROHIKE: Your true identity had better turn out to be rich.
BYERS: Can you tell us why that man makes you so angry?
BURGESS: What man?
LANGLY: The Dwarf Santini, you ret- (LANGLY breaks off, probably about to say "retard".)
(LANGLY sighs and picks up the broken video.)
LANGLY: So, where do we find this guy?
YVES: We don't. He's been dead for years. He has a daughter, however.
(Day A house. The door bell is being rung several times. A young woman, SADIE, who is also a midget, walks towards the front door. We see pictures of the Dwarf Santini all over the walls of the house.)
SADIE: Keep your shirt on.
(She opens the door. Standing there is MANIAC MARVIN, carrying a bunch of flowers.)
MARVIN: (In his silly voice) They turned me loose!
SADIE: You are such a dip. Come in.
MARVIN: Sweety, you don't ever call me back.
(She picks up a packet of cigarettes from a table.)
SADIE: I'm busy you know. Got a life.
MARVIN: I know. I know. I was just wondering, you think any more about what we talked about? I want to be part of your life.
SADIE: I'm still married, Marvin.
MARVIN: I know, I know that. It's - it's just that I've been doing some thinking.
(He lights her cigarette for her. Then he goes down on his knees.)
MARVIN: I want you to get that divorce. He's out of your life. You haven't seen him for a year. A year, Sadie. He don't love you any more. Marry me and I'll move you out of this dump and into a nice place. You and me, man and wife.
SADIE: I can't marry you. You don't love me. Not after that crack you made.
MARVIN: What crack?
SADIE: Oh don't play stupid, stupid. You know. You're all about the sex. That's all you want.
MARVIN: (Smiling) Uh, you mean when I said it takes a little lady to get me off big.
SADIE: (Angry) Yeah! You are such a pig.
MARVIN: (Sorry) I know. But that's what you love about me, baby.
(He hold his arms out to her. She starts to smile.)
SADIE: Yeah, I know.
(She moves into his arms.)
SADIE: Turn me loose, big boy.
(He sweeps her up in his arms and walks off, they are both laughing.)
(Later on that night. A trailer park. The VW drives up and parks in front of a trailer. The name on the mailbox is "Muckle".)
BURGESS: Who would live here? (He notices the mailbox.) Muckle. Muckle. What does that sound like - a last name or a sex act?
YVES: It's the married name of one Sadie Santini, who is, apparently, very much her father's daughter. She spent some time on the midget wrestling circuit.
LANGLY: This I gotta see.
(BURGESS notices a parked car, the registration plate is "MANIAC M". He starts hyperventilating and picks up a pole with hooks on it. He rushes up the steps and starts breaking into the trailer.)
JIMMY: Adam! Adam!
(The others run into the trailer. BURGESS bursts into the bedroom where MARVIN and SADIE are in bed.)
MARVIN: Oh, no!
(JIMMY grabs BURGESS and pulls him out of the room. BURGESS shouts at MARVIN as he's pulled away.)
BURGESS: I'm gonna get you! I'm gonna get you! I'm gonna take your other eye out this time, pal!
(JIMMY has pulled BURGESS in the living room.)
BURGESS: OK! I'm fine! I'm fine! I'm fine!
(SADIE comes in.)
SADIE: Charlie, where the hell have you been?
BYERS: Is that your name?
BURGESS: Charlie. Muckle. Muckle. Charlie Muckle. Oh God, oh God, oh God, now I'm remembering everything.
(BURGESS has calmed down and JIMMY has released him. Then footsteps are heard approaching the trailer. It's DR DE VICO. BURGESS sees her.)
DE VICO: I was afraid I'd find you here. Charlie, we need to talk.
(Later. In the living room. BURGESS is sitting holding a framed photograph of The Dwarf Santini.)
BURGESS: My name is Charlie Muckle and I'm an alcoholic. And I have anger issues ...
(He puts the photograph down. DR DE VICO is there smiling encouragingly at him.)
BURGESS: ... and I shoplift. And - I fill my tank with gas and drive off without paying and sometimes I cruise the old folks' home, acting like a visitor and then I go through their mail looking for social security checks ...
(During this time, the rest shows varying signs of embarrassment at hearing this confession.)
BURGESS: ... and I expose myself in public - sometimes. But only to women who think they're hot stuff.
SADIE: Don't forget you got my best friend pregnant.
BURGESS: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah, did that too.
DE VICO: And you despise Charlie, don't you.
DE VICO: Which is why you were willing to let me help you to become Adam Burgess.
(BURGESS mouths "Adam Burgess" along with DR DE VICO.)
SADIE: Charlie, you let this woman brainwash you?
BURGESS: Well it was either that or doing 24 months for putting out Marvin's eye the last time I caught you two in bed together. Talk to Marvin, he knew all about it!
(MARVIN looks guilty.)
SADIE: (to MARVIN) Hey, you told me that you dropped the charges and that he just disappeared.
MARVIN: Baby, I was just looking out for Charlie's best interests. He needed time to heal.
BYERS: (to DE VICO) Is that what you're doing to this man? Healing him?
DE VICO: I have his signed consent on file. Everything we do is legal and above board.
YVES: What about making him believe you're his wife? Is that above board as well?
SADIE: (to BURGESS) You're already married to me.
DE VICO: Perhaps he shouldn't be. It may not be healthy for him. Or for you.
MARVIN: Yeah, Sadie. And she's a doctor.
SADIE: Is that right, Charlie? Is that what you really think?
BURGESS: You're always telling me I can never compare to your father. It's always "the Great Man this" and "the Great Man that". I can never measure up. You were always telling me you wanted me to change. Well I changed. And for the better.
DE VICO: Yes you did, Adam. And our work can continue, it's not too late.
SADIE: Well, don't let me stop you.
BURGESS: Oh, what the hell. (to DE VICO) Plug me in.
(He and DE VICO leave, BURGESS looking threateningly at MARVIN as he goes. The rest except JIMMY get up and leave. SADIE is upset.)
MARVIN: Baby, this really is the best thing. For everybody.
(JIMMY has been standing there - he looks upset too - then he leaves.)
(The Lone Gunman offices. A monitor shows next edition of The Lone Gunman being prepared. The headline: THERAPY OR THOUGHT CONTROL?)
JIMMY: I'm not so sure I want my name on this story after all.
LANGLY: What are you talking about?
BYERS: Jimmy, as first stories go this one's a doozy. You've got an unproven virtual reality therapy that threatens to strip its patients of their very identities. It's exactly what the American people need to be warned about.
JIMMY: (Subdued) Yeah, I know. It's just - I don't like how the story ends.
FROHIKE: So what. You're a journalist. You report the news, good or bad, you don't change the news, you don't affect its outcome.
JIMMY: Oh, yeah? Like you guys just kick back with your pad and your pencil, like you don't take an interest in the people you write about, and always help them out.
(BYERS and FROHIKE look a little uncomfortable.)
JIMMY: I feel like I dropped the ball.
YVES: How would you end the story?
JIMMY: I'd have Charlie wind up with Sadie. It's so obvious how much they really love each other. Even if they won't admit it. And there's something not right when science gets in the way of love.
(LANGLY rolls his eyes. FROHIKE groans.)
FROHIKE: (to BYERS) I think I got diabetes now.
JIMMY: So? What are we going to do about it?
(Inside the Institute, BURGESS is getting into a blue-liquid-filled tank. He has a band around his neck. As the assistant plugs a pipe into the back of the band, DR DE VICO approaches. BURGESS lowers the eye-mask and puts on the breathing apparatus. Then he lowers himself into the liquid until he is submerged. DR DE VICO smiles. The assistant lowers the top of the tank into place. DR DE VICO adjust her hair. We see a mark on the back of her neck, just the same as on BURGESS. BURGESS is now lying in the tank, motionless.)
(A dressing room. SADIE is in a wedding dress and is being helped by bridesmaids. She is crying. MARVIN comes in.)
MARVIN: Happy day, sweet pea. Your divorce came through.
SADIE: What are you doing! It's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, you jerk.
(The bridesmaids start to hustle MARVIN out of the room.)
MARVIN: (to bridesmaids) What does it matter? I saw her naked yesterday. How lucky was that! (to SADIE) I love you!
(SADIE takes another tissue. The bridesmaids come over to comfort her.)
(Cut to the tank. BURGESS starts twitching in an agitated way.)
(We cut to what appears to be inside BURGESS' hallucinated house. He is in bed. DE VICO approaches, she's wearing a black nightgown.)
DE VICO: I missed you.
(The scene looks strange - like watching an old, worn-out video.)
DE VICO: Oh, you're the man of my dreams. You know that?
(He nods while she strokes his head.)
DE VICO: Make love to me.
BURGESS: Um. Don't I have a job I'm supposed to be at?
DE VICO: Not today. I made it Saturday. Oh, Adam, tell me you love me.
(Cut to outside the house on Deck Street. We see a sign for DECK ST and ROBIN ST. FROHIKE is on a ladder up a telegraph pole. BYERS hold the ladder steady.)
FROHIKE: Looks like you were right about the hidden cameras, Byers.
BYERS: I was wrong about where to look for them.
FROHIKE: Well, it looks like every utility pole in the neighbourhood is wired with them.
(At the VW, BYERS and LANGLY are standing while YVES is sitting at the open door with a laptop.)
FROHIKE: The interior of the house was probably scanned into the program separately.
(FROHIKE has attached some plugs to the wiring.)
FROHIKE: OK, Yves. You're tapped in.
LANGLY: (to YVES) What's happening in the program?
YVES: The master bedroom. There.
LANGLY: What's he doing.
YVES: (grinning) I'll tell you when you're older.
(LANGLY leans in to look at the screen. YVES closes the laptop lid. FROHIKE and BYERS arrive.)
FROHIKE: Let's make this quick. Before Nosy Rosy across the street is calling the cops again.
(The four go into the garden, leaving YVES at the laptop in the VW. They're all wearing black suits.)
JIMMY: Is this really gonna work?
BYERS: In theory it should. You see the little boxes on the phone poles. Those are the hidden cameras we were looking for the last time. They're feeding audio and video into a computer somewhere which is transforming it into the virtual reality that Adam is experiencing. So, if we're on camera -
JIMMY: Then he should be able to see and hear us.
FROHIKE: However, we won't be able to see him. So, who's gonna start.
(THE GUNMEN react to JIMMY's bellowing.)
(Cut to the bedroom, where DE VICO and BURGESS are making love. BURGESS hears JIMMY's shouts.)
BURGESS: Do you hear something?
DE VICO: It's nothing, Adam. Ignore it.
(Cut to outside where THE GUNMEN are also shouting Charlie's name.)
(Inside the house. BURGESS rolls over on top of DR DE VICO.)
BURGESS: Hang on a minute.
BYERS: (Calling out) Charlie? Where is he, Yves?
YVES: Ten feet in front of you.
(A very simple simulation is shown on YVES' laptop. Looks like a budget SimCity! The Gunmen are shown standing in the garden and BURGESS in the doorway of the house.)
YVES: He's stepping out onto the porch.
(BURGESS can't be seen, only the representation on the laptop, visible to YVES. THE GUNMEN can't see him. His voice is computer-generated and relayed to THE GUNMEN via their earpieces.)
BURGESS: Hey. Hey!
YVES: He's trying to talk to you. Patching him through now.
BURGESS: What you guys doing here? I'm a little busy.
(The Computer-generated BURGESS walks down the steps.)
BURGESS: You're like the four blind mice. You're not even looking at me.
BYERS: Because you're not really here, Charlie.
JIMMY: Because this whole thing is like a big video game and you're really somewhere else with a wire in the back of your neck and blue goo in every crevice of your body.
BURGESS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. So what?
JIMMY: So what?
FROHIKE: So, er, what, er -
BURGESS: Listen, seriously, there's no pressure here. I'm happy, life is good. I don't have to make any big decisions - it's a perfect life. It's designed to be.
LANGLY: Yeah, but -
BURGESS: Pretty soon I'll forget who I even am. Just like before. Maybe I'll forget this isn't real. It'll be even better.
BYERS: You'll forget Sadie, too.
BURGESS: Looking forward to it.
JIMMY: No, you're not. Nobody wants to forget the people that they love.
BURGESS: She's better off with Marvin.
LANGLY: Except she seems to want you.
BURGESS: I'm no good for her.
FROHIKE: Well, you're no good for anybody, Charlie. You belong on Jerry Springer or in a zoo, but - you can change.
BYERS: The old-fashioned way. Provided you want to badly enough.
BURGESS: You guys - you guys make it sound so easy.
LANGLY: It's not, but I gotta believe virtual reality with all its perfect weather and great sex and ... oh God.
JIMMY: It's not as good as real life. Not even close.
(There's the siren of an approaching police car.)
FROHIKE: Oh, crap.
(They start to back away.)
YVES: Let's go, let's go. Come on.
(The others start moving back to the VW.)
JIMMY: Come on, Charlie. Now or never.
(Close up on BURGESS.)
(Fade to black.)
(Wrestling ring, dressed up for a wedding. There are many people in the audience. An MC is standing in the ring, wearing his black and white striped shirt. He makes an announcement over the PA system.)
MC: Ladies and gentlemen! Let's get ready to get married!
MC: In this corner (pointing to his left), weighing in at 189 pounds, from Washington DC, Maniac Marvin Copper!
(MARVIN, dressed a suit with a flower in the lapel, gets to his feet with raised hands while the audience applauds.)
MC: And, entering in at the far corner, weighing in at 71 pounds, from Columbus Ohio, Sadie "The Terror" Muckle.
(SADIE and her bridesmaids climb into the ring. SADIE waves to the audience but she doesn't look too happy.)
MC: We are gathered here in the sight of friends, family and the World Professional Wrestling Commission, and the Lord, to join you two in Holy Matrimony.
(There's an interruption - BURGESS is running down the aisle.)
BURGESS: Now hold it. Hold it. Hey! Hey! Hold it one minute.
(He climbs onto the stage.)
BURGESS: I object.
MARVIN: (with a false smile) We're not even at that part of the ceremony yet.
(BURGESS climbs between the ropes, MARVIN backs away, BURGESS goes up to SADIE.)
(BURGESS points to himself.)
(He's down on one knee.)
BURGESS: Sadie, I want my life back. (Orchestral music) You are my life.
(SADIE smiles broadly and flings her arms about him. The audience applauds and cheers.)
(THE GUNMEN, JIMMY and YVES, who are standing in the aisle, also applaud. JIMMY has a large smile on his face.)
YVES: How's this ending.
(JIMMY nods. FROHIKE notices he's being looked at up and down appreciatively by a young WOMAN who is a midget. He grins at her.)
(While a smoochy song is being played, "Blame the Condition" by King Pleasure, BURGESS and SADIE kiss to the delight of the audience. JIMMY looks like he's about to burst into tears. BURGESS picks SADIE up in his arms and they twirl around on the stage.)
(Fade to black.)