(A Russian freighter is out at sea. A man is yelling and pounding on some pipes in the bowels of the ship. Another man walks towards him. He steps in water and opens the door to the bathroom. The toilets are flooding. He walks down into he boiler room. Men are yelling in Russian. A Russian engineer picks up the phone. [ = Denotes lines in Russian, subtitles given.)
RUSSIAN ENGINEER: [ Engine room... ]
(Some yelling can be heard over the phone. After a short while, he hangs up the phone and walks over to a young man coming down the stairs.)
[ Dmitri! ]
DMITRI: [ Yeah? ]
RUSSIAN ENGINEER: [ Hey! I've got a job for you. ]
(Dmitri climbs down. He starts to unscrew the bolts from the gate into the tanks. The engineer walks over.)
[ The system is backed-up. The blockage must be removed before the tanks can be purged. ]
DMITRI: [ Why is this always my job? ]
RUSSIAN ENGINEER: [ Because you are young. And because it is terrible, smelly work. ]
(He laughs and walks away. Dmitri opens the gate to the tanks and steps back, holding his breath due to the smell. He looks inside with a flashlight and puts his head in, looking around for the blockage. Something grabs him by the neck and pulls his head in. He pulls his head out long enough to scream, then is pulled down again. His only support is his foot stuck in the step. Just as it is pulled out, the engineer and other men run over, screaming in Russian and trying to hold on. It is no avail, however, as the monster inside proves stronger, dragging Dmitri inside. The men are starting to freak out.)
[ Flush the tanks! Flush the tanks! ]
(Men run off, repeating this. The water starts to filter out, and whatever is inside of it as well.)
(Mulder is still on wiretap duty. A box of Chinese food resides near the reel-to-reel player.)
MAN #1: Dave says he would set it up in the Carsell's village.
MAN #2: Yeah, well, Dave's a stand-up guy. If he's putting it together, you'd be a fool to pass it up.
(Mulder less than cares. He has put his pen through his styrofoam cup and spins it around. A large pile of sunflower seed shells sits on the desk.)
MAN #1: Yeah, yeah, I hear you. I just...
MAN #2: You just what?
MAN #1: When you want to take a dip, you got to test the water. You just don't want to get wet.
MAN #2: No, man. Dippage is sacred.
(Mulder puts down the cup, then puts a seed down on the desk. He flicks it into the cup like a soccer kick. The door to the room opens. Mulder squints at the sudden intrusion of light.)
BRISENTINE: Agent Mulder?
BRISENTINE: You're being relieved from your current assignment. Agent Bozoff will take over.
(He motions for the agent next to him to go to the desk, which he does.)
You've got a flight to catch in forty-five minutes.
(Mulder takes off the headphones and stands, still chewing on seeds.)
MULDER: Where am I going?
BRISENTINE: Murder case. Newark, New Jersey.
(He hands Bozoff the bag of sunflower seeds.)
MULDER: Treat yourself.
BRISENTINE: You're flying out of National. Your contact in Newark is Detective Norman.
(He hands Mulder his plane ticket as they head to the door. Mulder struggles to tie his tie while carrying his coat and the ticket.)
MULDER: How did I draw the assignment?
BRISENTINE: Assistant Director Skinner made the request.
MULDER: Skinner requested me?
(They walk out.)
(Sirens wail as another police car pulls up to a scene. Young children watch from the building across the way. The coroner's office is there as well. Mulder pulls up to the scene and gets out. He flashes his badge to the nearest police officer, who points to Detective Norman down the way. Mulder flashes his badge once he reaches him.)
MULDER: Mulder, F.B.I.
NORMAN: My forensics team's just wrapping up. We left the body where we found it. Kenny!
(A police officer brings over the dead man's boots.)
This is one case I'm going to be happy to turn over to you guys.
(Later, Mulder gags and coughs as he enters the sewer down the manhole. Police officers are waiting, as well as Norman. He steps into the cold water and groans at the smell.)
(The group starts to walk along, most of them carrying flashlights, including Norman.)
MULDER: Yeah, wouldn't want to step in anything.
NORMAN: They say it cuts the smell if you don't breathe through your mouth.
MULDER: They lied.
(Mulder takes out his flashlight and the pack moves along slowly.)
Who found the body?
NORMAN: Sanitation worker.
(They reach the body of poor Dmitri. In the dim light, Mulder sees how badly decomposed the body is. It is barely recognizable as anything human, laying face down in the water.)
Looks like it's been here a while.
MULDER: Any I.D.?
NORMAN: No. Not much to go on either. Front side of the body is pretty much eaten away. Would you like us to turn him over for you?
MULDER: No, I'll take your word on that.
(He starts back towards where they came from.)
NORMAN: Hey, Agent Mulder. What would you like us to do with the body?
(Mulder keeps walking.)
MULDER: Wrap it up and send it to the F.B.I., care of Assistant Director Skinner.
(Mulder is standing in Skinner's secretary's office, pacing, looking at his watch. He paces back and forth, restlessly, till the door to Skinner's office opens and the secretary walks out.)
SECRETARY: Yes, sir.
SKINNER: Thank you.
(She closes the door. Mulder walks up to her.)
MULDER: I need to speak to him.
SECRETARY: I'm sorry, Mister Skinner's unavailable. Would you like to take a seat?
MULDER: Will you tell him that I'm here and I need to speak with him? Now.
(She glares slightly.)
(She opens the door and looks in. Skinner is standing, looking at a paper. Mulder stands in front of the doorway.)
Excuse me, Mister Skinner. I'm very sorry to interrupt, but Agent Mulder is demanding to see you.
(Skinner walks up to Mulder, still standing in his office.)
SKINNER: Is there a problem, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: Yeah, there is.
SKINNER: Then make an appointment.
(He turns away.)
MULDER: It's kind of hard to make an appointment when you're up to your ass in raw sewage, being jerked around from one meaningless assignment to another.
(Skinner looks back at him.)
SKINNER: Excuse me?
MULDER: What's my next punishment, scrubbing the bathroom floors with a toothbrush?
SKINNER: You're way out of line, Agent Mulder.
MULDER: So I gathered.
SKINNER: Fine. Come into my office, Agent Mulder, please.
(Mulder walks in, but the anger fades when he realizes he has interrupted a board meeting. Everyone is staring at Mulder.)
Agent Mulder, would you please inform the room as to why you regard your homicide case in New Jersey as meaningless?
MULDER: It seemed to me like a simple drugland body dump, not the type of case the F.B.I. normally wastes it's time and manpower on.
SKINNER: Certainly, Agent Mulder, given your recent history here, you're not one to judge what is or is not a waste of the bureau's time or manpower.
MULDER: Sir, my work on the X-Files...
SKINNER: The X-Files have been closed, Agent Mulder. You will carry out your new assignments and investigate them to the best of your ability. Is that not clear?
SKINNER: And I'll be anticipating your field reports on your current homicide case. Thank you.
(Mulder, looking stoic, walks out. Skinner throws the paper down on the desk.)
(Mulder sits on a park bench, looking out at the Washington Monument. Scully walks up to him.)
SCULLY: Is this seat taken?
MULDER: No. But I should warn you, I'm experiencing violent impulses.
SCULLY: Well, I'm armed, so I'll take my chances.
(She sits down and sighs.)
I hear you really endeared yourself to Assistant Director Skinner today.
MULDER: You know, sometimes, it just gets really hard to smile through it when they ask you to bend down and grab your ankles. You know?
SCULLY: It's not exactly as if you've ever tried to fit into the program.
MULDER: No. No, I've been thinking a lot about that lately. I've been thinking about leaving.
SCULLY: The bureau?
(Mulder sighs and shakes his head.)
What would you do?
MULDER: Pursue my work in the paranormal somehow.
SCULLY: Y, you could request a transfer to Quantico. Come back to the Behavioral Science Unit.
(He sighs and stands.)
MULDER: They don't want us working together, Scully... and right now, that's the only reason I can think of to stay.
SCULLY: Wh, what about this case you're working on?
MULDER: It's a zero.
SCULLY: Where's the body?
MULDER: They transferred it to our forensics lab. Look, Scully, I know what you're trying to do.
SCULLY: Maybe I can request to do the autopsy.
MULDER: It's an exercise. Skinner is just rubbing my nose in this one. There's nothing to it.
SCULLY: There's a dead body, isn't there?
(Scully, wearing gloves and goggles, turns on the examination light, which has a camera attached, and unzips the bodybag. The stench is so unbearable, she groans and covers her nose. She finishes unzipping it. Afterwards, the body is out of the bag and she is speaking out loud, presumably into a nearby tape recorder. She has a notepad in hand.)
SCULLY: Examination and autopsy of John Doe number one-zero-one-three-five-six. Case number D-P-one-one-two-one-four-eight. Special Agent Fox Mulder, field investigator. Body is an adult male, with advanced tissue decomposition, weighing a hundred and sixty-five pounds in extremis, sixty-nine inches in length. Intact skin is mottled and discolored, due to submergence in and exposure to a highly bacterial environment. Cause and time of death unknown.
(She looks at his brownish forearm, which has what looks to be a tattoo in foreign letters.)
Possible identifying mark on right forearm.
(She takes a scalpel out. Later, she looks down at the body.)
Body cavities appear normal. Interior organs intact. Consistent in rate of decomposition.
(She takes a pair of cutters out.)
Removing the rib cage.
(Some cutting sounds are heard, as well as some slashing. Later, a perfect rectangle has been cut in the man's chest. The organs are clearly visible, even though they are covered and surrounded in a grayish liquid.)
Condition of heart and lungs are good. No sign of thrombi, natural degenerate diseases, indicate victim was probably a young adult. The liver shows some nodular hardening, consistent with incipient alcoholism.
(A small flat, gray worm peeks out from inside the liver. Scully is taken aback.)
(Scully takes the forceps and peels back the outer layer of the liver. She latches onto the small organism and starts to pull it out.)
(A workman goes down into the sewer, the manhole off. He is wearing black work suspenders. Another workman lowers him a tool case.)
WORKMAN #2: Put it away.
WORKMAN #1: Got it.
(He puts it down and opens it up. The second workman comes down. The first one takes out a rope then, taking the flashlight from around his neck, climbs down into the water. He walks over to a part of the fence on the sewer pipe that is ripped out.)
I'm going to need a big piece of thirty gauge and some bailing wire.
WORKMAN #2: I got to go back up top for the screen.
(He walks back up the ladder. The first workman unties the large piece of wood that had gotten caught, then puts it up on the ledge. He screams as he is dragged under. He remains there for a few seconds, the water bubbling, till he surfaces.)
WORKMAN #1: Hey! Help!
(The second workman climbs down.)
WORKMAN #2: Craig! Craig! Craig!
(He runs over just as the first workman is dragged under again.)
Craig! Hey, Craig!
(He surfaces, gasping, being pulled out towards the hole. The second one throws him a rope.)
Hold on! Craig!
(The first workman doesn't catch the rope, but holds on to the grate.)
(The second workman tosses him the rope again. Craig screams and catches it.)
Hold on, man! Hold on! Oh, my God! Hold on! Hold on!
(Slowly, Craig is dragged onto the ledge, gasping for air. The second workman sees a tear in his shirt and the flesh beneath it has been torn up, looking like raw meat.)
Oh my God. I'm going to get help!
(He runs out. The first workman looks to the sewer grate.)
(Doctor Zenzola is shining her penlight in Craig's eyes, which naturally dilate.)
ZENZOLA: I'm going to give you a tetanus booster just as a precaution.
WORKMAN #1: I'd be happy if you'd just give me something to get this taste out of my mouth.
ZENZOLA: Oh, yeah?
(Mulder walks in. The first workman is sitting on the examination table, wearing a hospital gown.)
Let me take a look. "Aaaah."
(The first workman opens his mouth. She shines her penlight.)
Any trouble swallowing?
WORKMAN #1: Uh-uh.
(She hands him a piece of gum.)
ZENZOLA: It'll go away.
(She turns to Mulder.)
(They walk into the back room.)
ZENZOLA: New York P.D. referred me to you. I was surprised to hear the F.B.I. was involved. Is there something here I should know?
MULDER: I don't know, maybe you can tell me.
(He checks his watch.)
ZENZOLA: The patient is a sanitation worker. He claims he was attacked by something down in the sewer this morning.
(She starts over to a cabinet.)
MULDER: Attacked? By what?
ZENZOLA: We've been unable to determine.
(She reaches into the cabinet and pulls a needle and some liquid.)
Initially, I thought it was just a disability claim... but he appears to be telling the truth.
MULDER: What's his condition?
(She begins filling the needle with the tetanus booster.)
ZENZOLA: He's in satisfactory health. I've given him a heavy course of antibiotics... and we're checking for hepatitis. He does have a strange wound on his back.
MULDER: What kind of wound?
ZENZOLA: Uh, it could be some kind of bacterial infection. Frankly, I can't say I've ever seen anything like it.
(She walks back over to her patient. He follows.)
This is Agent Mulder of the F.B.I.
MULDER: Any idea what attacked you?
WORKMAN #1: Yeah, I've been thinking it might have been a python.
(She delivers the shot, jamming the needle into his arm rather harshly.)
MULDER: A python?
WORKMAN #1: Yeah, or a boa constrictor. Somebody probably flushed a pet snake down the toilet. I found an alligator in the sewer a couple of years ago. It was stronger than hell, I'll tell you that, clamped onto me like a vise.
(Zenzola walks around and pulls back the taped bandages, looking at the wound.)
ZENZOLA: It almost looks like a bite.
(Mulder walks around and looks. The workman sighs. The bite has a hole in the middle, then four slashes like teeth moving in diagonal motions from all four corner directions. His cell phone rings.)
MULDER: Oh, excuse me.
(He steps away and answers it.)
SCULLY: Mulder, it's me. I need to see you, I've got something here I think you should know about.
MULDER: What is it?
(Cut to Scully, sitting at her desk. The phone is on speaker phone. She's reading over her notes.)
SCULLY: Some kind of parasite near John Doe. I'm having it looked at, but I should know more by the time you get down here.
MULDER: Well, I'm up in Jersey. I should be taking the shuttle down in about an hour.
(He hangs up and walks over to the other two people in the room.)
WORKMAN #1: When can I get out of here? I'd just like to go home.
(Mulder's phone rings again.)
MULDER: Oh, excuse me, sorry.
(He turns around and answers it. Cut to an unknown location, a dark room.)
Scully, this is a bad time for me to talk.
X: Mister Mulder.
(Cut to Mulder, who has no clue who he's talking to.)
(Cut to the mysterious man, who looks out the window from his office.)
X: I think you should know... you have a friend at the F.B.I.
(Cut to Mulder.)
MULDER: Who is this?
(Cut to the mysterious man, who hangs up. Cut back to Mulder, who does the same.)
ZENZOLA: Agent Mulder?
ZENZOLA: If you don't have any more questions, I'm going to release this man.
MULDER: Okay, go ahead.
(Zenzola and the workman talk. Mulder looks confused about this last phone call.)
(Mulder walks down the dark hallway into Scully's office.)
SCULLY: Close the door.
(He walks back up the stairs in her office and closes the door, then walks over to her. She hands him a glass with the parasite resting in a liquid.)
It's called Turbellaria, or it's commonly known as a fluke or flatworm.
MULDER: This was living inside the body?
SCULLY: Apparently, it had attached itself to the bile duct and was feeding off the liver.
SCULLY: Believe it or not, something like forty million people are infected worldwide.
(He puts the jar down on the desk.)
MULDER: This isn't where you tell me some terrible story about sushi, is it?
SCULLY: Well, maybe you'd rather hear what you can catch from a nice, rare steak.
MULDER: So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?
SCULLY: Flukes are endemic in unsanitary conditions. It's more likely that the victim contracted it down inside the sewer.
MULDER: Before or after he died?
SCULLY: I don't know. According to my sources, it's unlikely that a single parasite could have killed him. He was a young man. But the weird thing is, there's no other discernible cause of death.
MULDER: How do these parasites attach themselves?
SCULLY: They have what's called a scolex... it's a sucker-like mouth with four hooking spikes.
(Mulder pulls out a picture of the wound on the back of the workman and hands it to her. The wound is nearly across half his entire back.)
MULDER: Anything like this?
SCULLY: Where'd you get that?
MULDER: Something attacked a workman in a New Jersey sewer this morning.
SCULLY: And you're asking me if this is from a fluke?
MULDER: Could it be?
SCULLY: M, Mulder, the scolex is a tiny little organ. This is a huge bite mark.
(He picks up the jar.)
MULDER: How big can these things get?
(She starts to laugh.)
SCULLY: Mulder, I...
(They stare at each other. Mulder really doesn't find anything funny.)
I'm sorry. It felt like old times there for a second.
(They share an uncomfortable silence for a few seconds.)
Flatworms are what are known as obligate endoparasites. They live inside the host, entering the body through the ingestion of larvae or eggs. They are not creatures that go around attacking people.
MULDER: Well, that's good. I didn't want to have to tell Skinner that his murder suspect was a giant, blood-sucking worm.
MULDER: Well, at the very least, this will be interesting to the Newark Department of Sanitation.
(He picks up the jar, then thinks for a second.)
Look, Scully, I don't know who you shared our conversation with the other night, but I'd prefer if you didn't try to launch a campaign for me.
SCULLY: Excuse me?
MULDER: I don't know who you talked to...
SCULLY: I didn't talk to anybody.
MULDER: Well, somebody called me and told me I had a friend at the F.B.I.
(Scully looks shocked.)
SCULLY: Look, Mulder, I... I don't know what to say, but I, I, I wouldn't betray a confidence.
(They stare at each other, wondering.)
(The workman turns on the shower and unrobes himself, revealing the huge scar still on his back. He opens the medicine cabinet and takes out the toothpaste. Looking in the mirror, he applies some to his toothbrush, then starts to brush his teeth. He applies more, trying to get the taste out of his mouth. He brushes vigorously and, finding no relief from the taste, squirts some directly into his mouth. Swishing it around, chewing on it, he takes some water into his mouth and spits up a stream of blood and toothpaste, almost gagging on it. He looks at the mirror and wipes off some blood on his lips, shocked. He gets into the shower, relaxing in the water. He suddenly starts to choke, holding his throat. Blood drips out of his mouth as he tries to throw up. A large flukeworm slithers it's way out of his mouth and down the drain.)
(The foreman is taking Mulder on a grand tour of the facility.)
FOREMAN: City runs on several different systems... some new, some built around the turn of the century. Almost as old as Charlie here.
(He points to an older man walking by, wearing a hard-hat, writing something down on a clipboard.)
Isn't that right, Charlie?
CHARLIE: Oh, yes, sir.
(Charlie keeps walking, as does Mulder and the foreman. They walk over to an encased map.)
MULDER: What part of the sewer was I in?
FOREMAN: That'd be one of the older sections, big eight-foot tunnels.
MULDER: They look more like a catacomb than a sewer line.
FOREMAN: Yup, all the new sections are concrete pipe, not much of it bigger than twenty-four inches.
MULDER: And all the sewage comes through this plant?
FOREMAN: Five-hundred-and-sixty thousand people a day call my office on the porcelain telephone.
(Mulder smiles and pulls out the encased flukeworm.)
MULDER: Have you ever seen one of these?
FOREMAN: Looks like a big, old worm.
MULDER: It's called a fluke. It came from the body they pulled out of the sewer.
FOREMAN: Wouldn't surprise me. No telling what's been breeding down there in the last hundred years.
(Downstairs, the water is loud as it rumbles through as Charlie stands on a plank, smoking a cigarette. He hears a rumbling in the water underneath him and sees something swim beneath him. Charlie runs over to a pole with a built-in telephone. Upstairs, the foreman picks up the phone, which has a bright red light flashing.)
(Some talking can be heard.)
Yeah. Charlie, slow down.
(Mulder looks over. Downstairs, they run over to Charlie, who is standing at a system control.)
CHARLIE: I'm backflushing the system. It's in there.
MULDER: What is it?
CHARLIE: I don't know. It just swam right past me.
(He flips a switch.)
There it is.
(They walk over to a yellow-tube pipe. Charlie shines a flashlight on the thing's face. It's the Flukeman, a giant flukeworm that has human qualities. The scolex is highly evident. Ray and Mulder look at each other, then back at the monster.)
(Scully is reading a report on flatworms on her computer. She speaks over the scene as she writes her findings down.)
SCULLY: The turbellarian flatworms are free-living carnivorous scavengers, usually less than three centimeters in length, found in fresh and sea water. They are hermaphroditic with complex reproductive systems, capable of internal fertilization. Many species require more than one host to complete a life cycle. Although the shape of the wound on the sanitation worker suggest scolex attachment, the sheer size of the wound precludes involvement of the common flukeworm.
(She hears a rustling and looks to her door to see a tabloid magazine being slid under. Taking off her glasses, she walks over and picks it up. She opens her door and looks outside, but no one is around. Walking back inside, she flips through the tabloid at her desk. After looking through the usual nonsense, she finds a mysterious article with the headline "MONSTER ON BOARD!?" Under it, it reads "Bizarre accident on Russian cargo ship has officials suspicious." There is a picture of the ship. Scully looks up in realization, then turns to her computer. She calls up the pathology report and zooms in on the arm a few times. There is the tattoo. Her phone rings and she answers it slowly.)
MULDER: Scully, it's me. You know that fluke you caught?
MULDER: It must have been the runt of the litter.
(Scully is rightfully confused.)
(Scully is looking through the window on the door into a small room, possibly a washroom, with a sink and various pipes in the corner.)
SCULLY: I don't see it.
(Mulder looks through and points.)
MULDER: There it is. Tucked away in the far corner, behind the pipes.
(Scully sees a large white object move behind the pipes.)
SCULLY: Oh my God.
MULDER: I don't know if you can see it from here, but it has no sex organs. It's genderless.
(The Flukeman glares at them from behind the pipes.)
SCULLY: Platyhelminthis are often hermaphroditic. Mulder, this is amazing. It's vestigial features appear to be parasitic, but it has primate physiology.
Where the hell did it come from?
MULDER: I don't know, but it looks like I'm going to have to tell Skinner that his suspect is a giant, blood-sucking worm after all.
(The Flukeman's head moves into the light.)
The only thing we're missing is the identity of the body in the sewer.
(They move away from the window.)
SCULLY: He was a Russian. An engineer on a cargo freighter. He had a tattoo on his forearm.
(She hands him a print-out of the close-up of his arm.)
I didn't make the connection until I detected that that was the name "Dmitri" spelled in Cyrillic lettering.
MULDER: How did you make the connection at all?
(She hands him the tabloid, folded open to the article.)
SCULLY: Somebody shoved this under my door. I guess you really do have a friend in the F.B.I. And, Mulder... when you see Skinner to hand in your field report, I know that it's your decision, but I hope that you know that I'd consider it more than a professional loss if you decided to leave.
(He smiles slightly, hands back the tabloid and print-out, then looks in at the angry Flukeman.)
(Skinner is flipping through Mulder's field report slowly, reading it carefully. Mulder sits across from him, waiting. Skinner scratches his neck a bit as he reads. Skinner finishes reading.)
SKINNER: Everything looks in order.
Is something wrong, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: Well, that's just an unexpected response, considering the bizarre nature of the case... and of the suspect.
SKINNER: The strangeness of the criminal and the crime are not lost on me. I had my reaction to them this morning in my conversation with the federal prosecutor's office about how to process the suspect. This meeting... is to evaluate your work.
(Mulder sighs slightly.)
MULDER: There's no way you'll prosecute this.
SKINNER: The justice department has asked that the suspect be transferred to an institution for a full psychiatric evaluation.
(Mulder shakes his head.)
MULDER: This is not a man. It's a monster. You can't put it in an institution.
SKINNER: Then what do you do with it, Agent Mulder, put it in a zoo? It killed two people.
(Mulder leans back.)
SKINNER: The sanitation worker who was attacked was found dead in his home as a result of his injuries.
(He flips through the file. Mulder stands to leave, but turns around and points at Skinner angrily.)
MULDER: You know, you had a pair of agents that could have handled a case like this. Agent Scully and I might have been able to save that man's life, but you shut us down.
SKINNER: I know. This should have been an X-File.
(Mulder searches for something to say. Skinner sighs.)
We all take our orders from someone, Agent Mulder. That'll be all.
(Mulder, looking disgusted, leaves.)
(Two workers wheel the Flukeman, strapped down, down a hall and into the Federal Marshall's ambulance truck. They close the door and one of them pats on the door.)
MAN: It's secure.
(The marhsall pulls out. The transmissions from the intercom can be heard blaring. The host struggles against his bonds.)
WOMAN: Charlie twenty-one, Charlie twenty-one, what's your E.T.A.?
(A mumbling response can be heard.)
Unit twenty, no further assist needed. They have the suspect in custody from the, uh...
(The driver looks back and sees that his passenger is gone.)
FEDERAL MARSHALL: This is vehicle forty-nine forty, requesting immediate back-up and assistance.
WOMAN: Roger forty-nine forty, roger forty-nine forty.
(The Marshall pulls over at the side of the road near a small park office. He takes his shotgun, pumps it, and walks out of the car slowly. Moving around to the back, he swings open the door, but there is no sight of his former hostage. He steps into the car and looks down at the straps, covered in residue. He wipes the goo off when he hears some hoarse breathing. The man's screams are heard far off. A shotgun blast goes off and he screams more. Hovering over the ambulance is a sign that reads:
"LAKE BETTY; NATURE'S PLAYGROUND
FISH... ALL YEAR ROUND!"
The words "Live Bait" are a neon sign, glowing. The Flukeman makes his way across the woods, crawling on the ground towards some portable toilets. He crawls into the second one and slithers down the bowl, where he sits, waiting for his next possible victim.)
(A truck backs up to the portable toilet. It's a tank cleaner service, and the worker gets out of the driver's seat and heads around back. He puts on rubber gloves and opens the door to the second portable toilet, then takes out a hose and fits it into the toilet. Flipping a lever, he stands back, smoking a cigarette, as the tube begins to suck out the waste. But the motor start to sputter as the engine strains to pull up something, obviously the Flukeman. The man checks the hose, making sure it works, and slowly the blocking object is sucked up the tube into the truck. The cleaning continues as normal.)
(Police cars and coroners have enveloped the last murder scene. The workers are also inspecting the ambulance. Mulder pulls up as the tank cleaner service truck rolls by. He walks up to Detective Norman.)
MULDER: What do you got?
NORMAN: Well, we got a dead Marshall and an escaped prisoner. Other than that, we got bubkis. We got a police line in a two-mile radius.
MULDER: Watch all the storm drains, any access to the sewer system. It's going to try to get back underground.
(His cellular phone rings. He answers it.)
(Cut to an unknown location. It's Mulder's mysterious contact.)
X: Mister Mulder, I will make this brief.
(Cut to Mulder. Norman talks to some of the other men.)
Success in your current assignment is imperative.
MULDER: Who am I speaking to?
X: Are you hearing me, Mister Mulder?
MULDER: Yes. Why is it imperative?
(Cut to the newfound informant.)
X: Reinstatement of the X-Files must be undeniable.
(He hangs up. Cut to Mulder, who hangs up. A police officer calls Norman on the walkie-talkie.)
MAN: K-nine, unit six-four, copy?
NORMAN: Six-four, copy.
MAN: Yeah, we're at a campsite approximately a quarter-mile from your position.
(Mulder walks over.)
Dogs tracked a scent to a chemical toilet here. Thought he might be hiding inside, but it's empty.
MULDER: The tanker.
NORMAN: Hold on, six-four.
(He looks at Mulder.)
MULDER: What if he's on the tanker truck?
(He runs to his vehicle. Norman looks pretty dumbfounded.)
(Another tanker truck rolls down the road as Mulder hurriedly pulls up, unbuckles his seatbelt, and runs in the building. Later, he and the foreman are walking down a flight of stairs over the yard where the tanker trucks unload.)
FOREMAN: Company that owns the truck you're looking for doesn't keep detailed service records. They had about five trucks out in that area this morning.
(They stop walking. Under them, another truck starts to dump it's contents.)
Three of them have already deposited their loads.
MULDER: So he could have already been here and gone?
FOREMAN: If he hasn't, he will be.
MULDER: And every tanker dumps it's load here?
FOREMAN: It's a state law.
MULDER: Everything is processed through this plant?
(They start down the rest of the stairs.)
MULDER: Then what happens to it?
FOREMAN: Empties through an outlet pipe about five miles out to sea.
MULDER: Could this thing have escaped through that outlet pipe?
FOREMAN: Doubtful. The system's full of enough filters and screens that nothing much bigger than your little finger's going to get through. If it's here... it's going to be trapped here.
MULDER: Guess all we can do is wait.
(They stop and look out at the giant system of pipes. Later, Mulder is walking the planks, looking down into the water. Other men are doing this as well, including the foreman, inspecting the water. Mulder's cellular phone rings.)
SCULLY: It's me, where are you?
MULDER: I'm at the treatment plant. I was playing a hunch it might have gotten back into the system.
MULDER: Forget it, it's stupid.
(Cut to Scully, sitting at a desk.)
SCULLY: Well, you're not going to like what I have to tell you?
MULDER: Why not?
SCULLY: It hadn't occurred to me, but I think that the fluke in the corpse might have been an incubating larva.
(Cut back to Mulder.)
This... creature, or whatever it is...
(Cut back to Scully.)
Is transmitting it's eggs or larvae through it's bite.
(Cut to Mulder.)
MULDER: You mean it's trying to reproduce?
(Cut to Scully.)
SCULLY: It's looking for hosts. It attacks because the victims' bodies provide generative nourishment. Mulder...
SCULLY: If it finds a new host...
(Cut to Mulder.)
MULDER: I know, Scully. It could multiply.
FOREMAN: Agent Mulder!
(Mulder pulls the phone from his ear and looks behind to see the foreman yelling to him.)
Linesman spotting something down in a section of pipe!
(Inside, the foreman unrolls a blueprint of the pipe system. He points to a section.)
MULDER: That's near where we found the first body.
FOREMAN: Right, except this is an old overflow system that dumps into the harbor during heavy rainfall.
MULDER: That must be where it got into the system.
(The foreman nods.)
It's working it's way back out to sea.
(They look at each other, worried. Mulder and the foreman race to a sewer grate where workers are standing by. Mulder grabs a flashlight from one of them and heads down. The foreman follows. Mulder has to cover his nose from the smell.)
(The foreman also has a flashlight. The waters are bubbling, moving quickly, and they walk on a plank above it, shining their flashlights down. The foreman shines his on a pipe.)
FOREMAN: That's the overflow pipe. It leads to another vault like this one, then it goes three-quarters of a mile to the sea.
MULDER: Let's see if we can get that gate closed.
(The foreman nods and crawls under the ledge. He stays close to the wall, careful not to fall in, then leans down and unchains the lever. He pulls on it.)
FOREMAN: It's rusted in position! See if I can get some leverage here.
(He tries harder. Mulder looks around the water desperately. He feels some water trickling down from above and wipes it off his shoulder. The foreman, however, slips and falls into the water with a short scream as he loses his footing.)
(The foreman stands up in the pretty shallow water, which comes up to his chest. He has no glasses on.)
FOREMAN: Aw, damn it!
MULDER: You all right?
FOREMAN: Yeah, I lost my... ah!
(He is pulled under. Mulder whips out his gun, searching for signs of the fluke. The foreman surfaces.)
(Mulder gets down on the plank and reaches out to him.)
MULDER: Give me your hand!
FOREMAN: Get me out of here! Get me out of here! Grab it!
(Mulder manages to grab the foreman's hand, but the Flukeman is still obviously tugging on the foreman, because he screams and starts to slip away. Mulder groans, trying to hold on, but the foreman is dragged under.)
MULDER: We need some help down here!
(He jumps into the water and looks around.)
(Some water trickles down onto him. Suddenly, the foreman stands up, back arched, screaming.)
I'll get you out of here!
(He notices some movement in the water. He grabs the foreman and positions him under the ledge, where the foreman grabs on. He is apparently in shock, screaming.)
Hold on! Hold on! You all right? You all right?
(There is a banging. Mulder spins around to see the Fluke trying to get into the pipe. Mulder runs over and jumps on a pipe on the ground, then strains on the lever as the Flukeman gets about halfway into the pipe. Mulder falls as the lever moves, sending the gate crashing down, severing the Fluke in half. The Flukeman screams a high-pitched whine. The foreman has pulled himself up slightly now, gasping, staring at the severed legs floating in the water, blood all around them. Mulder sighs in relief.)
(Mulder is sitting on a bench, looking out at the Lincoln Memorial, in the exact same spot where he and Deep Throat once talked. Scully walks over.)
SCULLY: Is this seat taken?
MULDER: No. But I should warn you, I may reek a bit out of the sewer.
SCULLY: I'll take my chances.
(She sits and sighs.)
You talked to Skinner yesterday.
MULDER: Success in our work is imperative, Scully. Reinstatement of the X-Files must be undeniable.
SCULLY: That came from Skinner?
MULDER: No. We have a friend in the F.B.I.
SCULLY: I thought you might be interested in the lab results on the biology of the fluke larva.
(She takes out a folder, opens it, and starts reading.)
Dissection and analysis indicates reproductive and physiological cross-traiting, resulting in a sort quasi-vertebrate human.
SCULLY: Yes, but still capable of spontaneous regeneration, like any fluke or flatworm.
MULDER: How does that happen?
SCULLY: Radiation. Abnormal cell fusion. The suppression of natural genetic processes. Mulder, nature didn't make this thing. We did.
(Mulder sighs. Scully hands him the folder. He flips through various pictures of horribly scarred and mutated people due to radiation.)
MULDER: I know these. These are from Chernobyl.
SCULLY: That creature came off of a decommissioned Russian freighter that was used in the disposal of salvage material from the meltdown. It was born in a... in a primordial soup of radioactive sewage.
(Mulder stares at the pictures.)
MULDER: You know, they say three species disappear off the planet every day. You wonder how many new ones are being created.
(Scully sighs, wondering the same thing. Mulder stands and walks towards the lake.)
(A normal night in the populace. Cars drive by a sewer grate, where below leads a tunnel. A broken sewer grate. In the water, another Fluke surfaces, most likely the one from the workman, it's eyes closed. It doesn't appear to be breathing. Then it's eyes open and it hisses in a few breaths.)