(Night outside an almost deserted video game parlor in a strip mall. Camera goes from car to inside the parlor where a guy, JACK HAMMOND, about 20, is playing a Mortal Kombat type game. VIRTUA FIGHTER 2. DARREN PETER OSWOLD, a shy nerdy looking teenager, approaches him, hesitantly.)
DARREN: Hey, I, uhÖ. I was playing that.
(JACK gives no response.)
DARREN: Ah, I just went to go take a whiz and now Iím back.
(YOU LOSE appears on the video screen.)
FEMALE GAME VOICE: Even good guys blow it!
JACK: Damn! (slaps machine, then turns to DARREN) You got a problem?
DARREN: Uh, uhÖ. this was my game. I was playing here.
JACK: Were you, pinhead? Now youíre not.
DARREN: Oh Ö (chuckles) Maybe you didnít hear me right. I, uh Ö I said it was my game.
(ZERO, the teenage counter guy at the parlor comes over to them.)
ZERO: (to JACK) Itís his game. Man, Iíd step aside if I were you.
JACK: All right. You guys want to play a game. Weíll play a game. (grabs DARREN by the collar) Weíll play a game. I go first.
(JACK pushes DARREN down. All power in the building suddenly goes out.)
ZERO: Oh, man. You shouldnít have done that.
JACK: Why. Whatís he gonna do?
(Jukebox starts up on its own playing "Ring the Bells," by James - slow pretty song. ZERO is apprehensive. JACK looks freaked out. DARREN just stands, adjusts his hat and stares at JACK.)
DARREN: So, is it my turn now?
JACK: (nervous, but trying not to show it) Iím not wasting my time.
(JACK runs out to his car with AB pizza sign on it. He turns on the radio. It is playing the same song, "Ring the Bells." He canít turn it off or change the station. DARREN watches from inside the parlor. JACK tries to drive away, but car skids and stops. AB Pizza sign bursts into flame, then JACK begins shaking as if electricity is pouring through him. He is flailing so hard he knocks a window out. Finally, he falls to the side, dead, smoke pouring out of his mouth. Inside, ZERO smiles and holds up a quarter for DARREN.)
DARREN: (inside, starting the video game) Feel a new record coming on, man.
(ZERO watches silently, not upset.)
(SCULLY is doing an autopsy on JACK. MULDER and STAN THE CORONER observe.)
SCULLY: Both eardrums are ruptured. Cataracts over both eyes. Probably heat-induced.
MULDER: Probably? (holding up plastic wrapped black heart) It looks like his heart was cooked right in his chest.
STAN THE CORONER: I have to admit, I have never seen that kind of localized tissue damage.
SCULLY: Well, there is extensive charring along the sternum with concomitant rib fractures consistent with electrocution or exposure to high voltage direct current. But I see no point of contact.
STAN THE CORONER: Best I could figure the lightning struck the car and killed the kid on contact.
(SHERIFF TELLER stands quietly in the doorway.)
SCULLY: Did you find contact wounds on any of the other five victims?
STAN THE CORONER: Iíd have to look at my notes. I mean itís pretty clear to me what killed these kids.
STAN THE CORONER: Well, yeah.
SCULLY: Are you aware that something like 60 people die from lightning strikes across the country each year and five of those happened right here in Connerville?
STAN THE CORONER: I know itís statistically improbable, but Ö
(SHERIFF TELLER enters the examination room on the defensive.)
SHERIFF TELLER: There were only four deaths. Itís okay, Stan. You donít have to defend your work. (pats him on the back) Give us a minute, would you, please?
STAN THE CORONER: (glad for an excuse to leave) Yeah, sure, Iíll be in my office. (he leaves)
SHERIFF TELLER: (to MULDER and SCULLY) My name is Teller. Iím with the Johnston County Sheriffís office. I heard there was an FBI investigation.
SCULLY: Yes, Iím Agent Scully.
SHERIFF TELLER: I know who you are. I just wonder what the hell youíre doing here.
(MULDER and SCULLY look at each other. MULDER shrugs and steps aside leaving SCULLY to do all the talking while he wanders around the examination room.)
SCULLY: (not thrilled to be talking to this hostile Sheriff) These deaths match other cases of multiple fatalities attributed to lightning with the same inconclusive forensic evidence.
SHERIFF TELLER: Do you know anything about lightening, Agent Scully?
SCULLY: Yes, I know a little.
SHERIFF TELLER: (condescending) Did you know lightning kills several people at home in the shower or on the phone? That people have seen it dancing on the ground like balls? Scientists will tell you, push come to shove that they really donít know what makes lightning work at all.
SCULLY: No, I didnít know that.
SHERIFF TELLER: Well, I know that because I have breakfast with those scientists every morning down at the local diner.
SCULLY: I donít understand.
SHERIFF TELLER: (nasty) Thatís as clear as glass. Do you know what we manufacture in Connerville? What one of our little local commodities is? We make lightning. (MULDER looks up) Down at the Astadourian Lightning Observatory out on Route 4. 100 ionized rods pointing up into the sky designed to stimulate lightning.
SCULLY: I didnít know that either.
SHERIFF TELLER: Thatís because you didnít do your homework, did you. (MULDER comes closer to them) You came here to do work thatís already been done.
SCULLY: With all due respect, sir, these autopsies donít quite add up.
SHERIFF TELLER: Based on what?
SCULLY: Based on my opinion as a medical doctor.
SHERIFF TELLER: (smiles) Then based on your medical opinion, if you had to give one, what do you think this boy died of?
(SCULLY looks to MULDER. He nods imperceptibly, then backs away again.)
SCULLY: Well, since there is no other explanation right now, Iíd have to concur with the coroner that lightning is the most probable cause of death.
SHERIFF TELLER: And I wonít have you or anyone else suggesting otherwise to this boyís family.
(SHERIFF TELLER exits.)
SCULLY: (to MULDER, accusingly) Feel free to jump in anytime.
MULDER: (smiles) Why? You were doing just fine.
SCULLY: (sighs) Do you have a theory on whatís going on here?
MULDER: I just donít think itís lightning.
(He goes into the hall, she follows.)
SCULLY: Mulder, wait. What are you expecting to find here?
MULDER: I donít know yet.
SCULLY: (trying to keep up) Could you stop for a second, please? (MULDER stops and faces her) Look, after everything that weíve just been through, after all that weíve just seen, I hope youíre not thinking this has anything to do with government conspiracies or UFOs.
MULDER: (smiling again) None of the evidence so far indicates either of those possibilities.
SCULLY: Well, what are you looking for? I mean, just because a forensic profile isnít cut and dried doesnít mean itís not true.
MULDER: So Tellerís explanation works for you?
SCULLY: The only possible scientific conclusion is that Jack Hammond was killed by lightning.
MULDER: Well, then this local lightening is a lot more predictable than Teller realizes. It seems to have a definite preference for the type of person it strikes.
SCULLY: What are you talking about?
MULDER: Well, look at the files, look at all the other victims, theyíre all male age 17 to 21, just like Jack Hammond. At least letís go see where Jack Hammond was killed. Maybe weíll find something we both can agree on.
(Day. Outside the video game parlor. SCULLY looks at JACKís burned car, MULDER at skid marks on the ground nearby.)
SCULLY: Police found Hammond in his car at 17 minutes past midnight. The entire electrical system was shorted out. All the circuitry and wiring had melted.
MULDER: Looks like he was trying to get away in a big hurry.
SCULLY: Get away from what?
MULDER: What time was Jack Hammondís last pizza delivery?
SCULLY: (Checks notes) Sometime between 11:00 and 11:30. Why?
MULDER: All these stores would have been closed by 11:00 except maybe this one.
(They go into the game parlor. Sound of Sonic the Hedgehog. MULDER and SCULLY go to talk to ZERO. ZERO is counting and rolling quarters)
ZERO: Ö 7Ö8Ö.9Ö
SCULLY: Excuse me.
ZERO: Oh Ö uh Ö 10 Ö11Ö.
(MULDER gives SCULLY a little smile and goes off to look at the games leaving SCULLY to interview by herself.)
SCULLY: Whatís your name?
ZERO: Uh, Ö Zero.
SCULLY: Zero, do you mind if we talk for a minute?
ZERO: What for?
SCULLY: Iím with the FBI.
ZERO: (trying to stay cool) All right.
SCULLY: Were you working here last night?
ZERO: Sure. Every night.
SCULLY: Do you recognize this person? (holds up picture of JACK HAMMOND)
ZERO: (quickly) Nah, never seen him.
SCULLY: Why donít you take a closer look. He was here between 11:00 and 11:30. He was killed in the parking lot. That was his car. So, if you were standing here at this counter you must have seen it happen.
ZERO: (fake revelation) Oh, that was him.
(SCULLY gives ZERO an "Iím on to you" look. MULDER, going through games, looks at machine DARREN and the JACK played on last night. High scores list is full of DPO.)
ZERO: Last I saw, dude fed a bunch of quarters into this one. (leads SCULLY to the game machine where MULDER is standing) Then the ambulance shows up.
SCULLY: Before the ambulance showed up did you notice anything unusual outside?
ZERO: Itís hard to tell. The place gets pretty loud and all. Kind of hard to hear much of anything.
SCULLY: Did you notice anyone else around who might have seen something?
ZERO: (playing dumb) I canít .. uh Ö I donít really remember.
MULDER: Look, Scully, take a look at this.
MULDER: What were the names of the other victims?
SCULLY: (looking at her notes) UhÖ Corey Huffard, Darren Oswald, Burke Roberts and Billy ---
MULDER: (interrupting) Darren Oswald. Whatís his middle name?
SCULLY: Darren Peter. Why?
MULDER: (indicating highscores) DPO. Darren Peter Oswald. Of the five victims wasnít he the only one to survive?
MULDER: Well, he was here last night.
(Kiveatís Garage. POV is from under a car. The song, "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter is heard as womanís legs approach. They belong to SHARON KIVEAT, attractive, late twenties. DARREN is watching from a rolling work bed under a car.)
DARREN: (rolling out from under car, getting view up her skirt) Hey, Mrs. Kiveat.
SHARON: (startled) God, Darren, you scared me.
SHARON: Whereís Frank?
DARREN: Oh, heís out on a tow. Is there anything I can help you with?
SHARON: No. No, weíre supposed to go to dinner.
DARREN: Are you hungry? I can get you something to eat. You want something? I got jelly doughnuts.
SHARON: No. Thank you.
DARREN: Are you sure? Theyíre from yesterday, but theyíre still good. I had one. (she is very uncomfortable around him) Hey. Mrs. Kiveat? UhÖ about those things that I said yesterday, I Ö
(FRANK KIVEAT, SHARONís husband and DARRENís boss drives up in tow truck. Early thirties, nice looking.)
KIVEAT: Sorry Iím late, hon. I had to tow that poor pizza delivery kidís car. Nice to see you. (kisses her hello) Oh, hey Darren. I got a call on the radio. Some people are coming to see you. They say theyíre with the FBI.
(DARREN looks casual watching SHARON and KIVEAT leave.)
(Garage, later. MULDER and SCULLY interviewing DARREN. They show him the picture of JACK HAMMOND.)
DARREN: This is the dude that died, right? Itís pretty harsh, man. So howíd it happen?
MULDER: They say he was struck by lightning.
DARREN: (chuckling) Yeah, that happens.
MULDER: Right outside the video arcade. Not a cloud in the sky from what we can tell. You were there last night, werenít you? Broke your own record too.
DARREN: (modest) Yeah.
MULDER: You must have seen something.
DARREN: Oh, no, man, when Iím into my game, man, Iím there, you know? Itís like a nuclear explosion could go off, right, and I wouldnít even notice.
MULDER: Can I ask you a personal question?
MULDER: Do you consider yourself a lucky person?
DARREN: I donít think so.
MULDER: Iím just thinking about all the people that got hit by lightning, youíre the only one to survive. Donít you think youíre lucky?
DARREN: Yeah, I guess if you look at it like that you could be right. I could be considered lucky.
(SCULLY notices smoke coming from MULDERís breast pocket.)
SCULLY: Whatís in your pocket?
(MULDER quickly pulls his smoking cell phone out of his pocket.)
SCULLY: What happened?
MULDER: I donít know. (drops it as it burns his fingers) It just got hot all of a sudden.
DARREN: (not surprised) Bummer. Iím going to go now.
MULDER: (sarcastically, nursing his hand) Thanks for your help.
DARREN: Yep. Iíll see you. (he leaves)
(MULDER and SCULLY look down at the cell phone, then at each other.)
(Night. OSWOLD house. DARRENís mother, MRS OSWALD is watching TV. DARREN enters and watches her from the doorway.)
TV TALK SHOW: And, um, and I've always been, ever since I was a teenager I've been into piercing and sadomasochism and, um, rebellion, extremism. That's something I think that's skipped over.
(Channel suddenly changes to a rock music video.)
MRS OSWALD: (speaking over her shoulder, irritated) Quit fooling with the remote.
(She finds the remote under her hip, and changes the channel.)
TV TALK SHOW: I used to sleep in a belt at nightÖ
DARREN: Why do you watch that stuff, anyway? Theyíre a bunch of losers.
MRS OSWALD: At least theyíre on TV. I donít see you on TV.
(DARREN belches loudly.)
MRS OSWALD: Manners donít cost, Darren. Theyíre FREE! What girlís going to want a belching fool like you?
(Knock at the door.)
ZERO: (voice, outside) Hey, Darren?
DARREN: Maybe youíd be surprised.
ZERO: (voice, outside) Dude?
(DARREN changes Channel again. MRS OSWALD, exasperated, tries to change it back, but only gets static. DARREN goes outside to ZERO. They walk up into a field.)
ZERO: You wonít believe it, man. You wonít believe who came by today.
DARREN: Let me guess. The FBI?
ZERO: How did you know?
DARREN: They came by the garage.
ZERO: They did!? How did they find you?
DARREN: You tell me. You must have said something.
ZERO: No, man, I didnít say squat. Wait up. (tosses beer can over his shoulder) Come on, man. You know I wouldnít do that to you.
DARREN: I think you want to be someplace else right now. ĎCause Iím in the mood for a little barbecue.
ZERO: No. Man. Not the cows, again. Come on, donít. Donít do this. Not now.
DARREN: (shouting up to the sky in middle of field near some cows) All right, Iím listening! Iím ready.
ZERO: Donít do it man.
DARREN: Iím ready, so come on down!
ZERO: Iím outta here! (runs down the hill)
DARREN: Iím right here. Come and get me! Come on man! Iím waiting. Come on, man, talk to me! Come ON!!!!!!
(Lightening flashes down into DARREN. He shakes with it for a minute, then falls to the ground. ZERO comes to check on him.)
ZERO: Dude? Are you okay, man?
DARREN: (sits up and smiles) Excellent.
(Next day, same field. SHERIFF TELLER and team are investigating dead cows. MULDER and SCULLY drive up.)
SHERIFF TELLER: (on phone) Well, have that faxed to my office. Yeah, right away if you can. Thank you, Dean. I appreciate it.
SCULLY: What happened here, Sheriff?
SHERIFF TELLER: Three dead cows. How do you think they died?
SHERIFF TELLER: Thatís right. I just got off with Dean Greiner at the observatory, which by the way is just about a mile through those trees.
SCULLY: Did they report lightning last night?
SHERIFF TELLER: They can detect every flash of lightning on this planet. Did you know that? Each one emits radio waves at the same exact frequency.
MULDER: The Schuman Resonance. Eight cycles per second. You can pick it up on any transistor radio. (needling SHERIFF TELLER) You see that, Sheriff? I did my homework.
SHERIFF TELLER: Not much question that lightning killed these cows last night. Just like it killed Jack Hammond the night before last.
MULDER: (looking at dead cow) Oh, thatís certainly the way it looks.
SHERIFF TELLER: Let me show you something else. Itís right over here. You see this? Do you know what this is?
MULDER: Looks like a fulgurite. That only happens with lightning Ö when sandy soil fuses into glass from the heat of a discharge.
SHERIFF TELLER: How much more proof do you need? Iíd say your business here is finished. (he leaves)
SCULLY: Mulder, Iíd have to say I think heís right.
MULDER: That weíre wasting our time chasing lightning?
SCULLY: Well, look at the evidence. What else could it be?
MULDER: I donít know yet. (strains a little as he pulls the fulgurite out of the ground) This is the first lightning strike Iíve ever seen that left behind a footprint.
(MULDER holds up the glass fulgurite. A partial footprint is clearly visible.)
(Crime Lab. Ceramic!SCULLY is making a plaster mold of the footprint.)
SCULLY: Here we go. Well, considering itís a partial imprint thereís a lot of information here.
MULDER: Thatís great. Now can you make me a little cherub that squirts water?
SCULLY: (ignoring his joke, but with a smile) The tread looks like a standard military boot Ö menís Ö size 8Ĺ.
MULDER: (really impressed) 8Ĺ? Thatís pretty impressive, Scully.
SCULLY: Well, it says it right here on the bottom.
MULDER: (taking it from her) Oooo.
SCULLY: But I may have something even better. When I was cleaning the imprint to take the mold I found trace amounts of a viscous substance actually imbedded in the fulgurite.
MULDER: (looks at vial she hands him) What is it?
SCULLY: Iíd have to conduct a chemical analysis to be sure, but, uh Ö it looks like antifreeze.
MULDER: Darren Oswald.
SCULLY: But why? And how?
MULDER: I donít know, Scully, but lets go see if the shoe fits.
(Highway intersection with traffic light. Suddenly both directions are green. Near car crash in intersection. Drivers yell at each other. DARREN is sitting on nearby billboard laughing to himself. ZERO climbs up and sits beside DARREN.)
ZERO: Dude! Whatís happening? Whatís going on?
DARREN: Ah, I donít know. Nothiní.
ZERO: You know, I been thinking Ö
DARREN: First time for everything.
(Both lights turn green again. Two cars narrowly miss each other, but donít skid around like the previous near miss.)
DARREN: Ah, damn. ABS brakes.
ZERO: Iím thinking we should go somewhere Ö.get out of this hole. Maybe check out Las Vegas. *You* could do some serious damage someplace like that.
DARREN: Iím not going to Las Vegas. Iím not going anywhere, not without Mrs. Kiveat.
ZERO: What makes you think sheís going to want to go anywhere with you? She failed you, remember? She thinks youíre a retard.
DARREN: Forget school, man. Iím talking about proving my love.
ZERO: How you going to do that?
DARREN: By letting her know how I feel Ö how all I ever think about is being with her.
ZERO: Wake up, dude. Thereís another slight problem. Sheís married to your boss.
DARREN: Maybe I could fry him.
ZERO: Dude, heís your boss.
DARREN: Not if heís dead he wonít be. (laughs)
ZERO: Are you high? With the FBI hanging around? Forget about it, okay? You canít compete with Frank. Heís good-looking, heís got his own shop plus, he fixes things instead of just smashing stuff up. A woman like that Ö wants someone special.
DARREN: Iím special.
ZERO: Yeah, right.
DARREN: No, Iím gonna show her just how special I am.
(Light go both green again. Bad car crash.)
DARREN: (laughing) Whoa! That was a good one. Come on, man. Letís go check it out!
(DARREN climbs down off the billboard to go check out the damage. ZERO slowly follows.)
(OSWALD house. MULDER and SCULLY interviewing MRS. OSWALD. They are at door of DARRENís messy room.)
MRS OSWALD: Darren ainít worth much. Iím the first one to say it, but he wouldnít hurt a soul. What kind of troubleís he in, anyway?
MULDER: Can we have a few minutes, Mrs. Oswald? (She lets them into the bedroom and leaves.) Thank you.
(MULDER and SCULLY look around the room. SCULLY looks through the closet, and finds a shoe. MULDER sits on bed and looks through a porn magazine.)
SCULLY: Mulder Ö
SCULLY: Weíve got a size match.
MULDER: (looking at centerfold) Eight Ĺ?
SCULLY: Yeah, but it still doesnít prove that he killed Jack Hammond.
(SCULLY looks down at the magazine in MULDERís hands.)
SCULLY: Iím surprised you havenít already read that issue.
MULDER: (unashamed) Oh, I have. April is the cruelest month. But mine didnít come with this. I found that between Miss April and "Women of the Ivy League." (hands her cut out picture of SHARON KIVEAT.)
SCULLY: Who is she?
MULDER: I donít know, but it looks like itís from some kind of yearbook photo, see?
("Gravenhurst Eagles" is on the back of the picture.)
SCULLY: Mm-hmm. thereís a yearbook in Darrenís closet.
(They thumb through yearbook.)
SCULLY: Her name is Sharon Kiveat.
MULDER: KiveatÖ the garage where Darren works is called Kiveat Auto Body.
(SCULLY gives him a "nice catch" look.)
(Crash scene. Ambulance arrives. KIVEAT arrives in his tow truck.)
KIVEAT: What happened?
TRAFFIC COP: Some kid got center-punched. Just got his license too. Heís pretty bad off.
KIVEAT: Geez. Thatís rough. (in pain holding his left arm) You guys ready for me to start clearing the road?
TRAFFIC COP: Iím just directing traffic. Youíd better check with the deputy. Hey, pal, are you okay?
TRAFFIC COP: You donít look so good.
(KIVEAT sees DARREN at the side of the road watching him then collapses in great pain.)
TRAFFIC COP: Hey, somebody get the EMS guys! Take Ö take it easy. Youíre gonna be okay.
(EMS guys run over.)
EMS 1: What happened?
TRAFFIC COP: He just collapsed.
EMS 1: Pulse is thready.
EST 2: Iíll get the kit.
EMS 1: Yeah. Itís all right, buddy. Here we go.
(DARREN approaches KIVEAT.)
ZERO: (to DARREN) Where you going? What are you doing? Letís get out of here.
(EMS 2 gets back to EMS one with the defibrillator.)
EMS 1: Letís have it. I got one, two, three. All right. Give me 300 Joules.
EMS 2: Itís already charged.
EMS 1: No, itís not. Somethingís not working here. Get the backup. Come on.
(EMS 2 runs back to the ambulance.)
DARREN: (leaning over KIVEAT, slow motion from KIVEATís POV) Donít worry, Mr. Kiveat. Iíve seen how they do it on TV.
(DARREN places his hands on KIVEAT and jolts him with electricity. Machine begins beeping.)
EMS 1: Wait Ö. we got a rhythm. How the hellÖ..? (looks at DARREN)
DARREN: (grinning) Rescue 911.
(Hospital. MULDER is looking through a file at a nurses station and sees SHARON KIVEAT drop a glass of water at the cooler. He goes and fills another cup for her.)
MULDER: Let me give you a hand with that.
SHARON: Thank you.
MULDER: Mrs. Kiveat? My name is Fox Mulder. Iím with the FBI. I know this is a hard time but Iíd like to ask you some questions.
SHARON: You were in my husbandís garage yesterday.
(Pause. SHARON struggles to keep composure.)
SHARON: Iím sorry, I canít.
MULDER: Iíd like to ask you about Darren Oswald. He was at the scene of the accident, wasnít he?
SHARON: Please, I need to see my husband. (she leaves and goes into KIVEATís room)
(SCULLY approaches MULDER.)
SCULLY: I just talked to one of the EMS workers. He was pretty rattled.
SCULLY: Frank Kiveatís electrocardiogram. (shows him) See that spike there? That indicates that some kind of electrical intervention started his heart. Except according to the EMS worker, the defibrillator wouldnít charge. The paddles were dead.
MULDER: How did he explain this?
SCULLY: He didnít. All he saw was Darren Oswald touching Kiveatís chest.
MULDER: Iíve been going over Oswaldís chart. Thereís something I want you to take a look at.
SCULLY: (reading) He was admitted to the ER five months ago in cardiac arrest. Respiratory failure. Class three burns on the back of his skull Ö resuscitated after ÖHang on, this is odd. His blood test showed acute hypokalemia.
MULDER: Yeah. What is that?
SCULLY: A severe chemical imbalance characterized by high sodium and low potassium levels.
MULDER: Electrolytes, right?
MULDER: And what do electrolytes do?
SCULLY: Well, among other things they generate the electrical impulses in our bodies. Like every time our heart beats or a neuron firesÖ.
MULDER: Okay, itís a leap, Scully, but what if Oswaldís electrolyte imbalance is somehow enabling him to generate electricity at levels much higher than normal?
SCULLY: Our body doesnít work like that Ö
MULDER: Unless his body is abnormally conductive. Because if that heel print is Oswaldís, that means he conducted millions of volts of electricity into the ground and then just walked away.
SCULLY: Youíre saying heís some kind of lightning rod?
MULDER: No, Iím saying that he *is* lightning and weíve got to get to him before he strikes again.
(SCULLY looks at the printout then at MULDER.)
(MULDER and SCULLY arrive at the OSWOLD house. DARREN is walking across the field. Tries to get away from MULDER and SCULLY. They follow him.)
MULDER: Darren. Darren! Darren Ö(grabs his shoulder)
DARREN: Donít you touch me, man!
MULDER: (hand up) Relax, Darren.
DARREN: Donít you touch me!
SCULLY: (hands up) We just want to talk to you, thatís all. Just ask you a few more questions.
DARREN: I didnít do anything.
(They go to the car.)
(Police Station. Interrogation room. SCULLY in the middle of interview with DARREN.)
DARREN: How many times do I have to say it? I donít know how all those people died.
SCULLY: Why did you run when you saw us?
DARREN: I was taking a walk. Now, thatís not against the law, is it? Anyway, you guys should be giving me a medal. I mean, I saved my bossís life.
SCULLY: Weíre not so sure.
DARREN: Why? Who told you that? Who have you been talking to? You been talking to Zero? He the one who told you that?
(SCULLY sighs, leaves the room. MULDER is waiting for her in the hallway.)
MULDER: What did he say?
SCULLY: Not much. Except that heís a hero.
MULDER: How did he say he revived Kiveat?
SCULLY: CPR. He claims he paid attention in health class.
MULDER: (quietly, just to SCULLY) I donít think he just resuscitated Frank Kiveat, Scully. I think he set the whole thing up.
SCULLY: How? By causing Kiveatís heart attack?
MULDER: Did you see what he did to my phone?
SCULLY: So what? Are we supposed to charge him with assaulting a cellular phone?
MULDER: I think we should run a full set of lab tests on this kid, Scully.
SCULLY: Mulder, look where we are. We donít have the capability or time to perform those tests. And without a confession we can only keep him in custody for 72 hours.
MULDER: I can think of only one other person that might be able to help us.
(KIVEAT house. MULDER and SCULLY knock. SHARON KIVEAT opens the door.)
MULDER: Mrs. Kiveat.
SHARON: Please, I Ö I canít do this now. Iím, Iím just leaving for the hospital.
MULDER: Darren Oswaldís in custody, Mrs. Kiveat. We arrested him this afternoon. But we canít press criminal charges without your help.
SCULLY: Is it okay if we come in?
(Later, they sit in SHARONís living room.)
SHARON: I teach remedial reading at the high school. Darren was my student.
SCULLY: How would you describe your relationship with him?
SHARON: Well, Iím not blind. I knew he had a crush on me, but, uh Ö I felt sorry for him. I thought he was just Ö I, I, it just seemed he had more than his share of bad luck.
SCULLY: Did you get him the job at your husbandís garage?
SHARON: Yeah, and then, about six months ago, I started getting these phone calls. Someone would call and then hang up.
SCULLY: How did you know it was Darren?
SHARON: The way he looked at me in the garage -- the phone calls made me feel the same way. I just knew.
MULDER: When did you first suspect that Darren was involved in something more than prank calls?
SHARON: He told me.
MULDER: He actually confessed to killing those people?
SHARON: No, but he told me that he had Ö powers. (MULDER and SCULLY look at each other.) Dangerous powers.
MULDER: When was this?
SHARON: Right after the last boy was killed.
MULDER: Jack Hammond?
SHARON: See, at first, I didnít believe him. I thought he was just mouthing off. But after what happened today Ö
MULDER: Did you tell anyone?
SHARON: Who would have believed me? (MULDER and SCULLY share another look.) And I was afraid. I was afraid of what he might do to me and what he would Ö. do to my husband.
SCULLY: Well, you donít have to be afraid any more. You and your husband are safe as long as we can count on your testimony.
(Prison. MULDER and SCULLY enter the interrogation room. Only a Deputy is there.)
MULDER: Whereís Oswald?
SHERIFF TELLER: (behind them) I sent him home.
(MULDER and SCULLY turn, surprised.)
MULDER: You released him? When?
SHERIFF TELLER: After I read your arrest report.
MULDER: Iíll go call Sharon Kiveat. (leaves quickly)
SHERIFF TELLER: (to SCULLY) "Suspicion of homicide by emission of direct electric current?" You donít really believe this.
SCULLY: I believe that Darren Oswald was involved somehow in the deaths of those four people. And I believe it was irresponsible for you to let him go.
SHERIFF TELLER: Let me get this straight, now. Youíre telling me this kidís throwing lightning bolts.
SCULLY: In effect.
SHERIFF TELLER: In effect? Thereís no scientific basis for that claim. This is speculation based on nothing. You have no hard evidence, no proofÖ
SCULLY: You said yourself, Sheriff, not even science can explain how lightning works.
(MULDER returns, concerned.)
MULDER: Mrs. Kiveatís not home.
SCULLY: Sheís on her way to the hospital.
(MULDER and SCULLY run out. SHERIFF TELLER looks a little worried.)
(Night. Video game parlor. Power goes out except for DARRENís favorite game. ZERO, alone, looks around nervously.)
ZERO: Dude? (Jukebox starts up.) Come on, man, where are you? What are you doing, man?! I said I didnít tell them! (Frantically unlocks door and goes outside.) God! I didnít say nothing, man! I swear! Why are you doing this, man! Weíre buddies!
(Lightning hits him, and he falls dead to the ground, quarters spilling from his hands and pockets. DARREN, from the roof looks down at ZEROís body.)
(Hospital. MULDER and SCULLY exit elevator and approach nurseís station.)
MULDER: (showing badge to a nurse) Excuse me, miss? Call security. Have them deny entry to the hospital to everyone except emergency personnel.
(They arrive at KIVEATís room. SHARON is with her unconscious husband.)
SHARON: What is it?
SCULLY: We need you to come with us right away.
SHARON: Why? Whatís wrong?
MULDER: Darren Oswald. He was released from custody.
SHARON: But how? How - how could that happen? You said that we didnít have to worry, that we were safe.
SCULLY: Look, we donít have much time. Come with us and weíll tell you everything.
SHARON: The doctor said my husband cannot leave this room. I am not going to leave him here.
MULDER: Iíll stay with him. Go with Agent Scully.
SCULLY: Sharon, please.
(Lights go out.)
MULDER: Heís here.
(Elevator dings. MULDER and SCULLY run to the elevator and pull out their guns. Elevator opens. ZEROís body is in elevator. SCULLY checks for pulse.)
SCULLY: Heís dead.
NURSE: Oh my God.
SCULLY: How many other access points to this floor?
NURSE: Other than the elevator, just the stairway.
MULDER: (to SCULLY as he runs off) Stay with them.
MULDER: Iím going after Oswald.
(Gun drawn, MULDER walks through red lit stairway. Sees electric door panel sparking. DARREN walks through dark halls then pushes back curtain in KIVEATís room.)
DARREN: Mrs. Kiveat?
SCULLY: (from behind, holding gun) Darren, donít move.
DARREN: Where is she?
(SHARON appears behind SCULLY. DARREN advances on them.)
SCULLY: I said donít move. Darren.
DARREN: Mrs. Kiveat?
SCULLY: Stop. Iím warning you.
DARREN: (holding out his hand to SHARON) All right, come with me. Please, Mrs. Kiveat because thereís some things Ö thereís stuff that I need to tell you.
SCULLY: I want you step back inside that room.
DARREN: Are you coming with me, Mrs. Kiveat?
SCULLY: Sheís not going anywhere with you, Darren.
DARREN: (threatening) I can hurt you.
SCULLY: I can hurt you too. Iím going to give you three seconds. One Ö
DARREN: Now, Iím done fooling around now!
(SHARON steps between them. SCULLY give her a "What the *bleep* are you doing!" look.)
MRS. KIVEAT: Stop it! (to DARREN) Iíll go with you. Okay? If thatís what you want, Iíll go. Just Ö stop it.
SCULLY: Sharon, we can work this all out, right here.
SHARON: No, we canít.
DARREN: (mesmerized by SHARON) All right. All right, then.
(SHARON goes with DARREN. SCULLY watches them, frustrated.)
(Night. DARREN and MRS. KIVEAT walking outside the hospital hand in hand.)
DARREN: You were the only person that was ever nice to me. You know that? I mean .. Hey, you remember that first day in class when you wore that green dress with the yellow flowers on it? And when you stood in front of the window you could almost see through it?
SHARON: (nervous, trying to get information) Where - where are we going? Where are you taking me?
DARREN: I donít know. Anywhere you want to go. I got money from a cash machine, you know. Plus, you know, we can take any car you want. You know, you just take your pick, you know. I mean, we can take an Accord or a Maxima. Do you like any of those? Or hey, you know, if you donít want to go Japanese, you know, how about a Taurus?
(Looks over at and starts [probably] MULDER and SCULLYís car with a grin.)
DARREN: Nah, youíre right. You know, all these cars suck. Weíll just boost one of them for right now and then, weíll trade it later.
(SHERIFF TELLER drives up and gets out of the car.)
DARREN: Just take it easy, Mrs. Kiveat, all right?
(SHARON takes off running. DARREN watches her go, disbelieving.)
DARREN: No. Mrs. Kiveat?
SHERIFF TELLER: Hey! Come over here. Come on over here!
(DARREN runs after SHARON. MULDER grabs SHARON as she runs past him and puts his hand over her mouth.)
DARREN: (looking for her) Mrs. Kiveat? Mrs. Kiveat, where are you? (upset) Ah, come on now. I said Iíd take care of you! What else did you want? Iíd have given you anything. (crying) Anything you wanted! Mrs. Kiveat!
SHERIFF TELLER: (coming up to DARREN) Ok, son. Turn around. Letís go. Look, I donít know what trouble youíre up to but I want some answers.
DARREN: NO!! I WANT SOME ANSWERS!! (storm begins building) Where is she? Come on, now, youíre PISSING ME OFF!!!
(MULDER leaves SHARON and holds gun on DARREN.)
MULDER: (yelling) Teller, get out of there!
DARREN: TELLL MEEE WHERE SHE IS!!!!!!!!!
(Violent lightening strike hits tree, then arcs through SHERIFF TELLERís flashlight killing him. Bolt hits DARREN. He staggers, then falls as MULDER watches. SCULLY joins MULDER and they look at the bodies.)
(SCULLY walks down the hall and joins MULDER where he is looking in DARRENís room.)
SCULLY: I just got off the phone with the coroner. Heís ruling Tellerís death accidental.
MULDER: (sarcastic) Lightning? What about the scientists at the observatory? What do they have to say?
SCULLY: They also reported lightning last night. I talked to the DA. He has no idea how to begin building a case.
MULDER: What about the tests I asked for?
SCULLY: They came in five minutes ago.
SCULLY: Nothing unusual was detected, Mulder. The electrolytes, the blood gas levels, brain wave activity. Based on the science of all the data thatís been gathered Ö
MULDER: Ö Darren Oswald is a perfectly normal, perfectly healthy kid. You believe that, Scully? (she looks at him) Neither do I.
(They watch DARREN watching TV. Heavy metal music. Name of song - "Diarrhea!" His face is deadpan as he stares not quite at the screen then right at MULDER and SCULLY. Camera pans over to show the screen, channels changing. Weather channel, a game show, a cooking show where someone is pouring a brown sauce that looks, well, like the name of the song in DARRENís head. Last shot of DARREN, then static out and into credits.)