(A peaceful day at the supermarket. "Misty" is playing over the P.A. Robert Modell, a.k.a. Pusher, hums along, carrying a handheld carrying cart, walks out of the produce section and down an aisle. He grabs some pasta, then some "Carbo Boost," an energy drink. He tosses around ten in, then just starts piling them in as fast as he can. A young man walks over to the aisle and eyes him carefully. Pusher starts off, stops, takes one more can, then walks towards the registers. The young man follows him. Pusher gets in line, puts his cart down and picks up "World Weekly Informer." He looks at the picture of a strange-looking Flukeman on the cover and chuckles at the absurdity. He then looks outside and his smile fades as a police car pulls up. The young man trailing him has taken a place behind him. The cash register can be heard beeping as items are checked, then the receipt cycles up.)
PUSHER: Let's get this show on the road.
(He reaches over to the guy in front of him and un-velcros a section on the back of his jacket, revealing the letters "FBI." Together, that man and the man behind him rush him and twist his arm around, pushing his face against the conveyor belt.)
AGENT #1: Federal agents! Get down!
(They whip out their guns. Other agents come rushing out of the woodwork, pointing their guns as well.)
AGENT #2: Federal agent! Get down!
(Pusher doesn't struggle, merely smiles.)
PUSHER: Turn this thing off.
(Detective Frank Burst walks in and turns off the conveyor belt.)
FRANK BURST: You're Pusher, I presume.
PUSHER: You must be Frank Burst. You know, I got to tell you... you got the greatest name.
FRANK BURST: Agent Collins, read him his rights and lets get the hell out of here.
(The first agent stands him up. Collins, the man who had been trailing him, starts reading the Miranda rights.)
COLLINS: You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney...
(They all start to walk.)
PUSHER: Think you can hold me?
FRANK BURST: Put him in a waist chain and leg arms!
COLLINS: If you choose to waive that right...
FRANK BURST: I want him in a car with a cage! Loudoun County Unit, whatever. I'll ride shotgun.
(A long caravan of police cars and FBI sedans have reached a busy intersection. The first police car pulls out. The back car contains Pusher, looking rather cocky. Down the road a long ways, a sixteen-wheeler pulls onto the road.)
It would really help me out if you gave us your name.
PUSHER: Pusher's good enough.
(Pusher clears his throat and leans forward slightly towards Deputy Kerber, who is driving.)
Hey, you know, Deputy, I just got to say that your uniform is really the most soothing shade of blue. I'm not kidding you. I notice those things. It's a sky blue.
(The line of cars has decreased to one as another pulls out.)
Very calming. Very tranquil. I think the word for that particular shade is cerulean, actually. Cerulean blue.
FRANK BURST: Okay, okay, we get it. It's a nice shade of blue.
PUSHER: Cerulean blue. Cerulean makes me think of a breeze. A gentle breeze.
FRANK BURST: Hey! Mister Blackwell. Put a sock in it.
(Kerber looks out the window aimlessly at the traffic. A subtle change forms in him. He is growing slightly agitated, but is very calmed nonetheless. His eyes are blank. Pusher's voice is soothing. A blue truck is driving towards them down the intersecting road.)
PUSHER: Cerulean is like a gentle breeze. Cerulean... a gentle breeze.
(The truck disappears from the deputy's line of sight. The deputy pulls out into the intersection. Pusher lays down on the seat and braces himself against the doors for the upcoming impact. Burst looks at the oncoming truck.)
FRANK BURST: Stop!
(A loud crash.)
(Down in the X-Files office, there is a slide up of the deputy, lying in the street, bloodied, dead. Burst is sitting in a chair next to Scully. His face is battered and bruised. Mulder is sitting at his desk.)
FRANK BURST: I was knocked unconscious. Deputy Scott Kerber was mortally injured. Before he succumbed, he managed to, uh, pull himself out of the car, dig his keys out of his pocket... and his last breath was spent unlocking my prisoner, who, despite his own injuries, managed to escape on foot. Calls himself "Pusher."
MULDER: What's his story?
FRANK BURST: He cold-called me about a month ago. Confessed to a series of contract killings going back over the course of two years.
SCULLY: He wanted to turn himself in?
FRANK BURST: No. It was a game. He was bragging. See, the thing about these murders is, nobody considers them murders. They went down in the books as suicides.
SCULLY: So you think he was just a crank?
FRANK BURST: No. He knows too much about each case, too many details that were only in the police reports.
SCULLY: What connection did this dead deputy have with him?
FRANK BURST: None, as far as I can tell. Kerber was a good cop.
SCULLY: Then why did he free him?
(Burst sighs and flips to the next slide. It is of the side of the truck that collided with the police car. The name of the company the truck works for, imprinted on the door, is "Cerulean Hauling.")
FRANK BURST: Pusher kept rambling about cerulean blue. Kept saying how it reminded him of, uh, a breeze or something. "Cerulean blue is like a gentle breeze..." over and over and then, uh, Kerber pulled into the truck and... blammo.
MULDER: So you think that Pusher somehow talked him into doing this? He willed him into doing that?
SCULLY: Willed him? How?
FRANK BURST: No kidding, how?
(He flips to the next slide. On the side of the wrecked car are the letters "NIN OR" in blood.)
Your guess is as good as mine on this one.
(Mulder stands and walks over to the viewscreen.)
See, Pusher likes to leave clues.
(Mulder walks over to the slide projector and takes out the slide, flips it around and puts it back in. The letters are backwards, forming a make-shift spelling of "RO NIN," despite the letters being backwards.)
MULDER: Ro-neen. It's a samurai without a master.
(Scully and Burst look at him curiously.)
What? You never saw Yojimbo?
SCULLY: Still, what does it mean?
MULDER: It means I bet I know ten-to-one what this guy's got stacked on the back of his toilet.
(Later, in the research section of the bureau, Mulder drops a stack of "American Ronin" magazines onto his desk and sits. He flips through some. Scully is already flipping through a few. A young woman named Holly walks over to them. She has a noticeable bruise on her right cheek.)
MULDER: Oh, thanks.
(She puts a stack of magazines down on the desk.)
HOLLY: Here's volume ten.
(Scully stares at her bruise. Holly looks away, embarrassed.)
SCULLY: I'm sorry, I couldn't help noticing.
HOLLY: I was in Georgetown this weekend. A guy knocked me down and stole my purse.
MULDER: They get him?
HOLLY: Do they ever? No offense. Excuse me.
(She smiles and walks out.)
SCULLY: Mulder, I'm still not sure what we're looking for.
MULDER: Samurais without masters have to advertise.
SCULLY: Yes, but advertise for what? I mean, how... how did this "Pusher" convince an otherwise honest deputy sheriff to free him? I mean, I'm sure you have a theory.
MULDER: Suggestion is a powerful force. The science of hypnosis is predicated on it, as are most TV commercials. I mean, they're designed to plant thoughts in your head.
SCULLY: Inducing someone to buy hair color is a little different than inducing them to drive in front of a speeding truck.
MULDER: But the mechanism of suggestion is the same. It's just a lot more powerful in this case. I mean, this guy calls himself "Pusher." Can't we take that to mean that he pushes his will onto other people?
SCULLY: Well, even if he could push his will, why would he, he cause an accident when he himself was in the car?
MULDER: Maybe he really didn't want to go to jail.
MULDER: Look at this.
(He points to a personal ad that reads:
"I SOLVE PROBLEMS. OSU.
(703) 555-0146, (703) 555-0118,
"I solve problems. O-S-U."
SCULLY: Ohio State University?
MULDER: No, it's a northern Virginia area code. I've seen this ad in all these magazines dating back to April, 1994.
SCULLY: The time span of the murders.
(Mulder stands and goes to the bookshelf. After looking around, he pulls out an English-Japanese dictionary. He starts to flip through.)
MULDER: O-S-U... O-S... U...
Osu. It's a Japanese word. It means "to push."
SCULLY: I say we run down those telephone numbers.
(Mulder nods and puts down the dictionary.)
(A phone booth is ringing in the middle of the night. No one is around, save for Mulder and Scully, sitting in the car. Scully is sleeping, her head on Mulder's shoulder. Mulder is calling on his cellular phone. After letting it ring a few times, he hangs up. He then looks at Scully and wipes some drool from the side of her mouth. She gasps, waking up.)
MULDER: Hey. I think you drooled on me.
(She sighs slightly, looking embarrassed. He puts his cellular phone away.)
What time is it?
MULDER: It's, uh... twenty to three.
SCULLY: No luck, I take it?
MULDER: No, nothing here, nothing at the other two payphones. I checked in with Burst. He's beginning to think it's a wild goose chase.
(The payphone rings. Mulder and Scully look at each other, then get out and run down the block to the phone. Mulder answers it.)
(Pusher's filtered voice rings through.)
PUSHER: Are you two just going to sit there all night?
(Mulder motions to Scully, who takes out her cellular phone. Mulder takes out a tape recorder and presses record, holding it up to the mouthpiece.)
Don't bother hunting around for me, I'm far away. Although...
(Scully whispers into her phone.)
SCULLY: Okay on the trace.
PUSHER: I was watching you up until about an hour ago. You and your pretty partner seem awfully close. Do you work well together?
MULDER: Who is this? What's your name?
PUSHER: Sorry, G-man, it's not that easy. You have to follow my little bread crumb trail, prove your worth. So far, you're doing all right.
MULDER: Why do I have to prove my worth to you? You think this is a game? What, do you want to be found?
All right, where's my next bread crumb?
PUSHER: Right in front of you. You let your fingers do the walking, G-man.
(He hangs up. A dial tone rings through. Mulder hangs up. Somebody talks on the other end of Scully's line.)
MAN: Sorry, we didn't get him.
(She hangs up.)
Not a complete trace. They think he was using a digital scrambler.
MULDER: "Let your fingers do the walking."
SCULLY: Phone book.
(She reaches for it.)
MULDER: No, no, what if, what if Pusher was the last person to use this phone? Can you redial on these kind of phones?
SCULLY: Hang on a second.
(Scully presses redial on her cell phone.)
SCULLY: Yeah, it's me again. We want the last number dialed out from this location. Just ring it on through. Okay.
(She hangs up. After a second, the phone rings. Mulder picks up and the two listen.)
WOMAN: Hi! You've reached Tee Totallers, golf driving range and pro shop. Our hours of operation are seven A.M. to midnight, Monday through Saturday, and seven A.M. to ten P.M. on Sundays.
(Mulder hangs up.)
SCULLY: So he's a killer and a golfer.
MULDER: Rings a bell, huh? Let's go, G-Woman.
(They start off.)
(A bunch of golf fans are sitting at the driving range. A man in a green jacket nails one. Pusher walks over to him.)
PUSHER: Oh, yeah! Strong shot. Good shoot. Hoo-hoo!
(The green-jacketed man sits down. Pusher is holding a golf club and a ball.)
All right, gentleman, I'm using this here non-sanctioned golf ball.
(He places it down on the tee. There is a bruise on his face.)
It's got a core of uranium, or some damned thing, I don't know what... gets up there like Sputnik.
(Pusher nails it and watches it sail away.)
(He looks out onto the range, into the deep brush. He notices a suspicious looking piece of brown-ish shrubbery start to move, carrying an assault rifle.)
(He puts the club in his bag and starts out.)
Konichiwa, gentlemen. I was never here.
(Around the driving range, agents start to surround the building. One agent, Collins, bashes open the door to a very dark room, shining some dim light onto the lower half of Pusher.)
COLLINS: Police! Get down!
PUSHER: Whoa! Okay.
(Pusher raises his hands.)
COLLINS: Get down!
PUSHER: Okay. Okay... relax. Relax.
(Collins lowers his gun slightly.)
Let me see your face. Take it easy... come on now.
(Collins take off his helmet.)
That's right. That's right.
(Collins then unwraps the sheath from around his face, exposing his identity. Pusher's voice is smooth.)
Hey, Collins. Listen.
(He steps into the light.)
I need you to do something for me.
(Collins is calm. Pusher picks up a can of gasoline.)
Will you do something for me?
(Mulder, Scully and Burst are walking around the building when they hear a man sobbing.)
(They hurry around to see Collins carrying the gasoline can, dumping some on the ground as he walks slowly. He is drenched in it. He carries an open lighter in the other hand.)
FRANK BURST: Collins?
COLLINS: God... God...
FRANK BURST: What the hell...
(Scully runs off.)
COLLINS: Stop me.
FRANK BURST: Collins, what the hell are you doing?
(Collins tries to light the lighter.)
MULDER: Collins, let it go.
COLLINS: Stop me!
(He sobs loudly, unable to control his actions. He lights it.)
FRANK BURST: Collins!
(Mulder takes off his coat. Collins jerks his head from side-to-side, trying to break Pusher's control.)
MULDER: Put that down.
(Collins screams and jams the lighter onto his chest. He erupts in flames just as Scully reappears with a fire extinguisher. She sprays Collins down as Mulder tackles him with the coat, smothering the flames. Other agents run over, shouting. Collins' flesh is already burnt off in most parts.)
COLLINS: Light up... light up, light up... light up... light up...
(Burst takes out his walkie-talkie.)
FRANK BURST: Come in, this is Burst! Get a burn crew down here. Yeah, Collins is down bad.
COLLINS: Light up... light up... light up...
FRANK BURST: Bad, yeah, real bad. I don't know what happened, get over here!
COLLINS: Light up... light up... light up... light up...
FRANK BURST: Yeah, get somebody over here! Now!
(Mulder hears a car horn blaring and runs over to it, followed by other agents. He opens the door and sees Pusher slumped against the car horn. Mulder aims his gun and pulls him back into his seat. Pusher looks drained.)
MULDER: Federal agent!
PUSHER: Light up... light up... light... light it up...
(He looks at Mulder and smiles.)
Oh. Bet you five bucks I get off.
(Rain starts to downpour.)
(A court room, preliminary hearing. Pusher is seated with his attorney. The judge is seated at a desk in the front next to a chair. The bailiff stands, as does Pusher and his attorney.)
BAILIFF: State your name and address for the court.
PUSHER: Robert Patrick Modell. Thirty-eighty-three Roseneath Avenue, apartment nine, Alexandria, Virginia.
(Mulder is standing in the back with Burst. Pusher looks back at them and smirks. Scully is nearby. Afterwards, Mulder is in the witness stand.)
JUDGE: Agent Mulder, does the F.B.I. believe that this defendant is responsible for fourteen murders?
MULDER: That is correct, your honor.
JUDGE: Well, in each of the cases, the coroner's office ruled suicide.
MULDER: We believe that they were indeed murders, your honor.
JUDGE: You believe... but do you have any actual evidence?
MULDER: We have the defendant on audio tape confessing to the murders. On several separate occasions, he clearly identifies them as such. Furthermore, the defendant knows crime scene details that were only available to the police.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY BRENT: Your honor, one of these so-called "murder victims" threw herself in under a commuter train. This was a crowded platform. A hundred witnesses. Nobody pushed her. No one was within thirty feet of her.
(Scully is now seated in the audience, Burst is seated at the prosecution table.)
MULDER: But your client was present.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY BRENT: Which is how he knew your crime scene details.
JUDGE: Make your point, Agent Mulder.
MULDER: I believe that these people died because it was the defendant's express will that they do so.
(Scully looks down, remembering how this line of reasoning got them in trouble with Tooms.)
JUDGE: His will?
MULDER: This man admitted to being a killer for hire. I believe he has a unique suggestive ability which makes for the perfect M.O. He is able to talk his victims into injuring themselves.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY BRENT: I can't believe this.
JUDGE: You want to run that by me one more time, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: Yesterday, a federal law enforcement officer was induced to self-immolation by the defendant. I witnessed it. All these other officers witnessed it.
FRANK BURST: Your honor, we have Modell's confession. All we're asking...
PROSECUTER: Your honor, the evidence chain to this case has been rather difficult to establish. We're asking the court's indulgence while we complete our investigation and we'd like to have Mister Modell held for trial based on the strength of his taped confession.
JUDGE: What about this audio tape, Mister Modell? Did you confess to... fourteen murders?
(His lawyer whispers in his ear.)
PUSHER: Unfortunately, yes, your honor. Not that I remember any of it.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY BRENT: This was, uh, basically, a drunken phone prank on the part of my client, your honor.
(Pusher is staring at the judge, who is staring back. It's obvious that Pusher is now mesmerizing the judge.)
MULDER: A phone prank? He had the details of every case, your honor.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY BRENT: And Robert deeply regrets the distress and confusion this situation has caused.
JUDGE: Do you deny these charges?
PUSHER: Absolutely, your honor. I'm not guilty.
(These words sink deeply into the judge. Afterwards, Pusher is walking out with Brent, shaking her hand.)
Thank you very much. Will you excuse me for a minute?
(They walk over to Mulder, Scully and Burst. The three are standing at the corner of the stairwell.)
I believe you owe me five dollars.
(Mulder sighs and pulls out his wallet. Burst is looking at Pusher with great disdain, but is glares are met with a smile. Mulder pulls out a five.)
MULDER: Hey, your shoe's untied.
(Pusher looks down, then back at Mulder.)
Made you look.
(He smiles. Pusher isn't amused.)
How do you do it?
(Pusher grabs at the bill, but Mulder pulls it away. Pusher smirks and nonchalantly walks down the rest of the stairs with his lawyer. Burst yells at him as Modell walks away.)
FRANK BURST: Hey, Modell. I know your name now. I know where you live!
(Pusher stops for a second, then keeps walking, never turning around.)
(Mulder empties his clip into a "Q" on a piece of paper in the firing range, wearing goggles and ear protectors. Scully walks in behind him and takes off the ear protectors she was wearing. Mulder takes off his.)
SCULLY: I dug up a few more things on our Robert Patrick Modell.
MULDER: Let me guess. He was an average student, he attended an average community college, he did an average stint in the military.
SCULLY: Which branch of service?
MULDER: Not his first choice. He wanted to be a Navy Seal and then he wanted to be an Army Special Forces Green Beret. Promptly washed out of both, though not for lack of intelligence. He ended up being a supply clerk at Fort Bragg. Served two years, general discharge.
(Scully is impressed.)
SCULLY: Did you know that he applied to the F.B.I.?
(Mulder's eyebrows arch in surprise.)
He didn't even come close to passing the psyche screening.
MULDER: You got a copy of that?
(She hands him a folder.)
They found him to be acutely ego-centered. He has no regard for the feelings of others, instead perceiving people as objects. He's extremely suspicious of government and authority.
MULDER: Yet he wants to be in authority.
SCULLY: The screener caught him in a dozen self-aggrandizing lies... saying that he was a master of martial arts, that he had been trained by gurkhas in Nepal and ninjas in Japan.
MULDER: Well, ninjas are said to have the ability to cloud the minds of their opponents.
SCULLY: Are we talking kung-fu movies, Mulder?
MULDER: He certainly clouded the mind of that judge, Scully.
SCULLY: Even if Modell could, he didn't need to. We barely had a case against him.
MULDER: Oh, we had enough to get past a simple preliminary hearing. Modell psyched the guy out. He put the whammy on him.
SCULLY: Please explain to me the scientific nature of the "whammy."
MULDER: I don't know, maybe, maybe it's some mental aspect of some eastern martial art. You know, the temporary suppression of the brain's chemistry, produced by a specific timbre or cadence in Modell's voice. His voice seems to be the key.
SCULLY: Mulder, Modell's last known employment was as a convenience store clerk. He has never been trained by ninjas. He has never even been out of the U.S. He is just a little man who wishes that he were someone big... and, and, we're feeding that wish. That, that failed psyche screening... if, if Modell could actually control people's minds, right now, he'd be an F.B.I. agent, right? He'd be a Green Beret, uh, a Navy Seal.
MULDER: Maybe the ability came to him more recently, like in the last two years.
(Scully looks unsatisfied.)
Well, o, o, okay. What's your big theory? How do you explain what Agent Collins did? I mean, this was a sane man, a family man with no prior history of psychological problems, sets himself on fire. You witnessed that. How does that happen?
SCULLY: What do you need me to say, Mulder, that I believe that Modell is guilty of murder? I do. I'm just looking for an explanation a little more mundane than "the whammy."
MULDER: Well, he's laughing at us, Scully.
(The firing sheet slides forward. Downstairs, in the lobby, Pusher walks in. He looks over at the metal detector, then ducks behind a column and writes the word "PASS" on a piece of paper, then sticks it into his pocket where it is clearly visible. He walks through the gate and looks at the security guard, who is staring at the piece of paper.)
PUSHER: Excuse me. Where might I find the computer records section?
(The whammy is placed.)
LOBBY GUARD: Fourth floor, west wing.
PUSHER: Thank you very much.
(He walks around to the metal detector, waits for a second, and walks through. It goes off, but the security guard gives no notice. Pusher walks down the hall to the Computer Records Office, where Holly sits at her computer.)
HOLLY: Can I help you?
(Pusher closes the door, then starts to close all the blinds.)
PUSHER: I need to know some things... Holly.
(He smiles and closes the last of the blinds. In a few minutes, Holly is calling up a personal record. The screen reads:
The contents of personnel files are
the sole property of
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
No access without the express
authorization of the
Great. Just, uh, let me have the keyboard for a minute.
(Holly stands and Pusher sits down. He wipes his forehead, sighs, and starts to type a few things. He smiles, then turns to Holly, his voice soothing.)
I'd love a print-out of this...
(Holly leans over and starts to type.)
And a cup of coffee when you get the chance.
(He stares at the bruise on her face, rubbing his fingers lightly against it. Holly looks slightly confused, but still calmed, under his influence.)
I wish I could get my hands on the guy that did that you. I'd make him pay.
(Holly stares blankly. Skinner is walking by, reading a folder, when he sees the blinds closed. He hears some talking inside.)
This is great, Holly. It's perfect. What I wanted.
(He walks in to see Pusher and Holly standing. Pusher is holding the print-out.)
SKINNER: Can I help you?
PUSHER: No. No, thanks. We're, uh... we're just fine.
(Skinner looks down at the computer. Pusher glances at Holly, who is still under his power.)
Look, we're in the middle of something here, so...
SKINNER: Who are you and what are you doing here?
PUSHER: Take a walk, Mel Cooley.
(He pushes Skinner, but Skinner grabs his hand and twists it around into a hammerlock, then slams Pusher up against the filing cabinet. Pusher's other hand breaks some glasses sitting on top of it. Holly doesn't know what to do.)
Let me go! Let me go!
SKINNER: Shut up. Shut up! Holly... call security.
PUSHER: Holly. He's the one. He's the one who mugged you.
SKINNER: Holly, call security now!
PUSHER: Make him stop hurting me, Ho...
SKINNER: Shut up! Holly, now!
(He pushes the "0" key himself, then picks up the phone.)
SKINNER: Yeah, we've got a situation in here, fourth floor...
(Holly whips out a can of mace and sprays Skinner in the eyes. Skinner screams.)
(He falls in pain. Pusher leans over to Holly.)
PUSHER: Hurt him back.
(He walks out. Holly starts to kick Skinner in the ribs repeatedly. They both grunt with each kick. Later, Holly is sitting in Skinner's office. Scully is sitting across from her. Skinner is standing nearby. He has a small bandage on the side of his face.)
HOLLY: I'm so terribly, terribly sorry. I don't know why I... oh, God...
(She sniffles, crying.)
I'm so sorry.
(Skinner turns to some agents behind him.)
SKINNER: All right, let's hit the bricks, huh?
(Everybody walks out except Scully, Skinner, and Holly. Skinner closes the door.)
SCULLY: Holly, can you tell us anything more that might help us understand why you attacked Assistant Director Skinner?
HOLLY: It's like suddenly, I was watching myself from across the room... doing these things. It's like he was with me inside my head.
(Mulder walks in.)
(Holly nods slightly.)
HOLLY: That's the only way I know how to put it.
MULDER: Excuse me, sir? Can we speak outside?
SKINNER: Yeah, sure. Uh, Holly, excuse us for a minute, please.
(Scully, Skinner and Mulder step outside and close the door.)
MULDER: I reviewed the building's security tapes. Modell can clearly be seen entering and leaving unnoticed. He had the word "pass" on his lapel. Cars that waved him by don't even remember seeing him at all.
SKINNER: And you're saying this same mysterious phenomenon is the reason I have a size-seven heel mark in my face?
SCULLY: I have to agree with Agent Mulder, sir. I can't even begin to explain how, but I think that Modell is responsible for your injuries?
(Skinner turns to Mulder.)
SKINNER: Why is this guy so interested in you?
MULDER: What do you mean?
SKINNER: He left with one file, yours. He didn't access any others.
SCULLY: Now he knows where you live.
SKINNER: And you know where he lives. Go pick him up.
MULDER: Yeah, for what? About the only thing we got on him now is criminal trespass.
SKINNER: That's enough for a warrant.
(The police burst down the door to Pusher's apartment, dressed in SWAT team garb and carrying rifles.)
MAN #1: Police! Get down!
MAN #2: Police! Get down!
(They start to swarm the apartment.)
MAN #3: Police, get down!
(Burst, Mulder and Scully walk in behind them.)
MAN #2: Modell!
SCULLY: Lights coming on!
(She flips on the lights.)
MAN #1: Not here.
(Scully walks over to the television, which is still on. "Svengali" is playing. The villain is hypnotizing a woman.)
MAN ON TV: Lighten the eyes... lighten the eyes...
WOMAN ON TV: Help me. Let me go.
WOMAN ON TV: No.
(Mulder sticks the warrant to the television. Two agents walk up to Mulder.)
MAN #2: All clear. No one's home.
MULDER: Search the whole building.
SCULLY: And nearby buildings too. We know that Modell likes to watch from a distance.
FRANK BURST: Check the place out. I'll talk to the neighbors.
(Mulder puts on rubber gloves and goes to the kitchen. Mulder opens the refrigerator and takes out one of the health food drinks Pusher purchased before.)
MULDER: Hey, Scully, check this out.
(She walks over. He shows her the drink.)
"Mango Kiwi Tropical Swirl." Now we know we're dealing with a madman.
(He puts it back into the refrigerator, which is stocked to the brim with them. Afterwards, Scully is on the phone in the bathroom. Mulder is looking over Pusher's books.)
SCULLY: Is there anything else you can tell me? Yeah, yeah. When does it date to? Right.
(He puts the book down and walks over to her.)
Thank you very much.
(She hangs up and shows Mulder a bottle of pills.)
MULDER: What's that?
SCULLY: It's to relieve Modell's seizures. He has temporal-lobe epilepsy. I just talked to his doctor's office. They wouldn't give me much over the phone... just that that prescription dates back to April 1994.
(He takes the bottle.)
MULDER: What causes epilepsy this late in life?
SCULLY: Uh, head injury, neurological disease, a brain tumor or a lesion...
MULDER: Brain tumor? The growth of brain tumors has been linked with the reported occurrence of psychic ability.
SCULLY: Mulder, those reports are completely unsubstantiated.
MULDER: Just, just bear with me for a second. What if Modell's suggestive ability is really a form of psychokinesis?
SCULLY: Brought on by the brain tumor?
MULDER: Well, it fits. All those protein drinks in his fridge? Maybe he's got to replenish the metabolic energy that he uses in the process of controlling somebody's will.
SCULLY: Mulder, more to the point, if Modell did have a brain tumor, the effects on his health would be more debilitating. It's, it's likely that he simply wouldn't be well enough to play these cat-and-mouse games with us.
MULDER: Maybe he isn't. Maybe that's the whole point.
SCULLY: What do you mean?
MULDER: His exhaustion at the driving range. He didn't let us capture him. He was too sick to escape, too tired, too wiped out. Why would a, a killer who is so proficient confess to murders that he'd already gotten away with? Maybe he's dying.
SCULLY: And he wants to go out in a blaze of glory.
MULDER: Not with a whimper but a bang.
(The phone to the apartment rings. Burst and an agent run over to the phone. Burst gets ready to answer it.)
FRANK BURST: Get the tracing gear.
(The other agent runs past Mulder and Scully to the other room. Burst picks up the phone.)
PUSHER: Hey, hey, hey, what do you say?
(Burst signals wildly to Mulder and Scully, who run into the other room.)
FRANK BURST: What's up, Modell? How are you doing? Long time no see. Told you I knew where you lived.
(Mulder and Scully pick up the phone in the other, dimly lit room. Other agents run over to Burst with tracing gear and begin setting up the laptop and equipment.)
Uh, nice apartment, Modell. Who does your decorating? The Grinch that stole Christmas?
PUSHER: Agent Frank Burst, the guy with the great name. Say, Frank, are Agents Mulder and Scully there?
(Mulder and Scully are both listening in.)
MULDER: Yeah, we're here.
PUSHER: Perfect. Frank, how much do you weigh?
(The SWAT lieutenant, the SWAT Lieutenant, mouths the words "Yeah, we got it" and nods.)
FRANK BURST: Excuse me?
PUSHER: About how much do you weigh?
(Mulder is slightly taken aback by the question.)
FRANK BURST: Anything to keep you on the line, you stupid piece of... I don't know, about a hundred-ninety, hundred and ninety-five.
(The wiretap traces it to area code "703." Pusher laughs.)
PUSHER: Two-fifteen if you're a day, you're totally the wrong weight for your height. I mean, no offense, Frank, but you're built like a fireplug.
FRANK BURST: Yeah, and I got stubby little legs that are gonna kick you right in the ass. You going somewhere with this, Modell?
(Pusher chuckles. Mulder has figured out where this is going.)
PUSHER: Yeah, it's just that it can't be healthy. And you look like maybe you're a smoker, you probably take a little drink now and then, eat greasy fried food... sausage, bacon, eggs-over-easy.
PUSHER: Onion rings that soak those dark stains through the cardboard. And I'm guessing you shake on that salt like a maraca.
PUSHER: How about it? Am I packing it up on this?
MULDER: Frank, hang up the phone.
FRANK BURST: What are you talking about, Modell? What's your point?
PUSHER: Frank, you know what that's doing to your arteries.
(FIRST NUMBER OF THE CALL: Five.)
Terrible things, Frank. Terrible.
PUSHER: Waxy yellow chunks of plaque are tumbling through your bloodstream...
(Mulder angrily takes off his headset. The next number at Pusher's location is another five. Burst groans and winces in pain.)
Sticking like glue to your arterial walls...
(Mulder runs in.)
MULDER: Hang up the phone.
PUSHER: Squeezing shut your aorta... can you feel it, Frank?
(Mulder walks over to Burst, who grips the phone tightly despite his pain.)
MULDER: Come on, man, hang up the phone.
PUSHER: Can you feel your aorta...
MULDER: Frank, hang up the phone!
FRANK BURST: Back off!
(He reaches for the phone, but Burst pushes him away.)
PUSHER: ...closing shut? All those miles of aorta.
MULDER: Frank, hang up the phone!
FRANK BURST: I said back off!
(Mulder reaches to hang up the phone, but Burst grabs his hand pushes him away. Two agents hold Mulder against the wall.)
MULDER: Hang up!
(Wincing, Frank looks to the SWAT Lieutenant.)
PUSHER: The pressure...
FRANK BURST: Finish the trace.
(Scully walks in.)
PUSHER: Ever hear of pachyemia, Frank?
MULDER: Somebody hang up the phone!
(Scully looks to Frank, who is obviously in pain.)
PUSHER: Ever hear of a medical condition called pachyemia? It's when the blood thickens...
(Scully spots the wall socket and makes a dash for it.)
...up in your veins like strawberry jam.
(An agent stops her and holds her off to the side.)
FRANK BURST: Finish the trace!
MULDER: Frank, hang it up!
(There is a moment of tense silence as the SWAT Lieutenant, worried, looks at the screen. The number is "555-01" so far.)
PUSHER: Your heart flatlines...
(Pusher imitates a life support machine flatlining. Burst gasps and keels over.)
(The soldiers let him go.)
PUSHER: And you die, Frank.
(Scully and Mulder kneel over Burst. Mulder stares at the phone.)
Frank? Yo, Frank?
(Scully checks his pulse.)
SCULLY: No pulse. Get an ambulance.
(She turns him over. Agents start to run around, panicking.)
LEAD SWAT COP: Yeah, we need an ambulance, thirty-eighty-three Roseneath Avenue, apartment nine, possible cardiac arrest.
(Scully applies pressure to Burst's chest repeatedly, but gets no response. Mulder picks up the phone.)
PUSHER: Hey, Mulder. How's Frankie-boy?
(The SWAT Lieutenant picks back up the phone, resuming his position.)
MULDER: What is it, Modell, really, what you want?
PUSHER: A worthy adversary. It's obviously not that fat lout lying at your feet.
(Scully pinches Burst's nose and starts to give mouth-to-mouth.)
And I'm hoping it's you.
MULDER: Why me?
PUSHER: I've read all about you. You're a top criminal profiler. Oxford University grad, all-around bright, young man. You know what makes guys like me tick, right? You think you see right through old Bob Modell.
MULDER: Sick old Bob Modell, right? You're dying, aren't you, Bob? What, do you want to take a few innocent people with you before you go?
(Scully sighs and shakes her head. the SWAT Lieutenant looks horrified.)
PUSHER: Biology tells us we're all dying... and original sin tells me ain't nobody innocent.
MULDER: Yeah, and some are more innocent than others. Now why don't you just tell me where you are?
(Scully stands and rubs her forehead in frustration.)
PUSHER: Oh... you want the phone number? Sure. Just, uh... it's five-five-five oh-one-nine-seven.
(Mulder looks at the SWAT Lieutenant, who lowers the phone. The same number is the one traced.)
You know it's just a payphone. In two minutes, I'll be gone.
MULDER: You mean you killed this man for nothing, you sick bastard?
PUSHER: Me? No, haven't you caught on, Mulder? They all kill themselves.
(He hangs up. Mulder immediately looks to the SWAT Lieutenant.)
MULDER: Where's Modell calling from?
SWAT LIEUTENANT: The gas station parking lot. Twelve-thousand block Chain Bridge Road.
(He turns the monitor to show a map of the city and a red dot over a gas station parking lot.)
It's a payphone... just like he said.
(Mulder stares at the monitor. Down Chain Bridge Road is Fire Dept., and the other way is Fairfax Mercy Hospital.)
MULDER: Fairfax Mercy Hospital is right down the street from there, huh?
(Scully whispers to herself.)
SCULLY: Fairfax Mercy Pharmacy...
(She takes out the empty pill container, holding it with a cloth.)
"Fairfax Mercy Pharmacy." He must need regular treatment, Mulder.
MULDER: Well, let's go find out.
(Snipers set up positioning on the roofs of all adjoining and nearby buildings, poised to open fire on Modell at any of the openings.)
MAN #1: Okay, unit two is ready.
(The man listening to the headphones waves some more agents by. They set up behind every car, the headphones garbling messages. They start nodding to each other, and a man moves for the parking lot. Inside a van, Mulder, Scully and the SWAT Lieutenant have set up with monitors and recordings.)
He's not in his car. Engine's still warm. He's probably in the building.
MAN #2: All entrances covered. Do we hold or go in?
(Scully is listening on the phone. There is a moment of tense silence.)
SCULLY: Right, thank you.
SWAT LIEUTENANT: Hold.
(Scully hangs up.)
SCULLY: The outpatient office says Modell is scheduled for a two-thirty M.R.I. That's right now.
SWAT LIEUTENANT: How do you want to play this?
MULDER: I think I should go in alone.
SWAT LIEUTENANT: My team could flush him out.
MULDER: What if Modell turns one of your men against the others... in a crowded hospital? I think we should give him what he wants.
(She is disappointed and worried.)
MULDER: We stand a better chance if we're separated. I'll go on mike. That way, you'll know what he's doing and where he is at all times.
(Scully shakes her head, not liking this plan.)
You got a radio so I can keep my hands free?
SWAT LIEUTENANT: I got just what you need.
(He takes out a metal box marked "Eyes and Ears" and opens it. There is a headset with a microphone, headphone and camera inside. He attaches the bulletproof vest to Mulder, complete with battery hook-up, and Mulder turns around so he can attach the headset.)
Two-lux video camera. It'll practically see in the dark.
(Scully sits off to the side, watching, despondent.)
It's designed for bomb disposal work to keep only one officer at risk. See?
(There is a monitor receiving the feed. Mulder looks around and everything shows up on the monitor perfectly.)
MULDER: Think I get the Playboy channel?
(They both chuckle. Mulder looks over to Scully and kneels down in front of her. She is also on the monitor.)
(He grins. Scully just stares at him, then looks away. Mulder frowns and hands her his gun.)
SCULLY: Take it.
MULDER: No. I wouldn't want to end up pointing it at anybody except Modell.
(She looks about to cry. She places her hands over his, which are on her knees. They stare at each other.)
Let's get this show on the road.
(Mulder nonchalantly walks through the emergency sliding doors past a confused doctor. Everybody watches him go by. As he walks past the nurse at the desk, he shows her his badge.)
Federal agent, go about your business as usual.
(She nods. He keeps walking.)
Scully, do you read me?
(Cut to the van, where Scully has a headset on, watching the monitor.)
SCULLY: I'm with you, Mulder.
(On the headset, from Mulder's point of view, he walks by a young couple. Mulder is not visible at all.)
MULDER: Nothing out of the ordinary.
(The SWAT Lieutenant talks into his headset.)
SWAT LIEUTENANT: Swat team, hold outside.
MAN: Swat team still holding.
(The two watch the monitor intently. Mulder looks inside a few rooms and sees no one except for some bed-ridden patients and nurses. A gunshot goes off, and the people around Mulder jump, startled.)
(Mulder hurries down the hallway. Another gunshot goes off.)
MULDER: Two shots fired.
SWAT LIEUTENANT: Swat team!
MULDER: No, not yet!
(People, such as nurses and patients, start to run by Mulder. The reception becomes garbled.)
Everybody keep moving! Federal agent! Let me see what the hell's going on.
SCULLY: We're losing you!
(Mulder heads for a sign that reads "Intensive Care." The picture goes out, turning to static. Scully takes off her headset and stands.)
SWAT LIEUTENANT: Mulder! Agent Mulder!
(A picture starts to return.)
Wait, Agent Scully!
(She looks back at the monitor and sees two men down on the ground, a guard and a doctor, the picture and sound returning.)
MULDER: You, uh, you getting this back there?
(She sits down and puts on the headset. Cut to the hospital. Mulder walks up to the dead bodies, both bleeding massively from gunshot wounds to the head. He leans over the doctor. Cut to the van monitor. Mulder's hand reaches out and takes the doctor's pulse. He then looks towards the guard. Two shells litter the floor.)
SCULLY: Mulder, what happened?
(Cut to the hospital.)
MULDER: Looks like the guard shot the technician, then he shot himself.
(Cut to the van. Mulder looks at the guard's empty holster and points to it.)
His gun is missing. the SWAT Lieutenant, tell your men Modell may be heading your way.
SWAT LIEUTENANT: Swat team!
(Cut to Mulder, who looks up slowly.)
Suspect is armed and is possibly...
(Cut back to the van. Mulder is staring at a desk with a monitor showing a scan of a brain.)
....making his way out of the building.
MAN #1: We copy. We're ready for him.
MAN #2: Shooters in position.
SCULLY: Mulder, wait, wait. Get close to the computer monitor.
(Cut to Mulder. He stands and leans over to the computer monitor.)
MULDER: Over here.
SCULLY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, right there.
(Cut to the van. The picture of the brain has a large white mass on the left cerebrum.)
There. That light mass in his temporal lobe.
(Cut to Mulder.)
MULDER: Right here.
(Cut to the van. Mulder's finger points to the white mass.)
SCULLY: You were right, Mulder.
(Cut to Mulder.)
Now check around you. Modell's chart should be somewhere around there.
(He starts looking around the desk. He picks up a folder and flips through it. He reads quickly, then mouths some words to himself, thinking.)
MULDER: We're batting a thousand, Scully. Modell's dying. He's got nothing to lose.
(Cut to Scully.)
SCULLY: Mulder, just get out of there.
(Cut to Mulder. His eyes slowly move upward.)
(Mulder stares into the next room, thinking. The catscan machine is placed in the center, but the room is empty. Cut to Scully.)
(Cut to Mulder. He thinks for a second, then spins around quickly to see Pusher directly behind him, gun point-blank in Mulder's face.)
(Pusher grabs the headset, and the view goes black.)
(She rips off her headset and rushes out, followed by the SWAT lieutenant. Down the hall, SWAT team members are lining the halls, armed and ready. The SWAT lieutenant walks down the hall with Scully, who is now wearing a bulletproof vest.)
SWAT LIEUTENANT: We think they're three doors down. We got both ends sewed up tight, but there are six critical care rooms we can't get to. If we gas the halls, we might kill those patients.
(Scully hands her gun to the lieutenant and prepares to go in.)
Why do we keep giving this guy exactly what he wants?
SCULLY: Just wait for a signal from me.
(He nods, putting the gun in his vest and putting on his goggles.)
SWAT MEMBER: You're clear.
(Scully walks down the hall. The lieutenant arms himself and watches. Scully looks into the first room and sees a bald man hooked up to monitors. She moves over to the second door and slowly opens it. Two women hooked-up to life support. Opening the door farther, she sees Mulder seated at a table, staring blankly at the wall in front of him.)
(She opens the door more and sees that Mulder is staring at Pusher, who sits directly across from him. The gun rests between Pusher's hands, which are flat on the table. Mulder's are as well. She walks in very slowly, unsure of what is going on. Pusher and Mulder never take their eyes off each other.)
PUSHER: Thanks for joining us.
SCULLY: We've got a dozen law enforcement officers outside in the hall... another thirty in the parking lot.
PUSHER: Regular convention.
SCULLY: So whatever you've got planned, it's not going to work out the way you it want to.
(Pusher continues to stare at Mulder angrily.)
PUSHER: You don't know what I got planned.
(Scully looks down at the gun, then at Mulder, who is expressionless. She sits down in the chair nearest the door exactly between them. Pusher picks up the revolver and checks the chamber.)
Two warriors of equal skill fight to the death. One is a student of Japanese budo... the way of war.
(He spins the chamber, which only contains one bullet.)
Budo teaches the warrior to leave himself outside the battle. In other words...
(He closes the chamber.)
To disregard his own death.
(He places the gun down.)
Because of that, the budo warrior always wins. I am that warrior. I don't fear my death. So I...
(He slides the gun over between Mulder's hands, handle first.)
I'm going to give you... one pull of the trigger against me.
(Scully's eyes are wide, staring at Mulder.)
(Mulder continues to stare at Pusher, moving his hand down onto the gun. Pusher puts his hand on top of Mulder's quickly.)
One. One pull.
(Mulder fits his finger into the trigger and lifts the gun, aiming it nonchalantly at Pusher.)
SCULLY: Wait. Mulder, look... there's pure oxygen in this room.
(The chamber can be heard clicking lowly.)
There's no telling what could happen if you pull that trigger...
(He pulls the trigger, but the bullet isn't in the chamber. Scully gasps slightly, having been cut off in mid-sentence. After a few seconds, Pusher exhales deeply, his body relaxing slowly. He smirks, out of breath from fear.)
PUSHER: Piece of cake. Your turn.
(Scully's eyes go to Mulder again.)
SCULLY: Mulder, no.
PUSHER: Mulder, yes.
(Scully is about to cry.)
SCULLY: Mulder, listen to me. Give me the gun. We can stop this thing right now. You and I can walk outside of this room...
(Mulder cringes and jerks the barrel to his head while pulling the trigger in one quick, fluid motion. No gunshot. Scully stands and pounds the table with both hands, near tears, glaring at Pusher.)
No! Damn you! You bastard! Mulder, hand me the g...
(She reaches for the gun, but Mulder's head jerks back up, glaring at Pusher, aiming the gun at his controller. Scully sobs shallowly, no tears forthcoming though. Mulder nonchalantly moves his arm and points the gun at Scully. Her eyes widen. She breathes shallowly.)
Mulder, you don't have to do this. You're stronger than this.
PUSHER: Your turn, Scully. Got to play by the rules. Pull the trigger, Mulder.
SCULLY: Mulder, fight him. You can fight this.
PUSHER: Come on. Pull the trigger, Mulder. She shot you, I read it in her files. Payback time... shoot the little spy!
(Scully looks at the mirror across the way from her and spots a fire alarm on the back wall in the hallway. Mulder speaks angrily, glaring but not at Scully, even though that is who he must face.)
MULDER: I'm going to kill you, Modell.
PUSHER: Yeah, pull the trigger, you get another crack at me.
(Scully slowly starts to back out of the room.)
MULDER: Scully, run! Scully...
(His finger tenses on the finger. The chamber starts to turn, clicking into position. She stares at him, then runs out and pulls the alarm. The alarm blares and Pusher looks away from Mulder for the first time, over to Scully. He looks back at Mulder, who turns to him, glaring, and points the gun. Modell gasps. Mulder pulls the trigger and Pusher is shot, slamming against the back of his chair, then falling. Mulder stands, tips over the table and continues to dry-fire at Pusher, even though he knows the chamber is empty. Other agents swarm in.)
SWAT LIEUTENANT: Federal agents! Get down, get down, get down!
(Mulder continues to pull the trigger until finally lowering the gun. The alarm continues to ring. Scully looks at him, worried. He hands the gun to her, then puts his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. Pusher is hooked up to a respirator, although it is covered with bandages, along with most of his face. In fact, his whole body is pretty much bandaged, life-support systems around him. Mulder stands over him silently, watching with disdain. Scully walks into the hospital room behind him.)
SCULLY: There's no telling how long he'll hang on, but he'll never regain consciousness.
(Mulder nods slightly.)
MULDER: You know, we thought he was undergoing treatment. We were wrong.
SCULLY: What do you mean?
MULDER: Read his chart. The M.R.I.s were a way to gauge how much life he had left, but he consistently refused treatment. The tumor remained operable right up until the end, but he refused to have it removed.
MULDER: I think it was like you said. He was always such a... little man. This was finally something that made him feel big.
(Scully looks down slightly, acknowledging the fact quietly. She takes his hand.)
SCULLY: I say we don't let him take up another minute of our time.
(She walks out. He stares at Pusher disdainfully for a second, then follows.)