(Night. Chinese parade along the crowded streets. A young Asian man, JOHNNY LO, walks through the crowd nervously looking behind him. He jumps as firecrackers explode near him. Runs to a dark decrepit apartment building. Oriental background music. A Chinese symbol is painted in white paint on the door. He touches the paint and finds that it is still wet. He enters the dark apartment. Suddenly, a flashlight is turned on and pointed directly into LOís eyes. He can only see the outline of the man holding the flashlight. The Man Holding Flashlight speaks Cantonese threateningly. LO replies, as if desperate to explain something.)
MAN HOLDING FLASHLIGHT: [You knew the rules. Now you pay the price.]
JOHNNY LO: [I told you I wanted out.]
MAN: [You start, you finish.]
(Man Holding Flashlight is not impressed and flips open a switchblade. LO screams and attacks Man Holding Flashlight, knocking him to the floor with a stab wound to his right shoulder. LO then turns in shock to see three Asian men, their faces painted. They stare at LO.)
(Same night, later. NIGHT WATCHMAN sits playing a handheld video poker game. Hears a banging sound. Goes to investigate.)
NIGHT WATCHMAN: Somebody in here?
(His flashlight briefly illuminates the three Asian Men With Painted Faces, then they disappear. He hears banging from the operating crematorium.)
NIGHT WATCHMAN: Holy Moses.
(Looking through a peephole in the crematorium, NIGHT WATCHMAN sees LO screaming and writhing in pain as flames engulf him.)
(Funeral home next day. MULDER and SCULLY observe the burned body with LIEUTENANT NEARY of the San Francisco PD.).
SCULLY: What a way to go. Have you seen this MO before, Detective? Men cremated alive?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Yeah. Third time this year.
MULDER: Eleventh time, actually. There were three in Seattle, three in Los Angeles and two in Boston, all Chinese men between the ages of 20 and 40. All recent immigrants.
LIEUTENANT NEARY: We werenít able to determine any of that until just recently. The other two bodies were much more badly burned. We got lucky with this one.
MULDER: Lucky? Thatís an interesting word for it.
(SCULLY taps a glass eye in the burned body.)
MULDER: You got any leads on this case, Detective? Any thoughts or ideas?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Weíve had a big influx of immigrants from Hong Kong trying to get out before 1997. And weíve seen stepped-up gang activity in the Chinese community, but so far we canít tie these deaths to anyone or anything.
(MULDER shines his flashlight inside the crematorium. He sees a white painted symbol.)
MULDER: You got anybody that can read or speak Chinese?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Yeah, Glen Chao. He's right over there. Why?
MULDER: Will you get him? I want to see if he can, uh, read this for me.
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Sure. Glen.
CHAO: (to person heís talking to) Just a second.
(DETECTIVE CHAO, a young Asian man, comes over, shakes hands with MULDER.)
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Detective Chao. Glen Chao, Agent Mulder.
CHAO: What have you got?
MULDER: There's something written up here on the ceiling. I was wondering if you could read it.
CHAO: (looking inside the crematorium) Yeah. It says "gui". It means ghost.
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Does that mean anything to you?
MULDER: I don't know, but it's something strange for a man being burned alive to write, don't you think?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Hmm.
(MULDER reaches into the crematorium and finds a partially burned piece of paper.)
MULDER: What's this? Does anybody recognize this? Looks like some kind of foreign currency.
CHAO: It's called Hell Money. It's used as an offering during the Chinese festival of the Hungry Ghosts.
MULDER: Is it worth anything?
CHAO: It's not money per se. It's a symbolic offering to the evil spirits and the ghosts for good luck.
MULDER: Where would I get this Ö Hell Money?
CHAO: There aren't a whole lot of places in Chinatown that sell it.
MULDER: That's good. Maybe we just found a way to identify the body.
(Day. MULDER and SCULLY drive up to the decrepit apartment building and begin ascending the outdoor stairs.)
SCULLY: His name was Johnny Lo. He moved here about six months ago from Canton. Still in the INS application process. He was a dishwasher in Chinatown.
MULDER: How many dishes do you have to break before your boss tosses you in an oven?
SCULLY: (short laugh at MULDERís joke) I think it's pretty clear this is some kind of a horrific cult or gang retribution killing.
MULDER: Why would he write the character for "ghost" on the inside of the crematory oven?
SCULLY: I donít know.
MULDER: What about the guard seeing three figures that seemed to vanish without a trace?
SCULLY: So now weíre chasing ghosts?
MULDER: Who you gonna call? Ghosts or ancestral spirits have been central to Chinese spiritual life for centuries.
SCULLY: So you're saying that the ancestral spirits pushed Johnny Lo into the oven and turned on the gas?
MULDER: Well that would sure teach him to respect his elders, wouldnít it?
(CHAO comes out of the apartment and joins them on the landing.
CHAO: Hey. I checked all the neighboring buildings. Nobody saw or heard a thing -- Not surprisingly.
(MULDER and SCULLY look at another white painted symbol on the front door of the apartment.)
MULDER: What does it say?
CHAO: I don't recognize that. It could be idiomatic-- some kind of code.
SCULLY: (touching it) It's still tacky.
MULDER: Can you copy it down for me?
CHAO: Yeah. Sure.
MULDER: (walking into the apartment) Talk about tacky.
(MULDER and SCULLY look around the apartment.)
SCULLY: Someone's been here. This place has been cleaned out. Look at this.
(She points to where dust patterns show that things have been removed from a table. MULDER and SCULLY walk into the other room.)
MULDER: What's that smell?
SCULLY: Maybe it's this new carpet.
(A new cream colored carpet covers the floor.)
CHAO: (joining them) Yeah. That's what it looks like.
SCULLY: What slumlord would spring for a new carpet in a dump like this?
MULDER: (pulling up a corner of the carpet) Looks like they saved some money on carpet tacks and didnít even bother to replace any of the old padding.
(SCULLY opens a desk drawer and pulls out a small white bag with Chinese lettering on it.)
SCULLY: What's this?
CHAO: Chinese herbal medicine.
(She pulls out a bowl with a very dead frog.)
SCULLY: And what about this?
CHAO: That's a dried frog. I think they're sometimes used as charms-- good health and prosperity, protection.
MULDER: (still looking under carpet) Looks like Mr. Lo could have used a little of both.
(SCULLY and CHAO look where MULDER has pulled up the carpet far enough to expose a large bloodstain.)
MULDER: Letís get this blood tested.
(HSINís apartment. Old, low rent, but neatly kept. Lots of pictures on the walls and small objects on the tables. HSIN, tired looking Asian man in his fifties, places kettle on the stove, then goes to sit with his daughter, KIM, who is lying in bed. She is about 20 and appears to be very ill. He pours her something to drink from a small teapot.)
KIM: (in Chinese) What did you buy?
HSIN: (in Chinese) Itís for you. (gently places a tray of food on her lap) Eat
KIM: (in Chinese) Stay and have tea with me.
HSIN: (in Chinese) I have to go out.
KIM: (in Chinese) Where?
HSIN: (in Chinese) To see someone.
KIM: (in Chinese) Always seeing people Ö What kind of people?
HSIN: (in Chinese) (sighs) I have business to make money so you can get well.
KIM: (in Chinese) You can go tomorrow.
HSIN: (in Chinese) Money can pay for doctors.
KIM: (in Chinese) The doctors say the operation cost too much money.
HSIN: (in Chinese) Donít talk like that.
(KIM looks down sadly as HSIN leaves her.)
(Night. Deserted Chinese restaurant. HSIN knocks at door, exchanges some words in Chinese with a man at the door. He enters and goes upstairs joining perhaps 100 other working class Chinese men in a large room, perhaps dining room for restaurant. They are all talking excitedly. At least one of the men is obviously blind, but he has two glass eyes. Three Asian men wearing suits and carrying two large green glass vases and a carved wooden box enter. VASE MAN begins walking through the crowd with the largest vase collecting small tiles from each of the men present. Each tile has the ownerís name.)
TILE MAN: [Okay, who will it be today?]
(MONEY MAN opens the box revealing a great deal of money. Lots of "Oooos" and "Ahhhhs" at the sight of the money. HSIN places his tile in the vase. At the table, unseen by all the men, another of the men in suits, TILE MAN, is placing triangular tiles in the other vase. Each of the tiles has a symbol on it and a red border. Finally, he polishes another tile, this one with a gold border and places it beside the vase. VASE MAN finishes collecting the names and hands the large vase to TILE MAN who bows and takes the vase. He removes a tile and reads the name.)
TILE MAN: Li Di-Huan! Li Di-Huan!
(Envious reaction from the crowd. LI DI-HUAN has one glass eye. He smiles hopefully as TILE MAN holds the gold edged tile up for all to see, then drops it into the smaller vase with the red rimmed tiles. VASE MAN carries the vase to LI DI-HUAN who raises the vase over his head and shakes it twice. He reaches in and pulls out a tile. Slowly he opens his fist and his face falls as he sees it is one of the red rimmed tiles. He closes his hand again in despair. VASE MAN pries the tile away, looks at it, then holds it up and announces the symbol.)
VASE MAN: Xin!
(HSIN turns his head away sadly as the crowd reacts with pity. The men in suits lead a resigned LI DI-HUAN out of the room.)
(Next day. MULDER, SCULLY, and CHAO look at shelf of herbs in an Asian herbal store.)
SCULLY: I couldn't tell you what any one of these things are.
CHAO: Well, they're roots, mostly like ginseng, turmeric. Then you got your more exotic stuff-- bear gall bladder, snake, shark fin-- usually prepared in a soup or a tea.
MULDER: What had the victim been using?
CHAO: (to DR WU) [Ma'am, do you know what these are?]
(DR WU looks in the packet.)
DR WU: [It's skullcap root and Chinese angelica.]
CHAO: She says that itís skullcap root and Chinese angelica. Theyíre used for painkillers.
SCULLY: Does she remember Johnny Lo or remember selling it to him?
CHAO: [Ma'am, do you remember Johnny Lo, whom you sold this medicine?]
DR WU: [Yes.]
MULDER: Ask her if she knows heís dead.
CHAO: [Ma'am, do you know he's dead?]
DR WU: [No.]
MULDER: Ask her if she recognizes those characters that were painted on his door.
CHAO: [Ma'am, can I ask what this is?]
(They show her the sign on Lo's door and she reacts with fear.)
DR WU: ['Xiongzhai'.]
(She looks afraid and leaves.)
SCULLY: What was that about?
CHAO: She says that the house was branded a xiongzhai. A haunted house.
MULDER: Haunted? You mean by ghosts?
CHAO: Yeah. It's hard to give an exact translation, but it's what I was telling you about before. The Chinese Yu Lan Hui-- the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.
(As CHAO narrates, Asian man with glass eye from last scene, LI DI-HUAN sits in a chair in a bright light drinking a warm liquid. He opens his eyes and sees a shadowy figure approaching him.)
CHAO: (voiceover) You see, on the 15th day of the seventh moon in the Chinese calendar it's believed the gates of hell are opened and the ghosts of unwanted souls roam the earth. Now, believers protect themselves by leaving gifts of food and hell money outside their homes to appease the ghosts. To keep them from coming inside and causing trouble.
(LI DI-HUANís vision continues. The shadowy figure is joined by others, at least one is a child. The first figure reaches into LI DI-HUANís chest. We hear the sound of a heartbeat. The figure removes LI DI-HUANís heart as LI DI-HUAN watches.)
CHAO: (voiceover) But for some spirits-- the ghosts most feared by the Chinese-- there's no buying them off. The Preta-- the ancient ghost of a murdered man who wanders the earth exacting its revenge on the living.
(LI DI-HUANís eyes close and he passes out. His vision is over and we see HARD-FACED MAN in surgical gear checking LI DI-HUANís good eye to make sure he is unconscious.)
CHAO: (voiceover) Or the wu jiung gui who collect the souls of doomed men and drag them down to Ti Yu ... the Chinese hell.
(Night. Later, MULDER, SCULLY, and CHAO walk down a street in Chinatown.)
MULDER: You think these murders could be related?
CHAO: It makes sense. This year's festival is just about over.
SCULLY: What about you, detective? Do you believe in Yu Lan Hui?
CHAO: I find it hard to argue with 2,000 years of Chinese belief -- the stuff my parents and grandparents believe in. But the truth is, Iím more haunted by the size of my mortgage payments.
(Night. NIGHT WATCHMAN drives up to a gravesite in a truck and sees Men With Painted Faces standing next to an open grave.)
NIGHT WATCHMAN: Hey! What are you doing? (he shines his flashlight toward them, but they have vanished) What the hell...?
(Later, MULDER, SCULLY, CHAO, and LIEUTENANT NEARY are investigating.)
LIEUTENANT NEARY: The night patrolman described three men wearing the same masks as the ones IDíd at the crematory.
SCULLY: What were they doing here?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: We don't know exactly. They were spotted around this grave over here but we can't figure out exactly what they were up to.
MULDER: Is this a newly dug plot?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Yeah. There's a burial here at noon tomorrow.
LIEUTENANT NEARY: I don't know. We can check. Chao, see if you can get the name of the future occupant here.
SCULLY: I still don't understand what anybody would want with an empty grave.
(MULDER drops down into the grave.)
LIEUTENANT NEARY: (to SCULLY) What the hell's he doing?
(SCULLY just shakes her head.)
MULDER: Something just occurred to me. (pushes dirt aside exposing the dead face of LI DI-HUAN) Looks like somebody was trying to get two burials for the price of one.
(MULDER enters autopsy bay where SCULLY is performing autopsy on LI DI-HUAN.)
MULDER: What did you find?
SCULLY: A lot. And I haven't even finished my preliminary visual exam. (pulls plastic off the scarred body) Look at this. This guy's like a jigsaw puzzle. These are all surgical incisions and judging by the color of the scars Iíd say they were all made within the last year.
MULDER: What was wrong with him?
SCULLY: If you ask me, nothing.
MULDER: Nothing? What do you mean?
SCULLY: Do you know how much the human body is worth, Mulder?
MULDER: Depends on the body. (SCULLY gives VERY small smile) I don't know. A few bucks. How much?
SCULLY: (putting on latex gloves) It's worth a fortune.
MULDER: You're saying that this guy was selling his body parts for money?
SCULLY: A kidney, a portion of the liver, a cornea bone marrow... A person can lose these things and live to cash his social security checks.
MULDER: He won't be cashing any social security checks any time soon.
SCULLY: No, but if Iím right this is one man who left his heart in San Francisco.
(MULDER grins at her joke as she begins opening up the body for the internal exam.)
MULDER: Scully, even if you're right, it doesn't figure. There's no long-term business sense to dying. What connection does this have to the crematory deaths?
SCULLY: I only saw one body, but the only thing that wasn't burned to a delicate crisp on Johnny Lo was his glass eye.
(SCULLY gasps and backs away as the incision sheís working on begins to move.)
SCULLY: Oh, God.
(MULDER and SCULLY watch as a small frog crawls out of the body.)
(The large room with Asian men and Asian Suit Men with the Vases. TILE MAN draws HSINís name.)
TILE MAN: Hsin Shuyang! Hsin Shuyang!
(HSIN looks nervous. They drop the gold rimmed tile into the other vase and take it to HSIN who raises it over his head, shakes it, then draws out a piece in his fist. Crowd calls out encouragement. VASE MAN takes the tile and looks at it then announces the symbol on it.)
VASE MAN: Gan!
(A grim-faced HSIN is lead out of the room.)
(Day. CHAOís office. CHAO on the phone speaking Cantonese. MULDER and SCULLY enter. CHAO ends his conversation and hangs up. SCULLY hands him a jar with the frog in it. MULDER stands by the window eating sunflower seeds.)
CHAO: What's this?
SCULLY: Maybe you can tell us. It was found in the body cavity of the man who was dumped in the grave.
SCULLY: You said the frog was a symbol of luck and prosperity. Unless this is somebodyís sick joke Iíd say it must have another meaning.
CHAO: (setting jar down dismissively) Well, if it does, I don't know what it is. I mean, it could be some kind of... Triad symbol. Something from organized crime.
SCULLY: Maybe you can tell me this: have you heard any word on the street about the black market selling of body parts?
CHAO: What? Here, in Chinatown?
SCULLY: This man with the frog in his chest was missing a cornea and a kidney. They were taken prior to the time of death before the final removal of his heart. (MULDER watches CHAO intently) And I found what is known as "sterile ice" on the skin in and around the incision on his chest. It is a substance that is used to preserve human organs for transplant.
CHAO: (laughing) I donít even know where to start.
MULDER: (still eating seeds) Well, weíre gonna need more help from you than that, Detective.
CHAO: The implication being that Iím not trying to help?
SCULLY: Either you resent us being here or you feel some kind of protectiveness towards the Chinese community.
CHAO: (angry and defensive) Look you donít even know what the hell youíre dealing with here. This isn't some pretty little lacquer box you can just take the lid off and find out what's inside. You might see the face of a Chinese man here but let me tell you something -- they don't see the same face. They see the face of a cop... American-born Chinese, ABC. To them, Iím just as white as you are.
(He picks up a piece of paper and stands up.)
CHAO: You think because I speak the language I can get all your answers for you but what good is an interpreter when everyone speaks the language of silence? (He hands MULDER a piece of paper and begins putting on his jacket heading for the door.)
MULDER: What's this?
CHAO: (bitter and sarcastic) It's the name of the company that installed the carpet in Johnny Loís apartment. I just happened to run across it while I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs. (leaving office) You coming or not?
(HSIN cracks door of his apartment. CHAO, MULDER, and SCULLY are in the hall.)
HSIN: [What do you want with me?]
CHAO: I'm detective Chao with the San Francisco police. Could we have a word with you?
HSIN: I'm late for work.
CHAO: It'll only take a minute. Could we come in, please?
(HSIN lets them in. His right eye is covered with a bandage.
SCULLY: Mr. Hsin, can I ask what happened to your eye?
HSIN: Accident at work. Carpet tack.
(MULDER and SCULLY share a look.)
MULDER: How long have you lived in this country, Mr. Hsin?
HSIN: Three years.
MULDER: You live here alone?
(KIM in her bedroom calls out to her father.)
HSIN: (indicating) My daughter.
(MULDER begins looking around the apartment.)
SCULLY: Mr. Hsin, you laid a carpet in an apartment that was occupied by a man named Johnny Lo.
HSIN: I... Don't know the name. The-the man I work for tells me address only.
SCULLY: We contacted the man that you work for. He said it must have been a job you took on the side. He has no record of a work order.
(On a table near the window, MULDER finds the red bordered tile that HSIN drew the night before. He picks it up and looks at it carefully.)
HSIN: What was the name of the man who lived in this apartment?
SCULLY: His name was Johnny Lo. He's dead now-- murdered-- and we think that the carpet was laid in an attempt to cover up evidence. Now your employer says Ö.
(SCULLY continues the interview as CHAO opens bedroom door and sees Kim in bed. They speak quietly.)
KIM: (in Chinese) Where is my father?
CHAO: (in Chinese) He is here.
KIM: (in Chinese) Who are you?
CHAO: (in Chinese) Iím just here asking him some questions.
(CHAO closes the door and returns to the main room.)
SCULLY: Do you remember who called you about the job?
HSIN: (shaking his head) I donít know any of this.
MULDER: Thank you, Mr. Hsin. If we need you, we'll get back to you. Okay? Thank you.
(MULDER leads SCULLY out of apartment and into the hall. CHAO and HSIN speak in Cantonese.)
SCULLY: Whatís up?
MULDER: (watching the two men) Iíll tell you in a minute.
(They watch as CHAO continues speaking to HSIN who is agitated. HSIN goes into apartment. CHAO joins MULDER and SCULLY.)
MULDER: What was that about?
CHAO: He has the back window blocked up. Told him it was a firetrap.
MULDER: (showing CHAO the tile he picked up) You know what this is?
MULDER: Do you know what it says?
CHAO: Itís the character for "wood."
CHAO: Yeah. Why? What are you thinking?
SCULLY: That this guy didnít have an accident at work.
MULDER: Heís missing his eye and Iíd like to know how he lost it.
SCULLY: I say we monitor Hsinís every movements.
MULDER: I doubt theyíre to the ophthalmologist, though.
(MULDER, SCULLY and CHAO leave. Inside the apartment, KIM has gotten out of bed.)
KIM: (in Chinese) Papa? Are you in some kind of trouble?
HSIN: (in Chinese) What are you doing? Go right back to bed Ö Go now, go now.
KIM: (in Chinese) What happened to your eye?
HSIN: (in Chinese) Nothing. I had an accident.
KIM: (in Chinese) What kind of accident?
HSIN: (in Chinese) A work accident, thatís all.
KIM: (in Chinese) Last night when you got off work, nothing was wrong. You hurt it afterwards.
HSIN: (in Chinese) Itís no business of yours! Do you understand?
KIM: (in Chinese, coming close to him) No, I donít understand.
HSIN: (in Chinese) How will you get well? How will you get well if we donít have the money for the doctor?
KIM: (in Chinese) What would I do if something happened to you? Iím just worried about you Ö
HSIN: (in Chinese, taking her hands) I wake up every day and worry. Have I made a mistake? Am I being foolish? Do our ancestors scorn us for leaving our home? Is that why you are sick now?
KIM: (in Chinese) Youíre not to blame.
HSIN: (in Chinese, crying and embracing her) Who is to blame? If you canít help, whoís the one to blame if not me?
(Night. CHAO arrives home. Is nervous as he sees a red Chinese symbol painted on his white door. He opens the house and enters. He sees the Men With Painted Faces waiting in the darkened hallway. Asian background music swells.)
(Night. Festival is still going on. MULDER is in car watching HSINís window. He jumps as SCULLY opens the passenger door and gets in.)
SCULLY: Look like you just saw a ghost.
MULDER: (smiles) No, Iím just a little tired, jumpy. One more string of firecrackers goes off, Iím going to get out of the car and shoot somebody.
SCULLY: He hasnít left his apartment, has he?
MULDER: No, but Iím glad youíre here Ďcause I was just about to go and ask Mr. Hsin if I could use his bathroom.
SCULLY: (putting on seatbelt) Well, you can use the one down at St. Francisí Hospital.
MULDER: What do you mean?
SCULLY: Detective Chao was attacked in his town house tonight. I just talked to Lieutenant Neary. He says heís cut up pretty bad.
MULDER: Who cut him?
SCULLY: I donít know, but I think we should go check it out.
(MULDER starts car and drives away. One of the Asian Men in Suits, HARD-FACED MAN, from the restaurant adjusts his collar and watches them drive away, then walks over to HSINís apartment building.)
(Inside the apartment, HSIN is eating. There is a knock at the door.)
HSIN: (in Chinese) Who is it?
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) You know who it is.
(HSIN lets HARD-FACED MAN in. HARD-FACED MAN walks around the apartment confidently.)
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) I did not receive your payment.
HSIN: (in Chinese) I want out.
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) You want out of the game?
HSIN: (in Chinese) I quit.
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) Youíve been luckier than most. All this time and one bad draw. Most men would be happy to trade places with you. The pot is almost two million dollars. One draw, Mr. Hsin. One draw and maybe youíll win more than I did. (puts some of HSINís dinner in his mouth and eats it)
HSIN: (in Chinese) But maybe Iím not so lucky.
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese, considers) The money could help to save your daughterís life.
HSIN: (in Chinese) But maybe Iím not so lucky. Maybe my daughter will die with no father at her side. Alone with strangers.
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) You have to keep playing. You know the rules. No one talks about the game. No one leaves the game
(KIM watches, hidden, from the bedroom door.)
HSIN: (in Chinese) But my daughter Ö
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) Those are the rules. They cannot be broken, or itís said that the Prata and the fires of Ti Yu will consume you.
HSIN: (in Chinese, bowing and pleading) Please! I beg you.
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese, leaving the apartment) It is not my choice.
(KIM quietly closes the bedroom door.)
(MULDER and SCULLY enter the hospital. They find LIEUTENANT NEARY.)
SCULLY: How is he?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Heís gone. I got down to see him. Heís not in his bed.
MULDER: Did anybody see him get up?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: The nurse said they just finished sewing him up. That he got up to go to the bathroom. That's the last anybody saw of him.
SCULLY: Why would he just take off?
MULDER: Can I see his chart?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: His chart?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Sure, I guess. (goes to get it)
SCULLY: You want to see what his injuries were?
MULDER: I want to see what his blood type was.
SCULLY: His blood type?
MULDER: Why would he run?
SCULLY: You think Chaoís involved?
MULDER: Maybe all this heel dragging's a diversion. That ghost story's a ruse. What was the hemotype of the blood we found on the carpet padding? (LIEUTENANT NEARY hands him the chart) Thank you.
SCULLY: (checking her notes) Uh, O-negative.
MULDER: Glen Chao, O-negative. Well, that's a coincidence.
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Wait a minute. What are you saying?
SCULLY: That the blood that we found on the carpet padding in the victim's apartment was Detective Chaoís.
MULDER: And Iíd be willing to bet that he's the one who asked for it to be installed.
SCULLY: Mr. Hsin.
MULDER: Yeah. That conversation they had wasn't about any firetrap.
(HSINís apartment. KIM opens apartment door a crack to see MULDER and SCULLY in the hall.)
SCULLY: We're looking for Mr. Hsin. Is he home?
KIM: No. I'm sorry.
SCULLY: Are you his daughter?
SCULLY: May we talk to you?
(Later, they sit talking.)
MULDER: What's your father involved in, Kim?
KIM: I don't know. He goes out. I know he does it for me. Because of me.
SCULLY: You're sick, aren't you?
KIM: Um, I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia six months ago.
SCULLY: But that's a treatable form of cancer.
KIM: We have no money or insurance. And now, I fear that my father has done something illegal, that he made a mistake and something bad is coming.
MULDER: Who are these men that come to visit your father?
KIM: Oh, I don't know them. I just know my father say he want out. He want out. But of what, I don't know.
MULDER: (showing her the tile) Do you know what this is?
MULDER: Do you know what it says? I found it Ö over there by the TV before.
KIM: It is, uh, the symbol for wood but in Chinese, it also correspond to the eye like fire to the heart, and earth to the flesh.
SCULLY: (looking up from some papers she has been looking through) This is a human leukocyte work-up. Was your father rejected as a bone marrow donor?
KIM: Yes. Several months ago.
SCULLY: This is from the Organ Procurement Organization. Itís dated only a month ago. Your father had an HLA but he also had his kidneys measured, his liver.
MULDER: (realizing) Theyíre playing some kind of game.
(Large room with the Asian men. Men in Suits enter. HSIN sits quietly, waiting.)
(Same time. Organ procurement agency. Knock at door. NURSE lets MULDER and SCULLY in.)
NURSE: Agents Mulder and Scully?
SCULLY: Thanks. We need some information and we need it as soon as possible.
NURSE: What kind of information?
SCULLY: You had a man come in here named Shuyang Hsin. He had an HLA work up and Ö.
NURSE: I think I may know what this is about.
NURSE: Weíve seen a number of Asian men come in for typing and antigen work-ups but when we find a compatible recipient for them their doctor says they've left the area or disappeared.
MULDER: Do you have a name or a phone number for this doctor?
(Large room with Asian men. They all drop their names into the green vase. HSINís name is drawn again.)
VASE MAN: Hsin Shuyang. Hsin Shuyang.
(HSIN stares in shock.)
(CUT TO: MULDER and SCULLY pull up outside the restaurant.)
MULDER: 311 Porter, right.
SCULLY: Yeah. Thatís where the doctorís phone is registered.
(They see CHAO enter the building.)
MULDER: Hey Scully, look whoís here. This must be the place, after all.
(Inside building, HSIN shakes the vase and draws a tile. VASE MAN takes the tile and reads it.)
VASE MAN: Xin!
(HSIN doesnít react. Crowd reacts loudly. HSIN is led out of the room. This is bad. CHAO, now in the room too, watches silently.)
(MULDER and SCULLY pick the lock and enter the first floor of the restaurant. With flashlights, they explore what appears to be a dark kitchen - long tables and refrigerators.)
MULDER: Itís definitely not Chinese food Iím smelling.
(They see a fresh red stain on the floor.)
MULDER: It smells like rubbing alcohol.
SCULLY: Or sterile ice.
(MULDER opens the commercial refrigerator. There are lots of objects packed in ice.)
MULDER: Whatís this?
(He removes a plastic tray with several glass jars packed in ice. They look at one of the jars. It contains a human eye.)
(CUT TO: DR. WU checks HSINís pupils to see if he is unconscious. Two other men carry him to an operating table.)
(CUT TO: Upstairs room with all the Asian men. CHAO reaches out to stop TILE MAN who brushes him aside.
TILE MAN: (in Chinese) What are you doing?
CHAO: (in Chinese) I canít let you do this.
TILE MAN: (in Chinese) Youíve been warned once, Chao. There will be no more warnings.
CHAO: (in Chinese) Let him go. His daughter is dying. You are killing two people. Not one.
TILE MAN: (in Chinese) That is the game, Mr. Chao. Those are the risks. You are just as much a part of it. We paid you well to protect the game from the foreigners.
CHAO: (in Chinese, nodding) Then this game Ö. (Yells, angry) Ö is over!!!
(CHAO flips table over, shattering the vase and dumping the money and tiles on the floor. CHAO looks down at the tiles. They all have the same symbol on them.)
CHAO: (in Chinese) Theyíre all the same. (Yells to the other men.) This game is fixed.
(Men all begin loudly rioting against the men in suits.)
(CUT TO: Downstairs, MULDER and SCULLY hear the men yelling.)
SCULLY: What is that?
MULDER: It sounds like itís coming from upstairs.
(They run toward the stairs.)
(CUT TO: Operating room, iodine is spread across the drugged HSINís chest. HARD-FACED MAN is giving instructions.)
(CUT TO: MULDER and SCULLY enter large room where riot is still going on.)
(CUT TO: Operating room. HSIN regains partial consciousness, sees beautiful Asian woman reaching her hand out to him.)
HSIN: (in Chinese, weakly, to the woman) Forgive me. I beg you to forgive me.
(The image of the woman is replaced by HARD-FACED MAN holding a scalpel.)
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) They forgive you.
(HARD-FACED MAN places the blade of the scalpel on HSINís chest. CHAO kicks the door open, gun out.)
CHAO: (in Chinese) Step away.
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese) Youíre too late.
CHAO: (in Chinese) I said step away!
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese, stepping back) Chao. Donít be a fool!
(CHAO shoots HARD-FACED MAN in the shoulder. Behind CHAO, MULDER kicks in another door and holds gun on CHAO.)
MULDER: Chao? Hands in the air. Hands in the air!
(SCULLY passes them, gun out, and goes to check HSIN.)
SCULLY: Heís still alive.
(MULDER begins cuffing CHAO.)
HARD-FACED MAN: (in Chinese, to CHAO) Chao. You should have killed me.
MULDER: What did he say?
CHAO: He said Ö the gameís not over.
(Police interrogation room. SCULLY interviewing HARD-FACED MAN who casually smokes a cigarette.)
HARD-FACED MAN: My people live with ghosts. The ghosts of our fathers and our fathers' fathers. They call to us from distant memory, showing us the path.
(He slightly smiles and takes a puff of the cigarette.)
SCULLY: No ghosts called to those men. You did, by preying on their hopelessness and their desperation.
HARD-FACED MAN: Yes-- they were desperate. Just as I was desperate when I first came to this country but I committed no crime.
SCULLY: You cheated them out of life by promising them prosperity when the only possible reward was death.
HARD-FACED MAN: In my belief, death is nothing to be feared. It's merely a stage of transition but life without hope-- now, that's living hell. So, hope was my gift to these men. (SCULLY sighs angrily) I don't expect you to understand.
SCULLY: I understand this. You are going to prison for a very long time.
(MULDER enters the room.)
MULDER: (to SCULLY) Can I talk to you for a minute?
(SCULLY stares at HARD-FACED MAN with hatred, then follows MULDER into the hallway.)
MULDER: I just got back from St. Francis Hospital. Hsin's still in intensive care.
SCULLY: What about his daughter?
MULDER: I checked with the donor procurement organization. Sheís been put on the recipient list.
SCULLY: That's great.
(LIEUTENANT NEARY is waiting for them. He doesnít look happy.)
SCULLY: What's wrong?
LIEUTENANT NEARY: Itís our case against this guy. We've had our task force interviewing everybody we busted at the gaming parlor that night.
MULDER: They put up a wall of silence. They all claim to be members of some social club. That they saw nothing.
SCULLY: What about Chao? His testimony would be enough.
LIEUTENANT NEARY: We can't find him.
MULDER: He was supposed to testify before a grand jury this morning. When he didn't show, they went to his home. He's vanished. Like a ghost.
(SCULLY stares at MULDER.)
(Shot of peephole in crematorium. CHAO wakes up. He is lying down in the crematorium. He turns his head slowly and sees a blue pilot light next to him. There is one second of realization, then the space bursts into flame. Through the flame, we see the Chinese symbol for "ghost" painted on the wall.)