(Late evening. A very nice mansion, huge staircase and chandelier in the entry hall. DR. ROBERT WIEDER and his family, are returning from an awards banquet. They are formally dressed and very playful and happy, but also tired from the night's activities. DR. WIEDER is about 50. He is warm and charming.)
DR. WIEDER: Jell-o salad with little pear chunks. It's the Wednesday special at the hospital cafeteria. I can't escape it.
(NAN WIEDER is a lovely, gracious woman. She looks about 40. She teases her husband affectionately.)
MRS. WIEDER: Listen to you. That didn't stop you from eating my dessert.
DR. WIEDER: Well, all right, the profiteroles weren't bad.
(DR. WIEDER resets the house alarm.)
DR. WIEDER: You didn't want me to starve, did you?
(His daughter, LUCY, enters. She looks about twenty. She is carrying a large, heavy engraved glass award.)
LUCY: He ate mine, too. Daddy, why don't you take this before my arm falls off?
DR. WIEDER: Thanks, honey.
(He takes it from her and mock groans at the weight.)
DR. WIEDER: Oh.
(IRVING, MRS. WIEDER's father, follows them into the house. He is holding a camera. He holds it up.)
IRVING: Everybody... One last shot.
(The other three reluctantly pose at the bottom of the staircase.)
MRS. WIEDER: Oh, Dad, do you think we could draw the line at 600 photographs?
IRVING: 601. Quit griping. And hold up that eyesore, Robert. God knows when you're going to win another one.
(IRVING sets the camera on a table and begins focusing.)
DR. WIEDER: Irv, you want to think about staying the night? It's awful late to head back to the city.
IRVING: (smiling) What, I get to stay at the home of the Bay Area Doctor of the Year? It's a deal.
(IRVING sets the timer on the camera and goes to stand behind the others. He rests his arm proudly on DR. WIEDER's back.)
IRVING: Proud of you, Robert. (indicating the award) Up, hold it up. Say, "cheese."
(The camera takes the picture.)
(Later, DR. and MRS. WIEDER are getting into bed. MRS. WIEDER is reading the awayd.)
MRS. WIEDER: "Presented to Dr. Robert Wieder, M.D. For the great wisdom skill and compassion he exhibits in the practice of medicine." (she kisses his head) Going to look awfully nice in your office. What are you thinking?
DR. WIEDER: How this is just the cherry on top. How lucky I am.
(They gaze lovingly at each other. They kiss and he sets the award on the nightstand.)
(Guest room. IRVING is getting ready for bed. He turns the sheets down and is surprised to see a small human shape made out of dirt on the sheet. He brushes at the dirt, smearing the figure. He turns in shock to the MAN standing behind him. The MAN is tall, stringy graying hair, and disturbing eyes. He is not here to read IRVING a bedtime story.)
(Later that evening. DR. and MRS WIEDER are asleep. They are wakened by a beep from the alarm panel in their room. DR. WIEDER gets up to check it. The motion sensor in zone 1 has been activated.)
MRS. WIEDER: What is it?
DR. WIEDER: The downstairs motion sensor.
MRS. WIEDER: You think Dad tripped the alarm?
DR. WIEDER: The alarm hasn't been tripped. You got me. I'm going to check it out.
(He goes downstairs and sees IRVING at the bottom of the staircase.)
DR. WIEDER: Irv? Irving? Is everything all right?
(He reaches out and touches IRVING's shoulder. IRVING rotates toward him. We now see that he is hanging by the neck from the ornate chandelier two stories above. DR. WIEDER stumbles back in horror. He pushes the alarm panel panic button, then stares at the wall behind IRVING's body. Crudely written in what looks like blood is the word "TheeF.")
(MULDER and SCULLY are in the house looking at the crime scene. MULDER is looking at the word on the wall. SCULLY, in black, walks up behind him.)
MULDER: What do you think, Scully, is this a name, possibly? Or a code, or an anagram?
SCULLY: "T-h-e-e-f." I assume it's supposed to be t-h-I-e-f-- "thief."
MULDER: Insert your own Dan Quayle joke here.
(SCULLY gives him a small smile.)
MULDER: Lousy spelling aside, what do you think it refers to? Who's the thief?
SCULLY: Well, that's certainly one question. I've got many.
MULDER: "Mulder, why are we here?"
SCULLY: To be fair, I might have used the words "Mulder, how is this an X-File?"
MULDER: You see that, Scully, you always keep me guessing.
(He smiles, clicks his tounge, and walks over to the end of the cable still suspended from the chandelier. The body has already been removed.)
MULDER: This is Dr. Irving Thalbro, age 66. Found hanged with his throat cut. His family tucked away and in bed not 40 feet from here didn't see or hear anything.
SCULLY: Which would certainly shine the light of suspicion on them.
MULDER: Except they're the ones that called it in and there's no evidence whatsoever to link them to the crime.
SCULLY: Which is why the police are rightly wondering if Dr. Thalbro killed himself.
MULDER: (standing behind her, pointing to the word on the wall) Except who, then, did this? Blood pattern doesn't indicate that the good doctor did it, who I am assuming could read and write above a fourth-grade level.
SCULLY: I'll admit, Mulder this is not an open and shut case. But, uh … (whispering back over her shoulder) … it doesn't make it an X-File.
MULDER: (whispering mysteriously back at her) Oh, there is one detail that does.
(He heads upstairs. She follows.)
(MULDER and SCULLY In the guest room that IRVING used. MULDER shows SCULLY the smeared dirt on the bed. She has her hands on her hips.)
MULDER: Dirt. It's a very powerful component of hexcraft. As well as the pattern in which it was originally arranged. Check this out.
(They use his flashlight to look closely at the smeared shape.)
MULDER: Looks like a human form.
SCULLY: (sighs) Hexcraft, as in, uh, putting a curse on someone? Murdering them magically?
(MULDER begins putting some of the dirt into an evidence bag.)
MULDER: Yeah, that's what it looks like to me. Now, I know what you're going to say, Scully.
SCULLY: No, hexcraft. I mean, I'll buy that as the intent here. It certainly jibes with the evidence. I say we talk to the family.
(SCULLY walks to the door, then looks over her shoulder at a stunned MULDER who is still kneeling next to the bed.)
SCULLY: I'll always keep you guessing.
(MULDER and SCULLY are interviewing DR. WIEDER. MRS. WIEDER and LUCY are sitting together on the couch. All three are still very upset.)
DR. WIEDER: It was probably the greatest night of my life. Until...
SCULLY: Sir, can you think of any enemies that your father-in-law might have made? Maybe inadvertently through his medical practice or a business dealing, perhaps?
DR. WIEDER: Everybody loved Irving. Everyone who knew him. He was... (voice breaking, looks at his wife) No. I can't conceive of it.
MULDER: Dr. Wieder, do you have any enemies?
(DR. WIEDER looks up in shock.)
MULDER: I'm sorry, I have to ask. There was a message left behind. If it doesn't refer to your father-in-law, it may refer to you.
LUCY: (crying) "Theef?" Are you asking if my Dad's a thief? He saves people's lives. He's a good man.
(MRS. WIEDER holds her.)
DR. WIEDER: Honey...
(He turns back to MULDER and SCULLY.)
DR. WIEDER: If I have any enemies I don't know them.
(Old run down house with a sign out front advertising "Rooms for Rent. 555-5208?" Inside, the LANDLADY, 50ish, a bit overweight, is pushing a carpet sweeper. She keeps one hand on her lower back and has a slightly pained grimace. The television is on.)
FEMALE REPORTER ON TV: ..at the home of his son-in-law. Dr. Robert Wieder, Dr. Irving Thalbro was found hanged at 1:48 this morning. Though details are sketchy, it's my understanding that police are treating the case as a murder. This is due in part to clues or evidence left at the scene according to spokesman Dan Merkin who will only characterize them as bizarre or ritualistic. Though Dr. Thalbro's family was in the house at the time of his death, they apparently are not...
(The LANDLADY sniffs the air and goes to one of the doors in the hall. She knocks.)
LANDLADY: Hello? Mr. Peattie?
(Under the door, she sees the shadow of someone standing in the room.)
LANDLADY: Mr. Peattie, I know you're in there. Are you cooking? You aren't supposed to be cooking.
(The MAN from the TEASER, ORAL PEATTIE, opens the door a crack.)
LANDLADY: You aren't supposed to be cooking.
(PEATTIE has a thick southern mountain accent.)
PEATTIE: That smell like something you want to eat?
LANDLADY: Well, what is it, then?
LANDLADY: Oh, all right, uh... just so long as you're not cooking.
PEATTIE: Seems like you could use yourself a poultice for your back. Old Peattie fix you right up. Be ready later.
(He closes the door. In his room, the camera pans across assorted containers holding various liquids and herbs. PEATTIE is muttering under his breath as he stitches together a small, crudely shaped cloth doll figure. Another doll figure lies completed on the table and another dangles nearby from a string tied around it's neck.)
(A car pulls up in front of the Marin County Morgue. MC Morgue. MULDER joins SCULLY where she is examining part of IRVING's brain in the microscope.)
MULDER: Hey, Scully.
MULDER: This dirt we found? Gas chromatograph shows pronounced spikes of methane and sulphur compounds - the signature of decay. It's graveyard dirt. Also known as conjure dust. It's one of the most powerful hexing elements whether for good or evil, not the kind of stuff you want to be on the wrong end of.
MULDER: (suggestively) Go ahead, Scully, keep me guessing.
SCULLY: (finally looking up at him) Kuru.
MULDER: (laughing) The, the, the, uh... the disease that New Guinea tribesmen get?
SCULLY: From eating the brains of their relatives.
MULDER: And I thought my grandpa slurping his soup was bad.
SCULLY: Practically speaking, Mulder, Kuru doesn't even exist anymore. Not in New Guinea and certainly not in the U.S. But this man's cerebellum and his striatum clearly show signs of it, Mulder. I mean, these... these amyloid plaques? His brain is riddled with them.
MULDER: Kuru makes you crazy, right?
SCULLY: Yeah, stark raving, among other things but in this case, stark raving mad enough to slit his own throat and hang himself.
(MULDER shakes his head dismissively.)
SCULLY: Mulder, that's what his autopsy shows. From the wound pattern to the blood spray... this man did it to himself, there's no question.
MULDER: Unless... it was inflicted upon him. The graveyard dirt, the hex. He was given this disease so that he would kill himself.
(SCULLY considers it.)
(WIEDER house. MRS. WIEDER is upstairs in her nightgown. She notices a picture frame askew on the wall. The picture is missing. She takes it off the wall and looks at it. DR. WIEDER calls to her from downstairs.)
DR WEIDER: Nan? Honey?
MRS. WIEDER: Robert? Look at this.
(As she goes downstairs with the frame, we see PEATTIE hiding in one of the upstairs rooms, watching her. He is holding the missing picture.)
MRS. WIEDER: Who would've taken that?
DR. WIEDER: The police probably. Could be they needed it as evidence.
(DR. WIEDER seems unconcerned. MRS. WIEDER is nervous.)
(Another part of the house. PEATTIE has cut out MRS. WIEDER's face from the picture and is tucking it inside one of the doll figures that he made. He puts what looks like a strand of blonde hair that he was holding in his mouth inside the doll also. He hears the WEIDERs entering their bedroom.)
MRS. WIEDER: That's not what I'm afraid of.
DR. WIEDER: Then you have nothing to worry about. ... a good night's sleep.
MRS. WIEDER: I'm telling you, I'm scared. I can't stay here, Robert. I can't live in this house anymore. Lucy can't. Not after what's happened here. And now this picture of us is missing.
DR. WIEDER: It'll turn up.
MRS. WIEDER: No. Doesn't make any sense. Nothing that's happened here makes any sense.
DR. WIEDER: (comforting her) It does. Nan... listen to me. Your Dad was ill. He had a kind of progressive dementia. That's what the FBI autopsy showed. I reviewed their findings, and I have to agree. Honey... we will get through this.
(DR. WIEDER goes to the bed and turns down the sheets on her side of the bed. Another dirt figure is on the bed. DR. WIEDER stares at it, then turns just as MRS. WIEDER collapses on the floor and begins convulsing. He runs to her.)
DR. WIEDER: Oh, my God! Nan? Honey?
(MRS. WIEDER's face and neck suddenly break out in black hives. She is having trouble breathing.)
DR. WIEDER: Oh, my god. Nan!
(LUCY comes to the bedroom door.)
DR. WIEDER: Lucy, call 911.
(LUCY is frozen in shock.)
DR. WIEDER: Call 911!
(LUCY runs to a phone.)
DR. WIEDER: Nan!
(Outside the house, PEATTIE is sitting next to the steaming Jacuzzi next to the crystal blue pool. He holds the doll close to his lips as her mutters to it.)
(Next morning. DR. WIEDER is standing next to MRS. WIEDER's bed. She is hooked up to monitors. Her skin is mottled, swollen. She is unconscious. MULDER opens the door.)
MULDER: Dr. Wieder?
(DR. WIEDER joins MULDER and SCULLY in the hall.)
SCULLY: We understand you've made a diagnosis.
DR. WIEDER: Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis. Old world type.
(SCULLY stares at him in surprise.)
MULDER: I take it that's rare.
SCULLY: In San Francisco? It's unheard of. Maybe in... in Central Africa...
MULDER: Maybe the rarer, the better.
DR. WIEDER: What do you mean by that?
MULDER: Someone directed this to happen to your wife, just as someone directed what happened to your father-in-law.
DR. WIEDER: My enemy you were talking about. The one who thinks I'm a thief.
(DR. WIEDER looks at SCULLY.)
DR WIEDER: Agent, you're a doctor. Explain to your partner that no one can "direct" a person to get sick.
(Fortunately, MULDER saves her from having to answer that.)
MULDER: The dirt you found in your bed drawn in the shape of a body. That's indicative of folk magic. That's what I believe is being used against you.
DR. WIEDER: Folk magic. You mean like Baba Yaga... Gypsies.
MULDER: I was actually thinking less Eastern and more Celtic.
(SCULLY glances at him.)
MULDER: Maybe... Scots-Irish or Appalachian, even.
DR. WIEDER: I'm supposed to take this seriously?
SCULLY: Sir, regardless of the particulars I think it's clear that there was an intruder in your home and I think it would be prudent for you to accept our protection and help us to identify this person.
DR. WIEDER: Prudent for me would be to continue treating my wife.
MULDER: If we don't stop who's causing this, your treatments won't matter.
DR. WIEDER: So... modern medicine, and all it encompasses-- artificial hearts, laser surgery gene therapy, to name a few-- all of that arrayed against a pile of magic dirt... and you tell me I'll lose.
(Pause. MULDER and SCULLY look at each other.)
DR. WIEDER: I have MRIs to look at.
(DR. WIEDER leaves the hall.)
SCULLY: Oh, yeah, Mulder, win him over.
MULDER: Oh, he will lose unless we can find a way to stop it.
SCULLY: What do you suggest?
MULDER: A second opinion.
(MRI viewing room. DR WIEDER is looking in shock at pictures of his wife's brain. All the images have the word "TheeF" visible on the brain. He turns at the sound of PEATTIE chuckling in the doorway.)
PEATTIE: Truth always hurts, don't it, Doc?
DR. WIEDER: Who are you?
DR. WIEDER: Is this you? You did this? What do you want from me?
PEATTIE: Oh, don't you be fretting none about that. I gettin' my nickel's worth. You're doing a fine job so far.
DR. WIEDER: What the hell are you talking about? What is this all about?
PEATTIE: Lynette Peattie. And don't you be saying you don't recollect her, uh-uh! No, no, no.
DR. WIEDER: Look, if I've done anything to upset you, I... It's no use trying to intimidate me if I don't know how I've offended you. Tell me! What makes me a thief?
PEATTIE: You be a smart man. I figure... you ponder it awhile, it gonna come to you.
(PEATTIE rests his head against the door jamb, then leaves the room. DR. WIEDER hesitates a moment, then runs after him.)
DR. WIEDER: Wait!
(The hall is empty. PEATTIE is nowhere to be seen.)
(Later. DR. WIEDER is with a hospital RECORDS CLERK who is looking up files on LYNETTE PEATTIE for him.)
TECH: No, no matter how I spell it, there's no Lynette Peattie.
DR. WIEDER: She's not in my patient file?
TECH: She's not in any doctor's patient file. No one by that name has ever been admitted to the hospital. You think you treated her?
DR. WIEDER: What about Jane Does?
(The TECH pulls up the files dated "Dec 15, 1997; Mar 28 1999; Oct 7, 1999.")
TECH: You treated three in the last two years.
DR. WIEDER: Pull the files, please.
(Later, DR. WIEDER is looking at the files. One of them listing the time of death as 13:58, contains a plastic bag containing a small strip of fabric with crude lettering on it. "Flax-hair lamb. TheeF of mine heart." DR. WIEDER takes a deep breath.)
(The rooming house. In his room PEATTIE is muttering over his shoulder as he works on another doll. Cut out pictures of DR. WIEDER and LUCY are lying on the table.)
PEATTIE: You remember old Boon, I know you do. This mangy old ugly dog.. Smart! People-smart... and then some. Oh, he sure did love you. He crawled up under that house the very day you left... Wouldn't come out for nothin'. Not no ham bone, nothin'. He just knew that his life was over. You stole his heart, too. Oh, you shouldn't oughta left.
(He hears footsteps approaching and goes to the door and opens it quickly, startling the LANDLADY.)
LANDLADY: (nervously) Oh, you're there. I'm... wanted to thank you. That poultice... worked a miracle on my back. I was about to knock and... and ask if I could get a little more.
(PEATTIE goes to a drawer near the door and refills the poultice and hands it to her.)
LANDLADY: Whatever that is it sure is stinky.
PEATTIE: Stinky's good.
(He closes the door.)
(Door opens into a mystic and herbal shop. A magical looking seal with a pentagram is on the floor near the door. Camera shows two pairs of feet entering, one male, one in very nice heels. MULDER and SCULLY stop at the seal, then both walk around it. Very funny.)
PROPRIETER: Good afternoon. Can I help you?
MULDER: Yeah, we're looking for some alternative medical advice.
PROPRIETER: Oh, well, you've come to the right place. I get a lot of folks fed up with their HMOs. . SCULLY: Well, actually, we're not here for us.
(MULDER pulls out the evidence bag containing the dirt collected from the WIEDER house. The PROPRIETER holds up her hand.)
PROPRIETER: Whoa, Chief... back in your pocket.
SCULLY: It's dirt.
PROPRIETER: It's goofer dust is what it is. I don't know what your intentions are with that.
SCULLY: Goofer dust?
MULDER: Conjure dust... Goofer dust. How would you go about making somebody sick using that?
(The PROPRIETER looks at them suspiciously. MULDER holds up his badge.)
MULDER: We're investigating a murder. That's why I'm asking.
PROPRIETER: Oh... Speaking strictly in the academic sense you'd spread it on or near your victim to direct misfortune.
MULDER: So you could give them any illness you wanted? One that you chose specifically for them?
PROPRIETER: Oh... that's a lot trickier. It requires something special.
(The PROPRIETER goes to another part of the store and gets out a packaged small red cloth doll figure. It is similar in size and shape to what PEATTIE makes, but these are machine made.)
SCULLY: (skeptically) A voodoo doll.
PROPRIETER: No, they're called "poppets". Inside you place three thorns of a blood red rose, a strand of hair and a photo of your victim. Maybe other items as well. It depends on the operator. You sew it up, say your spell.
MULDER: How would you counteract one of these?
PROPRIETER: It depends on who you're dealing with. But if the person you're looking for is powerful enough to bring about a murder he's probably charmed.
SCULLY: Which would mean what?
PROPRIETER: It means just that. He's drawing on the energy of a charm. A source of magic power... It could be any item provided that it's very important to him. Something that holds great meaning for him and unless you can separate him from his charm, you're out of luck.
(SCULLY looks up at MULDER who nods.)
(Hospital break room. A MED STUDENT is sitting at a table. PEATTIE is looking intently at the food vending machine. He stops the machine when he sees a bag of microwave popcorn.)
PEATTIE: Poppin' corn.
(PEATTIE tries to open the door to get the snack. The MED STUDENT looks up, obviously thinking that this guy is weird.)
TECH: You got to put the money in first.
(PEATTIE puts money in the machine and gets the popcorn. He look at it suspiciously.)
PEATTIE: Don't look like no poppin' corn to me.
TECH: Put it in the microwave... then you get your popcorn.
PEATTIE: Oh, microwave. I heard tell of such a thing. It's a true wonder.
(PEATTIE puts the bag into the microwave and pushes the buttons to start it cooking.)
PEATTIE: Radiation... comes from the heart of the atom. I think it be God's own glow.
(He looks up at the window to the hall. DR. WIEDER and LUCY are passing.)
(DR WIEDER leading his daughter, LUCY, into the MRI machine room. She is nervous.)
DR. WIEDER: Honey, she's doing much better. Come see for yourself. You're going to be very happy, I promise. The drug therapy I'm giving her is working wonders. Come on. Come see.
(LUCY goes to her mother, MRS. WIEDER, who is lying on a table, ready to be put into the machine. She looks tired, but not too bad.)
MRS. WIEDER: Hi, Sweetie.
LUCY: You look good.
MRS. WIEDER: Yeah, right. But I am definitely feeling better.
(She looks up at her husband.)
MRS. WIEDER: So how come I have to go through this thing again?
DR. WIEDER: Come on. This thing gives off about as much radiation as a dental x- ray. Nothing to worry about.
MRS. WIEDER: I know, still scares me. Wish me luck?
(In the break room, PEATTIE gets the steaming bag of popcorn out of the microwave. He glances over his shoulder to make sure the MED STUDENT is not watching him. He takes a poppet out of his pocket and makes sure a picture of MRS. WIEDER is tucked inside. He places it inside the microwave and starts the machine.)
(MRI room. MRS. WIEDER is put into the machine and the hammering sound begins.))
(In the break room, the poppet continues "cooking" in the microwave.)
(MRI room. In the tube, MRS. WIEDER feels something wrong.)
(In the break room, the poppet begins to smoke inside the microwave.)
(In the MRI room, the TECH notices something wrong. MRS. WIEDER's feet are shaking violently.)
RADIOLOGY TECH: Doctor!
DR. WIEDER: Switch it off. Switch it off!
(The machine is turned off and DR. WIEDER runs and pulls his wife out of the machine. She is dead, burned to a crisp. DR. WIEDER touches her, then recoils from the heat of her burned skin. He stares speechlessly in horror at her dead body.)
(In the break room, PEATTIE removes the smoking poppet from the microwave and looks at the picture. The picture is unharmed.)
PEATTIE: All done.
(In his house, DR. WIEDER is staring at the last picture taken of his family. He is crying. MULDER and SCULLY stand nest to him.)
DR. WIEDER: How could somebody orchestrate all of this?
SCULLY: You believe that your wife was murdered?
DR. WIEDER: It was no accident. There was no malfunction of the machine. Yes, I believe she was murdered.
MULDER: And you still have no idea why?
(DR. WIEDER doesn't answer. MULDER pulls out a picture of MRS. WIEDER's burned corpse. The word "TheeF" is branded into the chest.)
MULDER: The pathologist found this branded into your wife's chest.
SCULLY: Sir, we can't help you if you withhold information from us.
(After a pause, DR. WIEDER gets up and begins pacing.)
DR. WIEDER: A man came to see me yesterday. My age, older, maybe. Tall. He mentioned someone named Lynette Peattie. I didn't know who she was at first. Turns out she was a Jane Doe I treated last October. She was in a bus rollover. Came in amid a wave of victims. She was the worst off. I could barely put fluids in fast enough to keep up with the blood loss. (his voice cracks) We were rushing around, triaging people. Everybody knew she was dying. Was only a matter of time. And she was in agony.
(Listening to this is painful for SCULLY. DR. WIEDER gets the chart on the girl.)
DR. WIEDER: This was my course of treatment.
(He hands SCULLY the chart. The girl was in bad shape. It indicates that 25 ccs of Morphine was administered.)
SCULLY: You gave her morphine. Lots of it.
DR. WIEDER: I pushed it myself. She kept screaming... and her heart rate kept climbing. So... I kept pushing.
(MULDER and SCULLY look at him sympathetically.)
DR. WIEDER: I took maybe the last 20 minutes of her life. It was a fair trade to make for the pain.
MULDER: Her father doesn't agree.
SCULLY: What makes you think it's her father?
MULDER: He thinks you robbed him of his family, and that's why he's systematically robbing you of yours.
DR. WIEDER: What am I supposed to do? My... my daughter Lucy.
MULDER: You don't do anything. You let us find a way to protect you.
DR. WIEDER: How?
MULDER: I have an idea where to start.
(This has to be the most depressing graveyard in North America. A small patch of land surrounded by interstate contains several dozen simple graves. A backhoe is working to excavate one of the graves. MULDER and SCULLY are both carrying umbrellas as they walk to the scene. Her umbrella fits completely under his. Adorable image.)
SCULLY: If Lynette Peattie was Carlos the Jackal I would've had an easier time tracking her down. There's no birth certificate, no social security number, nothing.
MULDER: Better known to the world as "Jane Doe 6149."
SCULLY: Her name shows up once in the records of a Vista inoculation program-- 1981. The Allegheny mountains of West Virginia.
MULDER: Deepest Appalachia.
SCULLY: That's when her father, one Oral Peattie refused to allow her to be inoculated against polio. But there's no address for him. There's no record of him whatsoever. So, Mulder, why are we exhuming this girl?
MULDER: Well, I'm thinking of her dear old backwoods Dad and where he gets all his graveyard dirt.
SCULLY: Here? His daughter's grave?
MULDER: The cultists we spoke to said that the person casting these magic spells was charmed. That he had a source of power that was very meaningful to him and he kept it close by.
SCULLY: Lynette Peattie's body.
MULDER: That's my guess. So as long as her body remains here resting in peace in the Bay Area, he remains powerful. But if we were to ship it off to Quantico...
(The coffin has been raised out of the ground. MULDER and SCULLY go up to it. MULDER hands his umbrella to SCULLY.)
MULDER: Hold that.
(MULDER opens the simple coffin. It is empty.)
(Rooming house. The LANDLADY knocks at PEATTIE's door.)
LANDLADY: Mr. Peattie?! Mr. Peattie, my pain's back. I was wondering if I could get a little more of that poultice? Mr. Peattie?
(No answer. She is in pain. She takes her keyring out and opens the door and goes into the room. It still smells bad.)
(She goes to the drawer where she saw him get the ingredients. She turns quickly when she realizes there is someone lying in the bed.)
LANDLADY: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were home. I...
(The figure in the bed does not respond. She flips back the sheet on the bed exposing the decomposed corpse of a small woman. The LANDLADY screams and runs for the door. PEATTIE has arrived home and is standing in the way. She stares up at him in shock.)
(DR. WIEDER's house. A sense of urgency is in the whole scene. MULDER is on his cell phone.)
MULDER: (on phone) All right, thank you. They'll be there before dark.
(He hangs up. DR. WIEDER and LUCY, carrying bags, are coming down the stairs followed by SCULLY who is checking her watch.)
MULDER: You all set?
DR. WIEDER: We still don't know where it is we're going?
MULDER: We rented a cabin for you. It's important that you get out of town.
DR. WIEDER: And you believe by our leaving will somehow weaken him?
SCULLY: Well, what's important is that he believes that. At any rate, if he can't find you he can't hurt you.
DR. WIEDER: How do you know he'll come forward?
MULDER: Because he hasn't gotten everything he wants.
(Both MULDER and DR. WIEDER glance at LUCY who looks very scared.)
(Outside the house, PEATTIE watches as SCULLY gets into a car. DR. WIEDER and LUCY are in the back seat. PEATTIE watches as they drive away.)
(WIEDER house. MULDER and a SECURITY GUARD are inside the house. (MULDER glances out the window. The SECURITY GUARD is looking at the news on television.)
TV ANCHOR: Our own John Gilnitz is on the scene.
JOHN GILNITZ THE TV REPORTER: San Mateo County health officials admit they're at a loss to explain the sudden onset of the 56-year-old woman's bizarre illness but insist there is no cause for alarm.
SECURITY GUARD: Pretty weird, huh?
(MULDER nods, watching the report.)
JOHN GILNITZ THE TV REPORTER: There has been no official diagnosis. Sources say they believe the woman contracted the rare, but deadly, group "A" streptococcus, better known as the "flesh-eating disease."
(On television, JOHN GILNITZ is standing outside the rooming house.)
SECURITY GUARD: Freakin' scary...
(The SECURITY GUARD turns just in time to see MULDER leaving through the French doors.)
(MULDER and POLICE burst into PEATTIE's room, guns and flashlights out. PEATTIE is not there. They look around. MULDER turns the sheet back on the bed. The corpse is still there, but the head is gone.)
(A cabin in a remote area. SCULLY, DR. WIEDER, and LUCY are entering the cabin. SCULLY's cell phone rings. She answers it.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Scully.
(MULDER is still in the rooming house.)
MULDER: (on phone) Peattie may be on to us.
SCULLY: (on phone) What happened?
MULDER: (on phone) I found out where he lives only he's cleared out, and he's taken his magic charm with him. At least as much of it as he can carry. My guess is he's looking for you.
(DR. WIEDER is embracing his daughter comfortingly.)
SCULLY: (on phone, quietly) I didn't see anybody following us.
MULDER: (on phone) Just keep an eye out, Scully. I'm on my way.
SCULLY: (on phone) Okay.
(She hangs up. She and the WIEDER's share a nervous glance.)
(Outside in the darkness behind the cabin, PEATTIE is hiding. He looks down at the now-severed decomposed head of his daughter.)
PEATTIE: Soon. Very soon.
(Outside the cabin, PEATTIE is approaching the cabin. He stops at the car and uses his fist to break in the driver's side window.)
(In the cabin. SCULLY is downstairs. DR. WIEDER and LUCY are up in the loft. They hear the sound of the car window breaking.. SCULLY turns and holds her gun pointed at the door.)
DR. WIEDER: (whispering) What was that?
SCULLY: Stay where you are.
(She walks over to the wall slowly and turns out the light.)
(Outside, PEATTIE is looking through the car. In the console between the front seats, he finds SCULLY's clip-on badge. Umm, Scully? Don't leave your badge lying around.)
(in the cabin. SCULLY finding a good location and holding her gun at the door of the cabin.)
(PEATTIE finds a strand of red hair on the drivers seat. He places it inside a poppet along with SCULLY's picture.)
(In the cabin. DR. WIEDER and LUCY are huddled together in the loft. SCULLY is watching the door.)
(Outside, PEATTIE is mumbling to the poppet. He sticks two nails in the poppet's eyes.)
PEATTIE: ...Judas goat.
(Inside the cabin. SCULLY gasps and puts her hand to her eyes.)
SCULLY: Oh! Oh, God!
DR. WIEDER: What is it?
SCULLY: (gasping in pain, disoriented) I don't know. I can't...
(She tries to see her hands in front of her face. Her eyes are completely white, as if she has thick cataracts.)
SCULLY: (panicked) I can't see.
(The door rattles.)
DR. WIEDER: Agent Scully!
SCULLY: Just stay where you are! Stay down.
(The door crashes open. Even though she can't see, SCULLY fires two shots at the doorway. She gasps as PEATTIE grabs her gun from her hand. She holds her hands up protectively. He places the gun on the newel post and starts up the stairs to the loft.)
PEATTIE: (taunting) Oh, doctor!
SCULLY: Leave him alone!
(DR. WIEDER is standing protectively in front of his sobbing daughter. He is holding some kind of stick.)
DR. WIEDER: Get back. Get back! Don't make me hurt you!
PEATTIE: Can't hurt the man who ain't got nothing left. You know who I be now? Maybe you can recollect my daughter.
DR. WIEDER: I remember! I never forgot! I'm... I'm sorry for your loss but I did everything humanly possible to save her.
PEATTIE: You arrogant little man.
DR. WIEDER: I did everything I could! And when I couldn't do any more I eased her suffering!
PEATTIE: By killing her. If I be there... I save her!
DR. WIEDER: (yelling) You weren't there!
(These words hurt PEATTIE. Downstairs, SCULLY is frantically feeling around for her gun.)
PEATTIE: Buried her... in some field. Got no name. Far away from her people. That don't be right. So, now, little man... I gonna show you what be possible. (pointing to his own eyes) I gonna show you... an eye for an eye.
(PEATTIE is holding up a poppet and a knife.)
DR. WIEDER: You're not going to hurt my daughter!
LUCY: (crying) Daddy!
(PEATTIE sticks the tip of the knife into the poppet's chest and begins twisting. DR. WIEDER suddenly collapses, groaning in pain.)
LUCY: Daddy! Daddy!
(Downstairs, SCULLY, still blinded, is still looking for her gun.)
SCULLY: Doctor... What's happening?
LUCY: (holding him) Daddy!
(DR. WIEDER is gasping as PEATTIE continues to twist the knife in the poppet.)
SCULLY: Dr. Wieder!
(Outside the cabin. MULDER arrives. He looks in the car's broken window, then looks around and sees a poppet lying on a small human shaped figure made out of dirt. The poppet has two nails in its eyes.)
(In the cabin. DR. WIEDER is moaning in pain.)
LUCY: (screaming) You're killing him! Oh, Daddy...
( Downstairs, SCULLY falls, looks up and blinks.)
LUCY: Stop! Daddy! Daddy!
(Sudden sound of a gunshot. PEATTIE collapses and falls downstairs. SCULLY, her eyesight back, lowers the gun as she watches him fall. MULDER enters the cabin, gun at the ready. The fire in the fireplace is blazing. He lowers the gun as SCULLY approaches him. He hold up the poppet for her. She looks at the two puncture holes in the poppet's eyes.)
(Hospital room. MULDER and SCULLY stand next to PEATTIE's hospital bed. HE is intubated and unconscious, recovering from the gunshot wound.)
MULDER: Lynette Peattie's body is on its way back home to Indiola, West Virginia.
SCULLY: She's going back to her people after all. You know, Mulder, I would've made the same call... as a doctor... if I was certain that I couldn't save her life and she was in that much pain... I would've done what Wieder did.
MULDER: Mm-hmm. It seems pretty clear-cut.
SCULLY: Except maybe it's not.
MULDER: You're wondering if maybe Peattie could've saved her life?
(SCULLY looks at him, then leaves the room. MULDER watches her go then says softly TO HIMSELF: )
MULDER: You do keep me guessing.
(He looks back at PEATTIE, then follows SCULLY.)