(A woman, NORA PEARCE, mid thirties, is in her living room with CURTIS DELARIO, a few years older. He is looking sadly at a picture of her with another man.)
CURTIS DELARIO: It's just senseless. A man so young as Ray... It's God's cruel trick, Nora.
NORA PEARCE: Don't go blaming God, Curt. You and I know what killed Ray.
(She is sad, but in control of her emotions.)
CURTIS DELARIO: Oh... We don't know anything for sure.
NORA PEARCE: How does a 41-year-old man just... wither away and die?
CURTIS DELARIO: If any of us knew that we'd have done something about it. Maybe it was just his time.
(NORA PEARCE refuses to be comforted, her mind already made up.)
NORA PEARCE: He was a young man when he went over, Curt. Ray got sick because he fought in the Gulf.
CURTIS DELARIO: Now, don't go there, Nora. You just make it worse for yourself. The doctors never said...
NORA PEARCE: They never said! That's right. My husband's dead and no one knows why. Maybe I have to find out myself. They're going to pay for Ray's death-- whoever's to blame.
CURTIS DELARIO: No one's to blame. You're just upset. You need a good night's sleep.
NORA PEARCE: I don't want to sleep, I just...
(She begins crying.)
CURTIS DELARIO: You just want Ray back. (she nods) We all do.
(We see that someone is standing outside watching them through the window. Closed captioning has CURTIS say to NORA: "Get some rest. See you tomorrow, okay?" We follow as CURTIS DELARIO leaves the house. He pauses a moment as if he feels someone watching him, then dismisses it. He gets into his car, starts the engine and drives away. In the car, he starts to light a cigarette, then suddenly slams on the brakes as a MAN steps out into the road. In some pretty cool SFX, the car's hood splits around the immovable figure of the MAN. After the glass stops shattering, CURTIS DELARIO, his face cut and bleeding from the wreck looks up at the MAN who is seemingly unharmed and looking at CURTIS DELARIO with hatred.)
CURTIS DELARIO: Ray?
(CURTIS DELARIO screams as the MAN, RAY PEARCE, smashes the already cracked windshield with his fist, then reaches in and grabs him by the head.)
(Next day. Through the blood-smeared, broken windshield of the car we see SCULLY looking at the damage to the hood of the car. Area is now a crime scene. A wrecker is preparing to haul away the damaged car. DOGGETT, who was talking to the local authorities, joins her where she is standing in the now v-shaped hood area..)
DOGGETT: Car's registered to a Curtis Delario, local address. So far, he's been unreachable.
SCULLY: Well, it's highly unlikely that wherever he is he feels like picking up the phone this morning.
DOGGETT: Muncie PD ran some calculations. Based on the distance traveled, the length of the skid marks, they estimate the car was going at least 40 when it impacted the object, which, according to their math would require something 4,300 times the density of steel to cause the damage we're looking at.
SCULLY: Hmm. It's interesting, isn't it? I mean, uh... in light of the evidence.
TOW TRUCK MAN: Hey, watch yourself.
(The wrecker pulls the car up onto its bed. SCULLY looks down and sees the imprint of two large shoes on the pavement. She kneels down for a better look.)
SCULLY: From their size and shape, these look like men's shoes.
DOGGETT: I hope you're not suggesting that what this car hit was a man, Agent Scully, because there's no way.
SCULLY: Well, these impressions in the asphalt look pretty fresh to me.
DOGGETT: I admit to the coincidence but you know as well as I that if a man were here he'd be splattered from here to tomorrow and there's just no evidence of that.
SCULLY: You're right, which is suspicious in and of itself. I mean, this car definitely hit something and the only evidence that we have are these two prints.
(SCULLY gets up and steps away from the car. DOGGETT does his version of the Scully eye-roll and follows her.)
DOGGETT: You know I hate to ruin your beautiful theory with ugly facts but stop to examine the incident. If a man were standing here, the driver would have stopped.
SCULLY: Well, it looks like he tried to.
DOGGETT: Well, even so, if a man were in the middle of the road with a car coming wouldn't he try to move?
SCULLY: Unless he wanted to stop the car.
DOGGETT: Yes, but if nothing less than a block of steel could stop this car then, ipso facto, it could not have been a man standing in the street last night.
SCULLY: Or certainly no ordinary man.
(DOGGETT and SCULLY regard each other for a moment. SCULLY again steps away.)
(NORA PEARCE comes running out of the house. She is hysterical.)
NORA PEARCE: Just tell me what happened-- where is he? Where...
(The local officers restrain her.)
DOGGETT: Excuse me, ma'am? (shows badge) John Doggett with the FBI. Do you know about this?
NORA PEARCE: What happened? Where is he?
DOGGETT: Curtis Delario, you know him?
NORA PEARCE: He was a friend of my husband's. They worked together at the salvage yard.
DOGGETT: Now, I want you to calm down, Mrs....
NORA PEARCE: Pearce. How am I supposed to calm down? Finding this now, it...
DOGGETT: Well, we're not even sure he was driving the car last night.
NORA PEARCE: He was. He came over after my husband's funeral and then he left and...
(SCULLY, looking in a dumpster a few yards away, calls to DOGGETT.)
SCULLY: Agent Doggett!
(He joins her. She flips open the dumpster lid all the way.
SCULLY: Meet Curtis Delario.
(The very dead bloody body of CURTIS DELARIO is in the dumpster. His forehead and temples have five deep puncture wounds, each a little less than an inch in diameter.)
SCULLY: I guess he won't be much help clearing any of this up.
(Morgue. SCULLY is conducting the autopsy on CURTIS DELARIO. She is measuring the diameter of the holes. She has a CUTE YOUNG MALE ATTENDANT assisting her. DOGGETT enters, file in hand.)
DOGGETT: I think I got some answers.
SCULLY: So do I. It wasn't the crash that killed Curtis Delario. He was badly injured, but he was clearly still alive when his body was pulled … through the car's windshield.
SCULLY: Yeah, these five deep puncture marks match five fingers of one hand.
DOGGETT: You mean, someone just reached right in and...
SCULLY: Like a bowling ball.
DOGGETT: That seems humanly impossible.
SCULLY: Certainly for any ordinary man.
DOGGETT: Well, from the evidence I've gathered the man that did this is actually less than ordinary. I was able to reconstruct a section of the windshield and lift a print from the glass.
DOGGETT: Raymond Aloysius Pearce. Husband of Nora Pearce, woman I spoke with at the accident site.
(He shows her the Indiana State Police file with Pearce's prints.)
DOGGETT: Her recently deceased husband.
SCULLY: Well, if he was recently deceased then it must have been an old print.
DOGGETT: Well, what you would think except along with the print there was evidence of fresh blood and it belongs to Ray Pearce, too.
(Old white building in a run down section of town. RAY PEARCE wakes up in a plain institutional bed in a mostly white room. His cheek appears to have a rash. He looks over at the pillowcase and sees a few drops of blood. He gets up and goes into the bathroom and turns on the fluorescent light. It buzzes for a moment, then finally comes on. He looks at his cheeks in the mirror and then reaches into the medicine cabinet for a pair of toenail clippers. As very sad piano music begins underscoring the scene, he uses the clippers to slowly snip off his beard stubble, one "whisker" at a time. They fall into the sink basin with metallic clinks. He is surprised, but continues the tedious process.)
(DOGGETT knocks at a door. NORA PEARCE answers it.)
DOGGETT: Mrs. Pearce... Agent Doggett again. Sorry to bother you but there are some things I need to go over.
(Another man, HARRY ODELL, is with NORA PEARCE. He is about 50, and very protective of NORA PEARCE.)
HARRY ODELL: Everything all right, Nora?
NORA PEARCE: He's with the FBI. Uh, this is Harry Odell. He runs the Salvage yard where... Ray and Curt worked.
DOGGETT: May I come in?
(Close up on another affectionate picture of NORA PEARCE and RAY PEARCE. NORA PEARCE and HARRY ODELL are seated on the sofa.)
NORA PEARCE: Agent Doggett, I don't understand. Before, you were talking about Curt. Now you want to talk about Ray?
DOGGETT: What was their relationship, Mrs. Pearce-- your husband and Curtis Delario-- outside of work?
NORA PEARCE: I know what their relationship is now. They're both dead.
DOGGETT: Going back through your husband's medical records it says that he died after a long, debilitating illness?
NORA PEARCE: Gulf War Syndrome. No one will cop to that, but I aim to prove it-- put the blame where it belongs.
DOGGETT: I'm having trouble proving something myself, Mrs. Pearce. You signed a form to have your husband's body cremated but it appears it never happened.
NORA PEARCE: What do you mean? They gave me the ashes. They were at the funeral.
DOGGETT: Well, I can't find a record of Ray's body ever even being at the crematorium.
ODELL: Oh, for crying out loud. Hasn't this woman grieved enough?
DOGGETT: Let me get to the point, Mrs. Pearce. Is it possible your husband is still alive?
NORA PEARCE: Still alive? Is this a joke?
DOGGETT: Because we have evidence to suggest that maybe your husband was involved in the death of Curtis Delario.
HARRY ODELL: Are you saying Ray faked his death?
DOGGETT: We found Ray's blood and fingerprints on Curt's car.
NORA PEARCE: (tearfully) I watched him die. I nursed him when he was sick, when he couldn't eat. What you're saying is impossible. He couldn't even walk or... lift his head at the end.
HARRY ODELL: Ray Pearce worked for me nine years. He was a good man. He never raised a hand to anyone.
(Back at the Halfway House. RAY PEARCE gets a sandwich wrapped in foil and brings it to a table. A blonde woman, LARINA, is walking around the room encouraging others. She comes over to RAY PEARCE and sits at his table, friendly and concerned. She is young, but looks like she has seen and been through a lot.)
LARINA: Hey. How're you doing? Ray, right? They said you're new.
(He stares at her with hostility. She winces as he bites some of the foil along with the sandwich.)
LARINA: Rough night? You're, uh... you're eating the tin foil on the...
(She smiles nervously as he slowly removes the foil from his mouth and continues eating the sandwich.)
LARINA: My name's Larina. I help out around here. Yeah, you might have some questions about how it all works. No, I don't know. It's, it's pretty basic.
(He ignores her and eats his sandwich.)
LARINA: Look, um... I've been down the road and back a few times and... I just want to say you're not alone, Ray. I mean, I... I been where you been and... and sometimes it can help. You know. Sometimes it's good to just... talk. Make a connection. You know what I'm saying, Ray?
(He just stares at her.)
LARINA: So if there's anything I can do for you, you know...
RAY PEARCE: You can leave me alone.
(Rebuffed, she taps on the table, gets up and walks away. RAY PEARCE winces and squeezes his sandwich. His hands and knuckles appear to be hardening.)
(Night. Junkyard with lots of metal debris piled up. We see a man coving up a logo on the side of a blue 55-gallon drum with a can of blue spray paint. He tosses the can down, looks around, and then goes into the trailer office of the site. It is HARRY ODELL, and he seems to be in a hurry. He takes an office paper shredder and sets it on the desk and begins shredding papers from a file. The door opens. HARRY ODELL looks up and sees RAY PEARCE and gasps in amazement. RAY PEARCE's face is red and mottled. The rash is worse. The last paper inserted into the shredder hasn't gone all the way through. Must be manually operated.)
HARRY ODELL: God almighty. Ray. It's true. (nervous) Oh, you got everybody wondering, man. And they're looking for you. They blame you for killing Curt.
(HARRY ODELL sits and opens a desk drawer containing a gun and ammo.)
HARRY ODELL: Now, me and Curt, we're your friends. You can't blame this on us. You got to believe me, it wasn't us.
(RAY PEARCE just looks at him.)
HARRY ODELL: Well, I can show you. It's right here, Ray.
(HARRY ODELL is reaching into the desk drawer not for a file, but for the shotgun.)
HARRY ODELL: It wasn't me.
(He pulls out the shotgun and aims it levelly at RAY PEARCE.)
HARRY ODELL: (confidently) This time, you stay dead.
(HARRY ODELL fires the gun. The impact sends RAY PEARCE crashing through the large window of the trailer. Cautiously, HARRY ODELL goes out to investigate. He looks down in horror at RAY PEARCE's dismembered right forearm and hand. The blood seems to be moving like mercury from a broken thermomenter and the fingers twitch. RAY PEARCE begins walking toward him. HARRY ODELL screams as, with his remaining hand, RAY PEARCE grabs him by the head.)
(Salvage yard, next day. Crime scene. DOGGETT is looking at the body of HARRY ODELL, specifically at his fingers which have a blue tinge. He stands and calls SCULLY. He now has her on speed dial.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Scully.
DOGGETT: (on phone) Did you find anything to go along with those holes in Curt Delario's head? Paint on his hands and nails?
(SCULLY is still in the morgue with CURTIS DELARIO's body.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Paint?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Blue paint, specifically.
SCULLY: (on phone) Hang on.
(SCULLY looks at CURTIS DELARIO's fingers.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Uh... no. Is it significant?
DOGGETT: (on phone) I don't know. But Harry was a busy boy last night. He must've left Nora Pearce's right after I saw him, right after he learned that Ray Pearce might still be alive.
SCULLY: (on phone) To do what?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Well, it's pretty clear that he was in his office shredding papers when he was surprised by someone.
SCULLY: (on phone) And you think it was Ray?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Well, somebody took a blast. There's blood all over the doors, trailing down the stairs here to there-- massive blood loss.
SCULLY: But the man with the gun is dead.
DOGGETT: I saw guys take hits in the war that kept right on fighting, holding their insides in their hands. I know it's not impossible. But to do this to a man's head after taking two barrels of buckshot...
SCULLY: (on phone) Or being hit by a car.
DOGGETT: (on phone) I don't see how a man could possibly do this.
SCULLY: (on phone) Well, maybe the question's not how but why? I mean, if Ray Pearce did indeed kill this man what would be his reason?
DOGGETT: (on phone) I'm not sure, but I think I know where to start looking.
(DOGGETT hangs up and watches as the coroners load HARRY ODELL's body onto a stretcher. He goes into the office and uses his pocketknife to pry open the top of the paper shredder and finds the section of paper not yet shredded. It says "Chamber Technologies," an invoice.)
(Halfway house. RAY PEARCE's bathroom. We see him rinse blood off of his left hand, then he puts his right hand and arm, now half scaly metal, into the sink basin also. Camera pans up to show us that the right half of his face is also covered in metal. He regards himself in the mirror. LARINA knocks at RAY PEARCE's door.)
LARINA: Hello? Ray?
(There is no answer, so she enters. Some bloody clothes are lying on the bed. She sees RAY PEARCE, his jacket hood pulled over his head Unibomber-style, come out of the bathroom.)
LARINA: Ray. You okay?
(He doesn't answer and keeps his face from her. He starts collecting files on his bed.)
LARINA: Somebody saw you come in with blood on you. I can see it on your clothes. Look, Ray, I know it never does anybody any good getting the cops involved, okay? Look, I've been there, man. I know what it's like to feel dark and alone. I can get a doctor for you.
RAY PEARCE: Get out. Get out.
(He pulls the hood back. She recoils at the sight of his face.)
LARINA: (backing off) Okay. Okay.
(DOGGETT and a dweeby looking scientist, DR. PUGOVEL, are in front of a computer monitor in a lab. He shows diagrams.)
DR. PUGOVEL: They're called smart metals. The idea is to one day build things that are indestructible. Cars, equipment built of alloys with molecular memory. If damaged, they'd rebuild into their original forms.
DOGGETT: All by themselves? That's amazing!
DR. PUGOVEL: And right now, all a metallurgist's pipe dream. But beside the point of your visit, I would imagine.
DOGGETT: Well, you tell me. I found a document at a crime scene listing Chamber Technologies. An employee number on the document was assigned to a Dr. David Clifton.
DR. PUGOVEL: Dr. Clifton's no longer here.
DOGGETT: What happened to him?
DR. PUGOVEL: He left the company. I'm actually his successor in this department.
DOGGETT: Do you have any reason to deal with a man named Harry Odell or a business called Southside Salvage?
DR. PUGOVEL: No, I don't deal with materials. Nor did Dr. Clifton for that matter. Our work here is all theoretical. We have an environmental manager who's in charge of waste management but disposal is done at TSD Facilities, definitely not city salvage yards.
DOGGETT: Thanks for your time, Doctor...
DR. PUGOVEL: Puvogel. German, no H. You need me to spell it for you?
DOGGETT: No, no. That's quite all right. Thanks.
(DOGGETT walks away and dials his cell phone.
SCULLY: (on phone) Scully.
(She is still in the morgue.)
DOGGETT: (on phone) Hey, it's Agent Doggett. I'm at Chamber Technologies.
SCULLY: (on phone) Did you find Dr. Clifton?
DOGGETT: (on phone) He's no longer with the company. But his successor says his work here was entirely conceptual. Everything's done on computers.
SCULLY: (on phone) What kind of conceptual work?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Thing called smart metals. It's pretty incredible-- metal alloys designed to rebuild themselves.
SCULLY: (on phone) I wonder. As it happens Ray Pearce's illness is pretty incredible, too. I've reviewed Ray's medical records from the VA. What his wife was calling Gulf War Syndrome is nothing of the kind. His entire cellular makeup was affected by exposure to some non-identifiable contaminant-- a metal.
DOGGETT: (on phone) What are you saying? Ray Pearce has become some kind of metal man? Because that only happens in the movies, Agent Scully.
SCULLY: (on phone) Does it, Agent Doggett?
DOGGETT: (on phone) Tell you what. I'll press this guy here a little more on the issue.
SCULLY: (on phone) Well, maybe there's a reason why he's not being perfectly forthcoming.
(LARINA is watching the news on television and reading the paper. Headline is "Clinton prepares to pass … ." On the back of the section she finds an obituary photo of RAY PEARCE in his uniform. She looks up at the television. Channel 6.)
WNKW NEWSCASTER: ...manufacturing crystal meth at a farmhouse outside of Muncie. DEA agents arrested the unlikely pair after a month-long investigation. Police are still searching for clues in last night's bloody robbery and murder at Muncie's Southside Salvage. Workmen found the body of 53-year-old Harry Odell outside his office at approximately 7:30 this morning. Detectives have refused to comment on the cause of death pending an autopsy but sources close to the case describe it as a...
(LARINA goes to the phone and dials 411.)
OPERATOR: This is Operator 525. What city, please?
LARINA: (on phone) Uh, Muncie. Number for a Raymond Pearce.
(Night. SCULLY, looking tired, walks out of the morgue and gets in the passenger side of the rental car.)
DOGGETT: Sorry I'm late.
SCULLY: It's all right. I just got the blood test back on Ray Pearce and it was indeed the same Ray Pearce who was pronounced dead three days ago. But that's not all. By all medical standards he should still be dead. His blood has enough metal alloy in it to … uh …poison an elephant.
DOGGETT: Except that he's still a man, Agent Scully and he's going to act and think like one even if he is more powerful than a speeding locomotive.
SCULLY: But then the question is, why kill his friends? I mean, if he was wronged somehow wouldn't he go to them for solace? I mean, to his wife, at least?
(He hands her a file.)
DOGGETT: That's why I was late. I asked myself that same question. Ray was an outpatient at the VA. He had a history of substance abuse. Did some time for a couple of DUIs.
SCULLY: This was ten years ago.
DOGGETT: Cleaned up his act. He met Nora and married her in '91, checked himself into a rehab and got straight. This was a guy to root for, Agent Scully. This was a guy that overcame adversity and made a life for himself.
SCULLY: Until three days ago.
DOGGETT: I've busted a lot of killers, Agent Scully and dollars for doughnuts, they fit a profile. But the Ray Pearce in this file is no murderer let alone a guy that would hunt down his friends and crush their skulls.
SCULLY: Agent Doggett, the man that we're speaking about withstood impact from a speeding car and two shotgun blasts at short range. Even if we can find him, who's to say we can stop him?
(He looks at her. They both look more than a little concerned.)
(DR. PUGOVEL is sitting at his computer. He senses someone watching him, and gets up and leaves the room. Through another door, RAY PEARCE enters and looks around. He follows DR. PUGOVEL through a doorway covered with plastic hanging strips. In the room, DR. PUGOVEL is hiding behind a wall section. He pushes a button on a computer. A metal chamber in the room glows with a red light. RAY PEARCE walks cautiously into the chamber. DR. PUGOVEL quickly pushes another button on the keyboard and the door to the chamber slams shut, trapping RAY PEARCE inside. Immediately, a police SWAT team armed with powerful guns and body armor run into the room, followed by SCULLY and DOGGETT armed with their little guns. True to X- Files form, no one turns on a room light, instead relying on handheld flashlights to illuminate the scene.)
DOGGETT: Make sure that door is secure!
SCULLY: Dr. Puvogel, are you sure he can't open that door from the inside?
DR. PUGOVEL: I've got a manual override on the door.
(Inside the chamber. RAY PEARCE looks around his trap.)
(Outside the chamber. There is a loud hollow thudding sound. An imprint of a fist? appears on the surface of the door to the sealed chamber.)
DR. PUGOVEL: What the hell was that?
(Another thud and another imprint.)
SCULLY: Ray Pearce.
(More pounding and more imprints. The officers in the room look nervous.)
DR. PUGOVEL: The door is four inches thick.
(More pounding. DR. PUGOVEL gets behind DOGGETT and SCULLY.)
DR. PUGOVEL: I don't think it's going to hold!
DOGGETT: You'd better hope it does 'cause if it doesn't, he's coming after you and I don't know if we can stop him.
(More pounding, then silence.)
DOGGETT: Open it up.
SCULLY: Get it open!
(DR. PUGOVEL looks down at the readout on the computer screen.)
DR. PUGOVEL: There's a rupture in the chamber. I don't believe this.
(The door is opened and SCULLY and DOGGETT follow the SWAT team inside. RAY PEARCE is gone and there is a huge hole torn out of the back of the chamber leading to the dark lawn outside.)
(Still in the chamber, SCULLY is looking at a metallic-looking liquid moving on the edges of the torn wall.)
SCULLY: Agent Doggett. Look at this. You see this?
DOGGETT: What is that? Is that blood?
SCULLY: Turning itself into metal.
(DOGGETT leaves the chamber and begins helping the SWAT team hustle DR. PUGOVEL out of the room.)
DOGGETT: Get him out of here! Get him out of the building!
DR. PUGOVEL: I didn't do anything to the man! I didn't do anything.
DOGGETT: You want to argue about it or let us get you someplace safe?!
DR. PUGOVEL: Where's that? Where's safe?!
DOGGETT: It's not in here.
(As the SWAT team moves DR. PUGOVEL out of the room, DOGGETT notices several blue 55-gallon drums with the yellow Chamber Technologies logo on them. DOGGETT glances over at SCULLY, then also leaves the room.
(RAY PEARCE, still wearing his hood, opens the door to his room at the group home to see NORA PEARCE, his wife, waiting for him.)
NORA PEARCE: My god. It's true.
RAY PEARCE: You shouldn't have come, Nora.
NORA PEARCE: I shouldn't have come? That's what you say to me? I'm your wife. I came here because you didn't come to me. I had to have some stranger tell me. Why didn't you come, Ray?
RAY PEARCE: Because I'm not me.
(She follows him into the bathroom, and gasps softly as he removes his hood.)
NORA PEARCE: I don't care what's happened. Whatever it is, it's a miracle. Don't go.
(She reaches for his hand, then cries out and cradles her bloody palm, cut from where she touched the metal part of his.)
RAY PEARCE: There's your miracle.
NORA PEARCE: Ray, let me help you. Please, let me help.
RAY PEARCE: They've got to pay for this. They've all got to pay.
(DOGGETT flashlight in hand, is walking through the salvage yard. He finds the spray painted drums and uses his pocketknife to expose the yellow Chamber Technologies logo underneath the paint. He finds one of the drums with two handprints on the lid, punched from inside. He kicks the drum over. The solid figure of a man falls out of the drum. He seems to be made of solid metal, his hands frozen forever over his head.)
DOGGETT: Oh my god.
(Police station. DR. PUGOVEL is led into a room with SCULLY and DOGGETT.)
DR. PUGOVEL: You mind telling me what's going on here. It's not enough that my life's been threatened. I'm being treated like a criminal.
SCULLY: Not without cause.
(DR. PUGOVEL stares in shock at the "metallized" body that DOGGETT found in the salvage yard. It is now in a glass case.)
DR. PUGOVEL: Oh, my god.
SCULLY: Do you recognize this man?
DOGGETT: We're assuming you don't know too many guys in this particular condition.
DR. PUGOVEL: It's not what it looks like.
DOGGETT: Is this Dr. Clifton-- Dr. David Clifton-- your predecessor?
DR. PUGOVEL: (sighs) Yes.
DOGGETT: You care to explain how he ended up in a Chamber Technology hazardous waste barrel?
DR. PUGOVEL: It was his idea. I was against it.
DOGGETT: If you knew, you might've told me about this when I first came to see you.
DR. PUGOVEL: He was dying... and he was afraid.
SCULLY: Of what?
DR. PUGOVEL: That it would hinder progress or halt it. That it would finish us.
DOGGETT: Oh, you're finished. One way or another your work here is done.
DR. PUGOVEL: We didn't know this was going to happen! We were just trying to push the envelope, do the right thing for the company. Then he got sick. He was... he was working with an alloy with a genetic algorithm built into it. It converted electrical energy into mechanical. Gave it memory.
SCULLY: And it poisoned him.
DR. PUGOVEL: We immediately shut down the project. But it was too late. He didn't have any family. His work was his life. He wanted to leave us to continue working on the science.
DOGGETT: And leave you to ship this barrel and his body to Southside Salvage where it infected somebody else.
DR. PUGOVEL: I don't know how that happened, I swear to god. That barrel was supposed to go to a designated site.
SCULLY: (to DOGGETT) Let me talk to you for a second.
(They step away.)
SCULLY: (quietly) I think he's telling the truth.
(Outside in the hall, they see NORA PEARCE run furtively into the hall and take the elevator.)
DOGGETT: What the hell is she doing here?
SCULLY: Who is it?
DOGGETT: Nora Pearce, Ray's wife.
(DOGGETT and SCULLY also head toward the elevator.)
(On another floor, we see NORA PEARCE enter an office and get a red file folder from a drawer. She looks at it, then returns the file to the open drawer, then picks up the desk phone and dials. DOGGETT and SCULLY enter. NORA PEARCE quickly hangs up the phone.)
DOGGETT: Mrs. Pearce? What are you doing here? How do you know about this place?
(SCULLY notices the open file drawer.)
SCULLY: She was looking for something.
DOGGETT: Who'd you call, Mrs. Pearce?
(Terrified, NORA PEARCE doesn't answer.)
(Halfway house. SWAT team enters the house, then RAY PEARCE's room. LARINA looks on nervously for a moment then goes to her own room. RAY PEARCE is waiting for her. He clamps his metal hand over her mouth. Her cries of pain are muffled, then she is silent, eyes staring. He lowers her dead body to the floor as the police knock at her door.)
OFFICER: Let's check in here.
(Pounding continues as RAY PEARCE looks around, then heads for a window.)
(SCULLY and DOGGETT are questioning NORA PEARCE in another office.)
OFFICER: Want us to take the woman in?
DOGGETT: No, I want to talk to her first.
(DOGGETT turns to NORA PEARCE. She has a defiant, almost smug expression. Still nervous, though.)
DOGGETT: You might be interested to know that your husband just broke through a second-story wall and eluded a dozen cops at St. Clare house. That please you, Mrs. Pearce? Does it please you to know that he killed a young woman there, a volunteer named Larina Jackson?
SCULLY: That makes three people. Three people that he's killed and for what?
(NORA PEARCE is upset by this news, but defends her husband.)
NORA PEARCE: Because they made him what he is.
DOGGETT: They say this young woman he killed tonight had been concerned for him—concerned for Ray's welfare.
SCULLY: Whatever Ray is, whatever he's become, it was an accident. It was not those people's fault, Mrs. Pearce.
NORA PEARCE: Harry and Curt knew about it.
SCULLY: No, they were innocent, just like Ray was. They didn't know that this was going to happen.
NORA PEARCE: These people here knew about it. They got documents on it.
SCULLY: Oh, so that's what this is about? This is about looking for somebody to blame?
DOGGETT: Ray sent you here, didn't he to find that person; to get a name?
NORA PEARCE: The Ray I know... died. And the man responsible should pay for that.
SCULLY: So who is it? It's the CEO here? The owner? Give us a name, Mrs. Pearce, before someone else has to die.
(NORA PEARCE is not sure what to do. She doesn't look at them.)
NORA PEARCE: I... I never gave him a name.
(DOGGETT is tired of dealing with her.)
DOGGETT: Get her out of here. Put her on 24-hour watch.
(Later, NORA PEARCE is escorted into her house. Lots of police cars on the street outside.)
OFFICER: We'll be right outside, ma'am.
(Alone, NORA PEARCE looks around her dark house, waiting. RAY PEARCE's voice startles her.)
RAY PEARCE: Nora?
NORA PEARCE: They're right outside, Ray.
RAY PEARCE: Did you get me the name?
NORA PEARCE: You killed her. The woman who called me. For god's sake, Ray, why? Why her? She cared about you.
(He begins walking toward her.)
RAY PEARCE: I need the name.
NORA PEARCE: No one else needs to die, Ray.
(His skin is now almost completely metal. Roughly, he grabs her wrist. She gasps in pain.)
NORA PEARCE: You won't do it, not to me.
RAY PEARCE: I need the man's name.
(She gasps again as he painfully grips her wrist.)
(A moment later, NORA PEARCE flings open the front door. She is clutching her wrist in pain. She yells to the waiting police.)
NORA PEARCE: He's in the house!
OFFICER: Go! Go! Go!
(Immediately, the OFFICERS begin searching the house and yard. Dogs are barking.)
NORA PEARCE: Tell the FBI agents it's Harris. Ray made me give him the name. Owen Harris! Ray's going to kill him.
(Street at night. OWEN HARRIS, a mild mannered looking man, around 40, and his WIFE are driving along. Suddenly, he slams on the brakes when he sees a figure in the road ahead. RAY PEARCE, the Metal Man, slams his hands down on the hood of the car. Panicked, OWEN HARRIS tries to start the car. MRS. HARRIS screams as RAY PEARCE punches in the drivers' side window and pulls OWEN HARRIS from the car by his arm. No bowling ball holes in the head yet.)
MRS. HARRIS: No! Owen! No! No!
(OWEN HARRIS' SON, about 9, is watching in horror from the back seat.)
WIFE: No! No!
(RAY PEARCE has OWEN HARRIS on the pavement and his holding him tightly by the jaw. Blood is welling up.
RAY PEARCE: Owen Harris... don't look away. Look at me.
OWEN HARRIS: Why are you doing this?
RAY PEARCE: Because you made me.
OWEN HARRIS: (terrified) I don't know what you're talking about.
RAY PEARCE: Southside Salvage.
OWEN HARRIS: I'm just an accountant.
(OWEN HARRIS gasps in pain. RAY PEARCE looks up slowly at the boy watching from the back of the car.)
(Later that night. In front of the HARRIS' house, later. Sirens. SCULLY and DOGGETT arrive. DOGGETT notices that EMT's are attending to OWEN and MRS. HARRIS and their son. He also notices deep handprints on the hood of the car. SCULLY joins him.)
SCULLY: Ray Pearce.
DOGGETT: He came here to kill this man but something stopped him, didn't it?
SCULLY: This man, Owen Harris? He begged for his life. It might just have saved him. His attacker got up and ran away.
DOGGETT: Makes no sense. Ray Pearce was a determined killer looking for someone to blame. Why stop here?
(Cut to the salvage yard, maybe next day. A large hydraulic grappling clamp is at work.)
SCULLY: Wherever Ray Pearce went, the answer to that question went with him but I can tell you why he came after Owen Harris. It was his name Nora found in the file. He was the accountant who authorized the shipment of hazardous materials to Southside Salvage.
(In the salvage yard, the clamp goes for another load of scrap metal.)
DOGGETT: But if Owen Harris is the guy Ray holds responsible why'd Ray let him live?
SCULLY: Well, I think that, uh, Nora Pearce may have been right. Her husband died, or at least his body did. Whatever killed those people was an abomination of a man. It was a machine.
DOGGETT: A machine? Come on, a machine doesn't know blame, Agent Scully.
SCULLY: Nor mercy. Unless what drove Ray to kill is also what saved those people.
(In the salvage yard, the machine lifts an old shell of a car toward the metal compressor.)
SCULLY: Some flicker of humanity.
(Inside the car in the compressor, we see RAY PEARCE, his body almost completely metal. His eyes flicker weakly in the dimming light as the machine compacts the car.)