(Typical corporate mid-level executive office. GARY GARBER, a distinguished looking silver-haired man, is sitting at his desk. His accent indicates that he is NOT from New Orleans. A dark-haired woman, 40ish, ROBERTA TOEWS, is sitting next to him. Her face reflects nothing. A mild-mannered looking man, JEB DUKES, 30s, dark blue suit probably from S&K Men's Wear, is sitting in front of the desk. He is staring at GARY GARBER in surprise.)
GARY GARBER: You don't know how much I hate my job on days like this, Jeb. If it were my choice... (he glances at ROBERTA TOEWS) … I'd be giving you a promotion but with the economy the way it is...
(JEB DUKES also glances at ROBERTA TOEWS, then back to GARY GARBER. He is in shocked disbelief.)
JEB DUKES: Are you firing me?
GARY GARBER: You can hold your head up, Jeb. You've done a good job here.
JEB DUKES: I-I don't believe this. I... I thought this was just an evaluation.
(GARY GARBER stands and shakes his head. It is a polite but firm dismissal.)
GARY GARBER: I'm sorry. I really am.
(JEB DUKES looks again at the woman, ROBERTA TOEWS. She merely looks back at him.)
(JEB DUKES leaves the office. So does ROBERTA TOEWS. As if in a dream, JEB DUKES walks slowly through the office watching the other employees answering phones, gathering up papers, closing up their desks, preparing for the next day of work. He speaks to no one and leaves the building. The city streets are dark and wet. An older model car comes around the corner followed by a flashing police car, sirens blaring. The car passes JEB DUKES and crashes into a station wagon in the middle of the next intersection. The cars burst into flames. JEB DUKES, along with other horrified witnesses, run toward the accident. One of the OFFICERS blocks them from approaching the fiery wreck.)
OFFICER: Stay back. Everybody stay back. Just get back. Everybody stay back.
(There is movement in the car engulfed in flames.)
DISTRAUGHT WOMAN: Oh, my god, there's someone in there! [Closed Captioning: We've got to help him! Someone help that man!]
(JEB DUKES stands transfixed as the figure of a man completely covered in flames emerges from the car and begins approaching him. No one else appears to be able to see him. The MAN IN FLAMES steps close to JEB DUKES, then into him. The flames disappear leaving JEB DUKES standing alone, his eyes glowing red.)
OFFICER: Stay back! Keep your distance.
(JEB DUKES staggers backward, confused and frightened, then runs from the crowd.)
(Later, JEB DUKES has returned to the office building. He is dressed casually, all in black. He expression is unrecognizable, there is nothing left of the sad man we saw earlier, only a struggling sense of confusion as he walks unsteadily through the corridor. The woman, ROBERTA TOEWS sees him.)
ROBERTA TOEWS: Jeb. Can I help you? Jeb...
(JEB DUKES ignores her and keeps heading down the corridor. GARY GARBER comes out of his office and sees him.)
GARY GARBER: Hey... Jeb... What's up?
(JEB DUKES dispassionately raises a pistol at GARY GARBER and fires.)
(Same office building. The New Orleans Police Department is investigating the shooting. One TECHNICIAN is collecting fibres with some rolling vacuum device. ROBERTA TOEWS is lying dead face down on the carpet. A CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHER finishes collecting photos. DETECTIVE FRANKLIN POTTER, 50's, African- American, covers her face with a sheet. The elevator dings, and he rises to see MONICA REYES walking toward him. She is struggling to unwrap a piece of nicotine gum.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: Agent Reyes?
REYES: Yeah, hi. Uh... Uh, Monica Reyes.
DETECTIVE POTTER: Frank Potter, New Orleans PD.
REYES: Trying to quit the habit.
(REYES smiles self-consciously and puts the gum into her mouth.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: Yeah, I tried to quit smoking myself once. I hated that damn gum.
(REYES nods and chews, doesn't have the proper response.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: Well, anyway you, uh, want to see the victims?
REYES: Well, on the phone you said you had reason to believe the killings might be satanic ritual murders.
DETECTIVE POTTER: Right. Let me show you.
(She subtly takes the gum out of her mouth and drops it into a wastebasket as he leads her to a cubicle.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: This is Jeb Dukes' work area. I found this among his personal effects.
(He hands her what looks like an unfolded CD jewel case insert.)
REYES: What can you tell me about the killer, detective? Anything?
DETECTIVE POTTER: Thirty-one years old. College grad, lived alone. There's some who felt he had a dark side which could explain that there.
(REYES looks at the desk.)
REYES: Can I look in there?
DETECTIVE POTTER: Sure. You're the expert.
(REYES sits down at the desk.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: Does it tell you anything about why he might've killed those people?
REYES: The fact is, a killer like this is usually pushed over the edge by what we call a stressor, a catalysing event-- an emotional breakdown the breakup of a relationship or sometimes when someone's been fired.
DETECTIVE POTTER: This guy was fired … by the two victims.
REYES: Well, that's most likely what drove him to murder.
DETECTIVE POTTER: Yeah, but what about all these images... these devil pictures?
REYES: It's Marilyn Manson.
DETECTIVE POTTER: (confused) Marilyn Manson?
REYES: Your kids listen to him. They probably buy his CDs at K-Mart. I don't think there's anything satanic going on here, Detective.
(REYES gets up and start to leave. DETECTIVE POTTER calls after her.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: Agent Reyes? Okay, okay... It's some rock group, but you don't think this has anything to do with Satan or evil or...?
REYES: Personally? I'd look into his gum.
(REYES pops another piece of gum into her mouth and starts for the elevator. She stops beside the body of ROBERTA TOEWS, still covered by the sheet. REYES stares the woman's exposed hands. As she watches, a glowing red flame from within quickly reduces the flesh to ashes. REYES kneels down, raises the sheet, and looks at the rest of the body. It is also burned, as if consumed by a very hot fire. DETECTIVE POTTER notices REYES.)
DETECTIVE POTTER: Agent Reyes? Did you find something?
(REYES looks up at DETECTIVE POTTER, then back down at the corpse. It now appears normal, no burns, just a shooting victim lying on her stomach.)
(SCULLY's apartment. Knocking. SCULLY, in blue maternity pajamas and robe, comes to the door. More knocking. She stands on tiptoe to look through the peephole, and then opens the door for MULDER. She was not expecting to see him.)
SCULLY: I was just about to jump in the shower but I was waiting for the pizza man.
MULDER: You got something going on with the pizza man I should know about?
SCULLY: The pizza man?
MULDER: Well, correct me if I'm wrong but you just said you were waiting for the pizza man to jump in the shower.
SCULLY: No, what I mean was the pizza man's usually late, and so...
(SCULLY gives up trying to explain, and smiles and sighs.)
SCULLY: You want to come in?
(MULDER continues to play the role of the injured party.)
MULDER: Thank you.
SCULLY: I feel like I'm stuck in an episode of Mad About You.
(As SCULLY heads back toward the bathroom, MULDER closes the door and slips the wrapped package he has hidden behind him under the sofa cushion and stands beside the arm of the sofa.)
MULDER: Well, uh, yeah, but small technicality. Mad About You was about a married couple and we just work together.
SCULLY: Yeah, well, you know what I'm talking about.
MULDER: I do, I do. What-what I'm trying to say is that, uh... we have no good reliable information on this man. I mean, what I am saying is the pizza man...
(As SCULLY comes back out of the bathroom, MULDER points at her swollen belly.)
MULDER: … is not above suspicion.
SCULLY: Ah, I see.
(SCULLY looks up at him. He smiles and glances significantly to the couch beside him. She follows his gaze and notices the almost hidden present on the couch. Her eyes light up.)
SCULLY: Is that for me?
(She bends down in front of MULDER to pick up the present.)
SCULLY: Nice package.
MULDER: (modestly embarrassed) Thank you.
SCULLY: What's the occasion?
(Having "misunderstood" SCULLY's meaning before, MULDER "realizes" that she was talking about the present. [CarriK: If you don't get this joke, and are under 18, please don't ask me what it means.] )
MULDER: Oh, uh, I was going through some stuff after my mother died and, um, it's just an old family keepsake and I wanted you to have it.
SCULLY: Well, I'm touched.
(There is knocking at the door.)
MULDER: Little Caesar, I presume?
(MULDER answers the door. The PIMPLY-FACED PIZZA DELIVERY MAN is standing there holding a pizza. He is a Dude – mid twenties, tall, dark-haired, cute in a bored looking way. MULDER looks at him intently, then accusingly back at SCULLY. SCULLY sighs.)
SCULLY: Hi... just, uh, give it to the man with the funny look on his face.
PIMPLY-FACED PIZZA DELIVERY MAN: Yeah, it's $29.08.
(MULDER face reflects amused shock as he pulls out his wallet.)
MULDER: $29.08? What'd she get on it, a tank of gas?
(Suddenly, on the sofa SCULLY grips her stomach and leans over in pain.)
(SCULLY doesn't answer.)
(MULDER runs to her. She is in too much pain to speak. MULDER looks back up at the PIMPLY-FACED PIZZA DELIVERY MAN.)
MULDER: Call 911.
(The PIMPLY-FACED PIZZA DELIVERY MAN runs for the phone as MULDER kneels next to SCULLY.)
(SCULLY, her eyes closed, is on a gurney being wheeled by technicians through the emergency room corridor. MULDER is walking quickly to stay beside her. The ER NURSE, a no-nonsense middle-aged African-American woman meets them, a clipboard in her hand.)
ER NURSE: That Scully? Dana? She's got what? Abdominal pains?
MULDER: Her doctor is Dr. Speake.
ER NURSE: Oh, he's been called.
ER NURSE: Who are you? The husband?
ER NURSE: Then you wait outside.
(The gurney and the team of medical personnel all enter a set of double doors leaving MULDER alone in the hall. DOGGETT arrives. MULDER, still very worried about SCULLY, is surprised to see him.)
DOGGETT: Agent Mulder, what happened?
MULDER: How'd you find out?
DOGGETT: I was dropping something off. The landlord told me.
(The ER NURSE sees DOGGETT and comes over to the two men.)
ER NURSE: Are you the husband?
(DOGGETT looks at her, confused. MULDER says nothing.)
(DOGGETT looks at MULDER. MULDER's phone rings.)
MULDER: Excuse me.
(While DOGGETT talks to the ER NURSE, MULDER steps a few feet away and answers his phone.)
MULDER: (on phone) Mulder.
REYES: (on phone) Special Agent Fox Mulder?
MULDER: (on phone) Speaking.
REYES: (on phone) Agent Mulder, my name is Monica Reyes. We never met. Not since you've been alive, I should say.
MULDER: (on phone, impatiently) Who?
REYES: (on phone) Special Agent Reyes. I know this is out of the blue, but I have a case I need your help on. It involves a certain phenomenon.
MULDER: (on phone) I can't help you, Agent Reyes, for so many reasons. I think you should contact Agent Doggett at the X-Files.
REYES: (on phone) I can't call Agent Doggett because it involves him.
(MULDER looks over at DOGGETT, still talking to emergency personnel.)
REYES: (on phone) I'm in New Orleans, but I can be in DC in a few hours. It's important, Agent Mulder. Very.
MULDER: (on phone) Call me when you get here.
(MULDER hangs up. DOGGETT finishes speaking to the ER NURSE.)
DOGGETT: They're telling us not to worry. They're running some tests.
(MULDER nods, but still looks worried. For MULDER.)
(Seedy motel. JEB DUKES is sitting alone in his room. He is looking despondently at the gun on the table near him. He slowly stands, picks up the pistol and with a trembling hand holds it to his temple as he looks in the mirror. He pauses, the struggle with himself evident on his face. Just as he appears ready to pull the trigger, he drops it with a gasp of pain. The gun is glowing red hot. He stares at his hand which is now covered in blistering third-degree burns. Slowly, he reaches his hands to his face. Pinpricks of a glowing red light are coming through his cheeks. Using his fingernails he methodically rakes the flesh from his face leaving strips of glowing red. It's as if his skin is just a container for a raging fire within. JEB DUKES stares in pain, not sure whether to cry or to scream in horror.)
(REYES is a records office looking through a file drawer. She pulls out LUKE DOGGETT's file, glances through it, then closes the drawer. She hears the door open. MULDER enters.)
REYES: Agent Mulder.
MULDER: Agent Reyes?
(Holding the file, REYES comes down the stepladder to meet him. They shake hands.)
REYES: You're taller than I thought.
MULDER: You keep on alluding to a time that we've met and I don't remember.
REYES: I was there when they found you in the woods. You were...
(She pauses. MULDER nods. Both smile very uncomfortably.)
REYES: Uh... Yeah. I'm not surprised you don't remember.
MULDER: Yeah. Um, I-I have somewhere I have to be … if we could cut to the chase.
REYES: As I said before, it involves Agent Doggett … the death his son. I don't know if you're familiar at all with that case.
MULDER: No, I'm not at all familiar with Agent Doggett.
(She hands him the file and crosses her arms. He opens it. A smiling picture, probably a school photo, of a blonde spiky-haired little boy in a brown plaid shirt. The adjoining sheet reads
LUKE JOHN DOGGETT
Age at Disappearance: 7
Date of Birth: 7/9/90
Date of Last Contact: 8/12/97
Missing From: Long … [Island, NY, perhaps?]
Child is suspected to have been …
MULDER scans the information. He looks at another picture, crime scene photo of LUKE DOGGETT lying dead, face down on the ground. There is sympathy in MULDER's voice.)
MULDER: I-I wasn't aware of this. You were the lead investigator?
REYES: Once it fell to the FBI. Agent Doggett was with the NYPD at the time. We worked it together. We never caught the killer. It was the hardest case I've ever had. As in stealing-into-the-bathroom-to-cry-my-eyes-out kind of hard. I can't begin to imagine what it was like for John.
(MULDER is looking at her. She sighs, controlling her emotions.)
REYES: I couldn't bear to put him through this again, but if it means we could catch his son's killer... I just can't go to him until I know if what I saw means anything.
MULDER: You said this case involves some kind of phenomenon?
REYES: I don't know if it was a psychic experience or what, but when we found his son, I had a vision. It was as if for just a moment... The body was changed.
MULDER: Changed? Into what?
REYES: Ashes. It looked like ashes. The thing of it is Agent Doggett told me he saw it, too … although he spent the last few years convincing himself he didn't, that even if he did, it didn't mean anything.
MULDER: What do you think it means?
REYES: I can't shake the feeling that it's a clue, that it could somehow point to who's responsible, if only I let it. And now I've seen it again. A thousand miles from here, a seemingly unrelated case and I've had the same vision. There has to be a reason for it, a reason it's happening now.
(Hospital corridor. DOGGETT walks down the hall and quietly enters SCULLY's room. She is asleep, the vitals monitor beeping softly. The clock reads 8:40. As DOGGETT watches her, the room around him changes to an outdoor wooded area. The camera pans around him as he passively watches police and suited FBI agents run past him toward and area of the woods shrouded in mist. A few of the agents are running toward him. The vision is broken as the ER NURSE enters the room. She is not happy to see him there.)
ER NURSE: Sir, immediate family only. You fellas just don't listen. You have to go now.
(DOGGETT stares at SCULLY who is still sleeping peacefully. The room around his is once again a typical hospital room.)
(FBI building. MULDER comes out of the records office carrying the file. He walks down the hall. DOGGETT steps in front of him, grabs MULDER by the front of his jacket and slams him violently against the wall. DOGGETT is furious. MULDER is naturally a little defensive.)
MULDER: Hey! Hey!
DOGGETT: (yelling in MULDER's face) You stay out of my life!
MULDER: Take it easy!
DOGGETT: (yelling) You stay out of my business!
MULDER: Take it easy, Agent Doggett.
DOGGETT: (yelling) You want to get something on me, you ask for it! I don't want to get calls about you going behind my back! You got that straight?!
MULDER: I don't want anything on you. I was asked to look into this file.
DOGGETT: (yelling) Who asked you?!
REYES: (calmly) Agent Doggett. What are you doing?
(DOGGETT releases MULDER and stares at REYES who has also come out into the hall. He grabs the file from MULDER's hand.)
DOGGETT: Is this you? Is this you looking into this?
REYES: Yes. I asked Agent Mulder.
DOGGETT: You asked him what? There's nothing in there for him to bother with.
MULDER: Why don't you just calm down, Agent Doggett and let her explain the connection to you.
DOGGETT: The connection? To what?
REYES: I was going to tell you, John. I was in New Orleans on a case-- a shooting. Something that I saw connected back to Luke. A vision.
DOGGETT: Not this again. You're not going to make something out of nothing.
MULDER: Bob Harvey. Does that name mean something or nothing to you?
DOGGETT: Bob Harvey was a suspect in the death of my son. We questioned him but then we realized he wasn't our man.
REYES: Agent Mulder pointed it out. Bob Harvey was killed last night in a car crash fleeing the police near a shooting in New Orleans. He died in front of the building where the shooting occurred.
DOGGETT: What's the connection?
MULDER: That's it.
DOGGETT: That's it?
REYES: And then there was the vision.
DOGGETT: No, there's no connection. I don't care what you saw, you leave it alone … (points his finger in MULDER's face) … and you leave it the hell alone.
(DOGGETT looks as if he is about to say something else to REYES, then leaves with his son's file, still angry. REYES watches him go, then steps closer to MULDER.)
REYES: I know there is something here.
(MULDER give a short exhausted laugh.)
(MULDER also goes, leaving REYES alone in the hallway.)
(Comfortable two-storey home. The doorbell rings and a LITTLE GIRL in a nightgown, MIA, runs down the stairs and opens the door for REYES.)
REYES: Is your Mommy home?
MIA: (yells, not leaving the doorway) Mom!
(KATHA DUKES, 30s, comes to the door and hugs her daughter and picks her up.)
KATHA DUKES: Mia?
REYES: Katha Dukes?
KATHA DUKES: Yeah.
REYES: (taking out her badge) Sorry about the late hour. My name is Monica Reyes. I'm with the FBI.
(KATHA DUKES says nothing.)
(Later, REYES and KATHA DUKES are sitting in the living room. KATHA DUKES is holding a recent picture of herself, MIA and JEB DUKES. They look like a happy family.)
KATHA DUKES: I believe that we're all born good, uncorrupted and life itself does the corrupting. But, you know, someone like Jeb... He just isn't capable of this.
REYES: Are you close... to your brother?
KATHA DUKES: Very. Jeb lived here in the house with us till he went down South. He loves his niece.
REYES: Does the name Bob Harvey mean anything to you? Did Jeb ever have any dealings with him?
KATHA DUKES: No. I think I'd know. Why?
REYES: No reason. It's the answer I was kind of expecting, actually.
(The phone rings. With an apologetic look to REYES, KATHA DUKES goes to the other side of the room to answer it.)
KATHA DUKES: (on phone) Hello?
SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA
OFF INTERSTATE 85
(JEB DUKES is calling from a payphone in a dark rural area.)
JEB DUKES: (on phone) Katha?
KATHA DUKES: (on phone) Yes?
JEB DUKES: (on phone) Katha, it's Jeb.
(KATHA DUKES is very aware of REYES sitting on the couch a few feet away. She tries to sound casual.)
KATHA DUKES: (on phone) I really can't talk right now. It's been a very bad day here.
JEB DUKES: (on phone, on the verge of tears) Listen, it wasn't me that killed those people, all right? It was somebody else. I'm telling you, it was somebody else.
KATHA DUKES: (on phone, glancing at REYES) You're going to have to call back later.
(She hangs up and goes back to REYES.)
(At the South Carolina payphone, JEB DUKES hangs up sadly. A WOMAN taps at the glass door startling JEB DUKES. She smiles apologetically.)
PAYPHONE WOMAN: Hi. I'm sorry to bother you. I got a flat tire back a ways.
(She has a Northern accent. JEB DUKES stares at her as he reluctantly, yet inexorably opens the door of the phone booth.)
(SCULLY is lying in the bed in her hospital room. Clock reads 8:30. AM, probably. DOGGETT stands beside her bed watching her. SCULLY wakes. She is surprised to see DOGGETT.)
SCULLY: What are you doing, Agent Doggett?
DOGGETT: I was, um... I just came by to see how you're doing.
SCULLY: I'm, uh... I feel all druggy. Do you mind?
(She points to the bed table. DOGGETT pours a glass of water and hands it to her.)
SCULLY: Thank you.
DOGGETT: They say you're stabilized but we've been worried about you.
SCULLY: Who's we?
DOGGETT: You know... me and Agent Mulder ...
SCULLY: What's wrong, Agent Doggett? You don't seem too good yourself.
DOGGETT: You worked with Agent Mulder for how long? A long time.
(Her eyes briefly flutter closed as if reliving the exhaustion of the last eight years in 2/3rds of a second.)
DOGGETT: You never believed in any of this stuff. This paranormal or whatever you call it. So, what changed your mind?
(SCULLY is very sleepy.)
SCULLY: I realized it was me, that I was afraid. Afraid to believe.
(DOGGETT starts to leave the room, then turns back. Again, he is in the wooded area. He is standing a few yards away from the police and FBI agents who are standing in a small circle around something on the ground. As he watches, REYES, in a brown trenchcoat, slowly turns and looks at him. SCULLY's voice brings DOGGETT back into the hospital room.)
SCULLY: Why do you ask?
(DOGGETT is silent.)
SCULLY: Agent Doggett, why do you ask?
DOGGETT: Some other time.
(DOGGETT leaves. SCULLY closes her eyes.)
(X-Files office. MULDER is sitting comfortably at his old desk, his feet up. He is looking through an X-File and chewing on a pencil. REYES enters.)
REYES: Agent Mulder? I was looking for Agent Doggett.
MULDER: Well, that'd make sense. It's not my office anymore but old habits die hard.
(REYES notices the open files on the desk.)
REYES: What are those?
MULDER: Cases involving images like you described. People close to crimes who experience visions of death disassociated from reality.
REYES: And what did you find?
MULDER: Absolutely nothing. These visions are so random as to have absolutely no significance to the cases they're supposed to pertain to.
REYES: You're wrong.
(MULDER laughs condescendingly.)
MULDER: I think I know these files.
REYES: And I know what I saw. There's a reason these things are happening. There is something at work here, and it all began with the man killed in the car crash-- Bob Harvey.
MULDER: I think that's a coincidence. I think that life is full of them.
REYES: And full of patterns things we see, but can't comprehend. You believe that. Why can't you believe this?
MULDER: I think there's an opening coming up in this office soon. You might want to apply.
REYES: Is that why you won't help him?
(MULDER closes the files and pauses a moment, shakes his head, his mouth tight.)
MULDER: I have a, uh, sick friend in the hospital and, uh, I think I should go see her.
(MULDER smiles briefly, stands and puts the files into REYES's hands. He pulls on his suit coat.)
REYES: I hope she gets well. This office down here needs at least one person with an open mind.
(MULDER has left the room, but steps back in at the challenge.)
MULDER: You'll say anything, won't you?
REYES: Only when I think I'm right.
(MULDER chuckles and leaves the office.)
(Rural road. A minivan with a half changed tire and a tire iron are lying on the dusty roadside. JEB DUKES comes stumbling toward them. He walks as if in a daze, the pistol dangling limply from his hand. He reaches the abandoned minivan and looks at himself in the tinted glass of the rear window. He sees flames roaring behind him as if he is inside a raging furnace.
JEB DUKES drops the tire iron on the ground as he gets into the minivan. He has changed the tire, but not removed the jack. The jack falls as he starts the engine and pulls the minivan out onto the road with squealing tires.)
(Payphone area we saw the night before. Sheriff's Deputies are walking around. DOGGETT pulls up in a rental car. He sees MULDER, in rolled-up shirt sleeves, casually leaning against a Sheriff's car.)
DOGGETT: What am I doing here?
MULDER: Been asking myself that same question, Agent Doggett. But it seems the tenacious Agent Reyes does not want to let go of this one.
DOGGETT: Of what?
(MULDER leads DOGGETT toward the crime scene.)
MULDER: She's got a murder victim out here, a woman found shot. She thinks it's probably the same man who killed those two people down in New Orleans-- this Jeb Dukes.
DOGGETT: What does she want from me?
MULDER: She wants to know if you see it, too. What she's been seeing.
DOGGETT: I told you, there's no connection.
(DOGGETT looks over and sees REYES standing with the Deputies in a loose circle around something on the ground. The clothing is different, but the arrangement of people is identical to that of his flashback/vision in the hospital. As she did in the vision, REYES looks back at him.)
REYES: Agent Doggett.
(The circle of men breaks apart. DOGGETT comes to stand next to REYES. He looks at the body of the PAYPHONE WOMAN lying face down on the ground. Same position and angle of the body as that of his son in the file photo we saw earlier and the woman in New Orleans. DOGGETT takes a breath and speaks calmly. MULDER is a few feet away, watching them.)
DOGGETT: I'm sorry, Agent Reyes. I don't see it.
REYES: I think you do.
(DOGGETT starts to leave. He pauses.)
REYES: You're just afraid to go there.
MULDER: Whoo. You just keep shooting till you hit something, don't you?
(REYES stays focused on DOGGETT.)
REYES: You'd rather blind yourself to the connections, but I can't.
DOGGETT: You keep talking about these connections. Connections to what? To who?
REYES: What if this is a thread of evil … connecting through time through men, through opportunity, connecting back to you. In India, in Africa, in Iran, in the Middle East, in the Far East. Most of the world, they take it as a given. They see evil in death the way other people see God in a rose.
MULDER: (dryly) I saw Elvis in a potato chip once.
(REYES glances to MULDER.)
REYES: You know what I'm talking about.
MULDER: Yes, I do. I do. But if this man doesn't see it, he doesn't see it, right?
(DOGGETT stares at REYES. MULDER leaves. REYES and DOGGETT continue looking at each other.)
(Night. Clock says 3:20. MULDER enters SCULLY's hospital room. She is asleep. He calls softly from the doorway.)
MULDER: You awake?
(SCULLY wakes up and looks at MULDER.)
(MULDER closes the door as he walks to the bed. SCULLY is resting her hands on her abdomen.)
MULDER: What did the doctor say?
SCULLY: That I had a partial abruption. Which means that my placenta started to tear away from the uterine wall. They're going to need to monitor me for awhile.
(MULDER smiles a little.)
MULDER: But you're going to be fine?
(MULDER reaches out and rests his hand on her swollen belly for a moment. His expression is one of wonder, awe, and joy. He and SCULLY smile at each other.)
SCULLY: Where have you been?
(Almost reluctantly, MULDER slides his hand off of her stomach.)
MULDER: I've actually been out in the field with Agent Doggett and this, um, female Agent from New Orleans.
SCULLY: Agent Reyes.
SCULLY: I like her.
(MULDER laughs softly.)
MULDER: You're nothing at all alike.
SCULLY: Well, then neither are you and I. So this is a case you're working on?
MULDER: Yeah. Actually, one that involves Agent Doggett's son, the son who died.
SCULLY: Yeah, he's never talked to me about him, but I know something. Are you able to help him at all?
(SCULLY is getting sleepy again.)
MULDER: You can't help a man who can't help himself.
SCULLY: He's worth the effort, Mulder.
(They look at each other. MULDER considers.)
(KATHA DUKES' house. KATHA DUKES carrying a bag of groceries enters the front door. He daughter, MIA, comes in with her and races up the stairs,)
KATHA DUKES: All right, you got a half an hour to play in your room before mommy has dinner ready. Mia?
MIA: (already upstairs) Okay.
(KATHA DUKES heads for the kitchen and turns the light on with her elbow. She gasps at the sight of JEB DUKES standing in the room.)
KATHA DUKES: What are you doing here?
JEB DUKES: I'm coming home.
KATHA DUKES: The FBI was here, Jeb.
JEB DUKES: I didn't do what they said, Kath. It wasn't me, okay? It wasn't.
KATHA DUKES: What is that on your face?
JEB DUKES: What?
(JEB DUKES wipes a dark smear from his face.)
KATHA DUKES: Is that blood?
JEB DUKES: I don't know how that got there.
(Exasperated, KATHA DUKES sets the groceries on the table.)
KATHA DUKES: I need the truth, Jeb.
JEB DUKES: Look, please, believe me, Katha, it's not me, okay? (pleading, about to cry) I need help, please.
MIA: Mom? Is that uncle Jeb?
(MIA has come into the kitchen. She is looking happily at JEB DUKES. JEB DUKES smiles and walks to the little girl.)
JEB DUKES: Yeah, sweetheart. Yeah, it is.
(He kneels down, closes his eyes in relief, and hugs her gently.)
JEB DUKES: It's me.
(Over his shoulder, KATHA DUKES is watching them. She looks very worried.)
(DOGGETT is sitting at the X-Files desk. He is on the phone.)
DOGGETT: Jeb Dukes, middle name, Larold. No, Larold. Okay, thanks, anyway.
(He hangs up as REYES enters and hears part of the conversation.)
REYES: What are you doing, John?
DOGGETT: I'm looking into this case.
REYES: You're looking in the wrong way. There are a hundred agents in this building who can phone canvass.
DOGGETT: Ah, but there's only two who can solve crimes with mental telepathy-- you and me. So we'll just read the tea leaves on this one and there it is, right? Case closed?
DOGGETT: Damn it, Monica, you want to find this guy. I'm trying to find him. What do you want from me?
REYES: I want you to be honest with yourself about what you saw that day. Honest about what your feelings tell you.
DOGGETT: Feelings don't solve crimes. What the hell does it matter what my feelings are? How the hell's that going to get the job done?
REYES: I'm not talking about the job, John. What are you scared of? Why does it scare you?
DOGGETT: I got to believe that I did everything I could to find my son.
REYES: (reassuring) You did do everything to find your son.
DOGGETT: I got to believe that I did everything I could to save him, to get him back safe, to not let him down. I got to believe that I did everything humanly possible 'cause if I can't believe that then these other possibilities that you talk about, that Mulder talks about, that Agent Scully talks about... if they're real... if they're real, then... that's something else I could have done to save my son.
(Pause. REYES' cell phone rings.)
REYES: (on phone) Monica Reyes. Katha? Katha, wait.
(She hangs up.)
REYES: Jeb Dukes' sister. He's there at the house with her.
DOGGETT: This guy somehow has some link to my son and I'm damn sure going to find out what it is.
(DOGGETT grabs his coat and precedes REYES out of the office.)
(JEB DUKES has MIA on his lap. She is in her nightgown. He is reading to her.)
JEB DUKES: (reading) "As it happened, Hansel and Gretel had overheard everything that their parents had said. 'Shh,' said the boy. 'I'll find a way out, I promise you, and when at last...'"
(KATHA DUKES enters the room. She has a weak smile that does not reach her eyes.
KATHA DUKES: Mia, honey? Can you come here a minute, please?
MIA: But uncle Jeb's reading to me.
KATHA DUKES: That's okay, I just need you a minute. Can you, can you just come here?
(JEB DUKES is instantly suspicious.)
JEB DUKES: Who's here?
KATHA DUKES: She just wants to talk, Jeb. I just want you to tell her what you told me. She can help you.
JEB DUKES: Who? I said who, damn it!
KATHA DUKES: Come on, baby.
(JEB DUKES grabs MIA and holds her up to his chest while he pulls out the pistol and points it at KATHA DUKES. KATHA DUKES puts her hands up in a non-threatening gesture and steps back and leaves the room, trying not to let her panic show. MIA is screaming.)
MIA: Uncle Jeb!
JEB DUKES: You lied to me!
KATHA DUKES: Come on, Jeb.
JEB DUKES: Just get back.
JEB DUKES: Go!
(JEB DUKES drags MIA through the hall and starts down the stairs.)
MIA: Mommy! Mommy! Let me go, Uncle Jeb! Mommy, help! Let me go, let me go, help!
(DOGGETT is at the foot of the stairs, his gun trained on JEB DUKES.)
DOGGETT: Right there, right there! Hands in the air! Federal Agent, I'm armed, I'll shoot!
JEB DUKES: You drop the gun, you drop the gun!
DOGGETT: Let her go!
JEB DUKES: I'll shoot her, I swear!
DOGGETT: I just need to talk to you.
(DOGGETT slowly sets his gun down on the bottom step. MIA is crying as JEB DUKES slowly pulls her back up the stairs.)
MIA: Mommy... Mommy, mommy!
DOGGETT: (calmly) I won't hurt you.
JEB DUKES: You stay back.
MIA: Mommy! Mommy!
(DOGGETT, his hands empty, is carefully approaching.)
JEB DUKES: I said stay back!
(A gunshot sounds and JEB DUKES falls to the stair. REYES comes around the corner of the upstairs hallway, still holding the gun on JEB DUKES. MIA breaks free and runs screaming to her mother.)
MIA: Mommy! Mommy!
KATHA DUKES: Mia, Mia!
(KATHA DUKES holds her daughter tightly. She screams at REYES and DOGGETT.)
KATHA DUKES: What have you done?
(DOGGETT yells out the door for their backup.)
DOGGETT: This man needs help!
(DOGGETT is beside the gurney carrying JEB DUKES into the emergency room.)
DOGGETT: You're not going to die on me now.
(REYES is trying to get his attention.)
REYES: Agent Doggett...
DOGGETT: You hear me? You're going to make it. You're going to make it. You hear me?
(The same ER NURSE who admitted SCULLY earlier in the episode stops him.)
ER NURSE: No, no, the parade stops here. Now, if you want to save him, let the doctors do their work, okay? Who's the immediate family member here?
(KATHA DUKES steps forward.)
KATHA DUKES: I am.
ER NURSE: Okay, come with me. I'm going to need you to fill out some information for me, all right?
(KATHA DUKES follows the ER NURSE as the gurney is wheeled into the operating room.)
REYES: There is nothing more you can do.
DOGGETT: You can't tell me that now.
REYES: Maybe saving this girl was the reason. Maybe that's what this was all about. Maybe that's what I saw and why I saw it. For *that* kid. Go home, John. There's nothing here for you to do.
(SCULLY's hospital room. She is asleep. DOGGETT stands watching her. Again, forest vision happens. DOGGETT watches as the circle of policemen part. In slow motion, DOGGETT walks toward REYES who remains beside a small figure on the ground. It is the small dead body of LUKE DOGGETT, face down. As DOGGETT stares at the body, it now appears completely burnt – just ashes loosely attached to the bones. MULDER's voice breaks the vision.)
MULDER: Agent Doggett...
(From the doorway, MULDER nods significantly toward the hall. DOGGETT follows him out. MULDER closes the door and stands protectively in front of it. DOGGETT stands across the hall from him.)
MULDER: She just fell back to sleep.
DOGGETT: I just wanted to check to see how she's doing. Anyways, I'm here with this other thing. We, uh, we caught this killer, Jeb Dukes. He's in the ICU. He may not make it.
MULDER: And now you're wondering if there really was a connection. You know, when I, uh... I first came to work at the FBI, I worked at Violent Crimes, and I saw, I saw the worst of humanity. I saw monsters and I wondered how they became that way, how these men became so evil. I know there were psychological explanations-- victims of their environment, victims of their parents-- but the scientific explanations were never truly satisfying. And I began to think about evil like, like a disease. You know, that it goes from man to man or age to age. Most of us walk around thinking we're incapable of any acts of evil and we are. You know, we can stifle that momentary urge to kill or to hurt. We have some kind of immunity to it. But I think it's possible that there's... an occurrence in somebody's life, a tragedy or a loss that leaves them vulnerable, hurts their immunity to evil, and all of a sudden at that point in their lives when they're weakened, they're open to evil and they can become evil.
DOGGETT: If that were true, then what you're saying is... is that this man we wheeled in here tonight is infected with evil, the same evil that killed my son. You really believe that, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: Uh, I'm not really a good test for questions like that. I'll believe almost anything, you know, but the, uh... the pisser is you may never know. It may be like Agent Reyes says. It could be random and meaningless-- who it affects, who it goes to.
DOGGETT: What if it isn't?
MULDER: Well, then you'd be seeing something that I don't, Agent Doggett.
(DOGGETT nods and leaves MULDER leaning against the wall outside SCULLY's hospital room.)
(JEB DUKES hospital room. KATHA DUKES is standing beside JEB DUKES, gently stroking his hair. He is on a ventilator, and is unconscious. REYES stands near the door watching them. Suddenly, JEB DUKES goes into convulsions and the heart monitor begins beeping wildly.)
KATHA DUKES: (screaming) Somebody!
(REYES calls out the door.)
(DR. SPEAKES, SCULLY's obstetrician, run into the room with two nurses. DR. SPEAKE looks at the monitors.)
DR. SPEAKE: Push one gram of epi.
(The NURSE holds out a prepared syringe.)
NURSE: Right here.
(DR. SPEAKE injects the epi. She gives it about 4 seconds to work, then feels JEB DUKES' neck and finds no pulse. No CPR. No defibrillator.)
DR. SPEAKE: Call it.
(DR. SPEAKE turns sadly to KATHA DUKES who is staring at her hopefully.)
DR. SPEAKE: I'm sorry.
(DR. SPEAKE leaves the room as the NURSES finish the paperwork.)
NURSE: Time of death: 10:57 P.M.
(The NURSES leaves. KATHA DUKES begins crying as she walks toward the bed.)
KATHA DUKES: No, no, no...
(REYES steps behind her and places what she means to be a comforting hand on her shoulder. KATHA DUKES stops crying, and looks off to the side.)
KATHA DUKES: You killed him.
(KATHA DUKES gasps, as if she has been hit in the stomach. When she opens her eyes, there is glowing fire in them. REYES, still standing behind her, takes her hand away, and sadly walks toward the door. KATHA DUKES grabs a metal gas canister from the wall next to the bed and hits REYES over the head, knocking her to the floor. There is a brief struggle, but KATHA DUKES manages to get REYES' gun and point it at her. DOGGETT runs in.)
DOGGETT: Drop the weapon!
(DOGGETT grabs KATHA DUKES, and forces her against the bed.)
KATHA DUKES: (screaming) No!
DOGGETT: Drop it!
(KATHA DUKES, sobbing, finally releases the gun. DOGGETT takes it, holds it on KATHA DUKES who is crying onto her brother's body, then turns to REYES and feels her pulse.)
DOGGETT: I need a doctor!
(DR. SPEAKE enters, horrified at what she sees.)
DR. SPEAKE: Oh, my Lord.
NURSE: Get a doctor in here stat.
(DOGGETT helps REYES weakly sit up.)
DOGGETT: It's over. It's over now.
REYES: It's never over.
(SCULLY's apartment. MULDER has brought over a pizza. SCULLY is sitting on the sofa as MULDER comes out of the kitchen carrying two plates and silverware. He hides the present on the table behind her.)
SCULLY: Mulder, you never fail to surprise me. I just wish I felt like eating it right now.
MULDER: That's cool. We can just wait for the cheese to congeal and eat it later.
(He sits beside her on the sofa and sets the two plates on the table beside the open pizza box. He didn't skimp on the toppings. SCULLY has a wistful expression on her face. MULDER's face falls in mock depression.)
MULDER: You miss your regular pizza man, don't you?
(SCULLY pretends to pout.)
SCULLY: Yes. That's okay. He's coming by later.
(MULDER looks at her a moment, just insecure enough to wonder. She smiles at him warmly, he smiles and she laughs. From the table behind the couch, MULDER produces the gift he brought earlier.)
MULDER: I bet you forgot about that, didn't you?
SCULLY: No, I didn't, actually. I thought about it a lot while I was lying in my hospital bed wondering what on earth you could have given me.
(SCULLY is opening the gift.)
SCULLY: Oh, my god. Oh, Mulder.
(She is delighted. It is an old-fashioned home-made rag doll.)
MULDER: Is it what you imagined?
SCULLY: Not even close.
(She laughs. MULDER leans over and looks at the doll's embroidered face.)
MULDER: Oh, my, that's the wrong doll, actually.
(She makes as if to hit him with the doll. They laugh.)
SCULLY: But then that's the other gift that you gave me, Mulder.
(He looks at her questioningly. She looks back at him fondly.)
SCULLY: Courage... to believe. And I hope that's a gift I can pass on.
(MULDER glances down at her belly and they smile at each other. She gently touches the doll's face. Camera closes in on her face as it fades to …)
(… DOGGETT's face, looking through the window of what looks like the door of a room in a mental hospital. In the room, KATHA DUKES lies strapped to the bed. She is unmoving, but her eyes stare straight ahead, an expression on confused horror frozen on her face. DOGGETT watches her.)
[Fade to black]