(Funeral parlor. After a service. A few mourners have stayed to talk to the grieving WIDOW.)
WOMAN: We're so sorry, Mrs. Crouch. If there's anything we can do for you, anything, you just let us know.
WIDOW: Thank you so much. It would have meant a lot to him. I'm sorry. Thank you. (embracing the woman) Thank you for coming.
(The mourners leave. A MAN, clean cut, about 50 comes over to the WIDOW.)
MAN: Mrs. Crouch? I'm sorry for your loss.
WIDOW: Thank you. Mr …
MAN: Johnson. I worked briefly with your husband. I was impressed by him. Very much so.
WIDOW: Thank you.
MAN: I'm sorry.
(The MAN leaves. The WIDOW looks at the coffin. The FUNERAL DIRECTOR locks the door and comes to stand next to the WIDOW.)
WIDOW: (to the coffin, sadly) Hell of a Christmas, Raymond.
FUNERAL DIRECTOR: He's at peace now. That's one small comfort to be drawn.
WIDOW: Didn't even leave a note.
(The WIDOW leaves. The FUNERAL DIRECTOR turns out the lights, closes the doors and leaves also. The MAN steps out from where he's been hiding behind another door. He goes to the coffin and opens it. Very dead guy inside the coffin. He removes his own jacket and shirt and drops them to the floor all while praying softly.)
MAN: I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life.
(He begins undressing the body in the coffin, having to struggle to get the sleeves off the man's stiff arms. He removes the man's FBI tie tack and holds it in his teeth as he removes the dead man's shirt.)
MAN: He that believeth in me... though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me...shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me... though he were dead yet shall he live...
(He now has the body down to an undershirt. He places a lighted cell phone in the dead man's hand.)
MAN: … whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. He that believeth in me... though he were dead yet shall he live.
(He closes the lid of the coffin and leaves.)
DECEMBER 29, 1999
(Graveyard at night. Sound of thunder rumbling, rain falling. The MAN from the funeral parlor, now wearing the clothing he removed from the dead man, including the FBI tie tack, is sitting in his car watching one of the graves. He has a cell phone sitting on the seat beside him. It rings. Instead of answering it, he gets a shovel from the trunk and goes over to the grave. Sound of the ringing cell phone continues.)
(Graveyard. Area around the gravesite is a crime scene. SCULLY pulls up alone, gets out and shows her badge.)
YOUNG COP: Thank you, ma'am.
(SCULLY pulls the police tape up, ducks under it and starts to walk towards a grave. She is stopped by the FUNERAL DIRECTOR. He is slightly upset.)
FUNERAL DIRECTOR: Are you with the FBI, too?
SCULLY: Yes, sir.
FUNERAL DIRECTOR: Look. I know my job. The man was deceased.
SCULLY: I'm sorry?
FUNERAL DIRECTOR: I understand that he was one of your own -- but these rumours I'm hearing that I put a living human being into the ground... You people better get your facts straight real fast.
(SCULLY, with a resigned look on her face, goes over to the open grave. MULDER, wearing rubber-soled shoes is inside the grave looking at the now empty coffin. Conversation is friendly bantering.)
SCULLY: Mulder, have you been spreading rumours?
MULDER: Why? You hear any good ones lately?
SCULLY: Not particularly. So what do you have here?
MULDER: Merry Christmas, by the way, Scully.
SCULLY: Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, too.
MULDER: Grave robbery with a twist. Check out the headliner, Scully.
(He lifts the lid and shows that the headliner in the coffin has been torn as if by fingernails.)
SCULLY: It looks like someone on the inside was trying to get out.
MULDER: Indeed it does. To answer your question -- no, I haven't been spreading any rumours. The local PD's been doing a pretty good job of that ever since they matched the fingerprints of the dead man to these. And to those up there on that headstone. There's a big juicy handprint on the back. (SCULLY looks. Head stone for Raymond Crouch. Indeed there is a hand print. MULDER climbs out of the grave.)
SCULLY: What about the person or persons who did the digging?
MULDER: Well, got one pile of dirt. I'm guessing one man with a shovel. Other than that last night's rain hasn't left us much to go on. Well, go ahead, Scully, naysay me. The body of an FBI agent gets disinterred only to climb out on its own and disappear into the Yuletide night.
SCULLY: (slight smile) See, you had me up until there.
MULDER: Did I?
SCULLY: I think it's what you said before. I think it's a grave robbery with a twist. You've got the fingerprints and the torn casket liner. Most likely it's rigged evidence that's been faked by whoever exhumed the body.
MULDER: Faked for what effect?
SCULLY: Publicity ... fear ... rumours ... I mean, I don't know what specific effect, but nonetheless it's ... (notices MULDER looking down at the ground) What?
(There is a faint red ring around the gravesite.)
MULDER: Looks like blood.
(The MAN from the funeral parlor is driving a pickup truck on a rural highway. He is alone in the cab.)
MAN: And whosoever believeth and liveth in me shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though He be dead, yet shall he live and whosoever believeth and Liveth in me shall never die.
(There is a thumping sound. In the rear view mirror he sees a hand reaching up from the bed of the truck. He continues praying, a little more intensely now.)
MAN: I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though He be dead, yet shall he live and whosoever believeth and Liveth in me shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life.
(He passes a Georgia road sign, highway 121.)
(SKINNER's office. SKINNER, SCULLY, MULDER and three other team members are sitting at SKINNER's conference table looking at files and photos. SCULLY opens a file with a picture of the man from the coffin.)
SCULLY: Special Agent Raymond Crouch, Age 56, married, no children. After a sterling 21-year career with the Bureau, he retired in 1993. And, then earlier this month, he was found in the garage of his Tallahassee home, service weapon in hand.
(She holds up a photo of the man slumped against the wall, gunshot to the chest.)
SKINNER: Definitely self-inflicted?
SCULLY: I read over the report and there's no indication otherwise.
SKINNER: How about a motive for the grave robberies?
MALE AGENT: We've gone through all the cases Crouch had a hand in. He doesn't seem to have made any enemies.
FEMALE AGENT: Same thing with his personal life. No large debts, no feuds with neighbors, never a bad word against him.
SKINNER: Nothing stands out?
MULDER: Should something stand out?
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, what's your take on this?
MULDER: Well, only that I don't think it was grave robbery per se. (Pause. He and SCULLY both look down. Here it comes.) It was necromancy.
(The other agents are uncomfortable.)
MULDER: The summoning of the dead. It's a form of magic dating back to primitive Shamanism with a long tradition in the Christian church. Through it, the dead are brought back to life for the purposes of divulging arcane knowledge or performing ritual tasks.
MALE AGENT: So, that's what this wacko thought he was doing? Raising the dead?
MULDER: No, that's what he was doing. (shows picture) This is a, uh... that's a magic circle drawn in goat's blood. The rain washed most of it away. The blood attracts the spirits of the undead while the circle focuses the necromancer's power while protecting him from the spirits that he's conjuring.
MALE AGENT: (not believing) Okay.
MULDER: He may also desire to wear the clothes of the dead man to create a bond between them. You would not want to be this man's dry cleaner.
SCULLY: Obviously, there are clear ritualistic elements to this crime. But the question is why were they directed at Raymond Crouch?
MULDER: That is the question.
SKINNER: Well, let's come up with an answer.
(The AGENTS get up and gather files and photos.)
SKINNER: Mulder, Scully, a word, please.
(The other three AGENTS leave the room.)
SKINNER: Necromancy aside ... this magic circle you mentioned -- what if it looked something like this?
(SKINNER hands them a picture of a snake eating its own tail. Same symbol tattooed on SCULLY's back in Never Again, season 4.)
MULDER: It's an ouroboros ... Possibly. Definitely a mystical symbol. The alchemists favored it. They believe that it represented all of existence.
SKINNER: I'm thinking more the Millennium Group. It was their symbol as well. Are you familiar with them?
SCULLY: Yes, somewhat. They were former FBI agents who offered consulting services to law enforcement. Somehow, they fell into disrepute.
SKINNER: They operated in extreme secrecy. Rumours abounded that they had their own agenda which was less than altruistic if not improper or illegal.
MULDER: And that it was, in fact, a cult based upon Judeo-Christian "Endtime" prophecies concerning the coming millennium. Was Raymond Crouch a member?
SKINNER: I can't seem to find out. Apparently the group dissolved several months ago. They left no paper trail -- nothing. However ... I do have three other grave desecrations all within the last six months. Long Island ... Northern California, Arizona. All three graves contained the bodies of former FBI agents. All three were recent suicides.
(SKINNER hands them three more pictures of open graves with red circles drawn in the dirt around them.)
MULDER: How long were you going to sit on this?
SKINNER: Owing to the Millennium Group's former ties with the Bureau this matter is … sensitive, to say the least. Investigate them. Keep a low profile.
MULDER: I think I know where to start.
(Entrance to a locked area of the hospital. MULDER and SCULLY are getting visitor passes from a guard.)
SCULLY: How well do you know this man?
MULDER: Only by reputation. He left, um, Vi-Cap before I got there. But he's been called the greatest criminal profiler that Quantico ever produced.
SCULLY: What's he doing here?
(As they enter the hallway, they pass an older, smiling, not sane man.)
MULDER: (to the man) Good morning. (smiles as the actor playing the OLD MAN says something. Then turns back to SCULLY as they walk down the hall) Apparently, he checked himself in for a 30 day observation. I gather the last few years haven't been very kind to him. If there's anybody that can tell us about the Millennium Group, it's him. He used to consult for them. Later, he fought to bring them down at the expense of his own career and reputation.
SCULLY: Sounds like someone I know.
(They enter a room. A man, FRANK BLACK, is watching a football game.)
TV ANNOUNCER: ... 12 yard line and they are threatening ... pounding on the door of Boston College.
MULDER: Frank Black?
(FRANK BLACK turns and looks up at them. MULDER shows his badge.)
MULDER: Hi, my name is, uh, Fox Mulder. This is my partner, Dana Scully. It's a pleasure to meet you. Do you mind if we sit down?
TV ANNOUNCER: Higgins tries the middle and he gets ... nowhere. Running into the grey wall of Boston.
(FRANK BLACK looks back to the TV. Not waiting for response, MULDER and SCULLY sit. FRANK BLACK closes his eyes briefly and sighs.)
MULDER: Who's playing?
FRANK BLACK: Uh, it's Notre Dame and Boston College.
MULDER: Ah, the Fighting Irish and the Golden Eagles, huh?
FRANK BLACK: What can I do for you, agents?
(SCULLY looks at MULDER.)
MULDER: Well, we're working on a case that, uh, we feel that you might have some particular insight into -- the deaths of four FBI agents. Do you recognize these men?
(MULDER shows him photos of the four men. FRANK BLACK glances at them, then back to the TV.)
FRANK BLACK: I do.
SCULLY: All four committed suicide in the last six months. All were exhumed from their graves in a ritual desecration. They were members of the Millennium Group. Is that correct?
(FRANK BLACK nods.)
SCULLY: Sir, we've been having a really difficult time gleaning any information whatsoever about the group ... about its membership, its practices ... I believe you can help us.
FRANK BLACK: No, thank you. I'm retired. I think you can tell by the circumstances that I'm trying to put my life back together. I can't get involved in this.
MULDER: We're not asking you to get involved. I'm just asking you to take a look at the case file.
FRANK BLACK: No, thank you.
MULDER: Mr. Black, the day after tomorrow is January 1, 2000. That's the significant date for these people. That doesn't leave us much time. Don't you want to see them stopped?
(FRANK BLACK, uncomfortable, ignores him, stares at the TV. Disappointed, MULDER gathers the pictures.)
MULDER: Well, Mr. Black, you are not what I was expecting.
FRANK BLACK: Agent Mulder...
FRANK BLACK: It's first and 18. Just let me watch this game in peace.
(MULDER looks up at the football game. The score is 7 to 7, 3rd and 10.)
MULDER: (not happy) It's third and ten. It's third and ten, Notre Dame.
FRANK BLACK: Happy New Year.
MULDER: (really not happy) Same to you.
(MULDER and SCULLY leave.)
(The MAN from the funeral parlor and the graveyard is fixing a flat tire on his truck. A DEPUTY stops and walks over with a flashlight.)
DEPUTY: Could I, uh, give you a hand?
MAN: Oh, no. I'm about done, but thanks. Guess I ran over a nail or something.
DEPUTY: (aiming the flashlight) Well, I can help you see, at least.
MAN: Yeah, I've been driving all night. Be good to get home.
DEPUTY: I hear you.
(The DEPUTY sniffs the air.)
DEPUTY: Man... Whew. What is that?
MAN: (looking around) Oh, yeah. I think a deer maybe must've died out there in the woods.
(The DEPUTY hears flies buzzing. He looks suspiciously at the bed of the truck.)
DEPUTY: Sir? What's in the truck?
DEPUTY: Mind if I take a look?
MAN: (still holding the tire iron) There's nothing in there, so...
DEPUTY: Drop that and take two steps back. Drop it.
(The MAN drops the tire iron. The DEPUTY walks toward the truck. Sound of flies buzzing gets louder. The MAN sprinkles a ring of white stuff around himself on the ground)
MAN: (quietly) He who believeth in me, though he be dead, yet shall he live and whosoever believeth and liveth in me shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life.
(The DEPUTY looks in the bed of the truck, sees the dead man from the teaser, then turns back to the MAN who is still praying.)
DEPUTY: Oh, Lord! Stand up there! Stand up! Let me see your hands.
MAN: I am the resurrection...
MAN: He who believeth in me, though...
DEPUTY: Speak up!
(The body rises out of the bed of the truck and attacks the DEPUTY. The DEPUTY screams. The MAN continues praying inside the circle.)
(Next morning on the rural Maryland highway. Crime scene. The Rice County Sheriff DEPUTY's car is still parked on the scene. Lots of law enforcement. SCULLY walks over to where MULDER is looking at the ring of white stuff that the MAN sprinkled.)
SCULLY: Hey. (MULDER doesn't look up) I've got the men concentrating on the woods.
MULDER: Our necromancer was definitely here. (he rubs the white stuff between his gloved fingers, stands up and licks it) It's salt. Heavy magic.
SCULLY: Well, if you're going to tell me that he, uh, stopped by the side of the road to raise the dead, which I hope you're not, I've got two things to say to you. One is that his previous circles were made of blood, not salt, and two...
MULDER: And they were large enough to contain a body. This is just a protective circle. It's just big enough for one man to stand inside.
SCULLY: Protecting himself against what?
(They look down at a patch of bloody ground.)
MULDER: Whatever it was that did that.
SHERIFF: Agents! Over here!
(MULDER and SCULLY run over to where the SHERIFF has found something.)
SHERIFF: I saw a lump in the ground.
(It is the body of the DEPUTY.)
SHERIFF: My God...
MULDER: Bite marks. They look human.
SCULLY: More salt.
(The DEPUTY's mouth is sealed with two huge staples and is packed with salt. MULDER pulls a piece of paper out of the DEPUTY's mouth and unrolls and reads it. It is hand written in red.)
MULDER: (reading) "I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; And have the keys of hell and of death."
YOUNG COP WHO KNOWS THE BIBLE: Book of Revelation chapter one, verse 18.
MULDER: Go Fighting Irish.
(SCULLY looks at him.)
(In the psychiatric hospital. MULDER drops the paper from the DEPUTY's mouth on a table in front of FRANK BLACK.)
MULDER: First and 18. It's not football, it's Revelations. You wanted to tell us something, Frank. Why don't you just come out and say it?
FRANK BLACK: I don't know what you're talking about. I told you, I cannot get involved in this.
MULDER: Right, so you'll occasionally drop the little arcane hint? A police officer was murdered, Frank. Why do you want to play around? Your denial's a sign that you obviously know something about that. You knew that we'd find this. What are you afraid of?
(SCULLY has entered.)
SCULLY: Losing your daughter. You're in a custody battle with the parents of your late wife. I just spoke with your doctor. That's why you're here.
FRANK BLACK: They claimed I was an unfit father, that I was obsessed with conspiracy, the end of the world, that my work meant more to me than my daughter, Jordan. The thing is ... they were right.
SCULLY: And so you retired.
FRANK BLACK: I will sell insurance. I'll do whatever it takes. I'll get well and I'll jump through whatever hoops they want, but I will not mention the Millennium Group again.
MULDER: But you obviously want to help. You ... dropped that clue on us. Look, Frank, nobody needs to know about this. We're just three people sitting around talking.
(Later, the three are sitting at the table looking at a file, #X-120898. Agent Raymond Crouch's picture is taken out of the file and added to a pile on the table.)
FRANK BLACK: The Book of Revelation describes the end of the physical world in a battle between heaven and hell ... Good against Evil. The Millennium Group believed that that time was upon us. These four represent a schism in the group. (FRANK indicates the pictures of the four dead men laid out on the table.) They believe that for the end time to come, as it must that man must take an active hand in bringing that about.
SCULLY: And to that end, they committed suicide.
FRANK BLACK: Yeah.
MULDER: With the express purpose of being brought back to life. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These four men bring with them war, pestilence, famine and death.
FRANK BLACK: So that all the dead of the earth will arise -- Armageddon. It must begin with the dawn of the millennium ... or not at all. That's what they believe. The man you're looking for -- your necromancer -- he exhumed these men in accordance with their wishes.
MULDER: So is he a member of the Millennium Group as well?
FRANK BLACK: No, they sought him out. He believes he's doing God's work but he's mistaken.
SCULLY: Could you tell us a little bit more about this man?
FRANK BLACK: He's a white male, 45 to 50. He's a religious man, no police record ... no fulfilling relationship. You would pass him without giving him a glance.
MULDER: So this is the one event that'll give his life meaning.
FRANK BLACK: Yeah. He needs privacy for this. He'll live alone ... possibly in the house he grew up in. Most likely it's a large rural property away from prying eyes. He'll own a truck or a van. He needs it to transport the bodies. There'll be high fences, "No Trespassing" signs. It's a solitary existence. He's worked around death all his life in some capacity -- a funeral parlor or a cemetery. Death comforts him.
(As FRANK BLACK speaks we see the camera panning across exactly what he is describing - the MAN's house. A large chain-link fence surrounds the property. He is apparently a taxidermist working on a fox-like animal's eye. He is watching a news report on the missing DEPUTY.)
TV NEWS ANNOUNCER: A Rice County sheriff's deputy...
FRANK BLACK: … He took great care in burying the deputy and preparing the body despite the fact that he feared being caught. He stapled the lips, sealed the mouth shut. It was to prevent the man from coming back to life. He believes, that if disturbed the deputy will rise from the dead. It's too soon for that, which is why when he realizes that the deputy has been discovered he'll feel a need to take action. He'll return to the body the first chance he gets.
SCULLY: Rice County morgue.
FRANK BLACK: I think you'll catch him there.
MULDER: These four members of the Millennium Group ... the ones that "truly liveth who were dead." These are the ones we have to catch.
(SCULLY gives a look.)
NURSE: Mr. Black?
FRANK BLACK: Yeah?
NURSE: You've got a phone call. I think it might be your daughter.
FRANK BLACK: Thank you. (he smiles warmly) My daughter. Excuse me.
(FRANK BLACK leaves the room. SCULLY looks down for a moment, then she and MULDER share a look and go back to the hospital entrance.)
SCULLY: Mulder, you're telling me it's more important to track down four dead bodies than one live murderer.
MULDER: He's not our murderer, and those four dead bodies aren't dead and the millennium is … (looks at his watch) … 14 hours away.
(The door buzzes for them as they exit the hall.)
SCULLY: Mulder, those people, even when they were alive mangled biblical prophecy to the extent that it's unrecognizable. The year 2000 is just their artificial deadline and besides, 2001 is actually the start of the new millennium.
MULDER: (slight smile) Nobody likes a math geek, Scully.
SCULLY: Anyway, I think that Frank's profile is sound.
MULDER: I do, too.
SCULLY: And I think with it we have our best chance of finding this necromancer, as you call him. So I am going down to the county morgue.
MULDER: I absolutely think you should.
SCULLY: And what are you going to do?
MULDER: Follow the profile. The deputy was killed on a road that connects from the north with no major highway. I'm thinking our necromancer lives nearby. I'm going to do a rundown on all single landowners in the area see where the bodies are buried, since we all ... Oh, Scully, will you do me a favor? Don't let anybody remove the staples from the deputy's mouth, okay? Please? Just humor me. Thanks.
(Morgue. The CORONER is removing the staples from the DEPUTY's mouth and speaking into a recorder.)
CORONER: Proceeding with the visual examination of the mouth.
(She pulls the DEPUTY's mouth open and salt slowly spills out. The phone rings. She is irritated at being interrupted.)
(The answering machine clicks on. The CORONER continues with her examination.)
CORONER: What appears to be salt is packed into the victim's mouth.
(Faintly, we hear SCULLY's voice leaving a message.)
CORONER: God only knows why. I'm removing it.
(She removes several spoonfuls of salt from the DEPUTY's mouth. The phone rings again. She goes into the office and listens to the answering machine.)
ANSWERING MACHINE: This is the Rice County morgue. No one can come to the phone.
SCULLY'S VOICE: This is Agent Dana Scully with the FBI. Please do not autopsy the murder victim that was brought in earlier -- the sheriff's deputy. If you've already started, stop now. I'll be there shortly and I'll explain when I arrive.
(During the message we see movement through the window behind the CORONER. The machine beeps as the message ends. The CORONER turns and screams as the DEPUTY, now risen from the dead, attacks her. The phone is knocked off the hook.)
(Short time later. SCULLY enters the morgue cautiously. Three dead people waiting on tables. Busy morgue.)
(She unholsters her gun and enters the office. The phone is dangling off the hook making that loud tone that phones make when you leave them off the hook for a couple of minutes. Blood and the CORONER's broken goggles are on the floor. SCULLY follows a trail of blood into an adjoining room. The CORONER is lying against the wall covered in blood and bite marks. She is hurt badly, gasping and choking. SCULLY goes to check her pulse, but then turns to see the MAN standing in the doorway. SCULLY aims her gun at him, but then turns to see the should-be-dead DEPUTY attacking her. She fires three shots into the DEPUTY's chest. The shots have no effect and he comes closer. Then her gun is knocked out of her hands and lands at the feet of the MAN who is still standing in the doorway. He looks down at the gun.)
(Morgue. Later. EMTs and police are swarming around the place. They are loading the wounded CORONER onto an ambulance as SKINNER enters.)
SKINNER: Where is she?
SHERIFF: (pointing inside) On the right.
(SKINNER enters the morgue and lifts up the corner of a sheet covering a dead body on the floor. It is the DEPUTY, really dead now. SCULLY comes up behind him.)
(SKINNER looks at the bite marks on SCULLY's neck. She doesn't appear to be hurt badly, but is very tired.)
SKINNER: How are you feeling?
SCULLY: All things considered...?
SKINNER: What the hell happened here? Who is that man?
SCULLY: The Sheriff's Deputy. The man we found this morning. He was dead and then, somehow, he wasn't. He attacked me.
SKINNER: You shot him?
SCULLY: Three rounds center-of-mass into his chest. No effect.
SKINNER: There's a gunshot wound to his head as well.
SCULLY: Yeah, this man, uh, Mulder calls a "necromancer," our suspect, he was here, too. He fired that shot with my gun. He saved me. I have no idea why. He got away but I was in no shape to follow. Look, sir, I can't even begin to offer an explanation for what happened but I have to say it is exactly what Mulder feared.
SKINNER: Yeah, which is why I would like to talk to him. Why isn't he answering his phone?
(SCULLY looks concerned.)
(Rural area. MULDER arrives at the MAN's fenced in house. He crosses the name Mark Johnson off of a list on a sheet of paper. It was number 10 on the list, all the others above it crossed off, leaving the names Fred Keenan and Lee Montana as numbers 11 and 12. The other names we can see are Erik Haas, Shane Hammond and Gary Hashimoto. MULDER tries to make a call, but his cell phone registers No Service.)
MULDER: Welcome to the boondocks.
(MULDER gets out of the car and goes to the fence. He looks over at the trash cans, one marked with the name "Johnson." He opens the can and finds a large empty bag that once contained 50 pounds of "Kosher Salt." He takes a handful of salt from the bottom of the bag and puts it into his pocket. He looks at the lock on the fence, then climbs over the fence.)
(The MAN is driving and singing to himself. He checks his watch.)
MAN: (singing) In the sweet by and by, we will meet on that beautiful shore.
(MULDER picks the lock on the front door and enters the house. He looks around at all the stuffed wild animals then goes to the basement door. It is heavily barricaded with boards.)
(Outside, the MAN pulls up behind MULDER's car.)
(Inside, MULDER removes boards from the door, opens it and turns on his flashlight. He goes down into the basement, which has a dirt floor. Very creepy. Suddenly, a hand reaches up out of the dirt, then another and another until four zombie-like men have risen from the dirt. MULDER spins in a circle flashing his light on the men in shock. He turns and sees the MAN standing in the doorway at the top of the stairs. One of the dead men attack MULDER, sending him crashing against the bottom of the stairs. The MAN closes and blocks the door as MULDER runs upstairs.)
MULDER: (yelling) Open the door! Open the door! Open it! Let me out! Let me out!
(The MAN winces as he hears five gunshots fired in the basement.)
(At the psychiatric hospital. SCULLY, very worried, is talking to FRANK BLACK.)
FRANK BLACK: I haven't heard from him. He didn't go to the morgue with you?
SCULLY: No, he went looking for our suspect's home. No one's been able to contact him since. I've got task force agents canvassing the northwestern Maryland area but it's a large territory to cover and we're running out of time. Sir, I'm just afraid that Mulder may have found what he's looking for. I need your help in finding him.
FRANK BLACK: Now, you respected my reasons in the past, Agent Scully. Please respect them now.
SCULLY: I'm not sure that I really understand your reasons, sir, and I'm starting to wonder what this is all about and how much you know about it. Mulder mentioned the four Millennium members who "liveth and were dead." Now, this morning in the morgue, I saw what he was talking about.
FRANK BLACK: You did?
SCULLY: One of them attacked me.
FRANK BLACK: I'm sorry.
SCULLY: Now, as crazy as this sounds, I have to ask. Do you believe that the Millennium Group is actually capable of bringing about the Endtime? Armageddon?
FRANK BLACK: I understand their beliefs. I've spent years trying to unravel them, make sense of them. Doesn't mean I believe them myself.
SCULLY: But what if it were true? Good and evil -- which would prevail?
FRANK BLACK: I'm sorry.
(Dejected, SCULLY leaves. FRANK BLACK looks up at the NURSE.)
FRANK BLACK: Octavia, I'm going to check myself out.
NURSE: You'd like a day pass?
FRANK BLACK: I won't be coming back.
(Basement of the MAN's house. MULDER has his panic face on. He is standing inside a small circle of salt. His right arm is badly wounded. Sounds of growling are coming from all sides of the room.)
(Outside, the MAN is sitting against the side of he house. He hears footsteps and goes to see who it is.)
MAN: Who's there?
FRANK BLACK: It's me.
MAN: (amazed and delighted) You came.
FRANK BLACK: I almost didn't.
MAN: We'd given up on you. Thank God. Thank God. There's someone in the basement ... policeman. He killed one of the members. Shot him in the head. But you're here. Now we'll have four.
FRANK BLACK: I'm here.
(FRANK BLACK and the MAN enter the house.)
MAN: I can't tell you how happy I am. You were meant to be the fourth. I always knew that. I'd so hoped you'd come around.
FRANK BLACK: I didn't want to. The man in the basement? I told him how to find this place.
MAN: You ... why?
FRANK BLACK: I was trying to walk the straight and narrow. Leave the Millennium Group behind. But I know I can't do that anymore. Now that I know you've succeeded.
MAN: You didn't believe the dead would arise?
FRANK BLACK: No.
MAN: You see what the future holds, Frank. You know you can't run from it.
FRANK BLACK: No, I can't run.
MAN: You've paid so dearly. They've taken your daughter from you. Murdered your wife ... there's no justice in this world.
(The MAN removes a gun from a drawer and places it on the desk.)
MAN: But there will be in the next.
(The clock reads 10:13.)
MAN: The hour's near. Are you ready, Frank?
FRANK BLACK: (picking up the gun) I'm ready.
(FRANK checks the gun, it's full with 6 bullets.)
MAN: I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead...
FRANK BLACK: … yet shall he live. Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
(FRANK BLACK surprises the MAN by shoving the gun against the MAN's chest.)
(SCULLY driving. It is dark and raining. Her phone rings.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Scully.
SKINNER: (on phone) This is Skinner. We back-checked Frank Black as you asked.
SCULLY: (on phone) And?
SKINNER: (on phone) He took no calls at Hartwell Psychiatric other than from his daughter, but the staff took messages including one from a Rice County number.
SCULLY: Rice County? That's where I am right now.
SKINNER: (on phone) We ran the phone records for Agent Crouch and the other desecration victims. All four received calls from this same number in weeks before their deaths.
SCULLY: I'm going to need an address.
(Back at the MAN's house. FRANK BLACK is tying the MAN to the chair with duct tape.)
MAN: (desperate) Don't do this. I'm begging you, please. You know what the world is. Evil goes unpunished. The good suffer. There's no future here but uncertainty and pain. Let the judgment come! You're damning yourself, Frank!
(FRANK BLACK pulls the board away from the basement door and cautiously enters the basement.)
FRANK BLACK: Agent Mulder? Can you hear me? Agent Mulder?
MULDER: (scared) Yeah ... I'm down here. They're all around.
(FRANK BLACK lights a flare and throws it down showing MULDER still standing in his little circle and DEAD GUY #1, really dead now, shot in the head, on the ground in front of him. He lights another flare and tosses it down.)
MULDER: You armed?
FRANK BLACK: (taking out the gun) Oh, yeah.
MULDER: Shoot for the head. That seems to stop 'em. There's three more of 'em.
FRANK BLACK: Where?
MULDER: I don't know. They're hiding.
(FRANK BLACK comes down the stairs. He turns and sees DEAD GUY #2 running at him. He shoots it three times in the head and it falls, really dead. Another one hisses.)
(SCULLY driving. She glances down at a map.)
(Basement. MULDER is sitting on the ground.)
FRANK BLACK: Mulder, can you get up?
MULDER: Yeah, I think so.
(MULDER starts to get up. MULDER sees another one attacking them.)
MULDER: Look out!
(Growling, the DEAD GUY #3 attacks FRANK BLACK pushing him to the floor and trying to bite him.)
(Outside, SCULLY has arrived. She gets out of her car and starts to pick the lock on the gate.)
(In the basement, MULDER shoots DEAD GUY #3 twice in the head. It falls off of FRANK BLACK, really dead.)
(Outside, SCULLY opens the gate.)
(In the basement, MULDER is helping FRANK BLACK sit up when the final dead guy breaks the wall and enters the room. MULDER fires at him, but the clip is empty. DEAD GUY #4 hisses and comes toward them, but SCULLY, who has come down the stairs shoots him three times in the head and he also falls really dead.)
(Hospital waiting room. Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve is on the television. FRANK BLACK is watching it.)
DICK CLARK: There's another shot of that millennium crystal ball all lit up. They're getting ready to bring in the New Year. Boy, are they packed in tonight. The body heat alone is keeping them warm. And look at them -- all the way up past 52nd street. That is that X-shaped thing I was talking about before. This is Times Square -- the crossroads of the world...
SCULLY: Mr. Black.
FRANK BLACK: Hi.
SCULLY: Mike Johnson's been taken for psychiatric evaluation. He'll be put under suicide watch just as you asked.
FRANK BLACK: Good.
SCULLY: (smiles) And, um...
FRANK BLACK: What?
SCULLY: There's someone here to see you.
(A little girl, JORDAN, FRANK BLACK's daughter runs in.)
JORDAN: Hi, Daddy!
FRANK BLACK: (embracing her) Hi, little one! Oh, I missed you, Sweetheart.
JORDAN: I missed you, too, Daddy.
(SCULLY watches them hug, then looks up as MULDER enters, smiling. His right arm is in a sling.)
FRANK BLACK: Let's get out of here.
(FRANK BLACK and MULDER shake left hands.)
MULDER: Frank, good luck with everything.
FRANK BLACK: Agent Mulder, Agent Scully. I guess this is it, huh?
(Clock on the TV reads 11:59:23.)
DICK CLARK: (on TV) … The ball is on its way...
SCULLY: You're not going to stay and watch?
FRANK BLACK: No, we just want to go home.
(FRANK BLACK and his daughter leave the room. MULDER and SCULLY are alone watching the TV.)
DICK CLARK: (on TV) What a millennium...
FRANK BLACK: Take care of yourselves.
DICK CLARK: (on TV) … 30 seconds now, 30. Get ready for the loudest cheering you'll ever hear in your life. Hug your friends and loved ones tight. What the heck, whoever that person is next to you. No time like the present. Are you ready? Here we go. Ten, nine ... eight, seven, six ... five, four, three, two, one ... Happy New Year, 2000!
("Auld Lang Syne" is playing. Couples are kissing on the TV screen.)
TV MUSIC: Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne …
(MULDER looks at the kissing couples, then at SCULLY who is watching the TV. He looks at her lips. MULDER leans down toward her. She turns to him. They kiss. For about 7 seconds. Very sweet. They pull apart and look at each other and smile. Perfect.)
MULDER: The world didn't end.
SCULLY: No, it didn't.
(SCULLY gets a wistful, far-away expression.)
MULDER: Happy New Year, Scully.
SCULLY: Happy New Year, Mulder.
(MULDER puts his arm around SCULLY's shoulders and they walk out of the waiting room together.)