WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 7, 1996
(Skinner is in his lawyer's office. He sits at a table with some papers in front of him while the lawyer paces behind him.)
SKINNER: This is it? I just sign this and it's done?
JANE CASSAL: As soon as I file it with the City Clerk.
SKINNER: (staring at his pen) This pen ... she gave it to me. It was an anniversary present. I don't remember which one.
JANE CASSAL: Walter. They are expecting the signed documents by the end of business today - which was 10 minutes ago.
SKINNER: I know what time it is.
JANE CASSAL: Then you should sign.
(Skinner puts the cap back on the pen, stands and puts his coat on.)
JANE CASSAL: What are you doing, Walter?
SKINNER: After seventeen years, they can wait another day.
JANE CASSAL: Listen. No one knows better than I what an emotional experience this is ...
SKINNER: Don't "lawyer" me, Jane. I'll do it tomorrow.
JANE CASSAL: Why put yourself through another day of this?
SKINNER: I said tomorrow.
(He leaves. She gathers the papers, which have at the top "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.")
CHESAPEAKE LOUNGE, AMBASSADOR HOTEL
(Skinner sits alone at the bar in the crowded lounge. A young woman approaches him.)
CARINA SAYLES: Excuse me. Are you holding this for someone? It's the only open seat.
SKINNER: Go ahead.
BARTENDER: (to Carina) Good evening. What can I get you?
CARINA SAYLES: Tonic water with lime, please.
BARTENDER: Sir, would you like another one?
CARINA SAYLES: (to Skinner) Thanks.
SKINNER: For what? Ordering another drink?
CARINA SAYLES: There's a man behind me wearing a red tie. For some reason, he felt compelled to tell me half his life story. I was afraid if you got up, he might try to get in the other half.
SKINNER: (smiles) I guess some people think that you owe something, just 'cause you're out alone.
CARINA SAYLES: Does it ever bother you?
CARINA SAYLES: Being alone.
(Skinner and Carina are making love in a room at the hotel. He has his head back and eyes closed as Carina kisses his neck. There is a screeching noise and when Skinner opens his eyes, he sees an old woman lying on top of him instead of Carina. He then appears to awaken from a dream, breathing heavily and sweating. He looks beside him and sees Carina lying motionless, the sheet partially covering her face. When he lifts the sheet, he discovers that both her back and face are toward him. Her neck has been broken. He recoils in horror.)
(Mulder has come to the hotel the next morning. As he gets off the elevator, Carina's body is being wheeled out on a stretcher. There are several officers and detectives in the hallway. He flashes his badge at an officer and then approaches two officers outside the room.)
MULDER: I'm looking for Detective Waltos?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: Who's asking?
MULDER: My name is Mulder. I work with Assistant Director Skinner. I'd like to speak with him.
(Skinner is sitting in a chair in the room. Mulder's cell phone rings.)
DETECTIVE WALTOS: You can see him after he gives his statement. We're gonna finish up at the station house.
MULDER: Why don't you just get a statement here?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: It seems that the Assistant Director is suffering from a minor memory lapse.
(Waltos goes back into the room while Mulder answers his phone.)
MULDER: (to phone) Yeah.
(Scully is calling from her car. She is driving in a heavy rain.)
SCULLY: (on phone) Mulder, it's me. I just got your message. You said Skinner called in a homicide?
MULDER: Yeah, it appears to be a little more complicated than that. It seems like he had a front-row seat.
SCULLY: I don't understand.
MULDER: I don't understand it either. They're not letting me talk to him. Hold on a second.
(Skinner and Waltos are coming out of the room.)
MULDER: (to Skinner) Excuse me, sir?
SKINNER: I appreciate your concern, Agent Mulder, but there's no need for you to get involved in this.
(He continues down the hall, followed by Waltos. Waltos is reluctant to talk to Mulder.)
MULDER: Detective? Detective? Detective? (Waltos finally stops) Can you at least tell me what happened? What does he say happened?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: Well, he claims he met the victim in the bar downstairs. After a couple of drinks, they decided to get a room together, which is all fine except when he wakes up, he finds her lying next to him with a broken neck. That's all he says he remembers.
MULDER: You don't believe him?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: He refused to take a polygraph test. It's not helping his credibility.
MULDER: What about the victim? Has she been identified?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: Not yet. She had no purse, nothing with a name on it.
MULDER: Well, there must be evidence of an intruder of some kind.
DETECTIVE WALTOS: Uh, Agent Mulder, I've been on the job for eighteen years. I know the drill.
MULDER: Well, then, if you know the drill, then you should be canvassing hotel employees, housekeeping ...
DETECTIVE WALTOS: I appreciate that he's a colleague of yours, but I want you to understand something. He's also a suspect.
(Waltos starts to leave again.)
MULDER: Detective? (hands him his card) When you're done questioning him, I'd appreciate a call.
DETECTIVE WALTOS: All right.
(Mulder resumes his phone conversation with Scully.)
MULDER: Get any of that?
SCULLY: Most of it. Mulder, I'm on my way.
MULDER: No, no, I want you to take a look at that body. Get down to the coroner's. I'll meet you there.
(Mulder steps into the room and sees the outline of Carina's body marked on the bed.)
(Scully is at the coroner's, recording notes from her examination of Carina's body.)
SCULLY: (to recorder) The conspicuous absence of any contusions or lacerations would strongly suggest that the victim's injuries were sustained without a struggle. From my observations, I would have to concur with the county coroner's report that her murder was most probably a sudden and violent act (Mulder enters) in a vulnerable moment. Beyond this, I found nothing in my post-mortem examination to recommend further investigation.
MULDER: Beyond what?
SCULLY: Her spinal cord was crushed, Mulder. The cervical vertebrae was fractured in what appears to be manual trauma.
MULDER: Were Skinner's the only prints lifted from the body?
SCULLY: So far. They found no semen samples. There was some irritation, probably an allergic reaction to latex.
MULDER: At least they were having safe sex.
SCULLY: Have they learned anything more?
MULDER: Yeah. Her name was Carina Sayles. She was a legal secretary for one of the criminal defense firms here in town.
SCULLY: Have you talked to anybody she worked with?
MULDER: Yeah, I just got off the phone with one of the partners. She was fired a few weeks ago over an indiscretion.
SCULLY: An indiscretion?
MULDER: Yeah, she was doing some moonlighting. She was taking a little work on the side for one of the firm's clients.
SCULLY: What kind of work?
MULDER: This client operated an escort service. She was a prostitute.
SCULLY: Give me five minutes here.
MULDER: I'll get the car.
(Mulder leaves. Scully seems shocked by this news. She walks slowly to the light switch and turns off the lights. Looking back at the body, she notices a glow from the body. Walking back to it, she sees a glowing area around Carina's mouth and nose. She records an additional note.)
SCULLY: (To recorder) Addendum: observed what appears to be a residual phosphorescence around the victim's mouth and nose. Note to have this analyzed.
1223 HANOVER STREET, GEORGETOWN
(In a stylish building, Mulder and Scully have knocked on the door of an office / apartment. A young woman answers.)
JUDY FAIRLY: Yes?
MULDER: (flashing his badge) Lorraine Kelleher?
JUDY FAIRLY: She's busy right now. Is there something I can help you with?
MULDER: Busy or not, we need to speak with her.
JUDY FAIRLY: I'll tell her you're here. Lorraine?
(Judy goes to fetch Lorraine, leaving Mulder and Scully alone. The apartment is very expensively decorated.)
SCULLY: Business must be booming.
MULDER: I think you mean "banging."
(Scully gives Mulder a look as Lorraine Kelleher appears at the top of the stairs. She is a well-dressed, middle-aged woman.)
LORRAINE KELLEHER: Whatever this is about, can we do it later? I'm running late for an appointment.
SCULLY: We'd like to ask you some questions about an employee of yours - Carina Sayles. She does work for you, doesn't she?
LORRAINE KELLEHER: (coming down the stairs) I'm ten minutes late for a meeting with her.
MULDER: Oh, that's all right. I don't think she's gonna be making that meeting.
LORRAINE KELLEHER: Oh? Why not?
MULDER: She's dead. She was murdered last night.
LORRAINE KELLEHER: How?
MULDER: That's what we're still trying to determine.
LORRAINE KELLEHER: I, um, I don't know what to say.
SCULLY: Well, you can start by telling us if she was working last night, and if she was, who paid for her company.
LORRAINE KELLEHER: I'm afraid I can't do that.
MULDER: I guess that would hurt future book sales, huh?
LORRAINE KELLEHER: You'd be surprised who some of my clients are.
MULDER: No, I don't think I would be.
SCULLY: I also doubt that they'd want to get entangled in a homicide investigation.
MULDER: Look, we just need one name from you. Who hired Carina Sayles?
LORRAINE KELLEHER: Let's just say you both work for the government. And so do I.
MULDER: (sharply) Cut the crap. Who hired her?
LORRAINE KELLEHER: She called me last night. She said that she'd met someone in a bar who was interested in a transaction. I took his credit card.
MULDER: Then you have his name.
LORRAINE KELLEHER: Walter Skinner.
(Mulder closes his eyes for a moment and then nods.)
MULDER: Thank you.
(He leaves. Scully, also disappointed, lingers for a moment.)
(They are now leaving the building and walking toward their car.)
MULDER: What the hell was he thinking?
SCULLY: It just doesn't seem like him.
MULDER: You'd think he'd be a little more discrete.
SCULLY: Well, I think the lack of discretion is the least of his sins.
MULDER: Still, not enough to prove anything conclusively.
SCULLY: No, but that doesn't mean that we can discount the evidence.
MULDER: You really believe Skinner did this?
SCULLY: Look, Mulder, I feel the same way about Skinner as you do, but we were just shown a dated record with Skinner's credit card number on it.
MULDER: Credit card fraud happens every day.
SCULLY: Skinner was in bed with a prostitute at the time of her death, and he's offered us no explanation or alibi. (they get into the car) Truth is, we don't know very much about him. We don't know what he does off duty, who he really is.
MULDER: We know that he's put his ass on the line for us a number of times. We owe it to him to find out what really happened.
SCULLY: Even if it means proving his guilt?
(Mulder's cell phone rings.)
MULDER: (to phone) Yeah, Mulder. Thank you. (hangs up)
SCULLY: Who was that?
MULDER: Detective Waltos. Skinner's been released on his own recognizance.
SECOND DISTRICT POLICE STATION
(Skinner is walking out of the building as Mulder and Scully drive up. They run to catch up with him, but Skinner continues to walk away from them, crossing the street.)
MULDER: Sir? Sir?
SKINNER: This doesn't concern either of you.
MULDER: Of course it concerns us.
SCULLY: Why won't you tell us what happened last night, sir?
SKINNER: Read the police report if you're really that curious.
MULDER: Does it explain why you refused to take a polygraph test? Or why there's a prostitute in the morgue with your fingerprints all over her?
(Skinner stops and looks back at Mulder in surprise.)
SKINNER: You didn't know she was a prostitute, did you?
(Skinner looks at Mulder, then Scully. Beyond them, he sees an old woman, the same one he saw in the hotel room, standing on the steps to the police station and wearing a bright red, hooded overcoat. Skinner moves past Mulder and starts back across the street, nearly getting hit by several cars and prompting several horn honks and appropriate comments from motorists. As he gets to the other side of the street, the old woman is no longer where she was. He does see a woman walking toward the police station wearing a bright red coat. He runs after her, grabbing her by the shoulder and turning her around just as she reaches the door. She pulls off the hood, but it's not the old woman.)
SHARON SKINNER: Walter. I just heard what happened. I was coming to see you.
(Skinner looks at her, then turns and walks away without saying anything. Mulder and Scully approach the woman.)
SHARON SKINNER: Walter?
SCULLY: Do you know him?
SHARON SKINNER: I used to think so. I'm Sharon Skinner. I'm his wife.
(Mulder, Scully and Sharon Skinner are talking at a table in the police station.)
SCULLY: We were just a little caught off guard. Neither of us even knew that he was married. I mean, he never told us.
SHARON SKINNER: Well, one of the things Walter has always been good at is keeping secrets. But the truth is, we haven't been together for almost 8 months.
SCULLY: Has he always been such a private person?
SHARON SKINNER: It's more than that. He lives under this misguided notion that silence is strength. He's built a wall to keep everyone out.
SCULLY: Including you?
SHARON SKINNER: Yeah, especially me.
SCULLY: Is that why you were separated?
SHARON SKINNER: I just realized one day that we were no longer married. We'd become roommates instead. We were paying the bills, taking out the garbage ... and I couldn't live like that any more.
(Scully's cell phone rings.)
SCULLY: Excuse me.
(She steps away from the table to answer. Mulder and Sharon Skinner continue to talk, while Scully takes the call in the background.)
SCULLY: (to phone) Scully.
SHARON SKINNER: You were one of the few people that Walter ever mentioned from work.
SHARON SKINNER: Not that he said much, but from the way he talked, I could tell he respected you.
SHARON SKINNER: That's probably why I feel that I can ask you.
MULDER: Ask me what?
SHARON SKINNER: If Walter really killed that woman.
(Scully hangs up and rejoins them.)
SCULLY: Sorry. Mulder, we've gotta go. (to Sharon) You have our numbers if you need to reach us.
SHARON SKINNER: (to Mulder as he stands) You still haven't answered my question.
MULDER: No. I don't think he did it.
(At FBI headquarters, Mulder and Scully enter Skinner's office to find a man sitting at his desk and reading his papers.)
SCULLY: What's going on here?
AGENT BONNECAZE: Agents Mulder and Scully?
SCULLY: That's right.
AGENT BONNECAZE: I'm Special Agent Bonnecaze. I've been called up from the Norfolk field office to coordinate this inquiry.
MULDER: Well, I don't know what you do down in Norfolk, but last time I checked, rifling through a man's office was considered an invasion of privacy.
AGENT BONNECAZE: Well, we're operating under guidelines specified by the Office of Professional Conduct, a protocol I understand you've opted to disregard.
MULDER: What do you mean?
AGENT BONNECAZE: I want both of you to make yourselves available tomorrow afternoon.
SCULLY: Available for what?
AGENT BONNECAZE: A formal hearing regarding A.D. Skinner's case.
MULDER: What case? He hasn't even been charged yet.
AGENT BONNECAZE: The hearing is to assess and determine his ability to continue in his position as Assistant Director. (Mulder bites his lip and looks away, while Scully looks disgusted as well) In the meantime, we'll be appointing our own investigators to pursue any criminal case. And I must ask you to stop looking into this any further.
MULDER: For what? In case we might turn up any evidence that might support his innocence?
AGENT BONNECAZE: Any evidence you may have obtained, Agent Mulder, you'll be presenting tomorrow afternoon at the hearing.
(Mulder bites his lip again as Scully quickly leaves. Mulder lingers for a moment and then follows. Bonnecaze looks back at him as he exits.)
(Mulder and Scully are in the X-Files office. Mulder is on the phone listening to ring signals.)
MULDER: Skinner's not answering his phone.
SCULLY: He's doing everything he shouldn't be doing.
MULDER: Yeah. Why? He knows better than that. The evidence is still circumstantial at best.
(Mulder hangs up.)
SCULLY: He's behaving like a guilty man, Mulder.
MULDER: The man's marriage is breaking up. He's stressed out, you know, he's ...
SCULLY: It's his irrational behavior that concerns me. It speaks to a state of mind. If, if a, if an otherwise stable man is compelled to go out and hire a prostitute, what else is he capable of?
MULDER: (shaking his head) Please. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
SCULLY: I *am*, Mulder, believe me. (puts her hand to her chest) I'm not trying to convince myself.
MULDER: When I mentioned that hooker to him, he didn't even seem to know.
SCULLY: Well, maybe he doesn't remember.
MULDER: What do you mean? Either he remembers or he's a liar.
SCULLY: Not necessarily.
(Scully is showing Mulder a videotape of a man sleeping in a hospital bed. The man is thrashing wildly.)
SCULLY: This man is running away from a train. He sees it coming straight at him. He hears its whistle. Several times a month, he ran away from that train. Until one night, he broke his wife's arm when he threw her to the floor.
MULDER: Night terrors?
SCULLY: No, night terrors and sleep walking occur doing slow-wave non-dream sleep. The clinical term for this is REM sleep behavior disorder. Although rare, dozens of cases of sleep-related violence have been attributed to it.
MULDER: It's fascinating, but what does it have to do with Skinner?
SCULLY: This video tape came from the Bethesda Sleep Disorder Center, where Skinner has been receiving treatment for the past three months.
MULDER: For running away from trains?
SCULLY: The same disorder, different dreams. (hands him a file) According to Skinner's psychiatrist, he's been experiencing a recurring dream in which he's confronted by an old woman. She speaks to him but he doesn't understand the words. Sometimes, she, she straddles his chest, suffocating him.
MULDER: So you think that Skinner may have killed the victim in his sleep?
SCULLY: Defending himself against this imaginary old woman. A lot of these patients have no recollection of their nocturnal activities, which might explain Skinner's amnesia.
MULDER: And it's not such a strange story.
SCULLY: It isn't?
(Mulder starts looking for a book in the office.)
MULDER: It's ancient, actually. You may have heard it, although not in such clinical terms. In the middle ages, a visitation like the one Skinner described would have been attributed to a succubus. It's a spirit that visits men in the night, usually in the form of an old woman.
(He finds the book on a shelf above the "I want to believe" poster and starts leafing through it.)
SCULLY: Visits them for sex?
MULDER: Usually. Though sometimes the succubus becomes so attached to the man that she would kill any woman competing for his affection. Here.
(He has pointed to a picture of a man sleeping with a naked woman standing over him. She has her outstretched hands on the man's chest, where there is a glow.)
SCULLY: (pointing to the glow) What's that?
MULDER: Reports of residual luminous phenomena have been associated with some succubus encounters, at least according to the mythology. Why?
SCULLY: I feel kinda strange saying this, but I found something during my post-mortem exam that I think you should see.
(They are at the morgue, pulling out the shelf with Carina Sayle's body.)
SCULLY: It's a circular patch around the victim's mouth and nose, approximately 11 centimeters in diameter. It retained light energy. It glowed in the dark.
(Mulder turns off the light, but there is no sign of the glow.)
SCULLY: I know what I saw, Mulder. It was here.
MULDER: This phosphorescence required no UV or infrared light?
SCULLY: No. It was definitely visible to the naked eye.
MULDER: Did you get a sample?
SCULLY: Yeah. I sent on over to Chem-Tox.
(Scully has pulled out her cell phone and is dialing a number.)
SCULLY: Well, my first hunch was that it was some kind of a fungal growth, but the only substance that they detected was amylase, which is found in saliva. So I had them send a sample to the elemental analysis unit. The results should be back. (to phone) Yes, this is Agent Dana Scully. I'm calling to find out the lab results on a tissue sample that I sent in earlier this morning. Thank you. (hangs up)
MULDER: What'd they say?
SCULLY: That there was no analyzable substance in the sample container.
MULDER: Are you sure you saw something?
SCULLY: Mulder, I'm afraid this isn't exactly something that I'd make up.
MULDER: (pushing the shelf back in) Maybe that's it. Maybe that's why Skinner's running. He's afraid.
SCULLY: That he did it?
MULDER: That he doesn't know he didn't do it.
(Skinner is in his apartment, sitting on his living room sofa and pouring himself a drink. There's a knock, and he opens the front door.)
SHARON SKINNER: Hi. You didn't answer your phone. It just kept ringing.
SKINNER: Yeah, I unplugged it. I haven't been sleeping too well lately.
SHARON SKINNER: So, are you going to invite me in, or should I start building an ark?
SKINNER: Come in.
(She enters, seeing a number of cardboard boxes in the living room.)
SHARON SKINNER: You still haven't gotten around to unpacking.
SKINNER: Yeah, well, you know ... work. (sighs and crosses his arms) So what are you doing here, Sharon?
SHARON SKINNER: I'm not sure. After I saw you today, I didn't know what else to do.
SKINNER: If you're trying to satisfy some morbid curiousity about what happened ...
SHARON SKINNER: That's not why I came. I just ... I just want to make sure you're OK.
SKINNER: I'm OK. Except right now, company's about the last thing that I need.
SHARON SKINNER: I'm not company. I'm your wife.
SKINNER: Ex-wife. Remember, you're the one who asked for the divorce.
SHARON SKINNER: Only because you didn't have the guts to ask for one yourself. So don't put it on me.
SKINNER: Fair enough. So what else do you want me to say?
SHARON SKINNER: Nothing. I don't want you to say anything. (she moves close to him) I just want you to let me in. (strokes his cheek) Just this one time.
SHARON SKINNER: Because I know you. I know that you're scared and that you could use some comfort. (Skinner doesn't react) I also know that you'll never let me give it to you. (puts on her coat) Take care of yourself, OK?
(She leaves. Skinner returns to his sofa and drink. He reaches into a nearby box and pulls out their wedding picture.)
(Some time later, Skinner is napping on his sofa, with the framed wedding photo on his chest. He awakens to a screeching noise and stands quickly, and the photo falls. In a mirror he sees the old woman, again in the bright red overcoat, screaming. He looks around the apartment and no longer sees her. There is a pounding at the door. When he answers, Waltos and another detective are at the door.)
SKINNER: What's this about?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: Come on, grab your coat and come with us. We'd like to ask you a few questions.
SKINNER: Why? What the hell is going on here?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: It's your wife. She's been in an accident.
SKINNER: Is she all right?
DETECTIVE WALTOS: Someone ran her off the road. You're gonna have to come with us. We'll also need to see the keys to your car, sir.
(Skinner picks up his glasses and leaves. The wedding photo is now on his coffee table, the glass broken.)
SECOND DISTRICT POLICE STATION, 7:44 AM
(Skinner is in an interview room as Mulder enters. Skinner stands.)
SKINNER: How is she?
MULDER: The C.T. scan showed a subdural hematoma. She's in surgery right now to relieve pressure on her brain. Scully's trying to get more information.
SKINNER: (grabbing his coat) I have to see her.
MULDER: You can't do that, sir.
SKINNER: Why not? They said I wasn't being charged.
MULDER: Not yet. But they're building a pretty convincing case.
SKINNER: Do you think I did this to Sharon?
MULDER: No, I don't, but I'm in the minority.
SKINNER: What about Agent Scully?
(Mulder turns and walks across the room.)
MULDER: Scully ... (clears his throat) Scully doesn't understand why you're not trying to defend yourself.
SKINNER: (angrily) Defend myself against what? Don't you think if I knew what was happening to me that I would try to ... (pauses and collects himself, then sighs) I don't know what to believe any more.
MULDER: What about the old woman in your dream. Who is she? It's gonna come out. (Skinner doesn't respond) Look, if you don't start trusting someone, you don't stand a chance.
SKINNER: (sighs again) A few months ago, I started seeing her again.
SKINNER: I told you once what ... what happened to me in Vietnam. (sits down against the wall) I was caught in an ambush.
MULDER: Yeah, you were the sole survivor. You also described what sounded like a near-death experience.
SKINNER: There was nothing "near" about it, Agent Mulder. I was a dead man.
MULDER: That's when you first saw her?
SKINNER: I saw lots of things over there. I didn't give much credence to any of them.
MULDER: And why not?
SKINNER: I got through that experience like most eighteen-year-olds ... by numbing myself with whatever was around. I was no choirboy, I ... I inhaled.
MULDER: (nodding) So you just dismissed her as another hallucination?
SKINNER: I tried.
MULDER: But you couldn't?
SKINNER: She was there with me. Watching me as I was watching myself dying, my blood spilling from a hundred different places. Until she lifted me up and carried me back ... away from the light.
MULDER: Well, maybe she was trying to protect you. Maybe she's trying to protect you now.
SKINNER: Protect me from what?
MULDER: That's a question only you can answer.
SKINNER: I don't know. I don't have a clue.
(Through a two-way mirror, CSM is watching Skinner and Mulder.)
D.C. POLICE IMPOUND GARAGE
(Scully and Mulder are walking through the garage.)
SCULLY: Number 5.
MULDER: This is Skinner's car?
SCULLY: According to Woltos' report, the hood was still warm when they got to Skinner's apartment, even with the rain. Look at the left front panel. The matched the paint in the dent to Sharon Skinner's car.
(The panel is dented.)
MULDER: Woltos' people finish going over the interior?
SCULLY: The only prints they found on the steering wheel were Skinner's.
MULDER: Can I borrow your flashlight?
SCULLY: Sure. Why?
(Mulder opens the passenger door and gets into the car.)
SCULLY: I don't know what you're expecting to find, Mulder, but uh, Skinner's hearing is in half an hour.
MULDER: I'll meet you there.
SCULLY: What are you doing?
(Mulder is using a small knife to cut the deployed air bag free from the steering column.)
MULDER: Collecting evidence.
FBI SCI-CRIME LAB
(Mulder is with Agent Pendrell.)
AGENT PENDRELL: You know how an airbag works?
MULDER: Your car hits something, a bag fills with air and you don't die.
AGENT PENDRELL: Not air. Nitrogen. Now, the latent image - the one we're interested in - is found in the byproduct of that explosion, in the finely dispersed sodium metal that coats the interior of the airbag. See this powder, here? It's created by whoever was behind the wheel when the airbag deployed.
(A scanning light is passing under the fabric. There are some darker marks on the fabric in the rough outline of a face.)
MULDER: It doesn't look like a face.
AGENT PENDRELL: Not yet. First, I'm scanning the fabric. Then I'm running it through software which translates its varying densities into a dimensionalized likeness. After that, it's a matter of fine tuning.
(The computer monitor is filling in the shape of a face.)
MULDER: How long does that fine-tuning take?
AGENT PENDRELL: You need this in a hurry, it sounds like.
MULDER: I'm not the only one who needs it.
OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT HEARING
(Skinner, Bonnecaze, the Senior Agent and another agent are sitting around the table, with Skinner at one end. Scully enters.)
AGENT BONNECAZE: We're still waiting for Agent Mulder?
SCULLY: Yes, sir.
SENIOR AGENT: We're finished waiting. We're going to begin without him. Have a seat.
(Scully sits at the table.)
SENIOR AGENT: Let's go over the physical evidence again. You say you found nothing damning.
SCULLY: No, sir. None of the physical evidence we recovered directly connects the assistant director to her death.
SENIOR AGENT: You re-examined the victim's body. Did you find anything of note?
SCULLY: I took a sample of an extraneous substance that turned out to be unidentifiable.
SENIOR AGENT: How's that?
SCULLY: A naturally occurring enzyme around her mouth and nose.
SENIOR AGENT: And do you have any idea why it was there?
SENIOR AGENT: If you are withholding something from this committee ...
SCULLY: Sir, I feel reluctant to say or to speak for Agent Mulder.
SENIOR AGENT: To say what?
SCULLY: Agent Mulder had a theory that the substance could have come from a visitation.
SENIOR AGENT: But you have another explanation?
SCULLY: No. I'm sorry, I don't.
SENIOR AGENT: Do you believe in paranormal phenomena, Agent Scully?
SCULLY: Whatever extreme cases I have encountered I have always viewed through the lens of science. I believe that is why I was assigned to the X-Files and to Agent Mulder.
SENIOR AGENT: And has A.D. Skinner always been as discriminating as you?
SCULLY: Excuse me, sir, I don't understand the question.
SENIOR AGENT: Would you say that, like yourself, your direct superior has been affected by, or enchanted by, Agent Mulder's notions ...
SCULLY: No, sir. Not at all.
SENIOR AGENT: And yet, he continues to sign off on whatever extreme cases you and Agent Mulder elect to investigate.
SCULLY: I believe the Assistant Director has protected us out of a respect for the work.
SENIOR AGENT: Just as you might protect him? By trumping up unidentifiable evidence?
SCULLY: No. That is not true.
AGENT BONNECAZE: Thank you, Agent Scully, that will be all.
SCULLY: Sir, if I may ...
AGENT BONNECAZE: That will be all.
SCULLY: I'm not finished.
AGENT BONNECAZE: Yes, you are, Agent Scully.
(Scully looks at Skinner, then leaves.)
(Scully is in the hall at FBI headquarters, dialing her cell phone.)
MULDER: (on phone) Hello.
SCULLY: (to phone) Mulder?
(Mulder is coming down the hall toward her. He puts down his phone and calls to her directly.)
SCULLY: You missed it. Not that anything you said would have made a difference.
MULDER: What happened, where's Skinner?
SCULLY: Out of a job.
MULDER: They dismissed him?
SCULLY: He would have had a better chance against a firing squad.
MULDER: And they used us to do it, didn't they? They used the X-Files.
SCULLY: How'd you know?
MULDER: Because I think Skinner's been out-maneuvered, Scully. They found a weakness and they're exploiting it.
SCULLY: But why?
MULDER: To put us in check. You remove Skinner and you weaken us.
(He hands her a piece of paper.)
SCULLY: What am I looking at?
(The paper shows a pixelated image of a man's face.)
MULDER: This is the man that stole Skinner's car last night and tried to kill his wife.
SCULLY: I don't understand. Why would they orchestrate such an elaborate scheme just to set him up? Why not just kill him?
MULDER: Well, they already tried that once, and a second attempt would be too obvious, even for these thugs. Anyway, I think Skinner's probably worth more to them alive in disgrace than dead and buried.
SCULLY: Who is this guy?
(They start down the hall.)
MULDER: I don't know. Danny couldn't find anything on him. He's still running it.
SCULLY: So how are we supposed to find him?
MULDER: Well, this guy's a pawn. Pawns always make the first move.
SCULLY: So he must have hired the prostitute.
(Scully and Mulder arrive at Lorraine Kelleher's apartment building. There are police vehicles and an ambulance there.)
MULDER: (to a policeman) What happened here?
POLICEMAN: Jumper. It happens whenever it rains two days straight.
(They come closer and see Lorraine Kelleher's body lying on a glass ledge above ground level.)
MULDER: He got to her first.
(Scully sees Judy Fairly, who answered the door earlier when they visited Lorraine Kelleher, standing nearby.)
SCULLY: Mulder, look.
(Judy, Scully and Mulder are talking in a coffee shop.)
JUDY FAIRLY: Usually, there'd be something set up in the room. To get pictures, tape, whatever.
SCULLY: Judy, we need you to identify somebody.
(Shows her the paper with the image from the air bag.)
MULDER: Is this the man who hired Carina?
JUDY FAIRLY: (nods) He said that nobody would get hurt.
MULDER: He lied. Skinner's not the only person he set up.
JUDY FAIRLY: Are you saying he killed Carina?
SCULLY: And Lorraine. He's cleaning house.
MULDER: I need you to arrange a meeting.
JUDY FAIRLY: Wha? I can't. I mean, Lorraine's the only one who ever really talked to him.
MULDER: Unfortunately, Lorraine can't get to the phone right now.
JUDY FAIRLY: Please don't make me do this.
MULDER: Look what he did to your friends. We're your only chance of coming out of this OK.
SCULLY: Agent Mulder's right. I'll stay with you if you want, until we take him into custody.
MULDER: I want you to call him. Tell him you're scared because we questioned you. Tell him you want money to get out of town. (hands her his cell phone) You'll meet him at the Ambassodor Hotel bar. OK?
(She takes the phone and dials.)
JUDY FAIRLY: (to phone, in a shaky voice) Hello. Hi. This is Judy Fairly. You might not remember me, but I work for Lorraine.
(A man answers it in a car. The man appears to be the man from the air bag image.)
MAN: One moment, please.
(He hands the phone to a second man in the passenger seat of the car.)
GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Yes?
JUDY FAIRLY: Some FBI agents came to see me about what happened to Lorraine.
GRAY-HAIRED MAN: What did you tell them?
JUDY FAIRLY: Nothing. I didn't say anything. But they scared the hell out of me. Look. I need some money.
GRAY-HAIRED MAN: That can be arranged.
JUDY FAIRLY: Can you meet me?
GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Where would you like to meet?
JUDY FAIRLY: The Ambassador Hotel at ... (looks at Mulder, who holds up one finger and mouths the words "one hour") in an hour.
GRAY-HAIRED MAN: I'm close. I'll see you in an hour.
(The gray-haired man hangs up and looks out the window, into the coffee shop. They have been parked just outside it, watching them.)
(Skinner enters Sharon's hospital room. She is unconscious. Skinner removes his glasses.)
SKINNER: I had to tell you, Sharon, before anything else happens. I'm not signing those papers ... for a lot of reasons, most of them I'm just realizing myself for the first time. (pauses) Some of the things I've seen - the violence and the lies that I've witnessed men inflict on one another - I could never tell you that. Not that I ever stopped believing in the work, but there were contradictions that I, that I couldn't reconcile, which meant shutting down part of myself just to do my job. (pauses) I never told you what I should have told you ... that what really got me through each day was knowing that I'd be sleeping next to you that night. Knowing that I had a reason to wake up in the morning. (pauses, then bends down close to her) I'm not sure if you can even hear me now, or if it even makes a difference to you any more, but I at least wanted you to know that.
(He kisses her on the forehead. Her eyelids move and she gasps. Her pulse rate increases, setting off a monitor in the room.)
(He runs out of the room and starts down the hall.)
SKINNER: Somebody ...
(He stops as he looks through the window into the room and sees the old woman lying in the bed in place of Sharon. She looks at him. He comes back through the door and into the room. A hand reaches out from the bed and he takes it. It is Sharon again, now conscious.)
SHARON SKINNER: Listen to me ...
(Mulder, Waltos and another detective are in the hotel lounge, looking impatient.)
(The man from the air bag image is loitering around an elevator upstairs. A housekeeper passes and enters a suite. The man slips behind her and enters behind her.)
(Inside the room, the phone rings. Scully answers it, with Judy at her side.)
SCULLY: (to phone) Did you get him?
(Mulder is calling from the lounge.)
MULDER: No, he hasn't shown up yet.
SCULLY: He should have been here fifteen minutes ago.
JUDY FAIRLY: What's going on?
SCULLY: (to Judy) Nothing.
JUDY FAIRLY: Great.
(Judy walks into the next room.)
SCULLY: (to Mulder on the phone) Maybe it's the rain.
MULDER: This guy isn't about to let a little rain stop him.
(Scully sees that Judy is no longer there and hears an odd noise.)
SCULLY: Mulder, hang on a second. (calls into next room) Judy?
MULDER: Scully, what's going on?
(Judy doesn't respond.)
SCULLY: Mulder, get up here right now.
MULDER: He's upstairs.
(Mulder and the two detectives run out of the lounge.)
(With her gun drawn, Scully moves into the next room.)
(She slowly moves through the suite, hearing the water running in the bathroom. She kicks open the door to find Judy at the sink.)
JUDY FAIRLY: What the hell are you doing?
SCULLY: I'm sorry. I called but you didn't answer.
(Judy's eyes shift to the right in fear.)
SCULLY: What's the matter?
(The man slams open the door, knocking Scully hard into the wall.)
SCULLY: Uhhh ...
(Scully sinks to the floor, stunned. The man points his gun at Judy.)
(Mulder and the detectives charge off the elevator, hearing gunshots from the suite.)
(In the bathroom, Scully is coming around. Over her stands a man with a smoking gun. It is Skinner. Mulder and the detectives charge in to find the man dead on the floor and Judy crying in the corner. Mulder crouches next to Scully.)
MULDER: You OK?
SCULLY: Mmm-hmmm ...
(Skinner glances at Waltos and leaves.)
(Skinner is in his office, tearing off the seal on his desk. Scully knocks and enters, carrying a report. Mulder is behind her.)
SKINNER: Come in.
SCULLY: This is our report. You'll see, though, that several questions remain unanswered.
SKINNER: The identity of the man I shot?
SCULLY: We ran his face and fingerprints through every available database. There's still no matches. And we're doing a dental record search, but that'll probably be a dead end, too. And regarding the other man ... the telephone number that we had for him has been disconnected, and there's no record of an account.
SKINNER: Don't waste your time, Agent Scully. You won't find him. Just get whatever forensic evidence you need off the body you have and bury it.
(Mulder has been staring out the window while Scully gave her report. She starts to walk out but Mulder lingers.)
SKINNER: Is there a problem, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: Yeah, there's something else you'll find missing in there. (Scully stops at the door) An explanation for how you knew to be at the hotel last night. I was hoping you could fill in that line item yourself.
SKINNER: I'm afraid I can't do that, at least not at this point in time.
MULDER: Why not?
SKINNER: Because whatever I believe may have happened ... it has no place on an official report.
(Mulder steps toward him, pointing at his own chest.)
MULDER: Then why don't you tell me? Off the record.
(Skinner looks at Mulder, then at Scully, then back at Mulder. He then turns to the papers on his desk.)
SKINNER: If you'll excuse me, I've got some catching up to do. The O.P.C. did a number on my office. (he turns back to them) But I want to thank you for the quick turnaround on this.
(Mulder stares at him and nods. Scully leaves. Skinner starts to sort the papers on his desk, as Mulder very slowly turns and leaves, closing the door behind him. Skinner notices something in his desk drawer, and reaches into it and pulls out a small envelope. He opens it and removes his wedding ring. He reads the inscription, which says "Love forever Sharon." He puts the ring on his finger and resumes sorting the papers.)