EXCELSIUS DEI CONVALESCENT HOME WORCESTER, MASS
(Night at an old nursing home. Person enters the building. Two male orderlies, UPSHAW and TIERNAN, are watching a boxing match featuring Mike Tyson on TV.)
TV ANNOUNCER: Danelle was an outstanding high school basketball player...
TIERNAN: (air-boxing) Come on, man. Come on. Come on, now. Put ‘em down … put ‘em down! Ow! (playfully punches UPSHAW)
UPSHAW: (doesn’t want to box) Hey, man, watch it.
TIERNAN: Come on, Upshaw. Come on, you and me, buddy! Let’s go!
UPSHAW: You’re a moron, Tiernan.
TIERNAN: (still boxing) Come on. Let’s go!
(NURSE CHARTERS, 30’s, no nonsense type, has entered the room and looks at the two men with disgust.)
NURSE CHARTERS: You’re both morons, as far as I’m concerned. Now who’s watching the floor?
UPSHAW: What’s his name, the Skink.
TIERNAN: Guess who died this afternoon? Mrs. Richardson.
UPSHAW: (chuckles) Face plant, in a bowl of pudding.
NURSE CHARTERS: I don’t suppose either of you changed her room.
UPSHAW: Oh, no. We left that for you.
(She gives them a humorless smile, and picks up some sheets.)
TIERNAN: (back into game) Ow!
TV ANNOUNCER: Mike Tyson, a disciple of Costanaro …
(NURSE CHARTERS leaves the orderlies and enters HAL and STAN’s room. The two elderly residents of the home are also watching the fight.)
NURSE CHARTERS: Okay. Party’s over, gents. (She turns off the TV.)
STAN: (whining) Why’d you do that?
NURSE CHARTERS: ‘Cause rules are rules, Stan. And I’m the Queen Bitch around here.
HAL: Gung said we could watch the rest of the fight.
NURSE CHARTERS: Well, do I look like Gung to you?
HAL: No. You got a better figure. (his hand is on her butt)
NURSE CHARTERS: You want to keep that hand, Hal, you better let go.
HAL: How about a little sponge bath?
NURSE CHARTERS: How about I take care of these wandering hands of yours? Come here.
(She straps HAL down to the bed with velcro arm bands.)
HAL: You like strapping me down, don’t you?
NURSE CHARTERS: (sarcastically) Oh, yeah. I really get off on it.
(HAL chuckles as she leaves the room. STAN looks over at his friend sadly.)
(In the hall, NURSE CHARTERS passes GUNG, a quiet looking Asian orderly.)
NURSE CHARTERS: Hey, Gung. No TV after 9:00. Do you understand?
GUNG: Dr. Grago said they’re getting better so …
NURSE CHARTERS: Oh, getting better. Right. That’s because they don’t pinch his butt every time he walks into the room.
(GUNG watches her go, then continues down the hall.)
(NURSE CHARTERS removes the "Mrs. Richardson" nameplate from a door and goes into the empty room. She begins straightening up the room, making the bed. Suddenly, the door slams, and the bed is slammed up against the door, blocking it. NURSE CHARTERS goes to the bed and tries to pull it out of the way, but an unseen force flips her onto the bed. The velcro arm straps open. She is then flipped onto her back and the straps close around her wrists. (Camera close on her face as she screams in fear and in pain.)
NURSE CHARTERS: No! Somebody help me! Somebody, please! Please! Please! Please!
(Hall shot outside the room. No one is there. NURSE CHARTERS' screams continue.)
NURSE CHARTERS: Help me! Please, help me! (screams)
FBI HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, DC
(Early morning. MULDER enters dark X-Files office and stares at SCULLY who is sitting at his desk watching a video tape. He was obviously not expecting her to be there before him.)
SCULLY: (glancing over her shoulder) Good morning.
MULDER: Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn’t mine.
SCULLY: Good. Because I put it back in that drawer with all those other videos that aren’t yours.
(MULDER crosses behind her and sees that the video is of NURSE CHARTERS. Her face is bruised.)
MULDER: Well, this definitely isn’t mine.
SCULLY: No. This is Michelle Charters. She’s a registered nurse at a convalescent home in Worchester, Massachusetts.
MULDER: What happened to her?
SCULLY: According to Miss Charters, she was raped. The abrasions and contusions here would be consistent with her claims as would be the medical report which cites the kind of injury and tearing associated with sexual trauma.
MULDER: Where did you get this? Violent Crimes?
SCULLY: No. The woman made the video herself. It seems that no one will believe her story.
MULDER: Why not?
SCULLY: Because she claims to have been raped by an invisible entity. A spirit being.
MULDER: I have several X-Files that document similar cases. (Goes to file cabinet and opens it)
SCULLY: I know. I’ve been here since 6:00 this morning going through them.
MULDER: Well, then you none of them have ever been substantiated.
SCULLY: Not surprisingly.
MULDER: Given the emotional and psychological violence of rape, the face or identity of the attacker is often blurred or erased from memory. That he could be perceived as invisible is a logical leap for me.
SCULLY: Yes. But this case is different.
SCULLY: The victim has filed a lawsuit against the government. She seems to be certain who the spirit being is.
(NURSE CHARTERS living room. MULDER and SCULLY interviewing NURSE CHARTERS who is still bruised.)
NURSE CHARTERS: Mr. Arden. Hal Arden.
SCULLY: And you know him …?
NURSE CHARTERS: He’s been a patient where I work for about five years.
MULDER: Miss Charters, the facts of your case seem to contravene those of other cases we have on file.
NURSE CHARTERS: (bitter) Right. You mean the other Woman-Raped-by-Invisible-Man cases?
MULDER: How do you know it was him who attacked you?
NURSE CHARTERS: He made advances toward me. And he said things – rude things. Look, when you bathe somebody every day for five years you get to know more about them than you really need to. And an old man smells a certain way and he feels a certain way.
SCULLY: I know this is hard for you.
NURSE CHARTERS: This is the easy part. You see, hard is not being able to get disability leave or workman’s comp and having to go back to work with this … guy.
SCULLY: To continue our investigation we’re going to need some kind of evidence – physical or …
NURSE CHARTERS: Yeah, I know. I’ve heard it. Unless you have hair or semen or fibers you guys can’t build a case.
MULDER: That’s right.
NURSE CHARTERS: Look, I didn’t make this up, okay? I was attacked. And I’m not some kind of shrinking violet who would repress the memory of a rapist’s face. If I could positively ID him or give you something to incriminate the man, I would.
(Nursing home. Bathroom. MULDER and SCULLY watch as HAL gets out of the tub. GUNG wraps a towel around him.)
HAL: You’ve got to be kidding me. (chuckles) And what do I think about her claims? I should be in the Guinness Record Book. I’m 74 years old. I’ve got plumbing older than this building. Hmmm?
(HAL holds open towel exposing himself. SCULLY stares for a second, then turns away slightly. MULDER looks, and nods with a little grin.)
HAL: And it don’t work much better, either.
MULDER: Thank you for sharing. Are you aware you’re being named in a lawsuit against the federal government?
HAL: I am?
SCULLY: Did you ever threaten Miss Charters?
HAL: (doesn’t hear her) What?
SCULLY: (louder) Did you ever threaten Miss Charters?
HAL: Threaten? It was harmless, for crying out loud. Ever since this *sex harassment* fad, men can’t say what’s on their minds.
(MULDER gives SCULLY a look and smiles which she misses.)
SCULLY: She says you made advances.
HAL: (again, not hearing) Hmm?
SCULLY: (louder) Advances?
HAL: If I told you you were a very pretty woman and I would like to show you some affection, would you be offended? Huh?
(SCULLY doesn’t quite know how to answer. She and MULDER look at each other. HAL suddenly looks up at MULDER apologetically.)
HAL: Oh, I didn’t mean to step on your toes there.
MULDER: (looking quickly at HAL, surprised, then quickly) It’s all right. There seems to be some confusion here.
HAL: Yeah. I though Nurse What’s-Her-Name said she was rogered by a ghost. I may have one foot in the grave, but I certainly can’t fly down hallways spreading amour.
MULDER: (loudly) Apparently not.
HAL: (chuckling as GUNG leads him out of the bathroom) If that’s what it’s like … if that’s what it’s like in heaven, Lord, take me now. (GUNG and HAL exit.)
SCULLY: What do you think, Mulder?
MULDER: (grinning at her) About the guy’s plumbing?
SCULLY: About his story.
MULDER: I think this will turn out to be a huge waste of time just like all the other X-Files on entity rape. Unsubstantiated phenomena.
SCULLY: But in a substantiated crime.
(As they leave, STAN and UPSHAW enter for STAN’s bath.)
UPSHAW: Hey, pay attention. Or you can take another bath with your clothes on. At five and a half bucks an hour I don’t give a rat's ass either way.
(Outside the home. MULDER and SCULLY walking with MS. DAWSON, tall, blonde, confident, impersonal director of the Excelsius Dei Home.)
MS. DAWSON: Ten years ago, Excelsius was a leading facility in care and treatment of the elderly. Then government funding was cut till we’re all but shut down. Only a few wings are operational now.
SCULLY: Is there still a medical staff?
MS. DAWSON: Not on site. Dr. Grego visits three times a week. Excelsius residents are very well looked after, though. We hold ourselves to a high standard of health maintenance and treatment.
SCULLY: What kind of treatment?
MS. DAWSON: We’ve always specialized in the care of the late-life degenerative diseases – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s.
MULDER: We met with a patient today.
MS. DAWSON: We prefer "resident," actually.
MULDER: We met a *resident* who was described to us as having Alzheimer’s but he actually seemed quite spry and alert.
MS. DAWSON: You’re speaking of Hal Arden, the man accused of assaulting Michelle Charters.
SCULLY: Was he receiving special treatment?
MS. DAWSON: You’d have to speak to Dr. Grago. Hal has been here almost eight years now. We’re all quite fond of him. We were extremely dismayed over this whole business with the lawsuit.
SCULLY: Are you saying you don’t believe Nurse Charters’ allegations of rape?
MS. DAWSON: There’s something I’d like to show you.
(In STAN and HAL’s room. STAN at the window watches the agents and the director walking inside.)
STAN: What did you tell them?
HAL: I didn’t tell them anything.
STAN: Why are they still here?
HAL: I don’t know, Stan.
STAN: Now you got to be more careful.
HAL: I am careful.
STAN: You’re going to ruin it for all of us. They find out, it all goes for nothing.
HAL: I didn’t tell them anything.
STAN: I’m not going to die in this Godforsaken hole, you hear me?
HAL: Oh, bug off, Stan.
(STAN opens a drawer and takes a brown capsule.)
HAL: Where’d you get that?
STAN: I know where he keeps them.
HAL: Give me one, Stan. Huh? I want another one, too.
STAN: You can’t handle another one.
HAL: Oh yeah? Maybe I’ll just rat you out, then. Huh? How would you like that?
(Later. MULDER and SCULLY in DAWSON’s office. MS. DAWSON pulls out a file and gives it to SCULLY.)
SCULLY: This is Michelle Charters’?
MS. DAWSON: There are three separate insurance claims for accidents received on the job. In April, she went to the State Board and requested leave with full pay due to job-related emotional stress. The request was summarily rejected. There’s more …
SCULLY: I’d like to review it myself, if that’s okay?
MS. DAWSON: Certainly.
MULDER: Ms. Dawson, did you get a chance to see Michelle after the incident? To see the extent of her injuries?
MS. DAWSON: I wasn’t here the night it happened but I did see her the following day.
MULDER: Then you know how badly she was hurt.
MS. DAWSON: Yes.
MULDER: In your opinion, do you think she staged the attack?
(Knock at the door.)
TIERNAN: Excuse me, Ms. Dawson? We need help. Mr. Arden’s choking to death!
(MULDER, SCULLY, and MS. DAWSON follow TIERNAN.)
(In STAN and HAL’s room. HAL lies gasping on the bed. It looks like his throat is being constricted. STAN stands beside him)
STAN: See? See what happened? I told you you couldn’t handle any more.
(MULDER, SCULLY and the others rush into the room)
SCULLY: Call 911. Hal. Can you speak? (no response) I think this man’s in ventricular fibrillation. I need 75 milligrams of Lidocaine and one amp of Amphinephrine. Stat.
SCULLY: And get me a defibrillator!
TIERNAN: (running out of the room) Okay.
SCULLY: He’s turning cyanotic. Come on, Hal. You gotta help me.
MULDER: Come on, Hal.
MS. DAWSON: One, two, three, four, five.
UPSHAW: The ambulance is on the way!
SCULLY: I’m losing him. What’s taking them so long?
MS. DAWSON: He’s not responding! Still no pulse. Where’s that crash cart!
(BODY is wheeled out of the nursing home to an ambulance. DOCTOR GREGO, late 40’s, watches with MULDER and SCULLY.)
DOCTOR GREGO: Hal Arden’s been my patient since he came here eight years ago. This really is a setback.
SCULLY: A setback?
DOCTOR GREGO: Hal was part of a group of Alzheimer’s patients I’ve been treating for 11 months.
SCULLY: But Alzheimer’s isn’t treatable.
DOCTOR GREGO: It’s an experimental drug called Depranil – an enzyme inhibitor that increases the amount of acetylcholine in the brain.
SCULLY: I’ve read about it, but I’ve also read that the clinical benefits are marginal at best.
DOCTOR GREGO: Yes, but these patients seem to be proving otherwise. They’ve demonstrated cognitive abilities well beyond anything that’s been reported.
MULDER: So he was actually getting better?
DOCTOR GREGO: Before he started receiving the drug he could hardly complete a sentence.
(MULDER and SCULLY look at each other.)
DOCTOR GREGO: (slightly embarrassed) Look, there’s not much to get excited about in my work. Most of these people are on the downhill slide. If I can make them comfortable, maybe prolong a life, that’s about all they expect. But to reverse an illness.
SCULLY: Would it be possible for us to take a look at other patients in your test group?
DOCTOR GREGO: Sure, if you want to.
(Ambulance drives away. MULDER watches NURSE CHARTERS watch it go.)
(STAN watches from the window, then turns to take another dose of the brown pills. GUNG enters the room and catches him.)
GUNG: Where did you get that?
STAN: It was Hal’s. Since he’s not here anymore, why can’t I have it?
GUNG: Because you have enough. What I give you is enough. It’s our secret.
(STAN takes the pills. GUNG disapproves.)
STAN: Oh, come on, Gung. It’s making me better.
GUNG: (adamant) Too much is very bad Very bad. No more for you.
(Day room at the nursing home. MULDER and SCULLY and DOCTOR GREGO watch the residents, all very active. DOROTHY, eighty-something, moves around the room in her wheelchair directing imaginary people into position for LEO, at a table with paper and pen, to draw a picture. No one pays attention to DOROTHY, but she doesn’t seem to notice.)
DOROTHY: I want you to stand behind Ben, Eddie, because Ben’s taller, and I want … (continues)
DOCTOR GREGO: (quietly pointing to LEO) That man there --- that’s Leo Kreutzer. During the Depression he was a WPA artist. Quite a good one too, I’m told.
DOROTHY: …Hello, Mabel, don’t you look lovely. ….
MULDER: (quietly) Is he receiving the same treatments as Hal Arden?
DOCTOR GREGO: Yes. When he came to us he couldn’t draw a circle. Now, you can see for yourself.
(LEO rapidly draws as DOROTHY keeps positioning imaginary people.)
DOROTHY: …Because you’re taller I want you to stand behind Ben.
DOCTOR GREGO: You’ll have to excuse me, I’m already well behind on rounds.
SCULLY: Can I get a copy of Hal Arden’s autopsy results?
DOCTOR GREGO: Of course.
SCULLY: Thank you.
(MULDER has crossed over to LEO.)
MULDER: May I sit down, Leo? (no response)
SCULLY: Leo, we’re with the FBI. We have some questions that we’d like to ask you.
DOROTHY: (to MULDER and SCULLY) Leo’s a brilliant artist, you know. Don’t be so modest, Leo. President Kennedy has one of his paintings in the White House.
SCULLY: Dr. Grago tells us that you haven’t been able to work in years. That the medicine has improved …
LEO: (interrupting gruffly) It ain’t the medication.
SCULLY: What is it then?
UPSHAW: Okay, Rembrandt. 6:00. Dinner time.
TIERNAN: (grabbing DOROTHY’s wheelchair) Come on, Dorothy. Legs up and straight ahead. Don’t want you getting a flat tire.
DOROTHY: Wait, Leo’s not finished with us.
TIERNAN: Leo can finish with you later.
DOROTHY: He still has to draw the rest.
TIERNAN: (wheeling her out) He’ll do it later, honey.
UPSHAW: (taking pen from LEO) Come on, Leo. Don’t make me embarrass you in front of your friends.
(The orderlies take the residents out of the room.)
MULDER: (disgusted) Come on, Scully. Let’s get out of here.
(SCULLY looks at the Picassoesque picture that LEO was drawing.)
HOTEL HARTLEY WORCESTER, MASS 6:53 PM
(Later, MULDER and SCULLY enter hotel lobby.)
SCULLY: ….to find not just the treatment but a cure for Alzheimer’s. Do you realize how important that would be?
MULDER: (bitter) If it would keep anybody out of a place like that it would be important enough. I wouldn’t say those people were exactly cured.
SCULLY: Any progress at all …
MULDER: Well, I hope someone’s making some progress ‘cause we’re going home with a big goose egg. (to hotel clerk) Checking out of room 206 and 210, please.
CLERK: (taking their keys) Certainly, sir. (to other clerk) Angelo?
SCULLY: What if there’s a connection?
MULDER: Between the rape case and the Alzheimer’s? (very close to her, quietly) When they’re not drawing childlike pictures they’re brutal sex offenders?
SCULLY: Dr. Grago’s therapy produces acetylcholine. Too much cholinergic activity causes a phychotic state similar to schizophrenia.
MULDER: You think that Michelle Charters was raped by an 74-year-old schizophrenic?
SCULLY: It’s possible.
MULDER: An *invisible* 74-year-old schizophrenic?
SCULLY: Well, maybe it’s not in the medication. Maybe it’s the place itself.
MULDER: Are you saying that the building’s haunted? (smiles and laughs, quietly) If you are, you’ve been working with me for too long, Scully.
SCULLY: I’m talking about an environmental reason behind what’s happening there. Even the disinfectant couldn’t mask that smell. Who knows what’s breeding behind the walls or in the sub-structure. Some fungal contaminants have been known to cause delusions, dementia, violent behaviour…
MULDER: Why wouldn’t it have affected the other residents?
SCULLY: Maybe it has.
MULDER: I-I think you’re looking too hard, Scully, for something that’s not there. I think Michelle Charters concocted this story to get out of a job she hates.
SCULLY: Her lip required 13 stitches. The blow to her head resulted in a subdural hematoma. That’s quite a concoction. Look, I just want to talk to a few more patients there. We can catch the same flight out tomorrow night.
(MULDER looks at her and considers.)
(Nursing home. DOROTHY’s room. TIERNAN is feeding her. She doesn’t want to eat.)
TIERNAN: This is gourmet fare. Be a good girl and open wide.
DOROTHY: No. Please don’t. Please, don’t.
TIERNAN: Open wide. Open up, honey.
DOROTHY: Please don’t. I don’t want …
(He pushes the food in her mouth, she spits it back out.)
TIERNAN: That’s fine, Dorothy. Starve to death. See if I care. (he leaves the room)
(LEO’s room. GUNG is with LEO. LEO stares at his food tray.)
GUNG: Why aren’t you eating your food, Leo? What’s the matter?
LEO: It’s Dorothy. She needs more. We both do.
GUNG: What you have is enough.
LEO: It’s not working for us. Not like it works for the others. We need more.
GUNG: No. No. Now eat your food, please. I’ll come back and pick up your tray.
(GUNG leaves. DOROTHY wheels into LEO’s room. They look at each other.)
LEO: It’s okay, Dorothy. Don’t worry. I think Stan had some more hidden away somewhere. It will be all right.
(STAN’s room. His DAUGHTER is with him. She looks tired, as if she has been arguing with him for a while.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Why are you being so stubborn?
STAN: I’m not. I happen to like it here.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: A year ago you were begging to live with us.
STAN: Well, things change.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Look Dad, I am sorry about what happened to Mr. Arlen.
STAN: His name was Arden.
TIERNAN: I’m finished packing your things, Mr. Phillips. I’m going to make sure you didn’t forget anything. (to STAN’s DAUGHTER) Don’t you worry, Mrs. Kelly. Just pull your car around out front. I’ll make sure he gets down okay.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Thank you.
TIERNAN: He’s going to be fine. (closes door)
(MULDER and SCULLY come down the hall to STAN’s room.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Can I help you?
SCULLY: Yes. We’d like to have a word with Mr. Phillips.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: I’m his daughter. What is this about?
SCULLY: We’re with the FBI. We have a few questions concerning his medical treatment. (shows badge)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: He’s in there packing right now. I’m about to take him home. Is there anything I can help you with?
(Later, night, MULDER and SCULLY accompany STAN’s DAUGHTER down the outside stairs.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: My little girls won’t even visit their grandfather. They’re afraid to even come here.
SCULLY: It’s hard for anyone to be here, including the residents.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: That’s why Jack and I decided that no matter what time he’s got left we want him to spend it with us.
SCULLY: How many years has he been here?
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Almost three. But we didn’t have any choice. Jack and I both work. The doctor said he needed 24 hour nursing assistance.
MULDER: He doesn’t seem to need much assistance now. Has his improvement been that pronounced?
STAN’S DAUGHTER: I thought I was bringing him here to die. They told me he’d only get worse. The physical deterioration, the dementia. And now it’s like he’s a different person.
MULDER: Do you have any idea why?
STAN’S DAUGHTER: I suppose it has something to do with Dr. Grago’s treatment. Dad won’t talk to me about it. He’s just too angry. He was angry when I first brought him here in the first place. Now he’s angry that I want to take him home. I don’t know that he’s ever going to forgive me.
(STAN’s room. The orderly, TIERNAN, is packing STAN’s bag, his back to the door.)
TIERNAN: You know, I’d like to say I’m going to miss you, Stan, but the truth is, you are a royal pain in the butt.
(TIERNAN sees movement as STAN darts out of the room.)
TIERNAN: Hey, where you going? Don’t make me chase you, old man.
(TIERNAN runs upstairs to top floor after STAN. We don’t see STAN at all, just flurries of movement.)
TIERNAN: (out of breath) Hey! What are you? A track star all of a sudden? (he enters dark room and goes to open window and sees movement on the roof at the next window) Okay, stop messing around, Stan. You crawl back in that window right now. You crawl back in there. (He climbs on to the sill.) Don’t think I’m coming over there to get you. I’d just as soon let you fall and break your neck. Did you hear me Stan? You hear me?
(Suddenly, there is movement behind him and he is pushed out of the window. He manages to grab the sill with his fingers.)
TIERNAN: Help! Help me! Somebody help me! I’m gonna fall!
(MULDER runs back inside and up to the top floor.)
(As TIERNAN dangles, one by one his fingers are lifted. MULDER reaches the window and holds out his hand to TIERNAN.)
MULDER: Give me your hand. Come on.
TIERNAN: (trying, but can’t lift his hand to MULDER’s, as if he is being pushed away) I can’t.
MULDER: Grab it.
(TIERNAN screams as he loses his grip on the sill and falls four stories to the ground below. Unable to help, MULDER watches in shock.)
(SCULLY checks for a pulse on TIERNAN, and looks up to MULDER.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Oh, my God.
(Next morning. MULDER is with STAN in STAN’s room. GUNG changes the sheets. DOCTOR GREGO enters, out of breath.)
DOCTOR GREGO: They paged me this morning. I got a message an orderly fell out a fourth floor window?
MULDER: Apparently. Either that or he was pushed.
DOCTOR GREGO: Was Stan involved?
MULDER: That’s what we’re trying to determine. Stan was with him just prior to the accident.
DOCTOR GREGO: You’re not suggesting he could have done it.
MULDER: There have been two deaths here in the past 24 hours. Stan’s been present before both of them.
DOCTOR GREGO: No, no. That’s impossible. Stan Phillips has a degenerative hip disease. There’s no way, he couldn’t get up to the fourth floor on his own.
MULDER: What about an elevator?
DOCTOR GREGO: The elevators in this place haven’t worked for years.
MULDER: Maybe he was helped.
DOCTOR GREGO: Helped? By whom?
MULDER: I don’t know. The postmortem on Hal Arden – did you get it yet?
DOCTOR GREGO: No, not yet, but they promise they’ll fax it today.
MULDER: Can we check and see if it’s come in yet?
DOCTOR GREGO: Sure. Just what do you expect to find?
MULDER: (looks at STAN) I’m not sure, exactly.
(They exit. STAN watches them leave, then looks at GUNG.)
(In another room, SCULLY sits with STAN’s DAUGHTER.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Why are they questioning him?
SCULLY: It’s routine procedure.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Are they going to want to keep him here?
SCULLY: You’ll have to ask Dr. Grago.
STAN’S DAUGHTER: I … God. If my mother was alive …
(They hear NURSE CHARTERS arguing with MS. DAWSON.)
NURSE CHARTERS: How can I handle the whole floor by myself?
MS. DAWSON: I don’t know, Michelle. I have other things to deal with.
NURSE CHARTERS: Yes, well, so do I. I would just like some help, please.
MS. DAWSON: You’re the only one on?
NURSE CHARTERS: Yes. Upshaw never showed up for work last night. Nobody’s listening to me around here. I said there was something going on and I told you it had to do with Mr. Arden and Mr. Phillips. Forget it. (leaves)
MS. DAWSON: (to SCULLY) Can you please explain to me what’s going on around here?
(DOROTHY is sitting in the hall nearby talking to her empty room.)
DOROTHY: Shoo! Shoo! Go away! Go away! Leave me alone. Go back! Don’t come any closer!
MS. DAWSON: Go back in your room, Dorothy. If you need something, I’ll send an orderly to see you.
DOROTHY: No, they’re in there.
MS. DAWSON: Who?
DOROTHY: All of them.
SCULLY: (looking in the empty room) There’s nobody in your room, Dorothy.
DOROTHY: Here they come. You’ll see. All right, now you be nice. I don’t want any more of your dirty tricks.
SCULLY: Is she going to be all right?
(MS. DAWSON tries to push DOROTHY’s wheelchair into the room, but DOROTHY braces her hands on either side of the open door.)
DOROTHY: No! No, no, no, I don’t want to go back in there! No! No! I don’t want to go back in there! Oh, no, no, no …
MS. DAWSON: (giving up) It’s senile dementia. This is just an episode.
(DOROTHY’S POV ON SCULLY: SCULLY is surrounded by shadowy figures reaching out to touch her. SCULLY stands staring at DOROTHY.)
DOROTHY: You leave her be. Don’t you touch her. Now shoo! Go away, go away! Don’t you get any ideas, mister.
SCULLY: (uncomfortable, passing DOROTHY, heading down the hall) Excuse me.
DOROTHY: Now don’t you follow her.
(From DOROTHY’s POV, we see the shadowy figures following SCULLY, hovering around her as she walks down the hall.)
(MULDER with DOCTOR GREGO who is looking at a file.)
DOCTOR GREGO: This is it.
MULDER: Is the toxicology there?
DOCTOR GREGO: Yes. There’s something here that shouldn’t be here.
MULDER: What’s that?
DOCTOR GREGO: Ibotenic acid. How did that get in his blood?
MULDER: What’s ibotenic acid?
DOCTOR GREGO: If I’m not mistaken, it’s a kind of poison.
(SCULLY enters, quickly.)
SCULLY: Mulder …
MULDER: Scully, Hal Arden had ibotenic acid in his blood. Somebody poisoned him.
SCULLY: (looking at the chart) Well, not necessarily. This is only a trace amount but small amounts are known to cause hallucinations which is what one of your patients is having right now down the hall.
DOCTOR GREGO: Where did they get it?
(NURSE CHARTERS knocks and enters in a hurry.)
NURSE CHARTERS: Excuse me. You’ve got to come quickly.
(They follow NURSE CHARTERS into the day room.)
SCULLY: Oh, my God.
(One wall is completely covered with beautiful, intricate, but very disturbing, scary paintings. Oblivious to the others in the room, LEO continues painting frantically.)
MULDER: It’s fantastic.
DOCTOR GREGO: What’s going on here?
(LEO looks at her, then back to the painting.)
SCULLY: It’s incredible …
MULDER: You’ve got an Asian orderly working here. What’s his name?
DOCTOR GREGO: Uh, Gung, I think.
MULDER: Do you know where he is?
DOCTOR GREGO: Somewhere down in the basement.
(MULDER goes into the basement alone, looks around. He finds a padlocked door. He uses a metal bar [chair leg?] to bash open the lock. He enters the dark, damp, room, shines flashlight, and finds lots of mushrooms growing in dirt. Digging through the dirt, he sees the hand, then uncovers the body of UPSHAW, the missing orderly, dead.)
(MS. DAWSON’s office. MULDER, SCULLY, DAWSON, and DOCTOR GREGO are questioning GUNG.)
GUNG: I didn’t kill him.
MULDER: But it’s your mushroom crop, isn’t it?
MULDER: Who else would have buried him there?
SCULLY: Why were you growing them?
GUNG: For medicinal purposes.
SCULLY: Were you feeding them to the residents here?
GUNG: Yes, but only in small amounts.
GUNG: Because it makes them feel better.
MULDER: Makes them feel better, or it kills them?
DOCTOR GREGO: Exactly what kind of mushrooms are they?
GUNG: It’s from my prefecture in my country. They’ve been used for centuries.
SCULLY: For what purpose?
GUNG: In my country, our customs are different.
MS. DAWSON: You’re not in your country now. You’re hired here to care for these people under our guidelines.
GUNG: Where I come from, many generations live under one roof. As children, our grandparents live with us. We feel a duty to take care of them. (MULDER and SCULLY share a look.) It isn’t like that in this country. We respect our old people as we respect our ancestors. We don’t send them away to die like Stan and Hal.
DOCTOR GREGO: These people are given excellent medical care.
GUNG: But they’re not treated with respect. Hal’s family never came to visit him once and the orderlies … treat the residents worse than dogs.
MS. DAWSON: No one is mistreated here.
GUNG: You’re not here to see.
MULDER: All right, Gung, who killed the orderly? Who buried him in that room?
GUNG: Something has gone very wrong. The mushrooms we take to speak with the dead, to see our ancestors in the spirit world. But … the spirit in this place is very angry and the souls that died here continue to suffer. And now they … have been awakened.
SCULLY: Are you saying that a spirit killed this man, Upshaw?
GUNG: Yes. They’ve taken revenge for their mistreatment.
MULDER: How are the mushrooms taken?
GUNG: Dried, mixed with many herbs, made into powder.
MULDER: Well, I think the first thing we should do is make sure nobody else takes them. (to DOCTOR GREGO) You, check on the other patients. Gung, come with me. Let’s go.
(MULDER, SCULLY, and GUNG go down to the basement room. GUNG pauses for a moment at the door, and looks around suspiciously. Then they enter and GUNG goes to a cabinet and removes a jar with just a couple of pills at the bottom.)
GUNG: Someone’s taken them all.
(MULDER pulls SCULLY to the side to speak privately.)
MULDER: I think you’re right, Scully.
MULDER: What’s been happening is the result of the medication, but not the medication the Doctor’s been giving them.
SCULLY: Mulder, mushrooms aren’t medication. They taste good on hamburgers, but they don’t raise the dead.
MULDER: Shamans have used them for centuries to gain entrance to the spirit world.
SCULLY: I think you’ve been reading too much Carlos Castenada.
MULDER: Ask any anthropologist then.
SCULLY: I know --- a shaman gets intoxicated, he has dreams or hallucinations, and he interprets them. I don’t think it’s any more magical than that.
MULDER: I don’t know how else to explain what’s happening here.
SCULLY: Well, I think, if anything, these mushrooms are a poison to the system and I think that’s what killed Hal Arden.
MULDER: And raped Michelle Charters and killed those two orderlies? Something’s been unleashed here, Scully. I don’t know how to explain it, but it has something to do with those pills.
(STAN in his room drops a handful of pills and frantically pushes them into his mouth. His DAUGHTER enters.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Daddy? Daddy, what are you taking? What are you putting in your mouth?
DOROTHY: (in hall, waving her arms) Go away! You go away! Go away! You leave me … leave us alone! Go on! You … run. (to STAN’s DAUGHTER) Run while you can. Go on, run. Run. Go away. (sees the shadowy figures approaching) Go away! Go on. You leave us alone. Go on.
LEO: (voice) Dorothy! I need your help!
DOROTHY: Leo …. you leave me alone. You leave him alone! Leo! Leo! Leo … go on. Go on. You leave him …. you leave …..
(DOROTHY wheels herself to LEO’s door. LEO is collapsed on floor. She sees figures over him. STAN’s DAUGHTER joins her at LEO’s door.)
DORORTHY: Oh … oh, no. Stop. Stop that.
(Both of them see LEO’s body pulled into the shadows and the door slam. They hear NURSE CHARTERS scream.)
(Downstairs, MULDER and SCULLY hear NURSE CHARTERS scream. MULDER runs upstairs and into the bathroom and sees NURSE CHARTERS trying to stand up.)
NURSE CHARTERS: Help me, please.
(NURSE CHARTERS screams as she is flung against the wall. MULDER turns to see SCULLY just getting to the bathroom door. Door to the bathroom slams shut, and every water faucet and valve in the bathroom begins shooting out water. Fighting against the water, MULDER hears SCULLY outside the door.)
SCULLY: (trying to open the door which has just slammed in her face) Mulder! What’s going on!? Mulder!? Mulder!
MULDER: (yelling through the locked door) Scully! Turn off the water main! Turn off the water main!
(SCULLY sees water coming out the bottom of the door.)
SCULLY: They’re trapped in the bathroom and it’s filling with water.
MS. DAWSON: What?
SCULLY: Where’s the main water shutoff?
MS. DAWSON: I don’t know.
SCULLY: Gung will know. (begins running off to find GUNG) Keep trying the door.
(Bathroom is now almost knee deep. MULDER begins pulling a dizzy NURSE CHARTERS to her feet.)
MULDER: You’ve got to get up. Come on. You got to get up.
(In the basement, SCULLY and GUNG try to turn off the water main.)
GUNG: It’s stuck.
SCULLY: See if you can find something to force it with.
(Bathroom is now about five feet deep. MULDER swims down and tries to uncover the drain. It doesn’t work. He surfaces again next to NURSE CHARTERS who is holding on to a pipe.)
MULDER: I can’t open the drains.
(STAN’s room. STAN is lying on bed having a seizure. STAN’s DAUGHTER catches SCULLY in the hall.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: Please! Please, my father needs help. My father took something. I’m afraid he’s dying.
SCULLY: You stay with him. I’ll get help. (runs down hall to the bathroom door) Dr. Grago! Dr. Grago.
DOCTOR GREGO: It’s sealed tight.
SCULLY: Do you have any atropine in your kit here?
DOCTOR GREGO: Uh, I might. Yes, I think so.
SCULLY: Stan Phillips has gone into convulsions. I think he might have poisoned himself.
(DOCTOR GREGO runs down the hall.)
(In the bathroom, water level is only a few inches from the ceiling. MULDER and NURSE CHARTERS hold onto a pipe just barely keeping their noses above water.)
MULDER: Just hold on. It’s all right.
(In STAN’s room, DOCTOR GREGO gives STAN an injection. His body tenses as shadowy figures fade.)
(In hall, SCULLY stares at the bathroom door which now has water flowing over the top. Suddenly, the door gives way, and the wall of water knocks SCULLY and MS. DAWSON down, then MULDER and NURSE CHARTERS come pouring out and a few feet down the hall. )
(STAN, in his room, catches his breath and begins to relax, the seizure fading.)
DOROTHY: (in hallway) They’re gone. They’re all gone. They’re gone. They’re all gone.
(MULDER, coughing, stands up, holding NURSE CHARTERS in the hip deep water in the hall.)
SCULLY: You okay, Mulder?
MULDER: Yeah. Fine.
(SCULLY voiceover. Nursing home, night, then some time later.)
SCULLY: (voiceover) In response to the series of unexplained incidents at the Excelsius Dei convalescent home, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has assumed all administrative authority at the facility. They detected trace amounts of ibotenic acid in more than half the residents tested. Though these levels have dissipated rapidly.
(Day room. In front of the incredible mural, LEO draws a crude picture of a sailboat.)
SCULLY: (voiceover, cont.) Dr. John Grago has been replaced as head physician at the facility and his trial use of the drug Depranil has been suspended. For his admitted part in manufacturing and distributing an illicit substance, Gung Bittouin was remanded to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and is awaiting repatriation to Malaysia. There are reportedly no efforts being made to study the mushrooms.
(DOROTHY is wheeled in and a magazine placed in front of her. No response.)
SCULLY: (voiceover, cont.) The federal government has settled Michelle Charters’ lawsuit out of court though no clear blame has been placed. Witnesses to the events have been unreliable due to dramatic relapses and a general reversal in their progress with Alzheimer’s disease.
(STAN’s DAUGHTER sits with STAN in the day room. He is completely nonresponsive.)
STAN’S DAUGHTER: I’m going to go now, Daddy. I’ll see you again soon. Maybe next week.
(STAN stares into space.)