PLANE INTERIOR MAY 17, 1996
(Shot of exterior bathroom door shows door lock switch from "libre" to "occupe.")
(Plane lands at Kennedy National Airport)
FLIGHT ATT: (To MAN’S SEATMATE in French) Excuse me, Sir. Where is the passenger who was sitting here?
SEATMATE: (in French) He’s been gone since I woke up. I assumed he was in the restroom.
(In restroom we see man who was pale now normal black skin tone looking in mirror. African tribal music. He exits restroom and pulls aside curtain startling the FLIGHT ATT)
FLIGHT ATT: (in French) Please take your seat, Sir. We’re about to land. (He nods and enters main cabin. FLIGHT ATT knocks at restroom door.) Sir, we’re landing any minute now. Sir? (She opens door) Sir? (Sees MAN slumped against toilet. He is very pale and very dead.)
FLIGHT ATT: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
FBI HEADQUARTERS 5:17 AM
(SCULLY’S feet in beige pumps. She knocks at SKINNER’S office door.)
SKINNER: Come in. (She does) Thank you for getting here so quickly.
SCULLY: There’s not much traffic at this hour.
SKINNER: Agent Scully, this is Dr. Simon Bruin. (BRUIN rises from chair and offers his hand.) He’s with the Philadelphia office of the Centers for Disease Control.
BRUIN: A pleasure, Dr. Scully. (They shake. SCULLY sits.)
SKINNER: How familiar are you with the series of kidnappings that have taken place in Philadelphia?
SCULLY: Only what I’ve read in the Herald. Uh, that four young men have gone missing over the past three months --- all of them African-American.
SKINNER: A joint FBI-Philadelphia PD task force has been working around the clock ----- but there have been no leads to speak of... until last night.
SCULLY: What happened last night?
SKINNER: Owen Sanders, then man most recently reported missing, was found dead near a construction site.
SCULLY: How was he killed?
SKINNER: That’s just it, Agent Scully. He wasn’t. There was no evidence indicating homicide.
SCULLY: Has a cause of death been determined.
SKINNER: No. But I’ll let Dr. Bruin give you his thoughts on that.
BRUIN: This was taken last night less than an hour after Sanders’ body was found. (Shows her photo of very pale dead young man. No MJ jokes.)
SCULLY: I’m sorry, I thought you said that Owen Sanders was black.
BRUIN: He was.
SCULLY: I’m not sure I follow.
BRUIN: See for yourself. (Hands her newspaper clipping of young black man with headline *Fourth Man Missing*) Owen Sanders was a perfectly normal young black man.
SCULLY: I assume you’re going somewhere with this.
BRUIN: The depigmentation we are seeing may actually be characteristic of a disease ... an apparently fatal one.
SCULLY: So you don’t think these men are victims of a crime at all.
BRUIN: It’s my opinion, Dr. Scully, this investigation should begin and end under a microscope.
SKINNER: Dr. Bruin’s hope was that someone with a solid medical background like yourself could make a quick and decisive analysis.
FBI PATHOLOGY LAB 7:25 AM
(SANDERS on table.)
SCULLY: Case number 2139318537. Subject is a black male, 19 years old, Cause and time of death unknown. Note: total lack of pigment in his skin, hair and eyes. The appearance of which suggests albinism, though the bleaching of the irises indicates a violent and unexplained cellular reaction to a vector or an environment. (Door opens, MULDER enters.)
MULDER: Hey. I heard you were down here slicing and dicing. Who’s the lucky stiff?
SCULLY: His name was Owen Sanders. He was reported as the fourth kidnap victim in Philadelphia until his body turned up last night looking like this.
MULDER: There’s a Michael Jackson joke in here somewhere, but I can’t quite find it. (Thank you, Mulder.)
SCULLY: (tight smile) I have been requested to determine what leeched the pigment from his body.
MULDER: Requested by whom?
SCULLY: The Centers for Disease Control.
MULDER: The CDC in a kidnap case?
SCULLY: Well, they believe that the uh, the case has been mislabeled. That this man and the others may have fallen prey to a disease or a pathogen.
MULDER: Based on what other evidence?
SCULLY: There were no external signs of trauma or defense wounds and uh, his wallet was still full of cash.
MULDER: (eating sunflower seed) That’s interesting. What, uh, what sort of disease is this?
SCULLY: I don’t know. There are conditions like vitiligo which attack melanocytes and prevent the manufacture of melanin in the skin. Auto immune disorders which are not yet clearly understood.
MULDER: So this man died of a disorder. He and four other young black men who conveniently contracted the disease in succession and then disappeared without any explanation whatsoever.
SCULLY: Well, it’s very possible that they have already turned up but because of the depigmentation there may have been a problem with identification, so I have reissued descriptions of John Does to area morgues and ERs.
MULDER: Scully, has it occurred to you that this might just be a...a little PR exercise?
SCULLY: I’m sorry?
MULDER: To divert attention from the fact that young black men are dying and nobody seems to be able to bring in a suspect? The perception being that nobody cares.
SCULLY: Mulder, not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy, and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate.
MULDER: (cracks sunflower seed)
MULDER: Did you lift any forensic evidence from the body?
SCULLY: Yes, there’s hair, skin, and fiber behind you on the counter. (He turns to look) What are you doing?
MULDER: (taking evidence) I’m going to join the snipe hunt .... if you don’t mind .... before the body count rises. (He leaves. SCULLY sighs.)
(An apartment. Young black man from the airplane bathroom, ABOAH, is sitting quietly on the bed. There is a knock at the door. ABOAH rises to answer it.)
MAN: (accented voice) Mr. Aboah? (ABOAH’S back has white splotches. Apt #23. Another knock) Anyone home? (Starts to leave, door opens.) Samuel Aboah?
ABOAH: (wearing a shirt) Yes?
MAN: I’m Marcus Duff. Remember me? Your immigration counselor. We have an appointment to go over your naturalization petition.
ABOAH: (opens door wider) Please.
DUFF: Thank you. (enters, ABOAH locks door. DUFF sits and opens briefcase.) We could, ah, use a little light in here to fill out the petition. Maybe you could open a window, or something.
(ABOAH slowly crosses to a floor lamp and turns it on.)
DUFF: I guess that works. (laughs) Have a seat, Samuel. This is a little complicated. (ABOAH sits.) So..... (looks at ABOAH with concern) You okay? You look ill. You got a fever or something?
DUFF: I know how lonely it is. Believe me..... being in a strange place far from your family. But once you become a US citizen I can help you bring over every brother, sister, aunt, uncle, and cousin. It all starts today, Samuel. Know what I’m saying?
ABOAH: Thank you.
FBI HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, DC
(Entrance to PENDRELL’S lab. MULDER walking down the hall toward him.)
MULDER: Agent Pendrell. Thanks for turning this materials analysis around on such short notice.
PENDRELL: Shouldn’t we wait for Agent Scully? Just so I won’t have to repeat myself.
MULDER: She’s not coming.
PENDRELL: Why not?
MULDER: She had a date.
(PENDRELL’S face falls, shoulders slump.)
MULDER: Breathe, Agent Pendrell. It’s with a dead man. (puts his hands on PENDRELL’S shoulders) She’s doing an autopsy. (PENDRELL smiles) You said you found something?
PENDRELL: Yeah, asbestos fibers. Not much there. And I didn’t think there was much of anything either among the vegetable debris, all local soils, pollen, etc. ‘til I came across this. (Holds up vial.) We had to go online with a botanist at UVN to determine what it was.
MULDER: Well, it looks like some kind of thorn.
PENDRELL: It’s a seed, actually. But nothing you’ll find at your local nursery. (Puts it under microscope) Adenia Volkensii.
MULDER: Help me out.
PENDRELL: It’s from a rare species of passionflower. It’s a rare night blooming plant indigenous to only certain parts of West Africa.
MULDER: How could something this small travel 5,000 miles around the world and wind up on Owen Sanders?
PENDRELL: That I couldn’t tell you.
(MULDER on pay phone)
MULDER: (on phone) It contains a cerebropathic glycoside. Does that mean anything to you?
SCULLY: (voice) If I’m correct, it’s a cortical depressant that works on the higher centers of the brain.
MULDER: (on phone) Is it lethal?
SCULLY: (on phone in autopsy lab) In large enough quantities it might be. Larger than anything contained in a single seed.
MULDER: (on phone) Did the toxicology scan detect any of it in Owen Sanders’ blood?
SCULLY: (Voice) No, the tox screen was clean.
MULDER: (on phone) Could his body have metabolized the substance?
SCULLY: (on phone) Only if the victim hadn’t expired immediately.
MULDER: (on phone) Does that tell you anything about anything?
SCULLY: (on phone) No, but .... I think I found something that could explain the depigmentation in the victim. His pituitary gland was necrotized.
MULDER: (voice) His pituitary gland?
SCULLY: (on phone) The pituitary gland secretes all the regulatory hormones in the body and it controls the production of melanin in the skin cells.
MULDER: (on phone) So you found evidence that this is a disease?
SCULLY: (on phone) No. I have identified the effect. I am still looking for the cause.
MULDER: (on phone) Okay, well why don’t you let me know as soon as you find anything out.
SCULLY: (on phone) Where are you, Mulder?
MULDER: (on phone) Off to water the seeds of doubt. Bye-bye. (Mulder said bye?!?!?!)
(MULDER hands his plane ticket to an attendant and proceeds down the ramp at the airport.)
UNITED NATIONS BUILDING NEW YORK, NY
(Night. MARITA COVARRUBIAS walks down exterior steps. MULDER follows. She looks nervous.)
MULDER: Ms. Covarrubias?
MARITA: Who are you?
MULDER: Agent Mulder. Fox Mulder.
MARITA: What are you doing?
MULDER: Sorry I frightened you.
MARITA: What do you want?
MULDER: I’m not sure why, but I thought you might be in a position to help me.
MARITA: Help you?
MULDER: Four young men are missing in Philadelphia. One of the men was found dead last night. This seed was recovered from the victim’s body. (Shows vial) It’s from a rare species of plant found only in West Africa. Do you know anything about this case?
MULDER: Is there any way you could find something out about it?
MARITA: Thousands of exotic species cross into US soil every day undetected. Bilge water is emptied into harbors. Produce sent through the mail. In practical terms, borders are little more than lines on maps.
MULDER: Is that a yes or a no.
MARITA: I can’t help you.
MULDER: (Stopping her from leaving) You can’t, or you won’t? You made an overture to me. You left an opening. Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me there’s nothing here and I’ll just walk away. Either way, I need to know.
(MARITA looks at him.)
(Night. Young black man, KITTEL sitting at a bus stop. Whooshing sound. He gasps and puts his hand to the back of his neck and looks around, pulls bloody seed out of his neck. He begins to lose focus, and breathes heavily. Bus approaches. Door opens. KITTEL’S vision blurs. He just sits frozen, no response.)
DRIVER: Hey, I got a schedule. Are you getting on or not? What’s your problem? Are you on drugs, or something? Ah, the hell with you. You can walk for all I care. Damned drugs. (Closes door and drives away.)
(ABOAH is revealed, white splotch on face. KITTEL looks scared.)
(Day. Same bus stop. SCULLY interviewing DRIVER.)
DRIVER: He was sitting right here staring up at me with these glassy eyes. Pretty much out of it.
SCULLY: You mean he looked sick?
DRIVER: Yeah, now that you mention it. I mean, I asked him if he needed help, but he didn’t say squat. Don’t forget to put down I had a schedule to keep.
SCULLY: Did you observe anybody else in the area?
DRIVER: Not that I saw. I already told the police pretty much everything I know.
(MULDER drives up.)
SCULLY: Excuse me.
MULDER: What happened here?
SCULLY: We have another missing young man. His name is Alfred Kittel. 17 years old. He’s African American. His mother called the police around 3:00 this morning.
MULDER: How does she know he’s missing?
SCULLY: He works at a fast food place down the street. He takes this bus every night, and last night he never made it home. They found his knapsack on the bench here. Police are out canvassing. I talked to a bus driver who said that he seemed disoriented and non-responsive which seems to me like it might be some kind of pre-symptomatic dementia.
MULDER: (checking ground) Or a reaction to a powerful cortical depressant.
SCULLY: What are you suggesting?
MULDER: You find Alfred Kittel and you find another one of those weird African seeds.
SCULLY: What makes you so sure?
MULDER: (hands her folder) Three months ago – one week before the first person was reported missing – the New York Port Authority filed that with the FAA. (Picture of dead man on plane.) Like Owen Sanders, this man wasn’t an albino either. Not until he was found dead on a charter flight from West Africa, from Burkina Faso. The Embassy demanded that the body be returned before an autopsy could be performed.
SCULLY: It says here that the cause of death was undetermined.
MULDER: Yeah, undetermined, Scully, but not necessarily unknown.
(SCULLY looks up at him.)
ABOAH’S APARTMENT HALLWAY
(Two police officers at door.)
OFFICER: Aboah? What the hell kind of name is that? (knocks, ABOAH cracks door) Mr. Aboah?
(Inside apartment KITTEL, young man from bus stop sits frozen listening to voices.)
OFFICER: (voice) Philadelphia PD. We’re canvassing the building in regard to a missing person’s case. This is the young man we’re looking for. Have you seen him?
ABOAH: (voice) No.
OFFICER: (voice) Well, if you hear from anyone who has, or come across any information at all, you can reach us at this number. That’s a hotline. You can call 24 hours a day.
ABOAH: Thank you.
OFFICER: Thank you.
(ABOAH closes door and approaches young man, opens mouth and from his throat pulls out long object.)
INS OFFICE PHILADELPHIA, PA
DUFF: I am really quite busy.
MULDER: I’m sorry. We won’t take up much of your time. The INS District Chief told us that you were in charge of most of the casework for aliens emigrating from Africa and the Caribbean.
DUFF: I assist people from that part of the world where I came from 15 years ago.
MULDER: Well, we’re looking for somebody that came a little more recently than that. (checks paper) On a flight from Burkina Faso? This is the passenger manifest from the charter company.
DUFF: And ... you want me to do what exactly?
MULDER: I’d like you to cross reference those names on that list with anyone applying for permanent resident status or a work visa within the last three months.
DUFF: I am a social worker. Not a police officer. My business is not chasing down illegals.
SCULLY: Sir, we’re not here to arrest anybody.
DUFF: But you are FBI agents, are you not?
SCULLY: Yes. Investigating a possible public health crisis.
DUFF: What kind of crisis?
SAMUEL ABOAH’S RESIDENCE 800 DEMOTT AVENUE 1:15 PM
(MULDER comes out front door, gets in car with SCULLY.)
MULDER: He’s not home. We might as well get comfortable.
SCULLY: (looking through file) It has to be here, Mulder. There has to be some evidence of a virus or bacterium.
MULDER: Scully, I think if you looked up from the microscope for a minute, you’d see that what’s really missing is a motive.
SCULLY: The motive of any pathogen is to reproduce itself. And my job as a doctor is to find out if and how it is being transmitted.
MULDER: If this is a health crisis.
SCULLY: Death is a health crisis. Something caused Owen Sanders’ pituitary to fail which in turn caused his metabolism to drop resulting in myaxadema coma and finally in death. Sometimes you have to start at the end to find the beginning. (MULDER is comparing picture of ABOAH to a group of construction workers.) I just hope we don’t have to find another dead body to discover what that is.
(MULDER spots ABOAH.)
MULDER: Maybe we won’t have to wait. (Gets out of car) Mr. Aboah? Can I talk to you a minute?
(ABOAH runs. MULDER and SCULLY follow him to a dead end alley. They don’t see him.)
MULDER: Boy, this guy can move.
SCULLY: He’s not here.
MULDER: He has to be.
(They look around in empty car etc)
SCULLY: Mulder, I think I know where he went. (Indicates hole in the fence.) Come on, Mulder. Let’s go. We’ve lost him.
(MULDER walks over to a very small drain opening in the wall near the floor and sees ABOAH’S head upside down. ABOAH is breathing heavily.)
MULDER: Hey, Scully. Look at this.
SCULLY: Oh, my god.
MT ZION MEDICAL CENTER PHILADELPHIA, PA 5:45 PM
(ABOAH is being slid into an MRI machine. SCULLY and a doctor look on. Then DOCTOR checks ABOAHS brown eyes.)
DOCTOR: From all outward signs, this man appears asymptomatic. I appreciate the connection you’ve tried to make, but I’m afraid it’s a dead end.
(SCULLY looks at MULDER waiting outside glass door like a puppy.)
SCULLY: With your permission, sir, I’d like to examine him some more. I’d like to run a suppression test, to do a TSH screen, take a history.
DOCTOR: It would help if we could talk to him.
SCULLY: I’m working on that.
DOCTOR: All right.
(SCULLY goes out door to MULDER.)
SCULLY: Not yet. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a carrier or even the index case.
MULDER: Well, he’s some kind of case the way he disappeared down that drain pipe.
DUFF: (coming down hall, upset) Why has Samuel Aboah been arrested? You said his health was in danger. Why have I been lied to?
SCULLY: Nobody has lied to you, sir.
DUFF: Then please, release him immediately.
SCULLY: We would like to do some more tests on him. We have to be certain that his health hasn’t been endangered and that he isn’t endangering others.
DUFF: Then why have you called me.
SCULLY: As a translator. We’d like to be able to ask him some questions.
DUFF: About what?
MULDER: About Alfred Kittel and about several other young men who have gone missing since his arrival in Philadelphia three months ago.
DUFF: Then ... this is about a criminal charge.
SCULLY: There are no charges against Mr. Aboah.
MULDER: We only arrested him because he ran when we tried to question him, and I want to know why he ran.
DUFF: Sir, if you had ever been beaten by the police or had your home burned to the ground for no other reason than being born then maybe you would understand why he ran and why you would run too.
MULDER: That man ran because he’s hiding something. (to SCULLY) And no amount of tests you run on him, no science is going to find that. Excuse me. (leaves angrily)
SCULLY: Where are you going?
MULDER: To find someone who I know plotted to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate. (SCULLY looks at DUFF and sighs.)
BURKINA FASO EMBASSY WASHINGTON, DC 6:45 PM
(MULDER is shown into an office.)
SECRETARY: (with accent) Minister, this is Agent Mulder with the FBI.
MULDER: Thank you for seeing me at such a late hour, sir.
MINISTER: (with accent) I did not have much of a choice in this matter. Someone from the United Nations spoke to the ambassador directly. What’s so important that it can’t wait?
MULDER: With all due respect, sir, I think you already know.
MINISTER: Do I?
MULDER: `Something happened on a flight from your country about three months ago --- something that you felt compelled to hide even from your own ambassador. The State Department said the request to stop investigating this man’s death came directly from you. (shows picture of dead airplane man) Now, I understand the need to protect your diplomatic position, but more men are dying, sir.
MINISTER: Even if I tell you what I know, you would never believe it.
MULDER: You’d be surprised at what I believe, sir.
MINISTER: I had hoped if I closed my eyes it would go away this time?
MULDER: This time?
MINISTER: My people ... the Bambara, are farmers. I grew up hearing the old stories, believing them as only a child can believe.
MULDER: What kinds of stories?
MINISTER: The Teliko ...spirits .... of the air.
(Bored Security guard. Orderly enters ABOAH’S room. MINISTER’S voice continues over scene.)
MINISTER: (voice over) It was said they rested by day in close, dark places, deep inside tree hollows and in holes beneath the ground too small even for a child to hide himself.
(ORDERLY looks around. Room is empty knocks at bathroom door.)
ORDERLY: Mr. Aboah? (No answer)
MINISTER: (voice over) Only when the sun fell, when the rest of the world was sleeping, would they come out.
(ORDERLY wheels cart out of the room.)
MULDER: Come out to do what, sir?
MINISTER: I was seven years old. Lying awake one night, I saw him. He was standing over me. His hair was like straw .... his eyes like water, staring down at me. I closed my eyes and screamed and felt myself being swept up into the air, but when I opened my eyes, I saw my father holding me.
MULDER: Then, it was a nightmare.
MINISTER: That’s what my father said, and I believed him, until the next day ... when they found my cousin, dead among his cattle, looking exactly like this man. (holds picture of dead airplane man)
(Cart in hospital hallway)
MINISTER: (voice over) Which is why, when this photograph came across my desk three months ago --- I knew the Teliko was more than just a children’s story. I knew it was real. I knew he was here.
(Small drawer in bottom of cart opens revealing ABOAH’S eyes peering out.)
HOSPITAL X-RAY VIEWING ROOM
SCULLY: This patient appears to have something in his throat, some kind of aberrant bone growth, or maybe something foreign lodged in his esophagus.
DOCTOR: Could be a lot of things. You’d be amazed what I’ve seen removed from people’s throats in emergency rooms.
SCULLY: Well, that’s only part of it. I discovered something even more disturbing when his PET series came back. Look right here on the sagittal section, right below the hypothalamus.
DOCTOR: There must be some mistake.
SCULLY: There’s no mistake. This patient has no pituitary gland.
DOCTOR: But that’s not possible.
SCULLY: I can’t even begin to explain what we’re seeing here, sir. I just hope this patient can, can provide us with some of the answers.
MULDER: (entering) You’ll have to find him first.
SCULLY: What are you talking about?
MULDER: I was looking for you down in quarantine. Samuel Aboah’s gone. Disappeared.
(SCULLY looks shocked.)
DUFF walks to his car. Startled by ABOAH.)
DUFF: Samuel? You scared me. They let you out of the hospital?
DUFF: Everything is fine? Samuel? Did you want to see me about something?
DUFF: (laughs) Well, come on. Let me give you a ride home. We can talk about it on the way. Lucky for you, I was working late.
ABOAH: Yes. Lucky.
DUFF: Come, let’s go.
(ABOAH is hiding the thing he pulled out of his throat behind his back.)
HOSPITAL CORRIDOR NEAR THE CART
MULDER is looking in drawer
SCULLY: (on cel phone) When did this happen? ..... Thank you, Lieutenant. I appreciate it. (hangs up) Mulder .....
MULDER: (Pulling something out of the drawer.) I think this was his getaway vehicle. (Looks at top of cart.) He didn’t even touch his Jell-O.
SCULLY: Let’s go. That was the Philadelphia PD. Marcus Duff’s car turned up abandoned with the keys in the ignition and the hood still hot.
(DUFF lies frozen and scared as ABOAH pulls out slender metal object and sticks it up DUFF’S nose with a cracking sound. Eeeeeewwwww! He is interrupted by a policeman walking by with a flashlight. Policeman finds DUFF with thing sticking out of his nose. Large open drain pipe is right beside him.)
POLICEMAN: (On radio) ...... requesting ambulance ......
(DUFF being loaded into ambulance.)
SCULLY: Do you know what happened to him?
LIEUTENANT: I won’t even try to guess what happened to him, but he’s alive.
SCULLY: What about Aboah? Any indication of where he might be?
LIEUTENANT: We’re still sweeping the area. I’ll keep you posted.
(MULDER and SCULLY walk away)
SCULLY: He’s got to be around here somewhere, Mulder. He can’t have gotten far.
MULDER: This guy can squeeze into a coffee can, Scully. He could be anywhere.
SCULLY: They’ll find him.
MULDER: He’ll find another victim.
SCULLY: How do you know?
MULDER: We interrupted him before he could finish.
(They get in car)
SCULLY: Interrupted his killing Duff?
MULDER: The killing is just incidental I think, Scully, to a far more basic need.
SCULLY: What need?
MULDER: (driving) If Aboah has no pituitary then his body would lack the ability to produce melanin itself, right?
SCULLY: Theoretically, yes.
MULDER: Well, when you examined him you didn’t observe one single albino trait or characteristic.
SCULLY: Considering his PET scan results I don’t even know how he managed to stay alive.
MULDER: That’s what I’m talking about, Scully, survival. And not just Aboah’s. I think that anomaly you observed is not just physiological, I think it may be evolutionary.
SCULLY: What are you talking about?
MULDER: The lost tribe, a clan of sub-Saharan albinos linked by their common congenital deficit who’ve adapted over generations by ....
SCULLY: What, by stealing other people’s hormones?
MULDER: Somehow, Aboah has managed to survive.
SCULLY: Well, however he’s managed to survive wha --- I mean what.... what makes you think he’s not an isolated case?
MULDER: Because of something somebody told me last night. (Pause) An African folktale.
SCULLY: So you’re basing this theory on a folktale?
MULDER: It’s just another way of describing the same truth, right? I mean all new truths begin as heresies and end as superstitions. We ... we fear the unknown, so we reduce it to the terms that are most familiar to us, whether that’s a folktale, or a disease, or a ...... conspiracy. (smile)
SCULLY: Well, even if you’re right, I mean especially if you’re right, why would he leave his own country to come here?
MULDER: Free cable. I don’t know, the same reasons anybody comes to this country. Liberty, the freedom to pursue your own interests. (Sees construction site) Look at that.
SCULLY: What are you doing?
MULDER: (Stopping car) It’s a demolition site. (They get out of car.)
SCULLY: Why are we here, Mulder?
MULDER: Pendrell found asbestos fibers on Owen Sanders’ body. And you remove asbestos from an old building before you tear it down. It had to come from somewhere.
(They enter old building and split up. They just don’t learn. MULDER climbs ladder. Pale ABOAH watches him. MULDER gets hit in the neck, pulls out thorn.)
(MULDER’S vision gets blurry.)
MULDER: Scully? (yells) Scully!
SCULLY: (in another part of the building) Mulder?
(MULDER drops flashlight and passes out, hard.)
SCULLY: Mulder? Mulder? (Climbs same ladder) Mulder? (Sees his dropped flashlight, and vent nearby. Looks in vent.) Mulder? (Climbs through vent. ABOAH watches her through grate. SCULLY sees pale dead KITTEL. Then sees MULDER. She crawls to him.) Mulder! Mulder, are you okay?
(No response, his eyes are staring. Hear someone getting closer quickly, then ABOAH appears around the corner. SCULLY drops her light and fires her gun at ABOAH. Bullets hit the wall, ABOAH is gone. SCULLY crawls back to MULDER.)
SCULLY: It’s okay, Mulder. I’m here, okay?
(SCULLY reaches over him and knocks out vent cover into a courtyard area with two dead bodies. She jumps down then pulls MULDER out.)
SCULLY: Sorry, Mulder. (Drops him to ground, then dials cel phone, her back to MULDER.) Yes, this is Dana Scully with the FBI requesting immediate EMS and police assistance. I’m in Liberty Plaza ....... My badge number? JTT0331613.
(MULDER sees ABOAH at entrance to vent, but can’t move. Looks very distressed. Keeps looking from SCULLY to ABOAH, trying to speak.)
SCULLY: (on phone with 911 operator from hell) No. Liberty Plaza. There’s a demolition site on the north side of the street.
(MULDER stares desperately at the back of SCULLY’S head as ABOAH begins to move toward them. Psychic! SCULLY suddenly senses, and turns firing at ABOAH, hitting him mid air. MULDER closes his eyes in relief. SCULLY looks at ABOAH, still alive but hurt, then goes to MULDER.)
SCULLY: (voice over) Special Agent Dana Scully, Field Journal Entry number 74. Despite acute trauma to his pituitary gland, Marcus Duff was discharged early this morning from Mt. Zion Medical Center. He is expected to testify before a Grand Jury in the capital case against Samuel Aboah who is being charged with five counts of murder. (Aboah in hospital room.) It remains uncertain, however, whether Aboah will live long enough to stand trial. His response to hormone therapy has been poor, his deterioration progressive. My conviction remains intact that that the mechanism by which Aboah killed and in turn survived, can only be explained by medical science, and that science will eventually discover his place in the broader context of evolution. But what science may never be able to explain is our ineffable fear of the alien among us; a fear which often drives us not to search for understanding, but to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate. To obscure the truth not only from others, but from ourselves.