Black Dog and the Umbrella Man - The X-Files

Black Dog and the Umbrella Man - The X-Files

A Screenplay by Ray J. Lonsdale
"

Based upon characters and situations created by Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions.

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TEASER


SCENE 1


FADE IN:


INT. MULDER'S APARTMENT


TITLES:  Fox Mulder's Apartment, Alexandria, Virginia

November 21st, 1996

10:25 PM


The room is dark.  The sound of a key turning in the front door is heard, and the door swings open.  Light from the hall falls across the floor and reveals the outline of MULDER carrying a bag of groceries.  MULDER reaches for the light switch on the wall next to him and flips it to the on position.  Nothing happens.  Frustrated, MULDER flips the switch up and down several more times then sets the bag down on the floor and walks into the darkened apartment to a lamp in the living room.  MULDER turns the knob and again, no light.


MULDER

Damn.

MULDER stumbles into the kitchen and flips the switch in there.  Still no light.  This time MULDER glances up at the fixture on the ceiling, and a look of concern comes over his face.  As MULDER looks around the apartment he takes his gun from the holster.  Finding nothing, MULDER returns to the kitchen and walks over to a cabinet near the sink.  A streetlight shining in from the window illuminates the room enough to see MULDER pick up a box of light bulbs and slide it open.  He takes out the only bulb in the box, pulls a chair out from the dining table and positions it beneath the kitchen fixture.  MULDER removes the glass cover, unscrews the burned out bulb and turns the new one in.  The room is now brightly lit.  Just before MULDER can climb back down off the chair, he notices something odd about the bulb.  On closer examination, he sees a tiny piece of transparent film inside the bulb.  Placing both feet back on the chair, MULDER strains to look into the glare.  Printed across the film are the words; Arlington, JFK, 8:30 AM.  Just as MULDER finishes reading the message, the film catches on fire from the heat of the filament and the bulb burns out.  MULDER unscrews the bulb, climbs down off the chair, goes over to the window and holds the bulb up to the glow from a streetlight.  The inside of the glass is blackened and opaque.  MULDER picks up a dish towel, wraps it around the bulb and hits it against the kitchen countertop.  He then unwraps the towel and examines the broken bulb.  No trace of the film remains. 

SCENE II 

DISSOLVE EXT. ARLINGTON CEMETERY, NEXT MORNING.

TITLES: Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

November 22nd, 1996

8:25 AM

MULDER is walking through the headstones in the rain, carrying an umbrella.

CUT TO EXT. JFK MEMORIAL.

A fire burns directly in front of the camera, waves of heat rippling and distorting the image of MULDER as he approaches.  Pull back to reveal the Kennedy memorial.  The fire is now identifiable as the eternal flame.  MULDER stops before the large circular stone and looks down at it.

CUT TO EXT. CLOSE UP, SIDE OF MULDER’S FACE.

Background is out of focus.  The sound of footsteps can be heard as the vague outline of a man in a dark trench coat walks up behind MULDER.  The man has his hands in the pockets of his coat and is holding a small parcel under one arm. (This man will be referred to as Mr. Lance.)  MULDER turns his head to one side.  As LANCE begins to speak, he takes one hand out of his pocket and lays the parcel down at his feet.

MR. LANCE (V.O.)

And when they came to a vineyard wall, that seemed too high.  Too doubtful to try...

MULDER

John Kennedy.

MR. LANCE (V.O.)

That’s right, Mr. Mulder.  An analogy to America’s race for the moon.  A boy tosses his friend’s cap over the wall.  They have no choice then but to follow it.

MULDER

I don’t really care for caps.  I never wear them.  In fact, it would have to be a very unique piece of head gear for me to risk scraping up my knuckles going after it.

MR. LANCE (V.O.)

Unique indeed, Mr. Mulder.  Unique indeed.  And, whether you realize it or not, you do wear a cap that is unlike any other.  Woven into its stitching is a pattern for the truth that you seek to unravel.  If you don’t continue to follow after that truth, there are forces that will most certainly take it from you.  They are waiting, Mr. Mulder.  Waiting on a grassy knoll on the other side of that wall.  Men with umbrellas and badges.  There is no magic, Mr. Mulder, once you see how the illusion was performed.  An acorn falls and lays exposed for all to see.  It takes root and roots tangle in all directions. The landscape is changed forever.  Time passes, and the tree grows larger. Darkness gathers beneath its canopy.  In the shadows, wild animals carry out their instinctual urges.  Undetected.  Uncontrolled.

MULDER

Acorns... ah, of course.  The lone nut.  Badge Man and the Umbrella Man.  

MR. LANCE (V.O.)

The cast and characters in a play written by the authors of deception, Mr. Mulder.  A play that was acted out before a captive audience in Dealey Plaza on November 22nd, 1963.  33 years ago today.

MULDER

And what of it?  The witnesses have either had their say or turned up dead since then.  The House Select Committee on Assassinations confirmed that shots were fired from the grassy knoll.  No further investigation conducted.  Oliver Stone made a movie, and through all of it, we’re still no closer to an answer.  Time has turned the assassination into a mystery that will outlive us all.

MR. LANCE (V.O.)

No, Mr. Mulder, not just yet.  There is still one key witness who never got a chance to share his side of the story.  The Warren boys didn’t ask for his observations.  Jim Garrison didn’t put him on the stand.  Let’s just say that, until now, this individual has been... unavailable for questioning.

CUT TO EXT. CLOSE UP, PARCEL ON SIDEWALK.

LANCE kicks the parcel gently, and it slides across the walkway to MULDER.

MR. LANCE (V.O.)

One man in Dealey Plaza that day had the clearest vantage point of all.

CUT TO EXT. CLOSE UP, SIDE OF MULDER’S FACE.

The sound of footsteps is heard as MR. LANCE walks off in the opposite direction from where MULDER is standing.  MULDER turns and sees that he is now alone.  He leans down and scoops up the parcel and quickly conceals it under his coat.  Looking around in all directions, MULDER sees an old man and a small boy approaching the memorial.  


CUT TO EXT. MAN AND BOY AT MEMORIAL.


MULDER watches for a moment as the old man kneels down and begins telling the boy about John Kennedy.  He finishes his story by telling the boy that JFK was assassinated in Dallas by a man named Lee Harvey Oswald.  


CUT TO EXT. CLOSE UP, MULDER’S FACE.


MULDER’S expression changes from one of mild amusement at the wonder in the boy’s eyes to a look of grave concern.  He reaches into his coat and holds up the brown paper package.  He then turns and walks out of the camera view to the right.  


CUT TO EXT. MAN AND BOY AT MEMORIAL.


Several moments after MULDER is gone, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN strolls slowly up the walkway to stand behind the old man and the boy.  By now, the man has finished his story and tries to get to his feet.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN reaches for the old man’s arm and helps him up.


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Let me help you.



OLD MAN

Why, thank you.  These old bones are gettin’ kinda rickety.  Still got my mind, though.  Time hasn’t taken that away from me yet.


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Yes.  The mind holds on to many things, even after the body no longer can.


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN gestures to the memorial.  Sensing the awkwardness of the moment, he adds...


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Memories, of course.  We will always remember what John Kennedy did for this country.


Satisfied, the old man takes the boy’s hand and leads him away.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN watches them go, then turns back to the memorial.  He takes a walkie talkie from his coat pocket and cups it close to his lips as he speaks.


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

He left the memorial just before Mulder. No, I can’t be sure.  (PAUSE) Take him alive if you can.  If it is Fletcher, we have a lot of catching up to do.


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN places the walkie talkie back in its place and takes out a pack of cigarettes.  From another pocket, he produces a match.  He walks across the stones surrounding the memorial, leans down and lights the match from the eternal flame, then lights a cigarette.  He snuffs out the match and throws it onto the sidewalk.



CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Thanks for the light, Jack.

FADE OUT

ACT I

SCENE I

FADE IN:

EXT. MULDER’S CAR

MULDER has just pulled up to a stop light.  The rain is coming down harder now.

INT. MULDER’S CAR

MULDER reaches inside his coat and takes out the parcel.  He tears open the brown paper strip that seals the envelope and removes two CD discs and a folded envelope identical to the one he has just opened.  MULDER examines each disc carefully.  The first has no identifiable markings of any kind.  There is not even so much as a manufacturer name etched around the edge of the inside hub.  The second disc is plainly silk screened across the top face.  The label identifies the CD as the soundtrack to the movie Camelot.  MULDER manages a slight grin as he flips open his briefcase on the passenger seat next to him.  MULDER takes out a portable CD player.  He opens the lid on the player and slides the soundtrack CD inside.  Mulder presses “PLAY” and slips a cassette adapter into the car stereo.  The light turns green and he pulls across the intersection.

EXT. STREET SIDE, MULDER’S CAR PASSING BY

Just after MULDER’S car passes out of view, a dark blue sedan being driven by CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN slowly accelerates to follow.

INT. MULDER’S CAR

MULDER seems surprised when track one of the disc actually begins playing “Overture/I Wonder what the King is Doing Tonight” from the movie.  MULDER then presses the “next” button on the player and a man’s voice begins speaking.  It is the voice of Mr. Lance.

LANCE V.O.

Well done, Agent Mulder.  It seems you appreciate our choice for this CD title.  I assure you that had you chosen the other disc you would have found it to be considerably less entertaining.  A concerto of meaningless tones that characterize the audio counterpart of software encryption.  Nothing more.  Even the encryption codes are spurious; a wild goose chase if you will.  To the most trained eye, these codes will appear to be the genuine article, locking up a well kept secret.  A secret that your opponent will believe has been intercepted and concealed once more.  At least until you have had time to fully examine and evaluate the data that has been prepared for you here.  Now to a more immediate issue.  Your movements have been carefully monitored ever since you left the Kennedy Memorial.  Listen carefully.  Take the unmarked disc and slide it into the unused envelope and seal it.  Place the parcel back in the same pocket you concealed it in after you picked it up off the sidewalk.

MULDER follows the instructions quickly.  As he is doing so, he glances into the rear view mirror and sees CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN looking back at him in between the rhythmic motion of windshield wiper blades.  After each pass of the wiper, raindrops bead up on the glass and mask CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S face in an eerie fluid distortion.  MULDER looks away from the reflection in the mirror.   MR. LANCE continues.

MR. LANCE V.O.

Now put up a fight.  Be as convincing as possible.  Do anything short of getting killed to prevent the parcel from being taken, however, make sure that it IS taken.  As for your newfound musical soundtrack, this message you are listening to now was applied to the disc as a layer of light sensitive emulsion over the actual music on track two.  It is being destroyed as the light in your player hits it.  There will be no way to locate anything other than music tracks on this disc without some in-depth dissection.  If you manage to keep the disc in your possession, we will provide further instruction for its usage. Good luck.

MR. LANCE’S voice fades and is replaced by a final bit of orchestration on the second track, mixed with the ambient pitter patter of rain against metal.  MULDER switches off the player and places it back in his briefcase with the disc still inside.  He is just breaking for another stop light.  After stopping the car, MULDER raises his hand and pretends to adjust the mirror.  Feigning a look of surprise, MULDER turns and looks over his right shoulder, directly at CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN.  He then whips his head back to face forward, lets his foot off the brake and steps down hard on the accelerator.  

EXT. INTERSECTION

MULDER’S car lurches into the intersection, tires spinning on the wet pavement.  Just before he is clear of traffic, a pickup truck smashes into the rear bumper, sending tiny pieces of MULDER’S brake light scattering across the street.  MULDER spins the wheel and straightens the car out, then begins to accelerate again.

INT. MULDER’S CAR

MULDER looks back at the truck that is now stalled in the intersection.

MULDER

Seemed pretty convincing to me.

A horn blast and the sound of shrieking tires snaps MULDER’S attention back to the road ahead.  He has steered the car into oncoming traffic.  MULDER jerks the wheel hard to the right.  The car spins sideways on the wet road.

EXT. STREET SIDE

MULDER’S car pitches over and skids upside down until it slams into a lightpost, bringing it to an abrupt stop.

CUT TO:

EXT. CURBSIDE ACROSS FROM THE ACCIDENT

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN pulls his car off to the side of the street and climbs out.  In the foreground, onlookers are gathering near MULDER’S car.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN strides across the street and pushes his way through the crowd.  He kneels down and looks in the driver’s side window.  MULDER is belted in but appears to have been knocked unconscious.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN turns back to the group and shouts:

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

This man may be badly hurt.  Please, could someone call an ambulance?

A woman in the group runs off in the direction of the nearest store front.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN takes off his overcoat, wraps it around his hand and arm and pushes away broken glass from the door.  He reaches in and appears to be trying to find the seatbelt latch.  The belt falls limp around MULDER’S shoulder and his body slumps down out of the seat.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN takes hold of MULDER under one arm pit and pulls him through the opening.  Once MULDER is free of the car, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN opens MULDER’S coat and listens for a heartbeat.  As he does so, he takes his free hand and runs it across the pockets of the coat.  His fingers brush across the object of his search and he quickly snatches the parcel away.  A smile forms across CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S face as he once again turns to face the now sizable crowd.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

He’s alive!  I think he’s going to be all right!

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT.  FLASHING LIGHTS OF AN AMBULANCE

Pull back to reveal two paramedics wheeling MULDER on a stretcher.  They push the stretcher through the back doors of the ambulance, and one of them climbs in with him.  The other paramedic slams the doors and runs around to the cab.  A moment later, the siren sounds and the ambulance drives away.  PAN RIGHT to show CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S car still parked at the side of the curb.  He is leaning against the car smoking.  He takes one last long drag on the cigarette then flicks it into a nearby puddle.  Just before he turns to open the car door, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN glances across the road in the direction of MULDER’S car. A police officer is standing next to the smashed vehicle, staring back at him.  

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Can I help you, son?

OFFICER PROUTY

No, sir.  I believe we can take it from here.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN nods then opens the car door, climbs in and drives away.

EXT. WRECKER TURNING MULDER’S CAR OVER.

The policeman watches CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S car disappear around a corner.

INT.  FRONT SEAT OF MULDER’S CAR AS IT ROLLS.

MULDER’S briefcase has broken open and the contents are strewn across the roof and dash.  As the car turns over, the CD player falls on the seat and the lid pops open.  The Camelot CD falls out and rolls down on the floor.

SCENE II

CUT TO:

INT.  HALLWAY, FBI HEADQUARTERS

TITLES: FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

10:05 AM

DANA SCULLY is walking down the corridor on her way to MULDER’S office.  As she walks, the sound of running footsteps is heard coming toward her.  She stops and turns to see ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SKINNER sprinting down the hall.

SKINNER

Agent Scully, wait up.  You won’t find Mulder in the office this morning.  I just took a call from him about five minutes ago.  He’s at the ER down at Bethesda.   Seems he rolled his car this morning on the way to work.  He’s OK. Well, OK for a man with a mild concussion.  Already treated and released, wants to know if you can give him a lift back to his apartment.

SCULLY

Certainly, sir.  Oh, ah, with your permission, of course.

SKINNER

Since when have you guys ever needed for my permission?

SKINNER turns and heads back in the direction he came.  After taking several steps he stops and turns his head.

SKINNER

Agent Scully.

SCULLY

Sir?

SKINNER

You don’t suppose that a substantial blow to the head could have induced amnesia?

SCULLY

Are you suggesting that perhaps Agent Mulder has forgotten about the X-Files?

SKINNER

Wishful thinking, Scully, that’s all.  Just wishful thinking.

SKINNER grins widely, turns and continues down the hall.  SCULLY smiles somberly and mutters under her breath.

SCULLY

Not in this lifetime.

SCENE III

CUT TO:

TITLES: Bethesda Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C.

10:32 AM

EXT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL, ENTRANCE TO EMERGENCY.

A Washington, D.C. police car pulls up to the door.  After a moment, a uniformed officer climbs out of the car and, carrying a large box, walks through the glass doors leading inside.  It is OFFICER PROUTY, the same policeman who spoke to CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN at the scene of the accident.

INT. BETHESDA ER.

MULDER is seated in a large waiting room.  He has a gauze bandage taped across the left side of his forehead and several small cuts on his hands and arms.  Many of the seats nearby are occupied by other people waiting for medical attention.  The entrance to the ER can be seen in the background.  PROUTY comes through the second set of doors and makes his way to the reception desk.  He stops for a moment to ask the receptionist something.  As they talk, the receptionist comes around her desk, looks in the direction of the waiting room and points to MULDER.  PROUTY nods and walks forward to where MULDER is sitting.

PROUTY

Special Agent Fox Mulder?

MULDER

Yes?

PROUTY

I’m Officer Prouty, Washington PD.  I was at the scene of the accident.  Managed to retrieve a few of your belongings from the car.

PROUTY sets the box down on the floor.

You probably better check and see that everything’s there.

MULDER leans over and quickly pulls the lid off the box.  He rifles through the contents for a moment then pulls out the empty CD player.  MULDER sets the player aside and begins digging in the box again.  A look of mild relief comes over his face as he pulls the shinny disc out and turns it slowly around in his hand.  It is the Camelot soundtrack. 

MULDER

Looks like you’ve found everything.  Thanks.

MULDER reaches up and shakes PROUTY’S hand.

PROUTY

You’re welcome, Agent Mulder.  Glad we could help.

PROUTY turns and walks back to the doors of the ER.  Before he goes out to his car, he turns and shouts across the room to MULDER.

PROUTY

Oh, Agent Mulder, by the way.  You’d better answer your cell phone the next time it rings.  It’s been going off every five minutes since I threw it in the box.

As he walks out, AGENT SCULLY passes him coming in.  Upon seeing MULDER, she strides briskly toward him.  MULDER sees SCULLY coming and slowly stands up, slipping his overcoat on.  He tries to bend down and pick up the box but loses his balance and falls back into the chair.  SCULLY catches his arm to slow his decent.

SCULLY

Mulder, take it easy.

MULDER

I’m OK.  Lucky that chair was back there.

MULDER gestures to the box.

MULDER

Would you mind?

SCULLY bends down and picks up the box.  MULDER stands up, and SCULLY takes her free hand and wraps it around MULDER’S arm to help balance him as they walk out to the parking lot.

CUT TO:

EXT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL, ER PARKING.

It has started raining again.  SCULLY and MULDER pause for a moment underneath an awning while SCULLY opens her umbrella.

SCULLY

So, how did it happen?

MULDER

I’m sorry?

SCULLY

The accident, Mulder.  How did it happen?

MULDER

Well, I guess you could say I was somewhat preoccupied.  I was thinking about going to the store for some light bulbs.

SCULLY

Light bulbs?

MULDER ducks his head under the umbrella and together they walk out across the parking lot.

MULDER

Yeah, light bulbs.  Do you know that last night, when I got back from doing some grocery shopping, every light bulb in the apartment was burned out.

SCULLY

Every bulb?

MULDER

Yeah, well, just about.  There was one light bulb left in a carton under the sink.  It didn’t last long either.

SCULLY

What would have caused that?  Was there a power surge in your building?

MULDER

With all the storms we’ve had lately, I thought that too, that is, until I screwed that last bulb into one of the ceiling fixtures and saw a message instructing  me to be at Arlington Cemetery in the morning.

SCULLY looks over at MULDER with an expression of confusion on her face.

MULDER

Some sort of transparent film.  It was actually inside the bulb itself.  I only had a fraction of a second to read the message before the film melted and the bulb went dark.  It said Arlington, JFK, 8:30 AM.

SCULLY

Something happened there this morning, didn’t it?  Did someone force you off the road?

SCULLY and MULDER walk up to the passenger side door of SCULLY’S car.  SCULLY folds up the umbrella, unlocks the door and opens it for MULDER.  As MULDER climbs in, he continues.

MULDER

Well, not exactly.  I was being followed.

SCULLY

By who?

As SCULLY asks the question, she shuts the door and runs around to the driver’s side and gets in behind the wheel.

INT. SCULLY’S CAR

MULDER

Mister Black Lung himself.

SCULLY

That b*****d tried to kill you?

SCULLY starts the car, backs out of the parking space and begins driving.

MULDER

No, actually I was instructed to wreck the car so I could deliver a parcel to him that I received at the cemetery.

SCULLY

Isn’t that a bit extreme?

MULDER

Rolling the car wasn’t my initial plan.  That part really was an accident.  Extreme as it was, the plan seems to have worked.  The parcel is gone from my coat pocket.

SCULLY

What was in it?

MULDER

Nothing, Scully, nothing at all.  This is what he was really after.

MULDER takes the Camelot CD out of the box and holds it up for SCULLY to see.  SCULLY glances away from the road to look at it.

SCULLY 

The soundtrack of Camelot?  What’s so interesting about that?

MULDER chuckles.

MULDER

I think we may have just acquired some new evidence concerning the murder of a president.  Does Camelot mean anything to you in that context?

SCULLY

Of course.  President Kennedy.

MULDER

Exactly.  I believe that this disc contains new information about the assassination.  In what form, I don’t know.  According to the man I met at Arlington today, there was someone in Dealey Plaza who saw everything that happened.

SCULLY

Yet another opponent to the Warren Commission.  I suspect Gerald Ford has developed a complex by now.  He’s still convinced that it was a lone gunman, you know.  I saw an interview with...

MULDER interrupts.

MULDER

Scully, turn the car around.

SCULLY

Where are we going?

SCULLY realizes the answer to her own question and rolls her eyes.

SCULLY

Oh no.  Not those guys.

MULDER

Still worried about Frohike’s little infatuation?

SCULLY

Little!  Mulder, he gives me the creeps.  I think Frohike is wallpapering his office with pictures of me.

MULDER

Pictures of you?!  Where would he be getting pictures of you?

SCULLY

Those guys have their sources...

EXT. ROADSIDE, SCULLY’S CAR

Scully brakes and turns the car around.

SCENE IV

CUT TO:

INT. DIMLY LIT ROOM LINED WITH COMPUTER HARDWARE.

Extreme close up of a man’s hand placing a disc into the CD caddy of a computer.  PAN UP to show a flashing green cursor against a dark black screen.  As the unknown computer user types “D:” to access the CD, the brilliant orange reflection of a lighter flame flares across the screen and illuminates the face of CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN as he lights a cigarette.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

You will be able to bypass the encryption, won’t you?

THE USER displays a directory of files on the disc.  The entire list scrolls onto the screen.  Every name of every file is made up of eight characters, all the letter “x” with no extension.

THE USER (V.O.)

Rather unimaginative, this Mr. Lance.  A disc full of X-Files for Special Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI.  Answers to all of his questions, no doubt. (PAUSE) In answer to your question.  The encryption should not be a problem.  One hour, maybe two.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Fine.  I have another obligation that requires my immediate attention.  I need to ask Mr. Lance a few questions.

THE USER (V.O.)

Mr. Lance is dead.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

No matter.  He’ll be more cooperative that way.

FADE OUT

ACT II

SCENE I 

FADE IN:

EXT. ABANDONED PRINTING COMPANY BUILDING

TITLES: Thumbprint Press, Oakton Virginia

11:15 AM

SCULLY’S car is parked in an alley next to the Thumbprint building.  Rain is coming down in sheets now.

INT. PRESS ROOM

MULDER and SCULLY make their way past the hulking dark silhouette of a printing press.  There is an open door at the end of the press room from which light streams out across the gray concrete floor.  As they are nearing this door, the press suddenly springs to life.  Hundreds of moving parts begin screeching and grinding in rhythmic unison.  SCULLY actually takes a defensive stance and draws her gun.  MULDER raises his hand.

MULDER

Wait a second, Scully.  Let’s not put it out of its misery just yet.

MULDER approaches a chute at the end of the line that is feeding collated stacks of paper into a tray.  He sticks his hand out over the tray and catches one of the papers before it can drop.  MULDER looks down at the paper then tosses it to SCULLY.  She turns the page over and holds it up to the light.  It is the latest edition of THE LONE GUNMEN.

MULDER

Why wait for it to hit the newsstand?

SCULLY

Yeah.  Subscribe now and receive a picture of FBI Agent Dana Scully absolutely free with your first issue.

MULDER

Let it go Scully.

MULDER’S cellular phone rings.  As he takes the phone out of his pocket, he is still waiting for her to answer.  SCULLY returns his stare with a forced smile. MULDER taps the “talk” button on the phone.

MULDER

Mulder.

A woman’s voice.

WOMAN (V.O.)

Mr. Lance, the man you spoke to this morning is dead.  He died in service to his country.  I have been assigned to take over his responsibilities in this matter. 

MULDER

I understand.

WOMAN (V.O.)

You have the disc with you?

MULDER

Yes, I do.

WOMAN (V.O.)

Good.  Take the disc to a PC.  The directory will show the list of sound tracks as track one, track two, track three and so on. Select the second track and copy it to your PC’s hard disk.  Performing this copy will initiate a process that will reassemble fragmented data encoded in each sound file.  After all the information has been loaded, destroy the CD.  When you launch the program, you will be prompted to enter a password.

MULDER

And after I have seen the contents of the disc?

WOMAN (V.O.)

We know your track record, Agent Mulder.  You seek the truth.  The only injustice now would be to know the truth and to do nothing.  That’s not in your nature.

MULDER

Will I hear from you again?

WOMAN (V.O.)

We have all of the original source data used to create this disc.  It would not be advisable to try keeping any copies for yourself. We want you to act on this information Agent Mulder, not become the keeper of it.  That would be far too dangerous.  If the need arises, return to the Memorial.  We’ll get you another copy.  You will most likely require proof to substantiate this data.  We will provide that as well when the time is right.

MULDER

What’s the password?

WOMAN (V.O.)

Type in...

Just as the woman begins speaking, the press machine across the room lets out a series of high pitched metal against metal grinding sounds.  He only hears part of the password.

WOMAN (V.O.)

...“CALIBER” and press “ENTER.”

Before MULDER can reply, he hears a click and then a dial tone.  MULDER folds up the phone and slips it back into his coat pocket.

MULDER

Well, Scully, we’re on our own.  Let’s go see what’s on the disc.

MULDER and SCULLY walk to an open door and MULDER knocks as they enter.

INT. OFFICE, LONE GUNMEN

FROHIKE is seated on a metal desk strewn with paper, books, food wrappers and the like.  He has just finished squeezing the second half of a cream filled snack cake into his mouth as MULDER knocks.  BYERS is seated in front of the desk with his feet propped up, writing intently in a spiral ring notebook.  LANGLY is seated across the room with his back to the door in front of a large CRT display, apparently setting up several more pages of the newsletter for printing.  LANGLY’S long blonde hair is twitching slightly as he keeps time with a song playing through a set of impressive looking headphones wrapped around his head.  FROHIKE turns to the door and nearly falls off the desk when he sees SCULLY.  He looks frantically around the desktop for something to wash the snack cake down with, finds an open can of tomato juice and chugs it.  This only seems to add insult to injury as the taste combination hits home and he lets out a disgusted groan.  BYERS looks calmly up from his writing.

BYERS

Mulder, Scully, hello!  Welcome to our new digs.

FROHIKE takes a moment to regain his composure and then extends his hand to MULDER who shakes it.

FROHIKE

Hi, Mulder.  What happened to you?

As the two men greet each other, SCULLY looks down at FROHIKE’S desk and sees a picture of herself, carefully placed high atop a stack of UFO magazines.  She reaches over and grabs MULDER’S arm with one hand and points at the picture with the other.

SCULLY (with a sharp whisper.)

Mulder, you took that picture of me last summer!

MULDER shrugs his shoulders and flashes her a sheepish grin.  In an effort to change the subject, he re-directs his attention to FROHIKE’S question.

MULDER

Oh yeah.  All this happened during regressive hypnosis.  I remembered being clubbed over the head by an angry Sasquatch.  When I came out of the trance, I had a hell of a headache.

BYERS

I just figured you went two out of three falls with Skinner.

FROHIKE then turns to SCULLY and tries to take her hand.  She quickly shoves both hands into her coat pockets, feigning a shiver, as if the room is cold.

FROHIKE

Agent Scully, it is always a pleasure to see you.

SCULLY

Hello, Frohike.

BYERS looks at the newsletter that is rolled up in SCULLY’S hand as she cautiously pulls it back out of her pocket.

BYERS

So, what do you think?

SCULLY

I’m sorry?  Think of what?

FROHIKE

The new Gunman!  Four more pages, two of them in glorious four color.

SCULLY looks down and realizes she is still holding on to the newsletter.

SCULLY

Oh this!  Yeah, looks great.

BYERS

Excuse me for just a moment.

BYERS stands up and walks over behind LANGLY and pulls the headphone jack out of the CD drive.  LANGLY spins around in his chair.

LANGLY

Hey!

LANGLY sees MULDER and SCULLY.

LANGLY

Mulder, Scully, how’s it goin’?

LANGLY takes off the headphones.  As he does, BYERS picks up a CD jewel case laying next to the computer and tosses it across the room to MULDER.

BYERS

Langly latched on to a band that’s right up your alley, Mulder.

MULDER catches the jewel case and looks at the tray liner.  The CD is by the FOO FIGHTERS.

MULDER

Zeta Reteculi?

LANGLY

No, Seattle.

MULDER

Ah-ha.

FROHIKE

What can we do for you, Mulder?

MULDER takes the soundtrack disc out and walks it over to LANGLY.  LANGLY curls his lips back with disgust as he takes the disc.

LANGLY

Woah.  Is this really what I think it is?  Like, Camelot...

LANGLY stands up from his chair, pushes his head back and raises a hand high over his head.

LANGLY (Singing)

Cameloooot!

SCULLY

Oh my!

MULDER

Easy now big fella.  Yes, the music from the movie is on the disc, along with what I believe is new information about the murder of JFK.

LANGLY’S demeanor is instantly transformed as he sits down at his terminal and slides the disc into the CD drive.  As he switches to a directory of the disc, everyone gathers around.

MULDER

I must have said the magic word.

FROHIKE

Langly was just telling us about a dream he had when he was a kid.  Your timing is extraordinary.

MULDER

What kind of dream?

LANGLY seems to ignore the question.

LANGLY

OK, Mulder, I’m showing a list of audio tracks.  What next?

MULDER

Copy track two to your hard disk.

LANGLY selects track two and moves it over the icon of his computer’s internal drive.  As soon as he releases the mouse button, a message is displayed stating “LINKING FRAGMENTED FILES... ONE MOMENT PLEASE”.

LANGLY

I was at an amusement park.

MULDER

What?

LANGLY

In my dream.  Some crazy distorted carnival.  You know.  One of those nightmare worlds, all twisted and dark.  I was just walkin’ along, wondering how I’d gotten there when I noticed this great big crowd of people all standing around the bumper cars.  They were cheering.  Of course I had to see what all the commotion was about so I pushed my way through to the rail.  Then I saw.

SCULLY

What did you see?

LANGLY

The motorcade.  Well, a motorcade of... well, of shiny black bumper cars.  Some guy in one of the cars was wearing a latex mask of Kennedy.  He and a bunch of other guys in suits were just riding around, one after the other, waving at the people.  Then I heard a gunshot.  The guy with the mask on stops waving and looks around.  Several more shots rang out and one of ’em hit him.  It tore a big chunk of the mask off the guy’s face.  You know who the guy was, the guy under the mask?

LANGLY turns away from the computer screen to face the group.

LANGLY

It was me, man.  It was me. (PAUSE) Then all the lights in the park faded out.  Ferris wheel stops turning, merry-go-round grinds to a stop and all the people turn and look at me.  One of em points a finger at me and yells, “You shot the president!”  Just before I woke up, I remember looking down and seeing one of those penny arcade rifles in my hand.

As if on cue, the computer beeps behind LANGLY.  He quickly spins his chair back to the computer.  The CD drive has opened and a dialog box has appeared in the center of the screen stating “ASSEMBLY COMPLETE, PLEASE ENTER PASSWORD.”  A flashing cursor blinks patiently for a response.

LANGLY

OK, Mulder, now it’s time to say the magic word.  Any ideas?

MULDER

First things first.

MULDER reaches around LANGLY and takes the disc out of the drive.  Before anyone has time to object, he cracks the disc in half and throws it into a nearby trash can.  FROHIKE turns to SCULLY.

FROHIKE

I hope he’s got a backup.

MULDER looks back at FROHIKE.

MULDER

I hope so too.

MULDER points at the trash can.

MULDER

Is it safe to assume that you guys don’t just take this out every week?

FROHIKE knods.  MULDER turns back to the CRT.

MULDER

Try EXCALIBUR.

LANGLY

For real?

MULDER

Yeah.  EXCALIBUR.

LANGLY keys in the password and presses the ENTER key.  The message “PASSWORD INCORRECT” flashes across the screen several times, accompanied by a series of beeps.  After a moment, the flashing cursor returns.

LANGLY

No soup.

FROHIKE

How about Merlin?

MULDER

No.  The password is supposed to be  “CALIBUR” something.

BYERS

Wait a minute.  Since this disc was intended for Agent Mulder, how about dropping the “E” off the word?

MULDER

Of course. Xcalibur.

LANGLY

It’s worth a shot.  No pun intended.

LANGLY types in XCALIBUR.  Once again, “PASSWORD INCORRECT” flashes on the screen.

SCULLY

How about a hyphen?

LANGLY tries X-CALIBUR.  Still incorrect.

SCULLY

A back slash?

LANGLY takes his right hand off the keyboard and begins rubbing his chin with the tip of his index finger.

MULDER

It’s got to be some variation of the word.

LANGLY interrupts.

LANGLY

No, not necessarily.  What if we try filling in the blank?  You know?  Like X marks the spot?

LANGLY places his hand back on the keys and types “6.5 CALIBER” and taps the ENTER key.  The dialog box disappears and is replaced by a single word.  “ACCESSING”.

SCULLY

Good guess!

LANGLY looks back over his shoulder.

LANGLY

It wasn’t a guess, Agent Scully.  The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle supposedly used to assassinate JFK was a 6.5 caliber weapon.

SCENE II

CUT TO:

INT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL MORGUE.

The door to the room swings open and CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN walks halfway in.  He then holds the door for CREW CUT MAN.  He is slightly shorter than CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN with a muscular build and chiseled facial features.  He is wearing a dark green uniform encrusted with metals.  His eyes are hidden behind a pair of dark wire-rimmed glasses.  CREW CUT MAN stops just inside the morgue and looks around.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN pulls the door shut and secures it.  Without saying a word, he crosses the room to a stainless steel table where a corpse lies covered.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN switches on a light above the table.  CREW CUT MAN glances down at the body as CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN lifts the edge of the sheet to reveal a pale blue hand and forearm.  The left wrist of the corpse is marred with a ragged ring of scar tissue that tapers down to a horribly disfigured thumb and forefinger.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

This is the man who called himself Lance.  His real name is Edward Nathan Fletcher.

CREW CUT MAN

Agent 55?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN runs his hand across the healed wounds.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

I recognize the scars.  

CREW CUT MAN

I’ll be damned.  I’d have never thought he’d make it this far.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

At least as far as Arlington Cemetery.  He delivered a package to Agent Mulder this morning at the JFK Memorial.  I recovered a CD-ROM disc from Mulder’s overcoat after he wrapped his car around a lightpost.

CREW CUT MAN

And?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

We are still working on the encryption.

I expect to have results within the hour.  

CREW CUT MAN

I hope so.  A man could learn quite a bit from someone who has worked as an operative since the formation of the O.S.S. What about the meeting?  Did you monitor the conversation with Agent Mulder?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN shakes his head.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Fletcher was wired.  The signal was scrambled at the source.

CREW CUT MAN

What about the hardware?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Standard issue.  A bit antiquated but still effective.

CREW CUT MAN

How did your people know about the meeting?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN takes a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, shakes one out of the pack and places it between his lips.  He turns slowly away from CREW CUT MAN as he produces a lighter and lights the cigarette.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

We were invited.

CREW CUT MAN

By who?  (PAUSE) Him?

CREW CUT MAN points to the corpse.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN nods.  CREW CUT MAN lets out a heavy sign and runs his hand across the bristly stubble on his head.

CREW CUT MAN

How did he die?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Heart failure.  He never even made it out of the cemetery.

CREW CUT MAN

Doesn’t that seem just a little too convenient?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Perhaps.  But hardly unexpected. 

CREW CUT MAN

You knew him pretty well, didn’t you?  

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Not really.  Nat was a man with his own agenda.  He had a tendency for recklessness.  (PAUSE)  To some that was his greatest strength.

CREW CUT MAN

And to others?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

To me it was his most serious flaw.  I don’t believe he was ever quite sure whose side to be on.

CREW CUT MAN

Whose side was he on this morning?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

This morning he stopped taking sides.  

For the first time since the two men arrived at the morgue, CREW CUT MAN walks to the head of the autopsy table and pulls the sheet entirely off of the body.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S eyes widen as he looks down at FLETCHER’S head.  The skull cap has been cut away.  CREW CUT MAN leans down and looks inside the empty hole where the brain should be but isn’t.

CREW CUT MAN

Please tell me that this is your handiwork.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN does not answer.  However, the look on his face is enough to tell CREW CUT MAN what he wants to know.  Without saying another word, CREW CUT MAN straightens, then strolls over to the door and unlocks it.  He reaches down and places a hand on the doorknob.

CREW CUT MAN

Why do you suppose he picked the JFK Memorial?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN finally manages to look away from the body as he turns to face CREW CUT MAN.  He is noticeably shaken.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

I don’t know.

CREW CUT MAN

Don’t you?

CREW CUT MAN opens the door and walks out.

SCENE III

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE OF THE LONE GUNMAN.

TITLES:  12:30 PM

The camera  pans slowly around the room, opposite the wall where MULDER, SCULLY, BYERS, FROHIKE and LANGLY are huddled around the computer.  The view of the group is partially obscured by stacks of books and other miscellaneous objects piled up on FROHIKE’S desk.  As the camera begins to move around the side of the desk and closer to the group, MULDER turns away from the screen, eyes tightly closed.  He clenches a fist and presses it hard into the cleft of his chin as he walks toward the camera and sits down at the desk.  SCULLY turns to look at him then walks over and places a hand on his shoulder.  The camera continues toward the computer, and the two of them pass out of view.  The camera approaches the computer until all that can be seen is the outline of LANGLY’S head against the glowing CRT.  The camera motion stops for a moment, then slowly pans to the right of LANGLY until the screen is plainly visible.  The screen is illuminated by a series of monochrome green lines that form a rectangle shape, surrounding what appears to be a still frame of the grassy knoll from the viewpoint of the president’s limousine. Plainly visible in the extreme upper right corner of the image is a gunman taking aim from the picket fence behind the knoll.  His face is obscured by the gun barrel and scope.  As the camera begins to zoom in on this image, other green lines below the image become distinguishable as rows of numbers and a title. The title across the top of the screen reads “subject 000221163/digital extract/dealey plaza”.

FROHIKE (V.O.)

Run it again.

LANGLY'S fingers can be heard tapping rapidly on the keyboard as the image on the screen continues to enlarge.  The row of numbers below the image suddenly reset to a long line of zeros and the image of the assassin winks out.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP, MULDER

MULDER slowly raises his head and looks toward the computer.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP, COMPUTER SCREEN

FROHIKE (V.O.)

Go on, run it.

Again, LANGLY can be heard typing something and the image on the screen reappears.  This time the scene is different.  The image is presented from the same angle as before only now the presidential limousine has just made the turn onto Elm Street.  A slight chattering of hard drive access can be heard as the file is loaded completely into memory.  Then the scene springs to life.  Crowds of people lining the street begin waving.  An arm extends across the image, waving in response.  The limo moves ahead, and the view pans slowly to the left.  LANGLY’S index finger extends in front of the image as he points at a man in the crowd.

LANGLY

That’s Hugh Betzner.

The scene continues back and forth from one side of the street to the other.  Once, as the view spins far to the left, the image of JACKIE KENNEDY appears for a moment.  Back to the right of the motorcade, the Stemmons Freeway sign begins to take shape.


SCULLY

It’s like this whole film has been shot from Kennedy's viewpoint in the limousine.

BYERS (V.O.)

Look, there’s John Chism and his family.

FROHIKE (V.O.)

OK, now, here he comes. See there?  Behind the Stemmons sign?

BYERS (V.O.)

Mulder, are you sure it’s him?

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP, MULDER’S FACE.

MULDER appears as if in a trance.  His speech is monotone and detached.

MULDER

It’s him.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP, COMPUTER SCREEN

The Stemmons sign looms up over the spectators standing along the right side of Elm.  As the limousine approaches, a man steps out from the other side of the sign.  He stops on the edge of the curb, produces an umbrella, lifts it above his head and pushes the chute open.  As he does, LANGLY comments.

LANGLY(V.O.)

Z187.

Just past the Umbrella Man, a dark skinned man steps up to the curb as well and raises his clenched fist high into the air.  The limousine is now approaching within several feet of these men.  The Umbrella Man actually appears to be pumping the umbrella up and down.  At this distance, the face of the Umbrella Man can now be clearly identified.  Although considerably younger, there is no question that it is CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN.  As the limousine drives by him, the scene begins to spin wildly and then turns downward toward the floor.  After a moment of seeing what appears to be Kennedy’s lap, the image begins to flicker in and out, then tilts over at an odd angle.  The entire sequence comes to an end with the same frame that was displayed at the beginning of SCENE III.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP, MULDER’S FACE.

A tear forms and then falls down MULDER’S cheek.  Slowly, he begins nodding his head and looks down at the floor.

MULDER

I’ve watched presidents die.

SCULLY

What did you say?

MULDER

Something he told me once.  I’ve watched presidents die.

FROHIKE

You mean he actually confessed this to you?

MULDER

Well, not specifically.  I guess it must have seemed out of context to me at the time.

BYERS

Mulder, he did more than just watch.  Raising that umbrella was a diversion.

LANGLY

Or a signal.

BYERS

Z225.  Kennedy’s limo comes out from behind the Stemmons sign.  Everyone in the limo is watching some nutcase pump an umbrella in the broad daylight while the mechanic lines up to take Kennedy in the head.  Willis photo number five.

BYERS picks up a stack of photographs from a nearby shelf, takes one of them out and hands it to MULDER.

MULDER

Is this supposed to be the gunman?  This dark outline up here by the fence?

LANGLY

Where?

CUT TO:  INT. CLOSE-UP OF PHOTO.

MULDER points to the shape in the photograph.

MULDER

Up here on the retaining wall.

LANGLY

No that’s Black Dog Man.  If you magnify this image, you can see that he is in front of the picket fence, either on or behind the pergola.

CUT TO:  WIDE SHOT OF OFFICE.

SCULLY

Who is Black Dog Man?

LANGLY takes the photo from MULDER and hands it to SCULLY.

BYERS

He may have been an innocent bystander.

LANGLY

Maybe a spotter.  The open umbrella down on Elm could have been a signal to him that more shots were needed.  

LANGLY gestures to the image on the screen.

The shooter, AKA Badge Man.  He couldn’t see past the Stemmons sign.  Your friend Mister Smoke ’em if ya Got ’em opens the umbrella and Black Dog says “go”.

MULDER

Yeah.  The only problem is that there’s no law against holding up an umbrella on a sunny day.

BYERS

In the image we’ve just seen and in the Zapruder film, Governor Connelly is looking back at the Umbrella Man until almost the exact moment of the head shot.  He was looking the wrong way for a reason.

FROHIKE

One way or another.  I still think it was a message.

SCULLY

Message?

LANGLY

Frohike thinks the Umbrella Man was showing Kennedy the reason why he was being killed.

FROHIKE

Bay of Pigs.  The CIA was supposed to provide an umbrella of air support for the Cuban exiles.  Kennedy wouldn’t allow it.  The dark skinned man holding his fist in the air.  Many conspiracy theorists...

BYERS

Including Frohike.

FROHIKE

Yes, myself included.  We believe that he was one of the anti-Castro Cuban leaders known to JFK.  In essence, these two men were in Dealey Plaza so that Kennedy would know who was responsible for his death.

BYERS

Regardless of his motives, Umbrella Man was more than just a bystander.

MULDER

Look, the man at Arlington this morning said someone witnessed the whole event.  

MULDER looks around at the group, then gets to his feet.  He seems unprepared to deal with CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S involvement in the assassination and quickly redirects the conversation.

MULDER

Even with a camera in the president’s limousine, the only fact we can verify from this is that there was a gunman on the...

LANGLY interrupts.

LANGLY

Mulder, there was no camera.

BYERS nods in agreement.

BYERS

It’s not possible.  What we’ve just seen is exactly what JFK saw.

FROHIKE

Think about it, Mulder.  The movement of the image.  He turns his head and looks over at Jackie.  The distortion of the scene that begins at Z191.  This corresponds with his reaction to the neck wound.  I don’t know how yet, but it seems this program is playing back the last seconds of Kennedy’s life, as he lived them.

SCULLY

Excuse me for just a moment.  Z191 refers to a specific frame of the Zapruder film?

BYERS

That’s correct, Agent Scully.  The Zapruder film has been used as a storyboard to analyze each event in the order that it happened.

MULDER

Wait a minute.  Do you guys realize what you’re suggesting?  How could these images have possibly come from Kennedy himself?

LANGLY

I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t believe this interface that we’re running originated on a PC.  My guess is that it has been downloaded.

BYERS gestures to the screen.

BYERS

Take a closer look at the quality of the image Mulder.  Just like the long lost alien autopsy footage, there isn’t so much as a hint of any film grain.  No scratches.  Not a single imperfection.  If this were taken with a camera circa 1963 we would most certainly have to question its validity.

MULDER

So what ARE we watching?

SCULLY walks over to the screen and examines it for a moment.

SCULLY

The surrounding display looks a lot like the screen used on a CAT scan or maybe an MRI.

The intensity of the moment not withstanding, FROHIKE risks  a quick glance down at SCULLY’S legs as she is leaning in close to the computer.  When SCULLY senses that he is staring at her, she turns and glares back at him.  In an attempt to feign attention to her observations, he blurts out a response.

FROHIKE

Oh, ah, yes.  That makes sense.  Some kind of diagnostic device.

SCULLY

Careful, Frohike.  S90 will be the moment when the tip of my shoe comes into contact with your little babushka.

SCULLY flashes FROHIKE a wicked grin and turns away from the computer.

FROHIKE

Look, maybe we should stop to consider the implications.  This is the evidence that the three of us have been waiting for since the beginning.  If we can prove it’s authenticity, then we can blow the lid off the whole charade.

MULDER glares at FROHIKE.

MULDER

With what, Frohike?  There is NO evidence here.  We know the identity of the Umbrella Man.  So what?  We know that there was a gunman on the knoll, but we can’t see his face.  All we have here is a digital video from Kennedy’s perspective and no way to validate its authenticity.  Now... (PAUSE) you stop and consider the implications.  You guys are fairly rational.  Let’s assume for a moment that you print up a special edition TLG complete with full color photos.  (PAUSE) Frohike, releasing these images unsubstantiated isn’t going to get you anywhere.  As soon as your little rag goes public there’ll be a program in place to debunk it.  Most likely it’ll get you guys killed in the process.  Now it was my call to bring you in on this, and I’ll be the one to decide how we should proceed! 

FROHIKE is obviously surprised by MULDER’S reaction.

FROHIKE

Mulder, WE are not rational about the JFK assassination!  We’re obsessed.  Rationality goes right out the window when obsession takes over.  You should know that better than anyone.  If I walked into your office today and handed you a CD that told you where your sister could be found, you couldn’t promise me that you’d exercise discretion in acting on that information.  Neither will I.

MULDER’S expression of urgency fades and is replaced by a genuine smile.  FROHIKE’S point is well taken.

MULDER

Look, all I’m saying is that we need more than this to reopen the case.

LANGLY

Hey, Mulder, it’s cool.  We may not be rational, but we’re not stupid either.  The next logical step would be for you to confront old smokie.  See if you can get him to admit something he shouldn’t.

MULDER

You don’t know what you’re asking.  This guy’s whole life has been spent making people look the other way.  His job is to keep them from seeing the truth.

SCULLY

Wait a minute, Mulder.  Think about what you just said.  Every time that you and I get our hands on some tangible evidence of anything, he always manages to come swooping out of nowhere to take it away, right?

MULDER nods.

SCULLY

Well, now, maybe it’s time to return the favor.  Maybe he needs to feel the dogs biting at his heels.

FROHIKE

Would those be black dogs, Agent Scully?

LANGLY and BYERS chuckle, but SCULLY doesn’t seem amused.

SCULLY

Maybe it’s not what you can prove but rather what you can imply.

MULDER scratches the back of his neck for a moment, considering what SCULLY has said.  After a moment he looks up at LANGLY.

MULDER

OK.  Can you run me a hard copy of the Umbrella Man?

LANGLY turns back to the computer.

LANGLY

Z187 commin’ right up. 

MULDER turns to face SCULLY.

MULDER

Scully, we’ve got to figure out how this information was produced.

SCULLY

If I could get a screen capture of the interface, I might be able to compare it to some other diagnostic programs.  Minus the mug shot, of course.

LANGLY responds without looking away from the screen.

LANGLY

Well, hey, while I’m at it!

A 3 x 5 glossy slides out of the film printer next to LANGLY’S computer, and MULDER snatches it up.  MULDER begins buttoning his coat, then waits for SCULLY to collect the screen capture.

MULDER

Barring any unforeseen event, we’ll meet back here late tomorrow.

FROHIKE

Good luck.  Hey Mulder, in the meantime...  Still friends?

MULDER puts a hand on FROHIKE’S shoulder.

MULDER

Yeah Frohike, still friends.

FROHIKE nods as MULDER and SCULLY walk out of the door to the office and into the darkness of the pressroom.  FROHIKE turns to the monitor and looks at the image of CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN holding up the umbrella.

CUT TO:  INT. DARKENED PRESSROOM

As MULDER and SCULLY make their way back to the front door, MULDER takes his cellular phone out of his pocket and unfolds it.

SCULLY

Who are you calling?

MULDER

Assistant Director Skinner.  I need to see if he can schedule a meeting for me in Dallas.

FADE OUT

ACT III

SCENE I

FADE IN:  EXT. PASSENGER TERMINAL, DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

TITLES: Dulles International Airport

2:25 PM

Rain continues to fall.  SCULLY’S car pulls up to the curb in front of the terminal and stops.

CUT TO:  INT. SCULLY’S CAR

MULDER reaches for the door latch then turns to SCULLY.

MULDER

Find out what you can about the program.

SCULLY

I will.

SCULLY catches MULDER’S arm as he opens the door.

SCULLY

Mulder, please be careful.

MULDER

Don’t worry, Scully, I’ll...

SCULLY

Fox, listen to me.  This isn’t some alien artifact he can snatch away and hide from you.  This is personal.  You’re going to take him back to the scene of a crime and then you’re going to point a finger at him.  You think he’ll just light up a cigarette and start spilling his guts?

MULDER

What, you think that’s too much to ask?

MULDER tries a half-hearted chuckle but SCULLY isn’t amused.

MULDER

Quite honestly, Scully, I don’t know what to expect.  That comes with the job, though, doesn’t it?

SCULLY

It does whenever you’re on the case.

MULDER

I’ll see you tomorrow.

CUT TO:  EXT. AIRPORT TERMINAL

MULDER opens the car door, pulls the collar of his coat up and climbs out onto the curb.  Squinting his eyes in the rain, he waves to SCULLY and slams the door.  SCULLY pulls away, and MULDER walks through the terminal doors into the airport.

CUT TO:  EXT.  SCULLY’S CAR LEAVING DULLES

As SCULLY drives around the airport complex, a Washington PD squad car pulls out behind her and follows her away from the airport and onto the freeway.

CUT TO:  INT. SCULLY’S CAR

SCULLY notices the squad car in her rear view mirror.  As she approaches the next exit off of the freeway, SCULLY eases her car over to the ramp.  The squad car takes the same exit.  SCULLY stops at the end of the ramp and looks for cross traffic.  There is none.  She switches on her signal and turns onto a rather isolated stretch of two lane road.  The police car continues to follow her for several hundred yards, then switches on its lights.  As SCULLY pulls her car off onto the shoulder, she pulls her cellular phone out of her pocket and speed dials SKINNER’S office.  The phone rings twice before SKINNER answers.

SKINNER (V.O.)

Skinner here.

SCULLY

Sir, it’s Agent Scully.

SKINNER (V.O.)

Scully, where the hell are you?  Is Mulder with you?

SCULLY

I just dropped Agent Mulder off at Dulles.  Now I’m sitting on the side of a two lane road, it’s the first exit after you leave the airport.  I’ve been pulled over by a DC policeman and I don’t... (PAUSE)  I’m sorry, sir, I have to go.

SKINNER (V.O.)

Scully, wait...  

SCULLY hangs up the phone as a uniformed officer gets out of the squad car and walks up to the driver’s side door.  She stuffs the phone back in her pocket and rolls the window down.

SCULLY

What’s the matter, officer?

POLICE OFFICER

Would you mind stepping out of the vehicle, ma’am?

SCULLY

No.  No, not at all.

SCULLY opens the car door and stands up next to the officer.  It is OFFICER PROUTY.

SCULLY

Officer, have we met before?

PROUTY

No, ma’am.  Turn around and place your hands on the car.

SCULLY

Why?  What’s wrong?  What have I done?

PROUTY

Put your hands on the car, Agent Scully.

SCULLY’S eyes widen upon hearing her name.  As she complies, PROUTY reaches inside her coat and takes her gun from the holster.  He then produces a thin metallic wand and passes it across the back of her neck.  SCULLY is panic stricken.

SCULLY

You’re one of them, aren’t you?

PROUTY

I’m sorry it has to be this way.

PROUTY wraps an ether-soaked cloth over SCULLY’S nose and mouth, and after a momentary struggle, she collapses in his arms, unconscious.  He switches on her car’s emergency lights, picks her up and carries her to the squad car, then eases her on to the back seat.  He quickly checks her coat pockets and removes the cellular phone. As he opens the driver’s side door, he throws the phone out into an open field next to the road, climbs in and drives away.

CUT TO:  EXT. PHONE LAYING IN A PUDDLE OF MUD

The phone begins to ring.

SCENE II

CUT TO:  INT. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SKINNER’S OFFICE

SKINNER is seated at his desk with the telephone receiver to his ear.  As he listens to the ring at the other end, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN walks up to the door of the office and stands waiting.  Upon seeing him, SKINNER gives up on the call and puts down the receiver.

SKINNER

Have a seat.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

I’m a busy man, Assistant Director Skinner.  Get to the point.

SKINNER

Very well. (PAUSE)  Agent Mulder called.  Asked for you.  He said that he found one of your baby pictures and thought you might like to see it.  (PAUSE)  I told him that you seem more inclined to bury the past.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Bury is such a harsh word.

SKINNER

Perhaps.  But hardly inappropriate.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Did he happen to mention where he came across such a rare find?

SKINNER

Sorry.  I always seem to be the last one to know where he digs this stuff up.  

SKINNER once again picks up the phone receiver and begins to dial a number.  He stops before he finishes dialing and looks up at CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN, almost as an afterthought.

He did mention that he would see you at your place in Dallas.

SKINNER finishes dialing the number and leans back in his chair, obviously done with the conversation.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN watches SKINNER for a moment, then turns and walks out of the office.  Several rings after CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN is gone, SKINNER’S call is answered. 

SKINNER

It’s Skinner.  I need a chopper ready in five minutes.

SCENE III

CUT TO:  INT. CLOSE-UP ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE MONITOR, DULLES AIRPORT TERMINAL.

The monitor shows flight 418 to Dallas as delayed.  MULDER’S reflection can be seen in the glass as he stands looking at the listings.  After a moment he turns away.

CUT TO:  INT. DULLES AIRPORT GATE 23.

MULDER looks across the hall at a gift shop.  After a quick glance at his wristwatch he walks over to the shop and goes inside.

CUT TO:  INT. GIFT SHOP.

MULDER browses through several aisles of miscellaneous T-shirts and trinkets, then stops at one of the racks.

CUT TO:  INT. CLOSE-UP RACK OF VARIOUS SOUVENIRS.

On the middle of the top shelf is a neatly stacked row of clear plastic water globes, each containing a shiny silver bullet but no water.  MULDER picks up one of the water globes for closer examination.  A caption printed across the base reads, “The magic bullet just doesn’t hold water.”

CUT TO:  INT. GIFT SHOP.

MULDER smiles and tosses the water globe as if he were flipping a coin.  He takes his souvenir to the cashier and sets it on the counter for her to ring up.  At the same time, an announcement comes over the PA system.

PA (V.O.)

Your attention please.  TransAirways flight 418 service to Dallas is now boarding at Gate 23.

MULDER hands the cashier payment for the water globe, collects his change and heads back across to the gate.

SCENE IV

CUT TO:  INT. WHITE CEILING TILES, OUT OF FOCUS.

After a moment, the blurred white mosaic begins to sharpen into the image of a corrugated drop ceiling.  As the tiles come into focus, a man walks up from the left and looks down, directly into the camera.  Once again it is Officer Prouty.

PROUTY

Agent Scully, can you hear me?

CUT TO:  INT. WHITE ROOM

SCULLY is lying on a stretcher in the middle of a bright white room.  There is a stainless steel door on the far wall with a lighted touch key pad next to it.  A long, rectangular window runs across the entire length of the wall opposite the door.  Beyond the window, a group of people wearing bio-protective suits are performing various tasks (i.e. looking through a microscope, evaluating data displayed on CRTs, etc.).

CUT TO:  INT. CLOSE-UP PROUTY AND SCULLY

PROUTY rests his hands on the edge of the stretcher and leans in closer to SCULLY.

PROUTY

I’m sorry for having to bring you here this way.  You were right, you know.  Back on the road.  Well, actually, we were never formally introduced.  The emergency room at Bethesda.  I was walking out, you were walking in.  My name is Prouty.  Officer Bill Prouty, Washington PD.

SCULLY

I had it removed.

PROUTY

What?  Oh yes, the implant.

SCULLY

I suppose you’re going to install a new one.

PROUTY looks surprised.

PROUTY

I’m not who you think I am.  I was just making sure that it wasn’t there.  If it had been I wouldn’t have been able to bring you here.  The chip would have communicated your whereabouts back to them.

SCULLY

Them?

PROUTY chuckles.

PROUTY

Them.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  We would love to get our hands on one of those little jewels.  Do a little reverse engineering on it.

SCULLY

I can’t help you.  Mine disintegrated while it was being analyzed.

PROUTY

So powerful.  So fragile.  A microcosm of humanity.

PROUTY produces a small pillbox from the shirt pocket of his uniform and places it in SCULLY’S hand.

PROUTY

If they ever do replace it, take one tablet every two or three months.  The drug will completely block the electro-chemical interface.

SCULLY

I don’t usually take medications prescribed by policemen.

PROUTY

Yeah and I’m not in the habit of kidnapping fellow law enforcement officers.  I can see that I’ve got my work cut out for me if I’m going to regain your trust.

SCULLY

A face full of ether certainly didn’t win you any brownie points.

PROUTY

Granted.  Well, if you think you’re ready to try standing, I’d like to take you on a little tour.

SCULLY

Do I get to remain conscious?

SCULLY sits up slowly and eases her feet down to the floor.

PROUTY

Absolutely.  I don’t want you to miss a thing.  You see, Agent Scully, we are the ones who gave the disc to your partner.  Now that you’ve seen the evidence, it’s time for us to show you where it came from.

SCENE V

CUT TO:  EXT. SCULLY’S CAR BESIDE THE ROAD

The rain has once again trickled off to a light drizzle.  SCULLY’S car is still parked at the roadside, emergency lights flashing.  After a moment, the faint thumping sound of a helicopter can be heard.

CUT TO:  INT. HELICOPTER

SKINNER is seated in the co-pilot’s chair, peering out the side window through a pair of binoculars.

CUT TO:  INT. VIEW THROUGH THE BINOCULARS

As the landscape rolls by beneath the helicopter, a two lane road comes into view.  As SKINNER scans down the length of the road, he spots SCULLY’S car a short distance away.

CUT TO:  INT. HELICOPTER

SKINNER puts the binoculars down on his lap and motions to the pilot.

SKINNER

Over there.  Take it down.

CUT TO:  EXT. OPEN FIELD NEAR SCULLY’S CAR

The helicopter roars down over the field, blowing water in all directions.  The struts scrape across the wet pavement until the full weight of the helicopter comes to rest on the road in front of SCULLY’S car.  SKINNER pushes the door open, ducks down and climbs out.  After he is clear of the spinning rotors, SKINNER walks up to the open door of the car and looks inside.  Finding nothing, he walks around to the trunk, reaches into his pocket and produces a key ring.  He takes one of the keys and sticks it into the lock.  The trunk pops open.  He seems mildly relieved to find nothing (or no one) inside.  Turning away from the car, SKINNER looks down across the loose gravel.  Two sets of tire marks lead on to the shoulder several yards back and those same tire marks lead back out to the road at SKINNER’S feet.  He leans down to take a closer look.  After a moment he gets to his feet and takes out his cellular phone.  As soon as he dials a number, a high pitched chirping is heard coming from the field nearby.  SKINNER wades out into the muck until he finds the source of the sound.  He pulls SCULLY’S phone out of the mud.

SCENE VI

CUT TO: EXT. AIRCRAFT HANGER AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE.

TITLES: Andrews Air Force Base

Maryland Suburbs of Washington, D.C.

2:40 PM

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN drives his dark blue sedan around the corner of the aircraft hanger and parks beneath the towering tail of a C17 transport plane.  Several of the ground crew personnel are at work beneath the plane as he climbs out of the car to board the aircraft.  As he is ascending the ramp, one of the crewmen catches hold of his arm and shouts over the roar of the jet engines.

CREWMAN

Sir, you’ve got a phone call!  You’ll have to take it inside the hanger!

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN nods and sprints back down the ramp, across to a phone hanging on the back wall of the building.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Hello.

WELL MANICURED MAN(V.O.)

I understand that it’s very pleasant in Dallas these days.  Unseasonably warm.  A complete contrast to this dismal, unending rain we seem to be experiencing in the East.  That is, of course, why you’re going there, isn’t it?  A little change in climate?  To my knowledge, we have no unfinished business to attend to there (PAUSE).

CUT TO:  46TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY.  MED. SHOT, RICHLY FURNISHED ROOM.

WELL MANICURED MAN is seated in a high back chair, talking into a speaker phone on the table next to him.  Other men in the group are gathered around the phone, listening.

WELL MANICURED MAN

Most curious.  Especially on the anniversary of that terrible business with the president.  We have all tried SO hard to forget.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN(V.O.)

Indeed.

WELL MANICURED MAN

Well, I won’t detain you any longer.  Have a safe trip.  Give my regards to Agent Mulder, won’t you?

CUT TO:  INT. HANGER AT ANDREWS A.F.B.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Mulder?!  I didn’t say anything about...

WELL MANICURED MAN interrupts.

WELL MANICURED MAN(V.O.)

Sunny and warm.  It should be the perfect getaway.  You can leave your umbrella behind.

There is a click and then the sound of a dial tone.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN hangs up the phone.

FADE OUT.

ACT IV

SCENE I

FADE IN:  INT. CLOSE-UP OF TOUCH KEY PAD

The wall surrounding the pad is dark.  The only light is coming from a red indicator that runs across the top of the keys.  All at once the indicator flashes from red to green. PULL BACK as a hydraulic latch is released with a loud hiss, and a large stainless steel door opens to reveal SCULLY and PROUTY.  As the pair walk up to the doorway and stop, a look of disbelief comes over SCULLY’S face.  SCULLY continues into the room while PROUTY remains standing at the entrance.  PAN LEFT to follow SCULLY as she passes by the camera and stops before a row of glass tanks that run down the hall as far as the eye can see.  The tanks themselves look to be about three feet tall and are shaped very much like old style radio tubes, coming to a point at the top.  A long wire, shielded inside a rubber hose, runs into the point of each tube, winding down from a thick ribbon of cables that are suspended from the ceiling.  The bottom of each tank curves inward at the base, disappearing down through a dark metal band or pedestal.  Each pedestal appears to be resting atop the same surface, the rectangular casing of a massive computer.  SCULLY walks up to the base of one of the tanks for a closer look.  The tank is filled to capacity with an opaque green liquid.  Rows of tiny bubbles flow up through the liquid from the bottom of the container, giving the impression that the murky green substance is carbonated.  Beads of condensation dot the outside of the smooth glass surface and trickle down onto the metal band below.  Curious, SCULLY runs her index finger across the glass and is surprised to discover that the surface is warm.

SCULLY

It’s warm!

PROUTY (V.O.)

Organic memory, Agent Scully.  Digital information stored inside living tissue.  Each one of these tanks is capable of storing more data than it would take to archive the entire history of mankind.

SCULLY

What’s it made of?

CUT TO:  INT. PROUTY AS HE WALKS INTO THE ROOM

 

PROUTY

The techs call it green matter.  I prefer the primal soup mix myself.  Actually, it’s a hybrid form of algae.  Each of these tanks is a completely self-sustaining environment.  The computer grows the stuff, then monitors and maintains precise levels of light, heat and oxygen.

SCULLY

How does the computer retrieve the information stored in here?

As SCULLY asks the question, another stainless steel door down the hallway slides open and a woman walks out.  The woman stops near the door and looks at PROUTY.  After a quick glance in her direction, PROUTY hurriedly changes the subject.

PROUTY

Agent Scully, your partner will be arriving in Dallas very soon, and he’s going to need to know the full story before his meeting in Dealey Plaza.

SCULLY

Hey, how did you know that he was going to...

The woman down the hall holds out her arm, beckoning SCULLY to follow her.  PROUTY turns and walks back in the direction they came from.  Before he leaves, he pauses and looks over his shoulder in her direction.

PROUTY

Agent Scully.  I’m sorry I gave you such a scare earlier.

SCULLY

No harm done.  

SCULLY considers repeating her question but then decides that all of the answers are most likely waiting for her in the next room.  SCULLY takes out the pillbox and holds it up for PROUTY to see.

SCULLY

I’ll let you know if I need a refill.

SCULLY smiles at him, then steps into the next room with the woman.

CUT TO:  INT. LARGE RECTANGULAR ROOM.

The first thing SCULLY sees as she enters is a massive electronic device that occupies more than half of the room.  Overhead, thick strands of electrical conduit converge into a tall metal column that rises up behind the machine.  Other wires of various shapes and sizes snake across the floor and disappear into the far wall below a row of windows.  Through the windows, SCULLY can make out the shadowy forms of two technicians who are seated behind a bank of computer terminals. A wide variety of ambient noise fills the room, most of it originating from cooling fans and other moving parts that are operating within the machine.  As SCULLY is trying to take everything in, the woman extends her hand.

GWEN

Agent Scully, welcome.

SCULLY takes her hand and shakes it.  GWEN is African American, probably in her mid to late thirties.  She is slightly shorter than SCULLY and is wearing a dark green suit skirt and jacket.  Her manner is reserved.

GWEN

My name is Gwen.  I gave Agent Mulder the password to access the CD this morning.

SCULLY

He only heard part of it.  Luckily he had some help with the rest.

GWEN

I trust you found the contents enlightening?

SCULLY

Enlightening to be sure.  Not very conclusive though.

GWEN sighs.

GWEN

No, perhaps not.  However, we felt it was necessary to use a familiar set of circumstances to pique your interest.  A few familiar faces in the crowd.  

SCULLY

Then it’s true.  The images on the CD are...

GWEN interrupts.

GWEN

Are recovered from the president himself.

GWEN turns away from SCULLY and begins walking toward the booth on the other side of the windows.  After another long look at the machine, SCULLY follows her.

CUT TO:  INT. CONTROL ROOM

The two technicians stop what they are doing as GWEN enters the control room.  As SCULLY steps up beside her, GWEN addresses TECHNICIAN ONE.

GWEN

Bring up subject number 000221163.

SCULLY looks down at the screen before TECHNICIAN ONE as he works.  The interface is similar (but not identical) to the screens presented on MULDER’S CD.  TECHNICIAN ONE types, “LOAD *.000221163/OMAT56” and then presses the ENTER key.  Almost instantly, the flashing cursor prompt is replaced by the words, “LOAD COMPLETE”.  All around the screen, blank text fields begin filling with information.  At the same time, a large rectangular field in the center of the screen glows bright green as the three-dimensional image of a human brain begins rotating slowly around inside it.  The surface image is partially transparent, and through it, various sections of the brain’s interior are highlighted in yellow, blue and red.  SCULLY notices that several of the text fields on the screen appear to have been color coded to match these sections.  The fields read “EXTRA STRIATE, VISUAL CORTEX, HIPPOCAMPUS, LEFT GENICULATE BODY” and “RIGHT GENICULATE BODY” respectively.  SCULLY also notices that a large portion of the brain seems to be missing across the side and back of the right hemisphere.

GWEN

What you see here is converted back from OMAT, or Organic Matter format, stored in the receptacles outside this room.  It takes at least one entire receptacle to encode visual data on a single subject.

SCULLY

Let me get this straight.  You have somehow extracted stored memories from a human brain, converted them back to visual imagery and then save them on some huge hard drive where they can be accessed and viewed?

GWEN

That’s the basic idea, yes.

SCULLY

This image.  The one on the screen.  That’s the president’s brain?

GWEN

President Kennedy’s brain is no longer here.  This three-dimensional picture of it was generated during the original scan to locate concentrated levels of chromium in the extra striate, cortex and the hippocampus.

SCULLY

Chromium?

GWEN

We call it a chromium signature.  Brain cells used to store long-term memory data contain concentrated levels of chromium.

GWEN motions to the machine on the other side of the glass pane.

GWEN

This device is a T.E.I. scanner.  That stands for Trace Element Imaging.  Part of its function is to identify and examine specific cell structures at the subatomic level.

As if on command, TECHNICIAN ONE begins entering a series of numbers into one of the fields on the screen.  In response, the rotating brain is replaced by a cluster of multi-colored spheres that appear to meld one into the other.

GWEN

Agent Scully, this is President Kennedy’s recollection of the events in Dealey Plaza.  More specifically, this structure is what we call a ZMEM, a Chromium nucleus surrounded by protein packets that are electro-chemically linked to stored information about this memory.

GWEN takes a pen from her coat pocket and uses it to point at a large central sphere.

GWEN

Once the T.E.I. isolates a ZMEM structure, the neuro-net recognizes these surrounding proteins by comparing them to models in its database.  For instance, this packet is a time stamp.  Not for a specific day or time but rather a chronological marker for when this memory was encoded.  Another packet, ah, this one here I believe, is present when strong emotion is associated with the memory.  Fear, anger or love.  Still other proteins in the ZMEM structure act as markers for locating the cells that contain visual information.  Color. Motion or fine detail.  It is from these cells that we are able to reconstruct an event from someone’s life and play it back to see what actually happened.

SCULLY

Wait a minute, I think you may have missed a step.  How do you actually extract visual information once you find it?

GWEN takes the pen she still has in her hand and raises it up in front of SCULLY’S face, as if testing her neurological prowess.

GWEN

When I hold this pen up for you to see, what happens?

SCULLY

Light waves reflected from the pen pass through my cornea and activate photoreceptors called rods and cones in the retina.  Ganglion cells then process the two signals and route them on to the optic nerve.  The optic nerve splits from each eye, allowing left and right brain to assimilate imagery from either the left or right side of both retinas.  From there, the neural information passes through the geniculate bodies and on to the primary visual cortex.

GWEN smiles as she returns the pen to her coat pocket.

GWEN

Excellent.  This is the part that I didn’t want to try to explain to Agent Mulder.  It is at the left and right geniculate bodies that we reassemble a visual image through electro-chemical stimulation of the ZMEM structure. This invokes a kind of artificial perception in which neurotransmitters return stored imagery to the visual cortex.

SCULLY

Like recalling a familiar face or someplace you’ve seen before.

GWEN

Yes.  The ZMEM structure is like a blueprint for reassembling every piece of information associated with a memory.  Once the memory becomes active, the Parvocellular and Magnocellular neuronal streams inside the geniculate bodies are attached to a webbing of microscopic sensors.  The software that controls these sensors uses millions of electro-chemical variations, also learned by training the neuro-net, to translate and convert the information into a 24-bit RGB color photograph.  Much like an image scanner translates a photograph into digital form, the difference being that this device deciphers neurons as individual pixels.  We can rebuild the electronic equivalent of what was first formed by the retina of either the left or right eye.  These stills are then stored chronologically, every frame captured in the order that the event took place.  The frames are combined to recreate motion.

SCULLY is noticeably shaken.

GWEN

What do you think, Agent Scully?

SCULLY

I’d be surprised if you didn’t already know!

GWEN

I wouldn’t concern yourself too much.  Trace Element Imagery can only be conducted on inanimate tissue.  In other words, you’d have to die before we can see what you think.

SCULLY

In that case, I’ll keep my views on this to myself.

GWEN smiles at SCULLY’S look of earnest trepidation.

GWEN

We can’t surgically attach the sensors to a living host.  Even if we could, normal brain activity can actually interfere with the results.  What we see and what we think we see are two very different things.  A person’s own interpretation of an event can actually alter the output imagery.

SCULLY looks back down at the screen.  As she stares intently at the ZMEM structure, she is suddenly reminded of one of the many bizarre circumstances surrounding the assassination.

SCULLY

You removed the president’s brain from the national archives, didn’t you?

GWEN doesn’t appear to be shocked in the least by SCULLY’S accusation.

GWEN

Actually, we acquired the brain at Bethesda, shortly after the autopsy.  Another brain was substituted and turned over the national archives.  It subsequently disappeared as well, several hours after it was received.  Ironically, this was the tissue that was taken to cover up the trajectory of the head shot.  Apparently they didn’t bother to verify the remains.

SCULLY

And this imaging was your motive for taking the brain?

GWEN

No, actually it was the other way around.  The assassination became the motive for creating the device.

SCULLY

I don’t understand.

GWEN

Agent Scully, how much do you know about the Kennedy administration?

SCULLY

Can you be a little more specific?

GWEN

How about National Security Action Memorandum 55?

SCULLY

Wasn’t that President Kennedy’s attempt to gain control over the intelligence community?

GWEN

NSAM 55 was a response by the president to the Bay of Pigs invasion.  After conducting a board of inquiry on the invasion, Kennedy found out just how powerful the military industrial complex and its clandestine operations had become. He issued NSAM 55 and 57 in June of 1961, based in part on the recommendations of an intelligence operative named Edward Nathan Fletcher.

SCULLY

Why would someone working in intelligence want to help him?

GWEN

Fletcher felt that Kennedy was right.  He felt that ultimate control should still belong to a government official elected to office by the people.

SCULLY

Ultimate control... over the military industrial complex?

GWEN

Over everything, Agent Scully. Unfortunately, neither his beliefs nor his dealings with the president went unnoticed.  By late August of 1961 he was imprisoned for allegedly selling classified missile guidance information to the Soviets.  That is where he stayed until the 22nd of November, 1963.

GWEN looks down at TECHNICIAN ONE.

GWEN

Bring up subject 000112296.

TECHNICIAN ONE enters the subject number into the computer.  One by one the stats begin to overwrite the image of the ZMEM structure.  The new screen is identical to the interface of MULDER’S disc.  The one variation is that there is no backslash in the title for a specific memory.  TECHNICIAN ONE tabs the cursor into this position and types “*.*”.  A new window pops up on the screen containing a long list of filenames.  One of the names in the list is titled, “PRISON CELL”.  Using the down arrow key he selects the title and then presses the ENTER key.  The dark image of a tiny concrete room appears on the screen.  Unlike the computer in the office of THE LONE GUNMAN, this series of frames begins running at the moment the picture appears.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP OF THE COMPUTER SCREEN.

On the screen, the subject’s (FLETCHER’S) viewpoint seems to be from a seated position, looking up at the door to the cell.  Through a small square window in the door a shadow is seen passing by outside.  The view flashes quickly down to the base of the door to see a brown folder slide in underneath.  As it does, FLETCHER’S right arm comes into view when he reaches down to pick it up.  The words “TOP SECRET” are stenciled across the front of the folder.  The other hand appears as he tears open the seal and removes a stack of typewritten pages.  The title on the document clearly states that it is a copy of NSAM 55.  Scrawled across the page in what appears to be blood is the name “AGENT 55.”  All at once, the door bursts open and two men enter the cell.  One of them is CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN, the other the DARK SKINNED MAN.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN pulls a set of handcuffs out of his coat and slaps one of the cuffs around FLETCHER’S left wrist. DARK SKINNED MAN produces a syringe and recklessly stabs the needle into FLETCHER’S arm.  The scene fades to black.  TECHNICIAN ONE loads the memory list again and selects the file titled “DEALEY PLAZA.”  This image fades in very slowly as FLETCHER comes out of his drug induced sleep.  When the picture finally does focus, the face of CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN fills the screen.  Although there is no audio track to accompany the scene, it is fairly easy to read CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S lips as he begins to speak.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN (no voice)

Wait here, my friend.  We won’t be long.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN reaches out and pats FLETCHER on the shoulder then turns and strides quickly away.  He is carrying an umbrella under his arm.  FLETCHER is seated in the back seat of a white four door car.  As he continues to watch CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN, we see that the car is parked in the muddy lot behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll.  FLETCHER looks away from the window and down at his left hand.  He is handcuffed to one of the metal brackets under the front driver’s side seat.  FLETCHER tries a couple of futile tugs but the cuffs don’t budge.  By the time he looks back at the window, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN has stopped near the corner of the picket fence and is conversing with a man dressed as a policeman.  After a moment, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN walks back to the end of the fence where the DARK SKINNED MAN stands waiting.  Both men pause and look in the direction of the car, then proceed down the concrete walkway past the pergola, out of sight.  As soon as they are gone, FLETCHER begins a frantic search of the car for something he can use remove the cuffs.  He pulls down both visors, shoves his free hand between the seat cushions and finally straddles the front seat to kick open the door of the glove compartment.  Inside the compartment he finds a pair of black leather gloves.  Nothing more.  Next he turns his attention to the steering wheel.  He begins pounding on the horn button in the center of the wheel.  As he does, he looks over at the picket fence.  The uniformed man is now resting a rifle over the top of the fence.  Judging by his lack of reaction, the car horn does not work.  What happens next is obviously FLETCHER’S last resort.  He looks down at his hand for a moment and then braces it against the floor.  For another brief moment he contorts his body into a fetal position and then he kicks out hard with his left leg.  The picture flickers in and out several times as FLETCHER clenches his eyes shut from the pain.  When he finally manages to look down, he sees that he has successfully shattered several of the bones in his thumb and hand.  Grasping the ring of the cuff in his other hand, FLETCHER rips off the restraint and a good portion of the underlying skin.  As he assesses the damage he has inflicted on himself, we see that blood is beginning to pour out of a long gash in the thumb.  FLETCHER climbs into the front seat and picks the gloves up off the floor.  With a quick twist he turns the broken digits back to an angle that will thread into the glove and then slides his hand in to conceal the wound.  Next, he examines the door locks.  All four of the knobs have been either sawed off or removed.  The view turns up to face the roof of the car as he slams both feet hard against the driver’s side glass, knocking it out.  Now the view begins to shake wildly as he pulls himself through the opening and plunges toward the man behind the fence.  Just before he reaches the fence, another man jumps out from behind a nearby car and punches FLETCHER in the jaw, sending him sprawling down the concrete steps behind the pergola.  As he struggles back to his feet, he looks down in the direction of Elm Street.  The motorcade is passing by directly in from of him.  Kennedy is hunched forward, clutching his throat.  A split second later, a red plume of blood bursts across the right side of his head.  FLETCHER looks to his right and sees a white puff of smoke drifting out from behind the fence.  All motion stops.  The last frame of the extract remains frozen on the screen.

GWEN(V.O.)

He couldn’t go back up the stairs.  In the commotion that followed the shooting, he simply blended into the crowd and walked away beneath the triple underpass.  (PAUSE) How would it be Agent Scully?  How would it be to witness the assassination and to know that by trying to help the president you may very well be responsible for his death?

CUT TO: CLOSE-UP, SCULLY’S FACE.

SCULLY

Why didn’t you just show Mulder this imagery in the first place?

CUT TO: MEDIUM SHOT, SCULLY AND GWEN.

GWEN

Because it was Fletcher’s wish that he be able to present the president’s imagery to Mulder in person.  He had a lot of respect for what your partner is trying to do.  His quest for the truth.  By delivering the disc he was handing over the truth to a new generation.  Only then did he feel that his work was finished.

Through the glass panel, SCULLY notices a small door on the front of the T.E.I. scanner sliding open.  Inside the opening is a tank containing a human brain.  Two large bundles of wire run from the side of the scanner into the left and right hemispheres of the tissue.

GWEN (pointing to the brain.)

Agent Scully, this is Edward Nathan Fletcher, AKA Agent 55.  More recently known as Mr. Lance.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP, FLETCHER’S BRAIN.

FADE OUT.

SCENE II

FADE IN:

TITLES: Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas

4:30 PM

EXT: DEALEY PLAZA, SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF THE TEXAS SCHOOLBOOK DEPOSITORY.

A cab pulls up in front of the Depository.  Inside the cab, MULDER is leaning over the front seat to pay the driver.  The driver takes the money, and MULDER climbs out onto the sidewalk, facing the Elm Street side of the brown brick building.  As the cab pulls away from the curb, MULDER looks up at the sixth floor window where Oswald supposedly fired the three infamous shots.

CUT TO:  INT. SIXTH FLOOR WINDOW, LOOKING DOWN AT MULDER.

CUT TO:  EXT. MEDIUM SHOT, MULDER ON SIDEWALK.

MULDER turns away from the building to face Dealey Plaza.  The sun hangs low in the cloudless late afternoon sky, a sharp contrast to the constant rain in Washington.  MULDER begins walking around the west side of Elm Street toward the large white pergola.  As he is walking, his cellular phone begins to ring.  MULDER removes the phone from his pocket, unfolds it and taps the “TALK” button.

MULDER

Mulder.

SCULLY(V.O.)

Mulder, it’s me.

MULDER

Scully, where are y...

SCULLY interrupts.

SCULLY(V.O.)

Mulder, just listen to me.  The images on the disc are genuine.  I’ve seen the device used to extract them from the president’s brain.

MULDER

The president’s brai... Scully, how do you...

SCULLY(V.O.)

When Mr. Lance told you that someone in Dealey Plaza had seen everything, he wasn’t talking about Kennedy.  (PAUSE) He was talking about himself.

MULDER

Lance was there?

SCULLY(V.O.)

You remember asking Langly about the dark shape in the Willis photo?

MULDER

The Black Dog Man?

SCULLY(V.O.)

That was Mr. Lance.  He was forced to be there, cuffed to the back seat of a car in the lot behind the grassy knoll and in plain view of the shooter at the fence.

MULDER looks across the Plaza at the retaining wall.  As if on cue, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN strolls out from behind the wall, descends the sidewalk to the street and seats himself on the curb.  MULDER, not ready to confront him just yet, stops walking and turns away from him.  As SCULLY continues briefing MULDER, CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN can be seen calmly watching the cars pass by on Elm.

SCULLY(V.O.)

Lance managed to break free of the car, but when he tried to get to the shooter, he was knocked down the stairs behind the pergola.  Mr. Willis must have snapped that picture just as he was struggling to stand up.

MULDER

Scully, who was he?  Why was he here?

SCULLY(V.O.)

His real name was Edward Nathan Fletcher.  He had been a contract agent as far back as 1945 for the Office of Strategic Services.  Highest security clearance.  In 1961 he was imprisoned for selling classified missile guidance information to Russia.  Actually, he had been caught providing President Kennedy with detailed information on the inner workings of numerous covert operations.  This information prompted JFK to release NSAM 55 and 57.  Those documents may have been instrumental in bringing about Kennedy’s assassination.

MULDER

They’ve retrieved Fletcher’s brain, too, haven’t they?

SCULLY(V.O.)

Yes.

MULDER

You’ve seen the extracts?

SCULLY(V.O.)

The Umbrella Man and the Dark Skinned Man brought Fletcher to Dealey Plaza that day to teach him a lesson.  To show him that they had assumed control.  He managed to escape into the crowd after the motorcade had passed.  From there, he contacted someone at Bethesda to remove the president’s brain after the autopsy.

MULDER

That must have seemed an odd request.

SCULLY(V.O.)

Not really.  Fletcher had been involved in mind control experiments throughout his tenure with the agency.  He and a group of like-minded physicians and scientists had already laid the groundwork for this technology, at least in theory.  After the assassination, he took a group of these people and hid them away to continue the research.  In 1993, 30 years later, they acquired their first image.

MULDER looks over his shoulder.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN is staring back at him.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Don’t mind me, Agent Mulder.  I was just doing a little reminiscing.

MULDER nods in his direction.

MULDER

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll get to you in a minute.

SCULLY seems confused.

SCULLY(V.O.)

Who are you talking to?  Is it him?

MULDER

Yeah, Scully, it’s him.  I better go.  I think I can fill in the blanks from here.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

MULDER hangs up the phone and returns it to his pocket.  He walks over to CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN and sits down beside him.

MULDER

So.  Do you still consider me a player?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN shakes two Morleys out of the pack and offers one to MULDER.

MULDER

No thanks.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN neatly tucks one of the cigarettes back down in the pack then sticks the other between his lips and lights it.  

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

That depends on the cards you’re holding, Mr. Mulder.

MULDER takes the photograph that LANGLY printed for him and hands it to CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN.

MULDER

I’ll start by laying down a wild card.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN takes the picture and looks at it, then hands it back to MULDER.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Such a tragedy.  I can still remember that day as clearly as if it were yesterday.

MULDER

No doubt you also remember a man named Edward Nathan Fletcher.  He took a little ride with you to Dealey Plaza.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN sighs heavily.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

What do expect me to give you, Mr. Mulder, a motive?  A list of those involved?

MULDER

Not really.  I was thinking of a much larger issue at stake here.  It’s not so much a question of who or why as it is how.  Now that we have this information, how do we proceed?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Tread lightly, Mr. Mulder.  There’s more at stake than acting out some personal vendetta against me.

MULDER

What, the national security?  Don’t flatter yourself.  I think this was a personal matter.  You took Fletcher to Dealey Plaza to show him what happens to those who don’t conform to the grand design.  It wasn’t enough for him to feel remorse.  You wanted him to be close enough to smell the spent gunpowder.  Close enough to almost but not quite change the course of history.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

That’s ludicrous.  I was in Dallas on another matter.  I had time on my hands and decided to come to Dealey Plaza to meet with an old friend in the secret service.

MULDER

You’ll pardon me for saying so, but that’s bullshit.  You handcuffed Fletcher to the car and then came down here on Elm to oversee the whole operation.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Mr. Mulder, you’re wasting my time.  Nat’s little science experiments can hardly be considered admissible in court.  A visual extract is nothing more than an illusion based on what a person believes they see.

MULDER

Assuming you’re right, do you suppose your friends in New York are going to share your lack of faith in the technology?  I’ve seen the extracts.  They’re pretty damn convincing for illusions.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

What makes you think they aren’t already aware of Fletcher’s escapades?

MULDER

I have no doubt they are.  I also think you’ve been holding out on them.  See, I don’t think they’re aware that you were responsible for his escape.  By taking matters into your own hands, you may very well have undermined the entire operation.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN drops the cigarette butt on the street and crushes it under his shoe.  He stands up and walks several paces back up the sidewalk.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Do you ever wonder why you’re still alive, Mr. Mulder?

MULDER

Certainly not because of any intervention from you.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

You’re alive because of what you don’t know.  Because of your failure to uncover the truth.  If this set of circumstances were to change, I wonder how it might affect the long term success of your work?  Do you suppose that Ms. Scully is prepared to continue the X-Files in the event of some unforeseen mishap?

MULDER

Let me explain something to you, something you will most likely never understand.  I seek the truth.  Not as a means to an end but as a counterbalance to the lies.  President Kennedy believed the truth was worth the risk, and so do I.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Which truth?  Kennedy’s assassin?  Details about your father’s mysterious past?  Some nice, juicy nuggets concerning your sister?  Roswell?  Which of these truths might be held ransom for your silence?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN turns back to face MULDER.  He reaches into the breast pocket of his coat and produces a small plastic tube.

MULDER

What’s that?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

Something I borrowed from you a long time ago.  A device that Ms. Scully removed from a cadaver during your first case with her.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN tosses the tube to MULDER.  MULDER examines the contents carefully.  It is the tiny device that he thought had been destroyed in a fire.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN turns and begins walking back up the steps toward the pergola.  MULDER follows him until both men are concealed behind the concrete wall, about the same position as FLETCHER appeared in the Willis photo.

MULDER

You think this is worth the life of a president?

MULDER draws his sidearm, aims it at CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S head and pulls the hammer back.  CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN stops walking.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN

So this is what you came for after all.

MULDER walks up behind CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN and pushes the barrel of the gun into the back of his neck.  With his other hand, MULDER reaches over CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S left shoulder and tucks the tube back in CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S pocket.

MULDER

No deal.  You’ve got a lot more to wager than that.  Turn around.

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN complies.  MULDER walks up and holds the gun against CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S forehead.

MULDER

Everything I need to know is locked away inside here.

MULDER taps the gun barrel against CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S temple several times and then lowers the gun to his chest.

MULDER

Of course I wouldn’t want to shoot the lock off.  I might damage what’s inside.  (PAUSE)  Dead, I’ll hook your gray matter to the machine.  Alive, and you stay out of my way.  You decide.  I already know what I’d do.  The only problem is that if I kill you there will always be someone to take your place.

MULDER seems as if he is lowering the gun but then without warning he swings the grip across the right side of CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN’S head, sending him down on to the grass at the edge of the sidewalk.  

MULDER

That was for President Kennedy.

MULDER puts the gun back in his holster and kneels down beside CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN.

MULDER

Killing you is counter productive.  Using you to get at the truth.  I think John Kennedy would be OK with that.

After patting CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN on the shoulder, MULDER stands and looks out across Elm street.  Although there is no traffic on the street, MULDER’S eyes appear to be following the president’s motorcade as it passes by.  (AUDIO OF GUNSHOTS AND SCREAMS ECHO IN THE BACKGROUND, FOLLOWED BY WALTER CRONKITE’S FIRST REPORT OF THE SHOOTING.)

CRONKITE (V.O.)

In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas.  The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting.

CUT TO:  CLOSE-UP MULDER’S FACE.

SCENE II

DISSOLVE TO:  INT. OFFICE OF THE LONE GUNMEN.

TITLES: Oakton Virginia

November 23rd, 1996

6:15 PM

MULDER is seated behind FROHIKE’S desk, his left elbow resting on a stack of newsletters.  He is leaning his head on his left hand and holding the water globe he bought from the airport gift shop in his right.  He is turning it over and over between his fingers, watching the tiny bullet inside as it slides back and forth.  FROHIKE walks across the room and sits down on the desktop across from MULDER.

FROHIKE

You did the right thing.

MULDER

Did I?

FROHIKE

I think so.

MULDER

I’m not so sure.  I feel like I’ve used President Kennedy’s death for purely selfish reasons.  To advance my work on the X-Files.

LANGLY and BYERS have been listening to the conversation from the other side of the room.  BYERS seems surprised by MULDER’S assessment of the outcome.

BYERS

Why is that selfish?

MULDER

Because I should have done something to expose the conspiracy.  I could be the first to bring a conviction in the murder of JFK.

LANGLY

Now that sounded selfish, you publicity monger you.

FROHIKE

Mulder, you’ve got John Fitzgerald Kennedy on your side.  Because of that, you’ve got the b******s on the run.

MULDER stops turning the water globe and sets it down on the desk.  He reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out the plastic tube containing the device that CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN had offered him at Dealey Plaza.  FROHIKE glances at the device as MULDER holds it up to the light.

FROHIKE

Wait a minute!  I thought you said you gave that back to him.

MULDER

I did.  Then I took it back while he was sprawled out on the grass.  As long as no one comes looking for it I’ll know that he hasn’t changed the terms of our agreement.

 MULDER looks at LANGLY.

MULDER

Hey, Langly, you see this?  I don’t think it came from Seattle.

LANGLY

Zeta Retculi?

MULDER

Maybe.

LANGLY

Very cool.

CUT TO:  MED. SHOT OF THE OFFICE.

The door between the office and the pressroom swings open and SCULLY walks in.

BYERS

Agent Scully, welcome back.

MULDER looks up at her and grins.  SCULLY steps up to the desk and holds out her hand.  MULDER takes her hand and holds it for a moment.

MULDER

It’s good to see you.

SCULLY

You too, Spooky.

MULDER holds the container out to SCULLY.  She takes it out of his hand and looks at the device.

MULDER

Does it look familiar?

SCULLY

Yeah.  It looks like something I removed from that...

MULDER

It is.  We’ll need to rerun some tests on it, (PAUSE) later.

FROHIKE

Yeah, much later.  Hey Scully, Mulder and I made a deal before you got here.

FROHIKE looks over at MULDER and winks, hoping he’ll play along.

FROHIKE

Mulder told me that in exchange for not publishing the digital extracts from JFK that I could have a dance with you.

SCULLY

A dance with me?!

SCULLY looks at MULDER with desperation in her eyes.  MULDER can hardly keep a straight face.

MULDER

Frohike’s really very light on his feet.

FROHIKE

Nothing fancy, just a little cheek to cheek.

LANGLY opens the drive door on his computer’s CD player and inserts the FOO FIGHTERS disc.  On the screen he clicks a button several times, advancing to a track titled “BIG ME.”  As the song begins to play, he adjusts the volume slightly higher.  FROHIKE holds out both arms.  He’s smiling from ear to ear.  SCULLY stands glaring at MULDER with her hands on her hips.  With a sigh of resignation, she throws up her hands, steps up to FROHIKE, and they begin to dance.  As FROHIKE wraps his arms around her his hand brushes against something in her coat pocket.

FROHIKE

Is that a jewel case in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

SCULLY

Oh, I almost forgot!  Mulder, they told me to give this to you.

SCULLY takes a CD out of her coat and hands it to MULDER.

MULDER

Another one?

SCULLY

No more digital extracts.  They said you should just listen to this one.

LANGLY starts to shut off the music.

MULDER

Don’t stop the music.  I’ll go out to the car.

SCULLY

How considerate.

As SCULLY and FROHIKE continue FROHIKE’S dream come true, MULDER slips quietly out the door.

CUT TO:  INT. MULDER’S CAR.

MULDER opens the car door, climbs in and takes the CD player out of his briefcase.  He removes the CD from the jewel case and slides it into the player, slips in the cassette adapter and presses play.  The audio track is Kennedy’s acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination.

KENNEDY(V.O.)

"...we stand today on the edge of a new frontier " the frontier of the 1960s...Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus. It would be easier to shrink back from that frontier, to look to the safe mediocrity of the past...But I believe the times demand invention, innovation, imagination, decision. I am asking each of you to be new pioneers on that new frontier."

MULDER switches off the player.  He looks out the windshield at the setting sun.  The rain has stopped.

FADE TO BLACK.


© 2012 Ray J. Lonsdale


Author's Note

Ray J. Lonsdale
This story was written in 1996 during the time that the X-Files aired on Fox. I sent this screenplay to an agent in Los Angeles and it never went beyond her desk. I put quite a bit of work onto this one, even so far as to having a Neuro-Ophthalmologist as a medical consultant. I hope you enjoy the story and please send along your comments and critiques!

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Author

Ray J. Lonsdale
Ray J. Lonsdale

Orlando, FL



About
I'm the founder and Creative Director of Flyby Studios in Orlando Florida. Writing has always been a passion of mine as far back as 6 or 7 years old! more..

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