Original Air Date
October 21, 1994
Merideth Bain Woodward
William B. Davis
Add a Quote
They only have one policy: Deny everything.
— Mr. X
Alex Krycek: You know, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island... they were all linked to sleep deprivation. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that over 190,000 fatal car crashes every year are linked to sleepiness.
Fox Mulder: Did they estimate how many people are put to sleep listening to their statistics?
Add my review
The last scene with Mulder looking at the sky in the middle of the night is beyond sublime. It is a highly emotional scene with a profoundly beautiful music from Mark Snow.
Ascension is without any doubt one of the top ten episodes of the entire series. I love this episode immensely, up until the beautiful ending. 10/10.
Can DD be more persuasive than in that episode??
What can I say?? Every scene is amazing, Scully's rapt, Mulder's sorrow, and rage, and run, and search...
Krycek is a bad ass yeah! CSM knows everything about Scully's abduction, Skinner opens up the XFiles, Duane Barry succeeds his plan... WOW we can't breathe until the end, (just a little when Mulder reaches the top of the mountain without dying)
Moving scenes with Margaret Scully, whose trust in Mulder is entire.
But oh my god: when will our Scully come back??? Alive!
Run the slideshow
The following transcript has been friendly provided with the authorization of the site: insidethex.co.uk.
WASHINGTON, D.C.; 11:23 P.M.
(Mulder walks into his house as rain pours outside. Lightning cracks. He presses a button on the answering machine and the tape rewinds. A beep sounds.)
SCULLY ON MACHINE: Mulder, it's me. I just had something incredibly strange happen. This piece of metal that they took out of Duane Barry, it has some kind of a code on it. I ran it through a scanner and some kind of a serial number came up. What the hell is this thing, Mulder? It's almost as if... it's almost as if somebody was using it to catalogue him.
(Sounds of Scully gasping and glass breaking.)
Mulder! I need your help!
DUANE BARRY ON MACHINE: Shut up!
SCULLY ON MACHINE: Mulder!
(Mulder pulls up to Scully's house and gets out. There are people everywhere, and the house is surrounded with yellow tape. He shows his badge to a policeman, who lets him through. He goes up the front stairs and looks at the broken window. He sees blood on the wall on the inside and his own reflection in the glass. In his mind, he sees Scully pull open the blinds and Duane Barry peering through. She gasps and Barry punches her through the glass. She falls, dropping the phone. He knocks down the blinds and climbs through the window. Mulder snaps out of it and walks inside. People are taking pictures, collecting blood samples and dusting for fingerprints. He
walks over to the glass round table in the middle of the room. He looks down at a portion that is cracked and stained with blood. In his mind again, he sees Scully crawling towards the table.)
(Duane Barry grabs her foot.)
DUANE BARRY: Come on, lady...
SCULLY: I need your help!
(She reaches up to the table for her gun, smashing the glass with her wrist. A man takes a picture of the crushed phone on the ground. Mulder sees Scully about a foot away from the phone.)
(Suddenly, Duane Barry's foot crashes down onto the phone, breaking it. Mulder walks out of the room. He accidentally gets some blood on his fingers from the wall.)
POLICEMAN: I'm sorry, ma'am, but you can't disturb a crime scene.
MARGARET SCULLY: But this is my daughter's apartment. Let me go, I have to get through.
I have to get in!
(Mulder walks up to her.)
MULDER: Mrs. Scully?
(He goes to put his hand on her shoulder, but he notices her staring at the blood on it. He looks at the blood on them for the first time.)
She's not in there.
MARGARET SCULLY: Where is she?
(Mulder does not respond.)
Where is she?
[OPENING CREDITS] [OPENING CREDITS] [OPENING CREDITS] [OPENING CREDITS] [OPENING CREDITS]
(Outside the house, reporters and cameramen file onto the front lawn as the policemen and various other people shuffle around. One can hear many people talking illegibly. Mulder and Margaret Scully are standing in a doorway.)
MARGARET SCULLY: I knew it would happen this way. I had this dream about Dana being taken away.
(Mulder leads her into the room. Flashbulbs are going off in the back.)
I, uh... I was going to call her but I was afraid I was going to scare her.
(She sits down. Mulder sits down across from her.)
She would have laughed at me anyway. She doesn't believe in that kind of thing, you know.
FBI HEADQUARTERS; WASHINGTON, D.C.; 8:03 A.M.
(The Cigarette-Smoking Man sits off to the side, smoking. Skinner slowly walks around a table as he speaks. Sitting at the table are Mulder, Krycek, and numerous other officials.)
SKINNER: According to the reports I reviewed, Agent Scully research states that Duane Barry's propensity for violent, deviant behavior is due to brain damage from a bullet wound in the head. Is this the operational opinion?
(Skinner looks to Mulder for an answer, but none is given.)
KRYCEK: Yes, sir.
SKINNER: Is there another?
KRYCEK: He's convinced he's going to be abducted by aliens. That by taking someone to the abduction site, he won't be abducted himself.
SKINNER: That he's following orders from alien voices in his head.
SKINNER: Well, that's an interesting spin on the Nuremburg defense. Which explanation do you subscribe to, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: There's a question of how he could've gotten to her in the first place.
MAN: And you think these alien voices told her?
MULDER: Agent Scully was carrying a small piece of metal that was removed from Duane Barry's abdomen, an implant he described as a tracking device.
MAN: Agent Scully thought that you had made a major miscalculation in Duane Barry's psychosis. Is that true?
MULDER: Yes, but that still doesn't explain how he could have found her.
(Krycek glances over to the Cigarette-Smoking Man.)
SKINNER: Where would he be taking her?
MULDER: I don't know. He talked about a mountain but he wasn't specific about the location.
SKINNER: Well, however he got to her and whatever his motives, he took Agent Scully's car and weapon. I think we all understand the seriousness of this matter and should proceed ahead quickly with all possible resources. I need you to turn over your files to H.R.T...
MULDER: I'd like to brief them myself...
SKINNER: Go home, Agent Mulder, you've been up all night. Get some sleep.
MULDER: Sir, I know Duane Barry. I've been in his head, I know how he thinks...
SKINNER: You're too close to this case. If we can use you, we will.
SKINNER: That's an order, Agent Mulder.
(He looks at Krycek.)
Make sure he gets home safely.
(Krycek stands up.)
KRYCEK: Come on.
(They walk out.)
ROUTE 229; RIXEYVILLE, VIRGINIA; 11:23 A.M.
(Duane Barry is driving down the road. The radio is playing "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Duane Barry makes a very sharp left down a bridge and speeds off. Soon, a police car pulls out of a side road and follows him, sirens blaring. The cop flashes his lights. Duane pulls over and rolls down his window. The patrolman adjusts a camera. He walks over to the car and, holding onto his gun in it's holster, looks over at Barry. Inside the trunk, Scully is bound and gagged.)
PATROLMAN: Sir? Can you turn off your radio?
DUANE BARRY: I would, officer, but I got to keep going.
APB WIRE CONDUCTOR: An F.B.I. APB has been issued for a suspect in the abduction of an F.B.I. agent...
PATROLMAN: Sir, I asked if you mind turning that off.
(Barry turns it off.)
DUANE BARRY: Okay. But could you just give me the ticket now so I can go? I got to be someplace.
DUANE BARRY: I'm not sure but... they'll tell me when I get there.
(The patrolman looks at Barry's hands and sees that there his knuckles are bloody and his hospital ID band has blood on it too. He takes out his gun and points it at Duane.)
PATROLMAN: Sir... put your hands on the steering wheel where I can see them.
DUANE BARRY: You don't understand. They're waiting for me, I, I can't be late.
PATROLMAN: Put your hands up and exit the vehicle.
DUANE BARRY: No, I got to keep moving. Please? For your own sake? Don't stop Duane Barry.
PATROLMAN: Sir, put your hands up.
(Scully starts moaning, hearing the cop, and bangs on the trunk hood. The patrolman turns around and looks at it. Duane pulls out his gun and shoots the cop. He screams and falls, startling Scully. Duane opens up the hood and looks at her.)
FBI HEADQUARTERS; VIDEO PRODUCTION UNIT; 3:11 P.M.
(Mulder points to a monitor which has a surveillance shot on it of Barry looking into the trunk with the officer down to the side.)
MULDER: Right there.
VIDEO TECHNICIAN: Okay.
(Mulder walks over to the technician at the computer.)
MULDER: Back it up a few frames.
(He does so.)
Can you magnify this area?
(He points into the trunk. The technician magnifies it many times until there is a clear head shot of Scully with the gag in her mouth.)
VIDEO TECHNICIAN: My God...
MULDER: She's still alive. Print this up.
(The printer feeds out the picture of Scully.)
FBI HEADQUARTERS; 4:08 P.M.
(Mulder sits at his desk, listening to a tape recording of the hostage situation. He's looking at the picture.)
DUANE BARRY ON RECORDING: I just want to go back to the place.
MULDER ON RECORDING: What place?
DUANE BARRY ON RECORDING: Where it first started. Where they first came and got me.
MULDER ON RECORDING: Where is that?
DUANE BARRY ON RECORDING: A mountain. We went, uh, up... and up.
Ascending... ascending to the stars.
(He rewinds it.)
Ascending... ascending to the stars.
(Krycek walks over carrying two coffees.)
(Mulder takes out his earphones.)
(Krycek puts the coffee down on the table.)
KRYCEK: Yeah. How'd you sleep?
MULDER: I didn't.
(He rewinds the tape again.)
DUANE BARRY ON RECORDING: You're not taking Duane Barry again.
(He rewinds the tape more.)
A mountain. We went, uh, up... and up. Ascending... ascending to the stars.
Ascending to the stars.
KRYCEK: What is it?
(Mulder stops the tape.)
MULDER: Where was that patrolman killed again?
KRYCEK: Rixeyville, Virginia. Route 229.
MULDER: Doesn't Route 229 lead to the Blue Ridge Parkway?
KRYCEK: I don't know.
(Mulder gets up and walks over to one of many shelves full of telephone books.)
(Mulder pulls one out and flips through it. He finally lands on the page he wants that has an ad that reads:
"Ascend to the Stars
555-7684 Spectacular views and a full service grill")
MULDER: Ascend to the stars. Skyland Mountain.
(He rips the page out.)
KRYCEK: You know where he's going?
MULDER: Get your car and meet me downstairs.
KRYCEK: Where are we going?
MULDER: Just get your car.
KRYCEK: What about Skinner?
MULDER: I'll deal with Skinner.
(He takes his overcoat and walks off. In the parking lot, Krycek's talking on the phone, standing next to his car.)
KRYCEK: He thinks Scully's been taken up to Skyland Mountain. I'll hold him off until they locate her.
(He looks behind his shoulder and sees Mulder approaching.)
Wait, here he comes. I'll be in touch.
(He hangs up and pushes the antenna down.)
MULDER: Come on, let's go.
(Krycek gets in the driver's side and slams the door. Mulder runs to the other side, gets in and they speed off. As they turn out of the parking lot, they pass a parked car whose driver is the Cigarette-Smoking Man. He lowers the cellular phone from his ear, flips it closed and pushes down the antenna. He takes on more puff of his cigarette before throwing it out.)
ROUTE 211; WARRENTON, VIRGINIA; 5:43 P.M.
(Krycek and Mulder speed down the road. Mulder's eyes close. He struggles to keep them open, but he falls asleep. Krycek looks at him, then hears a honking. A mack truck is speeding towards them.)
(He pushes Mulder, who wakes up. Mulder looks at the truck and swerves out of the way. Krycek sighs in relief.)
You're dozing off. Maybe I should drive.
MULDER: I'm fine.
KRYCEK: Well, you haven't slept yet. I have.
MULDER: No, I said I'm fine.
(Krycek stares at him for a few seconds then sighs.)
KRYCEK: You know, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island... they were all linked to sleep deprivation.
(Mulder looks at him for a second, then turns his attention back to the road.)
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that over 190,000 fatal car crashes every year are linked to sleepiness.
MULDER: Did they estimate how many people are put to sleep listening to their statistics?
KRYCEK: I'm just trying to keep you awake.
(They pass a gas station.)
MULDER: Look, I know you think we should have told Skinner but if he sends in the whole cavalry, Duane Barry might go over the edge.
KRYCEK: You're right.
MULDER: If we find him first, we'll notify the Bureau. All right?
KRYCEK: Yeah. You really think he tracked her down with that implant?
MULDER: Well, that's the easiest explanation. It's also the most implausible.
KRYCEK: Is there another possibility?
MULDER: Somebody could have given him her address. I don't know who.
(Krycek looks ahead at the road and points to a sign that reads "Ascend to the Stars, Skyland Mountain.")
SKYLAND MOUNTAIN; SKYLAND, VIRGINIA
(Krycek and Mulder are walking with the tram operator. The operator is looking at a mug shot of Barry.)
KRYCEK: You seen this guy?
TRAM OPERATOR: Yeah, he was here.
KRYCEK: He's wanted for kidnapping a federal agent. Did you let him go up in the tram?
(He takes the picture and puts it in his coat pocket.)
TRAM OPERATOR: No way, it's shut down for the summer. I told him to take the back road up.
KRYCEK: How long ago?
TRAM OPERATOR: About forty-five minutes.
MULDER: Did he have a woman with him?
TRAM OPERATOR: No.
KRYCEK: How long does it take to drive to the top?
TRAM OPERATOR: Little over an hour.
(They stop at a sign for the tram.)
MULDER: You gotta get me up there.
TRAM OPERATOR: No, no way. We just got done refitting the cable. It hasn't been tested with passengers yet. You'll have to drive.
MULDER: I don't have the time.
TRAM OPERATOR: You don't have a choice.
MULDER: No, you don't have a choice.
(He pulls back his overcoat to reveal his gun. He unhooks the holster. The tram operator looks at him warily. Inside the control booth, the operator turns a key and the machinery starts. He then flips a switch.)
TRAM OPERATOR: Okay, I can't stop you from going up there but if there's a problem with the cable, I'm shutting this down. I'm not going to be responsible for your death.
(They all walk to the tram. Mulder gets in and bolts the door. Krycek leans up against it.)
KRYCEK: What are you doing?
MULDER: Stay here and whatever happens, don't let him stop the tram.
(He walks over to the panel.)
TRAM OPERATOR: Okay, you hit your "run" and "up" button on the panel. Speed indicator controls your ascent. Now when you want to slow down...
(Mulder starts the tram up its path.)
Don't crank it faster than fifteen!
(The operator goes back to the booth as Krycek watches the tram go up. In the tram, Mulder moves the speed indicator from "slow speed" to "fast speed." The speedometer shoots up from fifteen to twenty. The tram operator, standing by the machinery, hears the cables grinding. Meanwhile, Duane Barry races up the roads. Mulder cranks it even more, and the machine shoots up to 25.7, then to 26.)
What the hell's he doing? I told him not to go that fast.
(He picks up the intercom transmitter.)
Base to car one, pick up.
(The noises from the machinery grow louder.)
Do you hear that sound? At this speed, the cable can't hold.
(The tram shoots up the cable. Inside Barry's trunk, Scully moans through her gag as Barry turns the corners. The tram is now at thirty. The tram operator cannot be heard over the machinery.)
...a sec. Do you hear me? Slow...
(Mulder's tram races past another one going the opposite way.
Base to car one, pick up.
(Mulder picks up the transmitter and adjusts the frequency.)
MULDER: Go ahead.
TRAM OPERATOR: Slow it down.
MULDER: You're breaking up.
TRAM OPERATOR: Slow down or the cables'll jump when you hit that tower!
(Mulder looks and sees a tower approaching. He slows it down to twenty-five and the car shakily passes the tower. Barry passes a sign that says "Ascend to the Stars, Skyland Summit." Mulder speeds it back up to thirty.)
Slow it down for the next tower.
(Mulder turns the speed down to fifteen as he passes the next tower.)
KRYCEK: How close is he?
TRAM OPERATOR: Should be up top in a minute.
(Krycek pulls back his coat and unhooks his holster. On the monitor, we can see the tram approaching.)
There he is.
(Krycek grimaces and pistol-whips the operator across the face, knocking him out. He sighs and fixes his hair. He flicks the switch and turns the key back. The tram rocks back and forth, having stopped. Mulder picks up the transmitter.)
MULDER: What are you doing? Turn it back on. Krycek, what's happening down there?
(Krycek takes out his cell phone, raises the antenna and starts dialing.)
Krycek, do you read me? Tell the operator to restart the tram. Hello?
(The phone rings. We can still hear Mulder intelligibly.)
KRYCEK: I've got him stalled up there. I'll hold until you advise.
(Barry drives past cabins, Scully breathing heavily in the trunk.)
MULDER: Is there an emergency system on-board? Can you read me down there?
Can anyone read me?
(He puts down the transmitter and goes to a small compartment. He takes off the lid and throws away a tag that says "Screamer Suit." He pulls out a harness, and throws it down. He pulls down a ladder and climbs on top of the tram. Krycek looks at the monitor in awe as the sky grows dark. Mulder starts to climb up. Krycek turns the key then flips the switch. The tram restarts, throwing Mulder nearly off the tram. He grabs on to the side of the roof and pulls himself up, narrowly avoiding the next tower. The tram reaches the end and comes to a halt. Krycek sighs. Mulder runs over up the hill and comes to Barry's car. The driver's side door is open. He looks in with the flashlight and sees the car is empty. The radio is playing and a woman is talking intelligibly. He notices blood on the steering wheel. He pops the trunk and opens it up. It is empty, except for a bloody rope and a necklace with a cross on it. He takes the cross and hears a noise. He looks up and sees a giant light beaming down from something. The object then speeds off. Duane's laughing can be heard. Mulder races over to him and points his gun.)
MULDER: Federal agent!
(Duane stands and holds his hands up in the air in triumph. Mulder runs towards him, keeping his gun on him.)
DUANE BARRY: Yes!
DUANE BARRY: Yes, yes, yes!
MULDER: I said freeze! Where is she?
DUANE BARRY: I'm free, you son of a bitches! You can't touch Duane Barry anymore!
MULDER: Don't move.
(Duane laughs insanely as Mulder grabs his wrists and pulls them behind his back.)
DUANE BARRY: I'm not going anywhere!
MULDER: Where is she? Where'd you leave her?
DUANE BARRY: They took her.
DUANE BARRY: Them! I told you they would take somebody else. They did!
(Mulder starts to lead him back towards the car when a helicopter shoots up from behind the hill, shining a bright spotlight on them. Duane thinks that the aliens have returned.)
No, no! No! No, no, no!
(Mulder struggles to hold him back.)
No! No! No! No! Nooo! Noooo!
SKYLAND MOUNTAIN SUMMIT; 8:46 P.M.
(Firemen run by outside of the house.)
APB WIRE CONTROLLER: Choppers found them on the mountain. Send out five teams to search for that federal agent.
(Inside, a medic tapes up the bullet wound in Duane's chest. Barry is sitting in a chair, his hands bound behind him. Another man holds a paper cup to his lips.)
MEDIC #2: Water.
(Barry drinks it. The two medics plus the guard start to the door.)
MEDIC #1: We'll wait outside.
(They leave. Mulder is sitting in a chair as well, looking ragged. They sit in silence for a few seconds, Mulder staring at Barry. Mulder gets up and puts his hands on his hips.)
MULDER: Now what happened after you took her out of the trunk?
DUANE BARRY: We walked a-little ways up to the top of the mountain. Right where you found me.
MULDER: Then where'd you take her?
DUANE BARRY: I didn't. They did. That was the deal. Her instead of me.
(Mulder closes his eyes for a second, then walks directly in front of Barry.)
MULDER: (quietly) Did you kill her?
DUANE BARRY: No.
(Mulder stares at him.)
(Mulder points to the burn marks on Barry's face.)
MULDER: How'd you get this?
DUANE BARRY: From the ship.
MULDER: What ship?
DUANE BARRY: You saw it.
MULDER: I saw a helicopter.
DUANE BARRY: They were here. I'm not lying to you!
(He looks through the window into the other adjoining room and sees various men in suits watching. They start to file out.)
There they are. Ask them. They know what happened!
(He gets up but Mulder pushes him back into the chair.)
MULDER: Sit down, Duane.
DUANE BARRY: No! You've got to stop them! Hurry, hurry!
(Mulder looks back into the adjoining room and sees no one.)
They were just out there! They were right outside!
(He gets up and starts to the window. Mulder grabs him by his wrists and spins him around, slamming his face down into the desk.)
MULDER: Duane, settle down!
DUANE BARRY: They'll tell you where she is!
(Mulder looks at his hospital ID band and sees Scully's blood and a few of her hairs on it.)
The military's in on it, just ask them!
(He rips off the band and looks at it, then spins Barry around and gets right into his face, holding the band up.)
MULDER: Did you hurt her?
DUANE BARRY: No.
MULDER: Did you hurt her!?
DUANE BARRY: No!
MULDER: What is this?
(Duane shakes his head "no." Mulder grabs him by the throat and starts choking him. Barry gags as Mulder squeezes the life out of him. After a few seconds, Mulder lets go and slams Barry, coughing and gagging, down into the chair. Mulder paces, holding his face in his hands. He then looks at Duane, takes his coat, and starts out.)
DUANE BARRY: I'm sorry.
(Mulder looks back.)
They had to take her. I hope they're not hurting her... too much with the tests. I'm sorry.
(Mulder walks out. He starts down the hallway, passing Krycek.)
KRYCEK: What, what's the matter, what, what'd he say to you?
MULDER: No, he's giving me nothing. Were you out here alone?
KRYCEK: Yeah, why?
MULDER: Nobody goes in or out of that room.
(He starts walking.)
MAN: Hey, Mulder?
(Mulder waves the man off. He walks to the window and looks through it. In one of the lights, he sees Scully on an operating table, crosses of light shining over her arms. A drill starts spinning down from the ceiling towards her. Scully's eyes open suddenly. Another instrument comes down from the ceiling. Then, he sees some kind of tube attached to Scully's belly button. Her stomach starts inflating, being filled with air. It grows very large as two figures, presumably aliens, watch in the background. Mulder hears a click and turns around, startled. He sees the door ajar. He walks through.)
APB WIRE CONTROLLER: Rescue two, we're on the Warsaw building, southwest.
(He walks over and looks through the window to Duane's room. He sees Barry talking to Krycek. Mulder taps on the window and Krycek looks back at him. Mulder waves him out. Krycek says a few more things to Barry and leaves the room, walking over to Mulder.)
MULDER: What are you doing in there?
KRYCEK: I heard him...
MULDER: Come here.
(They walk away from the window.)
KRYCEK: I heard him gagging in there, he couldn't breathe.
MULDER: No one...
MULDER: No one!
KRYCEK: He said you choked him!
MULDER: No one is to interrogate the suspect.
KRYCEK: Except you.
MULDER: Except me. Did you ask him about Scully?
MULDER: What'd he say?
KRYCEK: He started whistling "Stairway to Heaven."
(They hear a car pull up. Mulder looks back at the room, then they walk down the hallway, passing a security guard.)
Keep an eye on him.
(The guard walks back to the room as Mulder and Krycek continue to the door. Skinner and three men are standing there.)
SKINNER: You got Duane Barry?
MULDER: Yes, sir.
SKINNER: Agent Mulder, you disobeyed my direct order.
GUARD: Call the paramedics!
(Mulder, Krycek, Skinner and the others run in to see two guards kneeling over Barry, who is on the ground choking. Mulder kneels down next to them.)
MULDER: What happened?
GUARD: He was gagging...
MULDER: Duane? Duane?
(Duane gags and wheezes.)
(Duane looks at him slightly, his body tensed. Suddenly, he wheezes a final breath as his body untenses. His eyes close shut. Two paramedics run in, one carrying a kit.)
PARAMEDIC #1: Coming through!
(They kneel down. The first one listens for breathing as the second one unpacks his kit. Mulder stands up and backs away next to Krycek.)
PARAMEDIC #2: Respiration?
PARAMEDIC #1: Hmm, nothing. CPR...
(The first paramedic takes a plastic piece and fits it into Barry's mouth, then puts a pump respirator over that.)
PARAMEDIC #2: Ready?
(The respirator wheezes as the three agents watch on.)
One, two, three, four, five...
(The respirator wheezes again four times. Skinner stares at Mulder.)
One, two, three...
FBI ACADEMY MORGUE; QUANTICO, VIRGINIA; 6:07 AM
(Barry's body is under a sheet on the table. His toe-tag reads:
Name: Barry, Duane
Case No. 197735 Date: 6/17/94
Where taken from: Skyland, VA."
Mulder is standing over it. A female doctor walks in.)
PATHOLOGIST: Excuse me.
MULDER: I'm Agent Mulder. I'd like a copy of this man's autopsy report.
PATHOLOGIST: I'm sorry, it's still incomplete.
MULDER: Are you the pathologist?
MULDER: Can I ask what your preliminary findings are?
(She sighs and looks at the clipboard she's carrying.)
PATHOLOGIST: Umm... "Second-degree burns to the face, contusions about the neck, bruised larynx..." If I had to list cause of death at this point, I'd have to say asphyxiation. Were you expecting something else?
(She walks around the body. Mulder coughs.)
MULDER: You haven't run a toxicological yet?
PATHOLOGIST: They should be finished shortly.
MULDER: I'd be interested to see what you find. When will they be on file?
PATHOLOGIST: Later this morning.
MULDER: I'd like a copy as soon as possible, please.
PATHOLOGIST: Oh, I'm sorry, you'll have to go through regular military channels.
MULDER: What do you mean, "military?" You're not F.B.I.?
PATHOLOGIST: Quantico's under military jurisdiction. There wasn't an F.B.I. pathologist available this morning.
(She wheels the body out as somebody holds the door for her.)
DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON, D.C.; 6:16 AM
(Krycek walks through an underground parking lot warily, looking around as he walks. He opens the driver's side door of his car and gets in. He looks to his right and sees the Cigarette-Smoking Man. He clears his throat.)
KRYCEK: Skinner's expecting my report on the Duane Barry incident. What do I tell him?
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: The truth.
(He stubs out his cigarette.)
KRYCEK: What do you mean?
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: Confirm Mulder's version of events. You've earned his trust, the object now is to preserve it.
KRYCEK: For how much longer?
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: Until your assignment is complete.
KRYCEK: If Mulder is such a threat, why not eliminate him?
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: That's not policy.
KRYCEK: It's not? After what you had me do?
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: Kill Mulder and you risk turning one man's religion into a crusade.
KRYCEK: What about Scully?
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: We've taken care of that.
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: We tell you only what you need to know.
KRYCEK: I think I have a right to know.
CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN: You have no rights, only orders to be carried out. If you have a problem with that, we'll make other arrangements.
(He gets out of the car, leaving Krycek alone.)
FBI HEADQUARTERS; WASHINGTON, D.C.; 10:36 A.M.
(Skinner is looking at a picture of Duane Barry.)
SKINNER: Victim appears to have expired from prolonged hypoxemia, secondary to asphyxiation.
(He passes it around the table to a man.)
Several possible etiologies and most likely strangulation due to the presence of contusions and a bruised larynx. Do you want to speak to this, Agent Mulder?
(The man passes it to a woman, who puts it down in front of Mulder.)
MULDER: I didn't kill him, if that's what you're suggesting.
SKINNER: But you attacked him?
MULDER: I was interrogating him about Agent Scully. He wasn't cooperating so I pushed him.
MAN: And you lost control.
MULDER: Momentarily. But then I left the room. He was very much alive, I spoke to him. Agent Krycek spoke to him.
(We now see the Cigarette-Smoking Man watching on.)
SKINNER: Agent Krycek says he entered the room because the suspect was gagging.
MULDER: Is Agent Krycek asserting that I killed him too?
SKINNER: No. He corroborates your story. But the fact is, we've got a dead suspect, Agent Mulder and no other plausible cause of death. O.P.C. wants the both of you to take a lie detector test. You're to report there immediately.
MULDER: There is another plausible cause of death.
SKINNER: Which is?
MULDER: Poisoning by injection or ingestion.
(The other people at the table look back at Skinner, who flips through his file.)
MULDER: You won't find that on the navy pathologist's report.
SKINNER: What are you saying, Agent Mulder?
MULDER: That the autopsy is incomplete. That the military covered up the toxicological findings.
SKINNER: And why would they do that?
MULDER: Because they know where Scully is.
MAN: Why are you so paranoid, Mulder?
MULDER: Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because I find it hard to trust anybody.
(He walks out. Skinner looks at the Cigarette-Smoking Man, who takes a drag. Outside, Mulder walks up to Krycek, who is walking down the hall reading a file, and puts his hand on his shoulder.)
MULDER: Alex? Alex, can I borrow your car keys?
KRYCEK: Why, where are you going?
MULDER: There's someone I've got to see.
KRYCEK: Yeah, but we're scheduled at O.P.C...
MULDER: I know, just give me the car keys please.
(Krycek sighs, reaches into his pocket, and hands Mulder the keys.)
(He turns and walks away. Krycek watches him go, a dour expression on his face.)
OFFICE OF SENATOR RICHARD MATHESON; 11:45 A.M.
(Outside the building, people hustle and cars fly by. Inside, Mulder walks up some stairs and starts towards his office, but X appears at the top of the next flight of stairs.)
X: You've wasted a trip, Mister Mulder. There's nothing the Senator can do for you now.
(Mulder walks up the stairs to him.)
X: Not without committing political suicide.
MULDER: Why? Do they have something on him?
X: They have something on everyone, Mister Mulder. The question is when they'll use it.
MULDER: I need his help.
X: No one can help you now. Your channels of appeal and recourse are closed.
MULDER: Your predecessor could have helped me.
(They stare at each other. Mulder looks away for a second, then walks around him, shaking his head.)
Oh... you know, don't you? You know what's happened to her.
(X turns to face him as Mulder walks.)
X: This reaches beyond any of us, Mister Mulder. Even my predecessor.
MULDER: I want an answer!
X: Why kill Duane Barry if there was nothing to hide?
MULDER: You mean the government?
X: There are no answers for you, Mister Mulder. They only have one policy...
(He steps into the light, and we can see his face clearly for the first time.)
(X walks past him and up the stairs. Mulder thinks for a second, then walks back down the stairs and out. Passing businessmen, he goes to the car and gets in. He thinks for a second, then opens up the ashtray. He sees the cigarette butts. He picks up one and looks at it. He puts it back and slams the drawer shut.)
FBI HEADQUARTERS; WASHINGTON, D.C.; 8:11 A.M.
(Skinner sits at his desk, looking at Mulder's report. Mulder stands, waiting, a thick stubble on his face.)
SKINNER: This is a serious allegation, Agent Mulder.
MULDER: So long as it's true.
SKINNER: "Agent Krycek was hired or suborned by an outside agency to impede a federal investigation and may be responsible for the death of a suspect in a capitol murder case."?
MULDER: It goes on.
SKINNER: "And the possible murder of the tram operator at Skyland Mountain." There's a lot of blood on this document, Agent Mulder. Are you standing behind this, going on the record?
MULDER: Yes, sir.
SKINNER: Then you damn well better have the facts to back it up.
(Mulder nods. Skinner presses a button his intercom, which beeps.)
I need to see Agent Krycek immediately.
(He stands and goes to the window.)
I can't protect you, Agent Mulder. Past a point, this will become a larger bureau matter.
(He turns around and looks at him.)
All right, what do you got?
(Mulder pulls a small bag containing the cigarette butt he found out of his pocket. He tosses it next to an ashtray full of them.)
MULDER: I found this in Agent Krycek's car. He doesn't smoke. Agent Krycek was the last person with Duane Barry before he died. He was also the last person to see the tram operator before he disappeared. When I got to the top of Skyline Mountain, I saw an unmarked helicopter working the area. I believe that Agent Krycek gave away the whereabouts of Duane Barry and Agent Scully to whoever he's working with.
SKINNER: And who is that?
MULDER: I don't know, the military? Some covert organization within the government? Whoever it is that man who smokes those cigarettes works for.
MULDER: Because Agent Scully got too close to whatever it is they're trying to deny. Because she had hard and damning evidence, that metallic implant in her possession. Or because her termination would prevent further involvement with me and my work.
SKINNER: Do you think Agent Scully's dead?
MULDER: I don't know. How far do you think they'd go?
(Skinner looks away.)
What do you know about Agent Krycek?
SKINNER: I didn't give him the assignment, I only...
(The phone rings. Skinner looks at it and picks it up. He listens for a second or two.)
Yes. Thank you.
(He hangs up.)
Agent Krycek didn't show up for work this morning. His home number has been disconnected.
(He sits down.)
MULDER: That's it? He's gone, he just disappears into the woodwork?
SKINNER: So it would appear.
(Mulder stands and marches towards the door angrily before turning back.)
MULDER: Who are these people who can just murder with impunity and we can't do anything about it?
SKINNER: Let it go, Agent Mulder.
MULDER: Like hell.
SKINNER: There's nothing you can do.
MULDER: What can you do about it?
SKINNER: There's only one thing I can do, Agent Mulder. As of right now, I'm reopening the X-Files.
That's what they fear the most.
(Agent Mulder walks out. Later, he sits down on a park bench. Margaret Scully walks up to him.)
MARGARET SCULLY: Agent Mulder?
Thank you for calling me.
MULDER: I'm sorry I don't have better news.
MARGARET SCULLY: Do you know something? Is Dana okay?
MULDER: We don't know anything more about her.
MARGARET SCULLY: I know you're doing all you can.
(Mulder motions for her to sit. She does so, and Mulder sits down next to her.)
I had that dream again last night. About Dana being taken away? I can't tell you how it scares me.
MULDER: It's probably scarier when you stop having the dream. Don't you think?
(They look at each other. She looks about to cry. They both look down at the floor in silence for a few seconds. Mulder is about to say something, but stops himself. He pulls Dana's cross necklace out of his pocket.)
I found this.
(He puts it in her hand.)
It's something I... I never considered about her. If she was... if she was such a skeptic, why did she wear that?
MARGARET SCULLY: I gave it to her on her fifteenth birthday.
(Mulder nods. She places the cross back in his hand.)
MULDER: Don't you want to keep it?
(She closes his hand.)
MARGARET SCULLY: When you find her, you give it to her.
(He nods slightly.)
SKYLAND MOUNTAIN, VIRGINIA
(Mulder walks alone up to the top of the hill. He looks out at the trees, then up at the stars. He stares at them, looking crestfallen.)
[TO BE CONTINUED ...]