Helena, Montana, a UFO zooms over a deserted rural area. A young man
in a car is pursuing, taking photographs with one hand and dictating
into a pocket recorder as he goes. It is Richie, who Mulder and
Scully met in Bellefleur, OR, in the episode Requiem. The UFO hovers
and Richie stops his car and gets out. He runs to the top of a hill,
saying "This is not happening" to himself, and finds that
the UFO has disappeared, but he sees someone walking nearby. Running
after the man, Richie trips and finds a body on the ground.
Scully arrives at
the X-Files office -- Doggett has called her in and takes her to
Skinner's office. Teresa Hoese, formerly Nemmen, has been found. She
was abducted just before Mulder and is now in a Montana hospital,
just hanging on to life. Scully, Doggett and Skinner fly to Helena
and rush to the hospital. The doctor says she has been severely
mistreated. It is as if someone was experimenting on her. In
addition to many other injuries, there are marks on her face as if
the skin had been pierced and stretched. Police deliver their report
to Doggett, after which the three FBI agents go to see Richie. He is
in Montana looking for his friend, Gary, who was also abducted.
Internet chat rooms have told him that there has been a lot of UFO
activity nearby over the last couple of weeks. He claims to have
seen someone with Teresa and police evidence also found footprints
-- of Nikes. Doggett pressures Richie, asking if he thinks aliens
wear Nikes. Richie responds that it it wasn't an alien, what about
his spaceship? Doggett is disgusted. Scully sees it as their first
break in the search for Mulder. Doggett tells Scully that he thinks
she is also afraid to find Mulder, because of what might have
happened to him.
Scully wakes from a
bad dream about Mulder being experimented on. She goes to Skinner's
room and they talk outside the motel. Scully relates a conversation
with Mulder about starlight and about how the light we see may be
millions of years old. Mulder thought that souls dwell in starlight
and she hopes he's right. Skinner says it sounds like she is trying
to prepare herself, but encourages her to stop -- Mulder may be
fine. Jeremiah Smith, first seen in the episode Talitha Cumi, enters
the hospital and morphs to look like Teresa's doctor. He tells a
nurse to prepare Teresa to be transferred to another facility. He is
wearing Nikes. Scully's phone wakes her up with the news that Teresa
is gone and the doctor denies having transferred her.
Skinner and Scully
drive up to the open field where Teresa was found. Doggett has
called them to meet him there. He introduces Monica Reyes, an FBI
agent from the New Orleans office who specializes in ritualistic
crime. Doggett asked her to help with the case. She suspects that
the abductions may be the work of a UFO cult, similar to Heaven's
Gate, an opinion which rubs Scully the wrong way. Doggett follows
and tells Scully that if she is going to contend that there is an
alien bounty hunter involved, they have to part company. "Enjoy
your new company," Scully says.
A man later
identified as Absalom enters a rustic rural building. Jeremiah is in
the building with Teresa. He is using the alien power to heal wounds
on her. Absalom cries with joy while Jeremiah is performing the
healing. They were almost too late, he observes. Scully finds Monica
at the hospital, looking at Teresa's x-rays. She says she is looking
for evidence of implants. Scully doesn't understand. Monica says she
still believes that this is the work of a cult, but that she doesn't
disbelieve the reports of alien abductions, and implants are often
reported in such cases. She has worked on many cases of satanic
ritualistic crimes, but never found direct evidence is Satan.
("We should talk," quips Scully.) Monica believes that
there are energies in the universe that she is sensitive to. She can
sense Scully's fear. Later, Monica is driving down a rural highway,
sees a UFO and follows it. It has left another person behind.
Jeremiah and Absalom are loading the body into a pickup truck when
Monica runs over a nearby hill, calling that she is a federal agent.
The two men drive off before she can approach them. In the grass
nearby Monica finds a second body -- it is Richie's friend, Gary.
Scully does an
autopsy on Gary. He has all of the same kinds of injuries Teresa
did. Scully is more scared than ever for Mulder. Doggett and Monica
talk in the hall. When they worked together before, she helped
during a three-day search for Doggett's son. She knows that Scully
fears finding what Monica and Doggett did find, i.e. Doggett's dead
son. She understands that this is why Doggett is so determined to
find Mulder. Monica recognized Absalom in the field. He was a
doomsday cultist who believed that an alien invasion would begin at
the start of the Millennium. When that didn't happen, he got
involved in credit card fraud, and other activities. Monica also saw
the license number of the pickup and traced it to a place about an
hour drive away. Absalom's people are eating outdoors, around a
campfire. Jeremiah comes up and says "they are coming" and
"you can't let them find him." The compound is soon raided
by law enforcement, including Scully, Doggett, Skinner and Monica.
There are dozens of people there, many sleeping in rough dormitory
buildings. In one, Scully finds Teresa, alive and well. They
question Absalom who is evasive. He now thinks that the alien
invasion really did begin with the new millennium, but just not the
way he expected. There are video cameras all over the compound,
which he claims are to give the abductees a feeling of safety -- so
they can see if the aliens return for them. Scully shows him a
picture of Mulder, but Absalom shakes his head, no. In her motel
room, Scully sees a vision of Mulder standing before her, but when
she looks away for a moment, he is no longer there.
Monica has reviewed
the tapes and shows scenes to the others. On one, Scully recognizes
Jeremiah, who she recalls Mulder believed had the power to heal.
They see him morph on the video tape, changing to look like Doggett,
although Doggett was never in that building. The agents return to
the compound, where riot troops are still in control. Scully asks
for Jeremiah. Picking out one likely suspect from a crowd, she
questions him privately. He morphs and really is Jeremiah. He says
that he saves abductees and he was trying to help Mulder, too.
Skinner comes in. "You'd better come with us," he says.
They have found Mulder, wrapped in a blanket, on the ground a
distance away from the compound.
Scully rushes up,
frantic to help him, but Doggett holds her back, saying that it is
too late. Knowing that Jeremiah has the power to heal, she turns and
runs through the dark back to the compound, but finds a UFO hovering
over the main building, a light beaming down into it. She enters the
shaking building; there are many of the abductees still inside. When
the light goes out, Scully discovers that Jeremiah is gone. She
sinks to her knees, crying, and moaning, "this is not
happening." To be continued in April.