In rural Utah, a
man (later identified as Hank) waits at a lonely country bus stop. A
bus approaches in the distance and he flags it down, but it drives
past him, finally stopping down the road a bit. He gets on board the
crowded bus, which has a woman driver. Almost immediately after it
begins moving, however, the bus stops again and all of the
passengers disembark, including one man on crutches. Hank is
bewildered as they walk away from the road into the brush. Suddenly
the driver begins striking the man on crutches on the head with a
rock, eventually killing him. Several of the passengers close in on
Hank as he screams.
Scully is at the
scene, examining footprints and other evidence. On a rock she finds
some slimy stuff that she takes a sample off. She uses a nearby pay
phone at the RoadRunner Bus Lines rural bus stop to phone Agent
Doggett, because there is no cell phone coverage in the area.
Doggett is surprised to learn that she is in Utah but she says the
call came in over the weekend from the local coroner who asked for
her help because the body shows the spinal characteristics of an
elderly person - osteoporosis, arthritis and chaephosis of the
vertebrae, although the victim was a 22 year old.
Scully remembers a
file that is similar - glycoproteins, mucus had been found on the
crime scene, but she can't remember details. Doggett agrees to
search the files. As they talk, a bus drives by.
didn't need me to tag along?
Scully: It's just a quick consultation. I got the call over
the weekend, figured I wouldn't bother you.
Doggett: Yeah. Well, if there's anything I can do from
Scully: There may be actually, if you don't mind.
Scully: There was an unsolved murder we had on file. I'm
sorry -- I don't remember any particulars, when or where it took
place. But it mentioned glycoproteins found at the crime scene.
Scully: Mucus. It couldn't be identified. Knowing you've read
through all our files recently, I was hoping it'd ring a bell.
Doggett: I don't have a great memory for mucus, but I'm happy
to look. Do you remember anything else?
[The bus passes them]
Scully: I'm sorry…? (as the ROAR fades) No. Just mucus.
Doggett: So, I assume from you wanting me to cross-reference
an X-file case that you're out there investigating an X-file. (beat)
I mean, just so we're clear.
Scully: No. Like I said, it's a simple consultation. If it
turns into something more, I'll certainly give you a call.
Doggett: : Promise?
Scully sees it turn
onto a side road, and drives after it. She stops at a small, rundown
gas station and talks with the proprietor, who has a hand wound. She
tells him that she is a doctor. She tells him that she needs gas,
but he doesn't have any as the tanker that was supposed to come,
never did. She tells him that she had a quarter tank left so she'd
be fine, but he tells her to wait. He gets a can of gas and puts it
in her car. She asks him where exactly they are as she cant find the
town on the map. It isn't really a town, he tells her, just a few
like minded people trying to keep the modern world at bay. As Scully
leaves, he enters a house and the bus driver is there, with Hank,
apparently ill, on a bed. He tells them that help is coming.
Scully's car dies
and she has to walk back to the store. She demands to see the gas
can -- it contains water. The proprietor says it must have gotten
rain in it. Scully doesn't buy that as they were in a desert. She
angrily asks for the phone. The store doesn't have a phone, but
there is one up the street at Mr. Milsap's house. She goes there,
but there is no dial tone and it's anybody's guess when it might be
back. Scully is immediately suspicious that somebody doesn't want
her to leave. Milsap denies that a bus came through that place.
Viewers recognize him as one of the people who were on the bus. The
state road is 18 miles away, and another 20 to the next town -- too
far to walk. Scully follows another woman she sees walking in town,
but there appears to be a Bible group meeting in the woman's house,
and nobody comes to the door. Scully knocks on other doors, without
being answered. She ends up taking a room with Milsap -- his place
used to be a boarding house, but she readies her gun. Outdoors,
people are walking down the road carrying lanterns.
There is a knock on
Scully's door -- Milsap says it is an emergency. There is a man
downstairs who needs help. She finds Hank on the bed, having a
convulsion. The woman is there with Milsap. They tell her that they
don’t know his name. He is only a stranger that needed help.
Scully holds him down and asks how long he has been seizing. The
woman says about three or four minutes and asks what’s wrong with
him. Scully says that she thinks that he’s in statis, a continuous
seizure state. She says that she doesn’t smell like acetone, which
would indicate that he is hypoglycemic. He doesn’t appear to have
any head injuries; he could be epileptic and could have forgotten to
take his medicine.
As she cares for
him she finds a poorly bandaged back wound. She says he needs to get
to a hospital immediately but is told that nobody there has a car.
They tell her that they could send someone on foot to get help.
Scully agrees, but knows that they're lying.
calls the sheriff's department and is surprised to learn that Scully
has not checked in. He requests that a car be sent out to look for
her. Doggett asks for a trace on Scully's call from the previous
day. Scully's cell phone is still not working and there isn't much
more she can do for Hank without medication. Hank awakes, and to
Scully's amazement, the woman there starts thanking god and saying
how scared they were. Hank asks to talk to Scully alone. He doesn't
recall his name or how he got there. The people there seem to take
very good care of him, even to the point of stranding her there to
help him. Scully feels that a dozen people committed the murder, by
stoning, and suspects it is the work of a cult. She needs to get her
patient out of there, but as she checks his back wound she finds
something moving under his skin. With a pocket tool she grabs part
of it through the wound, but the rest crawls deeper under the skin.
Doggett learns that
the phone Scully called from was near the crime scene. The previous
call from that payphone was on the night of the murder -- a man
named Hank called his sister to say he was on his way to her home,
but never arrived. Doggett informs the sheriff's office that he is
on his way to Utah to help look for Scully.
Scully feels that
the wound on her patient's back is a point of entry for a parasite
that has taken up residence along his spine. She thinks that these
people put the parasite in him and thinks that they killed the last
person who was in his condition. She will try to get them both out
of there. She crawls out the window to scout around, leaving her gun
so that Hank can defend himself. As soon as she leaves the room, the
bus driver and Mr. Milsap enters, and Hank tells them "we need
Doggett arrives in
Utah with a photo with information on several previous similar
murders -- all victims had their brains beaten out and all remain
unsolved. The murders range throughout the desert southwest, the
more remote the location the better.
Scully enters a
barn and finds the bus, but Hank is there, too, limping after her.
The other townspeople enter. They stalk her and she runs, but they
catch her. Her life is about to take a wonderful turn, Hank tells
her. She is about to become part of something larger, about to
become very loved. The people chant "Amen". They kill Hank
with a hammer, smashing his skull. From his back the bus driver
takes a bloody, writhing parasite and advances on Scully. She pleads
that she is pregnant, but they bare her back and close in on her.
Scully is tied down
to the bed, on her stomach. There is a large gaping hole in her
lower back. She is screaming, trying to get away. Scully yells to
Milsap that she’s going to get everyone of them. He tells her that
she won’t. She will love them, protect them, and teach them,
making them better than they are. He tells her that he envies that
she will soon be one with "Him.” She yells, questioning that
the thing in her spine is a 'Him'. The thing moves and she cries out
in pain. Milsap tells her that it is such a wonderful thing for her
and her unborn child. He says that the last man just wasn’t a
suitable tabernacle. There is always the chance that her body
won’t fail him and he will be in her forever.
Scully sees the
lights of a car drive up but they gag her so she cannot call for
help. It is Doggett. He shows Scully's picture but the people deny
having seen her. Scully uses her tied foot to knock over a kerosene
lamp, which burns on the floor, but Doggett doesn't notice the fire.
Doggett drives off but soon stops and radios the sheriff's
department. He got a definite "vibe" from the situation.
talked to a guy who had a gun in his pocket and I don’t mean he
was happy to see me.
department will send everybody they've got, but Doggett can't wait.
He locates where Scully is being held, possibly by hearing her
moans, and knocks out the man attending her. Her cuts her bonds. She
can't walk as far as his car, so at her direction, he carries her to
the bus. He hotwires it, but she feels the parasite moving. She
demands that he cut it out of her because it his heading for her
brain. He does, slicing into the skin at the back of her neck, as
the townspeople enter the barn and try to get into the bus. They
break windows. Doggett extracts the parasite and shoots it until its
dead. Immediately the people stop moving and become silent. Doggett
carries Scully off the bus and the people do not interfere. As he
walks out of the barn, several sheriff's vehicles drive up.
A week later, at
the hospital, Scully packs her bags, ready to leave. Doggett reports
that the grand jury convenes today. The people will claim that they
are being persecuted for the religious beliefs. They apparently
thought the parasite was the second coming. Scully apologizes for
leaving Doggett out of the case and vows she won't do it again. He
responds, telling her that he appreciates it. Scully turns away from
him and picks up her bag, but he takes it from her and they start to
scenes from Original Script
From the Script: We
STEADICAM ahead of Scully as she walks fast, leaves the man behind
on his porch. She touches a hand to her stomach -- an unconscious
gesture, one protective of her unborn child. If only one viewer in a
hundred gets it, fine.