"Fox & Rat" Virtual Series - Season Nine

 

Review By: Emma Keturah

"Got gunpowder?" -Scully

Yep, that can only mean one thing. Scully, Knowle and Skinner are in the wilderness and trying to start a fire. I do love it when there is a sort of in-joke for fans of The X-Files :D These teriffic three characters have left civilization behind (and who can blame them after their adventure in New York) for the relative safety of forest.

Cassie seems to have experimented with a different style this week. Skinner does a lot of first-person thinking and reveals some things from his past that we as readers will be a little shocked at. Skinner seems to have found a new purpose to his existence and I for one look forward to seeing if he can see it through to the end.

9x04 "Demons"

Title: "Demons"
Written by: Cassie
Date: August 14 – 17, 2006; November 19, 2006; November 25, 2006
Air Date: November 27, 2006
Rating: PG-13
Series: FRVS - Episode #177
Spoilers: Past episodes of FRVS may be spoiled.
Feedback: E-mail us at foxandratvs@gmail.com (please include the episode name in the subject) Thank you.
Archiving: "Fox & Rat" Virtual Series only!
Disclaimer: "The X-Files" and its characters belong to 20th Century FOX Broadcasting. If you recognize it, it's not our own creation. Original characters belong to Cassie and Kristi (FRVS).
Author's Note: The personalities of the characters within the world of "Fox & Rat" are not those you know from "The X-Files" television series. We have warped them and given them a common past, immature behavior and a sense of humor. Any horrid behavior should not be mimicked in your every day life.
Summary: Skinner must face the past to confront the future.


FADE IN:

Memories canít change. Memories canít go away. You either deal with them and move on, or ignore them and remain in the past. In order to survive what the aliens have done and whatever plans they may have in the future, I must face my demons and win. My life depends on it. Knowleís life depends on it, and most important to me, Danaís life depends on it.

I couldnít save John for her. I owe her everything. Iíve got to protect her. Iíd give my life for hers.

I see her. Sheís standing in front of me about twenty feet away. Her mouth moves, sheís saying something to me. I canít hear or I donít understand.

I look down, thereís a gun in my hand. Unwillingly, some force raises my arm and aims the gun directly at Scully. Sheís terrified, but does not move.

You canít miss a stationary target, not with the Marines training Iíve had.

I click back the hammer and my finger squeezes the trigger.

BAM!

Startled awake, Skinner sits up straight. Heís been sleeping on the dry, dirt ground next to Knowleís Hummer. He looks aroundÖ whereís Scully? He sees Knowle crouched next to some pieces of wood and twigs, heís trying to start a fire by hitting two stones together. The air is too hot and humid for that to work.

Skinner looks to his left, Scully is sitting at the bank of a river about 70 feet away from him and Knowle. Her back is to them. Skinner lets out a sigh and tilts his head back to look up at the sky thatís just beginning to sparkle with starlight.

The heat and humidity has been too much for Scully lately, and wiggling her toes in the warm river water doesnít do much to cool her off. She digs her toes into the cool sand beneath the water in front of her. Sheís wearing blue jean shorts and a white tank top. Her clothes are very dirty. Her hair is up in a ponytail, some loose strands fall carelessly around her face. She dips her hand into the river water and splashes water onto the back of her neck.

She feels a bit dehydrated. Itís been incredibly hot and she hasnít had a lot of water to drink lately because she does not want to be wasteful. She should know better, but feels more water should go to Knowle and Skinner since they do all the hard work.

She glances back at Knowle and Skinner. She doesnít understand how Knowle can tolerate this heat in his military fatigues: camouflage army pants and long sleeve shirts. Heís always dressed as if heíll be in combat any minute. He spoke of his experience in Saudi Arabia in the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, maybe the heat theyíve been getting isnít as hot as the heat of the Saudi desert.

Skinnerís more laid back. Sure he wears those camouflage pants, but in this heat he has the common sense to wear a white T-shirt.

A small smile forms on her face. They have no idea how attractive they look decked out in military wear.

Scully stands up, taking a moment to balance herself from some dizziness she feels. She walks out into the river. The warm water feels cool on her heated skin. Sheíd do anything for a cold shower complete with shampoo, and body wash. She glances behind her again. Neither Knowle nor Skinner are looking in her direction right now.

She unbuttons her jean shorts and removes them, tossing them up on the river bank. She peels off her tank top and tosses it too. She keeps her white bra and panties on as she ventures out deeper into the water.

Skinner looks over at her, needing to keep an eye on her. The world is not safe anymore. He picks up his rifle and unlocks it, he holds it just in case he needs to use it to protect her. He feels obligated to her because he blames himself for Johnís death.

Knowle quickly glances at Scully.

KNOWLE
She ought to be more careful.
Shouldnít be takiní a swim
without one of us there with her.

He hits the two rocks together again. Still, no fire.

KNOWLE
Youíd think theyíd take the
time in the Corps to teach this.

SKINNER
I think Dana knows how to do it.
I can get her if you want.

KNOWLE
No need, Iím quite capable of
getting a fire started.

SKINNER
I see.

Skinner looks at the pile of twigs and dead leaves, thereís no sign of fire.

KNOWLE
Give me time.

Skinner stands up.

SKINNER
Well, while Iím giving you time, Iím
gonna go keep an eye on Dana.

Skinner heads towards Dana, carrying his rifle with him.

KNOWLE
(warning him)
Remember, sheís Johnís girl.

Knowle hits the rocks together again. He wishes he packed a lighter. He has matches, but refuses to use them unless absolutely necessary.

Skinner arrives at the riverís edge. Dana hasnít noticed him yet. He watches her as she holds her breath and goes underwater. The river water may not be the cleanest, but rinsing sure does feel good. She resurfaces.

SKINNER
Dana!

Scully is startled, she gasps and turns around to face him.

SKINNER
Want me to have Knowle bring
you a clean change of clothes?

SCULLY
No, but thank you. Iíd rather
wear those dirty things until I
canít stand them anymore.

She runs her hands over her wet hair as she walks out of the water. Skinner does his best to not look at her in her wet undergarments. He looks to his side, out into the dark Connecticut forest. Scully picks up her shorts and tank top and puts them in the water, swirling them around to wash some of the dirt off.

SCULLY
Could you get a blanket so I can
wrap myself in it while my clothes dry off?

Skinner nods his head and heads back to Knowleís Hummer to retrieve a blanket.

Scully moves her clothes around in the water to wash them off as best she can. She wishes she had laundry detergent. She wishes that Knowle would agree to find an abandoned motel for them to stay in, but he insists that staying away from areas of civilization is safer. Hiding out in the middle of nowhere makes them more difficult to find. She knows heís right based on what they witnessed in New York City. People struggling to survive were taken by the aliens and for reasons unknown to them.

She feels like an outsider with Knowle and Skinner. Theyíre trained Marines, both have been in combat before. Skinner in Vietnam and Knowle in the Gulf. All she has is FBI training, which is good and all, but not up to par with the Marine CorpsÖ and she has her medical background. Sheís not trained to handle the weapons Knowle stole from the Marines, sheíd never be able to hold her own in hand-to-hand combat against the aliens.

She constantly feels helpless, as if her being with them serves no purpose except making them bandage up minor wounds. She doesnít mind being protected by two strong Marines, but what if something were to happen to them both? Sheíd be defenseless. No one would be able to protect her.

She wishes she had a picture of John in the bag she packed when the bees began the alien attack on the planet. She found a picture of him in his formal Marines uniform, but she didnít pack it, she kept it out to look at when she was alone in the basement. She packed pictures of his parents, his brother, his Marine buddies, her brothers and sister and even one of herself, but none of John.

All she has is her memory of him, and the diamond engagement ring she wears on her finger. All she has to do is close her eyes and she can see him. But how soon until his memory begins to fade? How soon until she canít visualize every line on his forehead? How soon before she forgets the sound of his voice or the touch of his skin on her own? Her heart breaks.

She closes her eyes and feels tears surfacing. She bites her lower lip and opens her eyes. A tear falls down her face, Johnís not here to wipe it away gently with his thumb. Sheíll never feel his touch again and it kills her inside to know this.

She hears Skinner returning. She wipes her tear away with the back of her hand. She doesnít want him and Knowle to know how much pain sheís in since she found out John died when the aliens attacked his bunker two months ago.

SKINNER
Hereís a blanket.

Scully turns around and forces a smile through her pain. She stands and takes the blanket from Skinner. She wraps it around her body and struggles a bit to remove her undergarments.

SKINNER
Look uhÖ Knowle needs your
help getting a fire going.

SCULLY
Doesnít he have matches?

Scully tucks the blanket under her arms, she picks up her wet clothing.

SKINNER
He does, but doesnít want to use
them incase we need them for something
more important later.

SCULLY
Important? Like what? Itís been
well into 100 degrees.

SKINNER
I donít know, maybe heís hoping
weíll have a cold winter.

SCULLY
(laughs)
After the winter we had last year?
The aliens are regulating the planetís
climate, cold weather weakens them, hot
weather gives them strength.

Skinner looks at her. Her eyes are sad, and red from crying.

SKINNER
(soft)
Youíve been crying.

SCULLY
What?

SKINNER
Your eyes. (beat) Youíve been crying.

Scully forces him another fake smile.

SCULLY
Must be water from the river.
(beat) Iím fine.

Scully walks back towards Knowle.

SKINNER
Get that fire started. Iím going
to go find something to eat. Itís
been awhile since weíve had a good meal.

SCULLY
Donít venture out too far.

She walks back up to the Hummer and sets her wet clothes on the hood to dry. She goes over to Knowle, heís still trying to get that fire started.

SCULLY
Got gunpowder?

Knowle looks at her.

KNOWLE
Whereís Walter?

SCULLY
He said he was going out to find
something to eat. I assume he means
heís off hunting some animal.

KNOWLE
He went alone?

SCULLY
Yeah.

Knowle hits the rocks together again. No fire.

SCULLY
Did you put gunpowder on the leaves?

KNOWLE
We shouldnít, thatís ammo and you
and I both know how important ammo is.

SCULLY
Then youíre never going to get
a fire started like that.

Knowle sets the rocks down. Sheís right.

KNOWLE
Guess weíll have to find a
convenience store and stock up
on matches and lighters.

Knowle stands up and goes to get matches out of the glove compartment in his Hummer.

CUT TO:

EXT. WOODS Ė CONTINUOUS

Skinner walks carefully, his senses heightened. He holds a hunting knife in one hand and carries his rifle in the other. The sun has completely set now and visibility is low, he has only the light of the moon to guide himÖ

My heart is pounding in my chest, feels like a fucking heart attack. Iím too old to be going through this shit. The fear I have nowÖ the last time I felt it was in ĎNam, creeping silently through the hot and humid forest of Vietnam, expecting a VC attack at any moment. The fucking Gooks always caught us by surprise, I fear thatís what the aliens will do to me now.

A small animal scurries by me. My instinct in my paranoia is to drop to the ground and cover my head. I expect grenades, gunfire, but all I hear is silence.

The calm before the storm. Iím use to silence before an attack.

A twig snaps behind me. I quickly turn around. Thereís nothing. I strain my ears and close my eyes. What was that?

WOMANíS VOICE
(whisper)
Ö face your demons and youíll surviveÖ

Did I just hear someone speak? I donít see anyone.

In the distance I see a figure move swiftly. I can make out the shape, it looks human, but moves too quickly to be human. My eyes strain in the darkness. I should head back to Knowle and Dana. I shouldnít have come out hunting alone, at night for that matter.

I turn around and start heading back to the Hummer. My pace quickens. I can feel something following me. Faster and faster I walk until Iím running. I hear a loud shrieking behind me. I look behind my shoulder, thereís something chasing me, and itís no human. I stop, aim my rifle and shoot the figure just before it can pounce me.

The entity drops to the ground. I look closer and see that it is Scully, sheís been hit. I blink my eyes, thereís no way that was Scully chasing me, but here she is at my feet, shot in the gut.

I kneel down by her side. Blood trickles from the corner of her mouth.

SKINNER
DanaÖ

I canít believe Iíve shot her. Has my paranoia gotten the better of me?

I drop my knife and take hold of her neck.

SKINNER
(yells)
Knowle!

I place me palm on her gut and apply pressure to try to stop the bleeding.

SCULLY
(whisper)
Ö and youíll surviveÖ

Her voice is haunting, it sends shivers up my spine.

I lean down and put my ear closer to her mouth. Did she just say what I heard only moments ago in the forest?

She squeezes her eyes shut and winces. Sheís in pain.

SKINNER
(yells)
KNOWLE!

Danaís arm moves. I look down at her and places my other hand on her arm.

SKINNER
(soft)
Honey, donít move. Save your
energy. (whisper) Iím so sorryÖ

I canít believe I shot her. What kind of a fuck up am I to accidentally shoot her? I should have been in more control of myself. I shouldnít have been thinking of ĎNam. I shouldnít have been so paranoid or trigger-happy.

Where the hell is Knowle?

Danaís trying to move her arm again, her strength is weakening. I canít be responsible for her death too. But what can I do? I canít call 9-1-1, shit, Dana is the only medic Knowle and I have. And with the way Knowle seems to always be prepared for an attack, maybe we ought to spend more time going to places that are least likely for us to be attacked. I thought for sure Knowle would want to stay up in New York and I was surprised when he made the call to go back down to Connecticut because he thought it was safer here. Hell, obviously theyíre not safe with him, heís shot her and sheís dying.

I look down at her. The expression on her face is calm now. Sheís slipping away. Her arm goes limp and her breathing stops.

SKINNER
(panic)
Shit, no, Dana!

I place both my hands over her heart and I begin to perform CPR. One, two, three. I place my mouth over hers to give her oxygen. I taste her blood in my mouth. One, two, three.

SKINNER
Címon, Dana, donít do this to me.

One, two, three. I press harder on her chest. This isnít working. I canít cry. I canít believe Iíve killed her. I pull back, away from her body and I sit on the ground. My hands are red, soaked in her blood. I canít cry. Iím in shock.

Sounds of war echo in my mind. In ĎNam I lost a close friend to enemy fire. I tried to save his life as I just tried to save Danaís, both times I failed.

Why do I feel numb? Why donít I have a reaction to what is happening? I love her. I swore to myself that Iíd protect her, for John, and yet she dies from my weapon.

What lesson is a greater power trying to teach me?

I stand up and turn around in a full circle. Thereís noise everywhere: bullets, air craft, helicopters, men yelling, grenades exploding. My muscles are sore. My eyes are sore. I feel like I havenít slept in weeks. Adrenaline pumps through my veins, my heartbeat is fast. Sweat would be dripping off my face if it werenít for the dust and dirt absorbing the perspiration.

My eyes focus on flames. A village is on fire. My gut twists and turns with guilt.

I know this place. Iíve seen this before. What the hell is going on? Why am I back in Vietnam? Am I dreaming? I look down to the ground where Scully should be, but sheís not there. Instead I see the body of a child, whose innocence has been lost in war.

MAN
(off screen)
Helmet! Címon!

I know that voice. I turn around and see John Doggett motioning for me to follow him.

SKINNER
John?

John grabs my arm and pulls me along with him. Weíre running, running fast. My throat burns. Bullets rip through the ground ahead of us. John jerks me quickly to the left, out of the line of fire. We hide in thick brush. I look at John, I canít believe heís here. He shouldnít be, he was only a child when I served in ĎNam. This isnít real, I realize this, but I struggle to understand why Iím here, why heís here. Have I gone mad? Am I losing my mind? Have I, myself, died?

John takes out a radio and speaks into it.

DOGGETT
(yelling)
Send in more fucking reinforcements!
(beat) FUCK!

John throws the radio to the ground. It doesnít work. I look out at the other men running for their lives. So much innocence is lost in times of war. At the time when I was in ĎNam I never thought of how pointless war is. All the killing, destruction, pain, lost loved onesÖ all pointless. What of this alien colonization war? Is there a point? Is there a purpose? What has the human race done to deserve annihilation? To deserve to be wiped clear of existence? The aliens have attacked and I donít understand why. It may take years to understand why and come to terms with all I have seen since the Marine barracks in North Carolina were destroyed.

SKINNER
(to himself/outloud)
Is this real?

DOGGETT
Man, I wish I could tell ya youíre
gonna wake up in the arms of the
woman you banged last night, but Iíd
by lyiní.

Johnís right. All through ĎNam I wished it had all been a horrible nightmare, but it wasnít. John looks up at the smoke-covered sky and then he looks at me with an eerie distance in his cool blue eyes.

DOGGETT
Theyíll do horrible things to her,
you canít let that happen.

All has fallen silent around us. Johnís voice is haunting. His warning repeats inside my mind: ďTheyíll do horrible things to her, you canít let that happen.Ē He must be speaking of Dana. Has he found a way to reach me beyond the grave in order to protect her? That must be what this is. In death, your spirit knows everything, including future events. What is it I have to save Dana from? Before I can ask him, I hear a gunshot break the silence. John falls to the ground. Heís been shot. Not again. Why canít my life be taken instead of my friendís?

I did three tours in ĎNam and each tour was progressively worse than the others. Yet, I always came back alive. I nearly died once, but I came back. There must be a reason I didnít die and maybe that reason is to save Dana, to protect her. Maybe thatís what John came to tell me.

I look at John. Heís not breathing, thereís nothing I can do to help him. This isnít real. This isnít a flashback, this isnít a nightmare. Iím all too aware this is happening. I need to snap out of this and help Dana. Johnís been dead for two months, Danaís bleeding now, been shot in the gut by me no less.

I look back at the smoke and flames. In ĎNam my platoon was given orders to burn down countless villages. The homes of the innocent, those only trying to live their lives day-by-day in a war-torn country, those lives were lost. They became unwilling victims of the war. Men I my platoon would brag about the conquests they made with the women of the villages. Sick men, each and every single one of them. But am I any better? I Looked innocent men in the eyes and pulled the trigger of my rifle. I set fire to homes. I even killed innocent children, one for my own selfish reasons so I wouldnít have to hear her cry for her dead mommy.

For years I had nightmares of what I had done. Iíve never forgiven myself. I chose never to deal with it.

The noise has returned around me, louder than before. More death and carnage. It bothers me, clouds my thinking. I canít think straight, I canít function like I should in all this chaos. Iím amazed Iíve survived this long in alien colonization. My purpose, Iíve decided, is to protect Dana. She hasnít said it, but she feels helpless to Knowle and I, she still hurts from Johnís death.

I see myself in the distance. Itís surreal. My heart skips a beat as I watch myself aim my rifle at a crying child.

A selfish moment. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I watch myself kill the child in cold blood.

SMASH CUT TO: BLACK

FADE IN:

EXT. KNOWLEíS HUMMER Ė 9:40 P.M.

Despite the heat, Knowle finally got a fire started. Scully and Knowle are sitting near the fire, Scullyís giving him Ďthe lookí.

KNOWLE
Iím fine as I am.

SCULLY
I think youíd feel better if
you washed up. Now take off your
clothes and go rinse off in the river.

KNOWLE
Thatís quite all right, Dana.
Thereís no need for me to be
removing my clothes in front of a lady.

SCULLY
Then pretend Iím your doctor. Iíve
bandaged you up enough lately. (beat)
Youíve been wearing those same fatigues
for over a monthÖ you smell.

Knowle gives her a look.

KNOWLE
My body odor is bothering you?

SCULLY
Maybe thatís why Skinner left
to hunt in the woods alone.

Knowle looks away from her and stares into the fire.

KNOWLE
Where is he anyway? Heís been
gone an awful long time.

SCULLY
Iím sure if something is wrong
weíd hear it, the aliens arenít
exactly quiet when they show up.

Knowle laughs and shakes his head.

SCULLY
What?

KNOWLE
Aliens. (beat) Iím open-minded,
I believed there were other life forms
in the universe, but that wordÖ
íaliensíÖ seems like bad science fiction.

SCULLY
I know, I used to work on a project
set out to try to prevent this from
happening. I saw aliens, but still
rolled my eyes whenever anyone would
talk about aliens or space ships.

KNOWLE
The government was very successful
in covering up the Roswell crash in
1947 by making all witnesses sound
like scifi nerds.

SCULLY
In retrospect, maybe concealing the fact
aliens exist was a bad idea. Maybe things
would have been different if the government
informed the people of the truth. Maybe
we could have been better prepared.

KNOWLE
We canít look back to move forward.

Knowle stands up and goes to his Hummer and opens the door. He comes back to Scully and hands her a bottle of water.

KNOWLE
Drink this.

SCULLY
Iím fine.

KNOWLE
You havenít had water all day.
I donít want you to get dehydrated.
Drink it.

SCULLY
Iím fine. (beat) You and Skinner need
water more than I do. My body holds
more water than a manís body. Iím fine.

KNOWLE
Donít make me force feed you the water.

SCULLY
(raises voice)
Donít make me give you a bath in the river.

KNOWLE
Youíre being ridiculous.

SCULLY
And you refused to light a fire
with matches for nearly an hour.

KNOWLE
(raises voice)
Remember what I told you about
being in the Gulf? (beat) Would
you drink the damn water.

Scully doesnít say anything back, heís raised his voice with her and seems angry with her, maybe frustration, sometimes she canít differentiate between the two when she doesnít know the person well enough. He yelled at her in New York after she helped him.

She takes the bottle of water from him.

She drinks.

SCULLY
You need to get more sleep, Knowle,
your patience with me is thin. AndÖ
I really think a dip in the river
could help too.

He gives her a look, he doesnít like being told what to do.

SCULLY
Iím drinking water, you go
wash up. Itís a fair deal.

She takes another drink from the bottle and smiles at him.

KNOWLE
Youíre determined to win this
one, arenít you?

Good, his tone isnít as angry. He smiles and starts removing his clothing. Scully smiles and watches him.

SCULLY
You donít have to undress in front
of me, waterís a good place to
rinse off clothing too.

KNOWLE
You gonna be ok here, alone
for awhile?

SCULLY
Give me a gun I can handle and
the keys to the Hummer and I should
be all right. (beat) Seems like a
calm night and we havenít heard space
ships in the past couple days.

Knowle takes a gun and hands it to her.

KNOWLE
Should be close to the FBI
standard issue. Know how to work this one?

Scully looks at the handgun, itís just like the one John had at home, close to the ones that the FBI issued its Special Agents.

SCULLY
John had one just like this at home.

Her eyes glistening, she looks Knowle in the eye.

SCULLY
I can handle it if I must.

Knowle nods his head. He walks past her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder, he squeezes her gently and makes his way down to the river.

CUT TO:

EXT. WOODS Ė CONTINUOUS

Skinner sits on the ground, his back leaning against the trunk of a tree. His rifle is at his side.

I keep replaying the murder of that young child over and over again in my head. I selfishly murdered that child when I was in Vietnam. The crying, the screamingÖ it was all too much for me to handle.

Itís like a month ago when we were in New York. If I hadnít been selfish in saving my own ass, maybe that little girl Knowle tried to save, could have been saved. If only I had taken a second to take her as I ran back to the Hummer, but I didnít and Knowle couldnít keep a grip on her and she was taken, probably dead now. Another pointless death. A death I could have prevented.

I hear someone walking behind me. I grab my rifle and stand. I see Scully, sheís still wrapped in a blanket.

SKINNER
Dana-

She surprises me, throws me off-guard, when she wraps her arms around my neck, the blanket falling off her now naked body, and she kisses me. Oh God sheís kissing me, and it feels so good. She tastes so good. Iíve kissed women after Dana and I broke up years ago, but none of them ever compared to her. I selfishly take advantage of the situation. I know I shouldnít. Sheís Johnís girl.

I place my rough hand on her bare lower back and press her delicate breasts against my thin white T-shirt. I feel her nipples grow hard against me. I feel myself getting aroused by her. I kiss her back passionately. I shouldnít. Sheís Johnís girl, and he hasnít even been dead over two months.

Before I know it weíre horizontal, her legs spread wide and Iím inside her. She hasnít said a word. I place my hand roughly on her breast and give her a little squeeze. I know she likes that. She moans approval. Oh God, she moans because of me.

I thrust against her and resist saying ďturtleĒ in hope sheíll respond with ďeekĒ. I know she doesnít like that. She presses her hands on my chest and rolls me onto my back and straddles me, her center grinds against mine. I run my hands down her back and hold onto her soft ass, helping her thrust against me. I moan and turn my head to the side.

My eyes fly open. Weíre not in the forest.

Scullyís muscles tighten around me as she climaxes, her muscles squeeze me tight and I orgasm, releasing my semen inside of her. She giggles playfully, a girly giggle.

SCULLY
Youíre pretty good for an old man.

I look at her. She looks younger. I look around again at my surroundings. Iím at home, not my home in D.C., the home I shared with Sharon when we were married. I lived here several years after our divorce in 1984. The earliest it could be would be 1988, I first slept with Dana when I taught poetry at her high school, her Senior year. This is definitely before I moved to D.C. to work at FBI Headquarters.

Dana carelessly rolls off my body and lies next to me. In retrospect this is wrong. In 1988 I was 36 years old and Dana was 18. Sheís half my age. Iím nearing 60 and sheís in her mid-30s now. When you look at it like that I really must have seemed like a dirty old man. She was legal when we first had sex, but she was so young. I feel ashamed.

I feel Dana fingering my chest hair. I look down at her.

SCULLY
Iím sorryÖ youíre not that old.

She kisses me on the cheek and I remember why I was attracted to her in the first place. Sheís light-hearted, carefree. After ĎNam I felt years older, with her I feel younger. She doesnít know the hell I went through in ĎNam. In a way I used Dana to escape having to deal with everything I did, everything I saw.

Sharon and I married in 1973 when I returned. She wanted to help me, but I was more concerned with forgetting ĎNam ever happened. I loved Sharon, I always will in some way. I screwed up my marriage by fooling around with other women, anytime I felt Sharon and I could grow closer Iíd excuse myself from the room and ignore it. She found out about the other women and left me. I donít blame her.

Once Dana and I hooked up when she got to the FBI and we started dating again, I was asked to keep close tabs on her by the Smoking Man. I did as I was asked and fell in love with her. To this day she is the only woman Iíve let get close to me.

Once Dana and I were engaged the second time, I got scared, I had been married once and I wasnít ready to marry again. I couldnít tell her this so I did something I know would tear us apart. I had an affair with Marita Covarrubias. I wanted to protect myself from my fear of letting someone get close to me, again, I was selfish, only thinking of myself, not her feelings.

Then after we ended and I realized she and John werenít just a phase, but were in loveÖ I realized I want what they had with each other, a true, deep connection, the ability to work through their problems, love each other through thick and thin.

When I saw them together I finally realized what I had lost, her heart, her love. Then again John brought out the best in her, opened her heart in ways I never did and never could.

SCULLY
Whatcha thinkiní about?

She kisses my shoulder.

SKINNER
Life, I guess.

I have no idea what to tell her, I canít possibly tell her what Iím really thinking, thoughÖ this canít really be happening.

SCULLY
What about life?

SKINNER
Career, future.

SCULLY
Iím going to Las Vegas with
Alex this summer, gonna be a stripper.

SKINNER
I donít know what to say to that.

SCULLY
Itís actually rather selfish of
Alex, wanting to use me to make
himself famous.

SKINNER
You think heíll get famous?

SCULLY
Probably not, but he hopes so.

SKINNER
So heís selfish?

SCULLY
Most of the time unless it comes to Marita.

SKINNER
Do you think Iím selfish?

She looks at me with wide eyes, that can only mean ďyesĒ. I feel ashamed. In her eyes, what have I been selfish about?

SCULLY
Youíre a very lovely person, Walter.

She rests her head on my chest and I wonder what did I do back then that was selfish. She lets out a heavy sigh that says a lot more about her true thoughts than her words. Iím left to wonder-

SCULLY
(whisper)
Ö face your demons and youíll surviveÖ

All this Ďtraveling back in timeí, itís facing my demons. ĎNam, sleeping with Dana to escape actual intimacyÖ itís all selfish. Iím selfish.

Once in ĎNam I was injured badly, felt I couldnít move. Another Marine fell nearly 60 feet away from me, needed help, needed his leg to stop bleeding out. I felt death upon me and had accepted my fate was the same as his as I watched him die, begging for me to save him. I could have, I should have, but I was selfish, didnít want to feel anymore pain so I chose not to help him, not to save his life.

Maybe my demons arenít selfishness, but instead not facing my past, not growing with it. Iíve watched Dana grow stronger with John, she was weaker than I was before he entered her life. Sheís faced her demons and has come out a stronger person.

The shrieking of an alien being breaks my thoughts and I sit up quickly. Iím back in the forest and Scully is nowhere in sight. I grab my rifle and stand, Iím not going to find any food tonight and considering these memories I keep going back toÖ flashbacks, dreams, whatever they are, Iíd rather be with Knowle and Dana.

I head toward the left, thatís the direction the Hummer is at.

I reflect back on Monica Reyes. She has psychic abilities. Iíve read case reports by Mulder saying that extraterrestrials have psychic abilities and can communicate telepathically. Iíve read in books that people, abductees, have reported aliens to take them into the past, sometimes into the future. Were the aliens controlling my mind? Have I been taken and not know it yet?

What do the aliens want with the men, women and children I saw them take up in New York? I thought they came here to annihilate us, but in New York I didnít see them kill anyone, just take them away.

I hear movement behind me. Iím being hunted. I pick up my pace, it picks up its pace. I run. Iím a goner, I donít even know where the Hummer is. I donít hear running behind me and suddenly I feel it, razor-sharp claws dig into my back, tearing my skin and muscle. I fight as best I can to get the damn thing off me. I somehow find the strength to pin the alien to the ground. I grab my rifle and pound the muzzle deep into its neck, killing it.

I fall onto the ground in pain. I can feel blood oozing from my wounds. Iím going to bleed to death. Knowle doesnít now where I am, Dana doesnít know where I am. Iím alone and Iím dying.

VOICE
(whisper)
Ö and youíll surviveÖ

I want to yell out at the voice that I keep hearing. Face my fucking demons and Iíll survive. Right, Iíve faced my demons this whole time and now Iím wounded and bleeding to death.

I hear water, the river. Iím near the river. I must not have realized I was running towards the water when I was being chased. I think for a moment about that movie, ďSignsĒ, water killed the aliens in that movie, I wonder if that is true in real life. I laugh at myself, here I am dying and thinking about a movie.

I see a man floating in the river, his face in the water. Poor bastard, drowned. I roll onto my wounded back and want to die.

But I canít. For Dana, Iím meant to survive, to find strength to protect her. John Doggett told me to do so or theyíll do horrible things to her. If he knew this from the grave, I need to take heed of the warning. I sit up, I should check to see if the man in the river is dead or not. If I can help him, save his life, then I shouldnít accept death as my fate. That would be selfish. And if thereís anything Iíve learned tonight, itís that being selfish has gotten me nowhere.

I struggle through agonizing pain to stand up. I feel my blood trickle down my back. I stagger to the river and wade out to the man and turn him onto his back, itís Knowle.

SKINNER
Holy shit!

I grab the big guy underneath his armpits and I drag him to shore. Scully must have talked him into washing up in the river, I can only guess that the river current pulled him under and got the best of him. I ignore my own pain to try to help him. I check for a pulse, heís got one, itís faint.

I clear his mouth with my fingers and administer CPR.

Iíve been facing death and guilt all day. Dealing with my selfishness. If I save him, Iím gonna do my best to survive the attack I endured. If Iím going to survive the alien war, I need to stop being selfish about my own survival.

Címon, Knowle, come to.

He coughs and spits up water. Thank God.

 

SKINNER
Take it easy, Knowle, I practically
brought you back from the dead.

Knowle nods his head and lies back down. I saved him.

KNOWLE
(hoarse)
What happened to you?

SKINNER
Got attacked. (beat) Danaís gonna
have to work a miracle to get
me patched up.

I feel dizzy and cold. Iíve lost a lot of blood. I fall to the ground next to Knowle, Iím not going to make it.

SKINNER
I saw John DoggettÖ he told meÖ
he told me that theyíll do horrible
things to her and-

KNOWLE
- You canít let it happen.

I watch Knowle sit up, heís fine as if he hadnít almost drowned to death. He pushes me onto my stomach and I feel him place his hand on my back. I feel a sensation Iíve never felt before. The pain in my back is fading, my skin tingles with what feels like electricity. I feel this sensation until there is no more pain. I feel fine.

I roll onto my back to face Knowle, to ask him what the hell he just did. Heís not there. Iím alone, again. I reach behind myself and feel my back, itís healed.

I donít even know what to think. Howíd that happen?

Enough is enough, Iím not stopping until I find the Hummer. I run away from the river. Knowle and Dana have to be close, I can feel it.

CUT TO

EXT. KNOWLEíS HUMMER Ė 10:30 P.M.

Scully is roasting a marshmallow on a stick over the fire. Sheís dressed again in her jean shorts and her white tank top. Her hair is down, still wet from her dip in the river.

Suddenly Scully hears ďBillie JeanĒ, Michael Jackson, come from the stereo in Knowleís Hummer. She looks over and Knowle is approaching her.

SCULLY
ďBillie JeanĒ?

KNOWLE
One of my favorite tunes from the 80s.

SCULLY
Just as long as we donít listen
to his love songs, those creep me out.

KNOWLE
I hear ya.

SCULLY
Feel better now that youíve washed up?

KNOWLE
Yeah. (beat) Can you moonwalk?

Scully pops a marshmallow into her mouth.

SCULLY
Moonwalk?

KNOWLE
You know, the dance step
Michael Jackson created.

SCULLY
I know what it is.

KNOWLE
Can you do it?

SCULLY
Never tried. (amused) Can you?

KNOWLE
Check it out.

And Knowle does the Moonwalk and mouths off the words to ďBillie JeanĒ.

Scully laughs.

SCULLY
Youíre really good at that.

SKINNER
Iím even better.

Scully looks over and sees Skinner returning to Ďcampí. Scully smiles at him. Heís been gone a long time, she was starting to worry about him.

KNOWLE
Letís see you do it, Helmet.

SKINNER
Thatís all right. Iíve worn
myself out trying to find food.

KNOWLE
Didnít find anything, huh?

SKINNER
No, heat must be killing off
wildlife or something.

SCULLY
Knowle stashed away some marshmallows
thatís what Iíve been eating.

Skinner sits down next to Scully.

SKINNER
Itís late, why donít you two catch
some Zs. Iíll stay up and keep
watch. You especially, Knowle, you need your rest.

KNOWLE
Iím fine. I make sure I sleep
as much as I need to go on.

Scully stands up and goes to the Hummer to retrieve a pillow and blanket to sleep on top of. She lies the blanket on the ground, itís large enough for two people to lie on.

SCULLY
Grab a pillow, Knowle.

She lies down knowing she was lucky to get Knowle to wash off earlier, sheíd be luckier in the unlikely event that heíd actually try to sleep and let someone else keep watch.

KNOWLE
Iím gonna check over the Hummer,
make sure sheís ok before tomorrow.
I think weíll need to set up camp
someplace else and hopefully find
some wildlife to have for a meal.

Knowle walks away from Skinner and Scully. Scully looks at Skinner.

SCULLY
You know you can probably get
some sleep with him staying up.

SKINNER
Iíve had an interesting night.
I think Iíll be more comfortable
staying up watching over you.

Scully looks at him. Usually heíd jump on the chance to get some sleep. She wonders what kind of interesting night heís had.

I watch Scully roll onto her back and stare up into the night sky. I know the look on her face means that sheís thinking of him and how heís watching over her from above. Do I ever tell her I saw him in my dreams or flashback and that he told me to watch over her? And what is it exactly that Iím supposed to protect her from? The aliens? But if the chip in her neck has been removed, how could they track her? What could they want with her?

I also wonder what it was out there that took me back to face demons that I have been ignoring for years. Problems I never wanted to admit existed. What saved my life after I was attacked or was that imagined? I have no way of knowing for sure, my back is healed now.

I look away from Scully and stare into the fire.

Perhaps tonight was meant to prepare me for worse things to come. Now that Iíve faced some of my demons, Iíll be more likely to keep my head together to protect and to survive.

THE END.


 

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