|Writers:||Joe Harris with Chris Carter|
|Series:||The X-Files: Season 10 #3|
|Published:||21 August 2013|
9:24 a.m <p abp="475">In a Wyoming country house, Mr. and Mrs Van De Kamp are visited by FBI agents Reyes and Hendricks who share the news of a cyber attack on the FBI network. They explain the potential threat to their adopted son William because of his biological parents' involvement. Mr. Van De Kamp dislikes this intrusion and reminds the agents of his rights as an adoptive parent. When Agent Hendricks asks where the boy is, the couple answers he is in school. Agent Reyes wants to have a look around. The two women, who know William hasn't been to school in weeks, become distrustful of the Van De Kamps and climb upstairs. Mr. and Mrs Van De Kamp follow, their eyes suddenly glowing blue. Agent Reyes notices flies coming from a half-open closet where she finds William's actual adoptive parents in a state of advanced decomposition. Agent Hendricks walks in, asking for help. Her nose is bleeding and she collapses on the floor. Two cloaked figures are standing behind her and Reyes holds up her gun to them. Her nose also starts to bleed and her weapon falls to the ground. <p abp="534">Arlington National Cemetery
6:02 a.m. <p abp="633">After a night spent in the Lone Gunmen’s underground office, Agent Fox Mulder returns to his car and sees he's missed two phone calls from Deputy Director Walter Skinner. A passenger sitting in the back seat who's gone unnoticed until then speaks up and tells Mulder he can either return these calls and tell the FBI what he's learned or take a drive and learn even more. Mulder looks into the rear-view mirror and sees the Smoking Man lighting up a cigarette. "You look like you’ve seen a ghost," says the old man with a sly grin.
Southern Wyoming Wilderness
9:51 a.m. <p abp="615">The acolyte Deacon is walking along the Blackstone XL pipeline carrying an unconscious Dana Scully who is slowly coming back to her senses. He is muttering to himself that he must "reach the cradle" when he kneels down in the snow, exhausted. Dana Scully falls to the ground and starts running away from him. "I have ushered the bringer all this way," Deacon mutters on, and Scully turns around. As a medical doctor, she feels it is her duty to help him and she asks what is wrong with him. Deacon is about to tell her that she cannot appreciate how his physiology is affected by something when Scully produces the dagger the acolyte was carrying and puts it to his throat, demanding to know what he wants with her son. Deacon replies he is the future they fight for. Scully is growing impatient with these cryptic words when she realizes the dagger is attracted to the pipeline. She asks Deacon if the pipeline is carrying magnetite, remembering aliens are vulnerable to this mineral. Deacon answers to the affirmative and when Scully inquires as to why he has been carrying her along that pipeline if it is killing him, he answers it was the only way to keep her safe, as the "others" would use her to get to her son. Scully isn't willing to trust him anymore than the others, but Deacon goes on to say the magnetite serves as a barrier and a repellent. Scully looks out into the woods and sees a group of acolytes hesitating to come any closer. <p abp="592">Washington, D.C.
7:13 a.m. <p abp="534"> <p abp="596">Mulder and the Cigarette-Smoking Man stop at Ron's Diner for coffee. The Smoking Man tells a confused Mulder he is no stranger to the fantastic, but what he is about to hear may test his tolerance. Mulder reminds him he last saw him with a hole in his neck being blown up by rockets fired from black helicopters. The former agent takes a pistol from under his jacket, hides it with a napkin and demands the cold, hard truth. A waitress comes up to them and tells the Cigarette Man he cannot smoke in the diner. The man complies. He tells Mulder the Acolytes have Dana Scully, and that they are an assemblage of beings determined to help bring about the alien re-population of Earth. The Smoking Man lights a new cigarette. <p abp="534">Meanwhile in Wyoming, Deacon prepares to fight five acolytes using his telekinetic powers. He telepathetically asks Scully what she is waiting for and audibly orders her to run. Scully rushes forward, but slips into the snow and falls near a hose attached to the pipeline. She turns the tap on and sprays the attackers with magnetite. They soon begin to disintegrate and light up like torches until the fire consumes them. <p abp="534">The Smoking Man goes on to say magnetite is a fairly abundant compound on Earth and a natural deterrent to the extraterrestial forces who would control the planet; its value would only increase once and if they were successful in their pursuit and only if the market could be cornered. He concludes that the time for conspiring with their would-be conquerors is over, and the time has come for preparation and survival. Mulder responds he was once told how and when aliens would invade and none of it has come to pass; he was led down every rabbit hole and this man who claimed to be his father always stood in the way of the truth. The Cigarette-Smoking Man hits Mulder with a resounding slap in the face, telling him not to patronize him and that common enemies make for effective allies. But a sudden pain gets a hold of him as he is still speaking, and dark veins appear on his face and hands. "What are you?" asks Mulder. The Cigarette Man replies that Mulder's endured so much already but it is only the beginning of things. He then mutters in confusion "Or is it the end...? Sometimes, I'm not even certain myself," and walks out leaving a small slender box on the diner table for Mulder. <p abp="534"> <p abp="602">Fredericksburg, Virginia
8:22 a.m. <p abp="605"> <p abp="534">On an accident scene where a Hampton Medical Supply and Delivery truck is badly damaged, Skinner gets a call from Mulder. The Deputy Director informs him he's followed up on the blood work Scully had ordered for the missing girl and he doesn't even know how to describe what's happened. Skinner looks on as puddles of a green caustic substance cover the vehicle's floor. Mulder says he is catching a flight to Wyoming where the Acolytes have gone looking for William and are bringing Scully to. Skinner doesn't understand what he is talking about, and Mulder explains the Acolytes are foot soldiers taking them out before they can realize what is happening, but that they are only the key. Mulder plans to follow and be led to the lock and open the door. He then grabs the alien stiletto the slender box contained and presses the button to extend its sharp protrusion. <p abp="628"> <p abp="607">