Super-soldiers are human replacements that look human but are actually a type of alien. Fearless and virtually unstoppable, these aliens are not directed by anyone and are answerable to no-one except their own biological imperative to survive. (TXF: "Essence") They want to knock out any and all attempts by humans to survive the alien colonization of Earth and were created to aid in the extraterrestrial repopulation of the planet. (TXF: "Essence", "Existence") Their collective name, "super-soldiers," derives from the aliens themselves, but was often used cynically by humans. (TXF: "Existence", "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
Several individuals who served in the United States Military were replaced by alien super-soldiers. These included Knowle Rohrer and Shannon McMahon, both of whom served with Bravo Company, in the United States Marine Corps. (TXF: "Three Words", "Nothing Important Happened Today", et al.) According to a deceptive Shannon McMahon in late 2001, she and Knowle Rohrer had been drafted right out of Bravo Company together and had been "Adam and Eve", the prototypes of a military science program that had begun fifty years prior to 2001. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
Super-soldiers were originally deployed during the Gulf War. On February 26, 1991, Zeke Josepho was leading a team of soldiers in Iraq when they were ambushed by Saddam Hussein's forces and all of Josepho's team was killed except for himself. He then witnessed four soldiers wearing American uniforms obliterate the holed-in enemy and survive gunshots as well as an explosion. Stunned by this experience, Josepho interpreted not only these particular super-soldiers as having been angels but subsequently also thought of the super-soldiers in general as "the true sons of God." (TXF: "Providence")
Abduction, Infection, Return, and Transformation
About ten years later, certain abductees were collectively taken in 2000 and were individually returned in 2001, with each of their bodies prepared for undergoing the transformation into a super-soldier. (TXF: "Requiem", "DeadAlive") Several of these individuals were prevented from transforming, however, including FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and, presumably, Theresa Hoese. (TXF: "DeadAlive", "This is Not Happening") At least one of these abductees, Billy Miles, did undergo the full transformation. (TXF: "DeadAlive")
The proposed Super-Soldier is abducted and placed in the Testing room. Horrific procedures are performed on them, including holes being drilled in their soft palate, as well as having their chest cut open and organ tissue removed. After considerable time aboard the craft, the Colonists infect them with the alien virus.
Later in 2001, Agent Mulder came to the conclusion that specific data - information that was highly sought after, extremely well protected and stored in the US Census Bureau - pertained to certain individuals, each of whom had been targeted, due to their genetic profile, for abduction and subsequent replacement by a super-soldier. Knowle Rohrer had been replaced by a super-soldier, by about this point. (TXF: "Three Words")
- It is unclear when exactly Knowle Rohrer became a super-soldier. Before the revelation of him being such an alien at the end of "Three Words", he appears in previous scenes of that episode as well as in TXF: "Per Manum", an earlier Season 8 episode.
Infiltrating the FBI & Involvement in a Birth
By late 2001, the super-soldiers had infiltrated the FBI; Special Agent Gene Crane had been replaced by a super-soldier, affiliated with the alien Billy Miles and Knowle Rohrer. Super-soldier Billy Miles made several attempts to target Scully, who was pregnant with a baby that Alex Krycek, who was secretly in contact with the alien Knowle Rohrer, claimed the super-soldiers had only recently learned of. Krycek also claimed that the prospect of the child's birth threatened the alien repopulation of Earth and that the super-soldiers feared the child's implications - that it could somehow be greater than them and might be more human than human, implying that there was a God or higher power. (TXF: "Essence", "Existence") Krycek was killed, shortly after making these claims. (TXF: "Existence")
The alien Billy Miles initially killed members of a group (namely, Doctors Lev and Parenti as well as Duffy Haskell), who had been monitoring Scully's pregnancy and had been attempting to create cloned baby human/alien hybrids, work that had originally been supervised and financed by the Syndicate. (TXF: "Essence")
Shortly thereafter, the alien Knowle Rohrer told Special Agent John Doggett - Scully's current FBI partner and a friend of Rohrer's who had served with him in Bravo Company, USMC, but was unaware of his replacement at the time - that the aliens were actually "super-soldiers", the result of a rumored program out of the Cold War, of which Billy Miles was a prototype and Scully's unborn baby was the first organic version. (TXF: "Existence") Doggett would later recall to Scully that Rohrer had told him that her pregnancy was the result of a government cloning experiment to create a super-soldier. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today") Soon after Rohrer made these claims, Doggett learned of his duplicity, when the FBI agent saw the alien Rohrer meet with Agent Crane in Deputy Director Alvin Kersh's office. (TXF: "Existence") Due to this, Doggett would, soon thereafter, investigate Deputy Director Kersh, but would find nothing incriminating concerning the Deputy Director. (TXF: "Existence", "Nothing Important Happened Today", "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
Shortly after Doggett witnessed the two supersoldiers meet, he and Assistant Director Walter Skinner were chased by the alien Rohrer and Crane in the parking garage of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, the FBI's Headquarters, apparently causing the death of Crane. Knowle Rohrer was subsequently involved in a crash that resulted in a fire and, seemingly, his death. (TXF: "Existence") However, evidence of the chase, crash and fire would later be eliminated - the bodies of Rohrer and Crane would go missing and the security tapes, when later checked, showed none of these incidents occurring. (TXF: "Existence", "Nothing Important Happened Today")
While the incidents were taking place, super-soldier Billy Miles witnessed the birth of Scully's baby son in Democrat Hot Springs, Georgia (where Scully had fled from the alien Miles with Special Agent Monica Reyes), along with many other super-soldiers, one of whom had been acting as a Game Warden intent on eliminating Miles and helping Scully. The aliens soon left the area, without taking the baby with them; Mulder later suggested that the only explanation he could think of for this was that the aliens had realized the baby was not what they had thought he was. (TXF: "Existence")
Censure of Information
By two nights later, Shannon McMahon, now working for the Department of Justice, had been replaced by a super-soldier and had been contacted by Carl Wormus, a high-ranking official for the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Roland McFarland, a worker in the Greater Maryland Water Reclamation Facility. Both men were in contact with each other, as well as with the Captain of the USS Valor Victory. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today", "Nothing Important Happened Today II") Together, they were attempting to alert the FBI about a secret lab aboard the ship, but super-soldiers Shannon McMahon and Knowle Rohrer tried to stop them from doing so. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II") By means of drowning, Shannon MacMahon killed both Carl Wormus and Roland McFarland in Baltimore while, between these two deaths taking place, Mulder left for New Mexico, due to the super-soldier threat. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today", "The Truth")
Subsequently, Shannon McMahon slyly prevented Scully, Reyes and Doggett from being disciplined by the FBI for involving themselves, without official authorization, in the investigation of the deaths. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today", "Nothing Important Happened Today II") Like Knowle Rohrer's earlier claims to Doggett, Shannon McMahon led the agents to believe that she and Rohrer were both genetically engineered soldiers, alike in almost every way except that she hated what she was. She also claimed that the two men she had killed had been part of the program that had created the super-soldiers and that the men had been attempting to prepare the water supply in Maryland, so that the state's population would breed a generation of super-soldiers. According to her, the program had already advanced seven stages from the science that had created her, so far that its members had successfully given birth to a super-soldier from a mutated egg.
- This seems to be an implied reference to Scully's baby son, William.
Meanwhile, aboard the docked Valor Victory, Knowle Rohrer replaced Chief Petty Officer Banford, whose deceased body was later found floating in the water; Rohrer had, presumably, killed Chief Banford, before disposing of his body. He and Reyes then simultaneously discovered that Carl Wormus and the Captain of the Valor Victory had been trying to contact the FBI. Reyes came to the belief that Shannon McMahon was still trying to pinpoint the Captain of the Valor Victory and wanted the agents to lead her to him. After Reyes revealed her findings to Doggett and Scully, the threesome headed to the ship as Rohrer killed the Captain on board the vessel and took his place at a telephone booth on the dock where, following the agents' arrival, they initially thought he was the Captain. Rohrer approached Doggett, as he realized the imposter's true identity, and the two females consequently fled, moments before the alien super-soldier attacked Doggett but was prevented from killing him and rendered almost completely harmless by Shannon McMahon, who was then thwarted by Rohrer in turn and her remains ended up in the sea. Slightly longer than forty-eight hours later, Scully had a dream in which she saw Shannon McMahon regain consciousness on the seabed.
Following her and Rohrer's apparently aggressive encounter, the agents boarded the Valor Victory, to find it deserted with a bomb inside, presumably armed by Knowle Rohrer. Scully was able to determine that the ship's lab, which the super-soldiers had ultimately failed to keep secret, housed ova that had been extracted from test subjects and manipulated for transplantation. The agents made a lucky escape from the vessel, mere moments before the bomb aboard detonated. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
Dealing with Mulder & Killing Agent Comer
A super-soldier known as the "Shadow Man" had, by January 2002, assumed a supervisory position within the National Security Agency, lying to one of his subordinates that he had learned things about a super-soldier program. In that month, he repeatedly contacted Agents Doggett and Reyes, claiming that he had highly classified military files on the super-soldiers and wanted to give their names exclusively to Mulder. The Shadow Man conducted surveillance on Doggett, Reyes and Scully, observing Scully as he led her alone on an elaborate route to a desolate countryside location, where he met with her. He was extremely careful that she was neither followed nor tracked, even blowing her car up with her clothes and gun inside, and revealed that he knew even the most minute details about her. When asked by Scully who he was, the Shadow Man claimed he was "the future." His final instruction to her was that she contact Mulder within the next twenty-four hours, which she did shortly thereafter.
Scully was waiting for Mulder's return - at a train station, with not only Doggett and Reyes but also the Shadow Man's associate - when the Shadow Man arrived and shot his own subordinate to death. He aimed his gun at Scully but then faced several incidents that would normally kill a human, his survival and the contents of his blood influencing the agents to realize that he was actually a super-soldier. At the bottom of the nearby Manville Rock Quarry, Scully alone was cornered by the Shadow Man, who claimed that either her son or Mulder had to die. She then watched the Shadow Man finally be obliterated, after which she mentioned - in her regular email correspondence with Mulder - that the beings known as super-soldiers could actually be destroyed. (TXF: "Trust No 1")
The Shadow Man's final words were illuminated for the agents when Special Agent Robert Comer, who had been sent undercover to infiltrate a cult that Josepho now led, told Scully and Reyes of a prophecy that Josepho had claimed God had told him. (TXF: "Trust No 1", "Providence") According to the prophecy and Josepho's interpretation of it, William would try to stop the alien colonization of Earth, except if Mulder was killed. (TXF: "Providence") So, by wanting either of them dead, the Shadow Man had tried to ensure that William would not hamper colonization. (TXF: "Trust No 1")
Another super-soldier, the "Toothpick Man", had meanwhile infiltrated the senior staff of the FBI and was working in league with Deputy Director Kersh. (TXF: "Provenance", "Providence") The Toothpick Man secretly killed Agent Comer. After AD Follmer later started to discover that Comer had been murdered and therefore wanted to take his own signature off a report concerning the investigation of Comer's death, the Toothpick Man privately assured Kersh that he would take care of the issue regarding the report. (TXF: "Providence")
Allegations Concerning the Super-Soldiers
Later in 2002, Morris Fletcher made an elaborate and deceptive attempt to track down Yves Adele Harlow, baiting Agents Doggett and Reyes by telling them that Yves had become a super-soldier. This notion was first dismissed by the Lone Gunmen before the agents - who had been investigating super-soldiers for months - and the Gunmen determined that, although Yves had become a murderer, she had not even heard of the super-soldiers before and her victims were actually terrorists. Fletcher at first claimed he had made a genuine mistake in thinking Yves was a super-soldier but Doggett then discovered evidence that Fletcher had been running a scam on the agents ever since the start of the case. (TXF: "Jump the Shark")
Shortly after these events, Jeffrey Spender - scarred to the point of being unrecognizable - was caught, by Doggett, while attempting to sneak into FBI Headquarters and was then questioned exclusively by Scully, Reyes and Doggett, although he gave them a false name. He told Scully that the reason he had lied about his name was that he feared he would otherwise be killed by the super-soldiers who had infiltrated the FBI. He was also aware that the same super-soldiers would kill Mulder and explained to the agents, "The conspiracy to keep the truth about aliens from the American public, all but destroyed a few years ago, has given rise to a new conspiracy in the government now by men who are alien themselves." The agents learned of Spender's true identity shortly thereafter and discovered that his intention had been to gain access to William, so that he could normalize the baby's partly-alien biology. (TXF: "William")
In May of the same year, Mulder infiltrated the Mount Weather complex at Bluemont, Virginia but was caught there by super-soldier Knowle Rohrer, who chased and attacked Mulder but was ultimately electrocuted himself. After Mulder was captured by the base's guards, he was accused of the extremely improbable charge of having killed Knowle Rohrer, who Doggett remembered - while in the company of his own associates - as having seemingly been killed before. General Mark A. Suveg ordered Kersh to have Mulder be tried by the FBI in particular, to increase the chances of the verdict being guilty, and Suveg threatened Kersh that he would definitely agree to this as - according to the General - there were now forces inside the government that a man would be foolish to disobey. Shortly before the trial, the prosecution obtained the sworn testimony of thirty government workers (from the Mount Weather complex) who had seen Rohrer be electrocuted, and both Doggett and Reyes were told an obvious lie by the military - that Rohrer's deceased body was at Fort Marlene.
Meanwhile, the Toothpick Man attended the trial as one of the panelists and the trial included testimony from Marita Covarrubias - who Skinner tried to persuade into admitting that she could prove Rohrer was one of the alien replacements that were being referred to as super-soldiers, but Covarrubias was excused by Mulder, as he feared for the safety of her life. When Gibson Praise was subsequently allowed to present a testimony, he used his ability to read minds in order to identify the Toothpick Man as one of the so-called super-soldiers. Even though Mulder created a disturbance by demanding that the Toothpick Man therefore be removed from the room, the Toothpick Man continued to serve as a panelist. The next individual to testify was Agent Doggett, who first explained that, although he was generally a skeptic, he had witnessed super-soldiers in action and was certain that Mulder could not have killed the virtually invincible Rohrer, but his testimony was put to an end when he was asked whether he subscribed to Mulder's belief that the super-soldiers were aliens. Reyes subsequently presented a testimony, mentioning that the agents had learned William's birth had been all-important to the so-called super-soldiers.
Afterwards, Reyes and Doggett managed to arrange the transfer of the body that was purportedly that of Knowle Rohrer, having it be moved to the FBI Academy in Quantico. By matching this corpse to Rohrer's medical records, Scully and Reyes were able to prove that the body was not that of Rohrer, but Mulder was nevertheless sentenced to death.
Searching for Mulder and Scully
That night, Rohrer went to Mulder's cell only to find that Mulder had escaped so Rohrer began searching for Mulder. The Toothpick Man later answered the door of Kersh's office to Skinner while Doggett, Reyes and Gibson Praise stood nearby. The alien not only informed Skinner that Kersh needed to see him but he also knew that Mulder and Scully had headed to New Mexico; Gibson used his mind-reading ability to detect that the Toothpick Man knew the latter detail. Moments after Reyes and Doggett followed Mulder and Scully to New Mexico, Rohrer confronted them but they then witnessed him finally be destroyed. (TXF: "The Truth")
What became of the super-soldiers is unknown. Mulder and Scully returned to help the FBI on a case six years following them going on the run which led to Mulder being pardoned. (TXF: The X-Files: I Want to Believe) Seven years following this, the pair of them returned for duty at the FBI without any problems, seemingly implying that the super-soldiers are no more. (TXF: "My Struggle")
Abduction, Infection & Return
Transformation of abductees into super-soldiers was accomplished via infection with an alien virus, which would keep the abductee's body alive, just long enough to undergo the transformation. The infected abductees were often mistaken for having been dead for days or even months and would often display characteristics of being dead, even though they were clinically alive. The characteristics of death might include decomposition of tissue (as well as, presumably, the neural and vascular systems), a postmortem intumescence, tissue necrosis, heartbeat and rate of metabolism slowing to imperceptibility and rigor of the invidual's body. One infected individual set to undergo this transformation had a pulse of 56 bpm while another had a pulse of about 70 bpm.
The final stages of the transformation into a super-soldier were a seizure, during which two heartbeats in the infected abductee could apparently be detected before their pulse returned to normal, and the subsequent bloody sloughing of the skin. (TXF: "DeadAlive")
The transformation into a super-soldier could be prevented with a vaccine against the alien virus responsible for the transformation, or with the healing capabilities of an alien such as Jeremiah Smith. (TXF: "DeadAlive", "This is Not Happening") Keeping the infected body connected to life-support machines would incubate the virus and hamper it along, however, and evidence that this was the case could be determined by disconnecting the individual from life-support, causing the person's temperature to drop rapidly without affecting their vital signs. To aid the individual's complete recovery, the person would be administered with a course of transfusions and antivirals. (TXF: "DeadAlive")
Any individuals who had recovered from the infected state of preparation for the transformation into a super-soldier, including those who had been transformed as well as those who had been prevented from transforming, initially had a slight difficulty with walking but were gradually rejuvenated to full health. For example, after Billy Miles recovered, every piece of medical data on him was one hundred percent normal, even though blood, fluid and electrolyte imbalances, as well as loss of brain function, would normally be expected, following the recovery he had apparently undergone. (TXF: "DeadAlive") Mulder's recovery rendered a neurological disorder he had been suffering from, prior to his abduction, no longer detectable and seemingly caused scars on his face, hands, feet, and chest - wounds from his abduction - to repair themselves. (TXF: "Three Words")
- There is some evidence, from TXF: "DeadAlive", to suggest that the transformation into a super-soldier might possibly cause confusion and/or loss of memory in an individual who had undergone the transformation.
In 2001, Shannon McMahon claimed to Agents Doggett, Scully and Reyes that not only had both Carl Wormus and Roland McFarland been preparing Maryland's water supply, as part of a government program, but also that the same program altered the molecular make-up of chloramine before adding it to the water, with the secret intention of priming a population to breed a generation of super-soldiers by adding something to the water that promoted the mutation of offspring, in fertilization and pregnancy. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
The following year, Jeffrey Spender revealed that his scarring was due to having been injected by something that had burned throughout his entire body, inside and out, and that this procedure had been a failed attempt to turn him into one of the alien men whose kind were now conspiring within the government. Spender also claimed that the aliens planned to perform the same procedure on everyone else and, even after he came clean about his identity and normalized William's biology, Spender implied that there was a risk the aliens would subject William to this procedure. (TXF: "William")
The appearance of a super-soldier's internals are indistinguishable to those of a human, as the two are virtually identical. (TXF: "Existence") When externally examined by a doctor, a super-soldier would, physically, seem absolutely humanly normal. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II") However, there are some features that characterize alien super-soldiers and differentiate them from humans. (TXF: "Three Words", et al.)
Neck Ridges & Metallic Vertebrae
Upon external examination, super-soldiers can only physically be identified by a pair of spinal disc-like protrusions on the backs of their necks. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II", et al.) This physical feature is actually a vertebra and is, unlike the body's other internals, metallic in design.
When alone outside a super-soldier's body, this component is known to repeatedly spin and stop, replicating itself (with additional vertebrae that join the original component) and multiplying itself by two each time. This vertebra is also apparently capable of reconstituting a seemingly deceased super-soldier's mashed up internals, allowing the alien to be resurrected. (TXF: "Existence")
In late 2001, Shannon McMahon termed this feature "a standard mutation," while Scully (a medical doctor) later referred to it as "a small deformity of the spine." (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
- The resuscitative ability of this distinctive feature was never shown and was – specifically, in the episode "Existence" – only ever implied.
- The component appears in TXF: "Three Words" (on Knowle Rohrer), "Essence" (on Billy Miles and Gene Crane), "Existence" (on Billy Miles again and the Game Warden), "Nothing Important Happened Today II" (on Shannon McMahon and again on Knowle Rohrer) and "Providence" (on the "Toothpick Man").
Blood & DNA
Unlike other alien species, super-soldiers bleed red blood that is neither toxic nor acidic. (TXF: "Essence", et al.) Their DNA is complexed with iron and is extremely different from human DNA. (TXF: "Trust No 1")
The super-soldiers have only one definite physical weakness - large amounts of magnetite, an iron compound, exposure to which causes a super-soldier to uncontrollably quiver as its body becomes metallic in appearance before being pulled towards the source of the magnetite at an enormous speed that has often destroyed a super-soldier. This method of destroying a super-soldier was the means of death encountered by both the Shadow Man and Knowle Rohrer. (TXF: "Trust No 1, "The Truth")
Injecting a form of magnetite into a person who is part alien will normalize the person's biology but an elevated amount of iron may still be present in the person's blood, after such an injection. (TXF: "William")
- Stabbing a super-soldier through its torso with another super-soldier's arm is possibly another means of destroying this type of alien but this possibility would be disproved if Scully's dream of Shannon McMahon regaining consciousness on the seabed, after seemingly being killed by Knowle Rohrer's arm, was accurate. Moreover, Billy Miles' injuries were much more serious than those sustained by Rohrer or McMahon, yet he managed to fully regenerate his body.
Alien super-soldiers possess many physical abilities that humans do not have. (TXF: "Essence", et al.) In late 2001, Shannon McMahon implied that the super-soldiers did not require any sleep. A super-soldier's body could even continue to function after decapitation. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
- In several episodes from the ninth season of The X-Files, Scully's baby son, William, exhibits abilities that are possibly related to those of the alien super-soldiers, as he is suggested as being one of these aliens himself. This possibility is never firmly confirmed nor denied, however, and whether his abilities are indeed related to the super-soldiers' is consequently also unknown.
Hand as a Blade
A super-soldier can apply such extreme force to its hand that it can, using merely one limb, behead people - by moving their hand quickly in a horizontal slicing action - and cut through layers of metal. (TXF: "Essence", "Existence")
In 2001, Billy Miles used this ability to behead Dr. Lev and Duffy Haskell. Soon after these killings, Miles was about to use the same ability to attack AD Skinner, on the roof of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, when Miles was pushed off the roof by Mulder. (TXF: "Essence")
Upon returning to the FBI building shortly thereafter, Miles used a straightened hand as well as his forearm to cut through an elevator door and seriously injure AD Skinner, having chased him and Krycek inside the elevator. Billy Miles' arm continued to tear through the elevator door, as the elevator lowered, but he soon lifted his arm out of the hole he had torn, releasing the elevator with a shudder. (TXF: "Existence")
Later that year, near the docked Valor Victory, Shannon McMahon decapitated Knowle Rohrer using only her hand, in a swiping motion. Moments later, however, one of Rohrer's hands, from his headless body, thrust clean through McMahon's torso, causing her to spasm, before the remains of both super-soldiers ended up in the sea. The Captain of the Valor Victory had also been beheaded by this time, presumably by Rohrer. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
In 2001, Billy Miles threw Mulder bodily through a plate glass wall in the offices of the Parenti Medical Group, causing Mulder to skid across the floor, lose consciousness and need stitching for a gash on his right temple. (TXF: "Essence")
- When Scully attempts to flee her apartment with Mulder while followed by super-soldier Billy Miles in TXF: "Essence", they find that Scully's car has been blocked in, between cars in front of and behind her vehicle but without sufficient room to pull out. This may be another example of Billy Miles' supreme strength, if he lifted or pushed the cars together.
Shannon McMahon used a similar force to push Carl Wormus' leg down on the accelerator of his car and to drag Wormus, Roland McFarland and Doggett each underwater. The power of McMahon's grasp on Wormus left fingerprints on his lower leg, later found by Agents Scully – who was at a loss as to how someone had held him down, as well as who that person had been – and Reyes. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today")
Near the docked Valor Victory shortly thereafter, super-soldier Knowle Rohrer attacked Doggett, throwing him several feet through the air, to land against the side of a large wooden crate, before Rohrer attempted to crush the FBI agent's head between his hands, a feat that caused Doggett considerable pain and was only interrupted by the intervention of Shannon McMahon. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
- It should be noted that use of these forms of assault seem to show excessive enjoyment for causing pain, as super-soldiers shown to use these methods were also capable of instantly killing their victims, using merely one hand.
In late 2001, Shannon McMahon used this ability to drown Carl Wormus, holding his leg underwater, effectively stopping him from swimming to the surface of the Potomac, moments after causing him to crash his car through a barricade, off a bridge and into the river.
McMahon also used this ability before surfacing in a filtration pond at the Greater Maryland Water Reclamation Facility, keeping her mouth submerged in the water for a short time before climbing entirely out of the pool, and again, moments later, as she dragged worker Roland McFarland with her when she re-entered the water. After having left the facility, McMahon once again used her unusual breathing capability when she dragged Doggett underwater in one of the facility's large pools. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today") Even after Doggett had lost consciousness, McMahon was still able to directly share her own air with him, effectively preventing him from drowning. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
- If Scully's dreamt vision of Shannon McMahon regaining consciousness on the seabed was accurate, it would imply that McMahon once again used her underwater breathing skill on this occasion. Her fate remains unknown, though, much like the nature of the exact superhuman abilities that Rohrer used to emerge from the sea and return to the military compound that Mulder broke into in "The Truth".
Super-soldiers have an unusually sensitive perception of sound.
Using this ability, in late 2001, Knowle Rohrer made his discovery that Carl Wormus and the Captain of the Valor Victory had been trying to contact the FBI; Rohrer overheard the Captain make a telephone call to someone whom the Captain believed was Carl Wormus but was actually Lone Gunman Melvin Frohike. The Captain mentioned, during the call, that he and Carl Wormus had arranged to notify the FBI of the existence of the laboratory aboard the Valor Victory. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
- This power is referred to as "Super Hearing" in the episode's script.
Although a super-soldier's body may bleed and acquire the appearance of other injuries, they can survive being shot by a gun, run over by a car or train, severely ground up in a garbage truck, drenched in searing hot water, electrocuted and hit with a hard blow to the head by another human. (TXF: "Essence", "Existence", "Trust No 1", et al.) They can also survive explosions, even if they are at the heart of the detonation. (TXF: "Existence", "Providence") In late 2001, in fact, Shannon McMahon claimed to Agent Doggett that both she and Knowle Rohrer, if not also the many other alien super-soldiers that existed by then, could not be killed, as it was only later that the possibility of their destruction was discovered. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II", "Trust No 1")
Billy Miles survived being shot twice at close range by Special Agent John Doggett on one occasion in 2001, shortly after Miles had killed Dr. Parenti and had thrown Mulder through a plate glass wall. Due to the fact that Billy Miles had clearly felt no pain even though he had been injured, Agent Doggett - who had witnessed "plenty of guys, whacked out on chemicals, keep on coming" - initially believed that the most likely explanation was that Miles had been "whacked out on something", meaning intoxicated. (TXF: "Essence")
Shortly after he arrived in Democrat Hot Springs, Billy Miles was shot once with a rifle fired by the Game Warden but, perhaps in the knowledge that she was also a super-soldier, he reacted as if the gunshot had killed him, falling to the ground and going limp, even as the Game Warden and Agent Reyes carried him. He also seemed to have lost too much blood to still be alive and Agent Reyes told Scully that he had "no vitals". To Reyes' shock, however, he later picked himself up from the ground, moments after it was revealed to the agents that the Game Warden was a super-soldier.
At FBI Headquarters, Agent Doggett later threatened super-soldiers Knowle Rohrer and Gene Crane with his FBI-issue gun but realized the weapon would have little or no effect and consequently began an attempt to flee from them, which developed into their chase in the building's parking garage. (TXF: "Existence")
Later that year, Doggett shot Knowle Rohrer fifteen times, emptying his own gun, as the alien super-soldier approached Doggett, immediately prior to Rohrer's attack on the FBI agent. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")
The following year, Doggett shot the Shadow Man twice, at the left side of both the alien's leg and torso, moments after the Shadow Man had shot his own subordinate to death. When cornered by the Shadow Man, Scully aimed her gun at him, but he ignored the threat and continued to approach her. (TXF: "Trust No 1")
Upon being cornered by Knowle Rohrer in New Mexico, Doggett and Reyes each aimed their own gun at Rohrer, who dared Doggett to shoot if he thought it would make a difference, this time. Although Doggett did shoot Rohrer with one shot that hit his torso and spluttered blood on his neck, Rohrer was unaffected until, moments later, he was destroyed by nearby magnetite. (TXF: "The Truth")
Car & Train Collisions
While crossing a street in an attempt to reach Scully's car and its occupants of her and Mulder, Billy Miles was knocked down and run over by Alex Krycek in a speeding car and, although the alien Billy Miles survived, he was wounded in the collision, as demonstrated by the fact that his face was bloodied following the incident. (TXF: "Essence")
Similarly, early in his and Knowle Rohrer's pursuit of Agent Doggett and AD Skinner, super-soldier Gene Crane intentionally ran up to the front of a speeding black car being driven by Skinner (with Doggett in the passenger seat), jumped onto the vehicle - causing the windscreen to splinter - and quickly rolled onto the vehicle's roof, fooling Doggett into thinking that he had been tossed over the vehicle and was left behind. The alien Gene Crane then shocked the vehicle's occupants by holding onto the roof and leaning over the side of the car, smashing the passenger window before struggling to strangle Agent Doggett. The vehicle's occupants finally managed to knock the alien Gene Crane off the side of the car by Skinner driving the car extremely close to a concrete support. Crane survived this collision but his body was severely bloodied. Knowle Rohrer had meanwhile been following Doggett and Skinner in another car and, as Agent Crane began to pick his bloodied body off the ground, the alien Rohrer ran over Crane, flattening him. Knowle Rohrer lost control of his car moments later, before ultimately crashing. (TXF: "Existence")
Moments after having twice been shot by Doggett, the Shadow Man fell onto a set of train tracks at the station where Scully had been waiting for Mulder's return, falling in front of the train that apparently carried Mulder as the train continued on its way. Contrary to what would normally be expected, the Shadow Man was not subsequently found lying dead on the tracks. (TXF: "Trust No 1")
Searing Hot Water
Soon after discovering that the Game Warden was a super-soldier, Agent Reyes flung a bucket of boiling water over her and into her face. The Game Warden initially reacted in agony and her face was badly blistered from the heat of the water but - shortly after Reyes demanded to know of her, "Who are you?" - she suddenly calmed and her voice was strong as she spoke to Reyes. (TXF: "Existence")
Impact by a Human
- The script of "The Truth" describes this hard blow as one that "might kill any normal man, but it merely slows Rohrer."
Knowle Rohrer's fight with Mulder culminated in Mulder managing to throw the super-soldier from a high catwalk and Rohrer falling onto electric wires that sparked and emitted smoke as he was electrocuted. (TXF: "The Truth")
The introduction of the super-soldiers, in the eighth season of The X-Files, was one factor that resulted in there being more mythology episodes in that season, another factor being that the writers wanted to finally explain some of the longer-running elements of the mythology.
The rise of the super-soldiers was virtually a direct reaction to the introduction of the John Doggett character (played by Robert Patrick), following the departure of Mulder actor David Duchovny. Writer John Shiban muses over the connection between the super-soldiers' introduction and that of the Doggett character: "It's a new wrinkle in the mythology that still fits and works and makes sense yet gives him an opponent. You don't want David Duchovny to leave and to burden Robert Patrick's character with having to just be the new Mulder, the new battles and having to deal with the old battles and deal with what Mulder did. You can't replace him, so the trick is to add to the mythology in a way that allows it go forward yet gives your new character something new to deal with." (The X-Files Mythology, Volume 4 - Super Soldiers; Special Features; "Threads of the Mythology, Part 4: Super Soldiers")
Another reason why the super-soldiers were added to the mythology of The X-Files was that their conspiracy was intended to bring an action/adventure feeling to the series. Frank Spotnitz remarks on the fear factor of the scenes that show one of the super-soldiers attacking. "What's so terrifying about those situations is that the attacker is without a conscience. There's no appeal. There's nothing but escape or be destroyed." (The Complete X-Files: Behind the Series, the Myths and the Movies)
The collective name of this group of Aliens is spelled "Super Soldiers" in script sources. In the final scene of "Trust No 1", however, Scully writes and sends an e-mail to Mulder in which she spells the group "super-soldiers."
Frank Spotnitz explains the duplicity inherent in the name. "The super-soldiers was a lie, basically. It was a way to account for these aliens who were appearing. And explain them away in a terrestrial, somewhat believable, fashion. The idea was that the Defense Department was developing genetically-modified human beings. So that was sort of the non-alien explanation. That's not the truth, though. In fact, these were aliens."
Spotnitz recalls the writers' motive for introducing this lie into the series. "By Season 9, Scully had seen so much that a pretty far-out idea ended up being the real world possibility for what was going on, an alternate to the idea of there really being aliens. And that idea was that the government was creating a genetically-altered army of super soldiers [...] That was the most convincing alternative we could think of to account for what Scully had seen. It was Chris [Carter]'s idea to have that be the mislead, have that be the real world explanation for these incredible things that we were seeing. The idea of having aliens come in and replace us, I think we probably came up with together after Season 7."
Explaining why the mislead was never fully revealed as being a lie, Spotnitz comments, "That was the direction the show was going in Season 9, which ultimately ended up being our final season, and so that storyline never kind of flowered as fully as it would have, had there been a Season 10." (The X-Files Mythology, Volume 4 - Super Soldiers; Special Features; "Threads of the Mythology, Part 4: Super Soldiers")
Series finale "The Truth" was originally to feature Shannon McMahon but actress Lucy Lawless became pregnant shortly after filming her appearances in the two-parter "Nothing Important Happened Today" and "Nothing Important Happened Today II", so Knowle Rohrer appeared in the final episode instead.
The book The Complete X-Files: Behind the Series, the Myths and the Movies refers to super-soldiers as "Body Snatcher-like replicants" and describes magnetite as "Super Soldiers' Achilles' heel," referring to both the 1955 science fiction novel The Body Snatchers (as well as its subsequent film adaptations) and classical Greek mythology.
In a documentary featurette included in the set, John Shiban states that the rise of the super-soldiers happened in the Season 8 two-part premiere "Within" and "Without" but, in truth, the super-soldiers were not directly established until sometime after those two episodes, which instead feature Alien Bounty Hunters.