Home > X-Files > Episode Guides > 002 - #1X01: Deep Throat

#1X01: Deep Throat

Mulder and Scully investigate the mysterious disappearance of a US Air Force test pilot who works at Ellens Air Force Base, Idaho. Unfortunately for Mulder, they find much more than they first expected.


Episode Information

Characters

Silver-haired Man  
Anita Budahas  
Col. Robert Budahas  
Paul Mossinger  
Colonel Kissel  
   
   

Synopsis


Teaser:


NEAR ELLENS AIR BASE, SOUTHWEST IDAHO

A team of Military Policemen in black SWAT gear prepare to storm what appears to be a normal, suburban house. The lead officer communicates via radio as the MPs swarm across the garden and around the house.

A woman pushes through the crowd and crosses the barricades that block the street, telling the officer standing nearby that it's her house the Military Police are about to storm. She runs up to the lead officer, asking him what's going on. After checking the woman's name, the lead officer replies that her husband has violated Base security procedures, commandeered a military vehicle and that he's believed to be armed.

Two MPs carry a portable battering ram up the front steps of the house to the door. After a short countdown, they smash open the door. MPs enter the house, checking each room and communicating via silent gestures as they make their way upstairs. One of the MPs radios the lead officer to tell him they have gained access. Overhearing the radio conversation, the woman asks the lead officer to let her speak to him, but she is ignored.

Inside the house, the MPs continue to check room by room, finally opening a door at the end of a hallway. The MP who opens the door is visibly shocked at what he sees. He radios the lead officer.
"We got him, but he's gonna need a doctor... or something."

Sitting in a corner of the room, shaking uncontrollably, is a middle-aged balding man dressed only in his underwear. His skin is covered from head to toe in swollen red blisters. He looks at the MP with terror in his eyes.


Act One:


WASHINGTON, D.C.

In a bar crowded with people talking and drinking, an impatient Scully checks her watch, looking around her before turning back to the paper she was reading. Mulder appears by her side, catching her attention.

"Hi! I got your message," she tells him
"Sorry for the run-around," he replies, "can I buy you a drink?"
"It's two o'clock in the afternoon, Agent Mulder," she responds.
"That's not stopping the rest of these people," Mulder counters before changing the subject. "I've got something to show you." Scully is intrigued.
"Something you can't show me at work?" she asks.
"Let's get a table,"Mulder says, nodding. A grey-haired man surreptitiously watches them as they move away from the crowd at the bar and pass behind him..

Mulder slides a photo of a man in military uniform across the table to Scully. Underneath the photo is the man's Service Record.
"That's Colonel Robert Budahas," he tells her. "That photo was taken last year, when he was a test pilot for the military, stationed at Ellens Air Base in Southwest Idaho. Four months ago, Colonel Budahas experienced a psychotic episode and barricaded himself in his home. The Military Police were called in. Budahas was removed and apparently hospitalised for the treatment of his condition."
"Which was what, exactly?" Scully asks.
"The military will not comment on the cause, nature or status. In fact, the military will not comment on Colonel Budahas at all."
"What do you mean?" Scully asks.
"Mrs. Budahas has neither seen nor heard from her husband in over four months," Mulder tells her. "Her inquiries to the military have gone unanswered - last month, she contacted the FBI and reported it as a kidnapping."
"What reason would the military have to kidnap one of their own pilots?" Scully asks.
"That's the sixty-four-thousand dollar question, Scully," Mulder answers. "Since 1963, six pilots have been listed as missing in action from Ellens Air Base. The military will say only that the pilots accepted the risks of flying experimental aircraft."
"There were rumours those pilots were shot down at high altitudes, while they were routinely penetrating Russian airspace." Scully says.
"There were other rumours, too," Mulder replies. "I've been tracking this case since it came through the Boise Regional Office last month. Last week, for reasons I can't figure out, it was declassified and de-prioritised. They shelved this case without an investigation, Scully."
"So..." Scully begins.
"So, you and I are going to the Spud State to investigate a little kidnapping."
"I don't get it, Mulder," Scully says."Does this have anything to do with an X-File? I thought you only liked those paranormal-type cases. Am I missing something here?"
Mulder stands as he replies, "Let's just say this case has a... distinct smell to it - a certain paranormal bouquet . Excuse me." He heads to the men's room, leaving a mildly-confused Scully sitting at the table.

Mulder washes his hands then leans over the hand basin to splash his face with water. When he straightens up, he sees the grey-haired man from the bar standing in front of the now-closed men's room door.
"Leave this case alone, Agent Mulder," the man says.
"What?" Mulder asks.
"The military will not tolerate an FBI investigation," the grey-haired man tells him matter-of-factly.
"Who are you?" Mulder asks.
"I can be of help to you," the man replies, ignoring Mulder's question. "I have a certain... interest in your work." As the man speaks, someone knocks on the men's room door, which Mulder notices has been bolted shut.
"How do you know about my work?"
"Let's just say I'm in a position to know quite a lot of things... things about our government," the silver-haired man responds.
"Who are you?" Mulder asks again. "Who do you work for?"

"That's unimportant," the man replies."I came here to give you valuable advice. You are exposing yourself and Agent Scully" - he gestures out to the bar beyond the men's room - "to unnecessary risks. I advise you to drop the case ."
"I can't do that."
"You have much work to do, Agent Mulder," the man tells him. "Don't jeopardise the future of your own efforts." He turns, draws back the bolt and leaves. Mulder tries to follow, but finds his way blocked by the person who had been knocking on the door. Mulder pushes past and heads out to the main area of the bar, scanning the room for the grey-haired man. Seeing him looking around, Scully walks over to him asking, "You OK, Mulder?"
"Yeah," he tells her. "I'm fine."

Later, Scully is using a microfiche reader to do some research. As she scans through the pages, a headline catches her eye: Ellens Air Base Mecca for UFO Buffs. As she reads the article, she notices the phrases UFO technology with stealth weaponry and military may be experimenting.

Meanwhile, Mulder is cooking in the kitchen of his apartment when the phone rings. He picks up: it's Scully
"Mulder? I checked over that file you gave me," she tells him. "You failed to tell me a few things." As Scully speaks, Mulder hears a series of unusual clicking sounds on the line. "This isn't some kind of UFO goose chase you're leading me on, is it?" Scully asks. When Mulder doesn't reply, she asks if he's still there.
"Yeah," he replies, distracted.
"Did you hear what I said?" Scully goes on, "because the Bureau has it out for us already, and it would makes us appear pretty stupid if my field report read like some tabloid story." As he listens to her talk, Mulder parts the slats on the venetian blinds covering his window to see an unmarked silver-blue van parked across the street from his apartment building.
"Listen, I don't want to talk about it on this line," he replies. "We'll talk about it on the flight out, OK?" He hangs up, looking from his phone to the window and the van parked at the side of the road beyond.


MARRIETTE FIELD, SOUTHWEST IDAHO

The following morning, the Agents' flight touches down in Idaho. Some time later, they arrive at the Budahas residence. They knock on the front door, but are distracted by the sound of a supersonic aircraft breaking the sound barrier in the skies overhead. The door to the house opens, and Mrs. Budahas stands in the doorway.
"Hello?" she says, enquiringly.
"Mrs. Budahas?" Mulder asks. When she confirms her name, he continues, "We're from the FBI." A relieved-looking Mrs. Budahas invites them in, Mulder following Scully into the house.

Inside, Scully and Mrs. Budahas sit and talk; while Mulder listens, he looks at the many photos of Colonel Budahas that hang on the wall. All the photos show him in military dress, some showing him wearing his medals. The photo Mulder showed to Scully from Colonel Budahas' Service record hangs next to pictures of him wearing a flight suit.

"We started noticing it about two years ago," Mrs. Budahas tells Scully. "Bob developed a rash under his arms. We were redeveloping the house at the time, so we thought it was a reaction to the paint stripper. But then everything just... went crazy."
"How do you mean?" Scully asks her.
"Bob's whole personality - it was so unpredictable," she replies, "He started... doing things."
"What kinds of things?" Mulder asks, turning to her.
"It was kind of embarrassing at first," she says. "We were having this dinner party once and he sprinkled Tetra Meal-D all over his food." A baffled Scully looks from Mrs. Budahas to Mulder and back again. "That's fish food flakes," Mrs. Budahas explains.

Scully asks her if she has ever talked to Colonel Budahas about the problem. "I tried - it was extremely difficult," Mrs. Budahas replies. "Bob would get so angry. He would yell at the kids for no reason and then... and then he would shake, like he was having a seizure."
"Did he ever talk about his work?" Mulder asks.
"It was never discussed," Mrs. Budahas tells him, shaking her head, "even before the problems. I knew that he worked on top secret projects - word gets around - but Bob was always a patriot first. He took loyalty to his country as an oath, and now they treat us like strangers." After a pause she adds, "I just want my husband back!"
"You know the government is not above the law: they cannot withhold information." Scully tells her.
"And then I think, what if he's... how would I support the family?" Mrs. Budahas wonders. To avoid an awkward silence, Mulder changes the subject.
"You said word gets around - I'm sorry - have you ever heard about this happening to anyone else?" Mrs. Budahas tells them that Verla McLennon's husband went 'kinda crazy', adding "but it's not like he didn't get to come home, you know?"


A metal vise holds a fishhook steady while it is wrapped with thread. The man working on the fishing fly reaches up and pulls a hair or two from an already-balding patch above his left ear, before inspecting the hair closely. Smiling, he adds it to the fishhook. In a room outside, Scully talks to Mrs. McLennon, who stands watching her husband.

"How long has he been -" Scully begins, but Mrs. McLennon cuts in before she can finish.
"About two years," she says. "The fly-fishing idea was his brother Hank's. I was upset at first, but when you're the wife of a test pilot, you thank God just to have them home alive."
"Mrs. McLennon," Mulder asks, "has anyone ever offered to explain this?"
"Stress, I guess," she replies. "You have to understand, the military deals with things in a certain way. They've given him plenty of therapy and treatment, and I'm thankful for that. They've taken good care of us and you know, they do volunteer for their jobs." Mulder nods, and Mrs. McLennon turns to Mrs. Budahas.
"Really, Anita... bringing the FBI to my house...!" Oblivious to his surroundings, Mr. McLennon is focused on the fishing fly he's working on.

Outside the Budahas residence, Mrs. Budahas stands with her son and daughter by her side. She hands Scully a piece of paper.
"I've called all the numbers about a thousand times," she tells Scully. "Please, let me know what you find out." Scully tells her they'll be staying at the Beachgrove Motel if she needs anything. As Mrs Budahas and her children go into the house, Mulder and Scully walk toward their car.
"So what did you think of 'Uncle Fester' down the block?" Mulder asks.
"It's called stereotypy," she replies. "It's a syndrome produced by extreme stress. POWs have been known to suffer from it, and they've studied it in zoo animals."
"Yeah, but these guys aren't zoo animals, they're test pilots," Mulder points out. "They not supposed to fold under pressure, they're supposed to thrive on it."

Scully asks him if he's ever heard of the Aurora Project.
"It's the unacknowledged codename for some new kind of Defence Department surveillance project," he tells her.
"The government have all but admitted they've been testing a secret class of sub-orbital spy craft over the Western US. Maybe Colonel Budahas, Verla McLennon's husband, and the other pilots have been flying those spycraft - or that perhaps they're the washouts."
"You saw the photos on the wall in there," Mulder says, laughing. "This guy Budahas received a Presidential Commendation. He's never washed out of anything in his life."


In the agents' motel room, Scully hangs up the landline handset as Mulder finishes up a call on his mobile.
"I've been on hold to the Base Director of Communications for forty-five minutes," he tells her, "How about you?"
"Someone named Colonel Kissel will talk to us... a week from Friday," she tells him.
"Yeah, right." Mulder says, obviously unimpressed. He thinks for a moment before turning and grabbing the phone directory from behind him. "Did you say Kissel?" he asks as he flicks through the pages.


The agents are sitting in their car, parked by the side of a road. They watch as another car drives down the road behind them before pulling into a driveway. The agents leave their car and cross the road, Mulder putting on his suit jacket as he walks.
"Colonel Kissel?" he asks the man getting out of the car that now sits on the driveway. "Can I talk with you?"

When Mulder introduces himself and mentions that he's with the FBI, Colonel Kissel tells him he has nothing to say and that Mulder's invading his privacy.
"Why won't you talk about Colonel Budahas?" Mulder asks.
"Why don't you get the Hell outta my yard?" the Colonel responds, letting himself in through his front door and slamming it closed behind him.
"Good thing we still kept that appointment!" Scully quips as Mulder turns away from the door dejectedly. From across the street, a voice calls out to them.
"Hi. Are you the FBI agents?" A man in jeans, a dark jacket and glasses walks up to them and introduces himself.
"I'm Paul Mossinger," he says, "I work with the local paper. We live a few houses down from Verla McLennon. She said you guys are here looking into this Budahas thing." Mulder shakes his head and begins to walk away, Scully beside him.
"No, we're just looking around."
"Ah, gotcha... right," Mossinger says. "Lot of people out here, 'just looking around'. UFO nuts mostly, but it's not everyday we get the FBI." His last few words are almost completely drowned out by the sound of a low flying jet screaming overhead. "By the time you hear them, they're already gone," Mossinger tells the agents. "So, this Budahas thing - are you getting anywhere?"
"We're not at liberty to comment," Mulder tells him, still walking. Then a thought occurs to him. "Paul, right? You've lived in the area a while... you ever seen a UFO?"
"Never," Mossinger replies. "Bunch of hooey, if you ask me. People see what they want to see."
"But if I wanted to talk to one of those UFO nuts that you referred to earlier, where would I go?" Mulder asks him.


Act Two

A large, faded and weathered sign stands above "The Flying Saucer" diner. Inside, Mulder and Scully sit at the counter. In front of each agent is a burger and fries. Another hypersonic jet flies over, rattling the collection of glasses on the shelves behind the counter. The owner of the diner, a large, red-haired lady wearing a blue and yellow blouse rolls her eyes.
"F-15 Eagle, pulling about 4 G's," she says. "Those boys think they are such hot-shots... Get a few drinks in 'em, you'd think it was them up there, flapping their wings!" Mulder laughs, and gestures towards a collection of photos pinned up below the glasses.
"Who's the photographer?" he asks.
"Various and sundry," the owner replies. "I took the one on the end there." She points to a picture of a blurry, triangular object which appears to be hovering in the sky just above a line of trees.
"You're kidding," Mulder says."Where?"
"Out on the back porch, taking out the garbage," she replies, "and there it was... just hovering." She hands the photo to Mulder, who looks at it carefully.
"Quiet like a humming-bird," the owner continues, "For a minute there I thought it was gonna land in the parking lot and I was gonna have to serve them lunch!" Scully takes the photo from Mulder as the owner adds, "I'm selling Limited Edition prints - twenty dollars - down to the last five if you're interested."
Mulder takes the photo back from Scully, saying to the owner, "Put it on my tab." Scully leans over to him whispering, "Sucker!" Mulder ignores her.
"What are the chances of someone like me seeing a UFO?" he asks the diner owner.
"Catch you outside," Scully curtly tells Mulder as she hurried begins to get her things together to leave. The owner looks at Mulder, who ignores Scully's reaction and looks back at the owner for a reply to his question.

Sitting outside the diner, Scully is consulting a large map.
"You wanna see something weird, Mulder?" Scully asks as Mulder leaves the diner. "Ellens Air Base isn't even on my USGS quadrant map."
"I know," he replies, walking towards their car. "Let's go."
"You know!?" she asks, hurrying to catch up to him. "Where are we going?" Mulder shows her a crude map, drawn on a napkin from the diner.
"We got our own map... Sucker."


OUTSIDE ELLENS AIR BASE
6:04 P.M.

The agents drive past a sign that proclaims the area they're entering is a "Restricted Military Installation", warning of the illegality of taking photographs or making drawings of equipment at or over the installation, as well as the $1000 fine and one years' imprisonment which is the penalty for violations. Further down the road, the agents pull over next to a chainlink fence topped with rolls of razor wire. Mulder gets out of the car, and opens the trunk.
"What do you honestly hope to see?" Scully asks him.
"I don't know," Mulder replies, "maybe nothing." Scully stands by the open trunk.
"Is that what we came out here for, Mulder? To look for UFOs?" She asks. Mulder doesn't respond; he walks off up a grassy slope. "Yeah, this is gonna look real good on my field report," she calls after him, slamming the trunk shut.


Night falls, and the agents' car is still parked by the chainlink fence. Scully is asleep in the passenger's seat. On the dashboard, her sunglasses begin to shake from vibrations in the air which grow in intensity until Scully wakes up. A sonic boom shatters the glass in the rear windscreen, making a now-wide-awake Scully scream in surprise. Mulder comes running back down the slope to the car.
"Scully, wake up!" he says, opening the door excitedly. He grabs her hand and pulls her out of the car, saying, "You've gotta see this!"


9:13 P.M.

Mulder and Scully stand at the top of the grassy slope, looking across the Air Base beyond the fence. Hovering in the sky are two bright points of light, bobbing and weaving around each other.
"What are they?" Scully asks.
"I don't know," Mulder replies, "Just keep watching, it's unbelievable!" As they watch, the lights head towards each other at high speed only to veer off at a sharp angle at the last second.
"That's unreal," Scully comments. "I've never seen anything like it."
"They've been going at it like that for almost half an hour," Mulder tells her.
"Well, they can't be aircraft," Scully says."Aircraft can't manoeuvre like that."
"What else could they be?" Mulder asks her.
"I don't know - lasers maybe, being shot from the ground, reflecting off the clouds...?" The lights spin around each other, climbing into the sky before disappearing with an audible boom. Shocked, Scully looks at Mulder.
"Oh my God."
Mulder points out another light, this one heading towards them.
"There's another one," he says.
"That's not a plane," Scully replies as the light gets closer and the sound of rotor blades can be heard."That's a helicopter!"

The agents notice movement against the fence near where their car is parked.
"Hey!" Mulder shouts, and the two figures begin to run. Mulder runs down the slope, giving chase with Scully behind him while the light above draws nearer. The agents chase the figures through a patch of trees and into a field, where their quarry stops.
"OK, don't shoot!", says one figure - a teenaged boy - putting his hands up. His teenaged girl friend also raises her hands in surrender.
"Stay right there," Mulder warns.
"We didn't do anything!" The girl protests. Seeing the helicopter approaching, Mulder gestures to the teenagers to follow him and Scully.
"C'mon!" The four of them huddle under the cover of a tree while the helicopter's spotlight searches for them. When it flies away, the teenagers laugh in relief.
"That was extreme!"
"Let's go," Mulder says to them, "You're coming with us."


5:02 A.M.

The agents and the two teenagers are sitting at a table in a restaurant. Burgers, fries, and glasses of millkshake cover the table. The teenagers tuck into the food hungrily, while the agents watch. Mulder has a faint look of amusement on his face.
"So, what exactly were you guys doing in there?" Scully asks them. The teenagers look sheepishly at each other.
"We were, um... We were..." They share another look before bursting into embarrassed laughter.
"We kinda have this spot..." the girl says, before the boy continues, "We go... we kinda kick back and listen to some tunes and... watch the air show."
"Were you ever chased out before?" Mulder asks.
"No, first time, right?" the boy replies. "Our friends showed us a hole in the fence about a year ago..."
"Oh, one time, they dropped these bombs... Woah!" the girl begins, going off at a tangent.
"That was kinda hairy," the boy agrees, laughing. "Oh," he remembers suddenly, "there's this place - called the Yellow Base, right? - where they're supposed to store all this stuff, and my friend said there's land mines all around it, junk like that."

Outside, a car pulls up, the top half of the driver's face obscured by shadow.
"I've got a twenty - over," the driver says into a walkie-talkie.
"Roger, Red Bird," the response comes back. "Assume fall-back position, we're opening the cage."
"Red Bird out," the driver signs off.

Meanwhile, inside the restaurant, the teenaged boy is describing some of the things he's seen at the Air Base.
"Sometimes they come in real low," he begins, holding his burger above the table to illustrate his point, "and just put on the scares, like - eeeek! - and then they just hang there and hover without making a sound and you're like, 'Who turned down the volume', right?"
"What do you think they are?" Mulder asks him.
"Well, everybody thinks that they're, like, UFOs, but I think they some kind of Star Wars cyber-tech new-fangled hardware, right? I dunno, they'll probably roll it out for Desert Storm II or something like that - cruise right over Saddam's ass, you know..." Mulder pulls the photo he bought at the diner from his bag to show the teenagers.
"Do they look anything like this?" he asks them.
"No." the boy replies, with a glance at his friend. "They look exactly like that!"

A while later, Mulder lifts the teenagers' moped from the back of the agents' car.
"Thanks," the boy says.
"Later, dude!" Mulder quips, to laughter from the teenagers. They walk down a driveway to an open garage as Mulder closes the trunk before getting into the car. He pulls something from his shirt pocket as he sits down.
"What's that?" Scully asks.
"Evidence," Mulder replies, pushing the tape into the car's cassette player. Rock music blares from the speakers as Mulder plays air guitar. Disapprovingly, Scully turns off the tape.
"Kids today, huh?" comments Mulder.
"You believe it all, don't you?" Scully asks him.
"Why wouldn't I?" he counters. Scully smiles at him.
"Mulder, did you see their eyes? If I were that stoned, I..."
"Ooh, if you were that stoned what?" Mulder interrupts, intrigued.
"Mulder, you could have shown that kid a picture of a flying hamburger and he would have told you that's exactly what he saw."
"All right, I wanna show you something," Mulder says to her. He hands her a black-and-white photo of what appears to be another triangle-shaped craft. "This is a photo of a UFO that reportedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Now I know you don't believe that story, but just hear me out. Ellens Air Base - the same base that we're at right now, the same base that for some strange reason doesn't appear on your government map - is supposedly one of six sites where parts from the wreckage were shipped." Scully looks at him.
"Are you suggesting the military is flying UFOs?" she asks him.
"No," Mulder replies, "planes built using UFO technology." Scully holds the photo Mulder bought at the diner next to the black-and-white image he just handed her to compare them.
"Mulder, come on," she says. "You've got two blurry photos - one of them taken almost fifty years ago, and another one you purchased today, in a roadside diner. You're going out on a pretty big limb."
"Tell me there isn't a remarkable resemblance," Mulder argues.
"Tell me one good reason why either of these photos is authentic," she counters.
"You saw exactly what I saw in the sky tonight," Mulder says to her."What do you think they were?"
"Just because I can't explain it, doesn't mean I'm going to believe they were UFOs," she replies.
"Unidentified Flying Objects," Mulder says, "I think that fits the description pretty well. Tell me I'm crazy."
"Mulder, you're crazy," Scully replies. "And it still doesn't explain to me what happened to Colonel Budahas."


Scully runs out of the office of the Beach Grove Motel, across the parking lot and up to the door of Mulder's motel room. Seeing her approach, Mulder opens the door to her.
"You didn't come to raid my minibar, did you?" he asks.
"Are you ready for this? We got a message from Mrs. Budahas," Scully tells him. "Her husband came home last night."

A short while later, the agents pull up outside the Budahas residence. They are met at the door by Mrs. Budahas.
"We got your message," Scully tells her.
"Mrs. Budahas, are you OK?" Mulder asks. She has obviously been crying and is still visibly upset. She invites the agents inside.
The Budahas children sit at the dining room table, drawing and reading books. Mrs. Budahas leads the agents past.
"What is it?" Scully asks. Mrs. Budahas stands in the doorway, holding onto the frame with both hands.
"What?" Mulder asks her. Scully goes into the room, where a balding man in a green T-shirt is sitting.
"That is not my husband," Mrs. Budahas tells the agents. The man in the green T-shirt is sitting behind a small table, on which are some pots of paint and the various pieces of a half-completed model kit.
"Honey," he says to Mrs. Budahas, "Who are these people?"
Mulder looks over at a photo of Colonel Budahas in a green flight suit. It's unmistakeably the same man who now sits in the room with him.
"That is not him," Mrs. Budahas insists. "That is not my husband. They've done something to him."
"What are you talking about?" Colonel Budahas asks her. Mulder steps in, trying to diffuse any situation before it arises.
"It's OK," he tells Colonel Budahas, "just relax. I'm Special Agent Mulder from the FBI." He offers the Colonel his hand. The Colonel shakes it as Mulder continues.
" We're out here investigating your disappearance, Colonel Budahas. I'm wondering if you have any explanation of your whereabouts over the past four months." Colonel Budahas thinks for a moment before replying that he was in the hospital.
"Here, on base?" Mulder asks him.
"I think so," the Colonel replies.
"Colonel Budahas, do you mind if I ask you your birth date?" Mulder enquires.
"November 21st, 1948," replies the Colonel with a sigh. Mulder looks to Mrs. Budahas, who nods in agreement.
"And the names of your kids?" Mulder asks.
"Josh and Leslie - they're right there," answers the Colonel, gesturing to where the children aer sitting. Again, Mrs. Budahas confirms the Colonel's response.
"Green Bay fan?" asks Mulder, gesturing at the design on Colonel Budahas' T-shirt. The Colonel confirms Mulder's assumption, and the agent continues, "Bet you remember the SuperBowl of '68, huh? Don Chandler!"
"Kicked four field goals," replies the Colonel. "Lombardi's last game. Why do I have to answer these questions?"
"It's not him," repeats Mrs. Budahas. Trying a different tack, Mulder turns back to Colonel Budahas.
"Colonel, you're a pilot, isn't that right? I bet you've flown just about everything with two wings. I've got this hot-shot pilot friend who says he can do an Immelman at a sustained 8 G's. Is that possible?" The Colonel thinks for a moment. Seconds pass before he replies.
" I don't... I can't..." He looks up at his wife. "Anita, I can't remember." He gets up to go to her but Mrs Budahas backs away from him, and Scully stands between them.

As the agents leave, Scully asks her partner, "Mulder, would you explain to me what's going on?"
"I think they re-wired that man's brain," he replies. "Some kind of selective memory drain."
"The brain doesn't work like that, Mulder," Scully tells him. "You can't just go in there and erase certain files."
"Then you explain it to me." Scully begins to tell him about certain types of amnesia, but he interrupts her.
"This is not amnesia," he tells her. "I think it's something far more deliberate and insidious."
"All I'm saying," Scully says, "is that the science or medical technology to do what you are suggesting does not exist."
"And neither does the technology to fly the aircraft we saw last night," Mulder reminds her, walking to their car. "Listen to me, Scully - they can do this! That man, he should have known the answer to the question - it just wasn't in his head any more."

As the agents drive, they continue their discussion.
"Even if they could, why would they do such a thing?" Scully asks her partner.
"To control information," he tells her. "I think that after his psychotic episode, Colonel Budahas became a security risk."
"It couldn't just be that he had a nervous breakdown with a concominant memory lapse?" Scully asks him.
"No, I think men like Colonel Budahas are physiologically incapable of dealing with the stress of flying the aircraft we saw - of doing those manoeuvres at those speeds. I mean, we're talking about a technology that is so sensitive and advanced that it's taken almost fifty years to make it work. UFO techology, Scully."

Scully notices two cars on the road in front of them, and as she watches one of the cars pull onto their side of the road. The two cars approach side-by-side, blocking the road ahead.
"What the Hell is he..." she begins.
"Hang on!" Mulder shouts as he stamps on the brake and wrenches the wheel to the right, trying to avoid a collision. The right-hand vehicle swerves to a halt in front of them, and five men in dark suits and sunglasses get out. The man from the front passenger seat walks up to the agents' car and knocks on the window.
"Please, step out of the car," the man says.
"D'you think if we ignore him, he'll go away?" Mulder quips. Again the man knocks on the window.
"Please, step out of the car," he repeats.
"Guess not," Mulder says, opening his door and getting out of the car. "Special Agent Mulder," he starts, reaching for his ID. One of the men slams him against the car as he says "FBI". As Scully gets out she is also pushed up against the car, albeit with significantly less force than Mulder. Some of the men go through the agents' paperwork, removing a large ziplock bag from the glove box and rifling through documents in a manila folder. Mulder's sidearm is taken from him and its clip removed. Scully's is dealt with in a similar way. One of the men removes Mulder's camera from the boot of the car and opens the film compartment, ruining any already-exposed film.

Two agents lead Scully away from the car before emptying her briefcase on the floor.
"Do you mind telling us what this is about?" Mulder asks, earning himself a punch in the kidney for his troubles.
"National Security," the man who knocked on the window tells him. "Now get in your car," the man continues. "You'll be escorted back to your motel. You will pack and leave town immediately or assume the consequences of extreme indiscretion."
Finally, the dark-suited men release the agents.


Act Three

Back at their motel, Scully is talking on the phone.
"Nothing on Idaho plate C-C-1-3-5-6? No plate registered under that number?" She sighs before continuing, "Thanks Gail. No no no, I'm sure the other's bogus too. Bye." She sits on a chair, looking over at Mulder, who is laying on the bed, both hands behind his head. "So, who were those guys?" she asks him.
"I don't think it was those kids they were chasing away from the base last night," he tells her. "I think it was us. They knew we were coming before we ever arrived, and they returned Colonel Budahas as a decoy." Sitting up on the edge of the bed he confesses, "There's something I haven't told you, Scully."
"Something else?" she asks.
"I was approached by a man in D.C. who warned me to stay away from this case. He didn't give me his name... and my phone was being tapped."
"What?!" Scully says, shocked by the revelation.
"Why would they go to all this trouble? Out of a need for security? Security of what ?" Mulder gets up to look out of the window as he continues, "I think there's a huge conspiracy here, Scully. They've got a UFO here, I'm sure of it, and they'll do anything to keep it a secret - including sacrificing the lives and minds of those pilots because - what if that secret got out?"
"If -" Scully replies, "if that were true, it would be a national scandal."
" No, you're not thinking big enough! If it were true, it would be confirmation of the existence of extraterrestrial life." Shaking her head in disbelief, Scully gets to her feet.
"Did you ever stop to think that what we saw was simply an experimental plane? Like the Stealth Bomber - or this Aurora Project. Doesn't the government have a right and a responsibility to protect its secrets?"
"Yes," Mulder agrees, "but at what cost? When does the human cost become too high for the building of a better machine?"
"These are questions we have no business asking," Scully says. "Our kidnap victim is no longer outstanding, let's get out of here, Mulder - while you still have a job." He reaches down and picks up the photo of the UFO he bought from the Flying Saucer diner.
"Aren't you even curious?" he asks. She takes the photo from him, sitting back down on her chair. Mulder picks up his jacket and slings it over his shoulder.
"I'm gonna go take a shower," Mulder says, turning back to Scully. "I'll pack and then - we'll get out of here." Scully smiles as he opens the door to the parking lot. She gets up to continue packing, but doesn't even cross the room before the sound of a car door opening stops her in her tracks. The sound of ignition and a car starting up make her turn and head to the door her partner just closed.
"Mulder," she calls as he reverses their hire car out of its parking bay, "where are you going?" He doesn't answer as he speeds out of the parking lot, squealing tyres leaving marks on the asphalt behind him. A defeated-looking Scully heads back to the motel room.

Outside the air base, the teenagers whom the agents helped the previous night lead Mulder along the chainlink fence. As they described in the cafe, a small bush conceals a gap in the fence, and Mulder crouches low as he squeezes through it. When he realises the teenagers are still outside the fence, Mulder turns round.
"Hey, aren't you guys coming?"
"No, we've - you know - we've only gone in at night," the boy replies. Mulder is not dissuaded.
"This spot you told me about, where you watch the airshow - how far is it?"
"Forty-five minutes?" is the reply, a half-question.
"Will I be able to find it?" Mulder asks them.
"Just stay on the path," the girl answers.
"What about this other place you told me about - Yellow Base, where they hangar them?"
"Don't! Don't even - it's like ten miles!" As Mulder starts to walk away, the boy shouts after him, "Nobody's ever- nobody's ever been that far!"
"Don't go past the edge of the tall weeds!" the girl adds.
Mulder continues walking, and the teenagers lean their backs against the fence.
"Oh man!" the boy exclaims to his friend. "Did we tell him about the landmines and junk?" Filled with sudden fear, they turn back to the fence calling after Mulder.
"Hey!"

As dusk approaches, Mulder picks his way through a field of grass almost as tall as he is. As he steps out from the edge of the tall weeds he looks up, checking the sky, before looking down at his watch to check the time. He crouches at the edge of the tall grass to wait.

When night has finally fallen, Mulder continues his journey.He steps out from the long grass once more and makes his way to the edge of an expanse of concrete, on the other side of which is a large hangar, floodlights illuminating the many-windowed sides. Something catches his attention and Mulder looks to the left.

In the distance in the sky above him is a ball of light, which quickly grows to bright white triangle of light. As he watches, it seems to silently swoop down and its shape can be more easily determined - a low triangular shape, with blindingly bright white lights on each corner. The craft hovers in the air over Mulder, smaller lights along its sides flashing rapidly. Suddenly, a beam of light erupts from the middle of the craft's underside, bathing Mulder in its light. He stands transfixed, shielding his eyes with an outstretched hand. Then the beam goes out and the craft flies off, and Mulder turns to watch it go.

In the distance behind him are two sets of headlights, accompanied by the spinning blue and red lights of Military Police vehicles. Mulder hears their engines as they approach, and he begins to run. He sprints for his life along the asphalt, desperately trying to outrun the vehicles behind. One pulls off to one side as they attempt to trap Mulder from two sides; he slows and tries to dodge the vehicles, but they cut him off and he is swarmed by military personnel, who tackle him onto the ground before manhandling him onto a hospital gurney.

They strap Mulder down and bundle him into the back of the larger vehicle, a military ambulance. The reaer doors are slammed shut and the vehicles speed off back toward the hangar. In the back of the ambulance, Mulder struggles against his restraints. One of the military personnel loads a syringe with a clear substance, injecting him in the forearm while another holds Mulder's arm steady. A third person holds an oxygen mask over the agent's face.


6:30 A.M.

Back at the motel, Scully is on the phone.
"I'm trying to make a call to Washington, D.C. and I can't seem to get a long-distance line," she explains to the person on the other end of the line. The connection drops, and Scully says, "Hello... Hello?" into the receiver before slamming down the phone in frustration. She returns the phone to its table, leaves the motel room and heads to the Motel Office. She asks the owner if she can use his phone to make a credit-card call. He hands her the phone from the desk and she begins to dial, but it's not working either.
"Phones are pretty undependable around here," the motel owner explains. "People say it's the military interference, but they say that about everything!" Scully thanks the owner and leaves the office.

On the air base, the military ambulance is reversed into the hangar, and a drugged, semi-conscious Mulder is wheeled out, still strapped to the gurney. As he drifts in and out of consciousness, Mulder sees many people in what appear to be white lab coats. Behind a translucent plastic sheet the vague shape of a triangular pyramid hovers.

Scully stands in the parking lot of the motel, pondering her next move when she sees a familiar face at the door to her motel - Paul Mossinger, the journalist Mulder and Scully met a day or two before.
"Hi - I was just looking for you," he explains. Scully checks the back of her belt for her sidearm, but its not there.
"I knocked, but I saw the door was open," Mossinger continues.
"I was in the lobby, trying to make a call," she replies.
"Phones down again?" he asks her. As she answers, a voice comes over the radio in Mossinger's car, which is parked nearby.
"Base to Red Bird, can you give us your position. Over."

Scully dashes to the car, pulls open the passenger door and gets in, reaching over and engaging the lock on the driver's side.
"Red Bird, do you copy?" the voice asks, as Scully searches for the keys.
"What are you doing?" asks Mossinger, who is at the car window. Scully searches in the sun visor for the keys to the car, then opens the glove compartment, despite Mossinger telling her, "There's nothing in there."
Contrary to what he says, Scully finds a handgun and an ID badge in the glove compartment. She grabs them both. The ID reveals that Mossinger is a member of the Airbase Security, with a Level 2 clearance. Distracted by her find, Scully doesn't notice Mossinger approach with a fire extinguisher until it's too late. He smashes the passenger window with it, knocking the gun into the footwell. He tries to grab Scully, earning himself a poke in the eye which makes him recoil. He hurries round to the driver's door, but before he can reach it Scully steps out, pointing the gun at him.
"Hands on the car!" she orders. "Do it!"
"Put the gun down, and we'll talk about it," Mossinger tells her, but she pushes him against the car, gun in the small of his back. In the distance, the teenagers enter the parking lot on their scooter.
"Who are you?" Scully asks him, but Mossinger avoids the question.
"You're a log way from home, Doctor Scully," he says. "No-one wants this to come to violence now." The teenagers come to a stop a short distance away.
"Where's Mulder?" she asks them, gun still in Mossinger's back.
"We took him to the base," they tell her. "We waited for him."
"I want you to get on that walkie-talkie and find out where Mulder is," Scully says, turning back to Mossinger.
"I don't think I can do that," he argues, but she is insistent. "I think you can, or I'm gonna have every newspaper in America out here writing about your experimental aircraft!"

A large surgical light is pulled into Mulder's view, and a man in green scrubs leans over him. Gloved hands open his eyelids, and his response to light is checked while various machines bleep quietly, monitoring his vital signs. An anaesthetic mask is placed over his nose and mouth, and drops of an unknown liquid are dripped into his eyes. He struggles briefly, then succumbs to unconsciousness once more.

"There are other ways to go about this," Mossinger tells Scully as he drives her to the base. Scully still has the gun trained on him.
"Yeah, I've already seen where you get with tears and a sad story," she answers him from the rear seat.
Mossinger stops the car at an entrance to the base, where a pair of guards stand in front of a chainlink gate, automatic rifles in their hands. One of them answers a radio hail on his walkie-talkie.
"Package is arriving," the voice says.
"You do anything stupid and this situation could get big in a hurry," Mossinger tells Scully.
"You just keep telling yourself that," she replies.
"Intruder arriving," the voice on Mossinger's walkie-talkie announces.
As a dark-coloured Jeep arrives, the guards swing the gate open. The jeep stops at the entrance to the base, and a dishevelled-looking Mulder stumbles out.
"I want you to keep the car running, and step out of the car," Scully tells Mossinger. He does as he is ordered, and Scully also gets out, walking around the back of the car to where Mossinger stands. Mulder stands by the gatehouse, a confused look on his face.
"Get in the car, Mulder," Scully tells him, repeating herself when he seems not to understand. Mulder looks back to the Jeep then slowly shuffles over to the car, and Mossinger walks towards him.
"I just wanna say," he tells Mulder, "everything you've seen here is equal to the protection we give it. It's you who have acted inappropriately."
Mulder walks to the car as Mossinger makes his way to the Jeep. Scully drives away, leaving Mossinger to watch as they go. As they drive, Scully asks Mulder if he's OK.
"I think so," he replies. After a few seconds he says, "Scully, I... How did I get here?"

At the Budahas residence, Mrs Budahas opens the door to the agents. Mulder seems to have recovered.
"We came by to see how your husband was doing," Mulder explains.
"He's fine," she tells them, a little unconvincingly. "He's getting much better now."
"Do you think maybe we could see him?" Mulder asks, stepping forward, but Mrs. Budahas tells them her husband is resting. From inside the house, Colonel Budahas' voice asks "Who is it now?"
"Thank you for your concern," Mrs. Budahas says to the agents, shutting the door on them.
"They got to her, Scully," Mulder tells her. "They were here, they must have threatened her, and - "
"That's enough, Mulder!" Scully exclaims. "We don't know anything, anything more than when we got here. And that's what I'm going to write in my field report. Let's get out of here, Mulder - as fast as we can."


F.B.I. HEADQUARTERS
WASHINGTON, D.C.
ONE WEEK LATER

Scully writes up her field report on her computer:
"Lieutenant Colonel Robert Budahas was returned to his home, though his own knowledge of his disappearance and whereabouts is vague and inconclusive.
"Special Agent Mulder's insistence that Budahas may have been a test pilot on top-secret project involving aircraft using recovered UFO technology, and may have suffered severe stress-related trauma by flying these aircraft is also inconclusive. Though this agent can corroborate Agent Mulder's eyewitness account of two unidentified flying objects in the northern sky over Ellens Airbase, their exact nature or design could not be determined. Barring further authorised enquiry this case - file #DF101364 - is closed."
She leans back in her chair, looking at the photo Mulder bought from the diner.

Out on the bureau's training track, Mulder is doing laps. He stops to catch his breath, and notices the mysterious man who warned him off the Budahas case is approaching him across the field. Mulder walks to meet him.
"Your lives may be in danger," the mysterious man warns him.
"Why?" Mulder asks.
"You've seen things that weren't to be seen. Care and discretion are now imperative," the man tells him. "As I said," he continues, "I can provide you with information, but only so long as it's in my best interest to do so."
"What is your interest?" Mulder asks him.
"The truth," comes the reply.

"I did see something," Mulder tells the man, "but it's gone... They took it from me... they erased it. You have to tell me what it was."
"A military UFO," the man replies. "Mr. Mulder, why are those like yourself who believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life not dissuaded by all the evidence to the contrary?" he asks.
"Because... all the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive," Mulder replies.
"Precisely," the man agrees.
"They're here, aren't they?" Mulder asks him.
"Mr. Mulder, they've been here for a long, long time," the man tells him, turning to leave. Mulder watches as the man walks away.


Notable Quotes

  • NSA Agent: "You'll be escorted back to your motel, you will pack and leave town immediately or assume the consequences of extreme indiscretion."
  • Deep Throat: "Mr. Mulder, why are those like yourself who believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life not dissuaded by all the evidence to the contrary?"
    Mulder: "Because all the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive."
  • Mulder: "They're here, aren't they?"
    Deep Throat: "Mr. Mulder, they've been here for a long, long time."


X-traneous Information

  • Although never named in the episode, the X-Files Collectible Card Game reveals that the teenagers who help Mulder into Ellens Airbase are named Emil and Zoe.
  • The car number plate Scully mentions on the phone as belonging to the dark-suited men - CC1356 - conceals Chris Carter's initials.
  • The episode's case number (#DF101364) is a reference to both Chris Carter - his birthday is October 13th (10-13 in US notation) - and his wife (Her year of birth is 1964).
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