Mulder and Scully investigate a series of unsolved murders in Baltimore involving the removal of the victims' livers, which dates back a hundred years.
Mulder and Scully investigate a series of unsolved murders in Baltimore involving the removal of the victims' livers, which dates back a hundred years.
A man walks out from under the canopy of the Hastings restaurant, retrieving his keys from his pocket as he makes his way to his car. From a drain on the opposite side of the street, a man watches him with strikingly yellow, jaundiced-looking eyes.
The man arrives at his office building, exiting the lift and heading to his office. Behind him, the lift doors open again, but the lift car is on another floor. The lift cable shakes as if a weight is hanging from it. Meanwhile, in his office, the man from the restaurant sits at his desk and dials a number on his office phone.
"You've reached the Usher residence," a recorded message says when the call connects. "Please leave a message at the tone. Thank you."
"Hi, honey," the man begins."It's about eight thirty, and I'm gonna be here for a while... the presentation didn't go so well. Call me. I love you. Bye."
He hangs up the phone, picks up his cup and heads for the coffee machine in the hallway outside his office. Shortly after he leaves, the screws on the wall-mounted air vent begin to unscrew - from the inside. The man pours coffee from the pot into his cup, as a grimy hand reaches under the now-unscrewed air vent, opening it further. The businessman returns to his office, closing the door behind him. He is immediately attacked by an unseen assailant, and during the struggle he tries to open the door, to no avail. He is slammed against it with enough force to break almost all the way through.
Dark-coloured liquid drips onto the beige carpet, soaking in to form a large stain. It falls from the businessman's coffee-cup, which now lies on its side on his desk. The businessman lies nearby, the side of his neck soaked in blood that is also spattered across the various sheets of paperwork that litter the desk. The wall-mounted vent is slowly pulled shut - again, from the inside - and the screws are carefully re-tightened.
"Guess who I ran into from our class at Quantico?" a suited man asks his companion Agent Scully, over lunch. "Marty Neil," he tells her, without waiting for an answer.
"J. Edgar Junior?" she asks him.
"Just got bumped up - Foreign CounterIntelligence, New York City bureau. Supervisory Special Agent."
"Two years out of the Academy - how'd he land that?" she asks him, taking a sip of water.
"He lucked into the World Trade Center bombing," the man tells her.
"Well, good for Marty," Scully says, to the obvious amusement and annoyance of her friend.
"Oh come on, Dana... The guy's a loser - just look at where he is now. That's where we should be." "Brad Wilson told me the psychological profile you wrote on the Washington Crossing Killer led them straight to the suspect." Scully leans forwards as she speaks. "Word has it you're on the Violent Crime Section's fast-track."
"So how are you doing?" he responds. "Have you had any Close Encounters of Third Kind?" Scully looks at him as he grins.
"Is that what everyone thinks I do?" she asks.
"No, of course not," he tells her, somewhat unconvincingly, "but you do work with 'Spooky' Mulder."
Defending her partner, Scully tells him, "Mulder's ideas may be a bit out there, but he is a great agent."
"Yeah, well I've got this case that's a bit 'out there'..." Scully's friend tells her. "Baltimore P.D. call us, they want our help on a serial killer profile. Three murders began six weeks ago, victims vary in age, race, gender - no known connections to each other."
"I take it there's a pattern," Scully guesses.
"Point of entry - actually, the lack of one," he tells her. "One victim, a college girl, killed in her ten-by-twelve cinderblock dorm room. She was found with the windows locked, and the door chained from the inside. The last incident," he continues, "a few days ago: a high-security office building, nothing on the security monitors, the janitor who spoke to the victim minutes before the murder didn't hear or see anything out of the ordinary."
"Suicides?" Scully asks him. He hands her a photo.
"Each victim was found with their liver ripped out. No cutting tool was used."
"Bare hands?" Scully enquires, adding, "This looks like an X-File." Her friend is instantly defensive.
"Let's not get carried away," he tells her."I'm gonna solve these murders, but what I would like from you is to go over the case histories, maybe come down to the crime scene."
"Do you want me to ask Mulder?" she asks. Her companion doesn't seem impressed by the idea.
"OK," he says, "if he wants to come and do you a favour, great, but make sure he knows this is my case. Dana, if I can break a case like this one, I'll be get my bump up the ladder... and you? Maybe you won't have to be Mrs. Spooky any more." Scully doesn't reply.
"So why didn't they ask me?" Mulder asks.
"They're friends of mine from the academy," Scully tells him, "I'm sure they just felt more comfortable talking to me."
"Why would I make them so uncomfortable?"
"It probably has to do with your reputation," she says.
"I have a reputation?" Mulder asks in mock surprise.
"Mulder, look," Scully replies."Colton does things by the book and you don't. They feel you methods, your theories are..." she searches for the right word.
"Spooky?" Mulder interrupts. "Do you think I'm spooky?" Before she can reply, a voice from outside the office speaks.
"Agent Scully's in here, sir."
The man with whom Scully was talking over lunch walks into the office.
"Dana, sorry I'm late."
"We just got here," she tells him, before introducing her partner. "Fox Mulder - Tom Colton ." Mulder and Colton shake hands briskly.
"So Mulder, what do you think?" Colton asks, baiting him. "Does this look like the work of little green men?"
"Grey." Mulder replies. Colton is evidently confused.
"Grey," Mulder says again, as Scully rolls her eyes. "You said green men. A Reticulan's skin is actually grey. They're notorious for the extraction of terrestrial human livers, due to iron depletion in the Reticulan galaxy," he adds with a deadpan expression.
"You can't be serious," Colton says.
"Do you have any idea what liver and onions go for on Reticula?" Mulder quips.
Colton shakes his head in disbelief as Mulder walks over to the air vent on the wall.
"Dana, I've been thinking about this," Colton says to Scully as he searches the floor, "and I have a theory that might explain a lot. Tell me what you think."
On one of the sheets of paper on the floor, Mulder spots some thin metal shavings.
"What if the guy enters the buildings during work hours?"
Mulder picks up the metal shavings with a pair of tweezers. After examining them, he looks up to the vent on the wall above him. He reaches into an evidence collection kit for a brush and pot of fingerprint powder.
"What in the hell's he doing?" Colton asks, noticing Mulder as he blows the excess powder off the brush and gently dusts around the edge of the vent.
"That vent is six inches by about eighteen," Colton tells him. "Even if a Reticulan could crawl through, it's screwed in place."
Mulder says nothing, looking instead at the now-evident lines that mark the ridges of what appears to be an elongated fingerprint.
Later, back in their FBI basement office, Mulder talks to Scully about the case.
"This is the print I took yesterday from Usher's office," he tells her, indicating one of number of photographic slides on the lightbox in their office in F.B.I. Headquarters. "These others are from an X-File. Ten murders, Baltimore area. Undetermined points of entry. Each victim had their liver removed. These prints were discovered at five of the ten crime scenes."
"Ten murders?" Scully asks in surprise. "Colton never mentioned-"
"Most likely he's unaware of them, " Mulder tells her. "These two prints were lifted five years before he was born, at Powhattan Mill," he explains, "and these three were lifted probably... five years before his mother was even born." Scully looks at him in shock.
"Are you saying these prints are from the 1960s and the 1930s?" she asks him.
"...and fingerprinting was just coming into its own in 1903, but there was a murder involving an extracted liver." Scully takes off her glasses and lays them on the light box, pushing her chair back from the desk.
"Of course," she says, standing up.
"That's five murders every thirty years - that makes two more to go this year," Mulder says.
"You're saying these are copycats," Scully replies.
"What did we learnt he first day at the Academy, Scully?" he asks her. "Each fingerprint is unique - these are a perfect match."
"Are you suggesting that I go before the Violent Crime Section and present a profile declaring that these murders were done by aliens?" she asks him.
"No, of course not. I find no evidence of alien involvement," Mulder replies.
"Well, what then? That this is the work of a hundred-year-old serial killer capable of overpowering a healthy six-foot-two businessman?" she says, incredulously.
"...And he should stick out in a crowd with ten-inch fingers!" Mulder adds.
"Look," Scully replies, "bottom line: this is Colton's case."
"Our X-Files dates back to 1903 - we had it first," Mulders tells her.
"Mulder, they don't want you involved. They don't want to hear your theories. That's why Blevins has you hidden away down here," Scully tells him gently.
"You're down here too," he reminds her. "Look, why don't we agree to this: they'll have their investigation, we'll have ours, and never the twain shall meet. Agreed?"
Scully types her report on the Usher murder:
"After a careful review of the violent and powerful nature of these murders, I believe the killer to be a male, 25-35 years of age with above average intelligence. His manner of entry has so far been undetectable: this may be due to his superior knowledge of the inner structure of buildings and ductworks, or that he in fact hides in plain sight, posing as delivery or maintenance workers."
Scully presents her victim profile at a meeting with the Violent Crime Section. Tom Colton is amongst the agents sitting around the table.
"The extraction of the liver is the most significant detail of these crimes," she tells them. "The liver possesses regenerative qualities: it cleanses the blood. The taking of this trophy is the transferring act for the killer to cleanse himself of his own impurities. I think he is acting under the classic form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
"Since the victims are unrelated and we cannot predict who will be next, we must utilise the fact that a killer will not always succeed in finding a victim. When this occurs, a serial killer may return in frustration to the site of a previous murder, attempting to recapture the emotional 'high'. I think the best course of action is to target these sites," she concludes.
"Good job, Agent Scully," the investigation's lead agent tells her. He addresses the rest of the agents around the table.
"If there are no objections, I'd like to begin our stakeouts of the murder sites tonight. We're looking for a male, 25 to 35, possibly wearing a uniform... Gas company, UPS, whatever. "I know you're assigned to another area, Agent Scully, but if you don't mind some overtime you're welcome to come aboard with us - that is, if you don't mind working in an area that's a bit more... down-to-earth?" His final comment draws scattered laughter from around the table.
Taking part in the stakeout arranged by the Violent Crime Section, Scully sits in her steel-grey saloon car in the parking basement of George Usher's office building. From her walkie-talkie comes a burst of static, then a voice.
"Position 10, station check." Scully picks up the walkie-talkie and answers.
"Position 10, I copy."
From elsewhere in the basement she hears the sound of metal sheets deforming under weight. She gets out of her car, pushing the door almost closed as she draws her sidearm and heads towards the source of the noise. As Scully approaches a concrete dividing wall, the sound of footsteps approaches from the other side. She steps out from the wall, pointing her gun at Mulder. In his hand is a bag of sunflower seeds.
"You wouldn't shoot an unarmed man, would ya, copper?" Mulder asks in a faux-Cockney accent.
"Mulder, what the Hell are you doing here?" she asks him.
"He's not coming back here," Mulder tells her in response, "His thrill is derived from the challenge of a seemingly-impossible entry. He's already beaten this place - if you'd read the X-File on the case, you'd come to the same conclusion."
"Mulder, you are jeopardising my stakeout," Scully tells him.
"Seeds?" Mulder offers the bag of sunflower seeds to her, but Scully turns away. "You're wasting your time," he tells her, adding, "I'm going home." He begins to leave, and Scully heads back to her car.
As Mulder walks across the underground car park, he also hears the metallic sounds, and follows them to a fenced-off maintenance area containing a mass of pipes and ductwork. He stands listening for a moment, then notices movement inside one of the ducts. He runs back to where Scully's car is parked.
" Scully! Call for backup and get over here!" he shouts.
Scully gets out of the car, speaking into her walkie-talkie
"Position 10 requesting backup!"
She hurries over to where Mulder stands, by one of the many concrete dividers in the car park.
"Scully - over there!" he says to her, pointing to the maintenance area. The agents head over to the ducts and Scully stands - feet apart, gun drawn and held out in front of her - waiting for whoever (or whatever) is inside to exit the duct.
"Federal Agent - I'm armed," she warns the duct's occupant. "Proceed down the vent - slowly!" she orders.
The metal grille covering the end of the duct is kicked out, and a man slowly emerges, feet-first, from the metal tube. He is dressed in dark brown trousers and a beige shirt, and uses his hands against the outside of the metalwork to get slowly to his feet. He turns to face the agents, his hands raised in a gesture of surrender and non-agression. Other agents from the Violent Crime Section arrive.
"Take him!" Colton tells the agents. Agents swarm the man, forcing him to his knees before making him lay on the floor while he is cuffed. One of the agents tells the man he is under arrest and begins reading him his rights.
"You were right."Mulder says to Scully.
"Is your full name Eugene Victor Tooms?" A brown-haired woman asks the man Scully arrested, who now wears an orange jumpsuit and is hooked up to a polygraph machine.
"Yes," the man answers. There is no hint of any emotion in his voice. The woman marks the location of the polygraph's output for the man's answer as she questions him again.
"Are you a resident of the state of Maryland?"
"Yes" The man's answer is the same, monotonous. Again the polygraph expert marks the ploygraph's output.
"Are you a member of the Baltimore Municipal Animal Control?"
"Is it your intent to lie to me about anything here today?" the polygraph expert continues. "No," the man replies, no emotion evident in his voice.
"Were you ever enrolled in college?" she asks.
"Yes," is the man's reply.
Mulder, Scully, Colton and the Violent Crime Section's senior agent are watching the polygraph test from an adjoining room behind a two-way mirror, accompanied by a Police Officer wearing a Sergeant's insignia on his sleeve.
"Were you ever enrolled in medical school?"
"Have you ever removed a liver from a human being?"
"Have you ever killed a living creature?" The man pauses for a heartbeat.
"Yes," he admits, without a trace of emotion in his voice.
"Have you ever killed a human being?" the polygraph expert asks him.
"No," he replies.
"Were you ever in George Usher's office?" she asks.
"Did you kill George Usher?"
"Are you over one hundred years old?"
"That must be a control question," Colton comments, standing at the back of the adjoining room.
"I had her ask it," Mulder informs him.
"No," Tooms answers the question.
"Have you ever been to Powhattan Mill?" the polygraph expert asks.
"In 1933?" Scully shoots Mulder an uneasy look as Colton looks at his senior agent.
"Are you afraid you might fail this test?" the expert asks.
"Well..." Toom begins, "Yes. Because I didn't do anything."
"He nailed it," the polygraph expert tells the agents after the test is concluded, "A-plus. As far as I'm concerned, the subject did not kill those two people."
She lays the printout on the table for the agents to see. Mulder gets up and studies the printout. As he slides it across the tabletop to sit at its far end, the senior Agent enters the room saying, "Maintenance people at the office building confirmed a call to Animal Control regarding a 'bad smell'. They found a dead cat in the ventilation ducts on the second floor."
"Well, that's that," Colton says.
"It still doesn't explain what he was doing there that late at night," Scully observes.
"So he's one of the few civil servants we have with initiative, and we busted him for it," the senior agent tells her.
"He was crawling up an air duct, by himself, without alerting security," Scully points out. "Dana, he passed the test," Colton cuts in. "His story checks out, he's not the guy. It doesn't mean your profile's incorrect."
"Scully's right," Mulder tells them. "It is the guy."
"What do you got, Mulder?" The senior agent sighs with resignation.
"He lied on questions 11 and 13," Mulder tells him. "His electrodermal and cardiographic response nearly go off the chart."
"Is number 11 the 'hundred-year-old' question?" the senior agent asks. Mulder's silence is affirmation. "Well, let me tell you I had a reaction to that stupid question," the senior agent tells him, "and what the Hell is this Powhattan Mill thing?"
"Two murders with matching M.O.s occurred in Powhattan Mill in 1933," Mulder replies, "just look at the chart!"
"My interpretation of those reactions -" the polygraph expert begins, before the senior agent cuts in.
"I don't need you or that machine telling me if Tooms was alive in '33!"
"He's the guy," Mulder insists.
"I'm letting him go," the senior agent tells him, before leaving the room. The polygraph expert retrieves the printout from the table and follows him.
"You coming?" Colton asks Scully.
"Tom, I want to thank you for letting me put in some time with the VCS," Scully says, standing up, "but I am officially assigned to the X-Files."
"I'll see what I can do about that," Colton replies.
"Tom, I can look out for myself," Scully tells him.
"You said Mulder was out there - that guy's insane." With one last look at Mulder, Colton leaves the room.
"You knew they wouldn't believe you, why did you push it?" Scully asks Mulder as they leave.
"Maybe I thought you caught the right guy," he replies. Seeing the look on Scully's face, he continues, "and maybe I run into so many people who are hostile just because they can't open their minds to the possibilities that sometimes the need to mess with their heads outweighs the millstone of humiliation."
"It seems like you were acting very territorial," Scully tells him, adding "I don't know, forget it."
"Of course I was," Mulder replies, reaching forward and straightening Scully's necklace."In our investigations you may not always agree with me, but at least you respect the journey. And if you want to continue working with them, I won't hold it against you."
He starts to walk towards a nearby staircase; Scully turns to him.
"I don't know," she tells him, "you must have something more than your polygraph interpretation to back up this bizarre theory, and I have to see what it is." Mulder smiles at her as they reach the top of the stairs.
"These are Eugene Tooms' prints," Mulder tells Scully, as he shows her a computerised version of Tooms' ten-print. He taps away on the computer's keyboard, selecting the print from Tooms' left-hand middle finger and enlarging it for clarity. "This is the fingerprint they took from Usher's office. It matches the old ones from the X-Files - obviously no match. But what if, somehow -"
He taps away on the keyboard again, digitally stretching Tooms fingerprint vertically then squeezing its width. He slides one fingerprint over the other... and they match perfectly. Scully stares at the monitor in shock for a second or two.
"How can that be?" she asks her partner
"Only thing I know for certain is: they let him go."
A silver BMW pulls off a suburban road and onto a driveway, parking in front of the doors of a double garage. From the shadows nearby, a now-familiar pair of yellowed eyes watch intently. The driver, a middle-aged man in a business suit, turns off the engine and gets out of the car. The hidden figure steps out of the shadows - it is Eugene Tooms, now wearing his Animal Control uniform once more. He jogs carefully up to the house, pausing momentarily at a window. Tooms looks through the window, his eyes still an unhealthy-looking yellow. Noticing the suited man - evidently Tooms' next target - enter the room, Tooms shrinks back away from the window to avoid being spotted. He watches as the man looks through some paperwork on a table near the window, then creeps away around the side of the house.
Slowly and deliberately, Tooms pushes his fingertips into the gaps between the house's brickwork and begins to climb. Inside, the suited man sorts through his mail, takes off his jacket and heads to the kitchen to make himself a drink. Having now climbed up to the chimney of the house, Tooms puts one arm inside, reaching further and further, his fingers stretching unnaturally. With a sound somewhere between a pop and a crunch, Tooms dislocates his shoulder so he can fit into the small aperture.
Tooms' target takes his glass into the living room of his house, oblivious to the fact that there is someone climbing down his chimney. He takes a sip of his drink before placing his glass on the mantlepiece. Crouching down in front of the fireplace, he slides open the fireguard and reaches over for a long match to light the fire with. He strikes the match on the hearth by the side of the fire, waits for the flame to settle, then lights a crumpled sheet of newspaper under the logs. The paper catches light, and the man watches to ensure the fire grows. Unheeded, Tooms sneaks up behind the man, his face smeared with soot from the chimney. Too late, the man realises he is not alone and turns as Tooms attacks, pulling him to the floor. The man's feet kick and flail, and the newspaper's flame gutters and dies with him.
The following day, the man's house is swarming with VCS agents. One of them runs out a tape, measuring the scene.
"Sixty-four inches from the south wall," he notes.
"Let's run a check on liver transplants in the next twenty-four hours - maybe this thing's black market," Colton tells him.
"C'mon, it was ripped outta there!" the measuring agent replies.
"Look, at this point I'm willing to give any theory a shot!" Colton says, raising his voice. Seeing Mulder and Scully appear at the front door of the house, he adds, "Any sane theory! I'm sorry Dana, I only want qualified members of the investigating team at the crime scene." Scully is surprised by Colton's hostility.
"What's the matter Colton?" asks Mulder. "Are you worried that I'm gonna solve your case?" He smiles and turns to walk into the living room, but Colton puts an arm across his chest, blocking him.
"We have authorised access to this crime scene," Scully tells Colton. "A report of you obstructing another officer's investigation might stick out on your personnel file," she adds pointedly. Colton reluctantly moves his arm, allowing Mulder to enter the room.
"Look Dana," Colton says, "whose side are you on?"
"The victim's," Scully replies.
Inside the room, the agent is still measuring the room.
"A hundred and five inches from the fireplace," he says. Mulder walks over, having noticed a black smear on the white marble fire surround.
"The victim was a Thomas Werner, single, white-" Scully begins, but Mulder interrupts.
"It's Tooms," he says, pointing at the smear. It appears to be a fingerprint, unnaturally stretched. "And he took something," Mulder continues, indicating four smears in a near square on the mantelshelf.
Later, Mulder is sitting at a microfiche reader, poring over census records. He finds one that catches his eye. The name on it: Eugene Victor Tooms. It is dated 1903. He is still smiling in triumph when the door opens, and Scully enters.
"Baltimore PD checked out Tooms' apartment - it was a cover. No-one has ever lived there and he hasn't shown up for work since her was arrested," she tells him.
"I found him," Mulder says, pointing at the microfiche reader's screen. "How do we learn about the present?" he rhetorically asks a shocked-looking Scully, " We look to the past. I think this is where it all began, in 1903 on Exeter Street," he continues, running a finger along the line that reads #103 - 66 Exeter Street . "Now look at the address of that murder in 1903." Scully reaches for the case file, reading the address.
"Apartment two-oh-three." She checks the microfiche reader as she realises, "He killed the guy above him."
"Maybe his neighbour played the Victrola too loud," Mulder quips.
"Well, this must be Tooms' great-grandfather," Scully says.
"What about the prints?" he asks.
"Genetics might explain the patterns," Scully replies, "It might also explain the sociopathic attitudes and behaviours. It begins with one family member who raises an offspring, who raises the next child..."
"So what is this, the Anti-Waltons?" he asks.
"Well, what do you think?" she counters.
"I think what we have to do is track Eugene Tooms. There's four down and one more to go this year - if we don't get him right now the next chance we're gonna get is in..." His voice trails off as he does the maths.
"2023," Scully finishes for him.
"And you're gonna be head of the Bureau by then," Mulder goes on, "So I think you have to go through the census, I'm going to plough through this century's marriage, births, death certificates and - do you have any dramamine on you by any chance, 'cos these things make me seasick."
The agents slowly sift through the records at seperate desks, taking notes as they work. Later, they sit together, discussing their search.
"Found anything?" Mulder asks hopefully.
"Nope," Scully replies, "he disappeared off the face of the Earth. You?"
"Never was born, never married, never died," he replies wearily.
"At least in Baltimore County," Scully puts in. "I did find one thing though," she tells him. "It's the current address of the investigating officer at the Powhattan Mill murders in 1933."
"I've been waiting twenty-five years for you," a white-haired old man tells Agents Scully and Mulder.
"Sir?" Scully enquires.
"I called it quits in 1968 after forty-five years as a cop, and those... killings... at Powhattan Mill. I was a sheriff then, and I'd seen my share of murders - bloody ones - but I could go home, pitch a few baseballs to my kid and never give it a second thought - you gotta be able to do that, or you'd go crazy, right?" Mulder nods his head in agreement.
"But those murders in Powhattan Mill... When I walked into that room, my heart went cold... My hands numbed... I could feel... it ."
"Feel what, Frank?" Mulder asks the old man.
"When I first heard about the death camps in 1945," the man replies, "I remembered Powhattan Mill. When I see the Kurds, and the Bosnians, that room is there. I tell you, it's like all the horrible acts that humans are capable of somehow gave birth to some kind of human monster . That's why I say I've been waiting for you. There's a box in the trunk here, get it for me please." He indicates a trunk. Mulder gets to his feet and opens it, taking out the box Frank mentioned and placing it on the old man's bed.
"Now this is all the evidence I've collected," Frank tells the agents, "officially and unofficially."
"Unofficially?" Scully says, questioning.
"I knew that the murders in '63 were by the same... person... as in '33," Frank replies as Scully looks through the items in the box, "but by then, they had me on a desk pushing papers and they wouldn't let me anywhere near the case." Scully has a large glass sample jar in her hand.
"A piece of the removed liver?" she asks, handing the jar to Mulder to look at.
"Yes, but you know, that wasn't the only trophy he took with him," Frank tells them. "Family members reported small personal effects missing in each case - a hairbrush in the Walters murder, a coffee mug in the Taylor murder." Mulder crouches in front of the old man's wheelchair.
"Have you ever heard the name 'Eugene Victor Tooms'?" he asks him.
"When they wouldn't bring me aboard in '63, I did some of my own work. I took these surveillance pictures," he replies, taking a stack of large, black-and-white photos from the box and handing them to the agents. "This is Tooms."
Mulder flips through the photographs, handing each to Scully as he looks at the next. One shows Tooms in the act of closing the door of a van. On its side is the logo for the 'Baltimore Animal Regulation'.
"Of course, that was thirty years ago," Frank tells the agents. The photo looks as if it could have been taken that morning, apart from the clothing Tooms wears and the 1930s-era van he is standing near. "...and this," Frank continues, handing Mulder another photo, "is the apartment. It was located at - "
"Sixty-six Exeter Street," Mulder finishes.
"Right," Frank says. "That's it, right there."
The photo shows a multi-floor building, fire steps zigzagging up its front. A sign on the front of the building reads 'Pierre Paris & Sons'.
The modern-day building is in a particularly run-down state: many of its windows are smashed and haphazardly boarded up and the sign is now rusted and peeling. Mulder stops the agents' car outside, and both he and Scully get out. They make their way inside the building, sidearms drawn and torches illuminated. Once inside, they head upstairs through the gloomy semi-darkness. Pigeons, disturbed by the agents' approach, flutter somewhere above.
"Here's 1-0-3," Scully says. Mulder stands by the door, waiting for Scully to prepare herself before reaching across and opening the door, its hinges complaining as it swings back. The agents enter cautiously, their torches piercing the gloom.
"The old man was right," Mulder tells his partner, "You can feel it." He begins to look around the almost bare room. A stained, torn mattress stands propped up against one, a dusty sink juts from a corner, and papers and rubbish litter the floor. What little light there is in the room comes through gaps in the misaligned boards over the smashed windows.
"There's nothing here," Scully says. Mulder walks back to the mattress, pulling it away from the wall slightly to look behind it.
"Check this out," he says as he pulls the mattress over onto the floor, revealing a large hole in the wall . "What's down here?" he wonders out loud. Scully joins him, shining her torch into the darkness beyond.
"I don't know," she says, tucking her sidearm in her belt, "let's find out." She starts to climb into the hole.
Scully pauses as she climbs carefully down a metal ladder that has been fixed into the wall, shining her torch around to check her surroundings before continuing. Mulder follows her down the ladder into a dark room with wooden beams across the ceiling.
"Just an old coal cellar," Scully says. The agents continue further into the room, coming to a halt in front of a small table, cluttered with a collection of what appears to be random items including a hairbrush, a fan, a pair of round-lensed spectacles, a table lighter.
"Someone having a garage sale?" Mulder jokes. He reaches down, picking up the table lighter. "This is the shape on Warner's mantel," he says.
"Frank said he collected trophies," Scully reminds him. Mulder puts down the lighter and shines the torch around the shadowy room.
"Does he live in here?" he asks, as the beam of his torch illuminates a nearby wall that appears to be a mass of paper, stretching floor to ceiling.
"It looks like the wall's deteriorating," Scully comments.
"No, somebody made it," Mulder replies. They walk over to take a closer look. Mulder notices a hole in the wall, surrounded by a bright-yellow ooze. "Look, it's a nest," Mulder tells his partner, crouching down to get a better look. "It's made out of rags and newspapers."
"This looks like the opening," Scully says.
"Think there's anything inside?" Mulder stretches out a hand to touch the yellow substance around the hole.
"Oh my God, Mulder... It smells like... I think it's bile ."
"Is there any way I can get it off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?" Mulder replies. Horrified, he flicks the goo from his fingers.
"No one could live in this," Scully says to her partner.
"I don't think it's where he lives," Mulder responds. "I think it's where he hibernates."
"Hibernates?" Scully questions.
"Just listen - what if some genetic mutation could allow a man to awaken every thirty years?"
"Mulder..." Scully begins, but he continues.
"...and what if the five livers could provide him sustenance for that period? What if Tooms is some kind of twentieth-century genetic mutant?"
"In any case," Scully replies, "he's not here now and he's gonna come back."
"Well, we're gonna need a surveillance team," Mulder tells her.
"Yeah. That'll take some finagling," Scully says with a sigh.
"Well, you go downtown and see what you can finagle," Mulder says, "and I'll keep watch." The agents make their way out of the coal cellar towards the ladder. Before they get there, Scully gasps.
"Oh, wait. I'm snagged on something." She turns back to try and free herself. "Oh, it's OK, I got it" she tells her partner, having freed herself from whatever she was snagged on. The agents continue to the ladder. Behind them, a hand moves into a patch of light. Wrapped around the fingers is a fine gold chain. The hand opens, revealing Scully's necklace. From the rafters above, Tooms' yellow eyes watch as the agents leave.
Mulder sits alone at the wheel of his car outside Tooms' building. On of the car's back doors is opened, and a dark-haired man in a black suit climbs into the car. He is joined by another man, who sits in the front passenger seat.
"It's about time," Mulder tells them.
"So who we looking for again?" the man in the front passenger seat asks him. Mulder flips down the sun visor, retrieves a photo and hands it to the him.
"Eugene Tooms. He's unarmed but consider him dangerous. "Scully and I will be back to relieve you in eight hours if he doesn't show."
"You got it!" the dark-haired man in the back says. As Mulder leaves the car, he adds "Spooky!" The men laugh at him; Mulder ignores them and closes the car door.
In a room at the Baltimore P.D., Scully sits at a table, her briefcase in front of her. Nearby sits a white corded phone. The door opens and Tom Colton enters.
"We have to talk," he tells her.
"I have to meet Mulder," Scully replies.
"That's what we have to talk about," Colton responds. "You're using two of my men to sit in front of a building that's been condemned for ten years?"
"It isn't in any way interfering with your investigation," Scully answers.
"When we first had lunch, I was really looking forward to working with you," Colton tells her. Ignoring him, Scully packs her things into her briefcase. "You were a good agent. But now, after Mulder, I couldn't have you far enough away! Don't bother going down there - I had the stakeout called off."
"You can't do that!" Scully tells him.
"No, I can't," Tom admits, "but my Regionial ASAC can - especially after I told him about the irresponsible waste of man hours." Seeing Scully reach for the phone on the table, he adds, "Uh-uh. Let me call Mulder. Let me tell him the news."
"Is this what it takes to climb the ladder, Colton?" she asks him.
"All the way to the top!"
"Then I can't wait 'til you fall off and land on your ass!" Scully retorts. She storms out, and Colton starts dialing the phone. The call connects.
"This is Fox Mulder, I'm not here. Leave a message," Mulder's recorded voice says.
That night, Scully is driving the same car she used in the stakeout of Usher's office building. She pulls up, kills the engine and gets out of the car, heading towards the building across the street.
Mulder stops his car in the alleyway where he left the two agents on stakeout. He turns off the ignition and gets out of the car.
"Where is everyone?" he asks himself out loud. "Scully?"
He switches on his torch. He walks down the alleyway at first. When he realises there has been no-one watching the building, he breaks into a run. He hurrying inside the building.
"This is Fox Mulder, I'm not here. Leave a message," the recording from Mulder's voicemail says.
"Mulder, you must have gone out since Colton gave us the night off - I say we file a complaint against him," Scully says. "I am furious! Call me when you get in. OK, bye."
Hanging up the phone, she begins to run herself a bath. She leaves the bathroom just as a figure appears at the window, its features obscured by the frosting of the glass. The figure reaches up as it climbs the wall outside.
Inside the coal cellar containing Tooms' nest, Mulder crouches in front of the table full of trinkets. He sees one he's seen before - Scully's necklace.
"Dammit!" he mutters under his breath.
Scully takes off her watch, laying it on a counter in the bathroom. She pulls a towel from a nearby rail, dropping it onto the closed lid of the toilet and turning off the bath taps. Reaching for a bottle of bath oil, she unscrews the cap - and a thick yellow fluid drips from above onto the back of her hand. Startled, Scully looks up at the square vent in the ceiling. The same yellow fluid drips from one corner. Scully drops the bottle of bath oil, which shatters on the floor. Scully races from the bathroom to the dining area, looking for her sidearm before finding it on the back of her sofa. She pulls it from the holster, brandishing it in front of her in a defensive position.
Mulder is driving one-handed, the other holding his mobile phone up to his ear. The phone at the other end of his call is ringing.
"Dammit, answer!" he shouts in frustration.
The wires in the telephone junction box marked "Scully 403" have been cut.
Inside her apartment, Scully moves slowly from room to room, gripping her sidearm with both hands. She reaches a door way and steps sideways to get a better view of the next room. As she steps forward, she glances up at the vent in the bathroom ceiling, then down at a rectangular vent near the floor next to the doorway. She turns back to the bathroom. As she steps forward, the covering over the vent near the floor explodes outward and an arm bursts through, grabbing her ankle and pulling her onto the floor. Tooms' face comes into view inside the vent, grunting with bloodlust and the effort of pulling Scully over. As he pulls, Scully grabs the bathroom doorframe with both hands. She kicks free from his grasp and pulls herself away from the vent.
Mulder takes a bend in the road at speed, his tyres squealing as they try to keep their grip on the tarmac. They squeal again as he slams on the brakes.
Tooms pulls himself out of the vent and into Scully's apartment. She slides backwards on the floor, her feet slipping on oil she spilled on the bathroom floor. Tooms jumps on her, pinning her to the ground. They struggle, and Scully punches him in the jaw. In the lobby of the building, Mulder pushes his way through the entrance doors, barely slowing his run. Scully manages to get her hands free and pushes her thumbs into Tooms' eyes. He screams out in pain grabbing her wrists and forcing them over her head with one hand. He raises the other hand over Scully's torso, hovering over her liver. Mulder kicks Scully's door down, rushing into the apartment with his sidearm drawn, shouting Scully's name. Realising he has nowhere else to go, Tooms heads for Scully's bathroom window, smashing the glass with a punch. As Mulder approaches the bathroom, he sees Scully get up and grab Tooms around the waist in an attempt to stop his escape. He turns and grabs her by the throat as Mulder holsters his sidearm and retrieves a pair of handcuffs from his pocket. While Tooms is distracted by his fight with Scully, Mulder snaps the cuffs around his other wrist. Realising what's happening, Tooms turns and punches Mulder, knocking him to the floor. As he readies his next punch, Scully grabs Tooms' now-handcuffed Tooms' wrist, snapping the other cuff around the bath tap. Tooms pulls on the cuffs, still trying unsuccessfully to reach Mulder.
"You all right?" Mulder asks her. Scully nods.
"He's not gonna get his quota this year," Mulder says as Tooms begins to calm down, realising he cannot escape.
Frank sits in his wheelchair, reading an article entitled "The Consequence Of Ethnic Cleansing". The grainy, black-and-white picture that accompanies the article shows bodies laying in a road. Frank shakes his head in disbelief and despair as he turns the page. An article near the foot of the page catches his eye: its title reads 'Suspect Caught In Serial Killings'. The accompanying image is Tooms' mugshot. Frank's emotions get the better of him, and he begins to sob.
In a prison cell, Tooms tears up another copy of the newspaper Frank was reading. He runs the torn paper over his tongue before screwing it up and throwing it at the wall of his cell, where a small pile is beginning to amass. Mulder watches him from the corridor outside as Scully walks up to join him.
"Look at him," Mulder says to her, "he's building another nest."
"You'll be interested to know that I've ordered some genetic tests, "Scully tells him. "The preliminary medical exam revealed quite abnormal development in the muscular and skeletal systems, as well as a continually-declining metabolic rate. It dips well below the levels registered in deep sleep." When Mulder doesn't respond, she asks, "Did you hear me Mulder?"
"All these people putting bars on their windows," he replies, "spending good money on high-tech security systems trying to feel safe. I look at this guy and I think 'It ain't enough'."
Wordlessly, Scully puts a hand on Mulder's shoulder. He turns and looks at her. Without saying anything they both leave, walking past a guard carrying a tray of food. The guards stops at the door to Tooms' cell, opening a short, wide flap in the door and sliding the food tray through before latching the flap shut again.
Alone in his cell, Tooms stares at the food tray access in his door. Slowly, his mouth stretches into a malicious smile.