X-Files 4x03 Teliko
[ Turns Water On ]
[ Screaming ]
[Man]Ladies and gentlemen, we are beginning our descent...
-into Kennedy lnternational Airport. - [ Speaking French ]
We should be on the ground in 15 minutes.
Any passengers needing help with customs forms or any other form--
[ French ]
[ French ]
[Man Over p.A. System, ln French]
[ Screams ]
[Skinner] Come in.
Thank you for getting here so quickly.
There's not much traffic at this hour.
Agent Scully, this is Dr. Simon Bruin.
He's with the philadelphia office of the Centers for Disease Control.
A pleasure, Dr. Scully.
How familiar are you with the kidnappings in philadelphia?
Only what I've read in the Herald,
that four young men have gone missing over the past three months;
all of them African-American.
A joint F.B.I.-Philadelphia P.D. task force has been working around the clock,
but there have been no leads to speak of...
- until last night. - What happened last night?
Owen Sanders, the man most recently reported missing, was found dead...
- near a construction site. - How was he killed?
That's just it, Agent Scully, he wasn't.
There was no evidence indicating homicide.
Has a cause of death been determined?
No, but I'll let Dr. Bruin give you his thoughts on that.
This was taken less than an hour after Sanders' body was found.
I'm sorry. I thought you said that Owen Sanders was black.
- He was. - I'm not sure I follow.
See for yourself.
Owen Sanders was a perfectly normal young blackman.
I assume you're going somewhere with this.
The depigmentation we're seeing may be characteristic of a disease...
an apparently fatal one.
[Scully] So you don't think these men are victims of a crime at all.
It's my opinion, this investigation should begin and end under a microscope.
[Skinner] Dr. Bruin's hope was that someone...
with a solid medical background could make a quick and decisive analysis.
[Scully] Case number 2139318537.
Subject is a black male, 19 years old.
Cause and time of death unknown.
Note: Total lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
The appearance of which suggests albinism,
though the bleaching of the irises indicates...
a violent and unexplained cellular reaction...
-to a vector or an environment-- -[DoorOpens]
I heard you were down here slicing and dicing.
- Who's the lucky stiff? - [ Shuts Off Recorder]
His name is Owen Sanders.
He was reported as the fourth kidnap victim in Philadelphia...
until his body turned up last night looking like this.
There's a Michael Jackson joke in here somewhere, but I can't quite find it.
I have been requested to determine what leeched the pigment from his body.
-[Mulder] Requested by whom? - The Centers for Disease Control.
- The C.D.C. in a kidnap case? - They believe that the case...
has been mislabeled, that this man and the others...
may have fallen prey to a disease or a pathogen.
Based on what other evidence?
There were no external signs of trauma or defense wounds...
and his wallet was still full of cash.
What, uh-- What sort of disease is this?
I don't know. There are conditions like vitiligo which attack melanocytes...
and prevent the manufacture of melanin in the skin;
autoimmune disorders, which are nor yet clearly understood.
So this man died of a disorder?
He and four otheryoung black men who conveniently contracted the disease...
in succession and then disappeared without any explanation whatsoever.
It's very possible they have turned up, but because of the depigmentation,
there may have been a problem with identification.
So, I have reissued descriptions ofJ ohn Does to area morgues and E.R.s.
Scully, has it occurred to you that this mightjust be a little P.R. exercise?
- I'm sorry? - To divert attention that black men...
are dying and nobody seems to be able to bring in a suspect?
The perception being that nobody cares.
Not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy,
and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate.
- [ Cracks Sunflower Seed ] - [ Sighs ]
Did you lift any forensic evidence from the body?
Yes, hair, skin and fiber behind you on the counter.
What are you doing?
I'm going to join the snipe hunt-- if you don't mind--
before the body count rises.
[Man] Mr. Aboah?
- Samuel Aboah? - Yes.
I'm Marcus Duff. Remember me?
Your immigration counselor.
We have an appointment to go over your naturalization petition.
[ Closes Door]
We could use a little light in here to fill out the petition.
Maybe you can open a window or something.
Yeah... I guess that works.
Have a seat, Samuel. This is a little complicated.
You okay? You look ill.
You got a fever or something?
I know how lonely it is, believe me,
being in a strange place far from your family.
But once you become a U.S. citizen,
I can help you bring over every brother, sister,
aunt, uncle and cousin.
It all starts today, Samuel.
Know what I'm saying?
Agent Pendrell, thanks for turning this analysis around on short notice.
Shouldn't we wait for Agent Scully, so I won't have to repeat myself?
- She's not coming. - Why not?
She had a date.
Breathe, Agent Pendrell. It's with a dead man. She's doing an autopsy.
- You said you found something? - Yeah, asbestos fibers.
Not much there. And I didn't think there was anything...
among the vegetable debris-- all local soils, pollens, etc.--
till I came across this.
I had to go online with a botanist at U. V.N. to determine what it was.
It looks like some kind of thorn.
It's a seed, actually, but nothing you'll find at your local nursery.
- Help me out. - It's a rare species of passion flower.
It's a rare, night-blooming plant indigenous to parts of West Africa.
How could this travel 5,000 miles around the world and wide up on Owen Sanders?
That I couldn't tell you.
It contains a cerebropathic glycoside.
- Does that mean anything to you? - [ Scully] If I'm correct,
it's a cortical depressant that works on the higher centers of the brain.
- Is it lethal? - In large quantities it might be.
Larger than anything contained in a single seed.
Did the toxicology screen detect any of it in Sanders' blood?
No, the tox screen was clean.
Could his body have metabolized the substance?
Only if the victim hadn't expired immediately.
- Does that tell you anything? - No, but...
I found something that could explain the depigmentation in the victim.
- His pituitary gland was necrotized. - His pituitary gland?
The pituitary gland secretes all of the regulatory hormones in the body...
and it controls the production of melanin in the skin cells.
So, you found evidence that this is a disease?
No, I have identified the effect.
I am still looking for the cause.
Okay, let me know as soon as you find anything out.
- Where are you, Mulder? - Off to water the seeds of doubt. Bye.
Go on in.
- Who are you? - Agent Mulder. Fox Mulder.
- What are you doing? - I'm sorry I frightened you.
What do you want?
I'm not sure why, but I thought you might be in a position to help me.
- Help you? - Four men are missing in Philadelphia.
One of the men was found dead last night.
This seed was recovered from the victim's body.
It's from a rare species of plant found only in West Africa.
Do you know anything about this case?
Is there anyway you could find something out about it?
Thousands of exotic species cross into U.S. soil every day undetected.
Bilge water is emptied into harbors.
Produce sent through the mail.
In practical terms, borders are little more than lines on maps.
Is that a yes or a no?
- I can't help you. - You can't or you won't?
You made an overture to me. You left an opening.
Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me there's nothing here, and I'll just walk away.
Eitherway, I need to know.
[ Groans ]
Hey, I got a schedule.
You gettin' on or not?
What's your problem? You on drugs or something?
Ah, the hell with you. You can walk for all I care.
He was sitting right here, staring up at me with these glossy eyes.
- Pretty much out of it. - You mean he looked sick?
Yeah, now that you mention it.
I mean, I asked him if he needed help, but he didn't say squat.
Don't forget to put down I had a schedule to keep.
Did you observe anybody else in the area?
Not that I saw.
I already told the police pretty much everything I know.
-[Car Approaches] - Excuse me.
- What happened here? - We have another missing young man.
His name is Alfred Kittel. Seventeen years old. He's African-American.
His mother called the police around 3:00 this morning.
- How does she know he's missing? - He works at a place down the street.
He takes this bus every night, and last night he never made it home.
They found his knapsack on the bench here.
The police are out canvassing.
I talked to a bus driver who said he seemed disoriented and non-responsive,
which seems to me like it might be somekind of pre-symptomatic dementia.
-Or a reaction to a cortical depressant. -What are you suggesting?
You find Alfred Kittel, and you find another one of those rare African seeds.
What makes you so sure?
Three months ago, one week before the first person was reported missing,
the New York Port Authoriry filed that with the F.A.A.
Like Owen Sanders, this man wasn't an albino either.
Not until he was found dead on a flight from West Africa, from Burkina Faso.
The embassy demanded the body returned before an autopsy could be performed.
It says here that the cause of death was undetermined.
Yeah, undetermined, Scully, but not necessarily unknown.
"Aboah"? What the hell kind of name is that?
- Mr. Aboah? - Yes?
[Officer] philadelphia p.D.
We're canvassing the building in regard to a missing person's case.
This is the young man we're looking for.
Have you seen him?
Well, if you hear from anyone who has, or come across any information at all,
you can reach us at this number.
That's a hotline. You can call 24 hours a day.
[ Gasping ]
- Thank you. - Thank you.
[Door Closed, Locked]
- I am really quite busy. - We won't take up much of your time.
The l.N.S. District Chieftold us you were in charge of the casework...
for aliens emigrating from Africa and the Caribbean.
I assist people from that part of the world where I came from 15 years ago.
We're looking for somebody that came a little more recently than that...
on a flight from Burkina Faso.
This is the passenger manifest from the charter company.
And... you want me to do what exactly?
I'd like you to cross-reference the names on that list...
with anyone applying for permanent resident status or a work visa...
within the last three months.
I am a social worker, not a police officer.
My business is not chasing down illegals.
Sir, we're not here to arrest anybody.
But you are F.B.I. agents, are you not?
Yes, investigating a possible public health crisis.
What kind of crisis?
He's not at home. We might as well get comfortable.
It has to be here, Mulder. There has to be evidence of a virus or bacterium.
I think if you looked up from the microscope for a minute,
you'd see that what's really missing is a motive.
The motive of any pathogen is to reproduce itself.
And my job as a doctor is to find out if and how it is being transmitted.
- If this is a health crisis. - Death is a health crisis.
Something caused Owen Sanders' pituitary to fail,
which in turn caused his metabolism to drop resulting in myxedema coma...
and, finally, in death.
Sometimes you have to start at the end to find the beginning.
I hope we don't have to find another dead body to discover what that is.
Maybe we won't have to wait.
Mr. Aboah? Can I talk to you a minute?
-[Tires Screeching] -[Man] You trying to kill yourself?.
- Boy, this guy can move. - He's not here.
He has to be.
[Scully] Mulder, I think I know where he went.
Come on, Mulder. Let's go. We've lost him.
Hey, Scully, look at this.
Oh, my god.
From all outward signs, this man appears asymptomatic.
I appreciate the connection you've tried to make, but I'm afraid it's a dead end.
With your permission, sir, I'd like to examine him some more.
I'd like to run a suppression test,
to do a T.S.H. screen, take a history.
It would help if we could talk to him.
- I'm working on that. - All right.
- Nothing? - Nor yet.
But that doesn't mean he isn't a carrier or even the index case.
He's some kind of case the way he disappeared down that drain pipe.
Why has Samuel Aboah been arrested?
You said his health was in danger. Why have I been lied to?
Nobody has lied to you, sir.
Then, please, release him immediately.
We would like to do some more tests on him.
We have to be certain his health hasn't been endangered and others.
- Then why have you called me? - As a translator.
We'd like to be able to ask him some questions.
- About what? -[Mulder] About Alfred Kittel...
and about several other young men who have gone missing...
since his arrival in Philadelphia three months ago.
Th-Then this is about a criminal charge.
There are no charges against Mr. Aboah.
We arrested him when we tried to question him. I want to know why he ran.
Sir, if you had ever been beaten by the police...
or had your home burned to the ground for no other reason than being born,
then, maybe, you would understand why he ran...
and why you would run too.
That man ran because he's hiding something.
And no amount of tests you run on him, no science is gonna find that.
- Where are you going? - To find someone who I know...
plotted to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate.
Minister, this is Agent Mulder with the F.B.I.
Thank you for seeing me at such a late hour, sir.
I did not have much ofa choice in this matter.
Someone from the United Nations spoke to the ambassador directly.
What's so important that it can't wait?
With all due respect, sir, I think you already know.
Something happened on a flight from your country three months ago,
something that you felt compelled to hide, even from your own ambassador.
The State Department said...
the request to stop investigating this man's death came from you.
Now, I understand the need to protect your diplomatic position,
but more men are dying, sir.
Even if I tell you what I know...
you would never believe it.
You'd be surprised at what I believe, sir.
I had hoped, if I closed my eyes,
it would go away this time.
I grew up hearing the old stories,
believing them as only a child can believe.
What kinds of stories?
of the air.
It was said they rested by day...
in closed, dark places...
deep inside tree hollows...
and in holes beneath the ground...
too small even for a child to hide himself.
[Minister] Only when the sun fell,
when the rest of the world was sleeping,
would they come out.
Come out to do what, sir?
I was seven years old.
Lying awake one night, I saw him.
He was standing over me.
His hair was like straw;
his eyes like water, staring down at me.
I closed my eyes and screamed...
and felt my self being swept up into the air.
But when I opened my eyes,
I saw my father holding me.
Then it was a nightmare.
That's what my father said,
and I believed him...
until the next day...
when they found my cousin...
dead among his cattle...
looking exactly like this man.
Which is why...
when this photograph came across my desk three months ago,
I knew the Teliko was more than just a children's story.
I knew it was real.
I knew he was here.
[Scully] This patient appears to have something in his throat,
somekind of a berrant bone growth...
or maybe something foreign lodged in his esophagus.
Hmm. Could be a lot of things.
You'd be amazed what I've seen removed from throats in emergency rooms.
That's only part of it.
I discovered something more disturbing when his P.E.T. series came back.
Look right here on the sagittal section,
right below the hypothalamus.
- There must be some mistake. -[Scully] There's no mistake.
This patient has no pituitary gland.
But that's not possible.
I can't even begin to explain what we're seeing here, sir.
I just hope this patient can-can provide us with some of the answers.
You'll have to find him first.
- What are you talking about? - I was looking for you in quarantine.
Samuel Aboah is gone, disappeared.
[ Gasps ]
You scared me.
They let you out of the hospital?
Everything is fine?
Samuel... did you want to see me about something?
[ Chuckles ] Well, come on. Let me give you a ride home.
We can talk about it on the way.
Lucky for you I was working late.
Come, let's go.
[Scully] When did this happen?
Thank you, Lieutenant. I appreciate it.
- Mulder-- - [ Hangs Up Cell Phone ]
I think this was his get away vehicle.
He didn't even touch his Jell-O.
Let's go. That was the Philadelphia P.D.
Marcus Duff's car turned up abandoned...
with the keys in the ignition and the hood still hot.
6834, requesting ambulance in alley behind 1163 West Cherry.
-[Breathing] - Victim: African-American male age 35--
[Radio Transmission, lndistinct]
Do you know what happened to him?
I won't even try to guess what happened to him, but he's alive.
What about Aboah? Any indication of where he might be?
We're still sweeping the area. I'll keep you posted.
He's got to be around here somewhere. He can't have gotten far.
This guy can squeeze into a coffee can, Scully. He could be anywhere.
- They'll find him. - He'll find another victim.
- How do you know? - We interrupted before he could finish.
- Interrupted his killing Duff? - The killing is incidental, Scully,
to a far more basic need.
- What need? - If Aboah has no pituitary,
then his bodywould lack the ability to produce melanin itself, right?
- Theoretically, yes. - When you examined him,
you didn't observe one single albino trait or characteristic.
Considering his P.E.T. scan results,
I don't even know how he managed to stay alive.
That's what I'm talking about: survival; and not just Aboah's.
I think the anomaly you observed is not just physiological.
- I think it may be evolutionary. - What are you talking about?
A lost tribe, a clan of sub-Saharan albinos...
linked by their common congenital deficit...
who've adapted over generations by--
By stealing other people's hormones?
Somehow, Aboah has managed to survive.
However he's managed to survive, what--
what makes you think he's not an isolated case?
Because of something somebody told me last night.
An African folk tale.
So, you're basing this theory on a folk tale?
It's just another way of describing the same truth, right?
All new truths begin as heresies and end as superstitions. We fear the unknown.
We reduce it to the terms most familiar to us,
whether that's a folk tale or a disease...
or a conspiracy.
Even if you're right-- especially if you're right--
why would he leave his own country to come here?
Free cable. I don't know. The same reasons anybody comes to this country:
liberty, the freedom to pursue your own interests.
Look at that.
- What are you doing? - It's a demolition site.
Why are we here, Mulder?
Pendrell found asbestos fibers on Owen Sanders' body.
You remove asbestos from an old building before you tear it down.
It would have to come from somewhere.
-[projectile Whooshing] - [ Gasps ]
- [ Groans ] - Mulder, are you okay?
[Footsteps Approaching Quickly]
[ Groaning Weakly]
It's okay, Mulder. I'm here. Okay?
I'm sorry, Mulder.
[ Groans ]
[ Line Rings, Woman Answers ] 911 Operator.
This is Agent Dana Scully with the F.B.I. requesting immediate E.M.S....
and police assistance.
- I'm in Liberry Plaza. - May I have your badge number?
My badge number?
[ Groans ]
[ Operator Talking, lndistinct ]
- [ Groans Weakly] - Liberry Plaza.
There's a demolition site on the north side of the street.
Special Agent Dana Scully, Field Journal Entry number 74.
Despite acute trauma to his pituitary gland,
Marcus Duff was discharged early this morning...
from Mt. Zion Medical Center.
He is expected to testify before a grand jury...
in the capital case against Samuel Aboah...
who is being charged with five counts of murder.
It remains uncertain, however,
whether Aboah will live long enough to stand trial.
His response to hormone therapy has been poor,
his deterioration progressive.
My conviction remains intact...
that the mechanism by which Aboah killed, and, in turn, survived,
can only be explained by medical science,
and that science will eventually discover his place...
in the broader context of evolution.
But what science may never be able to explain...
is our ineffable fear of the alien among us,;
a fear which often drives us not to search for understanding,
but to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate,;
to obscure the truth not only from others...
but from ourselves.
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X-Files The (Movie)