X-Files 2x09 Firewalker
- They were to check in at midnight.|- You try every band?
- All audiovisual seemed to be down.|- Maybe it's just a satellite glitch.
We thought so too, until we received this...|from a tracking station in Bend, Oregon.
They picked it up|on an emergency frequency.
What are those guys doing?
We did manage to uplink|Firewalker's video camera.
It's at base camp, so we hope it can|give us a picture, tell us what's going on.
Data feed's coming in now.
- What's the robot doing in the volcano?|- I don't know.
There's no descent scheduled.
Firewalker's not responding.|I can't get control.
- Someone's overriding it.|- Lock camera remote and pan left.
Tilt up and zoom in.
What the hell...? Give me that!
There it is again. Did you see that?|You saw that shadow, didn't you?
Yeah, but what could be moving around|in that kind of heat?
I don't know.
Maybe it was, uh, just a ghost signal.|I mean, it wouldn't be the first time that...
What's going on up there?
Let's go to our science editor Eric|Parker in Mount Avalon, Washington. Eric?
I'm standing here|with a group of scientists...
...who are excited about this device,|which looks like a large titanium bug.
Firewalker will next week make|its first descent into an active volcano.
This robot is the brainchild|of volcanologist Daniel Trepkos.
It will gather samples|from the crater...
...which may hold scientific data|about the Earth's core.
We're talking about revisiting|the very origin of the Earth.
Peering into the fire where it all began.
A human endeavour more important even|than man's exploration of space.
That's no mean claim.
Daniel always had a flair|for self-dramatisation.
- I'd always heard that he was brilliant.|- Brilliant doesn't go quite far enough.
He occupies a rare place|among scientists...
...where dreams, ambition and...|great luck converge.
You think his luck just ran out.
The team sent a distress signal yesterday|after failing to make a status report.
They haven't responded to any of our calls.
But by using remote telemetry,|we were able to activate Firewalker's camera.
This is what we found.
You're looking at the floor of the volcano.
But this is the last thing|we expected to discover.
The dead man is, uh, Phil Erikson...|chief seismologist.
Now, look at this.
Whoa! What the hell is that?
We don't know.
Whatever it was disabled the camera.
The temperature readings|are upwards of 130º at this depth.
- But that was alive.|- Why weren't you there?
I left the project six weeks ago.|Trepkos and I nearly came to blows.
- Over what?|- Well, I wish I could explain.
Daniel and I, uh...
I always played Salieri to his Mozart.|I was never quite on his plane of intellect.
But this time I found him slipping.
- He controlled the others...|- You think he's responsible for this?
Whatever there is between me and him,|I pray that he isn't.
We've got 20 million tax dollars|in this project. If word of it were to get out...
...it could destroy years of work.|I'm afraid to go through proper channels.
Yeah. We're not exactly proper channels.
- How soon can we get up there?|- There's a flight waiting to take us to Seattle.
From there, a helicopter|will fly us to Mount Avalon.
- I don't think it's a good idea for you to go.|- Mulder, I appreciate your concern...
...but I'm ready - I wanna work.
Well, maybe you should take some time off.
I've already lost too much time.
There it is!
This was Firewalker's satellite relay.
We installed field instruments here.|Seismographs, tiltmeters...
We'll look here after we've checked inside.
The instruments are worth millions of project|dollars. I'm accountable to the USGS for 'em.
- Shouldn't we find the descent team first?|- I just wanna take a quick damage survey.
I'll catch up with you in a few minutes.
Looks like somebody wanted to put this|operation permanently out of commission.
- Wait! Wait!|- What's going on?
- This isn't what it looks like!|- He just about took my head off.
I told you, I made a mistake, OK?|I'm sorry, all right?
- Who the hell are you?|- I'm... I'm Ludwig. I'm Jason Ludwig.
- I'm the robotics engineer.|- Do you always greet people this way?
I heard a noise. I thought it was him.|I was protecting myself.
You know, self-preservation?
Who did you think I was that you thought|you had to protect yourself?
Sometimes he wouldn't talk to us for days.|Then, boom! You couldn't get him to shut up.
Don't get me wrong, OK?
No one revered the man more than me.
I mean... he was a prophet...
He saw things.
I-I... I mean, he...|he saw things that you and me...
...we only dream about...
...and then forget when we wake up.
Well, it's OK, you can come out now.|The cavalry's here.
This is Peter Tanaka, our systems analyst.
And, uh, this is Jesse O'Neil.
Are you the rescue team?
- No, we're with the FBI.|- FBI?
But you're taking us back, right?
- After we've investigated what happened.|- Trepkos is what happened.
- Did he kill Erikson?|- He flipped out.
Right after the descent, he just flipped out.
Can you think of anything that might've|caused or contributed to his behaviour?
- You're asking me?|- Daniel was sick.
He had a bipolar disorder.|I think that's what it was.
It wasn't a secret, but it's not|something he advertised either.
But with his medication he was just fine.
Well, I think Erikson's wife|might disagree with that.
You're part of the team, Jesse?
Daniel was my thesis advisor|at the university.
He asked me to assist him on this project.
- Are these his notes?|- Oh... yeah.
Well, whatever's left of 'em.
First thing he did was|destroy all his own work.
You know, his field journals,|his computer disks.
We salvaged what we could, but...
...I don't really think|you'll find much in there.
Of use, anyway.
What d'you make|of Mr Trepkos's neighbourhood?
- What d'you mean?|- Isn't their behaviour bizarre? Paranoid?
- After what they've been through, no.|- They're practically climbing the walls.
They've been living in|the middle of nowhere for a year.
One is dead, probably|at the hands of another.
You have to expect some heightened level|of emotional distress.
It's more than that. There's|something they're not telling us.
Based on what?
Based on when Ludwig|tried to play T-ball with my head.
He knew I wasn't Trepkos.
- Now Mulder, you're sounding paranoid.|- Pierce knows these people.
Let's find out what he thinks.
No one... can leave.
- He's not here.|- Pierce!
- Something's happened!|- Oh, my God!
Get over here. He's over here!|I've found him! I've found him!
I've found him!
- That should do it.|- What shall we do with the body?
- Do you have a freezer?|- Yeah.
- Radio for the helicopter. I'm almost done.|- Let me help you.
No, that's OK, we got him.
- We can't leave, Scully. Not yet.|- Why not?
- Trepkos is still out there.|- He killed Pierce and probably Erikson.
- We should come back with a larger party.|- No.
I've been going over Trepkos's work. I found|references to a subterranean organism.
- What?|- An organism existing within the volcano.
No specific description...
Mulder, nothing can live|in a volcanic interior.
Not only because of the intense heat,|but the gasses would be toxic.
What does this say?
It describes the metabolism from|hydrogen sulphide into silicon dioxide.
A silicon-based life form?
The basic building block for every|organism known to man is carbon.
- From bacterium to redwood trees.|- Silicon is the closest element to carbon.
It reacts identically with other elements -|it combines to form complex molecules.
A silicon-based life form is one of|the holy grails of modern science.
Maybe Trepkos found it.
Mulder, that is science fiction. It's... an|elaborate construct from a delusional mind.
This doesn't prove anything.
Trepkos said he had evidence.|It's gotta be here somewhere.
- Whatever evidence he had, he destroyed.|- Maybe it wasn't Trepkos who destroyed it.
- What if it was one of the others?|- Why would they do that?
All of these people are suffering to|varying degrees from post-traumatic stress.
And from a medical point of view, we have to|get them out of here sooner rather than later.
Can I talk to you?
Are you OK?
I hate this place.
What happened here, Jesse?
You can trust me.
After the first descent...
He became withdrawn and paranoid.
He locked himself in the lab|for three days and wouldn't let any of us in.
Do you think the descent|triggered his breakdown?
Well, that's what I thought.
And then... I found out...
...that he's not taking his pills.
Yeah, he said that|they were polluting his brain.
And... he said I was polluting his body.
- I don't wanna die here.|- What are you so afraid of, Jesse?
The only reason I even came here|was because of him.
He promised me|that this would be an adventure.
That it would change my life.
But eight months is a long time,|and I just wanna go home now.
Anywhere but here.
Samples 7, 12 and 22 also|contain trace evidence of the organism.
The possibility of this new,|or perhaps unfathomably old, life form...
...has left me sleepless, wondering|if I haven't lost all perspective.
If my intense desire to find the truth|hasn't finally eclipsed the truth itself.
Our meddling intellect misshapes|the beauteous forms of things.
We murder to dissect.
My mind is a tangled knot|I can no longer untie.
Daily, I fight the urge to sever it completely|to stop this descent.
What caused that tremor?
There's been a lot of seismic activity|in the northeast rift zone.
If Trepkos hadn't destroyed our instruments,|we might have learned something from it.
You feeling all right?
Agent Scully's a medical doctor.|Let her take a look at you.
- I'm fine.|- Just let her take a look...
I'll go get Scully.
- Come on, get up. She'll help you.|- I don't want her to!
Of course you do! It's for the best.
We have to get out of here.
He just collapsed after the tremor.|He seems pretty bad.
- He's burning up.|- What is it?
An infection or a toxic reaction.|We've gotta get him to a hospital.
- I'll get a stretcher.|- We can't just leave Trepkos.
Give me the shortwave.
This is Agent Scully with the Firewalker|team. Come in, Search and Rescue.
I'll get O'Neil|and meet you at the landing site.
This is Search and Rescue.
Request dispatch of medevac immediately.
We have an Asian male, mid-thirties,|spiking a high-grade fever.
Tanaka's collapsed. We're getting him out.
- Tanaka!|- Peter!
Peter, come on, get back here!
- Come on.|- Don't go down there!
- Let me go! What're you doing? Let go of me!|- Don't go down there.
For God's sakes, he needs our help!
So what is it, Scully?|What are we dealing with?
Without better imaging equipment,|I can't say for sure.
I'll take any theory you've got.
- It appears to be some kind of a fungus.|- Anything you recognise?
Well, I'm not a botanist, but I think it's|fair to guess that it's an unknown genus.
- What am I looking at here?|- Spores.
I scraped them off the tip of the fungus.
It appears as if one of the spores grew inside|Tanaka until it reached reproductive maturity.
Essentially outgrowing its host.
But by then it had caused massive tissue|damage, particularly to the respiratory tract.
- That accounts for the sand in his lungs.|- You found sand in his lungs?
Silicon dioxide. The waste product|of a silicon-based organism.
Wait a second. There... there's no such thing|as a silicon-based organism.
Maybe now there is.
But we won't have proof until|we determine its molecular structure.
Come on. How else do you explain|the sand in his lungs?
It's the best trace evidence|we could ask for. Trepkos was right.
Daniel knew about this?
He discovered a spore|in the samples Firewalker brought up.
He would've told us.
Not if what he discovered was|too disturbing even for him to understand.
This might explain something else.|The spore could explain Trepkos's dementia.
Fungi contain alkaloids|that affect the nervous system.
Yeah, but what about us?|I mean... we weren't exposed.
We don't know that. If it was an airborne|microbe, any of us could've inhaled a spore.
So we're not going home, right?
Not until we know how it's transmitted,|how it incubates.
If even one of us is infected, we could risk|infecting a much larger population.
Search and Rescue, this is|Agent Mulder. Do you copy?
This is Search and Rescue.|We're in a holding pattern. Over.
Notify FBI District HQ in Spokane that we're|in quarantine due to possible contagion.
Have CDC send up an evacuation unit|on high alert.
What's the nature of the contagion?
Tell them it's a biological agent...|of unknown origin.
That's affirmative. Standing by.
Maybe you should go check up on O'Neil.
I'm gonna go find Trepkos.
- What if he's already dead?|- He'll find it tough answering my questions.
I've gotta find out what he knows.
It could change our understanding|of the origin and evolution of life.
He's dangerous, Mulder.|He's already killed two men.
- Then I have to find out why.|- Will you at least let me go with you?
Look, I know what you're thinking,|but you have to get past that. We both do.
I'm back... and I'm not going anywhere.
You have to finish the autopsy on Tanaka.
Hopefully that'll give us a better idea|of what we're dealing with-whatever it is.
I'm counting on you to keep us all|from ending up on that slab.
- Do like we said, OK?|- Mm-hm. Mm-hm.
You know what to say, right?
I could use a little help.
- So what do you need?|- Directions, a contour map, USGS survey.
Anything that can help me get here.
These are the steam caves.
They feed into the Sherman Crater.|That's how we access the caldera.
- How did you get these?|- Firewalker.
They were transmitted right before|Trepkos destroyed his camera.
So you're finally gonna go after Trepkos?
Well, I'll tell you one thing.
You won't find him with those.
- And you won't find him with any map either.|- How will I find him?
- Not without a guide.|- A guide?
Yeah, a guide.|I've been up here for almost a year.
I spent months in those caves...
...charting every fissure, every crevice,|so Firewalker wouldn't trip.
If Trepkos is there, I can find him.
- Why are you so eager to help me find him?|- Oh, I'm... I'm not eager.
I just don't want to wait around for Trepkos to|do to me what he did to Pierce and Erikson.
Plus, you've got the gun.
You're the only one|who can get us out of this place.
Whatever I'm smelling, is it toxic?
Between the heat and the sulphur, it can get|pretty nasty in here. But it won't hurt you.
You'll get used to it.
- How far does the cave extend?|- Three quarters of a mile, to the crater rim.
Let's head in.
It twists around quite a bit|till you get there. Lots of dead ends...
...and blind drops.
Unless you know where you're going,|you're... like a rat in a maze.
Back. Get back.
Why are you doing this, Trepkos?|He's already dead.
How many times do you have to kill him?
It's not him I'm trying to kill.
I have attempted to culture the spore, using|temperatures ranging from human basal...
...to those approximating|the volcanic interior.
I have used nutritive mediums containing...
...human tissue, blood and saliva.|Even sulphur.
However, none of the seven trials...
...have successfully grown|the fungus that killed Tanaka.
Based on this preliminary data,|I have come to the following hypothesis:
...That unless the spores are ingested|or inhaled by the host organism...
...immediately upon their release...
...they become harmless...
What is it?
I thought you'd like to know-the chances|are good that none of us were infected.
We were a safe distance from Tanaka. When|Mulder and Ludwig come back, we can leave.
I... I just need to run a few more tests,|but I think we're gonna be OK.
OK, Jesse? Jesse?
What went wrong, Trepkos?
Firewalker carried something back|to the surface.
Firewalker brought up an elephant.
...is an elephant described by three blind men.
The first man touches the tail|and says it's a rope.
The second man feels the rough leg|and says it's a tree.
The third man feels the trunk|and says it's a snake.
What about you? What do you say it is?
I say the earth holds some truths|best left buried.
Like the spore?
- Who are you?|- I'm Special Agent Mulder. I'm with the FBI.
You don't look like a policeman.
I came down here to investigate|Erikson's death.
That's not why you're here.
You still believe you can petition heaven|and get some penetrating answer.
If you found that answer...
...what would you do with it?
I just wanna know what happened|after the first descent.
What did you find?
It was porous...
Erikson thought it was some sort of rock,|so I told him to pulverise it for analysis.
- Erikson released the spore?|- He discovered a new life form.
In a single moment, all that science|held sacred suddenly turned on its head.
- What about Erikson? lf... if he was infected...|- I was too immersed in the work to notice.
I'd been alone in the lab for three days...|when I heard their screams.
They were all gathered around him.
By the time I realised what was happening,|they were already changing.
The spore... grew in each of them|until it became...
What do you mean?
It's a parasite.
It lives to find a host.
- But you weren't infected?|- No.
You destroyed your work, the equipment.
You killed Pierce... so no one could leave.
No one can leave.
What about O'Neil?
- Was she exposed to the spore?|- They were all exposed.
- All of them.|- I have a colleague, a friend...
...who's with O'Neil right now.
- Let me go to her.|- She may already be infected.
I can't let you leave.
Then you're gonna have to shoot me.
Because I'm walking outta here.
God, you scared me!
Are you OK?
Jesse, what's wrong? Jesse?
Jesse, what are you doing?
I'm OK. I'm OK.
- You all right?|- I'm OK.
...she was infected. I don't know how.
Erikson was the original host.
When the fungus shed its spores, everyone|was at ground zero, except for Trepkos.
Did you find him?
I told her... it would change her life.
Search and Rescue,|this is Agent Mulder. Do you copy?
This is Army Biohazard.|How many are in your party?
We have two survivors -|Agent Scully and myself.
Copy that. Our ETA is seven minutes.
Mulder, what are you doing?|They're gonna wanna question him.
It's all over, Scully.
He won't talk.
Scully and I are in the third day|of a month's quarantine...
...undergoing level four decon procedures.
We are, so far, without symptoms|of fungal contamination.
Our specimens and field notes were taken by|the biohazard corps prior to our evacuation.
Their presence is delayed indefinitely for|the arrival of the USGS data retrieval team.
I suspect, though, there will be|little left for them to retrieve.
There are no plans to explore the volcanically|active mountains in the Cascade range...
...including Mount Avalon.
All access points to that volcano|have been sealed off by army engineers.
Of the members|of the Firewalker descent team...
...only Trepkos and O'Neil|remain unaccounted for.
They are presumed dead,|and the search for them has been abandoned.
Firewalker, however, was recovered...
...though its sensory and locomotive systems|were found to be irreparably damaged.
The data it collected from the Earth's interior|will never be known.
And of the events that occurred at Mount|Avalon between 11 and 13 November 1994...
...mine stands as the only record.
Visiontext Subtitles: Claire Bates
I made this!
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X-Files 2x02 The Host
X-Files 2x03 Blood
X-Files 2x04 Sleepless
X-Files 2x05 Duane Barry
X-Files 2x06 Ascension
X-Files 2x07 Three
X-Files 2x08 One Breath
X-Files 2x09 Firewalker
X-Files 2x10 Red Museum
X-Files 2x11 Excelsius Dei
X-Files 2x12 Aubrey
X-Files 2x13 Irresistible
X-Files 2x14 Die Hand Die Verletzt
X-Files 2x15 Fresh Bones
X-Files 2x16 Colony
X-Files 2x17 End Game
X-Files 2x18 Fearful Symmetry
X-Files 2x19 Dod Kalm
X-Files 2x20 Humbug
X-Files 2x21 The Calusari
X-Files 2x22 F Emasculata
X-Files 2x23 Soft Light
X-Files 2x24 Our Town
X-Files 2x25 Anasazi
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X-Files 3x02 Paper Clip
X-Files 3x03 DPO
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X-Files 3x05 The List
X-Files 3x06 2shy
X-Files 3x07 The Walk
X-Files 3x08 Oubliette
X-Files 3x09 Nisei
X-Files 3x10 731
X-Files 3x11 Revelations
X-Files 3x12 War Of The Coprophages
X-Files 3x13 Syzygy
X-Files 3x14 Grotesque
X-Files 3x15 Piper Maru
X-Files 3x16 Apocrypha
X-Files 3x17 Pusher
X-Files 3x18 Teso Dos Bichos
X-Files 3x19 Hell Money
X-Files 3x20 Jose Chungs From Outer Space
X-Files 3x21 Avatar
X-Files 3x22 Quagmire
X-Files 3x23 Wetwired
X-Files 3x24 Talitha Cumi
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X-Files 4x02 Home
X-Files 4x03 Teliko
X-Files 4x04 Unruhe
X-Files 4x05 The Field Where I Died
X-Files 4x06 Sanguinarium
X-Files 4x07 Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man
X-Files 4x08 Tunguska
X-Files 4x09 Terma
X-Files 4x10 Paper Hearts
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X-Files 4x12 Leonard Betts
X-Files 4x13 Never again
X-Files 4x14 Memento Mori
X-Files 4x15 Kaddish
X-Files 4x16 Unrequited
X-Files 4x17 Tempus Fugit
X-Files 4x18 Max
X-Files 4x19 Synchrony
X-Files 4x20 Small Potatoes
X-Files 4x21 Zero Sum
X-Files 4x22 Elegy
X-Files 4x23 Demons
X-Files 4x24 Gethsemane
X-Files 5x01 Redux
X-Files 5x02 Redux II
X-Files 5x03 Unusual Suspects
X-Files 5x04 Detour
X-Files 5x05 The Post-Modern Prometheus
X-Files 5x06 Christmas Carol
X-Files 5x07 Emily
X-Files 5x08 Kitsunegari
X-Files 5x09 Schizogeny
X-Files 5x10 Chinga
X-Files 5x11 Kill Switch
X-Files 5x12 Bad Blood
X-Files 5x13 Patient X
X-Files 5x14 The Red And The Black
X-Files 5x15 Travelers
X-Files 5x16 Minds Eye
X-Files 5x17 All Souls
X-Files 5x18 The Pine Bluff Variant
X-Files 5x19 Folie A Deux
X-Files 5x20 The End
X-Files The (Movie)