Act Three

(A little single-seat Cessna comes to stop at a small suburban airfield. The propeller stops and the door opens. Sculley and Mulder step out, looking rather worse for wear. Sculley thanks the pilot, who starts the engine and taxis away for takeoff)

        Sculley: (brushing dust off her skirt)

Well that was an interesting journey.

        Mulder:

Yeah. Amazing. Who would have believed he flew F4ís in Vietnam?

        Sculley:

I think I would have appreciated it a little more if he hadnít proceeded to demonstrate scenes from his most memorable dogfights, en route.

Even better if you hadnít been put down at the nearest airstrip and then banned from flying with every airline in the United States.

        Mulder: (shrugs, now much calmer now than he was on the airliner)

Seemed a bit extreme, landing at that glider school. Who wouldíve thought a Boeing 757 could land on grass?

        Sculley:

I think the crew were desperate to get rid of you.

(she looks around the airfield)

Anyway, where are we?

        Mulder:

Somewhere in Oklahoma I think. Hang on, Iíve got a map.

(He produces a clipboard from under his jacket)

        Sculley:

Isnít that the pilotís. Wonít he need that to get home?

(Mulder shrugs. In the distance the little Cessna hops into the air)

        Mulder:

He seemed to know where was going.

        Sculley:

Pity you didnít have enough cash. He could have got us all the way to California.

        Mulder: (studying the map)

He wouldnít have got over the mountains. Look we need a car, just for the next stage. Weíll have to either rent one or steal one. Weíre a long way from California and we have to go west.

(They search around the broken down and worn buildings of the tiny airfield, until Mulder finds a truck parked around the back of the mechanics washroom)

        Sculley:

You must be joking. Itís an antique. A several-times restored antique at that. It must date from the nineteen-thirties.

        Mulder: (admiring the classic lines of what is obviously a pre-World War II automobile, with running boards and all)

Yeah, but built like an ox these things.

(He walks around to the tail)

Itís a Hudson Super-Six. Wow, this thing is really old. I wonder if we can rent it?

(He walks into the canteen, while Sculley waits impatiently outside. After a few minutes he returns with the keys)

        Sculley:

Did you get a receipt? (Mulder nods)

I mean this is getting to be an expensive trip. Not just hire cars, motels, huge mobile phone bills and flights, but also ten thousand dollars in fuel and landing charges for the unannounced landing of a scheduled flight in Nebraska.

        Mulder:

I had to pay cash for the rental. Apparently this thing winters in California, so weíve saved the owner a journey.

        Sculley:

California! You must be joking! I thought we just getting into the next state. Somewhere with an airport, with real planes, not just crop-sprayers. Californiaís two thousand miles away.

        Mulder: (turning the key in the ignition. The Hudson starts with a fiery roar and a cloud of ominous black smoke from the exhaust).

I know, but Skinnerís cancelled-out my credit cards, probably done the same with yours. How much cash have you got?

(Sculley shakes her head in despair, and indignantly checks her handbag. She hands over her billfold and some change. Mulder adds it to his.)

        Mulder:

One-hundred-and-fifty-four dollars. And a full tank. Weíll be okay. (He looks impatiently at Sculley, who finally climbs into the big wide front seat next to him. Mulder changes into first gear with a grinding clank, floors the throttle and they roar off in a cloud of smoke)



Act Four

(Mulder is driving the Hudson at high speed through a narrow straight dusty road, bordered on either side by fields of cotton.

Suddenly a man jumps out into the road, from the cover of the waving at them madly to stop. Mulder slams on the brakes and the Hudson comes to a skidding stop just feet from running the man over. Sculley, who has been asleep, wakes up with a start. He runs around to the driverís window. Mulder sees he is dressed in jeans, a frayed and dusty white shirt, black boots and, bizarrely, braces.)

        Hitchhiker: (in a thick MidWest accent)

Thank you. You have to help me. I need to get to the next town. Will you give me a ride?

(Mulder looks at Sculley, who nods)

        Mulder:

Be our guest.

(The man opens the passenger door, climbs into the seat next to Sculley. He looks at the interior finish)

        Hitchhiker: (appreciatively)

Nice automobile mister.

(They set off again. For a while the Hitchhiker watches the fields go by, looking anxiously. Finally he relaxes enough to talk.)

You folks ainít from 'round here?

        Mulder: (concentrating on the dusty road)

No, weíre from Washington.

        Hitchhiker:

Washington. Thatís the capital, ainít it? Never been there personally, but I here itís real nice. What do you folks do?

        Mulder: (above the roar of the Super Sixes engine)

Well, strangely enough weíre FBI agents. Weíre on a mission, to save mankind...from the Humphead Conspiracy.

        Hitchhiker:

FBI eh? Humphead Conspiracy? Right, I see mister. Hey, could you stop just here, thatíll be just perfect.

(Mulder looks around, thereís nothing but fields and high stems of wheat. He pulls to a stop though, struggling with the non power-assisted brakes. Finally the Hudson comes to a stop. The Hitchhiker climbs out.)

        Hitchhiker: (tipping his hat)

Iíll be seeing you good folks. Thanks for the lift. Good day.

(He jogs into the wheat field, and is out of sight in seconds)

        Mulder:

What a strange guy. Iím sure Iíve seen him before.

        Sculley:

How could you? Weíve never been here before.

        Mulder: (shaking his head

Nah. Iím convinced. Henry...damn I canít think of the surname! Henry...ah, I remember, Henry Barbarella.

        Sculley:

Henry Barbarella? What an unusual name.



Act Five

(Mulder and Sculley drive through days and nights, across the mountains, and into California. Even then the journey takes further days. Late one night they are driving down a country road. The landscape has changed to Californian scrub and occasional vineyards. The Hudsonís headlights barely manage to illuminate the trees. Sculley is fast asleep, head propped-up against her arm.)

Suddenly in the dim light, Mulder runs over something. The front tyres, worn to almost shreds, pop. The Hudson skids to a stop. Sculley wakes up with a frightened start)

        Sculley:

What was that?

        Mulder: (getting out of the cab)

Dunno. Damn, I know weíre real close. Just a mile or so to go!

(Sculley follows him as he backtracks down the road. Mulder has his MagLite out and is shining it at something laying across the road)

        Sculley:

Itís some kind of little mound, laying across the road.

        Mulder:

They call them "sleeping policemen" in England. Speed bumps.

        Sculley:

Why would anyone want to drive over a sleeping policeman? And why do they sleep in the middle of the road?

        Mulder: (even in the dim light can be seen shrugging)

I donít know. The English are so strange. Here look.

(He fishes a CD from his jacket pocket, shines the MagLite onto it.)

See? A Camel...humps in the road. We must be close. Címon.

(he sets off, past the Hudson at a pace. Sculley struggles to keep up, fishes her MagLite out to illuminate the way.)



Act Six

(The narrow road is enveloped in a Pacific coastal fog. Sculley and Mulders torches cast eerie beams through its swirls)

        Mulder: (coming to a dead stop opposite a wooden gate)

Right, this is it.

(He opens the gate. In the distance ducks can be heard quacking)

        Sculley:

How do you know?

Mulder points at a wooden post, mounted next to the gate. Painted in a gothic hand are the words;

"If you donít have an appointment. Bugger off!"

        Mulder:

The English are so quaint.

(They walk down the narrow track. The fog is really thick now, the sound of ducks louder with each step)

        Sculley:

Uhhhh, yak, (squelch)

(She comes to a sudden stop)

        Mulder:

What is it?

        Sculley:

Iíve stepped in something. Oh itís gross.

(Mulder returns a few paces, gives her a hand Ė squelch squelch Ė out of whatever sheís stepped in. Suddenly he drops to his knees, and sniffs the offending matter.)

        Mulder:

Hah! I went on an FBI course to recognise this sort of stuff. This is camel dung. Nowweíre definitely close.

        Sculley:

Yack!

(Mulder sets off again, this time shining his MagLite ahead of him. In a few minutes a squat white-walled building appears out of the gloom.)

        Sculley:

Mulder, what are you going to do when you find these "aliens".

        Mulder:

Er. I didnít really think about that. Interrogate them I guess. Discover their master plan. Hey, look there!

(From the side of the building someone is visible. Even with the fog swirling around it is obvious that the individual is particularly tall. Sculley and Mulder stop. As they watch the figure lights a cigarette, puffs away merrily, whistling a little tune that Sculley, inadvertently starts to hum to.)

        Mulder:

Sculley!

        Sculley:

Ooops. Sorry about that.

(But the figure has seen them. He waves to them.)

        Tall-guy: (in a distinct English accent)

Oh high there! I wondered when youíd turn up.

(Mulder looks at Sculley, who just shrugs, and giggles. They make their way sheepishly over to the Tall-guy.)

        Mulder:

How did you know we were coming? Are you telepathic?

        Tall-guy:

Nah. We were warned youíd be on the way. Through email. Though we had to wade through a lot of rubbish to find the message. (He looks straight at Mulder.)

Come on in, your just the person we need.

(He leads them through into a storeroom. In the dim light figures can be seen frantically stuffing CD jewel cases into cardboard boxes. The boxes are being piled up next to a loading bay at the far end.

Mulder peers into the gloom. He shakes his head, convinced heís just caught a glimpse of a camel being loaded-up with some of the boxes, before it sets-off into the night.

        Tall-guy: (To Mulder)

Well set to it lad. These have to be out by tonight.

(Mulder, at a loss for words, steps into the storeroom. He is guided to a table by one of the workers. The Tall-guy turns to Sculley.)

Would you like a cup of tea?

        Sculley:

Oh, yes please.



Conclusion

(Sculley is sat in the kitchen, drinking tea, and eating crumpets smeared with butter and Marmite. The experience is quite unlike anything sheís known before. She is watching through a hatch as Mulder, jacket off now and shirtsleeves rolled up, is engrossed in the task of loading piles of CDís into the cardboard boxes. He looks up and smiles, a man who has found his true vocation in life.

The sound of quacking ducks is quite loud now, mixed in with distant voices, speaking Arabic it seems. She is concentrating to music coming from speakers mounted on the walls. The air seems charged, an aura of excitement and anticipation for the coming days. The Tall-guy and an attractive woman with long dark hair are sat opposite her, tired but grinning with satisfaction at a job well done. )

        Tall-guy:

What do you reckon then?

        Sculley: (slurping another mouth full of tea.)

Hmmm. Soundís much better than John Denver.

        (Fade Out)

        (Credits)



© Brendan Newport
The characters and names Mulder & Sculley © Fox Television
The X-Files © Fox Television
The phrase "The Truth Is Out There" © Fox Television
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