Mutant X Episode #106 Transcript: “The Meaning of Death”
[Opening Scene: A new mutant safehouse located beneath a subway station. Walking down the stairs with the safehouse’s operator, Rick Bellamy, Brennan is about to meet a new couple preparing to go into the mutant underground.]
Brennan: You know, I gotta say, it’s great to finally meet you, Rick. Getting all those new mutants into the underground has made you quite the legend.
Rick: Well, I’ve been lucky.
Brennan: What? Getting that shape-shifter past a GSA blockade in Akron, I think that took a little bit more than luck.
Rick (entering the safehouse): Well, hopefully we can keep these two under their radar.
Brennan: Yeah. What’s their story?
Rick: They seem okay. Something’s a little off, if you know what I mean.
Brennan: What about their mutancy?
Rick: Hey, Todd! [The husband zooms over to them at the speed of light.]
Brennan (shaking his hand): Oh, super speed!
Todd Wiley: Yeah.
Brennan: That's gotta come in handy.
Jerri Wiley (walking up): He's a show-off.
Todd: Oh! My wife, Jerri.
Brennan (shaking her hand): Oh, hi.
Jerri (staring at his crotch): Of course, you've got plenty to show off yourself there, big guy.
Todd (rolling his eyes): She's got X-Ray vision.
Brennan (lifting her chin): Oh, hey! [Behind them, Rick collapses to the floor, convulsing and groaning.]
Brennan: Rick! [Rick loses control over his abilities, and a whirlwind explodes from his hands, flinging nearby furniture at Brennan and the Wileys. When Rick finally lies still again, Brennan warns the couple away.] Stay back! [Brennan runs to his side.] Are you okay?
Rick: Can’t stop! [The Wileys look on fearfully as a second whirlwhind issues from Rick’s hands, sending Brennan spinning across the room. When a third begins to form, Brennan electrocutes Rick into unconsciousness and calls Sanctuary over his comlink.]
Brennan: Adam, we’ve got a problem.
Opening Credits. “The Meaning of Death.”
[In the lab at Sanctuary, Adam has used the EDD to generate blue force-field rings around the sleeping Rick on the biobed. Emma watches from a safe distance outside the lab window.]
Adam: Well, that should contain his powers, even while his vital signs are weakening.
Emma: I thought you had him stabilized.
Adam: I’ve done the best I can. But I’ll be honest with you; he’s barely holding on. [He comes out to join her.]
Emma: He’s not gonna die, is he?
Adam: Don’t know. All I know for sure is he’s completely lost control of his new mutant abilities. I’m gonna run a battery of tests to help me figure out what’s causing this.
Emma: Well, once you’ve got that figured out, you’ll be able to treat him, right?
Adam: Well, diagnosis is the first step.
Emma: And what if we figure out whatever he has is contagious?
Adam: Well, then he may just be the tip of the iceberg.
[In his Genomex office, Mason Eckhart stands at his window, listening to his lieutenant, Charles Marlowe, report on the illness among the new mutant population.]
Charles: The new mutant we brought in this morning? The second case in two days we’ve discovered.
Mason: And that’s the operative word, isn’t it, Mr. Marlowe?
Mason (facing him): Discovered. There’s no telling how many of these aberrant loose cannons are wreaking havoc out there.
Charles: This loose cannon turned the entire city aquarium into an ice block. Killed all the fish inside.
Mason: Ichthyology has never been a particular interest of mine.
Charles: Well, along with the diver who was feeding them.
Mason (considering): What about the other one?
Charles (leaning on the desk): Her new mutant power of suggestion caused a 32 car pile-up on the trans-island highway.
Mason: Any human fatalities there?
Charles: Two, sir.
Mason: That’s tragic. What a credible excuse to initiate a clamp-down. What have your interrogations revealed?
Charles: Since being apprehended, they have fallen extremely ill. High fevers, deteriorating vital signs.
Mason: And you still have no idea what’s causing this?
Charles (shaking his head): No. But our medical staff are running batteries of tests and we just need more time.
Mason (sitting down): Well, you don’t have more time. Solving this problem is Priority One. I want all squads on full alert to locate and incarcerate these out-of-control new mutants.
Charles: Yes, sir. [He leaves.]
[At Sanctuary, Adam’s sitting on the stairs by the main computer’s holographic screen when Jesse walks up to him.]
Jesse: Brennan checked in, asked me for a progress report.
Adam: All right, anyway, tell him that he and the Wileys are to avoid using their powers. Using them accelerates the spread of the infection.
Jesse (smiling): I think he’s more concerned about how long he’s going to have to stay cooped up with them.
Adam (leading him to the computer): Well, you tell him that he’s not to leave the safehouse under any circumstances.
Shalimar (coming in): How come?
Adam: Because any new mutant who’s been exposed to this thing needs to remain quarantined.
Shalimar: But I thought you said there was a good chance Rick didn’t enter the infectious stage until after he left the safehouse.
Adam: Yeah, but until we’re certain of that, isolation is the only way to keep this thing from spreading.
Shalimar: Got any idea what we’re dealing with?
Adam: Yeah. Off. [The holographic screen shuts off.] Cladosporium. Here. [He pulls up a picture on the computer’s flat screen.] There it is. It’s a simple, common airborne spore. Completely harmless to most human beings, but in the case of a rare genetic aberration, which occurs in less than one percent of all new mutants, exposure to this spore causes uncontrolled mutation, and eventually death.
Shalimar: Less than one percent? Well, not to sound heartless, but I mean, if we’re only talking less than one percent, then what’s the big deal?
Adam: It’s what happens after the exposure that’s the big deal. Once the person shows symptoms, they become highly infectious, and the disease is passed on, new mutant to new mutant.
[In the safehouse, Brennan reports the bad news to the Wileys.]
Brennan: Sorry, guys, we’ve had a little setback.
Todd (getting up in alarm): Setback?
Jerri: What kind of setback?
Brennan: Well, we’re all under quarantine.
Todd: Quarantine? Huh. For how long?
Brennan: Until they figure out what infected Rick.
Jerri (hand to her throat): Wait a minute. You mean we've been exposed to something? We could get sick?
Brennan (sitting in front of her): Don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll all be fine, you know, it’s just a precaution.
Todd: So we're only going to be delayed for a little while, right?
Jerri: I think I've got it. It starts in the throat, right?
Todd: C'mon, Jer, you never get sick. So what are we looking at here? An hour, two?
Brennan: I can't answer that. But until we do figure out what we're dealing with... [Todd starts speeds around the room.] ....Adam thinks we should STOP using our new mutant abilities. It could trigger an episode.
Todd (stopping): Fine. [Todd stands still for a minute, then begins to nod at hyperspeed.]
Brennan: Todd, please!
Tod (stopping): Right.
Jerri (coughing hoarsely): It's in my throat. No doubt about it.
Brennan (head in his hands): It's going to be a long day.
[Shalimar and Adam hurry down Sanctuary's hallway towards the landing bay.]
Shalimar: So what’s this fire we’re investigating?
Adam: Alice Robins. She has the power to throw off thermal energy.
Shalimar: I remember. We slipped her into the underground last year.
Adam: That’s right. Sounds like she’s becoming the latest victim of this infection. Her powers are spinning completely out of control. [They fly out of Sanctuary in the Double Helix and land outside Alice’s apartment. When they emerge, Shalimar’s wearing a silver protective hazmat suit.]
Shalimar: You know, I would’ve thought in a situation like this, the police and fire departments would be all over the place.
Adam (looking down the hallway towards Alice’s room): They would have been, but they were called off by a higher authority, Jesse told me. Better activate your hazmat suit. [Shalimar presses a button on her waist, and a clear bubble appears around her head.] Good.
Shalimar: How come you’re not wearing one?
Adam: Well, not being a new mutant, I’m immune.
Shalimar (following him to Alice’s door): So I'm the only one who gets to make a hazmat fashion statement?
Adam: That's right, but you just wait. It'll be the rage of the spring collection.
Shalimar: I’m sure.
Adam (trying the door): It’s locked; it’s hot. [He pounds on the door.] Alice? Alice? [He turns to Shalimar.] You think you can take this down?
Shalimar (reluctantly): I guess so.
Adam: Well, if you’re afraid of catching something, don’t be. The suit’ll protect you.
Shalimar: No, it’s not that. It’s, um, you know how I am around fire.
Adam (patting her arm): Shalimar, fear of fire is perfectly natural for a feral. You and I both know that there’s only one way for you to get over it. [He points at the door.]
Shalimar: Well, you’d better stand over there, then. [Once Adam’s out of the way, she runs up the wall, flips into the air, and plants a foot on Alice’s door, knocking it down. Adam runs into the smoke-filled room, through a collection of burned furniture to reach Alice, who is lying on the couch.]
Adam (touching her neck): God, she’s burning up. I mean, literally.
Alice (murmuring): Adam.
Adam: Is there anything we can do?
Alice: Too late. Just go.
Shalimar (standing behind the couch): How long till her next flare-up?
Adam: Not long. I’m afraid the next one might kill her.
Charles (coming in with an armed GS agent): So. Looks like the news is out.
Adam (standing): Well, now I know who called off the authorities. [Shalimar kicks the gun out of the GS agent's hand, then stands over his body.]
Shalimar (to Charles): Back off or he's dead.
Charles (walking around her): Like I give a damn.
Adam: Looks like working for Eckhart has brought out your sensitive side, eh, Marlowe?
Charles: See, now, that's not fair. I was bitter long before I took this job.
Adam: Yeah, well, we’ll deal with your psyche some other time. [He looks down at Alice.] Miss Robins here is about to reach her ignition point. There’s not a lot we can do.
Charles: I suppose that would mean a swift death for her.
Adam: Yeah, and for anyone else in the vicinity.
Charles (smiling at them): Don’t stay on my account. [Alice begins to convulse.]
Adam: Alice, what can I do?
Alice: Just go, please. Just go.
Adam (running to Shalimar): We’ve gotta get out of here. Marlowe!
Charles (kneeling by Alice’s side): Tell me. [Giving up on Charles, Adam and Shalimar run out into the parking lot as the building explodes behind them. A black SUV drives up to them, and Charles emerges unhurt from the building, to the amazement of Shalimar and Adam. Brushing soot from his jacket, he opens the SUV's back door. Mason steps out and faces Adam.]
Mason: Well, I gather you’ve met my new lieutenant.
[Standing on opposite sides of the parking lot, Adam and Mason eye one another, backed by Shalimar and Charles, respectively.]
Adam (approaching Mason): This infection that’s just killed this woman could wipe out every new mutant in a week. Now I might be able to beat it. But I don't stand a chance if I have to fight you at the same time.
Mason (approaching Adam): What are you suggesting?
Adam: A truce. To accomplish a common goal.
Mason: You honestly believe I'd shed a tear if your freakish monstrosities were wiped out?
Adam: If the new mutants disappear, so does the GSA, Mason. Overnight, you're obsolete.
Mason: Obsolescence in the wake of total victory is a mixed blessing, but a blessing nonetheless.
Adam: Yes, but what about you? You'll lose your bête noire, your reason for living.
Mason: I'm deeply touched by your concern for my welfare, Adam.
Adam: For a man whose life is completely defined by that which he hates the most, this could be your undoing.
Mason (glancing back at Charles): Give me a moment. [He returns to the SUV to discuss the matter with Charles. Adam walks a distance away with Shalimar.]
Shalimar: So who’s the new lieutenant?
Adam (putting an arm around her): Charles Marlowe. I lost track of him since he left Genomex.
Charles: I think it’s a huge mistake to entrust Adam with GSA technology and secrets.
Mason: While gaining access to his genius and expertise.
Charles: Bottom line is, our priorities and his remain fundamentally opposed.
Mason: Well, under normal circumstances, you’d be absolutely correct. But right now, we find ourselves in the rare position of having our agendas intersect. At least until he discovers a remedy.
Shalimar (glancing over at the SUV): He really hates you, you know.
Adam: Eckhart’s always hated me.
Shalimar: I'm talking about Marlowe.
Adam (nodding): Hm.
Mason (coming back to face Adam): Tell me what you need. [Adam nods at him.]
[On his return to Sanctuary, Adam is immediately beset by Emma and Jesse.]
Emma: You made a deal with the devil!
Adam: I can’t deny that, Emma.
Jesse: Look, what’ve they got that we don’t have here?
Adam (at the main computer): Highly trained scientists, medical staff that works around the clock and unlimited funds. Rick stays here, there’s no reason to risk moving him.
Emma: But Eckhart is gonna try–
Adam: I know, I can handle Eckhart, all right? The real problem here is the speed of this infection. Now we have approximately 20 hours before the majority of new mutants are cut down. [Emma and Jesse exchange a grave look.]
[In the safehouse, Todd paces impatiently in front of Brennan, who’s reading a book.]
Todd: Hey, buddy. I’ve been thinking. We’ve been here a few hours, right? If we were gonna get sick, chances are, it would’ve happened by now, follow me?
Brennan: Uh, yeah, I think I follow you.
Todd: Terrific! So in that case, I figure we may as well get the hell out of here.
Brennan (smiling up at him): No.
Todd: Come on!
Brennan: Look, until we get the word, we stay put, and that’s that. [Todd starts speeding around the room in frustration.] Hey, Speedy! Was I talking to myself, or did you NOT hear me say no using our abilities? Huh? [Todd sits back down.] Are you fast AND deaf?
Jerri (on the couch across from him): So you think we’ll be okay?
Brennan (returning to his book): Yeah, we’ll be fine. [He catches her staring at him.] What? Oh, hey c'mon, you're not using your X-Ray vision are you?
Jerri (smiling innocently): Oh, no, don't be silly. [He points a warning finger at her; she tilts her head for a better view.]
Brennan (getting up): Oh, man! [Holding his book over his behind, he goes to sit in a chair further away, his back to her.]
Jerri: Yep. Looks good from this angle too.
Brennan (swiveling around): Please!
[Jesse and Emma walk down the hallway towards the lab. Emma's dressed in a hazmat suit.]
Jesse: God, Brennan’s gotta be going nuts trapped in the safehouse with that couple.
Emma (donning her gloves): Yeah, not knowing.
Jesse: Yeah...not knowing.
Emma: That’s the part that would drive me crazy.
Jesse: You don’t think he’s got it, do you?
Emma: I wouldn’t know, Jesse.
Jesse: Well, can’t you do one of your telempathic tune-ins and see if he’s infected?
Emma: It doesn’t work like that.
Emma (activating her suit): Look, I’ve gotta check in on Rick. [Leaving Jesse outside, she enters the lab, where Rick is groaning inside his force-field.] You’ve gotta stay in there, Rick. Just until we find a way to make you better. [Sensing his pain, Emma projects an image into his mind of a Rick floating, relaxed, in the clear blue sky to calm him.]
[Meanwhile, in a large gymnasium-turned-makeshift hospital, technicians and nurses rush busily back and forth around the beds of dozens of new mutant patients. Charles makes his way through the crowded room towards Adam, who is standing at the head of one of the beds.]
Charles: Adam! I’m your liason.
Adam (moving to another bed): I don’t recall having a liason looking over my shoulder as part of the deal.
Charles: Not my call.
Adam: All right, so what is your mandate, Mr. Marlowe?
Charles: Report your progress to Mr. Eckhart.
Adam (shaking his head): Just the thought of working with him again...
Charles: Ah, stop kidding yourself, Adam, you two are joined at the hip.
Adam (moving to the next bed): That's an ugly thought.
Charles (leaning over the sleeping woman in the bed): You need Eckhart as much as Eckhart needs you.
Adam: Well, I thought I left all that behind.
Charles (touching her face): Well, the past has this funny way of sneaking up on you, doesn’t it, Adam?
Adam (removing Charles’s hand): Yes, and rearing its ugly head.
Charles (still hovering): It’s a tough thing to escape.
Adam (moving to the next bed): So, what, you’re his eyes and ears around here, Mr. Marlowe?
Charles: Yes. As well as making sure that GSA technology is not used for detrimental purposes.
Adam (moving to the next bed): Detrimental to what? The imprisonment and murder of new mutants?
Charles (following him): Hey! I just work here.
Adam: Yeah. And that doesn’t give you pangs of guilt?
Charles: No. It’s a free marketplace, Adam. My services are available to the highest bidder, which, by the way, if you want to make a bid that beats out Genomex....
Adam (going to his lab table): What, so, so you’re a mercenary now?
Charles: Yes, I am. And you’d better get used to me being on this side of the fence. [Adam leans over a computer, trying to retrieve some data.] Besides, my retinal scan is the only way to get access to that computer.
Adam: Limited access, I’m sure.
Charles: Of course.
Adam (nodding): Yeah.
Charles: Of course. [He wanders back out to the ward, passing Shalimar on her way in.]
Shalimar: So how are you and sunshine getting along?
Adam: Well, after he left Genomex, he must have suffered a major psychological trauma.
Shalimar (sitting next to him): Or maybe he’s just a creep.
Adam: No, no. People don’t have such a change in personality for no reason. You know, his anger’s gotta have a source.
Shalimar: Think he’s having a hard time dealing with his new mutant ability?
Adam: Well, that’s definitely part of it, yeah.
Shalimar: Didn’t turn the rest of us into creeps.
Adam: Well, none of you had to deal with his invulnerability.
Shalimar (watching Charles): Are you kidding me? I would love to have his power of invulnerability.
Adam: No, listen, I’ve been thinking about this now. All human behavior, and animal behavior for that matter, is predicated on one simple motivation: survival, right?
Adam: Yeah, so what happens when survival isn't an issue, when the motivation’s taken away?
Shalimar (thinking): I guess there's no telling how someone would react.
Adam: Exactly. Unpredictability. Which makes Marlowe more dangerous than Eckhart. [In the ward, Charles leans over one of the patients as she gasps in agonal distress.]
Charles (taking her head in his hands): Tell me. Tell me!
Nurse: She’s going into shock. Bring the oxygen! BP falling. [A technician rushes over with an oxygen mask, but Charles pushes him away.]
Adam (running over): Hey! [Charles steps back, allowing the nurses to perform CPR.] Hey! What was that all about? [He shoves Charles.] What was that all about, I asked you a question!
Charles: I got no answers for you.
Adam: All right, then you are banned from this ward!
Charles: You are a guest here!
Adam: You get outta here!
Charles: This is not your turf. You remember that, Adam. [He walks out. Shalimar watches from the lab as the woman dies. Adam pulls a sheet over her face and rests his head on his arm in despair.]
[In Sanctuary’s lab, Emma’s at the computer, trying to stabilize Rick as he convulses within the force-field.]
Emma: Come on, Rick! Just hang in there! Come on, Rick! [Taking down the force-field, Emma rushes to his side to start doing chest compressions. A whirlwind erupts from his hands, throwing her back against the wall. Emma’s knocked unconscious by the blow, and her hazmat suit’s protective bubble is deactivated. Watching from outside, Jesse phases into the room and kneels by her side.]
Jesse: Emma! Emma, are you okay?
Emma (waking up): Why did you do that, Jesse?
Jesse: You were in trouble.
Emma (sitting up): Well, now we’ve both been exposed.
[As Brennan and Jerri sleep on the couches in the darkened safehouse, Todd sneaks up the stairs and tries to find the right password to get the computer to open the door. After he’s entered four incorrect ones at hyperspeed, an alarm goes off, waking Brennan and Jerri. Brennan runs to the foot of the stairs to see what’s going on.]
Brennan: Oh, man. You don’t give up, do you?
Todd (coming downstairs): What you don’t understand is, that I need to get outta here, okay? And now.
Jerri (from her couch): What’s your rush, Todd? We’ve got noplace to go.
Todd: I’m not in a rush, Jerri, okay? I just want out. Excuse me. [He heads towards the stairs again, but Brennan grabs his arm, kicking him in the leg and picking his pocket.]
Brennan (holding up his wallet): Sorry about that. But I don’t think you’re gonna get very far without this.
Jerri (getting up): What the hell is that in there?
Todd: In where?
Jerri: There’s a picture in your wallet.
Todd: I got lots of pictures in my wallet.
Brennan (taking out a picture of Todd with a blonde woman): Oh, you mean this picture?
Jerri (snatching it from Brennan): Who the hell is this?
Todd: A friend. She teaches a...uh...spin class at my gym.
Jerri: Yeah. I bet that’s not all she teaches. [She throws the picture at Todd and stalks back to the couch.]
Brennan (returning his wallet): Ho-ho. Now that was really swift. See now, it doesn't take a genius to know that a married man does not keep a picture of his girlfriend in his wallet.
[Shalimar approaches Adam at his lab table as he mixes green liquid in a test tube with a pipette.]
Shalimar: Adam, I just came through the ward. Marlowe’s at it again.
Adam (getting up): All right. [Hands a beaker to the technician beside him and lets Shalimar take his seat.] Why don’t you take over? Take another reading, quickly. [He strides over to Charles, who is bending over another patient.] What are you, the angel of death?
Charles (straightening): No, I’m just asking those on the edge a few questions.
Adam: All right, there’s a lot of people on the edge around here. We’re trying to save their lives.
Charles (walking around him): Yeah, well you don’t seem to be doing a very good job, do you?
Adam: Yeah, and you’re not helping.
Charles: I’m not here to help!
Adam: All right, there’s no place for voyeurism; I want you to keep your distance.
Charles (bending over another bed): Well, we can’t all have what we want, can we, Adam?
Adam (grabbing his arm): You know, I can’t believe that you’ve ended up like this. A man with your incredible gift!
Charles: Let me tell you about this precious gift you gave me, doctor. Standing in the wreckage of a car crash you caused, seeing your wife and child breathing their last terrified breaths, and you're just going to walk away. Knowing that you are never going to see them again. Not in heaven, not in hell. And for that, I thank you, good doctor. Thank you. Thank you. [He leans back over the patient. Adam sighs, closing his eyes.]
[Jesse’s working at his computer when Emma, out of her hazmat suit, walks up to him.]
Emma: How are you feeling, Jess?
Jesse (looking up at her): Never better. You?
Emma (smiling nervously): Nothing. Perfectly normal.
Jesse (returning her smile): Normal as we ever get, huh? [When he sees her smile fade, he turns serious.] I feel bad about Rick.
Emma: Yeah, me too.
Jesse: You think he suffered?
Emma: I don’t know. Didn’t seem like the most peaceful way to go.
Jesse: I have to think that’s what we’ve all got coming, huh?
Emma: I can’t think that way, Jesse, and neither should you.
Jesse: You’d better face reality, Emma. What if Adam can’t come up with a cure?
Emma: He will. And besides, we both feel fine, right?
Emma: So far so good.
Jesse: Maybe we got lucky, huh?
Emma: Maybe we did.
Jesse: Right. [Jesse goes back to work. Behind him, Emma staggers. Losing control of her abilities, she projects an image of a large snake around Jesse’s neck. He gasps for air, tugging at the imaginary snake wound around his head.] Emma! Get it off! [Emma collapses, and Jesse rushes to her side.] Are you all right? Say something. Open your eyes!
Emma (waking up): What happened?
Jesse (picking her up): Come on, we’ve gotta get you to bed. [He start to raise her off the floor, but his body phases and Emma drops through his arms onto the floor.]
Emma: You’ve got it too.
Jesse (over his comlink): Adam.
Adam (at his sample table): Jesse?
Jesse: Emma’s sick. I think I’ve got it too.
Adam: All right, Jesse, be careful. If you phase for more than 30 seconds, you could dissipate for good.
Jesse: Yeah, tell me something I don’t know.
Adam (finding Shalimar in the ward): Shalimar, Jesse and Emma have come down with it.
Shalimar: Oh, no.
Adam: All right, that means you’ve got to get them over here as quickly as possible.
Shalimar: What happened?
Adam: Apparently, Rick went into arrest; Emma tried to revive him, and Jesse jumped in.
Shalimar: Okay, I’m on my way.
Adam: Go, now. Hurry.
[In Mason’s office, Charles paces in front of Mason’s desk.]
Charles: This partnership with Adam seems to be as big a misfire as the one you forged 20 years ago.
Mason: You’re giving him everything that he asks for, aren't you?
Charles: Yes. He still can’t get a handle on the cure.
Mason: I have to say, Mr. Marlowe, I find your attitude rather singular. You certainly wouldn’t be walking around today if it wasn’t for Adam’s efforts.
Charles: And I’m supposed to thank him for that?
Mason: Most other new mutants seem to.
Charles (playing with Mason's sanitation unit): Yeah, well, most other new mutants aren’t blessed with my particular powers.
Mason: Powers, I must say, I wouldn’t mind possessing myself, were I one of you.
Charles (picking up a paperweight): Well, you should have had Adam twist up your DNA when you were still on good terms with him.
Mason: That’s not what Genomex was about back then.
Charles (waving the paperweight in the air): Yeah, well, that was then; this is now. I can’t believe you’re putting your trust in him! You haven’t had anything to do with Adam in years!
Mason: I've had everything to do with Adam. I know the man. With something so dear to him at stake, if there's a cure to be found, he'll find it.
Charles: Yeah, well, that sounds like wishful thinking to me.
Mason (irritated): It’s better that than your perpetual negative thinking, Mr. Marlowe.
Charles: Negative, positive, what’s the difference? In the end, the results are all the same for me.
Mason: Just don’t let your personal despair impede the successful completion of this mission!
Charles: I told you. He’s getting everything he needs.
Mason (leaning over the desk): Good. Because whoever controls this disease and its cure controls new mutants.
Charles (finally understanding): You’re talking about wresting it away from him, aren’t you?
Mason: Of course. And with you heading the opposition, it won’t be much of a fight.
Charles (smiling): No, it won’t.
[Down in the ward, chaos reigns as the nurses and technicians run from bed to bed. New mutants crash and die one after the other, and Adam stands in the center of the storm, unable to keep up. Tearing off his labcoat in frustration, Adam heads back to the lab, where Charles is sitting.]
Charles: Eckhart has more confidence in you than I do. But he’s a born optimist, so...
Adam: Scientists work for years trying to cure the simplest disease. How can I be expected to solve this one in two days?
Charles (smiling sardonically): One of the creators desperately struggles to try and save his precious creations.
Adam: That's right. In a way, I think of you as my children.
Charles (standing): And a man shouldn't outlive his children, should he?
Adam (sighing): I'm sorry for your loss, I am. I can't imagine the pain you've been through.
Charles: Well, I appreciate your expressions of sympathy, doctor. But if it wasn't for you and your genetic tampering, I'd be where I should be. Next to my wife and child.
Adam: You also never would have seen your 12th birthday, or ever had a wife or a child, okay? The work that I did at Genomex saved not only your life, but the life of every other new mutant!
Charles (pointing to the ward): Yeah. You can take a look--take a look at the legacy, huh?
Adam: Yeah, but you know, there are a lot of other people who should have died who are out there leading productive lives! They are using their abilities to help people!
Charles: I don't need you to judge me, Adam.Adam: I'm not judging you. I'm telling you that there is a different way. There is a way to give you a little peace in your life.
Charles: That is not going to happen! Not for me. And that is thanks to your experimenting.
Adam: All right, look. It was a new frontier, it was genetics! We were the pioneers!
Charles: Oh, so I am a guinea pig now?
Adam: I saved your life! Your parents brought you to me!
Charles: And you had no idea what was held in store for me!
Adam (turning his back): No, not at the time!
Charles: Eckhart told me that I should kill you the second you found the cure. [Adam spins around in shock.] But I’m not gonna wait. [Charles draws a gun, but Adam knocks it out of his hand, then kicks him in the face. Charles draws back his lip to show a new tooth growing to take the place of the one Adam’s knocked out.]
Adam: Of course!
Charles (looking up): What?
Adam (grinning): I thought that you possessed invulnerability. But what you’ve really got is a capacity for cellular regeneration which is off the charts.
Charles: Same difference.
Adam: No, no, no. Not in my world, it isn’t. Marlowe, you’re the key to the cure.
[Shalimar arrives at Sanctuary to find Emma and Jesse lying on the floor.]
Shalimar (running over to Emma): Emma!
Jesse (trying to stand): Shalimar. [As he gets up, his body masses uncontrollably.]
Shalimar: Jesse, you’re sick. You shouldn’t be massing in and out like that.
Jesse: I can’t help it.
Shalimar: How long has she been like this?
Jesse: Uh, twenty minutes.
Shalimar: Can you walk?
Jesse (wincing): Yeah.
Shalimar: I have to get you guys to triage.
[In the ward, Adam’s trying to reason with Charles.]
Adam: I need to isolate the DNA strand that’s in your system to beat this infection. Now the instruments to do that don’t exist, okay? So I have to invent a whole new paradigm. And I have to ask you to come back to the lab with me, because the lives of a lot of people that I care about are at stake.
Charles: So, what’s in it for me?
Adam (shaking his head): I don’t know.
Shalimar (poking her head in): Jesse and Emma are checked in.
Adam: Good. Life support will keep them going for three to four hours.
Charles: Looks like you two are losing teammates. [Shalimar frowns at him.]
Adam: I need your help, Charles. Please.
[In Sanctuary’s lab, Charles waits in the biochair recently vacated by Rick as Adam and Shalimar work at the computers.]
Adam: Okay. Once we can identify and extract the proper genetic strand, then I can execute a massive replication.
Shalimar: Yeah, but how are you gonna get the antidote to the rest of the new mutants in time?
Adam (to Charles): Theoretically, if I can transform the binary components of your genetic code into a microwave form, then I can uplink it into the GSA communications satellite and then disperse it across the continent in a biotransmission.
Shalimar: Kind of like a blanket innoculation?
Adam (nodding): That’s the idea. All right, Charles. I’m gonna commence extraction. [A yellow light from the EDD scanner plays over Charles’s body. He gasps. Shalimar walks over to watch the computer screen with Adam.] Now the column on the right is Cladosporium, the bacterial strain. And on the left here is the microwave form of the antidote. Now we’re onto something if we can keep the bacterial load under ten. [Unseen by them, Charles gets out of the chair and walks across the room.] It’s happening! It’s happening! That’s it! [Hearing glass breaking behind them, Shalimar and Adam turn to see Charles cutting his hand on a broken glass beaker. He happily holds up his bloody hand for them to see.]
Charles (grinning): I’m bleeding! I’m bleeding!
Adam (going to look): There’s no sign of instant cellular regeneration.
Shalimar: I’ll go get the First Aid kit.
Adam: Yeah. The extraction must have had a counter mutating effect on your DNA.
Charles (tasting his blood): Is it permanent?
Adam: I have no idea. But right now, there’s nothing indestructible about you.
[At the safehouse, Jerri interrupts Brennan, who’s eating peanuts at a computer.]
Jerri: Hey. When you looked at that photo, it looked to me like you recognized this friend of his.
Brennan: You know what, I really don’t want to get involved in your domestic problems.
Todd: And you wouldn’t be, if you would have let me get away when I had the chance!
Brennan: Hey, Todd, like I said, I really, really, don’t want to get involved in your domestic problems.
Jerri: Well, you know what? Forget that, honey. You’re stuck here with us, which means you’re involved. [Across the room, Jerri’s computer beeps, signaling an incoming message.]
Todd: Hey, did you hear that?
Jerri: I didn’t hear anything.
Todd: Yeah, you just got an email.
Jerri: No, I didn’t. [Before she can reach it, Todd superspeeds to pick up her computer.]
Brennan: Hey! What did I say about using your powers, Speedy?
Todd: Hm. It’s from Stanley Gambert.
Jerri: Hey, that’s private!
Todd (reading): “Missing you terribly, my sweet, I count the minutes until we’re together. Love, Stanley.”
Brennan: Stanley, Stanley. [Recognizing the name, he sits back down at his computer.]
Jerri: Okay, so we’re both cheats. You happy? [She turns back to Brennan.] You know, you were right. You shouldn’t have gotten involved.
Brennan (swiveling around to face them): Okay, you know what? Whenever you two are done tippy-toeing behind each another’s backs, I think there’s something you should know. See now, I wasn’t entirely sure when I saw that picture of your girlfriend, Todd, but when you received that email from Stanley Gambert, all the pieces are fitting together now. Check it out. One of the things that we do is keep a running rogue’s gallery of all the GS agents and their informants. [He pulls up the profiles of two GS agents on his computer.] And you two hit the jackpot. Whoo! Talk about picking winners. So, ain't this a pickle? See now, here you both are, trying to use the new mutant underground to ditch each other and run off with your new red-hot lovers, whose idea, by the way, of a romantic getaway is a stasis pod. So, congratulations. You've been had by the GSA.
[Mason impatiently walks through the ward with one of his GS agents.]
Mason: Get word to Adam. I want Marlowe here with the cure in half an hour, or I start removing patients from life support. [He leans over Jesse and Emma.] Beginning with these two. [Moments later, Shalimar, Adam, and Charles enter the ward.]
Adam: The biotransmission code’s here in my hand-held.
Shalimar: I’ll sneak in and hook it up.
Adam: All right, good. I’m gonna check on Jesse and Emma and make sure they’re all right. [Charles starts to walk away.] Hey, wait. I need you to go with Shalimar.
Charles: Nah, I did my part.
Adam: No, no, no. Your retinal scan is the only way to access the GSA communication satellite.
Charles: Why should I risk my neck for you?
Adam: Because I just made it possible for you to understand what risk means again.
Charles: Okay...okay. You ready?
Shalimar: I was born ready. [Charles goes to the computer with Shalimar, and sticks his face against the retinal scanner.]
Charles: Got it?
Shalimar (at the computer): We’re in. [They jump at the sound of Mason’s voice behind them.]
Mason: Can I assume you’ve completed–- [Charles whirls around, drawing his gun on Mason; the GS agent beside Mason draws his at the same time. Shalimar stays at the computer, working as fast as she can.]
Charles: Call in a full retreat, Mr. Eckhart.
Mason (to his GS agent): What good is your gun against him? I must say, I’m very disappointed in you, Mr. Marlowe.
Charles: You call in that retreat, or you’ll never get a chance to get over your disappointment.
Mason (going to the intercom): This is Mr. Eckhart. Pull back all units at once.
Shalimar: We’re almost there.
Charles (watching the long line of GS agents leaving the building): You’ve got these guys well trained, don’t you? [Looking in the mirror behind Charles, Mason suddenly notices that he’s wearing a bandage on the hand he’s holding behind his back.]
Mason (to the GS agent): Shoot him. [The GS agent shoots Charles in the abdomen. Getting up, Shalimar kicks the gun out of his hand and flips into the air onto a post beside Mason. When she glares at Mason with feral eyes aglow, he quickly steps back and beats a hasty retreat from the room. She attacks the GS agent again, then goes to Charles, holding his head in her lap. Adam comes running over.</i>]
Shalimar: Everything’s hooked up and ready to go.
Adam: I’ll call a doctor.
Charles: No. Adam, no. This is what I want. [He dies.]
Adam (checking for a pulse): He’s gone.
Shalimar (putting Charles’s head on the floor): Let’s do what we came here to do.
Adam: Yeah. [He enters some commands into the computer.] That’s step one.
Shalimar: Is it working?
Adam: Well, if it is, we should see immediate results.
Shalimar: I’m gonna go check the ward. [She goes up to Emma, who is starting to sit up.] How are you guys doing?
Emma: Starting to feel better. [Shalimar hugs her, then sees Jesse getting out of bed.]
Shalimar (pointing at him): And you! You are not supposed to be out of bed yet. [She goes to hug him, but Jesse phases and she falls through him.]
Emma: He’s still got it!
Shalimar (exchanging horrified glances with Emma): Oh, no!
Jesse (reforming): Oh no, that one? Was just for fun. [Emma and Jesse laugh, but Shalimar hits him in the arm.]
Shalimar: What is wrong with you?!
[Fully recovered, Emma and Jesse go to the mutant safehouse to relieve Brennan.]
Brennan: Hey, welcome! You guys get through it okay?
Emma: Yeah. Twelve hours later, and it’s like we were never sick.
Jesse: How about you?
Brennan (leading them over to Jerri and Todd): Yeah, well, I survived. Barely.
Todd: Look, uh, Brennan, both Jerri and I want to apologize for everything....
Jerri: And thank you too, for saving our lives.
Brennan: Yeah, well, it was no big deal. So, what are you guys’ big plans?
Jerri: Oh, we’re gonna give it another shot.
Todd (putting an arm around his wife): Yeah. We both gave it some thought.
Jerri: We both realized there’s still something there.
Brennan: Well, the good news is, the new mutant underground’s a great place for a second chance, so good luck. [As Jerri passes by Jesse, she takes a long appreciative look at his crotch. Following her gaze, Jesse looks down at himself in confusion.]
Brennan (slinging his arms around Jesse and Emma): That, my friend, is x-ray vision. [Emma laughs. They follow the Wiley’s up the stairs.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Adam’s sitting alone by the reflecting pool. Shalimar comes to sit beside him.]
Shalimar: Hey. Still upset about Marlowe?
Adam: Yeah. Part of me feels responsible for his pain.
Shalimar: You know, every new mutant alive today owes their life to you for what you did at Genomex.
Adam (sighing): We lost too many to this disease. Plus the ones like Marlowe who choose to serve Eckhart and the GSA. I just don't understand that.
Shalimar: Someone once told me you can't force right or wrong on anyone.
Adam (smiling): All you can do is lead by example and hope they lean toward the light.
Shalimar (rubbing his back): Glad you remembered.
Adam: Yeah. Thanks. [He kisses her cheek. She leaves him to his thoughts.]