Mutant X Episode #107 Transcript: “Lit Fuse”
[Opening Scene: The empty lot behind a power station at night. Looking over his shoulder, Eric Tanner helps his weakened fiancée Ashley Elliott past the chain link fence towards the electrical tower, ignoring the “Danger High Voltage Sign.” Eric pulls Ashley up when she stumbles against the fence.]
Eric: Come on.
Ashley: Eric, maybe I can do without it.
Eric: Well, you tried to stay off it before, and you almost died.
Ashley: Yeah, but....see, I heard about these people, Mutant X. They’re supposed to help people like me.
Eric (stopping to face her): I’m looking after you now. I love you, Ash, and no one’s gonna keep us apart. [He kisses her.] Come on. [As they approach the tower, Neil Cross peeks out at them through the sights of his gun, from his hiding place behind a pole. He smiles down at his detecting device and waits, chewing a toothpick. Stopping below the tower, Ashley takes Eric's hands.]
Ashley: Now you stay back this time. [Eric nods and moves away. When Ashley extends her hands towards the tower, Neil emerges from his hiding place and saunters towards them, holding Eric at gunpoint.]
Neil Cross: Hold it right there, Ashley! Time to stop running and come on home. Ashley [Turning quickly, Ashley extends her hands towards the tower again, drawing electricity directly from the tower’s power lines into her body. A stray bolt of electricity flies back and electrocutes Neil, who falls to the ground, unconscious.]
[Across town, Brennan and Shalimar are flying over the city in the Double Helix when the lights in all the skyscrapers go out.]
Shalimar: The power grid just died.
Brennan (looking at the computer screen in front of him): The whole north-west quadrant’s blacked out.
[At the power station, Eric kneels by Neil’s side, looking down into his face.]
Eric (calling over to Ashley): Oh, my God. You killed him!
Ashley: I didn’t mean to! [Suddenly, Neil reaches up to grab Eric by the throat.]
Neil: One twist, and he’s history!
Ashley: Please. Just let him go!
Neil: I knew he’d be your soft spot. [Releasing Eric’s neck, Neil points his gun at his head, pushing him in front of him towards Ashley.] Come on, son. Go! Come on, now, before you need another feeding! Let’s go!
Eric: Listen to him, Ashley. For me.
Neil: Now! [A police car drives past, temporarily distracting Neil. Ashley turns and flees into the night.] Ashley! Damn it! [He quickly drags Eric towards his car.] Come on!
Opening Credits. “Lit Fuse.”
[In Sanctuary’s main room, Jesse and Adam are watching Proxy Blue’s broadcast on the main computer’s holographic screen.]
Proxy Blue: UFOs? Black helicopters? Who knows? And who cares?
Jesse: Trust Proxy Blue to have her own generator.
Proxy Blue: Whatever it was, it ate one of the city’s power grids. So lock your doors and bar your windows.
Adam (interrupting her): Off. [The screen blinks off.] I'm beginning to loathe that computer generated trouble-maker.
Jesse: Ah, she's the only thing on the air. C'mon, I've gotta hear something about what's going on out there.
Adam: Well, sometimes nothing is better than an endless stream of paranoia. [He calls the Helix over his comlink.] Shalimar!
Shalimar (standing behind Brennan): Yeah, we’re still here, Adam.
Brennan: Hey, Adam, figured out what’s caused the blackout yet?
Adam: Trans El hasn’t made any public statement yet, but I’m concerned about rumors I’ve heard from the underground about new mutants with a tremendous appetite for energy. I want you two back here.
Jesse: Uh, Emma’s tapping into Trans El’s mainframe.
Emma (upstairs, leaning over the balcony): And I think I might have found something. Trans El’s technical investigation unit seems to think an outside source knocked out the grid and drained the power.
Adam: Hm. Well, a new mutant database search would turn up any elementals that could be suspects.
Jesse: Yeah, but all the elementals I know of throw off energy, like Brennan.
Brennan: Yeah, but I’ve heard about a couple energy absorbers in the underground.
Shalimar: Yeah, and one of them could be mutating.
Adam (pulling up three profiles): These three are the most likely possibilities. Now, when one of these energy absorbing elementals mutates, they seems to become ravenously hungry for power, and completely unable to control that appetite. [The database shows two men and one woman, Ashley.]
[At Genomex headquarters, Mason stands in his darkened office, his back turned to Neil Cross as Neil is about to light his cigar.]
Mason: Put that out, Mr. Cross. [He turns to face Neil.] Now. [When Neil doesn’t comply, two guards enter the room. One holds up an ashtray under his nose; the other stands menacingly behind him with a taser. Rolling his eyes at Mason, Neil drops the match into the ashtray and removes his cigar. The guards leave.] Where is Ashley Elliott?
Neil: I haven’t got her in custody...yet.
Mason: Yes, I gather that.
Neil: She managed to reach the transformer before I got to her.
Mason: I expected better from you, Mr. Cross.
Neil: Well, that’s just because my track record makes your GS agents look like losers.
Mason (crossing to him): I won’t argue with that. You are the best bounty that I’ve ever worked with. That said, it is imperative that you understand. Miss Elliott is unlike any new mutant you’ve tracked for me.
Neil (nodding, walking behind Mason’s desk): We went over this when you took out the contract for her. You wanna use her as a weapon to wipe out an enemy’s power grid, blah, blah, blah.
Mason: I suppose you can afford to be so cavalier, since we did agree to pay you a million dollar bounty.
Neil (smiling): That’s just because you realized you had no other choice. Your people would have never found her.
Mason: I expect you to execute our agreement. No more empty promises, no more excuses, no more delays.
Neil: No problem.
[Ashley's still jogging through the dark streets when her cellphone rings.]
Eric (on his cellphone): Ash?
Ashley: Oh, Eric. Oh, God, I’m so sorry to leave you in the lurch like that; I just didn’t know what else to do!
Eric (pacing around inside a wire cage): No, babe, it’s all right, really. We both know you did what you had to do.
Ashley: Where are you?
Eric: Cross stuck me in a Quonset hut on an abandoned airforce base. I think it’s somewhere near Route 17.
Ashley: Are you all right?
Eric: Yeah. He left me alone. He’s stuck me in some kind of storage cage.
Ashley: Should I call the police?
Eric: No, no, no. They’ll ask too many questions.
Ashley: Then I’m coming to get you. [His phone cuts off.] Eric? Eric? [Closing the phone, she starts to run again.]
[Brennan and Shalimar have returned to Sanctuary; Brennan’s talking to Adam in front of the main computer.]
Brennan: Station 12 has a 400 megawatt capacity. You’re saying one of these three elementals absorbed that much energy?
Adam: Yeah. He or she is mutating. Which means that the hunger is so intense that only enormous quantities of pure energy is gonna satisfy. And then not for long.
Brennan: You can stop the mutation, though.
Adam: Well, that depends on what biological stage it’s in. [He shakes his head, smiling.] But Brennan, this doesn’t mean that this is gonna happen to you.
Brennan: We’re genetically related, though, right?
Adam: Well, yeah, you’re all elementals, but you know, the similarity ends there. Besides, I’ll be monitoring you.
Brennan (heading towards the door): Yeah, well, Jesse and I will go check out the station.
Adam: No, no, no. Shalimar and Emma will do that first thing in the morning. I want you and Jesse to work the data from here.
Brennan: Why? What’s the problem?
Adam: Well, the problem is, this new mutant consumes energy, all right? So, I mean, think of it like this. If this rogue elemental is DC power, you’re AC. So you two get together, it could be explosive. Brennan, potentially lethal.
[The next morning, Ashley reaches Eric’s Quonset hut. Finding the door locked, she draws electricity out of the electronic door lock to open the door.]
Eric (calling from his cage): Ash?
Ashley (running to the cage): Eric!
Eric: Oh, I shouldn’t have called you. Are you okay?
Ashley: I couldn’t leave you here.
Eric (shaking his head): You don’t know this guy. He’s–
Neil (from behind them): Just a businessman. It’s really nothing personal, but certain parties have a strong interest in you and your unique abilities.
Neil (pointing his gun at Eric): Why don’t you let your boyfriend explain that to you?
Ashley (turning to Eric): What’s he talking about?
Eric (shaking his head): Just do what he says, Ash.
Neil: See? It’s that simple. When in doubt, it’s always best to cooperate. Unless you want things to get even messier.
[Shalimar and Emma, dressed as construction workers in red hardhats, walk around the power station’s lot, looking for clues.]
Emma: I think I’ve got something!
Shalimar (joining her): Yeah, me too. You first.
Emma (pointing to the ground): A woman’s footprints burned into the grass.
Shalimar: I guess we’re looking for the female elemental, then, huh?
Emma: Yeah, Ashley Elliott. What have you got?
Shalimar (holding up Neil’s cigar butt): Well, I’m thinking she had company.
Emma: A cigar butt?
Shalimar: A cheroot to be precise. And I’m having a hard time believing she smokes these.
Emma: Adam will want to analyze that.
Shalimar: I think so. [They leave.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Brennan’s reading on the steps when Jesse grabs the book out of his hands, reading the cover.]
Jesse: Leaves of Grass.
Brennan (following him up the stairs): Yeah. Poetry happens to help me relax, and Whitman's a geat poet.
Brennan: Aren’t you supposed to be working?
Jesse: Nah, I’m waiting for Adam’s DNA report on that cigar butt. [He hands the book back to Brennan.]
Brennan: Thank you.
Jesse: Now a good cheroot--that's relaxing.
Brennan: Well, at least we agree on something. Good poetry, a good cigar, go hand and hand.
Jesse: Yeah, well we both know you'd rather be out looking for her.
Brennan: Yeah, of course. C'mon, who's more qualified to find her than me? With my electrical charge, I'm the best bait there is.
Jesse (pulling up Ashley’s picture on his computer): Yeah, and of course that's the only reason, right? I mean, the fact that she is so hot she could make your eyes bleed has nothing to do with it, right?
Emma (coming up behind them): She's just your type, Brennan. Beautiful, vulnerable, dangerous...
Brennan: You too? You know, the both of you make it sound like all I ever think about is sex. Truth is, I only think about sex half the time.
Jesse: The other half of the time, he's thinking about...poetry.
Emma: ...which just makes him think more about sex.
Brennan: Yeah, but you're not supposed to know that. [He walks off.]
[In the lab, Shalimar watches Adam analyze the cigar butt on the computer.]
Shalimar: You got all of that from a cigar butt?
Adam: Yeah, well, it was well chewed. Left plenty of genetic residue behind.
Shalimar (laughing): That’s nice.
Adam (going to a second computer): We’ve got a match. Neil Cross.
Shalimar: You know him?
Adam: I know of him. He started as a repo man, moved into skip chasing?
Shalimar: Yeah, tracking bail-jumpers.
Adam: Uh-huh. Convicted of second-degree murder, got early release for...[He moves back to the first computer.]...good behavior.
Shalimar: Yeah, well, something tells me there wasn’t a whole lot of good behavior involved.
Adam: Yeah. I heard rumors that Eckhart pulled some strings to get him out.
Shalimar: To work for the GSA.
Adam: Mm-hmm. Freelance as a bounty hunter.
Shalimar: Oh, that’s nice. Bringing in new mutants for money.
Adam: Well, I’ll send all this information over to Jesse. All previous addresses, ‘cause we find him, we find Ashley Elliott.
Shalimar: Just so long as I get a piece of him. [She walks out. Adam gleefully pushes a button, sending the information to Jesse, who’s waiting at his own computer on the second floor.]
Jesse (calling Emma and Brennan over): Hey, we got lucky! Cross has been on a spending spree.
Brennan: What do you mean?
Jesse: Well, he’s got a half-dozen different aliases, but the electronic money trail all leads back to the same account.
Emma: What’s he buying?
Jesse: Uh...security equipment, electronics, nothing really out of the ordinary for a bounty hunter.
Brennan: You got a shipping address?
Jesse: Not unless he’s a pilot. He’s been sending stuff to a hangar over at Nichol’s Airforce Base.
Brennan: Well, maybe he is a pilot.
Shalimar (coming up to them): Yeah, except Nichol’s has been out of commission for the last 20 years. Who wants to come with me and check it out?
Jesse (quickly getting up): Ooo, I’m right behind ya. [He follows her out.]
[In Mason’s office, GS agent Henshaw picks up a leather suitcase from Mason’s desk.]
Mason (standing behind his desk): Deliver this to Mr. Cross and bring Miss Elliott to me, Mr. Henshaw.
Henshaw: I’ll need clearance for a subdermal governor implant device.
Mason (coming around his desk): But she is not to be damaged in any way. [Henshaw nods.] It is imperative that you carry no electrical devices on your person when you make the arrest. Make certain you are not within a 50 yard radius of any powerlines, power stations, transformers, or any electrical unit emitting over 500 volts...and you'll be fine.
Henshaw: But once she has a subdermal governor on her, she’ll be neutralized.
Mason: Miss Elliott is mutating, Mr. Henshaw. It is impossible to say how effective a governor will be. [Straightening, Henshaw nods and leaves the office.]
[Two black SUVs drive up the road towards Neil’s Quonset hut. Getting out with two GS agents, Henshaw walks up to Neil, who’s standing in the middle of the road holding his gun. Henshaw opens the suitcase of money in front of the smiling Neil.]
Neil: Always a pleasure dealing with the GSA. [He hands Henshaw the key.] You’ll need this to get her out. She’s all yours. You're wearing rubber soles, right? [The three men turn to stare at him, then enter the hut, where Ashley and Eric are tied back to back on chairs inside the cage.]
Ashley (looking up): Oh my God.
Henshaw (passing the key to an agent): Get her out of there. [The agent opens the door and pulls out a pocket knife.]
Ashley: No! Please!
Henshaw: Relax, Miss Elliott. We’re not going to hurt you. [The agent cuts their bonds and drags Ashley out of the cage.]
Ashley: Let me go. Eric! [Drawing electricity from the cage’s lock, she breaks the bonds on her wrist and shoves the agent to the floor.]
Henshaw (to the second agent): Subdermal governor, now! [Everyone spins around when a gunshot rings out from doorway, where Neil stands, holding his gun in the air.]
Neil (placing the suitcase on the floor): This is only half my money.
Henshaw: I don’t know anything about that.
Neil (aiming his gun at him): Well, you tell Eckhart until I get the rest, the girl stays here. [The GS agent on the floor rolls over and shoots Neil in the leg.]
Henshaw: Get his gun and cover him.
Neil (lying on the floor): You’re dead, all of you!
Ashley: You stay away from me! [Henshaw injects a subdermal governor in her neck, and the two GS agents step outside the hut. As they walk towards their SUVs, Jesse leaps down in front of them, and masses his body. He punches the first and kicks the second’s feet out from under him just as Henshaw exits the hut, dragging Ashley by the collar.]
Jesse (smiling at Henshaw): I’ll take it from here. [He cartwheels out of the way when Henshaw shoots at him.]
Shalimar (jumping down to the ground behind Henshaw): You should have listened to my friend here when you had the chance. [She kicks the gun out of his hand and knocks him to the ground. Then she places a reassuring hand on Ashley’s shoulder.] You’re okay with us, Ashley. But we’ve gotta get you to safety. [They drive off in the silver Audi.]
[In Sanctuary’s lab, Ashley waits in the biochair until Adam’s removed the visual cloak from her temple.]
Ashley: Where am I?
Adam: Well, this is called The Sanctuary. My name's Adam.
Ashley: So Mutant X...
Adam: I don’t know what you might have heard about us, but this part is true.
Ashley (sitting up): Then you have to help me. Eric is in serious trouble.
Adam (nodding): Who’s Eric?
Ashley: Eric is my fiancé. Cross still has him.
Adam (smiling): We’re here to help. [Adam frowns when Brennan walks in.] You shouldn’t be in here.
Brennan: Why? She’s got a governor on, right? It should be perfectly safe.
Adam: There’s no need to take unnecessary chances. [He calls over his comlink.] Shalimar, would you come in, please?
Ashley: No, listen, I don’t need your help. I just need Eric.
Brennan: Ashley, you should listen to Adam.
Adam (to Brennan): Right, I recommend that you do the same. [As he continues to talk, Ashley and Brennan stare at each other, utterly entranced.] Now Ashley, your abilities are mutating, which is where this appetite for energy comes from. Now we’ll do what we can to find Eric, but you need to stay just so I can compile a genetic profile. Once I figure out the extent of your condition, I can hopefully reverse the process. [Realizing that she’s not paying any attention, Adam follows her gaze to Brennan's eyes and back again.]
Brennan (not taking his eyes from Ashley): Adam, maybe I should go get Eric. [Shalimar comes into the lab, noticing what’s going on.]
Adam (to Ashley): Right. Shalimar’s gonna keep you company here, make sure that you’re comfortable. [He turns back to Brennan.] Let’s you and I go have a little talk. [Brennan doesn’t budge; Adam tugs at his arm.] Brennan. [Brennan doesn’t move.] Brennan! [Finally breaking away from Ashley’s eyes, Brennan reluctantly leaves with Adam. Ashley stares after him.]
Adam: You okay?
Brennan: Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine.
Adam: Yeah, maybe, maybe not. What she’s feeling for you is pure electromagnetism. Now, what are you feeling?
Brennan: I don’t know. I just really want to help her.
Adam: Right, well, we’re all gonna do that.
Brennan: Okay, well, then, I don’t see what the problem is. I can still...you know...
Adam: Yeah, okay, yeah, maybe you can handle the magnetism. Maybe she can’t.
Brennan: Look, Adam, it’s not magnetism. We’re both elementals, we just have a connection.
[Inside the lab, Shalimar’s trying to reason with Ashley.]
Shalimar: You okay?
Ashley: I shouldn’t even be here. I should be with Eric.
Shalimar (smiling): Well, I think I know how you feel.
Ashley (getting up): No, you haven't the faintest idea how I feel!
Shalimar: Being pulled in two different directions? I mean, you wanna help your boyfriend, but there's Brennan right in front of you.
[Cut to: Brennan and Adam in the hallway.]
Adam: Wait, you’re not hearing what I’m saying.
Brennan: No, I am hearing what you’re saying. I’m just asking, I mean, why can’t I go in and have a conversation with her?
Adam: Brennan, I don’t want you to think that this is something other than what it is. She’s dangerous for you. You stay away from her. [He leaves. Brennan stares back at the lab door, thinking.]
[Cut back to: Ashley and Shalimar in the lab.]
Ashley: Is he your boyfriend?
Shalimar (smiling): No. He's...uh...more like a brother.
Ashley: So this isn't about you protecting your turf?
Shalimar: No, it's not. I’m trying to tell you that what you’re feeling about Brennan has absolutely nothing to do with Eric. It's pure electromagnetic attraction.
Ashley (heading towards the lab doors): I just need to talk to him, just for a minute.
Shalimar (grabbing her arm): Can’t let you do it.
Ashley: But he wants to help me.
Shalimar: We all wanna help you. But for everyone’s sake, including yours, you’ve gotta stay away from him.
[Inside the Quonset hut, Eric’s on his cellphone again.]
Eric (close to tears): Ashley, I don’t know how to find you, so I’m calling our voicemail. Cross said he’s gonna kill me unless you come back here. I don’t want to tell you to do that, but I just don’t see any other way. I love you, Ash. I really do. [He hangs up and smiles over at Neil.] How was that?
Neil: If you ask me, you laid it on a little thick.
Eric: Come on, she loves that stuff! Trust me. Ashley thinks that I am the best thing that's ever happened to her. Speaking of the best thing...we need to talk about my cut.
Neil (arms crossed): What about it?
Eric: Come on, fifty grand? I heard you arguing with those guys about the half a mil they owe you.
Neil: You and me, we had our deal.
Eric: Well, that was before I knew how much you were making off my hard labor.
Neil: That’s my business.
Eric (touching his shoulder): Ashley wouldn’t come running if not for me. [He walks away.]
Neil: True. And don’t think I don’t appreciate you making that call. [Pulling out his gun, he kills Eric and smiles.]
[Brennan’s sitting by the waterfall reading Walt Whitman when Ashley comes strolling down the hallway.]
Ashley: Well, I finally got tired of waiting.
Ashley: How come you didn’t come back?
Brennan (getting up): Well, I wanted to, but, um...hey, wait a minute. Adam said you’re not supposed to leave the lab.
Ashley: I know. But I had to come and find you.
Brennan: Hey, you know what? Adam also said that we’re not supposed to get too close.
Ashley (pointing to her governor): Yeah, he told me that too, but I thought this thing made it okay.
Brennan: Well, apparently, the governor doesn’t work so well when you’re mutating.
Ashley: Well, at least I don’t feel like I’m gonna pass out if I don’t get my energy feed.
Brennan: That’s a good thing.
Ashley: So, do you ever worry that something like this is gonna happen to you?
Brennan: No, it won’t. At least, not in the same way.
Ashley (slowly approaching him): But you’re feeling something right now too, aren’t you? I mean, it’s not just me, is it?
Brennan (walking away): No. It’s not just you.
Ashley (following him): Adam said there’s some kind of an electromagnetic pull happening between us. It’s got nothing to do with...well, with what I wanna do right now.
Brennan: Yeah, he made that pretty clear.
Ashley: I’m really confused. I mean, I love Eric. I’m worried sick about him, but I look at you and...[They kiss, and Ashley draws electricity from Brennan’s lips. She pulls back and backs away from him.] I’m sorry! I-I just had to find out how that felt. [She starts to run towards the lab.]
Brennan: Ashley, wait!
Ashley: Please! Don’t tell Eric. [She runs back into the lab.]
[At Sanctuary’s main computer, Ashley stands with Jesse as he analyzes Eric’s voice patterns from the phone message he left for Ashley.]
Ashley: See, if you guys aren’t going to help, I’m going back there.
Jesse: Ashley, I have to ask you something. Something very important. How well do you know Eric?
Ashley: What’s that supposed to mean?! I’m closer to him than anybody in the world. Why?
Jesse: This is a voice stress analyzer.
Ashley: Yeah, well, I guess he’s under a lot of stress.
Jesse: It’s also a pretty accurate lie detector.
Ashley: What? He’s not lying!
Jesse: Adam incorporated this technology into the system–
Ashley (interrupting him): You know what, Eric’s call came in over an hour ago. We’re wasting our time! [She starts to walk away; Adam, coming in, blocks her path.]
Adam (to Jesse): What’s going on?
Jesse (pointing to the computer): I analyzed Eric’s call to Ashley’s voicemail. There’s the results.
Adam: He’s lying.
Ashley: You’re wrong! Both of you. [She stalks off.]
Jesse (shrugging): Cross nabbed her the last time he called.
Adam (nodding): He’s setting her up.
Jesse: And she is convinced that she needs to save him.
Adam: Why don’t you and Shalimar head over there. And Jesse, you keep your eye on Cross.
Jesse: Yeah. [He leaves. Ashley runs up to Brennan as he leaves his room with his book.]
Ashley: Please, Brennan!
Brennan (warning her away): Woah, hey!
Ashley: You have to help me!
Brennan: Woah, are you okay? What’s wrong?
Ashley: Nobody is listening to me! Everybody’s saying Eric’s lying. Cross is gonna kill him unless we do something!
Brennan (looking around): Okay. Okay, let’s talk. Come on, go. [He takes her across the hall.]
Ashley: Eric needs me, and no one’s letting me go to him. That’s all I want to do!
Brennan: Ashley, you can’t.
Ashley: What am I supposed to do, Brennan, let him die?
Brennan: No, I am not saying that! But I don’t think Cross is interested in Eric except as bait to get you to come running.
Ashley: Yeah, but I am scared of what he’s gonna do if I don’t.
Brennan: Ashley, you are in no condition to go anywhere or help anyone right now.
Ashley: How about you?
Brennan (shaking his head): I can’t do anything.
Ashley: Is that what you guys stand for?
Brennan: Ashley, it’s more complex than that.
Ashley: Explain it to me, then! Just because Eric isn’t a new mutant, it’s okay to let him die?
Brennan: No. You are our priority right now, Ashley!
Ashley: You don’t understand! None of you bastards-- [She brushes past him, and he grabs her arms to stop her. As their arms touch, electricity flows from him into her, and her subdermal governor shorts out. She slowly looks up at him.]
Brennan (backing up): Ashley, your governor blew off. Okay, you need to listen to me right now. Ashley, don’t do it. Ashley, don’t do it! Don’t! [Raising her arms, she draws electricity from Brennan until he’s completely absorbed into her body. She picks up Brennan’s book and heads towards the exit. Jesse, looking around for Brennan, sees her on her way out.]
Jesse: Ashley. Have you seen Brennan?
Ash-nan (smiling): He’s around.
Jesse: Hey! You’re, uh, supposed to stay in the lab.
Ash-nan: Well, Jesse, I’m, uh... [She drops the book on the ground.] I’m just gonna take your plane out for a little spin. [Jesse watches, confused, as Ash-nan creates a tesla coil and hurls it at Jesse, electrocuting him. Picking up her book again, she leaves. Emma and Adam walk down the stairs, talking about Ashley.]
Emma: Can’t you make any adjustments to her to slow the mutation?
Adam: Well, yeah, I can slow it, but at this point I can’t stop it. And until I get the exact adjustment, the best thing we can do is help her ride it out.
Emma: Ashley is so scared and confused.
Adam: Well, believe me, I know.
Shalimar (calling to them from behind the stairs): Adam! [Adam and Emma run back to find Shalimar helping Jesse off the ground.]
Adam: What happened?
Shalimar: He tried to stop Ashley.
Jesse: She hit me with an electric charge, and then took off in the Double Helix.
Adam: Blasted you?
Emma: She doesn’t throw energy, she absorbs it.
Shalimar: And how does she know how to operate the Helix?
Emma: Where’s Brennan?
Adam (calling the Helix over his comlink): Ashley? Ashley, can you hear me?
Ash-nan: I hear you.
Adam: I need you to come back in.
Ash-nan (reading her book): Forget about it.
Adam: Is Brennan with you?
Ash-nan (smiling): He’s closer than you’d ever imagine.
Shalimar (to Adam): What’s that supposed to mean?
Adam: Ashley, I’m gonna talk you back in.
Ash-nan: It’s too late for that.
Adam (to Shalimar): See if you can do an override.
Shalimar: Okay. [As Shalimar goes towards the main computer, Emma reaches out with her mind and receives an image of Brennan caught in a plastic sheath, struggling to get out.</i>]
Emma: Ashley’s got Brennan trapped somewhere.
Adam (suddenly realizing): Ashley...Ashley, did you somehow manage to absorb Brennan? His energy?
Ash-nan: You were right, Adam. He really should have kept his distance.
Adam: Okay, Ashley, you’ve gotta listen to me.
Ash-nan: I’m finished listening. I’ve gotta save Eric.
Jesse: Eric sold you out! He’s working for Cross now.
Ash-nan: Eric would never do that. He loves me. [She switches off the comlink channel.]
Adam: Ashley! She turned off the comlink.
[Monitoring his security camera video, Neil smiles when he sees Ashley enter the base and run up to the Quonset hut.]
Neil: Nice to see you again, Ashley. You made the right decision.
Ash-nan (walking up to him): Let Eric go, and I’ll do whatever you want.
Neil (laughing): Ashley, Ashley, Ashley. You’ve gotta learn who to trust, or you’re never gonna find a place in this world.
Ash-nan: Who are you selling me to?
Neil (putting down his cigar): Now, that’s not fair. After all we’ve been through, you make me sound so...unfeeling.
Ash-nan: Okay. If you’re not gonna answer my question, then tell me where Eric is.
Neil: It was Eric who offered to bring you to me in the first place.
Ash-nan: I don’t believe you.
Neil: Believe what you want, honey. [Leaning back in his chair, he calls across the room.] She wants you back, Eric!
Ash-nan: Eric? What have you done to him? Where is he?
Neil: He’s behind the trailer. [She runs over to look, only to find his dead body lying on the ground.]
[Adam looks over Jesse’s shoulder as he tries to tap Neil’s cell phone to find Ashley.]
Adam: Any luck?
Jesse: Well, I think I’ve got Cross’s cell phone number. He’s had a lot of aliases, lots of phone numbers. I’m accessing the frequency now.
Neil (calling Mason from his car in front of a power station): I’ve got the girl. You still want her?
Adam: Got him!
Mason (in his office, on speaker phone): I appreciate your persistence.
Neil: And I appreciate your deep pockets. Two million, or no elemental.
Mason: No new mutant is worth that much.
Neil: Then the deal is off.
Mason (considering): How is the girl?
Neil (looking at Ashley sitting next to him): She’s hungry. But I’m gonna wait till the deal is made before I fill her up with her daily volts.
Mason: She’ll die if you wait too long.
Neil: And that would just be awful, now, wouldn’t it? Considering how much you wanna meet her.
Mason: Tell me where to send my men.
Adam (leading Emma, Shalimar, and Jesse to the lab): We’ve got the Double Helix back?
Emma: We overrode and brought it back as soon as she was out of there.
Jesse: Eckhart said Ashley will die if she doesn’t feed soon.
Shalimar: And if Ashley dies?
Adam (entering the lab): Then Brennan dies with her.
Emma: What happens when she draws power?
Adam: Well, with Brennan inside her, drawing power would be devastating. When she absorbed him, both their systems started creating antigens. And that reaction's building toward a catastrophic release.
Shalimar: So the more energy she absorbs, the greater the electrochemical reaction.
Jesse: How big are we talking about?
Adam: An explosion that big enough to level the city. [He points to Jesse and Shalimar.] Now you two get over to Station 12, all right? The moment she starts drawing power, I need to know.
Shalimar: All right.
[Mason has called GS agent Henshaw back into his office.]
Mason: Mr. Cross has become a liability.
Henshaw: I couldn't agree more, sir.
Mason (staring at him): How delightful to have your support. I would like you to go out to Station 12.
James: One problem with that, sir. Cross blames me personally for the previous incident, and I feel that if--
Mason (interrupting him): I have no interest whatsoever in how you feel. Shoot Mr. Cross, and this time, for God's sake, make sure he's dead! [Bowing his head, Henshaw leaves the office. Mason returns to his seat.]
[Jesse and Shalimar are running through the lot at Station 12 when Adam calls them from Sanctuary’s lab.]
Adam (bending over the computer): Jesse?
Jesse: I’m here, Adam.
Adam: Any sign of Ashley?
Jesse: Not yet. [He calls Emma, who’s working at the computer in the Double Helix.] Emma, how much time do we have?
Emma: I’m working on it.
Adam: Okay, Emma. I've re-routed the ionizing filter to you. Now, as soon as you're online--
Emma: I'll be ready here.
Adam: Good. Now once Ashley starts drawing energy from the power station, we have a brief window to bring down the spark gap, which I'll do from here. The spark will ionize the air, magnetizing the Double Helix, creating a lightening rod.
Emma: And that’ll pull Brennan from Ashley?
Adam: That's the idea.
Shalimar: Remind me: Never date an elemental.
Jesse: I don't think Brennan's gonna need any reminding.
Shalimar: Yeah, well, I’m gonna remind him anyway. [Neil’s car pulls up to the lot.] There’s Ashley.
Jesse (into his comlink): She’s here.
Neil (reaching into the passenger side to grab the semi-conscious Ashley): Come on, feeding time. Wake up! [Jesse and Shalimar somersault over some equipment and hide, watching Neil carry Ashley up to the power station. He sets her on her feet and stands back. Looking up, Ashley raises her hands and starts to draw power from the transformer.]
Shalimar (into her comlink): Now!
Adam (typing at his computer): Emma, it’s time to drop the stealth shields and open all channels.
Emma (getting out of her seat): Trust me, Adam. You don’t have to ask me twice. [Neil looks up as the Helix appears in the sky above Ashley, drawing power from the transformers. Getting up too late, Neil is electrocuted by a stray bolt of electricity and tossed across the lot. The Double Helix, pitching violently, begins to drop towards the power lines.]
Adam: Hold on, Emma!
Jesse (watching the Helix): She’s way too close!
Shalimar: Pull up, Adam, come on!
Adam: Emma, reverse the polarity now! [Emma crawls across the floor and reverses the wire connections. Below her, Ash-nan lets out a terrific roar as Brennan is pulled out of her and reappears in a web of electricity inside the Double Helix. Emma rushes to his side.]
Emma (shaking him): Come on, Brennan. Come on.
Brennan (waking up): Ow. You sure took your sweet time.
Emma (grinning): We got him. [The team smiles in relief.]
[Adam stands at the computer in the lab, scanning Ashley with the EDD.]
Ashley (on the biobed): How am I doing?
Adam (nodding): I think you’re gonna be all right.
Ashley: I can’t explain how, exactly, but I feel different.
Adam: Well, I readjusted your electrochemical balance. You’ll never have the need to feed on energy like that again.
Ashley: I hope not. I just wish... [Brennan comes in.]
Adam: How do you feel?
Brennan (carrying his Walt Whitman book): Good.
Adam: Good. All right, so you two probably have things to talk about. [To Brennan.] I’ll see you outside. We’ve got five minutes, then we’ll take her to the safehouse, pass her off to her escort. [He leaves.]
Ashley: I, uh. I haven’t had a chance to apologize–
Brennan: Don’t worry about it. Adam was right; we were both just caught up in something that we couldn’t control.
Ashley: Well, I appreciate that, Brennan, but–
Brennan: Ashley, trust me. You and I are okay. [He hands her the book.] Well, here. For you. [She hesitates.] Oh, it’s okay. Adam says it’s okay for us to touch now.
Ashley: Leaves of Grass. How did you know I fell in love with this?
Brennan: Oh, let’s just say I got the chance to get to know you a little.
Ashley: Maybe a little too well. But I’ll never tell.
Brennan: Never will I. Come on. [They walk out together.]
[Later on, Brennan returns to Sanctuary’s main room and looks around for everyone.]
Brennan (whistling): Yoo-hoo, anybody home? [Shalimar leaps down in front of him. He avoids her arm as she tries to punch him, blocks Jesse’s blows, and ducks two swipes from Emma’s club before he’s finally stopped by a chop to the neck by Adam’s hand.] Okay! You guys mind telling me what the hell is going on here?
Shalimar (hugging his arm): Well, we just wanted to make sure your reflexes didn’t get all screwed up.
Jesse (shaking his hand): And it looks like they did.
Emma: Hey, I thought he did pretty good.
Adam: No, no. I should never have been able to get to you like that. So you’re gonna need extensive retraining. And you’re gonna need...[He holds up a new copy of Leaves of Grass.] Walt Whitman to get through it. Welcome back.
Brennan (grinning at the book): It’s good to be back.
Shalimar: I thought you didn’t want to come back! [They all laugh, gathering around him happily.]