Mutant X Episode #114 Transcript: "Altered Ego"
[Opening Scene: Two young mutants, Skeet Vosberg and Charlotte Cooke, are sitting the dinner table in their small apartment. Charlotte’s reading a magazine while Skeet messily eats his Thai take-out meal with chopsticks.]
Skeet (mouth full): So, what do you think this Adam guy’s gonna do with me?
Charlotte (peering over her magazine): I’m worried he’s gonna get rid of you the second he finds out all you can do is defoliate?
Skeet: See, right there. You’ve never respected my botanical thing. You should... [Seeing Charlotte's glare, he shuts up quickly.] Never mind. [Outside, two black SUVs pull up to the apartment and several men in black suits and sunglasses get out.]
Charlotte (baiting him): Come on, Skeet. What was it you were gonna tell me?
Skeet: Charlotte, don’t. [She touches his forearm with two fingers, leaving a silvery mark on his skin. Skeet jumps up from his chair and begins hurling his food around in a rage.] Thai food sucks! God, I am so sick of this takeout! [Charlotte giggles as he overturns the table. A silvery glow passes over Skeet's body, and he immediately calms down.] I hate it when you do that to me. [Three taser-bearing GS agents run up the apartment stairs. Upstairs, Skeet regretfully rights the table as Charlotte tosses his chopsticks at him.]
Charlotte: Look at this mess.
Skeet: You know what? When this is finished, that’s it. I’m on my own. [The GS agents burst into the room.]
Charlotte: Hey! What’s going on? Who are you guys? [One agent tases Skeet and drags him out the door. A second struggles to lug Charlotte into the hallway as she screams at him.] Ow! Get off! Get off! [Suddenly, Shalimar breaks through the skylight above them and punches out both agents. Dropping his taser onto his unconscious body, Shalimar takes Charlotte's arm.]
Shalimar: Come with me; Adam’s waiting on the roof. [Charlotte goes with her. Downstairs, Skeet’s protesting loudly as he's shoved into an SUV.]
Skeet: Come on! I’m telling you, all I do is kill plants! Not even big plants! [Overhead, the Double Helix takes off from the roof and flies away.]
Opening Credits. “Altered Ego.”
[Waiting at the computer in the Double Helix, Adam is relieved when Shalimar brings Charlotte in safely.]
Shalimar: They got the other one. Couldn’t get them both.
Charlotte: Hello, Adam.
Adam (standing, smiling): Charlotte. Are you all right?
Charlotte (smiling widely): Why? Were you worried about me?
Adam: No, I’m just...very glad that you decided to contact us.
Charlotte: I can’t remember the last time I saw you. Oh, I know! It was that time that you, me and Dad went to dinner.
Adam: 13 years ago.
Charlotte: Yeah, and right after that, my whole life changed. Thanks to you. [Adam's smile falters. Noticing a odd note in Charlotte's tone, Shalimar frowns. Landing the Double Helix near the subway station, Adam leads Charlotte down the stairs into the new mutant safehouse, where Jesse’s waiting.]
Adam: Well, this is it. Welcome.
Charlotte (peevishly): I was hoping I’d get to see where you guys worked.
Jesse: It’s just policy, Charlotte.
Adam: This is Jesse.
Charlotte (ignoring Jesse): So it’s not because you thought I was like my father.
Adam (sighing): Your father and I worked together a long time, and I’m very sorry about what happened to him.
Charlotte (waving her hands dismissively): Yeah, yeah. That’s all right. It’s all just history. [She flounces over to the couch and sits down.] I’m more interested in now. I contacted you because I wanna join up with you guys.
Adam (glancing at Jesse): Well, I’m sorry. That’s just not possible.
Charlotte: I could really help you.
Adam: Well, that’s not the issue; I know you’re very gifted. You have the rare nucleotide sequencing on strand 17W...
Charlotte (interrupting him, to Jesse): I change people. Turn bad people good.
Jesse: Yeah, I know.
Charlotte: How do you know?
Jesse: Well, we have a file on all the Children of Genomex.
Charlotte (standing): So you know how valuable I’d be. Tell him.
Jesse (raising his eyebrows at Adam): Adam?
Charlotte: Come on, Adam. Don’t you think you owe this to me? [At a loss for words, Adam sighs.]
[In Sanctuary, Emma’s researching Charlotte’s history on the main computer while Brennan works on a dojo power cell across the room.]
Emma: Hey, Brennan, how well does Adam know Charlotte?
Brennan: Well, Shalimar said that Adam worked with her father at the Biochemistry department at Stanford. That's all I know. [Lighting a tesla coil, he zaps the power cell, and the lights in the dojo power up.]
Emma: I think there's a little more to it than that.
Brennan (joining her): What've you got?
Emma: Her father was Anthony Cooke.
Brennan: The guy that was convicted for selling biological weapons?
Emma: Yes. And it was Adam that turned him in.
Brennan: Wow. Charlotte can't be too fond of Adam.
Emma: Yeah, well, it gets worse. Cooke committed suicide before the trial.
Brennan: That's rough. What's her new mutancy?
Emma (pulling up Charlotte's profile): She can manipulate moral polarity.
Brennan: Bad to good or good to bad?
Emma: My guess is she could go either way.
[At Genomex headquarters, Skeet sits in the interrogation room’s metal chair, facing Mason Eckhart and GS agent Eli Lynch. Skeet concentrates on one of the scraggly plants on the ledge beside him, making a couple of leaves fall off.]
Skeet: Defoliation. [He smiles at Mason, who’s not impressed.] Well, it’s no big deal in the city, of course, but in the--
Mason (interrupting): Tell me about Charlotte Cooke.
Skeet: We hung around in high school. She was pretty hot, but I was the only one that–-
Lynch (interrupting): Just tell him about the girl!
Skeet: She was always kind of weird. It used to bother her that no one would hang around with her, especially after that stuff about her father came out. That was--
Mason (finishing his sentence): Shocking. Why did she contact Mutant X?
Skeet: She hates this Adam guy. See, Charlotte figures that if Adam lets her join Mutant X, she can ruin his life like he did hers.
Mason: What is it exactly that Miss Cooke does?
Skeet: Well, what’s in it for me if I tell you? [Lynch extends a hand in front of his face, vaccuuming the air from his lungs.]
Lynch: I can wait. [When he closes his fist again, Skeet holds his chest, gasping for breath.]
Skeet (stuttering): She-she-she can change people. She makes them...she can make them bad. It only lasts a minute on mutants, but on, you know, real people, it can last forever.
Mason (pondering): A new mutant with the ability to adjust the moral compass. [He looks up at Lynch.] Show the young man his room. [He leaves.]
Skeet (getting up): Yeah.
[Returning to the safehouse balcony, Shalimar calls down to Adam, Jesse and Charlotte.]
Shalimar: Okay, we’re ready to go.
Adam: Good. [He hands Charlotte a card that he’s scanned.] All right, Charlotte, here’s the number where you can reach me. [She snatches it out of his hand, peevishly.] Now your call will be forwarded to me from one of the safehouses.
Charlotte: I didn’t contact you so you could stick me in the underground!
Jesse (sighing): Charlotte, the GSA know about you. We have no choice.
Shalimar: We’re just trying to keep you safe, Charlotte.
Charlotte (standing up): I contacted you because I wanna join Mutant X!
Adam: All right, look, Charlotte, I’m very sorry, but you can’t just join Mutant X.
Charlotte (shrugging): Fine! [Upstairs, Shalimar rolls her eyes.] If that’s the way you want it, then that’s the way it’s gotta be. [Pushing past Jesse, Charlotte runs two fingers along his hand. Jesse bends over, gasping as her toxin takes effect. Then he straightens, glaring at Adam.]
Jesse: Adam, where does it say that you get to make the decisions for everybody?
Adam (surprised): What?
Shalimar: Jesse, are you okay?
Jesse (whirling around, shouting at Shalimar): Was I talking to you? [Walking upstairs, Charlotte touches Shalimar's hand as well.]
Adam: Hey, what--
Jesse: Hey! Don't use that tone on me, Adam, I'VE HAD IT!
Shalimar (enraged): And I've had it with your attitude too, Jesse!
Jesse (screaming at her): OOOHH!
Adam: Hey, hey, wai– [Shalimar leaps from the balcony at Jesse, who phases so that Shalimar falls through him to the floor. She attacks him again, but he masses.]
Adam: Wait! [Unheeding, Shalimar smashes into Jesse’s massed body and bounces off. She spins around, feral eyes flashing, only to come into contact with his massed leg as he kicks her across the room.] Hey! Stop it, you two! [A silvery glow shimmers over Shalimar, then Jesse as the toxin finally wears off.]
Jesse: Shalimar. [He and Adam rush to help her up.]
Adam: Hey. Are you all right?
Shalimar (panting): Yeah, I’m fine.
Adam: Must have been Charlotte.
Shalimar (to Jesse) Oh, I’m sorry.
Jesse: Forget it, I couldn’t help it.
Adam: Charlotte! Charlotte! [He looks around in vian.] She’s gone.
[At Genomex, Lynch and Mason are walking along the lower catwalk together.]
Lynch: Our sources tell us Charlotte Cooke is back on the streets.
Mason: Quelle suprise. Her plan to bring down Adam has failed.
Lynch: I think we could make use of Miss Cooke’s talents and achieve our own goals.
Mason: Well, from what I understood from our little friend, Mr. Vosberg, she’s a trifle unstable.
Lynch: She’d need proper training and guidance.
Mason (stopping): Are you suggesting you’d like to become her mentor, Mr. Lynch?
Lynch: I am.
Mason: She’s your responsiblity. If she fails, you fail. Extend an immediate invitation to Miss Cooke.
Lynch: We’re trying to locate her now.
Mason: Might I offer a piece of my own advice? [Lynch nods.] Miss Cooke is a wounded animal. We must try to convince her that we are her collaborators, not her captors. In her mind, Adam is responsible for her father's death. She wants revenge. We must harness this energy. It's priceless.
[In Sanctuary’s lab, Shalimar lies on the biobed as Adam scans her for internal injuries after Charlotte and Jesse’s attack.]
Adam: Well, good. There’s no residual damage. Going to have to do a more complete toxic scan.
Shalimar (nursing a bruise on her shoulder): I was completely out of control. I could have killed him.
Adam: Or he could have killed you.
Shalimar (smiling smugly): Not likely.
Adam: Well, lucky for both of you that the toxin wore off when it did.
Shalimar: So what are we gonna do if we find her again?
Adam: What do you mean?
Shalimar: I mean, what are we gonna do with her? Are we gonna put her in some kind of stasis and keep her here?
Adam (frowning at Shalimar): No. We can't do that to her. I'm the one who is responsible for what happened to her.
Shalimar: No, you're not. It was her father who ruined her life, not you.
Adam: Well, that's not the way she sees it.
Shalimar: Exactly. She's blaming you for this, but if you hadn't stopped her dad, who knows what would've happened?
Adam: Shalimar, I have to help her! There's no one else who can do it.
Shalimar (sitting up): Okay, are we talking about the same Charlotte? Because you're thinking about the little girl that you used to know. I'm thinking about the woman who almost got us killed. She didn’t want to join Mutant X, she wanted to infiltrate Mutant X. And turn us all against each other and against you.
Adam: All right, so what are you suggesting?
Shalimar: I'm suggesting that if you insist on going after her, you watch your back.
Jesse (in the Double Helix): Adam?
Adam: Yeah, Jesse.
Jesse: I got a lead. Charlotte was seen a half hour ago in the garment district.
Adam: Good, check it out.
Jesse: Right. [Adam walks out.] Shalimar, you okay?
Shalimar: Great. But I want a rematch.
Jesse (laughing): Well, you already kicked my ass. No chance you're getting a second shot.
[Brennan and Emma are searching Charlotte’s apartment for clues about where she might have gone.]
Brennan: Well, there’s certainly nothing here Charlotte would come back for.
Emma (looking through the garbage can): Well, they were very international in their tastes. Thai, Middle Eastern... [She wrinkles her nose.] Ugh. Deli.
Brennan (sarcastically): Whoo. That’s gonna limit the search. [Emma gets a psionic image from Charlotte’s mind's eye.] What are you seeing?
Emma: A rooftop. Someplace she went to feel safe.
Brennan: Well, Jesse’s up in the Double Helix, he can scan from up there. Think we'll need a little more information.
Emma: They stopped building it.
Emma: She’s looking out on something unfinished. Concrete, steel. A parking lot.
Brennan: Happen to catch a street sign?
Emma (smiling): Let’s run in what we’ve got to Adam. He can run a data search.
[Meanwhile, Lynch and two GS agents escort Skeet out of a Chinese restaurant.]
Skeet: She loves the Kung Po lunch special. I don’t know what’s keeping her. [Lynch pushes him up against the car.] Maybe she’s in the restroom and we just missed her!
Lynch (pulling back his fist): You’re wasting my time!
Skeet: All right, don’t, don’t! I know where she is. It’s like five minutes from here!
Lynch: You’d better be right. Or you’ll be calling that stasis pod home sweet home. [He stuffs Skeet into the car.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Adam and Shalimar are searching at the main computer.]
Adam: Evans Contracting had an investor pull out, shut down construction nearly a year ago.
Shalimar: It’s on Ash Street, near Charlotte’s apartment.
Jesse: I’ve got it, Adam. Brennan and Emma are a block away.
[Moments later, Emma and Brennan emerge onto the rooftop where Charlotte’s sitting, gazing into the sky.]
Brennan: Hey, Charlotte!
Charlotte: Who are you?
Brennan (approaching slowly): Friends of Adam’s.
Charlotte (getting up): Yeah, I’m finished talking to you guys. [As she starts towards the door, Brennan pulls Emma out of her path.]
Brennan: Watch out.
Charlotte (sneering): You’re afraid of me? And I thought you were the best Adam could find.
Brennan: You know the GSA’s still looking for you.
Emma: You don’t want to go with them, Charlotte.
Brennan: They’re gonna use you up and they’re gonna throw you away.
Charlotte: And that’s not what you guys are gonna do?
Emma: We know what happened with your father.
Charlotte: Did Adam tell you the whole story? Did Adam tell you how everyone at school treated me like I was the one that did it? They said they were glad my father was dead, and that I should kill myself too. Do you know what it feels like to grow up having everyone hate you for something that you never did?! [She rushes at Emma, who skirts around her cautiously.]
Emma: We’re trying to help you, Charlotte! Adam wants--
Charlotte: I don’t care what Adam wants! You guys are too late! All of you are too late! [She turns towards the door again, but this time her way is blocked by Skeet, Lynch and two GS agents.]
Skeet (pointing triumphantly): See, I told you she’d be here!
Emma: Charlotte, come on! [Brennan zaps the first GS agent, but while he and Emma battle the other two, Lynch grabs Charlotte. He draws the air from her lungs to weaken her, and drags her downstairs. Emma takes out her GS agent and waits for Brennan to knock his out before catching his attention.]
Emma: They’ve got Charlotte! [Brennan and Emma reach the parking lot just in time to watch the black SUVs peel off down the street.]
[At Genomex headquarters, a GS agent pushes Charlotte into Skeet's cage, her arms tied behind her back. He smiles nervously as she backs him up against the wall of the cage.]
Skeet: Hi! You know, the minute I got here, I knew this was the place for you.
Charlotte (menacingly): You expect me to believe that?
Skeet: Listen, I had no choice!
Charlotte: You’re such a weasel. You’d do anything to save your own skin.
Skeet: Would you listen to me? The GSA want to get rid of Adam. Just like you.
Charlotte (stopping): Really?
Skeet: Yeah, that’s why they want you. To help them.
Charlotte (smiling): They want me?
Skeet: Are you kidding? Charlotte, you belong here, I mean, you could really, really fit in with these people. [The cage door behind them opens, and Lynch walks in.]
Lynch: Miss Cooke. Mr. Eckhart would like to see you.
Charlotte (glancing at him): I’m a little tied up right now. [She turns back to Skeet.]
Lynch: We don’t often come across new mutants like you. We think you might have the right stuff for the GSA.
Skeet: That’s just what I was just explaining to--
Lynch (ignoring him): We know what Adam did to your father. [Having caught her attention, Lynch walks up to her.] He could have handled the situation quietly, between colleagues. But he had to go public. He had to satisfy his own ego. We need your help to stop Adam before he ruins more people’s lives. [A few hours later, Charlotte follows Lynch along the catwalk towards Mason’s office as he gives her last minute pointers.]
Lynch: Don’t offer too much up front.
Charlotte: I know, I know, let him do the talking.
Lynch: He likes to come up with the ideas himself. Speak when you are spoken to.
Charlotte: Who the hell does this guy think he is?
Lynch (whirling around, grabbing her collar): Let’s get something straight right now, Charlotte. You’ve got raw talent and that’s all you’ve got. I convinced Eckhart to give you a chance. Don’t make me look bad. [He shakes her.] Am I understood?
Charlotte (startled): Yeah, I won’t let you down. [Letting her go, he leads her into Mason’s office.]
Mason: Mr. Lynch here has the utmost confidence in your abilities, Miss Cooke. I’m afraid I do not.
Lynch (confused): Sir?
Mason: I realize I might have been a bit hasty in agreeing to this.
Charlotte: Please don’t underestimate me, Mr. Eckhart.
Mason (sitting at his desk): But I’m willing to be convinced. [He presses a button on his desk and a GS agent walks in.] Remove her restraints.
Lynch: Hold on. It should be a controlled experiment. [Mason nods. The agent cuts Charlotte’s bonds, but rather than use her powers on him, Charlotte spins around and touches Lynch’s hand. He frantically tries to wipe the silver streaks from his skin.]
Mason: How are you feeling, Mr. Lynch? [Mason gapes when the usually calm Lynch violently attacks the agent, strangling him. Charlotte grins at Mason, conspiratorially.]
Charlotte: Did you know he was prone to this kind of behavior before you hired him?
Mason (returning her smile): Nicely done, Miss Cooke. That’s quite enough, Mr. Lynch.
Charlotte: Oh, it’ll wear off in about five more seconds. [Her smile fades at Mason's frown.] On new mutants.
Mason: And on normal... [He checks himself.] Excuse me. Non-new mutants?
Charlotte: I’ve only tested it once before.
Charlotte: Well, it seems to last forever.
Mason: Really? [Across the room, the effect wears off of Lynch, who releases the agent.] All right, Miss Cooke. I’m convinced. What was your plan?
[Back in her apartment, Charlotte phones Sanctuary in tears, using the number Adam gave her at the safehouse.]
Charlotte: Adam? Adam, it’s Charlotte. Um...I need your help, and I had no one else to turn to.
Emma (taking the call at the main computer): Charlotte? This is Emma.
Charlotte: Emma? I escaped from Genomex. It was horrible!
Adam (coming in): Where is she?
Charlotte: Is that Adam?
Adam: Charlotte, where are you?
Charlotte: I’m at my apartment.
Adam: All right, just stay right there, I’m on my way.
Emma (stopping him): No one escapes from Genomex. You can't trust her.
Emma: Look, at least let me come with you.
Adam: No, too dangerous, not gonna have anybody else exposed to that toxin.
Emma: How are you supposed to protect yourself against the toxin?
Adam: Well, she wouldn't do that to me. She had the opportunity before, and she didn't do it.
Emma: Just think about it for a minute. Why would she come running back to us for help?
Adam: Well, maybe she's seen what life would be like for her there.
Emma: That's what she wants you to think!
Adam: Look, if it's a trap, I'll deal with it, alone! [He walks out. Shaking her head, Emma waits for a moment, then follows him.]
[Adam arrives at Charlotte’s apartment to find her crying and regretful.]
Charlotte: I’m so sorry about what I did before, to your friends.
Adam: It’s all right. I understand.
Charlotte (shaking her head): No, you don’t. You don’t know how much I hated you. I just...I needed somebody else to blame, somebody other than my father.
Adam: Your father loved you very much.
Charlotte: Yeah, he was weak, that’s all.
Adam: Well, if I had known what he was getting himself into...
Charlotte: You would’ve stopped him. I’m so sorry for hating you. [She starts towards him.] Please forgive...[</i>She trails off as he backs away from her.</i>] Oh my God. You don’t trust me. You’re just like them.
Adam (sighing): Charlotte, what do you really want?
Charlotte: I want another chance. Put me in the underground, I wanna go in the underground.
Adam: All right, how did you escape from Genomex?
Charlotte: The way I always do. I used my powers. [She breaks down in tears.] I don’t wanna do that anymore. I...I’m asking for help. All my life, everybody just ...they won’t even touch me, they’re afraid of me. And you are too. You...
Adam (going to hold her): I’m sorry. Oh no, I’m, I'm so, so sorry. I just...I’m sorry for the way things turned out; I’m sorry that I haven’t been there for you. It’s gonna be okay.
Emma (poking her head in the door): Adam?
Adam: Emma? [When his back is turned, Charlotte touches his neck, leaving two silvery streaks behind. Evil!Adam slowly looks back at her and whispers so that Emma can’t hear him.] What am I gonna do with you? [Charlotte shrugs, smiling.]
Emma (walking in): Are you all right?
Evil!Adam: Yeah, I’m fine.
Charlotte (fake-crying again): Of course he’s all right. He came to help me.
Evil!Adam: She’s gonna be fine. Thanks for coming by. [Picking a bottle up from the table, Charlotte smashes it over Emma’s head. Evil!Adam catches Emma as she falls, unconscious.] Very clever of you to play on my guilt like that. [Charlotte smiles, proudly.] So I’ll see you at Genomex?
Evil!Adam (kicking open the door): Right now, I’ve got things I’ve gotta take care of. [He carries Emma out. Charlotte grins triumphantly, fake tears still shining on her cheeks.]
[Evil!Adam calls Shalimar from the Double Helix on his way back to Sanctuary.]
Evil!Adam: Shalimar? Charlotte’s gotten to Emma. The two of them had it out, Charlotte took off.
Shalimar: Well, what about Emma? Is she okay?
Evil!Adam: Well, I don’t know yet. The toxin seems to have different effects on psionics.
Shalimar: What do you mean?
Evil!Adam: Listen, I need to you prepare the lab for a neural resystemization. It’s her only chance. I’ll be right there. [He cuts the connection, then reaches down to pick up Emma’s hand as she lies on the floor.] Poor little Emma. By the time I’m done with you, you won’t know yourself. [He drops her hand.]
[Arriving at Sanctuary, Evil!Adam carries Emma into the lab and places her in the biochair.]
Evil!Adam: Shalimar! I need the files on brain resystemization. [Shalimar, Brennan, and Jesse join him.] I need to know my options in case the cranial nerves are affected.
Jesse: What are you doing to her?
Evil!Adam: Gonna try to save what’s left of her mind.
Brennan: What are you talking about?
Evil!Adam (peering into her eyes with his penlight): The toxin is spreading through her cerebral cortex. I need to cauterize it before it spreads any further.
Shalimar: Is she gonna be okay?
Evil!Adam: I’m hoping that this procedure will help prevent further damage. Until I do the work, I won’t know what’s already been lost. And I know that this is hard on us, but we need to put our feelings behind us. [He points at Jesse and Brennan.] And I need you two to go out and find Charlotte.
Jesse (arms crossed): What good is that gonna do now?
Evil!Adam (irritably): Well, maybe she’ll know something about the toxin that we don’t know. [He looks at Shalimar.] And you, I need those files, now. [The team disperses. As Adam picks up the neural headpiece, Emma wakes up, rubbing her head.]
Emma: Adam? I’m fine, you don’t need to do that. [Walking over to her, he pins her wrists and straps her arms to the chair.] What are you doing?
Adam: Don't tell me what I need to do.
Emma: She got to you, didn’t she? Charlotte did this to you, Adam, look at me! Adam, stop it! [He injects her with anesthetic and she gradually stops struggling.]
Evil!Adam (murmuring in her ear): In a little while, nothing much will matter anymore.
[Back in her cage with Skeet, Charlotte paces around unhappily in her new suit.]
Charlotte: I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t have done it.
Skeet: What? Charlotte, they’re making you a GS agent. You’ve got the look and everything, aren’t you proud?
Charlotte: I don’t know. It’s weird. I’ve never changed anyone so powerful before.
Skeet: Well, you took a really, really good guy and you turned him, and now he’s everyone’s worst nightmare. I don’t think he’s gonna bounce back from it. [Lynch enters the cage, smiling at her.]
Charlotte (proudly): What do you think? [Grabbing her, he pushes her against the wall, inserting a subdermal governor.] Ow! Get off! [Charlotte touches her neck.] What was that?
Skeet (helpfully): Ahem. That was a subdermal governor.
Lynch: It prevents you from accessing your powers except when I say so.
Skeet (gleefully): You don’t feel so powerful anymore, do you, Charlotte?
Lynch: Thank you for holding Charlotte’s attention, Mr. Vosberg. [Skeet nods.]
Charlotte (pushing away from the wall): I’ve changed my mind. I wanna leave now! Gimme my stuff, gimme my boots, I wanna leave!
Mason (entering the cell): Well, I’m sorry, Miss Cooke. But that’s just not an option. [He walks out. Lynch takes Charlotte’s arm and follows him down the corridor.] Now we've all come full circle. You've gotten back at Adam for what he did to your father, and done us a great service at the same time. So how does it feel?
Charlotte (shakily): Okay, I guess.
Mason (turning): Do I detect a conscience? Your father exhibited the same tendencies... till I convinced him he had no choice but to sell me his research.
Charlotte (whispering): My father?
Mason: I worked hard to convince him. The money, in the end, was his Achilles heel. Welcome to the GSA, Miss Cooke. [He walks away, leaving her staring after him in shock. She turns to Lynch, who smiles predatorily.]
[Evil!Adam paces impatiently in Sanctuary's lab, awaiting Shalimar’s return.]
Evil!Adam: Where's that feral with my files? [He leans over Emma.] Then again, precision isn't exactly what's called for right now, is it, my little mind-bending freak of nature?
Shalimar (watching from the doorway): Adam? I knew there was something wrong with you. [He quickly shuts the sliding door in her face, so she runs to the main room.]
Evil!Adam (whispering in Emma’s ear): Excuse me a moment. [He goes after Shalimar, who's calling Jesse and Brennan over her comlink.]
Shalimar: Charlotte got to Adam. I need both of you back here now.
Jesse: We’re on our way. [Adam shuts off all the lights in Sanctuary; his sing-song voice echoing through the darkness.]
Evil!Adam: Shalimar! Shalimar!
Shalimar: It’s you she got to, Adam, not Emma!
Evil!Adam: Not likely. [She creeps through the dark main room.] Wrong waaaay. [His face appears on the computer screen in front of her.] Hello, Shalimar.
Shalimar: You can’t hide from me, Adam. I’ll find you, you know I will. Charlotte turned you, Adam! You’ve got her toxin inside you. Look, Adam, what you’re feeling right now, it isn’t real! [She jumps when his image appears on the computer’s holographic screen next to her. Standing on the balcony behind the image, Evil!Adam shoots her in the leg with a dart gun.]
Evil!Adam: That’s a little something to soothe the savage beast in you! [Shalimar collapses. Coming downstairs, he drags her unconscious body by the feet towards the dojo. When Jesse and Brennan run in, they see Shalimar lying on the dojo floor and rush towards her.]
Shalimar (weakly): Stay back.
Brennan: Shal, you okay?
Shalimar: Don’t come in here. [Her warning comes too late, for as they kneel by her side, a force-field shimmers into place around them. Jesse tries to phase thorough it, but it repels him. Brennan lights up a tesla coil.]
Adam (walking in): I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You hit the force-field with that, and it’ll rebound. And you, my friend, will fry. [Brennan shuts off the tesla coil. Jesse approaches the barrier again.]
Adam (interrupting): Jesse, well, now you just saw what happened when you tried to phase, but go ahead, mass out if you want. It’s kind of pointless; I designed this little force-field with all of you in mind. [He chuckles and goes to the computer.] Download new mutant database to disk, including all current addresses and aliases.
Brennan: Adam! You can’t do this.
Adam (holding up the disk): Watch me. [He walks out.]
Jesse (going back to Shalimar): Shalimar.
Shalimar: I told you not to come in here.
Jesse (helping her up): Come on.
Brennan: We saw you lying here, we didn’t think it was a trap.
Jesse: No, she’s right. We should have been way ahead of him.
Shalimar: I should have known as soon as he brought Emma in here. It just wasn’t right.
Jesse: What about Emma?
Shalimar: She’s still in the lab. He hasn’t operated on her yet.
Brennan: We’ve gotta get outta here and take him down.
Shalimar: Yeah, how are we gonna do that? He knows all of our weaknesses; he’s the one who taught us how to control our powers.
Jesse: He’s only ever fought us in training exercises, never for real.
Shalimar: Yeah, well, we can’t just fight him. We have to turn him back.
Brennan: Adam’s got the names and addresses of new mutants on a disk. And I’m pretty damn sure that I know where he’s going with it. So we just better hope we get a chance to get out there and stop him. Damn.
[Emma wakes up in the darkened lab to find herself strapped to the biochair, and the surgical laser on standby positioned above her head. Kicking off one boot, Emma stretches her foot over to the computer screen and presses a few buttons with her toe, activating the laser. The laser cuts a line across the floor, heading towards her. She waits until it cuts through the arm of the chair holding her right wrist, then quickly gets up before it reaches her arm and shuts it off. Emerging from the lab, she sees Shalimar, Jesse, and Brennan sitting hopelessly in the dojo.]
Shalimar: Emma, you got out!
Brennan: Emma, get us out of here. Adam locked us in.
Emma (going to the computer): Sanctuary, deactivate force-field. [The computer beeps and says something in a foreign language. Emma shakes her head, typing in some commands.] Oh, I can’t believe this.
Shalimar: You don’t think we’ve tried that already?
Brennan: Adam reprogrammed it.
Jesse: You know, I can maybe try to talk you through cracking that, but...
Shalimar: Do you even recognize that language?
Emma: It's Finnish. Adam doesn't realize I dated an exchange student from Helsinki in high school. [She repeats the command in Finnish, and the force-field comes down. Jesse, Shalimar, and Brennan run down the dojo stairs to join Emma.]
Shalimar: Maybe Adam did know. It’s not like him to screw up like that.
Jesse: You think some part of him’s fighting what Charlotte did to him?
Emma: Well, we’d better hope that he screws up again, or we’re all history. [They hurry out of Sanctuary.]
[Mason’s sitting at his desk when the sliding door opens to reveal Evil!Adam, smiling in the doorway.]
Mason: Adam. You’re looking well.
Evil!Adam: Your security people didn’t seem very surprised to see me.
Mason: Nice to be back?
Evil!Adam (holding up the disk, crossing to him): I have something for you. This is a complete list of all the children of Genomex. [Mason reaches for the disk, but Evil!Adam holds it just out of his reach.] But you know, I was wondering, how would I fit in here? I'm a leader, not a follower.
Mason: Well, I've always thought of myself as...a...a team player.
Evil!Adam (chuckling): Team player. Now that's good. Oh, that's very good. But of course we both know that's not true. [Mason’s hand creeps towards his intercom button.] You'd have me in stasis in what, 30 seconds? No, you know, I think you should try a little stasis yourself. [He pulls on an electrified glove and grips Mason’s neck to electrocute him as he tries to leave his chair. Mason’s head falls forward on his desk. Adam walks out, tossing the glove on the unconscious body of the security guard by the door. Searching Genomex, Evil!Adam finally finds Charlotte, strapped to a metal chair in the interrogation room.] Well, I’ve been looking all over for you. Why didn’t you send up a flare or something?
Evil!Adam (removing her restraints): No, no, we have no time to talk.
Charlotte: Wait, Eckhart put a subdermal governor on me.
Evil!Adam (turning on a device in his hand): I know, that’s not fair, is it?
Charlotte: He lied to me, about everything.
Evil!Adam (pushing her head down to deactivate her governor): I know, obviously all the men in your life have been a constant disappointment, haven’t they? Well, see, I’m here to change all that; I’m going to deactivate your subdermal governor and make it all up to you.
Charlotte: You’ll get me outta here?
Evil!Adam (pulling her out of the chair by the arm): Well, that’s a very good place to start. [They run out of the room and leave Genomex. As they head towards Charlotte’s apartment, Evil!Adam outlines his plans.] You and I are gonna make a great team. I’m gonna sell this list of new mutants to the highest bidder; you’re gonna work your magic; we’re gonna make millions.
Charlotte: You’re gonna destroy everything you’ve created?
Charlotte: Wait, don’t do this, Adam.
Evil!Adam (stopping): What, you don’t wanna make some cash?
Charlotte: No, Adam! I did this to you. You are not yourself!
Evil!Adam: Right. I’m better. [He pushes her towards the apartment.] Now go inside and get what you need, and I’ll wait for you here. [Jesse, Emma, Shalimar, and Brennan come around the corner.]
Evil!Adam (breaking into a merry grin): Hey! I guess I underestimated all of you!
Jesse: You forgot to turn your comlink off, Adam.
Emma: Yeah, thanks for making it so easy for us.
Adam (bowing): The pleasure’s all mine.
Charlotte (behind Adam, calling to them): He’s gonna sell the database to an international genetic--
Evil!Adam: Shhh! You keep that to yourself. [In a determined line, the team walks slowly down the alleyway towards him until he holds up a cigarette lighter for them to see.] Hey! [They stop, waiting. Evil!Adam drops the lighter on the pavement underneath a leaking car and dashes up the fire escape to take cover with Charlotte. When the gasoline under the car catches fire, Mutant X races back the way they came, ducking behind the wall as the car explodes.]
Shalimar (peering fearfully at the wall of flames): I can’t go through that!
Brennan: Yeah, that’s why he did it. [Running towards the fire, Brennan leaps over the flames and comes to a halt in front of Evil!Adam, who immediately sprays him with a water hose.]
Evil!Adam: What exactly is it that happens to your electricity when you get wet? When you get soaked with water, Brennan? Huh? [He turns off the hose and points to Charlotte, who is watching from the fire escape.] Try to explain the phenomenon to Charlotte over here so she can understand why it makes you so weak! [Brennan tries to attack him, but in his weakened state, Evil!Adam manages to knock him to the ground. Jesse phases out of the brick wall behind him and grips his shoulder. Shrugging him off, Evil!Adam picks up a lead pipe, but Jesse masses so that the pipe bounces off his chest. He waits until Jesse runs out of breath, forcing him to unmass, then strikes him in the stomach again. Jesse doubles over in pain.] And what do we know about you? What's your weakest moment? When you take a breath! [He raises the pipe to hit Jesse again, but Shalimar leaps down from the rooftop behind him and grabs the other end of the pipe. When he finds that he can’t pull the pipe out of her hands, he grabs her from behind, strangling her with it.]
Emma (coming down the fire escape): Adam! Look into her eyes! You are choking the person in the world that would do anything to protect you, who loves you more fiercely than anyone else! I know you can hear me, Adam. Somewhere inside, I know that you hear me.
Charlotte (coming up behind him): Let me help you. [She leaves two silver streaks on his hand, then waits tensely to see if it will work. Releasing Shalimar, Adam stares at her in confusion before pulling her into a bear hug.]
Adam: Oh, God, I’m sorry. Are you all right? Are you all right?
Shalimar: Yeah. [Emma and Charlotte smile in relief as Brennan and Jesse pick themselves off the ground.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Adam and Charlotte sit on a bench by the reflecting pool.]
Adam: I’m sorry about what’s happened to you. About your father. I’m sorry I had to turn him in. But he’s the one you should be angry with. And he’s the one you have to forgive.
Charlotte (nodding): Thanks for not hating me.
Adam (smiling): Of course I don’t hate you. [He hugs her, kissing her hair.] I’m here for you. Okay? [She nods, smiling. Getting up, he goes to join the rest of his team, who are gathered around the main computer, waiting for him.]
Jesse: She all right?
Adam: She will be.
Emma: What about you?
Adam (sighing): I try not to think about it too much.
Shalimar (smiling): Come on, Adam. That doesn’t sound like you at all.
Adam: Hm. Well, maybe not, but it’s true. You know, I want to apologize to all of you for the way I treated you all.
Brennan: Nah, forget it. You weren't yourself.
Adam: No, but I was. Ask Shalimar, ask Jesse, they experienced it.
Shalimar: Yeah, well you couldn't control yourself, that's all.
Adam: Well, maybe, but it was still me. And I knew your weaknesses and I used them against you. It was very weird. It was very dark. But you guys saved me, and...well, I don't know what to say. Thank you. [They watch as he walks off by himself.]