Mutant X Episode Transcripts: Episode #116: "Interface"
[Opening scene: Emma is riding down the escalator of a packed shopping mall, holding a couple of shopping bags. Reaching the second floor, she suddenly spots a GS agent coming towards her and hurries along the balcony. When he comes around the corner, Emma pops out in front of him and fells him with one punch. She weaves through the crowds on a second escalator, only to be confronted by a second agent. He takes a swing at her, but she kicks him in the stomach and flees back up the stairs. With both agents in hot pursuit, Emma reaches the dining area. Two more agents appear in front of her, surrounding her. Just then, Shalimar, arms loaded with two shopping bags of her own, leaps down in front of Emma. As a crowd of astounded onlookers gathers around them, the girls fight off all four agents in a flurry of fists, kicks and shopping bags.]
Emma (picking up her bags): Thanks, honey! Couldn't have done it without you. You always know how to time a dramatic entrance.
Shalimar (hugging her, laughing): Well, it actually looked like you were having fun until those last two goons jumped on you.
Emma: Well, I've been paying attention. Oh, this is so gonna piss Eckhart off.
Shalimar: I know.
Emma: So, what'd you get?
Shalimar (holding up her bag): I got the best shoes! 60% off.
Shalimar: I'm serious!
Opening Credits. "Interface."
[Walking through a ravaged new mutant safehouse near a subway, Jesse and Brennan report via comlink to Adam, who is waiting at Sanctuary.]
Jesse: They broke in, tore the place apart, took three people hostage.
Brennan: Yeah, they got three, but eight escaped to another secured safehouse. We can be grateful for that much.
Adam: Yeah, but let's not dismiss the three the GSA took as faceless statistics.
Brennan: No, that's not what I'm saying, Adam. It's just...you know, Jenny Stack was one of the ones that got nailed.
Adam: All right, well, Jenny's a good friend of ours. Jenny helped a lot of people get into the underground.
Jesse (opening a hidden panel in the wall): I'd say the fail-safe self-destructed, and just in time. [Brennan zaps the panel, barely missing Jesse.]
Jesse: You could've warned me first!
Brennan: Oh, I'm just keeping you on your toes.
Jesse (rolling his eyes): Any idea why the GSA is suddenly so successful at finding our safehouses?
Adam (sighing): Well, right now, I don't have a clue. [Jesse phases through the wall to pull out a disk from the computer hidden behind it. Tossing the disk through the vent, he phases back out.]
Jesse: Well, they destroyed the security camera. The disk seems fine. [He hands it to Brennan.]
Brennan: Good. Then we'll get an entire replay of the break-in.
Adam: All right, guys, we need to take a hard look at safehouse security across the board.
Jesse: Yeah, absolutely. We've gotta do something, and fast, or our credibility in the underground is shot.
[At Genomex headquarters, Mason stands behind his desk looking out his window and listening to the report of his second, Mr. Delay.]
Mason: I suppose I would have to say my glass is half empty, Mr. Delay. [He turns to face him.] Four armed GS agents versus two unarmed women, and it's the GS agents who end up in a pile? [Mr. Delay swallows uncomfortably as Mason sits down.] On the other hand, I will grant you the wonderful successes you've had in shutting down these so-called safehouses of Adam's.
Delay: Thank you, sir.
Mason (smiling): It would appear our little secret weapon is working. Now if only we could develop a means to countermand the self-destruct devices.
Delay: We're working on it, Mr. Eckhart. As for the debacle at the Skywalk, I've already begun disciplinary action on the quartet.
Delay: All four GS agents will lose rank and priviledge and undergo extensive retraining. [He turns when he hears a smug female voice behind him.]
Michelle Bigelow (in the doorway): Well, I don't think that will even begin to solve the problem, sir.
Delay: Miss Bigelow, I don't recall inviting you to this meeting.
Michelle: The first thing GSA trainees are taught is to take initiative, sir.
Mason: Well, if it isn't our new secret weapon. Come in, Miss Bigelow, and share your feelings about the way we do things here at the GSA.
Michelle (entering the room): The problem with the current crop of GS agents isn't their training, Mr. Eckhart. It's their trainer.
Delay: Excuse me?
Mason: Are you saying that Mr. Delay is at fault?
Michelle: Well, I'm afraid so, sir. I accompanied Mr. Delay on the safehouse raid. The squad demonstrated the same lack of team effort that resulted in the embarrassment with the two women.
Mason: Your telecyber abilities make you a promising recruit, Miss Bigelow.
Michelle: Wh well, thank you sir. And if I may say so, I would love to have the opportunity to fulfill that promise, sooner rather than later.
Mason: What exactly are your ultimate professional goals?
Michelle (smiling): Ultimately, I would like to have your job, sir.
Mason (chuckling): And precisely how will you plan your career trajectory to get my job?
Michelle (nodding at Delay): By taking his job.
Delay: Now, just one damn minute!
Mason (holding up a hand): Mr. Delay is one of my most capable and trustworthy agents. Why should I transfer that trust to you?
Michelle: Well, right now, you shouldn't, sir. But given the opportunity, my actions will speak for me. [Mason nods, impressed. Delay looks extremely uncomfortable.]
[Shalimar and Brennan are walking down Sanctuary's hallway towards the main room.]
Shalimar: So I checked out the security video from the safehouse.
Shalimar: And besides our friends getting arrested for being different, there's really nothing we don't already know. Think we have a mole in the underground?
Brennan: Well, anything's possible, but my instincts are telling me they're working us over from the outside.
Shalimar (grinning): Your instincts?
Brennan: Yeah, come on. I spent enough time on the wrong side. I can smell a rat a mile away. [Shalimar laughs. Both look up when they hear Emma at the second floor computer.]
Brennan: What're you looking at?
Emma: That security video. Come check this out. [They trot upstairs to join her.]
Brennan: Okay, so who's Michelle?
Emma: That's her. The one on the right.
Shalimar: What, you knew her?
Emma: Yeah, we went to high school together.
Brennan: What, you've got a high school bud working at the GSA?
Emma: We were pretty tight from freshman to senior year, but we lost touch after graduation. She's a new mutant too. [They watch as Delay and Michelle look up at the video camera and Delay shoots it with his gun.]
[Emerging from a safehouse, Adam and Jesse walk down a quiet street, talking about what to do next.]
Adam: We've got to do a complete sweep of all the safehouses that remain uncompromised so we can figure out where the breach is and how to close it.
Jesse: All right, well, I've already put together a plan based on what you told me, but I've gotta be honest with you, Adam, I don't think the problem is with the people we're letting into the safehouses.
Adam: Well, I tend to agree. Let's see how we feel after we debrief the eight who escaped.
Adam: Now, Emma tells me that the GSA have a telecyber psionic on their payroll.
Jesse: A what?
Adam: Yeah, well, I've done some limited experiments splicing DNA strands with what ultimately became the post-silicone based computer technology.
Jesse: Yeah, I've heard of that. Kind of living organic computers, right?
Adam (stopping): Well, that's stretching it a little, but these telecybers can mentally interact with computers. You know, but a lot of it, I just don't know much about it. It's still a mystery.
Jesse: Well, could that be how the GSA is busting into our safehouses?
Adam: Yeah, that's a very real possibility. We've got to find out some data on this telecyber as soon as possible.
Jesse: Okay. [He heads off.]
[In Sanctuary, Emma's sitting at the computer searching her Sloman High School webpage for alumni yearbook pictures of herself and Michelle at the prom. Getting up, she records a voice message on the computer for her teammates.]
Emma: Hey, guys, went to go meet up with an old friend. Be back in a hour. [She leaves.]
[Meanwhile, at Genomex, Michelle's working at her computer station when Mr. Delay comes up to her.]
Mr. Delay: You made me look like an idiot today, Miss Bigelow. You don't want me for an enemy.
Michelle: I don't want you for a friend either. I simply stated things as I saw them. And now it's up to Mr. Eckhart to decide how to proceed.
Mr. Delay: It's up to you to do your job and keep your mouth shut. Nobody gives a damn about your insipid little opinions.
Michelle: Well, Mr. Eckhart seemed pretty fascinated.
Mr. Delay: Mr. Eckhart may have a great deal of confidence in you and your abilities--
Michelle (interrupting): With good reason.
Mr. Delay: --but I don't share his enthusiasm. A word of advice, Miss Bigelow. Watch your back.
Michelle: When I want your advice, I'll beat it out of you. Now unless you want me to tell Mr. Eckhart just how your ineptitude let those other eight anomalies slip out of your hands, I'd suggest you let me do my evening's work. [Disconcerted, Mr. Delay leaves her alone. Seeing noone around, Michelle sits at her personal computer. Her eyes glow blue as she connects to the computer with her mind. She frowns when the message "You have mail" pops up on her screen, and opens the instant message from Emma with their prom photo attached: "Hey, Michelle...What were you thinking when you bought this dress?" Grinning, Michelle writes with her mind: "Emma?" Emma, sipping her coffe in an internet bar, types back: "Who else? We need to talk!" Michelle replies: "Meet me at Webcam Link 47982 in 15 minutes. And BTW...I still love that outfit, so there." Laughing, Emma leans back in her chair.]
[Jesse and Brennan enter another new mutant safehouse.]
Jesse: So, this telecyber at the GSA went to high school with Emma, huh?
Brennan: Yeah. Can you imagine connecting to a computer with your mind?
Jesse (massaging his wrist): Well, anything that would do away with the carpal tunnel syndrome’s okay with me. [They both look up when a short, stocky man walks in carrying an umbrella. The man tosses the umbrella away and waits.]
Brennan (chuckling): Can you believe this guy?
Jesse: You wanna take him, or shall I?
Brennan: Eh--go ahead. [Jesse scoffs and walks up to the man, placing his hand on his shoulder. The man shoves him off, then proceeds to beat up both Brennan and Jesse before leaping backwards at super speed. Brennan painfully picks himself off the floor, looking at Jesse.] I thought you had him! [The man blocks all of Brennan's kicks, then places one of his own, hitting Brennan in the mouth. Brennan shocks the man, but he quickly gets back up and knocks Brennan to the ground. Jesse joins the fray, but just as he and Brennan have the man trapped between them, he vanishes into thin air, and Jesse ends up punching Brennan in the stomach. The man reappears behind Jesse, taps him on the shoulder, then knocks him out before disappearing again. He then appears behind Brennan and fells him with a punch. As he walks off, Jesse and Brennan painfully pick themselves up. The safehouse around them vanishes to reveal Adam and Shalimar sitting by the computer, watching them in the dojo. Shalimar giggles.]
Jesse (panting): I hate these simulations.
Brennan (holding up a tesla coil): Hey, you know what? The first one of you to laugh gets a jump start.
Adam: Nothing funny about that, Brennan. There's nothing funny about a sudden surprise attack from hostile forces either.
Jesse: Well, you could've at least have warned us that it wasn't gonna be the usual hostile forces attack, Adam.
Brennan: Yeah, I mean, come on, popping in and out like that?
Shalimar (smugly): Well, then it wouldn't be surprise or sudden, now would it?
[Emma waits at her table in the internet cafe, fending off the advances of the young man leaning over her.]
Emma (annoyed): It only looks like I'm alone. I'm waiting for someone!
The Boy: Okay. [He leaves. Sighing, Emma's just getting up to leave when she Michelle's face appears on her screen.]
Michelle (grinning): Emma? Emma!
Emma (smiling, sitting back down): You're late. Just like always.
Michelle (looking around warily): And you are taking a really big risk here, Emma.
Emma: Come on, you never ratted me out in high school.
Michelle: Yeah, well, this isn't high school.
Emma: Fine. Regardless of what sides we're on, we're still friends, right?
Michelle (nodding reluctantly): I guess.
Emma: You guess. You’re forgetting something here, Michelle. Before either of us knew about new mutants or Genomex or Mutant X, we both knew that we were different.
Michelle: Yeah, and we were really lucky to have each other to share our secret.
Emma: So, what do you say you meet me at Jasper's?
Michelle: Oh, I don't know. We're on different sides of the fence now.
Emma: Come on, Michelle, fences are for climbing! This is you and me we're talking about.
Michelle: Okay. I can spend an hour and then I have to get back.
Emma: Okay, is that an hour in real time or Bigelow time?
Michelle: I'll see you in fifteen minutes. Real time. [They both log off. Michelle begins to stand up, then stumbles. The blue glow spreads from her eyes in tendrils across her face until she shakes her head, and her face clears again.]
[Adam and Jesse are arguing in the hallway at Sanctuary.]
Jesse: The only thing these training exercises are preparing us for is to fight simulations. And I don't care how many millions of scenerios the computer comes up with, they're still just holograms.
Adam: They're not holograms! They're tactile. You know, I've programmed them all to have free will. I mean, now see, you're just annoyed because the computer outfought you both. I think the only reason you don't like virtual simulations is because you haven't beaten one yet.
Jesse: Oh, that's not true! I've beaten them lots of times!
Adam: Yeah, but only when you knew exactly what to expect. But the minute you have a virtual opponent that zigs--you know, [He mimics fighting with his arms.] Boom! Bow!--when you expect it to zag, well, then, you're thrown for a loss. I bet you had trouble with video games when you were a kid, right? [He stops, waggling an eyebrow at Jesse, who frowns, crossing his arms.]
Jesse: Still do. [Adam smiles smugly and keeps walking. Still frowning, Jesse follows him.]
[At Jaspar's coffee bar, Emma and Michelle are laughingly recalling their high school days.]
Michelle: So, do your friends know you're here?
Emma (removing her comlink ring): Not anymore.
Michelle: Gotta admit, though, it is so weird to be here again.
Emma: I know. Can you believe that same guy still works the counter?
Michelle (whispering behind her hand): I know! We made his life a living hell, didn't we?
Emma: So you want me to do it, or what?
Michelle (batting her eyes innocently): Well, do what? [Emma reaches out with her mind just as the bartender's about to hand drinks to other two patrons. Under Emma's influence, he brings the drinks to Michelle and Emma instead.]
The Bartender: Two double lattes, just like you ordered. [He frowns.] You did order them, didn't you?
Emma (smiling sweetly): That is so sweet. Thank you so much. [She and Michelle walk away, giggling.]
Michelle: And then, when we were ready to skip out of this place?
Emma: I'd say the magic phrase. [They both cock their heads and say together:] I'm over this place.
Michelle: And then... [Her eyes glow blue as she connects to the circuitry, turning the lights out in the bar.] Oops! No power. [She turns the lights back on.]
Emma: And then we'd skip out the back without paying the check.
Michelle: Oh, my gosh.
Emma: We were terrible. [They sit at a table.]
Michelle: We're still terrible. And sometimes we were the only ones who could keep the other one sane.
Emma: Yeah, I couldn't believe it when I saw you on... [She trails off.]
Michelle: Your security video?
Emma: Yeah. I've gotta say, it's not how I pictured running into you again. So how long have you been with the GSA?
Michelle: A little under a year.
Emma: Yeah, I'm surprised, Michelle. In school, you always had such high goals for yourself.
Michelle (nodding): And now, thanks to Mr. Eckhart, I'm achieving those goals. [Raising her eyebrows, Emma sips her drink.]
[In the main room of Sanctuary, Shalimar's working at the computer while Brennan reads a palm pilot in a chair in front of her.]
Shalimar: So Adam seems to think Jesse's problem is that he got his butt kicked by the training simulation. What do you think? [Engrossed in his work, he doesn't answer her, so she walks up behind him and leans over him.] Got an opinion there, buster? Or am I bothering you?
Brennan: No, no. It's just, for the record, I'm reading a GSA training manual file that I swiped last time we paid them a visit. I'm trying to find a clue as to how they're bypassing our security system. As for the training simulations, I think Jesse's just taking it way too seriously.
Shalimar: That's funny. I've always enjoy them.
Brennan: Yeah, you just like anything that'll get you up and moving.
Shalimar: Well, if there's a little virtual ass kicking involved all the better. Anything we can use in there?
Brennan: Nah, not really. Well, other than the fact that Eckhart considers you--and this is a quote--"Shalimar Fox is by far the least interesting member of Mutant X."
Shalimar: What?! Give me that! [She snatches the palm pilot from his hand.]
Brennan (smugly): Made you look.
Shalimar (smacking his head): You idiot.
[Emma and Michelle are arguing about their respective groups.]
Michelle: The GSA is a law enforcement organization, Emma, whose mission is to protect new mutants from themselves.
Emma: Please. Just because you work for the so-called law does not make the GSA moral, ethical, or right.
Michelle: I think it's time you realized what you're a part of. Mutant X is a pack of outlaws who flaunt their illegal behavior.
Emma: No, no, we do not break the law.
Michelle: Well, you're out there wreaking havoc when you should be working within the system to make the world ready for new mutants.
Emma: And you honestly believe that that's what you're doing?
Michelle: Absolutely. You think you're some kind of a romantic hero, running around with Adam and the rest. Forget about it. You're nothing more than a bunch of common criminals, using your heightened abilities for your own benefit.
Emma: You are out of your mind. Adam is a man with a mission: to prepare the world for our existence one step at a time.
Michelle: Mm-hm. And it's Adam's mission that caused new mutants grief in the first place.
Emma: Oh, is that so? Well, how do you feel about choosing to wear a subdermal governor?
Michelle: How do you think the world would feel if it knew there were people like us among them? With powers and abilities that dwarf the imagination?
Emma: You're starting to sound like a recruitment poster.
Michelle: Look. We're both psionics and we both know just how crazy we can get, thanks to our abilities. The GSA saved my sanity, maybe my life.
Emma: I know you, Michelle, and I believe that you think that's true. But I'm telling you Eckhart does not have any plan for assimilation. You know, if Adam hadn't rescued me, I would have been stuck tracking down new mutants to put into stasis pods for future observation.
Michelle: You know, this sounds just like the arguments we used to have back in freshman year. I respected authority...
Emma: And I questioned it every chance I got. But you were always open to new ideas. You know, be open to the fact that maybe the GSA isn't everything you think it is.
Michelle: Fine. If you do the same for Mutant X.
Michelle (shaking her head): You don't mean it, do you?
Emma: You could always read me like a book, couldn't you? [Looking disappointed, Michelle stands. Emma looks up, startled, when Mr. Delay and two GS agents enter the bar and surround the table.]
Delay: Nicely done, Miss Bigelow. [Emma pops out of her seat, but Michelle takes her arm.]
Michelle: If you don't come quietly, I can't vouch for anyone's safety.
Emma: So I guess this is one of those goals Eckhart's helping you achieve, huh? [She leaves with them.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Adam and Jesse are still discussing the virtues of virtual simulations.]
Jesse: Look, it's not video games or simulations. It's tests. I was a pretty good student in school, but no matter how hard I worked or how prepared I was, I still always froze on finals.
Adam: Well, I know exactly how you feel.
Jesse (scoffing): Yeah, right.
Adam (starting up the stairs): No, I'm serious, you know? I may have entered college at the age of 12, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a hard time taking tests.
Jesse: I'm sorry. I'm just having a hard time visualizing you having a hard time doing anything.
Adam (laughing): Well, you think this all just comes to me? I mean, when you use your abilities, when you phase out or you mass, it takes a concerted effort right? And Shalimar wears herself out...
Jesse: And Emma gets occasional migraines, and Brennan’s coil doesn’t just happen, he has to work at it, right.
Adam: That’s right. So for all of us, it takes a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of concentration.
Jesse: So why is it that when I’m fighting the real GS agents, it doesn’t feel like I've gotta work as hard as when I’m fighting the virtual agents?
Adam: Because when it’s real life, you react instinctually. So maybe what you have to do is you have to create the mindset where you treat the simulations like they’re real life.
Jesse: When it’s the real thing, I just kind of switch onto automatic. I let my instincts take over.
Adam: That’s right. Endorphins are pumping, the adrenaline rush. You know, everything's instinct.
Jesse: I guess. Still can’t see you cramming for a final, though.
Adam: Who said I had to cram? [He looks around.] So where's Emma?
Jesse: I don't know. [Adam turns on the computer, and they watch Emma's recorded message: "Hey guys, went to meet up with an old friend. Be back in an hour."]
Adam (checking his watch): That was three hours ago.
Jesse: That's not like her. And the only old friend I can think of is Michelle.
Adam: Yeah, and since Michelle is a trainee for the GSA... [He calls over his comlink.] Emma? Emma? Emma! [Getting no response, he checks the computer.] Her ring's been deactivated.
[At Genomex headquarters, Michelle's strapped Emma to the interrogation chair to place a subdermal governor in her neck.]
Emma: You can be as high and mighty about the lofty goals of Genomex as you like. At least we don't go around slapping governors on other new mutants or throwing them into stasis pods.
Michelle: We have a federal mandate. You know, the worst part is, when we were at Jasper’s, I actually began to question the GSA’s motives in the greater scheme of things.
Emma: Was that before or after you set me up?
Michelle: We both have our missions.
Emma: Come on, Michelle, take a look at this place. It’s nothing more than a prison for people like us.
Michelle: Don’t say that, Emma. Your credibility and our friendship are gone.
[As Brennan and Shalimar fly towards Genomex in the Double Helix, Adam calls them over his comlink from Sanctuary's lab.]
Adam: Now, let’s not be too hard on Emma. All of us have been guilty of letting our feelings for old friends blind us as to who they’ve become.
Brennan: Oh, come on, Adam. She’s a GSA trainee. It’s like walking into a lion’s den.
Shalimar: Excuse me? Last I looked, you’d been ambushed by old friends yourself.
Brennan: Okay, point made...and taken.
Shalimar: Okay, Adam, we're ready to go in and grab Emma.
Adam: Yeah, but wait, before you just bust in, overfly Genomex. Use the onboard sensors to determine if they're still holding her, and if so, where.
Brennan: Got it.
Shalimar: So what do we know about this friend of hers, anyway?
Adam: Well, according to my data, her DNA might be going through a radical evolution.
Brennan: What kind of evolution?
Adam: Emotional. Telecybers are prone to radical emotional shifts.
Shalimar: All right, Adam, we're on our way.
[Michelle escorts Emma down Genomex's lower catwalk, still arguing.]
Emma: You know, what’s really scary about Eckhart is that he’s convinced he’s doing the right thing by terrorizing new mutants.
Michelle: I said we weren’t gonna talk about this anymore.
Emma: You’re willing to give your entire life over to an assumption based on what someone else has told you?
Michelle: I have just as much faith in Mr. Eckhart’s cause as you seem to in Adam’s.
Emma: Faith is for God. What you're talking about is denial.
Michelle (facing her): And why should I take you at your word about any of this?
Emma: You don't have to. There's plenty of evidence to confirm everything I've said.
Michelle: What's that supposed to mean?
Emma: You wanna prove Eckhart's intentions are noble, then do it. [She glances up at Mason's office.] Use your abilities to give us both a look at what's in those computers up there. Once you do, you'll know that I'm not lying to you. And that I am still your friend. [Michelle hesitates.] Consider this you finally paying me back for taking that English final for you.
Michelle: What, you're bringing that up now?
Emma: I'll go anywhere to get you moving. [The two sneak into Mason's darkened office and pause by the doorway.] So, are you still sure you wanna do this?
Michelle: Why, are you getting cold feet? Aren't you the one who broke into the dean of students' office and stole her furniture?
Emma: Yeah, well, somehow it seems like there's a little more at stake here. [Taking a deep breath, Michelle connects to Mason's computer with her mind, bypassing the security codes to let them into the office. Emma goes behind the desk to look at Mason's computer screen.]
Michelle: I can't believe I let you talk me into this.
Emma: Who's got cold feet? Look, you wouldn't be here if you weren't willing to meet me halfway. [Nodding, Michelle joins her.]
Michelle: We're in.
Emma (imitating Delay): Nicely done, Miss Bigelow.
Michelle: Now, what did you want to show me?
Emma (opening a data file): Check this out. [Michelle's face sobers in horror as she reads the information.] From the look on your face, I'm willing to take a wild guess I don't have a lot of convincing to do.
Michelle: It's horrible. How could I have been so completely taken in?
Emma: Because you wanted to be.
Michelle: So now what?
Emma: Now we get the hell outta here.
Michelle: Okay, uh...but how?
Emma: Trust me, I’ve done this before. [Turning, they spot a technician on the floor below staring at them through the window.] You've got to deactivate my governor. [Michelle gapes at her.] Come on, we both know that you deactivated yours the minute you were alone.
Michelle (smiling): I guess you can read me like a book too, huh? [Michelle's eyes glow blue as she deactivates Emma's governor. Before the technician can raise an alarm, Emma reaches out with her mind, causing the confused man to see nothing but the empty room.]
Emma: We've got to get out of here. [She puts on her comlink ring and calls Adam at Sanctuary.] Adam?
Adam: Emma! Where are you?
Emma: Michelle and I are leaving Genomex. I need you to bring the Double Helix over. [She grabs Michelle's arm and heads towards the door.] Gotta go. [They stop short when the doors slide open to reveal Mason, Delay, and two GS agents about to enter.]
Mason: I'm afraid you two school girls are about to get permanent detentions.
[At Sanctuary, Adam calls Brennan and Shalimar in the Double Helix.]
Adam: Emma just called me on her comlink. She's in Genomex.
Shalimar: So what's the deal? She and her friend are on their way out?
Adam (sitting at the computer): Yeah. So I want you to maintain your position, be ready to move in at a moment's notice.
[Mason and Delay lead the GS agents down the hallway, with Emma and Michelle in tow.]
Mason: After all the opportunities I’ve offered you, Miss Bigelow, this is how you repay me?
Emma: You know, that’s one of your biggest problems, Eckhart. It’s just not always about you.
Mason: And that’s where you’re wrong, Miss deLauro. And the sooner you learn that you’re nothing but a satellite that revolves around me, we’ll all be the better for it.
Michelle: After what I saw in your database, I’m ashamed I ever trusted you. Who do you think you are?
Mason (stopping): It’s not who I think I am that matters. It’s the fear I strike in others that makes life worth living.
Emma (to Michelle): And this is the guy that you trusted?
Michelle: You know what?
Emma: Yeah. [She and Michelle cock their heads together.] We’re both over this place. [Michelle's eyes glow blue as she quickly cuts the power in the building. By the time the lights flicker on again, she and Emma are long gone.]
Delay (shouting to the agents): Seal all decks, check level one!
[Brennan helps Emma and Michelle into the Double Helix, and they fly off towards Sanctuary.]
Emma (confronting Shalimar's look): I know, I know, Adam's gonna be pissed.
Brennan: You just wait 'til we get you home, young lady.
Shalimar: What were you thinking?
Michelle: Look, don't blame Emma, okay? If she hadn't done this, I would still be working for Mr. Eckhart, right?
Shalimar: All right, take a seat. I don't really feel like sticking around and duking it out with your GSA buddies.
[Adam's still sitting at the computer on the second floor of Sanctuary when Jesse comes up to him, carrying two mugs of coffee.]
Jesse: I've been thinking about what you said, about the way I deal with simulations as opposed to the real thing.
Adam (taking a mug): And? Did you come to any conclusions? Thanks.
Jesse: Well, actually, I did a little reading on the Gestalt concept of the willing suspension of disbelief.
Adam: Yeah, well, that’s pretty heavy stuff. I mean, we’re talking about fighting holograms here.
Jesse: Yeah, right, that’s my point. I mean, when I’m fighting virtual GS agents I can’t seem to lose myself the same as in the real thing.
Adam: Right, which is why I suggested that you apply the same energy and the same effort that you do in real combat.
Jesse: Maybe. You know, I think there might be another answer. I mean, I still get completely creeped out by a good horror movie, and totally lost in an action flick.
Adam: Rather than trying to pretend that it's real when you know it’s a simulation, you want to sort of give yourself over to the virtual combat the way you get sucked into a movie?
Jesse (smiling): I couldn’t have put it better myself. Now it sounds like fun.
Adam (grinning): Whatever works.
[As the Double Helix flies into Sanctuary's landing bay, Michelle is given a visual cloak.]
Michelle: Don't worry. I disengaged my tracking chip the same time I turned off my subdermal governor. It's gonna be weird. Meeting Adam, I mean.
Brennan: Why weird?
Michelle: Well, let's not forget, I've only seen Adam through Mr. Eckhart's eyes. [Shalimar exchanges a look with Brennan.]
Shalimar: "Mister" Eckhart?
Michelle (chuckling, embarrassed): Well...force of habit.
[From the ground floor, Jesse calls up to Adam.]
Jesse: They're here, Adam.
Adam: All right, good. Now as soon as she's inside, let's get her into the lab. It's important that we find out what Eckhart may have done to her genetic makeup and what we might have to do to countermand it. [Jesse waits as Brennan, Shalimar, Emma, and Michelle enter Sanctuary. Michelle looks around in wonder when Emma takes off her visual cloak.]
Michelle: Oh, Emma, you said it was beautiful, but this place is outrageous!
Adam (coming downstairs to shake her hand): Hey, Michelle. Welcome.
Emma: Adam, this is Michelle. [She points behind her.] And that's Jesse.
Adam: Well, we're glad you're here. We were concerned about you.
Michelle (frowning): Concerned?
Adam: Yeah, well, Eckhart, you know, he's got a long-standing history of tinkering with the DNA strands of new mutants. Your genetic makeup may seem to be unbreakable, but there's a certain fragility there that needs to be reckoned with.
Michelle: Mr. Eckhart did have his technical division work on my genetic makeup.
Adam (nodding): I see. Well, I'm not surprised. Now my concern is that he might have aggravated the emotional problems that are the result of your computer interaction.
Michelle (smiling): That's not an issue, Adam. I have no emotional problems because I have no emotions at all.
Adam: What do you mean?
Michelle: Thanks to the genetic manipulation performed on me by Genomex technicians, I have been in the process of successfully shedding my organic form to begin the transformation from meatware to living hardware. [Her eyes begin to glow, then a burst of energy shoots out from her eyes, sending Adam flying across the room. Spinning around, Michelle blasts Shalimar, Jesse, and Brennan into the dojo steps. Emma watches in horror as Michelle is enveloped in a glow of light, then transforms into an orange energy being and starts up the stairs towards the main computer's outlet. She blasts the main computer with an energy beam.]
CyberMichelle: In a matter of moments, the coordinates of all of Mutant X’s data will be at Genomex.
Emma (at the foot of the stairs): That’s not gonna happen, Michelle. I’m going to show you what it’s like to feel again, whether you like it or not. [She starts up the stairs, mentally projecting images of Michelle screaming, laughing, and crying into her mind.]
CyberMichelle: Don't waste your time, Emma. [As Emma continues her onslaught, Michelle's interface begins to weaken.]
Emma: Not so robotic now, huh, Michelle?
CyberMichelle: You can't manipulate me like this.
Emma: Try and stop me.
Emma: I thought you had no feelings or emotions.
Michelle (breaking down): I don't! I'm beyond emotions!
Emma: What's wrong, Michelle? A little uncomfortable? Frustrated? Scared? [Turning human again, Michelle collapses to the floor, unconscious and completely naked. Emma rushes to her side, and Adam comes upstairs to cover her with his jacket.]
Emma (kneeling over Michelle, distraught): Did I kill her?
Adam: I think you might have just saved her life. You guys okay?
Jesse (running up with Shalimar and Brennan): Yeah.
Adam: All right, hurry! Let's get her into the lab. Fast.
[Mason's sitting at his office desk with his eyes closed when Mr. Delay walks in.]
Mason (not opening his eyes): I am busy, Mr. Delay.
Delay: I'm afraid I have some bad news for you, sir.
Mason: The techs tell me we've lost contact with Miss Bigelow.
Mason: Well then there's something wrong with their scanners. Miss Bigelow is a perfect weapon.
Delay: That may be, Mr. Eckhart. But I had them do a complete systems check. [Mason looks at him.] She's gone.
Mason (standing up): How could that be? Their whole escape was a perfect charade to get her into Adam's world before the failsafe self-destruct could go online!
Delay: I understand, sir. But the fact remains, Miss Bigelow has disappeared.
Mason (sighing in defeat): Well, then, it would appear that you can keep your job for just a little while longer, Mr. Delay. [He angrily turns his back on Delay, who takes the hint and leaves the office.]
[In Sanctuary's lab, Emma's at the computer monitoring Michelle's vital signs as she sleeps on the biobed.]
Michelle (waking up): Emma?
Emma (hurrying to her side): I'm here. And you're safe.
Michelle (crying): I am so sorry. I couldn't help myself.
Emma (smiling): I know. Adam has reversed everything that they did to you at the GSA. You're still a telecyber, but you'll never lose control of your emotions again. Feels pretty good, huh? [They hug happily.]
[A little later, Emma peeks around the corner to see Jesse, Brennan, and Shalimar sitting around on the floor, merrily eating their sushi dinner at the dining table. She slowly comes over to join them.]
Brennan: How is she?
Emma (kneeling next to Jesse): Worn out. She's so tired she fell asleep mid-sentence. Look, I wanted to apologize to you guys.
Shalimar: Where are you going to start?
Jesse: Running away and not telling anybody?
Brennan: Yeah, turning off your comlink?
Shalimar: Hanging out with a GS agent?
Emma: Okay, so I've got a lot to apologize for.
Shalimar: Forget about it. We've all been guilty of running off when our past has caught up with us.
Emma: Even Adam.
Jesse: Even Adam. We all live with one foot in our old lives and one foot in the world we find ourselves now.
Shalimar: And sometimes those two worlds just rub each other the wrong way.
Brennan: Yeah, and every once in a while we get smacked in the back of the head with a blast from our past and uh... well, you know, that's what we're here for. Make things right.
Emma: That's what friends are for, right?
Shalimar: Yeah. Just don't push your luck. [She shakes her head.] A GS agent. [She and Brennan begin to laugh at Emma.] I mean a GS agent, what were you thinking? [Blushing, Emma throws a piece of food at Brennan and Shalimar, and they all get up from the table, laughing.]