Mutant X Episode #220 Transcript: “Reality Check”
[Opening Scene: A wintry night outside a jazz club as a dark-haired woman and her group of friends exit the club up the stairs to the sidewalk.]
The Woman: Good night.
Her friend (taking her hand): See you later. [The woman heads down the snowy street towards her apartment. Hidden behind a fire escape, Shalimar watches as the woman reaches her front door and reaches into her purse for her keys. Suddenly, two men grab her from behind, dragging her in through the door and up the stairs.]
The Woman: No! Please!
Thug #1: Now we’re going up to your place to see what we can find!
The Woman (struggling): No!
Thug #1: Maybe have a little party, huh? Look, we can make it easy, or we can make it hard.
Shalimar (barging in through the front door): You stole my line. [Thug #2 runs back down the stairs to attack her, but Shalimar twists his arm back and punches him against the wall. She looks up the stairs at Thug #1.] You still wanna get lucky? [Feral eyes flashing, she leaps up the stairs and kicks him against the railing. He tumbles downstairs, landing at Brennan’s feet as he comes in the door.]
Shalimar (going to comfort The Woman): Hey. It’s okay. [The woman pushes Shalimar’s hands away in terror.] Hey, it’s okay! [Finally getting away from her, The Woman runs down the hallway.]
Brennan (calling from the bottom of the stairs): Well, what did you expect, a thank you? What are you doing?
Shalimar (walking down the stairs): I was saving someone. I thought that’s what we were about.
Brennan: You know exactly what I mean. You’re running around, showing off your powers.
Shalimar: I feel different now. Okay, there’s stuff I need to do. I need to be out in the night; I need to hunt. Alone.
Brennan: Where is this going, Shal?
Shalimar: I don’t know, Brennan. All I know is that whatever’s happening to me isn’t something that I can just turn off or ignore. [She shoves past him and leaves the apartment.]
[Scene: A lonely alleyway across town. A disoriented man, Dr. Dominic Rydell, dressed in a shabby black suit and an undone tie flees haphazardly down the alley, looking over his shoulder. The scene in front of him flashes back and forth between the reality of the street he’s running through and the illusion in his mind’s eye of a white maze: he runs into a trash bin on the street; in his mind, it’s a wall in the maze. As Dominic blindly feels his way around the obstacles in his path, two men race into the alleyway behind him.]
Guard #1 (chasing after him): There he is! Come on! [Hearing their approach, Dominic picks up his pace, dashing through the maze in his mind. He’s stopped at a tall gate by two policemen.]
Dominic (thinking they’re his pursuers): No! Please! Please!
Policeman #1: Just take it easy. You’ll be okay. [They lead him to their police car.]
Opening Credits. “Reality Check.”
[Scene: Inside Adam’s lab at Sanctuary. Jesse and Emma are reading through Dominic’s profile on the computer screen as Adam stands behind them, paging through a large book on the table.]
Adam (closing the book and throwing on his coat): Yeah, his name’s Dominic Rydell. He’s a physicist working at the extreme cutting edge of research into quantum power. Now the rumor is that he was on the verge of splitting the light particle to give us unlimited free energy.
Jesse: Well, that’s not possible. You can’t get any smaller than a quantum.
Adam: Well, he proved that you can. And the value of his process, pshew. Limitless.
Jesse: Well, a guy with that much cooking in his head, maybe he just snapped.
Emma: You think someone was trying to steal his process?
Adam: Well, I don’t know. But I do know that I wanna spend some time with him, try to find out. And I want you to come with me, see if there’s something that you can pick up. Jess, I want you to stay here. Try to recreate the last hours before his disappearance, see if there’s a clue in there to tell us what happened.
Jesse: I’m on it.
[Adam and Emma arrive at the hospital and walk down the hallway to Dominic’s room.]
Emma: You know, I still can’t believe we got access to Rydell so easily.
Adam: Well, I’d like to think it was their knowledge of my specialty in dealing with exotic medical problems, but I think it has more to do with the fact that I funded the hospital’s new MRI machine last month.
Emma (grinning): Nice. And here I was worried to ask for a raise.
Dr. McWilliams (walking up to them): Mr. Kane. Polly McWilliams.
Adam: How do you do? This is Emma deLauro.
Dr. McWilliams: I don’t usually like admitting failure, but...well, this one’s got me stumped. [Nodding, Adam and Emma look in through the small window to Dominic’s padded room.] The subject has no history of mental illness. Within a few hours, he’s in a fully dissociative state.
Adam: Like schizophrenia?
Dr. McWilliams: More intense than I’ve seen..
Adam: May we? [He opens the door, and they enter the room. Dominic is in a straightjacket, cringing around the room as though being chased by something only he can see.]
Dr. McWilliams: Whatever hallucinations he’s dealing with are all-encompassing. He’s not dealing with reality at any level.
Emma (watching him): It’s like he’s trapped in another world.
Dr. McWilliams: Exactly.
Adam: How is he physically?
Dr. McWilliams: Well, actually, that’s my primary concern right now. Whatever’s going on in this world he’s seeing is having a direct affect on his real world physiology. His blood pressure and heart rate are going through the roof.
Adam: Have you tried medication?
Dr. McWilliams (nodding): We’ve sedated him to maximum safe levels, but whatever has a hold of him just blasts right through it. I don’t think he’ll last more than 24 hours.
Adam: All right. I may be able to help, but I’ll need him transferred to my own facility, and I’ll need you to arrange that.
Dr. McWilliams (going to the door): I’ll arrange the transfer right away.
Adam: Thank you. [He reads Dominic’s chart.] So, no trace of psychoactive drugs, and they think the damage done to his psyche was too fast for hypnosis or classical brain washing techniques. So maybe what we’re dealing with is some kind of psychic mind attack. You think you’ll be able to calm him telempathically?
Dominic (suddenly shouting out): No! Please. Please. Let me go?
Adam: Dominic, my name is Adam Kane. [Shying away from him, Dominic curls up into a ball in the corner of the room.]
Dominic (fearfully looking up at him): Leave me alone! [In his mind, Adam’s enormous face looms over the top of the maze, staring down at him.]
Adam: Dominic, I’m real. I’m here to help you.
Dominic (inside the maze, gazing up at Adam’s huge face): Liar! No more tricks. You just let me go. [He flees back down the corridor of the maze away from Adam. Sighing, the real Adam looks over at Emma, who has backed herself into the corner of the room as far from Dominic as she can get.]
Adam (crossing over to her): Are you all right? What is it?
Emma (staring at Dominic): Whatever’s got a hold of him is strong. And it scares the hell out of me.
[Back at Sanctuary, Jesse sits at the computers in the main room with Brennan and Shalimar.]
Jesse: Turns out our man Rydell had just finished giving a lecture at a scientific conference at Bower University three hours before he disappeared.
Shalimar: You’re telling us he was abducted by scientists?
Jesse (grinning): Well, unfortunately, scientists weren’t the only ones there. I managed to ID almost everybody in the audience from the university database and scientific journals. Everybody except for this guy. [He pulls up an image of a man at the conference and a second of him from Sanctuary’s computer database.] Now when I put his image through our database, it ID’ed him as Jerzy Novotny. Now Jerzy is currently working as the trade commissioner at the Balkisan Mission. His last gig was as a top-level KGB agent before the fall of the Soviet Union.
Brennan: Yeah, but it still doesn’t explain what he was doing at the conference.
Adam (walking up to them): Well, that’s what you and Shalimar are gonna find out.
Shalimar: What’s the set up?
Adam: Uh, there’s a party tonight at the Balkistan Embassy. Prime Minister Novotny has invited certain members of the Bower University conference, and you and Shalimar are going to be guests.
Brennan (smiling at Shalimar): Nice! I’ve always wanted to go to a party at the embassy.
Shalimar: Well, let’s hope they remember to count the silverware afterwards.
Brennan (waves a warning finger at her): Easy.
Adam: Let’s go. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
[In the lab, Emma watches Dominic, who lies on the biobed, hooked up to cardiac and neural monitors.]
Dominic: Let me out. Let me out.
Emma: It’s okay. [In his mind, Emma’s gigantic face looms over the top of the maze to peer down at him.] You’re not inside anything. Look around you.
Dominic (seeing only the maze): I’ve got eyes, damn it! Why are you doing this to me, huh? Leave me alone! Just leave me alone! [He runs away from her down the corridor. The real Emma hesistantly stretches out her hand to touch his shoulder.]
Adam (coming in): Are you trying to connect with him?
Emma (pulling her hand away): No! Look, I can’t stand to see him in this kind of pain, Adam. But I’m afraid that if I open myself up, I won’t be able to protect myself from whatever’s attacking his mind.
Adam: But we both know that your powers have grown stronger over the last couple of weeks.
Emma (walking away): Yeah, but we don’t know what’s going on inside there. If I, if I connect with him, it might even accelerate whatever’s killing him.
Adam: And what happens if we don’t try to connect with him, hm? I mean, his vital signs keep spinning out of control until he has a heart attack or a stroke? [He goes to her.] Emma, I know you’re afraid. But you might be surprised at what you can do. Look at me. Think about it. [He leaves.]
[Scene: The ornate Balkistan Embassy palace. Parked on the roof in the Double Helix, Jesse monitors Brennan and Shalimar as they stroll into the front entrance together.]
Brennan: All right, keep your eye out for the trade commissioner. According to Adam, he’s got a serious eye for the ladies.
Shalimar: Well, I assume that’s why I was the one wearing this dress.
Brennan (looking around the room): Trust me, you in that dress is always a good idea.
Shalimar (touching his arm): Hey Bren, Novatny. 2:00. Ready for action?
Brennan: Yeah. Just remember, if you do get him alone, don’t get too far out of my sight.
Shalimar (patting his chest): Had to say that, didn’t you? When we were doing so well here.
Brennan: What’s that supposed to mean?
Shalimar: I could take out the security of this entire embassy. I don’t need you to play daddy.
Brennan: Shalimar, this is not a one-woman show. There’s a reason we made plans.
Shalimar: Just relax. I’m gonna get him to tell me everything he knows. So why don’t you just do your part, enjoy yourself. I’ll be bak with the goodies. [She heads towards Novotny.]
Brennan (into his comlink): Jess, you copy that?
Jesse: Loud and clear. I thought you would have learned by now not to try to win arguments with women, especially not Shalimar.
Brennan: This isn’t about an argument. This is about Shalimar playing as part of the team.
Jesse: Really? There some conversation I’ve been missing, here?
Brennan: Just monitor her channel, okay? I’m carrying on with the plan. Let me know if anything goes sideways.
Jesse: Aye aye. [Across the room, Shalimar grabs a drink off a serving tray and reels into the woman talking to Novotny, spilling the drink on her.]
Shalimar (laughing, trying to wipe off her dress with her hand): Oh, I’m sorry! I’m sorry!
The Woman: Oh, no! Um...I’ll be back. [She walks off.]
Shalimar (to Novotny, giggling): I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.
Novotny: I’ve been trying to get out of that conversation for ten minutes. I wish I’d thought of spilling a drink.
Shalimar: So, you’re with the Balkistan mission?
Novotny: Jerzy Novotny. Trade commissioner. And you are...?
Shalimar: Sharon Carver. [He kisses her hand.] I’m, um...here with my husband. [She glances back at Brennan, who looks very cozy with a beautiful woman across the room.]
Novotny: Oh, well. Your husband is a fool to leave a woman as beautiful as you are alone.
Shalimar: Why, is it dangerous in here?
Novotny: It could be as dangerous as you want it to be.
Shalimar (looking pointedly over at Brennan): Why don’t you show me around? I feel safe with someone like you here to protect me. [Placing a head behind her back, Novotny takes her down the hall.] This is quite a building.
Novotny: Yeah. It’s a holdover from the days when my government actually had a budget for things like embassies. [He leads her around the corner.]
Shalimar: You don’t look like a man who works well on a budget.
Novotny (putting his hands around her waist): I see what I need, and I take it.
Shalimar: And what do you have your sights set on now?
Novotny: Something well within my grasp. [He kisses her neck.]
Shalimar (looking up and down the hallway): Is...is there someplace maybe a little more private? [She nods in one direction.] What’s down that way?
Novatny: That’s where we keep the secrets. Can you keep a secret?
Shalimar: Not really. [She grabs him by the neck and pulls a paper from his jacket pocket. Just then, a dart flies through the air and sticks in her neck. Tugging it out, she looks up at three guards. The one holding the dart gun, Levak Ivanov, nods to the other two.]
Levak: Get her to the car. Quickly. [Shalimar slides down the wall and the two guards carry her away.]
[The next morning, Shalimar wakes up in a large bed to the chirping of birds. The man lying behind her caresses her body and she rolls over to give him a passionate kiss. Opening her eyes, she realizes it’s Brennan and jerks upright.]
Shalimar (staring at him): Brennan? What do you think you’re doing?
Brennan (rubbing his eyes): Hey. I didn’t think you’d ever wake up.
Shalimar (looking around the room in confusion): What’s going on? Where is this place? What are we doing in bed?
Brennan (chuckling): It’s not that odd for a husband and wife to be sharing a bed together.
Shalimar: What are you talking about?
Brennan (caressing her neck): We’re coming up on our second anniversary. It’s too late to back out now. [He holds up his other hand to show her his wedding band. Frowning down at her own hand, she sees a matching band on her finger.]
Shalimar (getting out of bed): I don’t like this joke, Brennan.
Brennan (sitting up): If somebody’s telling a joke, I wish they’d share it with me, ‘cause I could use a good laugh right now.
Shalimar (walking around the foot of the bed): What happened at the embassy? There was a guy there. He shot me.
Brennan (getting up, walking over to her): Don’t you remember? We had dinner here at home tonight and then we went outside and sat down, looked up at the stars. Don’t you remember?
Shalimar: Why are you doing this? Okay, where the hell are we? What is going on? And... [She stops abruptly, noticing that he’s completely naked. She clears her throat, redirecting her eyes.] And while we’re at it, would you mind putting some pants on, please?
Brennan (looking down at himself then up at her, smiling): All right, if you think there’s something wrong with the way things are, then why don’t you tell me the way things are supposed to be.
Brennan: Well, you say we were at an embassy? Well, what were we doing there?
Shalimar: You know...[He stares at her blankly.] Trying to find the people that took our scientist, Rydell. God, Brennan, this just happened yesterday!
Brennan (laughing): Who do you think we are? Why would we be interested in a scientist?
Shalimar: Why are you asking me these questions? [The screen blurs, shifting to reality. Levak Ivanov stands in the middle of a large room facing Shalimar, who is strapped to a metal harnass, still wearing her red dress from the embassy. Two guards look on as Levak interrogates her telepathically, sending red psionic tendrils into her mind to create the illusion of Brennan.]
Levak (answering her question as Brennan): Because I’m trying to help you figure out what’s going on. Who do you think we are? Who do we work for? Because there’s something wrong with you. And unless you sort it out, you could go crazy. [The screen flashes back into Shalimar’s mind. Not liking his answer, Shalimar narrows her eyes at Brennan and strides towards the bedroom door.]
Brennan!Levak: Shal, where are you going?
Shalimar (spinning around): To get out of this nightmare! [She brushes past the curtains in front of the door, only to find herself inside the main room at Sanctuary. She looks down at herself; her black nightgown has changed into jeans and a black halter top. Coming out of his room, Brennan–also fully dressed–comes up to her.]
Brennan (seeing her staring at him in shock): What?
[Meanwhile, in the real Sanctuary, Emma’s still in the lab with Dominic.]
Dominic (looking around fitfully): No. No. Not there, no. [Emma comes over to him. Finally relenting, she directs a psionic blast at his head, thus entering his maze. She searches up and down the white corridors until she finds Dominic curled up in a corner.] What are you doing here?
Emma (approaching him slowly): I came to help you.
Dominic (standing): You can’t help me. Nobody can. I know what’s going on.
Emma (shaking her head): No, you don’t. This isn’t real.
Dominic (pounding his hand on the wall): Are you telling me this is not real?
Emma: Somebody did something to your mind. I think they wanted information about your work.
Dominic: I told them everything they wanted to know. But he kept asking me more questions, kept making me run the maze.
Emma: You’re safe. There’s nothing here that can hurt you.
Dominic: You don’t understand. I know this maze. It was my first year in college, a biology project one of the professors showed me. He built a maze, this maze. He ran the mice through it. At the end, he cut their brains open to see what chemicals were released. I was horrified. That’s what made me go into physics in the first place. Somehow, whoever’s doing this knew about that experiment. They built this so they can torture me. I get to the end of this maze, and I’m a dead man.
Emma: You have to listen to me carefully. This isn’t real. It’s all an illusion.
Dominic: And I assume that includes you.
Emma: Just tell me who’s doing this to you. Who’s asking you the questions?
Dominic (looking up, pointing): Him! [Levak’s enormous face looms over the top of the maze. Smiling down at them, he shoves a new wall down between Emma and Dominic, cutting off her psionic connection.]
[Back at the real Balkistan Embassy, Brennan wanders around the room, looking for Shalimar. He calls Jesse over his comlink.]
Brennan: Hey, Jess, I’m getting worried. Anything from Shalimar?
Jesse (at his computer in the Helix): No, nothing. But her comlink is still active; I’m still receiving her locator signal.
Brennan: Where is she?
Jesse: Let me run a search. Should be down the hall to your right.
Brennan: Get ready to take off in case we have to make a fast exit.
Jesse (nodding): Okay. [Coming down the hallway, Brennan sees Shalimar’s comlink ring on the floor.]
Brennan (picking the ring up): Jess, they’ve got Shal. Tell Adam. [He runs down the hall.]
[Inside the fake Sanctuary in her mind, Shalimar questions Brennan!Levak.]
Shalimar: How did I get here?
Brennan!Levak (frowning at her): Are you sure you don’t need some help?
Shalimar: I’m gonna find out what they did to me at the embassy. [She turns towards the door, but Emma blocks her way.]
Emma!Levak: It’s not safe for you to leave in this confused state, Shalimar.
Shalimar: I’m not confused, okay? I know what’s what.
Jesse!Levak (walking up from the other direction): Come on, Shalimar. Tell me. Talk to us. Talk to all of us. Sounds like you don’t even know who we are.
Shalimar: Yeah, well, I knew who you were yesterday. You were my partners in Mutant X. [The screen flashes to the real Levak as he finally realizes who Shalimar is.]
Levak (smiling): Mutant X. Oh, what a prize. You’re going to deliver me Adam Kane. [He continues to send red tendrils into her mind.]
[Inside the real Sanctuary, Emma’s working at the computer when Adam comes into the lab.]
Adam: What are you doing?
Emma: I went into Rydell’s mind.
Emma: I saw the guy that’s doing this to him. [She pulls up video footage from the Balkistan Embassy party, freezing and magnifying the image of Levak as he passes behind Brennan.] There. That’s him.
Adam (pushing in front of her to cross-reference the image in the database: Levak Ivanov. All right, now, this is starting to make some sense. Ivanov’s a product of the Tretiakova Institute.
Emma: Which is?
Adam: Which is the Soviet version of Genomex during the cold war. Except the Russians got smart about genetic research around the same time I did. They clamped down on controls.
Emma: So, what are you saying, that he’s a mutant?
Adam: Well, might be. [He pulls up Levak’s profile.] Yes, look. His KGB profile says he’s a master of interrogation. Something unnatural must have happened to Rydell’s mind to make him break that quickly.
Emma: And these are the guys that have Shalimar. [Adam nods.]
[Brennan races into the Helix to sit down in the co-pilot’s seat next to Jesse.]
Brennan: Whatever they did with her, they got a 20 minute head start.
Jesse: They could be anywhere by now.
Brnenan: Yeah, thanks for the comforting thought. Listen, scan the satellite cache, we might get lucky. Ready?
Jesse: Mm-hmm. [They take off.]
[Levak circles Shalimar, probing her mind to find ways to get more information about Mutant X and Adam.]
Levak: Think, Shalimar. Everything you ever thought was real is a lie. Where is Adam Kane, Shalimar?
Shalimar (whispering): No!
Levak: Tell me, or I’ll take everything away from you. [The screen flashes inside Shalimar’s mind to the fake Sanctuary.]
Emma!Levak: Just tell us where you think you are. Where do you think Adam is?
Shalimar (looking around at them): This is a trick. You don’t know. This is some kind of an illusion.
Jesse!Levak: Now, see, that’s where you’re wrong. Because for you, this is gonna be reality from now on.
Emma!Levak: Unless you tell us.
Brennan!Levak: Come on, Shalimar. Where is he?
Jesse!Levak: Tell us, Shalimar. Shalimar, where is he?
Brennan!Levak: Come on, Shalimar.
Jesse!Levak: Shalimar, tell us. [As they close in on her, Shalimar turns and runs towards the lab.]
Shalimar: Adam! Adam! [Entering the lab, she sees a black-clad figure bending over a table against the wall, his back to her.] Oh, thank God! Something’s wrong; they did something to my mind. [The man straightens and turns to face her; she gasps to see that it’s not Adam, but Mason Eckhart.]
Mason!Levak: Not at all, Shalimar. Everything is exactly as it should be.
[Shalimar gapes at Mason in shock. They hear the sound of footsteps nearing the lab as Brennan, Emma, and Jesse come after her.]
Mason!Levak (grabbing her hand): Follow me. Quickly. [He pulls her out of the lab and heads towards the garage.] Shalimar, I know none of this makes sense to you, but you have to believe me. I’m trying to help you.
Shalimar (yanking her hand out of his grasp): You don’t want to help us. You were trying to capture us, all mutants and put us into pods.
Mason!Levak: That’s what Adam had you think. But all this time it was me trying to help you. He’s the one who’s been manipulating you from the start.
Shalimar (her head in her hands): No. You’re lying.
Mason!Levak: All this time, he’s been using you all to service his own selfish needs. And to create the perfect mutant. Why do you think all of your powers are continuing to mutate? Each day bringing you closer and closer to your own demise.
Shalimar (shaking her head): No, he’s coming up with a cure for that.
Mason!Levak: Adam’s the one causing it.
Shalimar: No, that can’t be.
Mason!Levak (touching her shoulder): Shalimar, you know it’s true. Why do you think they’ve all turned against you? I am trying to protect you, but you have to help me. [He hugs her.] We can’t let Adam win. Not now, not ever. [The screen switches to reality as Levak stands back, gripping her shoulders.]
Levak (red tendrils flowing from his mind into hers): Tell me where we are, Shalimar. I’ll have our real friends at the GSA swoop in and rescue us.
Shalimar (shaking): I can’t.
Levak: You can, Shalimar. If you don’t tell me, we’ll both die. Is that what you want?
[In the real lab at Sanctuary, Emma sits in the middle of the room as Dominic sleeps on the biobed.]
Adam (coming in): Any change?
Emma (shaking her head): He’s been out of it for the past hour. He’s slipping away, isn’t he?
Adam (sitting down across from her): Right now, he’s the only lead we have to Ivanov.
Emma: I can bring him back.
Adam: Emma, look, I know I was the one who asked you to go in there in the first place, but you almost didn’t make it out. I cannot ask you to do that again.
Emma: Adam, Shalimar’s life may depend on it. And if we can break him free, he may be able to tell us where they had him. [She gets up.] I’m not gonna sit here and watch him die.
Adam: Emma! [She goes over to Dominic’s side; Adam comes over.] Emma. By entering his mind, you put yourself at risk. Emma! [Rather than respond to him, she shoots a psionic blast at Dominic’s head and finds herself back inside the maze. Seeing her appear from a halo of light, Dominic rushes over.]
Emma: We have to get you out of here now.
Dominic (taking her hand): No, we have to get out of here. [He points to the light she came from.] That’s the end of the experiment!
Emma (trying to pull him along with her): Please, you have to trust me.
Dominic: We’re gonna die. [Letting go of her hand, he runs in the opposite direction.]
Emma (chasing him down the endless corridors): Dominic, wait! Dominic, I’m trying to help you, but you have to listen to me. This isn’t reality. Think! Remember what your life was really like. You’re a scientist. Ivanov did something to your mind to get information about your work. He tried to hurt you. Now, I’m trying to help you, but I need you to take my hand. I can bring you back. [Finally, she finds him sitting in a corner with his arms around his knees.] You have to. Because I’m not leaving without you. [She holds our her hand. Getting up slowly, he takes her hand and she leads him back towards the light. Ivanov’s gigantic face peers down at them over the top of the maze.] We have to go, now! [Dominic grabs her hand and they run into the light just as Ivanov reaches a hand down into the maze to grab them. Cutting off her psionic connection with Dominic, Emma stumbles; Adam catches her.]
Adam: Are you all right? What happened in there? What happened?
Emma: You were right. It wasn’t real.
Dominic (finally waking up, looking around the lab): Where am I?
[Meanwhile, Shalimar starts to panic and fall apart under the pressure of Levak’s interrogation.]
Levak: Shalimar? Shalimar! [The screen flashes back and forth between reality and illusion as Mason!Levak hurridly pulls Shalimar by the hand through the fake Sanctuary’s garage.]
Mason!Levak: They’re coming for us. Shalimar, you have to try to think. Hold onto reality. Tell me what you believe to be true, and together we can work out what’s really going on.
Levak: Think of specifics.
Mason!Levak: Do you remember how we got to Sanctuary? Do you remember the codes to get in?
Shalimar (letting go of his hand, backing away): No. [She runs away from him. Mason!Levak stares after her, sighing.]
[In the real Sanctuary, Dominic tries to tell Adam and Emma what he remembers.]
Dominic: I don’t remember much.
Emma: Do you remember where you were when you woke up?
Adam: Dominic, we think that they guy who twisted your mind is doing the same to our friend.
Emma: Look, is there anything that sticks out in your mind about where they held you, like a smell or a sound?
Dominic (walking up to Adam): I was running. And sometimes I was seeing flashes of things that weren’t the maze. But I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t by then. When I got away, I remember looking up at the building and seeing something.
Adam: Well, what? What’d you see?
Dominic: Oh, this is gonna sound strange, but I saw a lightning bolt.
Adam: A lightning bolt, all right. [He turns to Emma.] So ask Jesse to check the area around where he was picked up. [Emma leaves; Adam shakes Dominic’s hand.] Because with a detail that specific, I think that we can retrace your footsteps. Thank you.
[Seeing that Shalimar’s on the verge of hysteria, Levak tries to redirect his interrogation.]
Levak: Shalimar, calm down. Tell me what’s wrong, Shalimar! [The scene flashes back into Shalimar’s mind as she races down the fake Sanctuary’s balcony. Walking onto the platform across from her, Brennan shoots an electrical arc at her, which she barely manages to duck.]
Brennan!Levak (striding towards her): Nah, I don’t need electricity. I’ll just kill you with my bare hands.
Shalimar: Take your best shot. [She evades his flying kick and blocks his punches. Elbowing him in the stomach, she throws him over the balcony’s railing. He lands on the floor below, his neck broken. As she looks over the railing at his body, she feels someone behind her and spins around. There stands Brennan, his neck bent at a 90 degree angle.]
Brennan: You know, you can be a real pain in the neck. [Grunting, he cracks his neck back into place.]
Shalimar: No! [The screen flashes back to reality.]
Levak: Shalimar! [Breaking out of her restraints, Shalimar back-hands him, sending him reeling into the arms of one of the guards. Grabbing the other guard, Shalimar head-butts him and runs from the room, her feral eyes flashing.]
[Shalimar hides behind a wall as two guards amble down the hallway towards her.]
Shalimar (whispering to herself): This isn’t real. None of this is real. [Leaving the wall, she attacks the men, holding one up against the wall by his neck.] Who are you gonna pretend to be next, my mother? My first grade teacher? I hated that bitch! [She punches him, and he slumps to the floor. Shalimar runs out of the room.]
[Up in the Helix, Mutant X searches for Levak’s building.]
Adam: The building we’re looking for must be within this four block radius.
Jesse (looking at his computer monitor): Woah, check it out. Unless the lightning strikes twice, this could be our place, Adam. [He sends Adam a picture of the outside of MacArthur Electric, which has a lightning bolt next to its logo.]
Brennan: Getting any reading from inside?
Adam: Yes. I’m getting readings on at least five people in there. Well, whatever else is going on, this place is definitely not abandoned.
Brennan: Well, what do you say we go down there and take a look at what they’ve done with the place?
Adam (nodding): Let’s go.
[Inside MacArthur Electric, Shalimar frantically races down the hallways, desperately trying to find a way out. In her mind, she’s trapped in an endless blue maze with no doors. Entering the building, Adam turns to Emma.]
Adam: Emma, are you picking up anything?
Emma: She’s close. But she’s scared.
Brennan: Well, let’s split up, see if we can find her.
Adam: Yeah. Let’s hope we’re not too late. [He walks off with Emma. Jesse and Brennan go down the other direction.]
Brennan (hearing her footsteps but not finding Shalimar): That’s weird. Go down that corridor; I’ll check down here.
Jesse: All right. [They split up again. Looking over her shoulder as she flees down the hallway, Shalimar runs smack into Brennan.]
Brennan: Shalimar, it’s me! [Shoving him away, she punches him in the face with all her might. He staggers across the room and stares at her.] What are you doing?
Shalimar: How many times do I have to kill you for you to stay dead? [Brennan gapes at her. She swings at him, but he ducks, putting his arm around her shoulders. Shrugging him off, she grabs him around the neck, choking him. Jesse runs into the room and stops, trying to make sense of what’s going on.]
Shalimar (shoving Brennan away): Get off of me!
Jesse (catching Brennan): What are you doing?
Brennan: Shalimar, it’s us!
Shalimar (backing away, pointing at them): You’re not real! You’re not real! [She pushes through the door behind her and runs off.]
[In another part of the building, Adam and Emma walk down the hallway, talking.]
Emma: I didn’t mention this before, but it makes sense now. Ever since we got here, I’ve been getting these strong feelings of confusion and anger.
Adam: But Shalimar’s strong. Even with Ivanov’s mind control, I don’t think he’d be able to break her completely.
Levak (walking up behind them with two armed guards): Then you underestimate my power, Mr. Kane. She’s gone. But it’s a shame, really. All this time I was trying to get her to lead me to you, when it seems I had it the other way around. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, don’t you think?
Adam (scoffing): You’re sick.
Levak (smiling): Oh, to crawl inside your head. Your secrets will bring in a hefty price, Dr. Kane. [Red tendrils begin to flow from his head towards Adam.]
Emma: You first. [Shoving Adam out of the way, Emma stands in his place, receiving the psionic connection Levak intended for Adam. The screen flashes as Emma finds herself in the lab of fake Sanctuary.]
Emma (hearing footsteps behind her): Who’s there? [Levak strolls into the room.] You’re not real.
Levak: No? I’m as real as anything else in your mind, and I’m much more dangerous. You were stupid to pit your mind against mine.
Emma: Are you sure you don’t have that the other way around? [Two clones of Emma appear on either side of her.] You know you should really learn to stay out of other people’s minds.
Levak: Nice trick. I’ll pry it out of you with the rest of your secrets.
Emma (shaking her head): There are things I can do that I haven’t even shown my partners. And it really doesn’t matter that you’re gonna see. ‘Cause you’re never gonna be able to tell anybody. [Her eyes turn black as she shoots a steady psionic beam at his head. The other two Emmas do the same. Crumbling under the weight of their combined influence, Levak screams. The screen flashes back to reality just as the real Levak is propelled backwards onto the floor by a psionic blast from Emma. Emma then turns to the guard on her right and knocks him unconscious with another psionic blast; Adam takes the other guard out with some martial arts moves.]
Adam: Right. Let’s go find the others. [Brennan and Jesse are chasing after Shalimar when Adam and Emma run up to them.] Did you see her?
Brennan: Yeah, she was right in front of us. She must be down here. [They all dash down the hallway into one of the rooms.]
Emma (looking around): She’s close. [Leaping out from behind a wall, Shalimar punches Emma in the face.]
Shalimar: Should have minded your own business. [Jesse starts towards Shalimar, but she kicks him in the stomach, sending him rolling across the floor.]
Adam (smiling, reaching out to touch her arm): Shalimar. Shal--[Not impressed, she grabs him by the neck and bends him backwards. Brennan throws an electric arc at her, forcing her to release Adam. Panting, she starts to crawl away from them as fast as she can.]
Emma (kneeling beside her): It’s okay! It’s okay. [Emma holds Shalimar’s head between her hands and looks into her eyes, stroking her hair. Shalimar slowly calms under Emma’s touch.] It’s okay. It’s over. He can’t hurt you.
Shalimar (looking up at Adam): It’s really you?
Adam: Yeah. [Shalimar hugs Emma in relief. Watching them, Jesse, Adam, and Brennan nod at her reassuringly.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Adam and Emma walk out of the lab together.]
Adam: Well, thanks to you, it looks like the nightmare’s finally over. Rydell’s gonna be fine. Ivanov has been locked up in a state mental facility. I don’t think he’ll be getting into anybody else’s head very soon.
Emma (smiling): Yeah, well, with the blast I sent him, he’ll be lucky if he can ever remember his own name.
Adam: You don’t have to enjoy it so much.
Emma: Look, he was the predator, and then he was the prey. He doesn’t deserve any sympathy. If that makes me cruel, then so be it. [He frowns at her. She quickly changes the subject.] So how’s Shalimar holding up?
Adam: Well, physically, she’s normal. Psychologically, you know Shalimar, she says she’s fine.
Emma: Well, she’s never been one to let her guard down. I’m sure now more than ever.
Adam: Yeah, well, it’s gonna take some time for these scars to heal.
Emma: No, they’re not gonna heal. She’s just gonna learn to deal with it. [She stalks off. Adam looks after her, disturbed.]
[Down the hallway, Shalimar heads towards the exit. Brennan comes out of his room.]
Brennan: Off on another solo rendezvous into the night?
Shalimar (stopping, turning to look at him): Something like that.
Brennan: Well, I don’t have to be a telempath to get inside your head.
Shalimar (coming back in): Really? Tell me.
Brennan (walking up to her): Well, we all know you’ve got a wild side, right? That’s what we all love about you. Just seems like lately it’s gotten a whole lot wilder.
Shalimar: I guess. Can you deal with that?
Brennan: Well, like you said, I guess I don’t have much of a choice, do I? [She turns back to the door.] Don’t forget where home is.
Shalimar (smiling at him): I won’t forget. [She walks out.]