Virtual Season Two
  • Blood and Thoughtstalking
  • Psychodiagnostiks
  • 360 Maple Grove
  • Oestrus
  • Game Over
  • The Loyal Ones
  • Hypnagogia
  • Electioneering
  • Dreamscape
  • Callipso
  • Teporingo
  • The Jade Monkey Project
  • Bitter Revenge
  • Red Tide
  • Chi
  • Human Nature
  • Asthenopia
  • Ley of the Land
  • Everything To Live For
  • Warden
  • Grimm
  • A Piori

    Back Home

    Rate this episode!

    NOTE: Please vote after you have finished reading the episode, as voting will redirect you to a new page.
    CURRENT RANKING: ____ 2X16 is the ___ most popular episode this season.

    (REVIEWER'S NAME) gave this episode a ?/? rating.
    Read the review!

  • 2X16

    Human Nature

    11:45 PM

    He sat in relative darkness, with only the window moonlight giving him a way to see. He had been sitting in the chair for over an hour, waiting for the person he came to see. He knew he wasn't welcome in the house, but he hadn't broken in. He had been given a key. He heard a car pull into the garage, and smiled at the knowledge of what would happen next. He looked beside him, for on the nightstand were two pistols.

    The door to the bedroom opened, and the lady of the house flicked on the light. She walked in, at first not noticing the main waiting in the room. She looked up, and was taken aback at his presence.

    "What the hell are you doing here?!" she screamed in a thick English accent. Her shock had been overcome by anger. The man simply sat, and smiled.

    "Get out of my house!" she screamed, getting angrier by the second. Suddenly, she stopped cold and her head snapped back. She was calm in a matter of moments, and slowly walked over to the chair where he sat. She leaned over and kissed him passionately, and then straddled him and removed her blouse.

    "I missed you so much," she told him as she started to remove her bra. At that moment, the lady's husband entered the room.

    "What the bloody hell is going on here?!?" he demanded, shocked to see his wife half-naked on top of a strange man.

    The man said nothing. He stared at the husband, with his piercing eyes that almost seemed to glow an eerie light. He then looked up at the lady, stared for a moment, and then looked to his side at the guns on the night table.

    Suddenly, the husband and wife both flew into a blind rage. The woman shot off of the man's lap and grabbed a gun. She turned it on her husband, seeing that he had also grabbed one. They put their guns to each other's chest area and pulled the triggers simultaneously.

    The couple fell to the bedroom floor, dead by their own hands. The man, who still sat in the same chair, smiled again.

    11:21 AM

    Scully sat at the desk, reviewing her notes from the day before. She and her partner had just returned from an assignment, and she was finishing up her closing report.

    One more case involving dreams that kill people and I swear... she thought to herself.

    Engrossed in thought, she didn't even hear the knock on the office door. A moment later, the sound of a woman clearing her throat brought her screeching back to reality. She looked up in surprise and was caught off guard by who was standing in the doorway: Phoebe Greene, Inspector for Scotland Yard.

    "Am I interrupting anything, Agent Scully?" Greene asked. It had been about seven years since she had last been at FBI Headquarters, asking for assistance with an arson case that had trickled over from England. She had been Mulder's flame during his years at Oxford, a flame that had burned him rather badly. Mulder had apparently come to terms with her, but Scully had always believed that Phoebe held a place in his heart that she didn't deserve to hold.

    "Not at all," Scully responded after the surprise had set in.

    "I'm looking for Agent Mulder," Phoebe said without a beat.

    "I haven't seen him all morning," Scully replied, "I believe he's working on a case. What's brought you all the way across the pond, Inspector Greene?"

    "A case that has baffled Scotland Yard," Greene responded. She walked into the office and sat down in front of the desk. She handed Scully a file folder and began to explain.

    "The man and woman in the photos were quite a wealthy English couple. They were found dead about a week ago, apparently victims of a reciprocal homicide. They had no reason to kill each other, as they had died only hours after returning from a party where they were viewed as quite the happy pair."

    At this moment, Mulder entered the office. He stopped cold, his composure obviously shaken at the site of Greene sitting in his office. "I heard the voice, but I still can't believe it's you." he finally said.

    "So you heard me explaining the details to Agent Scully?" she replied.

    "Yes, I did. And a similar event happened on this side of the Atlantic, actually. I just got a report of a scenario in a New York City subway where two women that were, for all accounts, strangers who ended up shooting each other dead."

    "Well, if the cases are indeed connected, I have a suspect for you. His name is Jackson Durden, an American. The handguns used by Mr. and Mrs. Palson were registered in his name," Phoebe detailed. "Durden had been involved in a case where a bank teller stole several thousand dollars from her work place, intending to give the money to him. She was caught while attempting the robbery, but gave us Durden's name while professing her love for the man; even though, by her own account, she had only met him once. Durden had been apprehended, but somehow escaped custody a few days later."

    "...and you believe that he's returned to the US," Scully finished.

    "Precisly," Phoebe replied. "And, push comes to shove, I would say that he's responsible for the women in New York."

    "So you're asking for our help?" Mulder asked.

    "I figured that you would be the best person to come to, under the circumstances."

    Mulder, still standing in the doorway, simply shrugged and cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, Inspector, but Agent Scully and I are already involved in an investigation. You'll have to rely on the New York City Police Department for any assistance."

    Phoebe sat in shock, disbelieving that Mulder was refusing her request for help. After a moment, she stood from the chair and walked past him without saying a word.

    "That must have hurt," Mulder replied with a smirk, "she doesn't like taking 'no' for an answer."

    "Mulder," Scully said after a pause, "I think we should help her out."


    "Mulder, I think we should follow this case for one reason: you. You need closure on this, on her. This may be your last chance to do so."

    "I don't need to confront my feelings about her Scully. Even if I did, I know I'd only get burned yet again."

    "Go through the motions, Mulder." Scully said while returning to her report. "Go through the motions."

    3:59 PM

    Larry Alexander was a cab driver. He had heard every curse, bad name, and insult in the book. But, he had grown numb to it all. Driving a cab for fourteen years in New York City would do that anyone. He pulled over to the street corner and reset his meter for his next fare.

    The back door opened, and Jackson Durden entered the cab. "Times Square," he said quietly.

    "You got it, pal," Larry replied.

    About fifteen minutes into the ride, Larry saw a car enter his blindspot. Suddenly, the car rushed past the cab and swerved in front of him, cutting Larry off.

    "Son of a bitch!" Larry exclaimed.

    Durden sat forward in the seat and tapped on the glass that separated the front from the back. "Don't worry, buddy." Durden said, "That guy will get what's coming to him."

    Durden pointed to the car with his finger, making sure that Larry was watching with every bit of his concentration. They could see the driver of the car, who suddenly began to cry hysterically. The driver slammed on the gas and raced into oncoming traffic, colliding head on with a semi truck.

    "What the hell?" Larry asked with shock. He turned to look at Durden, who had returned to his sitting position in the back.

    "You owe me one," Durden said with a smile.

    7:30 PM

    "Why am I not surprised to see you still down here this late?" Phoebe asked as she walked into Mulder's office. He was still working, even though many of his fellow agents had already went home for the night. "Where is Agent Scully?"

    "She's already gone home," Mulder replied. "I've changed my mind, about your case, and we'll help with the investigation."

    "Excellent," Phoebe replied.

    "But," Mulder interjected, "Agent Scully will be the primary Agent for our duration in New York. All decisions and interactions with the FBI will be made by her."

    "Fine, if that's the way you want it," Phoebe said quietly. An uncomfortable silence fell between them, broken finally by Phoebe. "So I take it you still hold a resentment toward me?"

    "Now what would make you say that?" Mulder replied with a balanced hint of sincerity and sarcasm.


    "Look, everything that happened between us in the past is exactly that: in the past. Let's not talk about this."

    "To be continued, then," Phoebe said, "We should get some rest, our plane leaves at 8:00 tomorrow morning. I took the luxury of getting you and Scully plane tickets."

    Mulder sighed as Phoebe walked out the office, smiling all the way.

    10:12 AM, THE NEXT DAY

    "The two women killed each other," Detective Joseph Singer stated, "That I am sure of."

    "And we're not arguing that fact, Detective" Scully replied. She turned to look at Mulder and Greene, who decided to take over the briefing.

    "What Agent Scully is trying to say is that another individual may have been involved, and in fact been the cause of the two women’s' deaths," Mulder said to Singer.

    "And who would that person be?" Singer asked with a hint of disbelief.

    "This man," Greene responded, shoving a picture in his face, "His name is Jackson Durden, and is suspected of several identical deaths in London."

    "Well, I've never heard anything about him on the street, but I'll put an APB out on him as soon as I get the chance." Singer then turned and walked away, disgruntled as he could be.

    "So how long do you think 'as soon as I get the chance' will take?" Mulder asked flippantly.

    "Mulder, stay here and make sure Detective Singer does his job," Scully commanded.

    "Where are you two going?" he asked.

    "Inspector Greene and I are going to check out the subway platform where the women were found," she stated as she began to walk away. Phoebe looked at Mulder, who simply nodded for her to follow Scully.

    "The point of contact appears to be marked at these two places, evidently showing where the two women were standing," Scully stated as she knelt down on the subway platform. Phoebe stood behind her, only half-paying attention.

    Scully turned around and noticed Greene staring into space, lost in her own thought. A small scowl formed on the agent's face.

    "Inspector," she stated loudly, "if this case is losing your interest this fast then I suggest you leave the work to me and Agent Mulder."

    "Scully," Phoebe responded, "do you resent me because of my history with Mulder?"

    "I resent what you did to him, yes," Scully replied, "But not enough to affect any judgement while working with you."

    “I would hope not,” Phoebe muttered to herself.

    As the two women talked amongst themselves, another figure stood in the darkness. Durden looked at his watch, and then back at the agents. He hadn’t expected them this early, things were moving faster than expected. Guess I’ll just have to improvise, he thought to himself as he raised a small camera and clicked the shutter.

    Mulder sifted through police files, attempting to find any obscure information on the subway killings that Detective Singer might have missed. He studied the pictures intently, absorbing himself in the essence of the incident. The reports flew past his eyes with the contained facts stored securely in his memory.

    “Find anything interesting, Agent?” Singer asked as he leaned against the doorframe.

    “Actually,” Mulder replied with a smirk, “I think I have.” He tossed Singer one of the reports, which had several sections that he had underlined. “Neither woman was in possession of their identification when the bodies were found.”

    “So?” Singer remarked with a slightly unenthusiastic attitude, “We assumed that they were stolen by someone on the subway after death occurred.”

    “Looks like you need to do your homework,” Mulder said as he tossed another report to him. “According to these, both women had reported stolen purses the day before. I don’t think that was a coincidence; these women were chosen by Durden.”

    “What?” Singer asked with a tone of surprise.

    “According to Durden’s file from Scotland Yard, he had been arrested once before on a separate charge of pick pocketing a few years before.”

    “So why the hell would this guy steal their ID’s?”

    “I think he’s living at their apartments,” Mulder stated, “at least one if not both. He’s got their addresses, keys, and knowledge of their routines. He could have easily avoided any officers that checked the homes.”

    “Kind of a stretch, don’t you think?”

    “We won’t know until we check, will we?” Mulder asked as he stood up and put on his coat.

    The door to Victoria Paltro’s home opened with a turn of a key, allowing Mulder and Singer access to the apartment. Mulder pulled out his gun and motioned for the landlord to go downstairs.

    The two men entered and sweeped the small collection of rooms, finding no one there. Mulder pointed at the living room, which showed obvious signs that someone had been staying there recently. Pizza boxes and melted cups of ice and soda littered the tables, showing that even psychotic killers easily succumbed to fast food.

    “Paltro was a non-smoker,” Singer stated as he observed the full ashtray on the coffee table.

    “Singer, take a look at this,” Mulder yelled from the bedroom. Singer walked in to find several file folders strung out on the bed. Mulder lifted one of the pictures up to show the detective.

    “That’s one of your partners, right?” Singer asked. Mulder nodded as he laid the picture of Phoebe back down on the bed.

    “Mulder, what does this mean?” Phoebe asked in stunned silence.

    “It means that he knows about you, and that he knows you’re here,” Mulder replied. He had called the two women immediately after leaving the apartment, telling them to meet him at the police station.

    “Care to tell us why he’s so interested in you, Phoebe?” Scully asked, speaking up for the first time since they had returned from the Subway.

    Phoebe let out a sigh and sat down in a chair, “I’m the one who first apprehended Durden in London.”

    “So they sent you to America to retrieve him?” Mulder asked in exasperation. “What were they thinking?”

    “I volunteered, Mulder,” Phoebe responded coldly.

    “Phoebe, it’s obvious from the photos I found that Durden is watching you, probably holding you responsible for his arrest. Listen, Scully and I are going to the second woman’s apartment…”

    “You and Scully…” Phoebe said softly.

    “That’s right, you’re staying here. I’m not giving this maniac the chance to reach you. Come on, Scully,” Mulder said as he turned away and headed for the door.

    “I can take care of myself!” Phoebe said in frustration. Scully simply looked at her and nodded her head before she followed her partner out the door.


    “Looks like nobody’s home, Scully,” Mulder stated as they walked through the second victim’s apartment. The telltale signs were the same as Paltro’s home, evidence of a smoker was high.

    “Mulder…” Scully said in quiet surprise, “Look at this.”

    Mulder walked through to the bedroom and saw Scully flipping through photos. “More of Phoebe?” he asked.

    “These were taken today!” Scully exclaimed as Mulder picked up a picture of the two female investigators emerging from the Subway platform.

    “How could he have been so close?” Mulder asked.

    “He couldn’t use a flash in the Subway without giving himself away, but he was there. You were right, he’s stalking Phoebe.”

    “I think I need to have a little chat with Inspector Greene,” Mulder stated as he put the photo in an evidence bag.

    5:35 PM

    Mulder led Phoebe into an interrogation room, hoping to get some answers that he felt were needed to be told. He felt bad because of the room, but it was the only place they could go where privacy was provided.

    “Phoebe,” Mulder said softly as he sat down in the chair across the table from her, “How did Jackson Durden escape?”

    “I don’t know,” Phoebe asked with her defenses fully erect, “I told you that already. Why are you treating me like I know more than I’m telling?”

    “Because you are…” Mulder stated matter-of-factly. “How does Durden do what he does? How does he cause people to kill themselves? I’ve encountered this before, is it a type of hypnosis or mind control?”

    “Do you really want to hear my theory?”

    “Of course,” Mulder replied.

    “I believe that Jackson Durden possesses the ability to affect and/or control the emotions of those around him. Whatever emotion he has at the time, well the people around him have them as well. Kind of projecting your sub-conscious, I suppose.”

    “And they call me Spooky,” Mulder said with a laugh.

    “I don’t know how he could have this power, or why. I can’t explain it, it’s just a hunch,”

    “Well, I agree with you,” Mulder responded sincerely.

    “Just so you know, Fox, I refuse to sit in this police station any longer. I’m not a prisoner, yet that’s what I feel like. I came to apprehend Durden, and that’s what I intend to do.”

    “Okay, if that’s what you want. Find Agent Scully, we need to watch the two apartments in case Durden returns. It’s not likely to happen, but it’s the only lead we have right now. Detective Singer and myself are going to Paltro’s, you two go to Hooper’s.”

    “Mulder,” Phoebe asked as Mulder stood from the desk, “Thank you for believing me.”

    “No problem,” Mulder replied with a smile.

    “Where is Detective Singer?” Mulder asked one of the other officers walking through the offices. A shrug was his only reply, infuriating the agent even more. Scully and Greene had left almost twenty minutes ago, yet Mulder had been stuck at the precinct. He sat down at Singer’s desk and began to look through the case’s file, hoping to find a revelation that had previously evaded him.

    The Palson couple, Hooper, Paltro…they can’t all be random victims, Mulder thought to himself.


    Scully and Phoebe sat in silence as they watched Paltro’s apartment from a building across the street. The air of discomfort was affecting them both, as they realized that they really didn’t like each other very much after all.

    “So…” Scully finally said. Phoebe looked at her with disinterest, obviously not wanting to talk about anything. Suddenly, a knock came from the door, making Scully jump. She raised up and walked to the door, assuming that Mulder had come to update them.

    “Mulder, I’m glad you’re…” she said as she opened the door. However, Mulder was not standing on the other side, but rather the grinning face of Jackson Durden.

    “Phoebe! He’s here!” Scully yelled as she pulled her gun from its holster. But before she could get it in position, she was struck from behind with a blunt object. As she fell to the floor, she could feel herself blacking out. Fading out of consciousness, she looked up to see Phoebe standing above her.

    “She almost had me,” Durden said with a chuckle. Phoebe glared at him, but then replied with a smile of her own.


    “Dammit, Scully,” Mulder muttered to himself as he hung up his cell phone, “Where are you?”

    He put the phone back into his pocket and headed for the door, deciding that Scully should have answered her phone long ago. As he reached the front doors, he bumped shoulders with a small man that nearly knocked the agent over.

    “Excuse me! Asshole,” Mulder said as regained his balance. The man didn’t turn around, instead proceeding forward toward the elevator.

    The elevator opened up to the homicide unit and Larry Alexander stepped out. He staggered around the offices, paying no mind to the stares he was receiving from the staff. Finally, Detective Singer walked up and put out his hand in a stopping motion.

    “Hey buddy,” Singer said with a snarl, “You can’t be here.”

    “I owe him one,” Larry muttered as he flung open his jacket, exposing a crude bomb strapped to his chest. Singer had time to scream before the explosion engulfed the room.

    Mulder put the key in the rental car door, lost in thought. Suddenly, the ground shook and he looked up to see the police building explode in a hail of glass and fire. He stood in shock, not believing what he had just witnessed. Papers fluttered through the air as smoke billowed up to blacken the sky. He snapped back into attention, realizing that his cell phone was ringing.

    "Hello?" he answered quietly, still astonished at the devastation in front of him.

    “Mulder, it’s Phoebe,” she stated.

    “Phoebe! I’ve been trying to reach Scully for the past hour. What’s going on?”

    “Durden’s returned to Paltro’s apartment, I’m watching him right now. But, I can’t reach Agent Scully either. She went out for coffee and never came back.”

    “Damn! I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

    Phoebe clicked the center button on the cell phone and tossed it to Durden. Durden caught it and put it back in his pocket, taking a glance at the unconscious Scully that had been tied up and thrown into a corner of the room.

    “Is he coming?” Durden asked.

    “Just remember our deal, Durden,” Phoebe replied sharply, “Mulder is mine.”


    Mulder opened the door to the stakeout without knocking, hoping that Scully would be inside waiting on him. He was not disappointed upon his arrival, even if she was lying in a cold heap on the floor. He pulled his gun out and turned to see Jackson Durden sitting in the dark.

    “I was beginning to wonder if you were going to be here, Agent Mulder. Your partner’s been collecting dust over there for a while now.” Durden stated with a dead demeanor.

    “Put your hands where I can see them!” Mulder shouted. “Where is Inspector Greene?”

    “Right behind you,” Phoebe said as she pulled back the hammer of her pistol right behind Mulder’s head.

    “Phoebe, what the hell are you doing? Get that gun off of me!” Mulder said in surprise.

    “She can’t do it, Secret Agent Man,” Durden yelled, “So I suggest you drop that gun.”

    Mulder reluctantly dropped his gun to the floor, staring at Durden the entire time. “So I take it Greene’s theory was right, you can control the emotions of others.”

    “You could say that, but not in Missy Greene’s case. You see, I didn’t exactly escape from custody over in London.”

    “We made a little deal,” Phoebe said, finishing Durden’s sentence.

    “You let him go…” Mulder said slowly, “But why?”

    “We both had bridges burning from the past, Agent Man,” Durden responded, “both left emotionally numb, for lack of a better word. That’s how I do what I do. Pain has numbed me, but imagine my delight at being able to play with the minds of others.”

    “I’m a little slow, sorry. I still have no idea what you’re alluding to.”

    “Then watch and learn,” Durden replied as he wiggled his fingers at Mulder. The agent suddenly felt different, as if all sense of danger was leaving him. All he could focus on was Phoebe, who had lowered her gun to her side. She smiled as she pulled him closer to her, embracing him in a passionate kiss.

    Unknown to the others, however, Scully was regaining her consciousness. She opened her eyes to see Mulder and Phoebe embracing each other, with Durden watching on. She fought silently against her bonds, freeing her wrists completely. She reached to the table beside her, where Durden’s gun lay, but was caught unaware by Durden suddenly standing up and kicking her in the stomach.

    Mulder noticed this from the corner of his eye, and found his passion switched to rage. He threw Phoebe to the floor and grabbed his gun from the floor. He spun around to find himself at a stand off with Durden, who had grabbed the gun from the table.

    “You blew up the entire police station, Durden,” Mulder said between clenched teeth, “For what possible reason?”

    “To kill you, you moron!” Durden yelled back, “But more importantly, because I could!”

    “You’re a monster,” Mulder stated.

    “I’m only what I was made to be. I was abandoned by everyone I loved, my emotions were bottled up and repressed to the point where I didn’t have them anymore! Everything I feel is amplified to the people around me, just like my anger is fueling you right now.”

    Suddenly, a gunshot rang out. Durden fell over with blood gushing from his chest, leaving Mulder to look behind him. Phoebe stood with her gun smoking.

    “I did it for you,” she said as she dropped the gun to the floor.


    Scully sat in the office and listened to the audio cassette that contained Mulder’s interview of Phoebe. She typed random notes, transcribing the discussion she had just now become privy to.

    “Phoebe, why did you help Jackson Durden escape from custody?”

    “Because he offered to help me. He could see inside my soul, deeper than anyone else ever could before.”

    “What were the terms of your agreement?”

    “If I let him seek revenge on his ex-girlfriend, Angela Palson, then he would help me get the love of my life. I had seen his power, I knew he could do it.”

    “How did you know?”

    “I wanted you, Mulder. The one person I could never confront my feelings about. It was the only way I could think of, even though I honestly hadn’t thought of you in a long time.”

    “Phoebe, why did you shoot Durden?”

    “He killed all those police officers, he tried to kill you! I stopped trusting him. He went back on his side of the deal, I drove you away.”

    Scully switched the tape player off and sat back in her chair. She let out a sigh of exhaustion as she wrapped up the case report, which stated at the end that Jackson Durden had died on the way to the hospital and Inspector Phoebe Greene had been sent back to London for arraignment.