XFC: Millennium

At a memorial service in Tallahassee, Florida, a widow complains
that her husband, Raymond Crouch, left no suicide note. She is
greeted by Mark Johnson who tells her that he worked with the
deceased. As the mourners file out of the funeral parlor, Johnson
sneaks out from the shadows. He begins to undress the corpse and
recites a passage from the Bible over and over like a mantra.
Johnson switches on a cell phone and places it in the hand of the
deceased, positioning the man's thumb over the "talk" button. Eight
days later, on December 29, 1999. Johnson waits outside a
cemetery. The rain splashes on his truck as he stares out at a
freshly-laid gravesite. A cell phone on his dashboard chirps and,
without answering it, Johnson pulls out a shovel and heads toward
the tombstone.

The next day, Mulder and Scully are at the crime scene, examining
the now dug up grave. The body of Raymond Crouch is gone. Scully
notes the shredded lining inside the empty casket and comments
that it looks like someone was trying to get out. Mulder confirms this
by pointing out that the fingerprints around the grave are from the
deceased Crouch. Scully concludes that the evidence is faked and
that this is a grave robbery, but both are intrigued by an arc of dried
blood on the nearby grass. Mulder and Scully join a briefing on the
case led by A.D. Skinner. Other agents report that there are no
motives for Crouch' suicide or the grave robbery. Mulder chimes in
that this is a case of necromancy -- the summoning of the dead. He
describes the arc of blood as part of a magic circle drawn to protect
the necromancer from the conjured spirits: Mulder also believes that
the necromancer may have donned the dead man's clothes as a
means of creating a bond with the deceased. Oddly, Skinner is
content with Mulder's theory and dismisses the other agents. He
shows Mulder and Scully the files of three other men, all former FBI
agents like Crouch, who were also recently exhumed after
committing suicide. Skinner thinks these men were all members of
the Millennium Group, a consulting organization of former FBI agents
with a prophesy centered around the coming millennium. He tells the
pair to keep a low profile as they investigate this Millennium Group.

Mulder and Scully's first stop is a psychiatric hospital to meet Frank
Black, the criminal profiler who was once a consultant for the
Millennium Group. Frank had apparently checked himself into the
hospital for observation. The agents ask him about the Millennium
Group, but Frank gives no assistance and quietly focuses on a
television football game. He refers to the TV, claiming the game is at
first and eighteen. Mulder corrects him and says it is actually third
and ten. But Frank does not answer. Frustrated, Mulder and Scully
leave him.

Mark Johnson, still repeating his burial mantra, drives north with the
body. He pulls over to fix a flat tire in Maryland and a sheriff stops to
help him. The deputy is suspicious of the smell emanating from
Johnson's car and opens the door. As the deputy examines the
vehicle, Johnson strangely makes a circle of salt around his own feet
and repeats his prayer. The deputy opens the back of the van and is
horrified at what he sees: the corpse of Raymond Crouch. But
Crouch is not dead and rises from the van to attack the deputy.
Johnson closes his eyes to the struggle.

The next morning Scully and Mulder investigate the crime scene.
Local police found the body of the deputy carefully buried. Stuffed in
his mouth is salt and a message with a Biblical passage from the
Book of Revelation -- Chapter one, verse eighteen. Mulder makes the
connection. He returns to the psychiatric hospital with Scully and
asks Frank Black why, after not wanting to be involved, did he drop
the hint about first and eighteen. Frank admits that he is trying to
regain custody of his daughter and wants to separate himself from
his past work. He reluctantly agrees to help them, explaining that a
schism of the Millennium Group believed they could bring about the
end of the world by killing themselves before the dawn of the new
millennium. Frank profiles the necromancer as a solitary man
comfortable with death. He theorizes that the note and the salt were
placed in the deputy's mouth to prevent the deputy from rising up
from the dead. Frank believes that the necromancer will return to the
body when he hears that the deputy has been found. Scully heads for
the morgue to intercept the necromancer. Using Frank's profile,
Mulder goes on his own search for Johnson.

The coroner is busy removing the salt and does not hear Scully's
repeated calls. When Scully arrives, the coroner is nearly dead. She
sees Mark Johnson and raises her gun, but she is stunned to see
the dead deputy lurching toward her. Although she fires three rounds
to his chest, he keeps moving and attacks her. Scully's gun is
knocked aside. Skinner arrives later, and is relieved to see Scully
with only scratches on her neck. She is unsure how to explain what
has happened, but says that the necromancer saved her by using her
gun to shoot the deputy in the head.

Meanwhile, Mulder pulls up before a house in Maryland. He is going
down a list fitting Frank's description, and Mark Johnson is the last
name on the list. Mulder notices an empty bag of kosher salt in the
garbage can. He pockets a handful of salt and climbs the fence,
searching the house. A basement door is latched with huge wood
beams. He opens it and heads down the steps into the darkness. At
first he doesn't see the bodies climbing out of the ground, but when
four undead creatures surround him, he makes a break up the stairs.
As he reaches the door, Johnson appears and slams it shut. Mulder
is trapped in the necromancer's basement surrounded by zombies.

Back at the hospital, Scully pleads with Frank for help finding the
missing Mulder. She recounts her earlier attack by the resurrected
deputy at the morgue and asks Frank if he believes that the Group is
capable of bringing about Armageddon. Again, Frank is silent. But
after she leaves, Frank checks himself out of the hospital and goes
to Johnson's house. Johnson is happy to see Frank because Mulder
has killed one of the zombies and Johnson needs a fourth member.
Frank says that he did not believe Johnson could resurrect the dead,
but came when he heard the necromancy had succeeded. The clock
strikes 10:13 when Johnson loads a five-shot revolver and begins
reciting the familiar burial rite. Frank completes the passage and
takes the gun. But instead of pointing it at his own head for the
suicide pact, Frank turns the weapon on Johnson. Meanwhile, Scully
receives a call from Skinner in her car. They have traced calls from
Frank and the other Group members to an address in Maryland.
Meanwhile, Frank ties up Johnson and opens up the basement door.
He calls out to Mulder, who is standing in a small circle of salt.
Although his arm is bleeding, Mulder is protected by the circle. He
tells Frank to aim for their heads because it's the only way to stop
the zombies. Frank lights a flare and searches the basement. One of
the zombies charges and Frank kills it with a head shot. Another
zombie rises, grabs Frank and takes him down. They struggle until
Mulder grabs the revolver and shoots the creature in the temple.
Mulder reaches to help Frank when the last surviving zombie starts to
lunge toward them. Mulder raises the gun, but it just clicks empty.
The creature falls, shot from behind by Scully who has appeared at
the top of the stairs.

With only minutes before midnight, Frank sits alone in a waiting room
watching Dick Clark on television as he celebrates the new
millennium in Times Square. Scully enters to tell him that Mark
Johnson has been taken for psychiatric evaluation. But she smiles
and informs him that he has a visitor: his daughter Jordan, who leaps
into her father's arms. Mulder comes in with one arm in a sling, but
Frank and his daughter leave with only moments before midnight. The
agents stay to see the ball drop on television and blankly stare at the
revelers kissing in Times Square. Mulder looks over at Scully and
she catches his glance. He leans in to kiss her, and it lasts a bit
longer than a kiss between two friends. Their lips part and they both
smile. "The world didn't end," Mulder mumbles. "No, it didn't," she
replies. And the two partners head down the hall to begin the new

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