High-school student Tony Reed drives into a wooded area of
Pittsfield, Virginia passing "No Trespassing" signs along the way. It
is late at night and he is spooked by the eerie quietness of the
woods. He meets up with two other teenagers, Max Harden and
girlfriend, Chastity Raines. Chastity is hesitant about letting Tony in
on their secret, but Max makes Tony swear never to reveal anything
about what he sees in the forest. Lights glaring from a police car
interrupt the conversation, but when Max turns around, both Max and
Chastity have vanished. Deputy Foster questions Tony about being
on private property and goes to his car radio. Suddenly, Tony hears a
sickening thud. The officer's flashlight falls to the ground and Tony
picks it up. It is covered with blood. Tony looks in the police car:
Foster has been brutally murdered.
The next morning Scully meets Mulder in the hospital where he
shows her the body of the deputy. One blow of the flashlight was
enough to drive the deputy's eyeglasses through the back of his
skull. They meet with Sheriff Harden, who is convinced that the
fingerprints on the flashlight link Tony to the crime. Mulder and Scully
try to get answers from Tony, but he denies any knowledge of the
murder. The partners suspect that Tony is innocent, but while Mulder
thinks that a spiritual force caused the violent act, Scully is more
inclined to believe that Tony is covering for some friends.
Back at the high school, Max strolls into science class with one
minute left to take an exam. The teacher, Mr. Babbitt, is surprised
when Max instantly finishes the exam with all correct answers.
Mulder and Scully approach Chastity after class and ask her what
she knows about Tony. They remind her that Tony could spend the
rest of his life in jail. Before she can speak, Max intercedes -- Mulder
notes that Max is Sheriff Harden's son. Scully's cell phone rings with
news that the murder weapon has disappeared. The agents review
the security tape at the sheriff's office and Mulder notices a blurred
image over the evidence room's locker in one video frame. They
consult with paranormal expert Chuck Burks and determine that the
image is a solid object and that the color of the blur matches the high
school colors: purple and gold.
Tony is released from jail and his mother scolds him for hanging out
with the wrong crowd. He sneaks out of his house with Max for a
joyride in a stolen car. Max commends him for keeping his mouth
shut, then crashes the car into a tree. Tony is shocked to discover
not only is unharmed, but has somehow been plucked from the car
before the wreck. Max stands next to him on the road, also
untouched. Max tells Tony that he too will become "one of us."
The next day, Mr. Babbitt flunks Max for "cheating" on his science
exam. Max storms out of the classroom. Tony tells Chastity that he
wants out, but she reluctantly says that it's too late. At lunch, Mr.
Babbitt gets pinned to the school cafeteria wall by a table that has
apparently moved on its own. Tony, horrified, suspects something
when he notices Max quickly disappear from the room. Then a chair
flies into Babbitt, crushing him. Although eyewitnesses saw no one
near Babbitt, Mulder's theory is that Max used some paranormal
ability to exert force without touching the victim. Max, however, was
brought to the hospital when he collapsed from exhaustion. They
question Max, whose defiant attitude sparks doubt in Sheriff Harden's
mind about his son's innocence. Mulder thinks that Max feels a rush
from causing these murders. Scully reviews Max's medical charts
and sees that he is suffering from some kind of withdrawal, but also
exhibits signs of physical damage that might be found in a football
player or race car driver.
Tony secretly follows Chastity into the woods, watching as she
sneaks through a seam in a boulder. As he steps inside, he sees a
cave, but no Chastity. Suddenly his body starts to spasm and he
discovers the "rush" that allows Max and Chastity to move faster
than the eye can see. Meanwhile, Chastity uses her speed to help
Max escape from the hospital unseen. She takes him back to the
cave to get another dose of the "rush" and is surprised to find Tony
there. He too has become addicted to the rush, but wants to warn
the police about Max's crime spree. Chastity warily tells him that
Max is out of the hospital.
Sheriff Harden searches his son's room, finding the missing flashlight
taken from the sheriff's evidence room. Max instantly appears and
admits to killing Deputy Foster. Moving inhumanly fast, he begins to
pummel his father and is about to kill him with the same flashlight,
when Tony, using the "rush" himself, suddenly arrives to intervene.
The sheriff is brought to the hospital, and Mulder and Scully deduce
that someone else prevented Max from murdering again. Chastity
and Tony, fearing Max will kill them, try to beat him back to the cave.
But he is already there when they arrive. Tony and Max struggle, and
Chastity kills Max by shooting him in the back. As the bullet exits
Max's body, Chastity tells Tony that she can't go on living without the
rush and walks around Max to stand in front of him -- allowing the
bullet to hit her in the chest. Mulder and Scully arrive at the cave to
find Tony holding Chastity's body and Max lying nearby.
Back at the hospital, Mulder reports that nothing was found in the
cave to produce a physiological effect, and that the cave was sealed
with concrete. He suggests to Scully that perhaps the cave only
affected teenagers because of their physical and chemical difference
from adults. The agents look in at a recovering Tony. He stares at the
clock advancing slowly, knowing he will forever be trapped in a world
at normal, slow speed.