The X-Files movie begins a long, long time ago, in 35,000
 b.c., when much of the earth was covered in ice and snow.
 Two figures, primitive men, walk through the cold, windswept
 landscape. They are following the trail left by a mysterious
 creature. Three-toed tracks lead the hunters to the inside of
 an ice cave. 

 The creature is an alien--tall and thin, black-eyed and
 hairless, with only tiny slits for a nose and mouth. But the
 alien has razor-sharp teeth and long claws on his hands and
 feet that extend when it attacks. Suddenly the alien lashes
 out and fiercely attacks one of the men. One dies in the
 battle. The second primitive struggles and finally kills the
 alien. But then we see a scary black oil ooze out of the dead
 alien's body. It seeps into cracks on the floor and wall. The
 black oil seems to be alive! It creeps slowly toward the
 surviving primitive's chest, mouth, and eyes. Without warning,
 a boy plunges through the roof of the cave. The movie has cut
 to the present, to Blackwood, Texas, an area outside of
 Dallas. A group of boys have been playing at the same cave
 we saw in the first scene. But now, thirty-five thousand years
 later, the ice and snow have melted away. Instead, the cave
 is rocky, and in the middle of empty desert land. The boys,
 trying to build a fort, have dug a hole in the hard desert
 ground right above the cave. One of the boys--Stevie (Lucas
 Black)--digs too deep and suddenly falls through a hole in the
 earth. He falls so hard the wind is knocked out of him, but he
 is okay. Exploring the cave, Stevie discovers a human skull
 and excitedly tells his friends there are lots of bones in the
 cave. Suddenly, from a crack in the cave floor comes the
 same gooey, black substance that seeped into the floor
 thirty-five thousand years earlier. The black oil slowly inches
 toward the boy. It creeps onto his shoe, crawls under his
 skin, and moves through his body until even hhh his eyes
 turn black and oily. Terrified by what has just happened to
 their friend, the boys run for help. Stevie stands frozen within
 the cave. The creeping alien oil has paralyzed him. 

 Suddenly the air is filled with sirens. Soon, there are fire
 trucks everywhere. Two firemen quickly climb down into the
 cave to rescue Stevie. Mysteriously, they don't come back.
 Two more firemen are sent in--and disappear, too. The bodies
 of all four men have been invaded and infected by the alien
 oil. The local fire captain is concerned when no one returns
 from the cave. Now the fire department has to rescue five
 people instead of one. Just then, a helicopter swoops down
 for a landing. Dr. Ben Bronschweig (Jeffrey DeMunn) gets
 out. He has brought along a mysterious "hazardous
 materials" team. The team has seen dangerous substances
 like the black oil before. They carefully and quickly carry
 Stevie's paralyzed body away. The rest of his team begin
 setting up tents and other equipment at the site. What the
 local firefighters do not know is that Dr. Bronschweig reports
 to a secret organization known as "the syndicate." This cave
 has become an important part of the undercover "project" the
 syndicate is working on. Dr. Bronschweig will set up a
 laboratory here to observe one of the infected firemen. 

 The movie action cuts to a government building one week
 later. Someone has planted a bomb here. FBI agents must
 hurry to find the bomb before it goes off. The FBI has cleared
 out all of the people who work there, and is now looking for
 where the bomb is hidden. 

 But two agents have decided to check the building across the
 street instead. One of them, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), a
 handsome man with sad eyes and a quick sense of humor,
 has a hunch that the FBI is on the wrong track. His longtime
 partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), a beautiful red-haired
 woman, is on the roof of the building, but she speaks to him
 by cell phone. Together they used to be in charge of the FBI's
 X-Files unit. But now, that unit has been closed. In the
 X-Files unit they investigated, or looked into, events that were
 strange or difficult to explain. Now they are assigned to more
 common FBI duties--like checking out bomb threats. 

 Mulder's hunch is right. By accident, he discovers the bomb
 hidden in a soda machine in the building across the street.
 With Mulder locked in the vending room, Scully hurries to
 clear the building. She calls for help from the FBI agents next
 door. With just minutes to spare, Mulder is rescued by Scully
 and Special Agent in Charge Darius Michaud (Terry O'Quinn).
 Michaud orders Mulder and Scully and everyone else out of
 the building while he stays behind to try to defuse the bomb.
 As the car speeds away, the bomb goes off. The building
 explodes in a shower of cement, metal, and broken glass.
 The next day Mulder and Scully are at FBI headquarters in
 Washington, D.C., where they are questioned by Assistant
 Director Jana Cassidy (Blythe Danner). She wants to know
 everything they saw and heard before the bombing in Dallas.
 The agents learn that five people were killed in the explosion.
 Special Agent in Charge Michaud, three firemen, and the
 young boy, Stevie, all died in the blast. Mulder and Scully
 also learn that they are being blamed for those deaths. 

 That night, Mulder meets Dr. Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau).
 The doctor claims to be an old friend of Mulder's father. He
 also writes books about government conspiracies--plots to
 hide information or evidence from the public. Kurtzweil gives
 Mulder important news. The building in Dallas was bombed
 by the syndicate to hide the already dead bodies of Stevie
 and the three firemen. The syndicate did not want anyone to
 find the bodies, so they blew up the building. Kurtzweil also
 tells Mulder that Special Agent in Charge Michaud let the
 building explode because he worked for the syndicate.
 Mulder is disturbed by what Kurtzweil has told him. He talks
 Scully into going to the naval hospital where the bodies are
 being kept. At the hospital, they go straight to the cold, dark
 morgue--a place where dead bodies are temporarily stored.
 Since Scully was trained as a doctor, she carefully examines
 the body of one of the bombing victims. She snaps on her
 medical gloves and does an autopsy--or exam--on one of the
 firemen. Scully quickly discovers the fireman did not die from
 the explosion, as someone wanted the agents to believe. He
 died from some kind of infection. It is one she has never seen
 before. The victim's skin is almost see-through and feels like
 sticky gelatin. His internal organs--like his heart, liver, and
 kidneys--have been partially eaten away by the virus. 

 While Scully examines the body, Mulder meets with
 Kurtzweil again. The doctor warns Mulder that the syndicate
 is involved in a secret government "project" to deliberately
 release a terrible plague. He says the syndicate has been
 working on the project for over fifty years! But Kurtzweil can't
 or won't give Mulder any proof--he tells him to go to Dallas to
 search for the truth. 

 With this new information, Mulder asks Scully to meet him at
 the FBI field office in Dallas, Texas. There they look at the
 scattered waste from the bombed building. The two agents
 are shown ancient pieces of bone called fossils which were
 found at the bomb site. The FBI field agent tells them the
 fossils had originally been found at an archaeological dig site
 and had been kept in an office in the building that exploded.
 Scully looks at the bone fossils under a microscope. The
 same virus that killed the fireman is also in the fossils. 

 Back at the cave site, the Cigarette-Smoking Man (William
 B. Davis) arrives in a black helicopter to talk to Dr.
 Bronschweig. Dr. Bronschweig's team has set up a high-tech
 lab at the site, and it is very cold inside. The doctor explains
 that they have lowered the temperature to freezing to slow the
 development of the virus. They view the body of one of the
 firemen, who is barely still alive. His skin is gray and
 gelatinous, like the bodies Scully saw at the hospital, and
 there seems to be something alive inside him. Something
 that blinks. The virus has mutated into a living organism! Dr.
 Bronschweig asks the Cigarette-Smoking Man if they should
 destroy the body before the new organism grows any larger.
 "No," answers the Cigarette-Smoking Man, "we need to try
 our vaccine on it." 

 After the Cigarette-Smoking Man leaves, Dr. Bronschweig
 returns to the cave to administer the vaccine, only to find the
 infected fireman's chest ripped wide open. The organism that
 was growing inside of him is gone. Seconds later, the fully
 grown alien savagely attacks the doctor with his sharp claws.
 Dr. Bronschweig calls for help, but the crew, worried that he
 is now infected, quickly fills the cave hole with dirt so the
 creature cannot get away. They bury Bronschweig and the
 alien forever. 

 When Mulder and Scully go to the cave site to investigate, all
 they see is a brand-new playground. They question Stevie's
 playmates, and learn that tanker trucks left the playground
 just minutes earlier. The two agents speed away to see if
 they can find the trucks. They drive for hours without seeing
 anything until they finally reach a dead end at a railroad
 crossing. Just when Mulder and Scully are about to give up, a
 train comes by carrying the tanker trucks. 

 The agents follow the train until it stops at a cornfield. Mulder
 and Scully are confused about what a cornfield would be
 doing in the middle of the desert. There are several strange,
 giant, white domes in the middle of the cornfield. They enter
 one of the white domes, but are suddenly chased out by
 swarms of bees. When they get outside, mysterious,
 low-flying helicopters chase them through the cornfield. 

 Mulder and Scully make it back to Washington, D.C.
 Although Scully does not know it, one of the bees is hiding in
 her jacket. Scully tells Assistant Director Cassidy that she
 and Mulder went back to Dallas and discovered evidence that
 the bombing was a cover-up. 

 Later Scully goes to Mulder's apartment to tell him she is
 going to quit the FBI because she has been assigned to
 another city. Mulder and Scully have worked together for a
 long time and have developed a close friendship and deep
 respect for each other. Mulder asks her not to quit. He
 doesn't know if he can continue on without her. 

 Just then, the bee hiding in Scully's jacket stings her and she
 falls to the floor in Mulder's hallway. Mulder calls an
 ambulance and a uniformed medical team comes to take
 Scully away. But they are not real ambulance drivers. When
 Mulder asks which hospital they will be taking Scully to, the
 driver shoots Mulder. He is wounded in the head. As the
 ambulance pulls away the real ambulance pulls up and sees
 Mulder lying on the ground. Later, Scully's unconscious body
 is put into a cryolitter--a kind of clear refrigerated box. It is
 loaded onto a plane at the airport, headed for the Antarctic. 

 Mulder wakes up in a Washington hospital. Luckily, he is not
 badly hurt. His friends the Lone Gunmen (Bruce Harwood,
 Dean Haglund, and Tom Braidwood) are there. The Lone
 Gunmen have helped Mulder in the past. They tell Mulder
 someone listened to his phone call and sent a fake
 ambulance. Mulder asks the Lone Gunmen to help him
 escape from the hospital. He knows he has got to find Scully.
 He arranges to meet Kurtzweil, hoping the doctor can tell him
 where Scully is. 

 When Mulder arrives at the meeting place, he doesn't find
 Kurtzweil. Instead Mulder runs into the Well-Manicured Man
 (John Neville), who is involved with the syndicate. He gives
 Mulder Scully's location, as well as the vaccine that can save
 her life, but only if it is given to her in the next ninety-six
 hours. He also tells Mulder that the virus is extraterrestrial.
 The shadowy syndicate has been working with the aliens.
 But the syndicate has also been secretly developing the
 vaccine to protect the members and their families from the
 virus. Mulder doesn't know if he should trust the
 Well-Manicured Man. He thinks the Well-Manicured Man has
 killed Kurtzweil and put his body in the trunk of his car! 

 The Well-Manicured Man drops Mulder off and tells him to go
 find Scully because only her science can save them. As
 soon as the Well-Manicured Man gets back in his car, it
 bursts into flames. The Well-Manicured Man is dead and
 Mulder runs off, realizing that time is running out. 

 Next, the movie cuts to a snow tractor in Antarctica. We see
 Mulder, searching for Scully over the cold, grim land. He finds
 an ice station and, through binoculars, sees the
 Cigarette-Smoking Man leaving. As Mulder gets close to the
 station on foot, he suddenly plunges through the ice and
 tumbles down a deep ice shaft. He lands on what seems like
 a hard metal object covered with snow and ice. He lowers
 himself through a steam vent and crawls through the cramped
 passageway. It finally widens to become a huge and strange
 indoor space. Mulder doesn't know it yet, but he has
 stumbled into an alien spaceship, hidden beneath the ice. 

 Climbing down to the hallways below, Mulder spots Scully in
 one of the thousands of cryopods--iced units in which bodies
 infected by the virus are kept. These bodies--called "hosts"
 because they host the virus so it can grow--are in a frozen
 state, but alive. Mulder breaks through the icy covering of the
 pod. He shoots the vaccine into Scully's shoulder with a
 needle. In moments, Scully begins to awaken. The tube in
 her mouth shrivels up and Mulder pulls it out so she can

 Suddenly the whole ship shudders and rumbles. The vaccine
 has woken up the ship, too. The inside of the ship begins to
 warm up. The heat makes the icy cryopod coverings melt.
 The aliens begin to wriggle around inside the host bodies.
 Mulder carries Scully back to the top of the ship. Scully
 stops breathing. While Mulder gives her CPR, the aliens
 begin to hatch from the bodies and break free of the
 cryopods. Scully regains consciousness just in time to
 escape the aliens. 

 With one of the creatures not far behind, Mulder gets Scully
 to the top of the ship. They are out just in time, but the whole
 ice field is shaking and collapsing beneath their feet. Under
 the ice, the ship begins to rise. Mulder and Scully run for
 their lives, just a few feet ahead of the collapsing ice.
 Suddenly, they fall into a hole. Moments later, they land on
 what appears to be a section of the rising spaceship! The
 agents fall off the ship and land on the icy ground. Scully lies
 unconscious as Mulder watches the eerie ship rise higher
 and higher, until it is surrounded by swirling clouds and
 disappears into the sky. 

 Back in Washington, Scully meets with Assistant Director
 Cassidy and other FBI officials. They question her about her
 report, in which she tells the story of what happened to her
 and Mulder. Assistant Director Cassidy thinks the report is
 too unbelievable to be true. Besides, there is no evidence to
 prove anything in Scully's report. Scully hands Cassidy a vial
 containing a dead bumblebee, the only evidence left. 

 Later we see Mulder reading the newspaper. He sees a story
 about a virus outbreak in Texas, and he knows it is a
 cover-up. Scully comes over and he shows her the story.
 Mulder is frustrated and angry, but Scully is more hopeful.
 She has told the officials everything that happened. Mulder
 tells her that she should give up his hopeless cause, but she
 says if they quit now the bad guys will have won. 

 The last scene takes place in Tunisia. We see a man walking
 along rows and rows of corn. It is the Cigarette-Smoking
 Man. He has come to talk with Conrad Strughold (Armin
 Mueller-Stahl), another member of the syndicate. The
 Cigarette-Smoking Man tells Strughold that Mulder is still on
 the case. Strughold tells him not to worry. One man alone
 cannot fight the future. "Yesterday," says the
 Cigarette-Smoking Man, "I received this." He hands Strughold
 a telegram which reads: 

 X-Files re-opened. Stop. Please advise. Stop. 

 Strughold sighs and drops the telegram, and walks back into
 the massive cornfield.