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Fight the Boredom: The ZZZ-Files
by edromia@concentric.net

FADE IN.

EXT. DAY. A suburban street in Phoenix, Arizona. A minivan full of car-poolers pulls up to the curb. GENERIC OFFICE GUY gets out of the car and walks up to the front door. He pauses before opening it and turns to face the camera.

GENERIC OFFICE GUY:
Many of you are probably wondering if anything new, interesting or original is about to happen when I walk through this door. I thought I'd go ahead and let you know that nothing of the sort is planned. I'm going to walk in there, find the exploded torso of my co-worker, and get killed by the big screeching alien -- pretty much what just you were expecting. It will be a lot like dozens of other scenes you've seen in "Jurassic Park" or any of the "Alien" movies or, for that matter, any of the innumerable "Alien" movie clones, of which the X-Files movie itself was not by any stretch the least offensive. Lots of gore to make up for the lack of suspense or mystery, that
sort of thing. And frankly, the episode won't get much better from there. Anyway, I figured there's no point in you wasting your time on this pointless, predictable teaser. If you were lucky enough to tape this episode, go ahead and fast forward. Otherwise, now might be a good time
to go get a snack.

The GENERIC OFFICE GUY turns and enters the house. A few moments later, we hear the SCREECH of a monster, a perfunctory SCREAM of obligatory terror, and a HEAVY CRASH.

FADE TO:
INT. DAY. A conference room at FBI headquarters. MULDER sits across from a board of stern-faced REVIEWERS. He hands a well-thumbed screenplay to REVIEWER #1.

MULDER:
Here's a copy of the script of the X-Files movie. I know I'm supposed to rehash the entire plot for you, but I thought I'd just save us all the time.

REVIEWER #1:
Thanks.
(thumbs through it)

REVIEWER #2:
So these aliens, are they anything like the ones in "Men In Black"?

MULDER:
Actually, they're precisely like the ones in "Alien". But they sound exactly like the raptors in "Jurassic Park".

REVIEWER #1:
We'll get back to you.

CUT TO:
INT. DAY. Hallway outside the conference room. MULDER confronts SCULLY.

MULDER:
You know, you could have backed me up in there.

SCULLY:
(handing MULDER a well-thumbed screenplay)
Here's the script of the X-Files movie...

MULDER:
(tosses it in the garbage)
I've read it.

SCULLY:
I'm also supposed to repeat the words "science" and "evidence" as many times as possible, preferably at least twice per sentence.

MULDER:
Go ahead.

SCULLY:
Science, science, evidence, science, evidence, evidence, evidence, science, evidence.

MULDER:
Great. See you around eleven-thirty?

SCULLY:
As usual.

CUT TO:
INT. DAY. MULDER'S new office. Using an infra-red scope, MULDER is piecing together his dialogue for the next scene. SKINNER enters.

MULDER:
I thought at least you would have stood up for me in there, Skinner.

SKINNER:
(clenching his jaw)
mutter grumble grumble mutter...

MULDER:
Pardon me?

SKINNER:
grumble grumble mutter mutter grumble...

MULDER:
I can't understand a word you're saying, sir.

SKINNER:
mutter grumble mutter...

MULDER:
Jesus, never mind...
(leaves)

CUT TO:
INT. DAY. MULDER'S old, recently refurbished office. MULDER enters, picks up a folder from the desk and opens it. Inside is a picture of a man's exploded torso, precisely the same as when we saw it in the teaser -- or would have seen it, if we hadn't fast forwarded through it.

SPENDER enters.

SPENDER:
Is that for me?

MULDER:
What, you mean this?
(displays the photograph -- CLOSE-UP on the exploded torso)

SPENDER:
There's been a misunderstanding. You're off the X-Files now.

MULDER:
But I've invested all my artistic credibility in the X-Files! I've spent my
life tracking down things like this!
(displays the photograph -- CLOSE-UP of the exploded torso)

SPENDER:
Not anymore. By the way, meet my new partner.

FOWLEY:
Hello, Fox.

MULDER:
You know, I'd like to ask you if you're feeling okay. I'd like to indicate in some small way that I'm glad to see you well, that I maybe visited you in the hospital once or twice, that I cared in the slightest degree whether you lived or died, especially since your character needs credibility as a love interest for me and it would provide some nice continuity from last season's finale. But I can't say any of that, because for some reason it's not in the script. So I'll just throw a hissy fit instead.

FOWLEY:
But Fox, I was nearly killed doing you a favor...

MULDER:
Yeah, but what have you done for me lately? Hey, take a look a this --
(displays the photograph -- CLOSE-UP on the exploded torso)

MULDER:
Later, babe.
(leaves)

FADE TO:
EXT. DAY. Same suburban street in Phoenix as before, same house. MULDER and SCULLY come out onto the porch after investigating the crime scene.

MULDER:
You can't deny what you saw in there, Scully. There's a creature on the loose, doing THIS to innocent people!
(displays the photograph -- CLOSE-UP on the exploded torso)

SCULLY:
Mulder...

MULDER:
You're hesitating because for once your precious science doesn't hold all the answers, aren't you?

SCULLY:
(awkwardly grabbing MULDER'S hand)
No, I'm hesitating because Chris Carter wants me to deliver a long-winded tirade of his trademark dialogue -- stilted, over-emotional and absurdly pretentious -- in a truly artless attempt to delvelop the sub-plot of our mutual love interest. I don't know where this clown learned to write.
And Mulder...
(She holds up a well-thumbed screenplay and makes a face.)

MULDER:
(rolling his eyes)
Again?

SCULLY:
Line for line.

MULDER:
(sighs)
Why don't you just do the "science" thing instead?

SCULLY:
Science, science, science, science, evidence, evidence, science.

MULDER:
That should satisfy the fans, anyway. Let's go.

FADE TO:
INT. NIGHT. Control room of a nuclear power plant. HOMER (get it? get it?)is leaning back in his chair, napping, when OTHER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT GUY walks by.

OTHER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT GUY:
Hey Homer, wake up. You have an alarm in Sector Two.

HOMER:
(reluctantly stands up)
Okay, I'll go check it out.

OTHER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT GUY hands HOMER a well-thumbed screenplay. The title page reads: "ALIEN, written by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shuster, directed by Ridley Scott."

OTHER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT GUY:
Here, read this instead. It'll save you some time.

HOMER:
Hey, thanks.
(sits down and begins to read)

FADE TO:
EXT. NIGHT. MULDER and SCULLY are getting ready to take GIBSON to the hospital. A car drives up, its headlights shining full in their faces, blinding them. A FAINT VOICE calls MULDER'S name, and we realize that it's agent FOWLEY.

SCULLY:
Could you ask her to turn her lights down?

MULDER:
I could, but what's the point?
(approaches FOWLEY'S car)

FOWLEY:
Fox, I wanted to tell you that when I ran you off from that crime scene earlier today, I wasn't working against you, I was trying to help you. That also goes for later, when I'm planning to pull a gun on you, have you arrested, and falsify all my reports.

MULDER:
Hmm, for some reason that makes tons of sense to me. All right, give me a second to ditch the redhead.
(returns to SCULLY)

SCULLY:
What now?

MULDER:
How about our usual, Plan A?

SCULLY:
Is that the one where I run around doing menial legwork, while you prance off to the exciting scenes, sucking up screen-time and witnessing all the supernatural events that I'll have to maintain an asinine, utterly implausible disbelief in later?

MULDER:
That's the one.

SCULLY:
But how can you trust Fowley?

MULDER:
Scully, do you have any idea how much it strokes my ego to have two women fighting over me like jealous teenagers? How can I NOT trust Fowley?

SCULLY:
(reluctantly)
I guess you're right...

MULDER:
Hey, Scully --
(displays photograph -- CLOSE-UP on exploded torso)

MULDER:
-- made you look.

CUT TO:
INT. NIGHT. Hospital emergency ward. SCULLY enter's GIBSON'S room, only to find the bed empty. She runs around aimlessly, screaming at random nurses, none of whom answer. Presumably, they are too embarassed.

SCULLY:
What the hell is going on, here?

CAMERA PANS to CHRIS CARTER, who is dressed as a surgeon. His bow tie is spinning madly and his pants are down around his ankles.

CHRIS CARTER:
Don't ask me -- I just signed a book deal!

CUT TO:
INT. NIGHT. Nuclear power plant. MULDER and FOWLEY are sneaking around with flashlights.

MULDER:
Over there! I see something!

He reaches into a forest of pipes and pulls out a bloodstained screenplay.

MULDER:
(reading)
"ALIEN, written by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, directed by Ridley Scott." (to FOWLEY) This should make our job a whole lot easier.

GIBSON:
(to the camera)
I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong.

The ALIEN MONSTER soft-shoes across the screen, wearing a sandwich board that reads IMPEACH CLINTON.

GIBSON:
See?

CUT TO:
INT. NIGHT. MULDER'S old office. SPENDER sits at his desk; the CANCER MAN stands opposite, wreathed in shadows.

CANCER MAN:
Everything is going according to our plan, my son.

SPENDER:
Don't you think this scene would be more believable if the writers had spent a modicum of effort fleshing out my character, instead of leaving me a whiny, over-ambitious, one-note Mulder-hater who inexplicably throws in with the first shadowy conspiracist to claim he's my father, whom I've
presumably never even met?

CANCER MAN:
(takes a long draw on his cigarette)
The television fans will swallow any sort of half-baked tripe...once you break their spirits. It's a pleasant thing to watch.

SPENDER stands up and kisses CANCER MAN full on the lips.

SPENDER:
(choked)
I love you, Dad!

CANCER MAN:
Now you're getting the idea, son.

FADE TO:
INT. DAY. The same conference room, the same board of REVIEWERS. SCULLY and MULDER sit opposite, looking sheepish. MULDER stares sadly at the photograph of the exploded torso.

REVIEWER #1:
Agents Scully and Mulder, in the last 48 minutes -- not counting the commercials -- you have not only failed to deliver any convincing evidence of extraterrestrial life; you have failed to instill any life or credibility whatsoever into this miserable excuse for a script. This episode would be an embarrasment to discerning fans everywhere, if there were any discerning fans still watching the show. You should both be very, very ashamed of yourselves.

SCULLY:
But it's not our fault; we were given this script --

REVIEWER #2:
Let's not quibble. Someone has to be punished, and since Chris Carter is of course entirely above reproach, it will have to be you. As of this moment, you are both forever banned from "The X-Files". You will both be starring in a new television show, and you will have a new boss...

CAMERA ZOOMS IN ON THE LEAST OMINOUS-LOOKING BLACK MAN IN THE WORLD.

REVIEWER #2:
...Reginald Veljohnson, from "Family Matters".

SCULLY and MULDER both recoil in terror.

FADE TO:
INT. NIGHT. MULDER'S new office. Using an infra-red scope, MULDER is piecing together what's left of his professional integrity. SCULLY enters. She looks on sympathetically, trying to think of something to say. Finally, she tries:

SCULLY:
Science, science, evidence, sci --

MULDER:
Give it up, Scully. The episode is practically over, and this plot is going nowhere fast. There's nothing you can do to save it now.

SCULLY:
(thinks for a minute)
How about...THIS?
(she strips down to her bra and panties)

MULDER:
(tipping a big wink at the camera)
Remember kids, you're watching FOX!

CUT TO:
CHRIS CARTER against a black, empty background. He is wearing a diaper, holding a rattle in one hand and a very large check in the other.

CHRIS CARTER:
I made this!

FADE TO BLACK.

THE END

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