Brand X (7x19)
written by Steven Maeda and Greg Walker
MULDER: A tobacco employee that doesn't smoke-- Isn't that kind of like a GM executive who drives a Ford? If this was a hit it seems unnecessarily high-profile. It kind of draws attention to itself, don't you think?
LEAD COUNSEL: As before, Dr. Voss would be in violation of his confidentiality clause in answering questions regarding the nature of his work here at Morley. I'm sure you understand our cooperation cannot extend itself to revealing corporate secrets.
SKINNER: Yeah, I'm not sensing any "cooperation" whatsoever. In fact, I'm one more non-answer away from getting a federal warrant and searching this entire building.
LEAD COUNSEL: Then this meeting is over. Dr. Voss.
MULDER: Dr. Voss... can you tell me what that is?
DR. PETER VOSS: It's a tobacco beetle. Why?
MULDER: We found it at Jim Scobie's house.
DR. PETER VOSS: Well, you'll find a lot of these around here. They're everywhere. There's probably a dozen in the grill of your car right now.
LEAD COUNSEL: May I ask where you're going with this, Agent?
MULDER: I'm sorry, I can't. Answering that question would violate FBI confidentiality due to the sensitive nature of our investigation.
DR. LIBBY NANCE: This doesn't make sense.
SKINNER: What doesn't make sense?
DR. LIBBY NANCE: Well, it's a lasioderma serricorne-- a tobacco beetle. Only... I've never seen one exactly like this.
SCULLY: Hmm. What are the differences?
DR. LIBBY NANCE: Physical differences-- uh... minor but definitely notable. Deviations in the mandibles, the antennae, the body segmentation.
SCULLY: What if such deviations arose from genetic engineering?
DR. LIBBY NANCE: Engineering the bugs themselves?
SCULLY: No. I was actually thinking about another possibility: Transgenomics.
SKINNER: Which is... ?
SCULLY: It's a form of DNA manipulation-- alterations made on the genetic level.
DR. LIBBY NANCE: It is pretty widely known that tobacco companies have been pouring money into that kind of research-- changing the tobacco plant itself in order to make it heartier, give it less nicotine, more nicotine, make it naturally menthol-flavored... you name it.
SCULLY: They're the larval stage of the tobacco beetle, Mulder, and somehow, they have ended up nesting in Thomas Gastall's lungs.
SKINNER: But what doesn't make any sense is why Scobie's lungs didn't show this same condition.
SCULLY: The larvae must pupate inside the lungs and then once they mature into beetles exit the body en masse.
SKINNER: Well, that explains the condition of the face and throat.
SKINNER: Well, how did this happen? These eggs-- how did they get into his lungs?
SCULLY: I'm thinking he inhaled them. Well, the tobacco beetle lives out its life cycle on or around the tobacco plant. That's where it lays its eggs. If those genetically-altered beetles that we found did that then maybe the eggs survived the processing into cigarettes.
SKINNER: And been carried into Mulder's lungs as smoke?
SCULLY: Right-- like spores or pollen, somehow small enough to be airborne.
SCULLY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Get me 30 milligrams of methyl pyrrolidinyl pyridine.
SCULLY: Yeah. I think this could save Mulder's life.
SCULLY: Well, his fingertips were stained yellow with it. He was a four-pack-a-day smoker-- far heavier than any of the focus group members who died. You know, nicotine is extremely poisonous. It's actually one of the oldest known insecticides.
MULDER: It's good for killing tobacco beetles.
SCULLY: Well, once we loaded your system up with enough of it, it acted as a sort of chemotherapy... except it almost stopped your breathing at the same time.