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Trasngressions

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TRANSGRESSIONS

EXT. CATHOLIC CHURCH - MORNING

Scully's car drives slowly past the church. Cars line both sides of the street, everything from BMW's to limousines.

INT. SCULLY'S CAR - CONTINUOUS

SCULLY is looking for a place to park. Finding nothing, she continues up the street, checking her watch. From her expression it is clear that she is late.

INT. FOYER - LATER

Scully enters the dim foyer. AN USHER intercepts her, wearing the appropriate church smile.

INT. SANCTUARY - MOMENTS LATER

The sanctuary is almost full to capacity. A man, NATHANIEL SHEPARD, in his mid-thirties, clean cut and handsome, stands behind the pulpit addressing the congregation.

NATHANIEL
Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest...

Mulder is sitting in the last pew by the isle. He is listening intently. Under:

NATHANIEL (CONT'D)
I have come that you may have life and have it to the full. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The sanctuary door CREAKS and Mulder along with several others turn to look as Scully and the usher enter. Scully points to Mulder and the usher withdraws, closing the door. Under:

NATHANIEL (CONT'D)
Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find...

Under many disapproving looks Scully walks over to Mulder, who smiles at her discomfort.

MULDER
You're late.

SCULLY
Move over.

Mulder slides over and Scully sits down beside him. To her relief all eyes turn back to the stage. Where:

Nathaniel continues to recite scripture with elegant hand motions, eyes closed.

NATHANIEL
If you love me you will obey my commandments, than you will truly be my disciples...

SCULLY is becoming troubled as she listens to the spiel coming from the pulpit.

SCULLY
What are we doing here, Mulder?

MULDER
I thought you liked going to church.

NEW ANGLE

Several of the people who felt the need to show their disapproval at Scully's late arrival, put their fingers to their lips and make hushing sounds. Under:

SAMUEL (O.S.)
I am the first and the last. The Alpha and the Omega. I will supply all your needs..

SCULLY
(Whispering)
This isn't church. Who is that guy?

MULDER
(whispering)
Nathaniel Shepard.

SCULLY
(with disgust)
The psychic surgeon? You dragged me down here for this?

In her disdain Scully forgets to keep her voice down, once again drawing the "Looks". Mulder smiling slightly puts his finger to his lips. Scully gives him a look, drop dead.

Scully starts to rise. A woman, MARGARET, three rows down, stands up. Mulder puts his hand on Scully's arm and she reluctantly settles back into her seat.

MARGARET is pale and drawn. Her eyes sunken into a face etched with pain. She steadies herself on the back of the pew in front of her.

NEW ANGLE

All eyes turn to Margaret. Nathaniel likewise is watching her.

NATHANIEL
I see you have returned to us, Margaret. {To the congregation} Margaret left us. She went back to the world. Back to those who counted her as dead. They have failed her and now she returns, seeking forgiveness.

MARGARET
I'm dying.

NATHANIEL
Yes, I know.{Motioning with his hand} Come up here.

Margaret does come, each step a monumental effort. Her body shacking, claw like fingers gripping the backs of the pews. People watch with a mixture of curiosity and fear. No one reaches out to help her even when she falls and begins to drag herself along the floor. She collapses when she reaches the foot of the steps leading to the stage.

MARGARET
(tears running down her face)
Please, forgive me.

NATHANIEL
You're so close. Don't stop now.

Margaret crawls up the steps, weeping as she goes. At the top she collapses once again. If Nathaniel feels any compassion for the woman lying at his feet, he doesn't show it.

NATHANIEL (CONT'D)
Do you want me to heal you, Margaret?

MARGARET
(weakly)
Yes, please...I don't want to die.

Two men, BRISCO and RICHARDS come and arrange Margaret's body in the center of the stage like a sacrifice.

NATHANIEL
Today you will all witness grace. Forgiveness for betrayal.

Nathaniel kneels beside Margaret. Terror comes into her eyes as he lays his hands on her abdomen. He presses downward and she screams. His hands seam to sink into her. Passing through cloth and flesh. Margaret continues to scream.
NATHANIEL his expression is that of demonic ecstasy. It is not clear if his intentions are to heal or to kill.

NEW ANGLE

Mulder is transfixed but Scully is no longer sure of what she is witnessing. She doesn't know weather to draw her gun or to walk out. So she remains where she is, watching as Margaret's screams echo off the high ceiling.
Nathaniel looks out over the sea of faces. His eyes lock with Scully's.

SCULLY momentarily entranced as she stares back at Nathaniel. She is both fascinated and repulsed. We hear a rushing sound like wind. There is a brief sense that time has stopped.

NEW ANGLE

The scene resumes as Nathaniel rises to his feet. In his hands is something bloody and unidentifiable. There is an almost synchronized gasp of horror from the congregation as Nathaniel paces the stage like a rock star, holding his gory prize aloft. Someone shouts Hallelujah and praises begin to reverberate through the crowd.

MARGARET is quiet, laying on her back, staring at the ceiling with wide unblinking eyes.

NEW ANGLE

A woman in front of Mulder and Scully faints, falling forward and hitting her head on the back of the pew. As the scene degenerates into a chorus of praises and the sound of bodies hitting the floor, Scully bolts for the door.

END TEASER