Two FBI agents drive along a rural road.
Scully: Enough with the secrecy, Mulder. What are we doing in Canada?
He points to the glove box, where she finds a file marked X-525652.
Mulder: Canadian veteran. Thirty-four years old. Lost both legs during his deployment to Afghanistan.
Scully: That’s very sad. But why are we—
Mulder: The Canadian government keeps asking for evidence that he, and others like him, continue to need their wheelchairs—first, every year; now every three years. They basically have to make these veterans prove they still don’t have any legs.
Scully: And so naturally you think . . .
Mulder: This could finally be it, Scully: undeniable evidence of the paranormal or extraterrestrial presence you and I spent four great years, and three other OK ones, searching for. Think about it: human limbs being regrown by unknown forces right under the nose of a national government!
Scully turns up the radio. They eventually pull into a driveway and are welcomed into the veteran’s house.
Scully: We appreciate you taking the time, sir.
Mulder: So let’s get a look at those brand-new legs of yours.
He lunges forward and rips away the blanket from the veteran’s wheelchair.
Veteran: Is this a joke? I no longer have my legs!
Mulder: Stephen Harper suspects otherwise.
Scully replaces the blanket and apologizes. She pauses and turns her head.
Scully: Harper? That name sounds familiar.
Mulder: He was the subject of an X-file from a few years back. Someone phoned in an anonymous tip claiming the Prime Minister of Canada was in fact two eight-year-old boys in a trench coat.
Scully: (shaking her head) God, some people are crazy.
Mulder: That one actually turned out to be true. When you think about it: totally explains the behaviour and the haircut.
Veteran: What do you people want?
Mulder: (opening the file) Just the truth. June 13, 2014: You bought three pairs of socks at the Bay. Care to explain?
Veteran: They were for my wife.
Mulder: Mm-hmm. Feb. 18 of this year: A neighbour swears he saw a man leave your house on two legs, walk confidently to the end of the driveway and pull away in a brown truck.
Veteran: Pretty good description of the UPS driver.
Mulder’s eyes narrow.
Scully: Mulder, let’s leave this man alone.
Mulder: Dammit, Scully—I can’t just ignore my own gut instinct and the vague guidance of various shadowy figures with whom I communicate exclusively in darkened parking garages for some reason!
Veteran: What even makes you think there’s anything suspicious here?
Mulder: I’ve seen some things in my time—strange, unexplainable things. I’ve seen blurry objects that may have been ghosts. I’ve seen blurrier objects that may have been aliens.
Veteran: Sounds like the real mystery here is why you don’t wear glasses.
Mulder: (ignoring him) I once saw a man get shot point-blank in the head—and, as God is my witness, he just pushed the bullet right out of his brain as though by magic, and went on with his day.
Scully: Mulder, that was in the X-Men movie you watched on the flight.
Mulder: (lost in thought) Strange, unexplainable things.
Veteran: I think you both should leave.
Mulder: If you expect me to buy your story, then you’ve got to answer me this one question: Why on Earth would a national government treat its own veterans with such suspicion and distrust?
Veteran: Beats me. Has it occurred to you that maybe they’re just not very nice people?
Mulder falls silent. Together, the agents leave and walk toward their car.
Mulder: It doesn’t make sense, Scully. I want to believe—but why would any government do this kind of thing to loyal and selfless patriots who’ve already been through so much?
Scully: Mulder, that’s the first good question you’ve asked today.