Scully gives a voice-over about how Earth has seen five great extinctions, and humans might be due to make the sixth. In Côte d'Ivoire, a couple of pieces of metallic debris with strange writing are found on the beach, and have a mind of their own when put together. An African scientist brings them to a colleague, Dr. Steven Sandoz in DC, but realizes that the person he's meeting with is not who he says he is. And then he's murdered. Mulder and Scully are put on the case, since the scientist and Sandoz both subscribed to the view that life on Earth originated on another planet.
Mulder sees a rubbing of the markings on the artifact, and starts hearing noises in his head. The man who murdered the scientist turns out to be a professor named Dr. Barnes. A friend of the agents says the artifact is a fraud and the writing is Native American, but the effect on Mulder remains. The agents find that Sandoz has met with a World War II codetalker they've previously had dealings with, and also find the scientist's body at his apartment. Mulder thinks Sandoz is on the run because of what he knows, and wants to find the artifacts. Skinner secretly records a conversation with the agents on the matter and gives the tape to Krycek.
Scully goes to New Mexico to see the codetalker, who is dying of cancer. Mulder suspects Barnes and tries to follow him, but collapses from the pain of his head noises; Krycek meets with Barnes. Scully finds Sandoz, who has another fragment (which also starts spinning) and says it has a passage on it from the Book of Genesis. Mulder, now being tended to by Fowley, thinks that's a sign that human life originated from aliens. Fowley keeps in touch with Cancer Man, and Mulder is hospitalized in a psychiatric ward with abnormal brain activity.
Skinner assures Scully and Fowley that the case is being resolved, although Scully hasn't submitted a report. Scully suspects that they're both up to something and that Mulder's office has been bugged (it has). Sandoz calls Scully and says that the letters translated by the codetalker are coordinates for the human genome, then is killed by Krycek. Scully travels to Côte d'Ivoire, where it turns out that the artifacts are from a large spacecraft partially buried in the sand. To be continued...
Episode Body Count
Dr. Solomon Merkmallen: murdered by Dr. Barnes.
Dr. Steven Sandoz: shot by Krycek.
Season Body Count
Excludes the movie. More creatures this time around, but the rest decrease.
Cumulative Body Count (139/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 1,554Creatures: 104
Grand Total: 1,720