Skinner is in the hospital, suffering from what looks like pronounced vein-iness. He flatlines, and is pronounced dead. One day earlier, Skinner is boxing pretty well, but is knocked cold after his vision starts to go blurry. Taken to a hospital, Skinner gets an auto-voice call saying he'll die in 24 hours. Mulder and Scully express concern for his well-being, and coupled with the threat they wonder if he was poisoned to eliminate him from his role as supervisor to the X-Files.
Skinner is skeptical, but remembers an encounter with a man in the hallway. Checking out the security tapes, Scully recognizes the man as a physicist named Dr. Kenneth Orgell, who is advising the Senate subcommittee on ethics and new technology. At the Orgell's house, several Arabic men spirit Orgell away and shoot at the agents, but Mulder captures one. Skinner, though still suffering from blurred vision, realizes that the man is a Tunisian diplomat and lets him go.
Mulder finds a picture of Orgell with his old friend, Senator Matheson. Scully analyzes a blood sample the hospital took and find a spike of pure carbon, apparently brought about by rapidly multiplying micro-entitites. Mulder visits Matheson, who tells him he and Orgell were supporting S.R. 819, which will provide funds and medical equipment to the World Health Organization. The diplomat tries unsuccessfully to assassinate Skinner at Embassy Row, but a bearded man runs him down with a car. Skinner is rehospitalized as Scully realizes that the bacteria are blocking blood flow in Skinner's circulatory system.
Mulder raids Skinner's office for information on S.R. 819, and finds Skinner was doing a security check on the bill as a last step before it went to vote. He says Orgell didn't poison him, but told Skinner that there was a violation of export laws involving new technology with the bill. Mulder finds and chases down the bearded man making the auto-speak calls; he gets away but leaves his car.
The man calls Matheson and tells him where to find Orgell, while forensics finds PCBs on the car tires, a sign that it may have been at an old power plant. Sure enough, that's where Matheson goes, finding Orgell in the same condition as Skinner. He screams in pain as the bearded man uses a device to raise the level on something. Skinner recalls seeing the bearded man, and Mulder checks out the power plant. Talking with Matheson, Mulder realizes that S.R. 819 is going to export the nanotechnology that killed Orgell and is killing Skinner.
At the hospital, Skinner recovers after the bearded man ramps his nanobot levels down. The bill is withdrawn by committee without explanation. Mulder shows that the bearded man has been caught on the surveillance tapes, but Skinner claims he doesn't recognize him despite that fact that he saw him at the hospital. Mulder tries to get Skinner's authorization to investigate the matter further, but Skinner says he can't do it. Krycek, who turns out to be the bearded man, meets Skinner in the parking garage and threatens that he can ramp up the levels again at any time...but doesn't explain what it's all about.
Episode Body Count
Alexander Lazreg: a Tunisian diplomat, killed after he is run down by Krycek in the Embassy Row parking garage.
Dr. Kenneth Orgell: dies after Krycek sics nanobots on his circulatory system.
Cumulative Body Count (126/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 1,459Creatures: 100
Grand Total: 1,620