Jul. 29th, 2015

How did Chinese hackers break into the Office of Personnel Management (mentioned earlier)? The OPM gave them root access.

They say that the X-Files is coming back, so I'll drop my vague ideas of what I'd have done with the property instead.

Introduction

Some FBI agents at a field office in the South are working a mafia case and are short of leads. The new guy Jason sets his computer to run an overnight search of all networked drives overnight for some of the names they are looking for information on. In the middle of the next day, as the search is still running, he starts getting results from file names beginning with the letter X. One of the files is a report issued fifteen years earlier by someone who had the same name as a CIA assistant director who had been in the news recently for mismanaging money.

He brings it to his partner Jeanette whose first words after glancing at the file are "It's an X-file. Those are for UFOs and stuff." He tells her to look at the name of the informant and she recognizes the importance immediately.

They bring it to the special agent in charge who confirms that the assistant director was working in this area at the time, and he finds it very interesting that a trustworthy report would end up in the X-Files. He asks for a printed copy of the report, says that he will investigate this personally, tells Jeanette that she is in charge of the investigation while he is out of the office, and departs alone.

Jason looks at a few other X-Files while he's on break and laughs at them.

A few days later, they go looking for the CIA guy's reports in the X-Files during a meeting with other agents and some of the files are missing. The SAIC's jaw drops. He orders everyone to print out everything they still have access to, "we're going back to paper for this investigation."

Jason and Jeanette get the building's IT to copy all of the X-Files to an external hard drive on the local network so it is under the control of the field office and they can search it more quickly.

The mafia investigation ends abruptly when the mafia leader's yacht sinks in the Gulf of Mexico with some of his deputies on board. Jeanette looks at the SAIC as if she thinks he might be responsible, but the look on his face is one of dejection and defeat rather than guilt. SAIC gets back in command mode: this is going to cause a power vacuum, somebody is going to take over, get on top of things before the gangs start a war across the entire state.

Jason goes home where he still lives with his parents and mentions "hey, did you know Mrs. Johnson's house is supposed to be haunted?" On his next off day he visits Mrs. Johnson and awkwardly asks her if she has ever seen a ghost, because he was reading an old ghost story and it had her address in it. She says no, but when her mother was dying she said that there used to be an angel in the house before the fire that happened when Mrs. Johnson was only four.

On his next work day, Jason updates the 60-year-old X-file about the ghost sighting with the information that he collected on his day off, writing that he did this on his day off, and marks the file as closed. Soon he is in the SAIC's office. The SAIC says "I hear that you closed an X-file. I've been hearing it from my friends in Washington. Now, I read your appendix. It was solid work and you didn't waste any taxpayer money. My gut instinct is to chew you out but you didn't do anything wrong and you did good work. Just... don't forget that we have real crimes to solve. If you want to chase ghosts, keep doing it on your own time."

As Jason leaves, the SAIC adds "and let me know if you find anything interesting in those files." The viewer has seen enough of both characters to know that the SAIC's definition of interesting may be different from Jason's.

On her day off, Jeanette mentions to a friend that her partner decided to investigate a haunted house because it was close to where he lives. Her friend mentions that she knows where there is a haunted house...

Soon they are at the "haunted" house with sleeping bags, laptops, and recording equipment. Jeanette's friend brought her kids who are about 8 and 5. It's a sleepover party atmosphere and Jason mentions that if there are any ghosts they would scare them off. In the morning, they start wrapping up. No one saw anything, no one had nightmares. They walk out the door as the ghost watches.

Different attitudes, different climate

The X-Files themselves are a source of mystery and comedy until they become familiar.

Not every X-File is real. Most of them are worthless, introduced and thrown away in a short time. An extra mystery in the show is which mystery will turn out to be the real one.

There is more than one story in each episode. Some are resolved quickly, some are spread out across a few episodes, many are simply background stories.

Neither investigator is a believer in the paranormal until it forces itself on them, and their attitudes and approaches are different from Mulder and Scully. Jason is in it for the "wouldn't it be cool if..." factor and he drives most paranormal investigations with his eagerness. Jeanette prefers rational explanations but enjoys carrying out the investigation and seeing where the facts lead.

The agents solve real crimes for several episodes before they are assigned to work on the X-Files on a special request from a deputy director who their SAIC is not familiar with.

The agents work in an office with other staff. Actors playing background characters will be hired on for a season to just nod and say "hi" once an episode and to have the same familiar faces in the same cubicles. The agents have friends and families. The cost of the show is going through the roof.

Long-term plot

In later seasons:

  • Somebody gives the order to delete all of the X-Files. The backup drive at the field office is the only copy until they start getting requests from other field offices to make a copy.
  • Jason gets beamed up by a UFO. It turns out to be a secret US military aircraft. After seeing his FBI badge, they hand him over to "The Investigator": Dana Scully. She tells him that aliens do exist, and welcome to the resistance. Jason is written out of the show and replaced by another character.

Some previous concepts:

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