|First Person Shooter||Credits||Gallery|
Mulder and Scully lock and load with the Lone Gunmen to see and experience what appears to be a killer video game.
Three young geeks are amped up and ready to fight as the computerized voice counts them down. Lo-Fat, Moxie, and Retro pick out their gear in the weapons room. Retro assures the other two that he is getting to level two today. Game programmers and overseers to the event, Phoebe and Ivan, watch the young men on their monitors. Ivan is exhilarated by it all as he looks over the medical data his monitors are feeding him.
“Look at these heart rates!”
Phoebe seems rather tired of the whole thing.
“If I don’t let these boys out they’re going to kill each other.” The door opens as the countdown completes.
Moxie, Retro, and Lo-Fat rush out into the bleak urban landscape before them, a high rise to either side with a long road down the middle. They take cover behind a triangular barricade ahead of them. Motorcycles with forward mounted machine guns stream out onto the road. They wait until they close in and then Retro orders them to fire. After the motorcycles and their riders are all destroyed by their streams of bullets, Retro orders them forward as they fire at either skyscraper’s many windows. Uniformed men fire down at them and manage to pick off Lo-Fat. Moxie covers Retro as he runs into the building. Retro hears footsteps on the stairs behind him.A breath-taking beauty steps towards Retro. He kneels before her and kisses her hand.
“Who are you?”
“I am Maitreya. This is my game.”
A flintlock pistol appears in her hand, she aims, and fires as it all digitizes and fades out.
At F.P.S. Corporate Offices in Inland Empire, California, Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder arrive, get their ids and irises scanned, then sign non-disclosure agreements. The Lone Gunmen appear and explain that they are invested in this game (Langly even programmed some of the bad guys) that is supposed to ship to 50 malls on Friday, but a dead body stands in their way. His death entirely unclear as to what caused it.
Scully inspects the body of Retro. She holds up the gun and touches the blood among the paint on the chest armor. When she says this man has been shot, Ivan denies it. He points out the gun is tied into the mainframe and the stun suit is rigged with paint for kill shots. Its all part of their complex blood and body-count virtual game world but its all harmless. Scully has to call the police which upsets Ivan as he storms out raving about what the investors will think. Mulder asks to see what the control booth saw.
In the control room, the Lone Gunmen, Phoebe, and Mulder watch the replay of the three men in the game. They have no interior shots of the area Retro went into so Mulder asks Phoebe to reduce it to wireframe. When they see a woman’s wireframe, he asks her to texture-wrap her and print her out.
As Scully struggles to explain to the police how there is no murder weapon, no motive, no evidence, and so forth, Mulder arrives and tells Detective Lacoeur that this is his suspect, after handing him the printout of the unknown digital woman. As the dubious Lacoeur leaves, Mulder explains to Scully that no one programmed her into the game.
Legendary gamer Daryl Musashi arrives as the Lone Gunmen and Mulder are awed. Byers figures Ivan brought Musashi in to kill the game babe who murdered Retro. A frustrated Scully asks Mulder an important question:
“Mulder, why does this game have the effect of reducing grown men back to moony adolescence?”
An excited Mulder replies, “That’s Daryl Musashi!”
Fearless Musashi obliterates the motorcycle riders and runs straight through to the place where Retro died. Maitreya ambushes him there and cuts off his hands as the control room people watch in horror. She speaks to him quietly in Japanese and then decapitates him.
Scully performs the fruitless autopsy. The wound in the center of Retro’s chest has no evidence of gunpowder or a bullet. She tells Mulder that the suit measured the player’s vitals and stuns players with electricity to simulate death. She thought one of the paint charges on the suit might have blown inward and killed Retro but this wasn’t the case. They debate the merits of the game. She believes it adds nothing to an already out of control violent civilization, while he claims it fills a void that modern society fails to provide for. As he shows the digital woman’s image, she reminds him that the woman is digital and her weapons shouldn’t kill anyone as the pieces of Daryl Musashi are brought in.A phone call brings the agents to the L.A. county Sheriff’s office. They squeeze by the raunchy officers and into the interview room, with a smirking Mulder closing the blinds. The woman apprehended at a strip club confirms to a skeptical Scully that her name is indeed Jade Blue Afterglow. She eventually admits to having her body scanned at a medical imaging place in Culver City.
When Mulder and Scully return to F.P.S., they find Phoebe sleeping on the floor in the control room. Apparently she had been up 70 straight hours looking at code and slept longer than she wanted. She relates that Ivan is with the money people and the Lone Gunmen are testing some things down in the projector room.
Abruptly the game starts on its own and the Gunmen find themselves being shot at. Mulder eagerly gears up and charges into the game. He lays down cover fire for the three men as they retreat into the starting weapons module. Maitreya runs by in the distance and a foolhardy Mulder pursues her into the same killing ground that Retro and Musashi discovered before. She appears with a sword and then disappears. Reappearing behind Mulder she strikes at him as the Lone Gunmen charge off to rescue him. As they close in, the game shuts down and they find themselves in the projector room with no Mulder anywhere in sight. Scully demands to know where he is and Byers just says he should be in there, its only a digital environment.
Phoebe finds Mulder for them, still in the game but the game has vanished. Mulder wakes up in the parking garage with a sword in the pillar by him; he wanders out to meet Maitreya in battle. The Lone Gunmen are altering the hardware to try and make a kill switch for the game but Phoebe says it won’t work.
A jubilant Ivan returns talking about how wonderful Scully is. Apparently, the bankers saw FBI and cause of death unknown and decided to proceed with the game anyway. Scully is angry at Ivan and accuses him of placing Jade Blue Afterglow in the game but Phoebe runs away in tears. She follows her and confronts her in the hallway.
Phoebe confesses to Scully that she scanned the woman and was making her own separate game. Somehow her creation jumped programs and is now feeding off the male aggression and becoming invincible. She did it as an escape from the constant raging testosterone of those around her. Scully can relate and convinces Phoebe to try and find a way to stop Maitreya.Mulder starts to get attacked in the game but manages to knock down the digital killer. Scully relates what Maitreya is and tries to get them back into the game they are locked out of. Mulder runs and retrieves the sword as the second level is triggered.
Outside Phoebe tries to trigger the game’s death but Ivan tries to stop her since this game is his whole life. Both programmers had been unwilling to trigger this kill command for the entire game out of some desire to protect what they had, Ivan wanted to save his money making game while Phoebe didn’t want to destroy Maitreya. Phoebe is willing to do it now. The Lone Gunmen eager to save their friends trigger the kill command and the whole game is wiped out. They find no one in the projector room. But they check the module...
They attempt to power down the game but it isn’t responding as Scully watches the vixen approach. Scully enters the game and saves Mulder from the five gunslinger Maitreyas. But the module door traps them inside and new enemies spawn.
And find an exhausted Scully and still cheerful gun-happy Mulder.
Dejected Ivan finds his screens active again with a character walking about in the wire frames. Scully’s face appears for Maitreya in the place of Jade Blue Afterglow’s face.
- When Darryl Musashi walks down for 'the kill', you can see the reflection of the camera man along with Maitreya on the back of Musashi's armor.
- In level two, it's clearly raining in the shots of Scully, but in other shots there's no rain.
- When Mulder first encounters Maitreya armed with a gun in level 2, he throws away his sword exclaiming "That's not fair!". In the next scene where she duplicates herself, he has the sword back in his hands.
- This episode was written by sci-fi author William Gibson.
- The scene in which Jade Blue Afterglow uncrosses and re-crosses her legs allowing Mulder a lecherous glimpse references a very similar scene in Basic Instinct where Sharon Stone does exactly the same thing.
- Krista Allen as Jade Blue Afterglow/Maitreya
- Jamie Marsh as Ivan Martinez
- Constance Zimmer as Phoebe
- Billy Ray Gallion as Retro
- Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike
- Dean Haglund as Richard Langly
- Bruce Harwood as John Fitzgerald Byers