Season 3, Episode 15

Written by Naomi Janzen

Directed by Nicholas J. Gray

Guest stars:

Rita................................... Catherine Bruhier

R.H. Lo............................ George Chang

Linda Fulford................... Diane Plotka

Virtual Beauty.................. Kelley Grando

Megan.............................. Moe Kelso

Inside a computer lab, a programmer is checking out his creation, Virtual Reality gear and his game. The picture is close to lifelike. In the game, a woman asks if he is there to work or play. She hears he has an hour to kill, telling him it takes a second to die as she runs a long black fingernail down his neck, telling him she wants to give him a unique experience. He has fangs inside the game, and is totally into it. She plunges her fingernail into his neck at the same time a woman presses the black barrel of gun into his neck and fires out in the real world. The programmer falls to the floor dead.

In the Caddy, Tracy is expressing her frustration and annoyance at being stuck with all of their paperwork for the last few weeks, reminding him he should help. She feels better having gotten it off her chest. She asks Nick if he is listening. He snaps out of it, telling her he is glad she feels better. She asks what is wrong with him and why he is so out of it lately. He is too out of it to answer, which causes her to give up.

Inside the computer lab, Natalie's finished examining the body and tells Reese the victim died instantly from a gunshot at point blank range. Reese says there was no sign of a struggle or forced entry meaning he knew his killer, and it was probably someone he trusted. Nick shows them the VR gear, commenting the guy was probably oblivious to everything outside of the program. Reese calls it brain candy, commenting his nephew mainlines it. Tracy says the victim's R.H. Lo, a computer programmer and co-owner of Virtual Dimension Labs. Reese notices that Nick is spaced out and calls him on it. Nick briefly pays attention. Reese gets Nick's attention again as he assigns him to follow ballistics while works with someone from Computers. He will call and arrange for the loan. Natalie notices Nick's odd behavior, but does not say anything.

Inside Natalie's office she drops a bullet into a metal dish, and keeps working as she and Nick talk. Nick asks if she ever gets tired of the routine repetition. She reminds him mortals are on a time clock and there is not enough time to do everything they want to do, so they have to make the most of their time. She asks if he's bored, which is bad because bored cops get careless, which could be dangerous for Tracy. He says he cannot stay interested in work. She informs him job boredom is a very human problem. If he were not a vampire she would send him to a beach for a week and write it off as burnout. Both know he moves on when bored. She's cranky, but is reassured he's not moving on. She knows vampirism gives life an extra kick, asking him if he still wants mortality. His lack of answer does not please her, but she is also not too surprised. He looks depressed. She tells him he can do like the do and find something to fill the emptiness or deal with it. His look shows he does not know what to do.

Reese calls Nick into his office and expresses his concern. Nick's off his game. Nick says he knows. Reese suggests time off or change of pace. Nick says it will not help. Reese tells him to sort it out before Vetter thinks she has to watch her back. Nick is a little cranky as he tells Reese his partners can always rely on him. He is reminded cops are human and sometimes it takes a tragedy to remind them. Nick is lucky because he sees the early warning signs and has to decide how to handle it. Nick looks, worried, agitated and clueless. He leaves without another word.

Nick walks past his desk, shocked to hear a woman comment it is a vampire, stopping him dead in his tracks. He searches the room for that person and sees Tracy and Linda on the other side of the room. He's amused and relieved to learn they are talking about a female vampire in the game. Nick learns she's Linda Fulford from Computer Ops, is helping with the case, and it is the best VR game she has ever seen. It is the prototype for the next generation of games. It is half computer game and half online service. The hardware is hooked up to the high-speed mainframe at Virtual Dimensions Labs via a digital cell phone uplink. She offers Nick a turn and he takes it. She starts the game when he has the wraparound sunglasses, with attached microphone and gloves on. Tracy says she prefers reality. Linda says there are no vampires in reality. Tracy smirks while Nick's surprised but hides it. He is a bit startled by the game.

Inside the game, Nick is in a hotel room where a female vampire asks him if he is there to work or play. In reality, Tracy and Linda are greatly amused as they watch Nick enjoy the game. Tracy asks what he's seeing and hears he is being seduced. Linda says it can be very seductive, while Tracy says it seduces you into opening your wallet. In the game, a vampire strokes Nick's cheek as he sees a hint of her fangs. Tracy calls Nick's name when he seems to be having too much fun. Nick quickly removes the gear; afraid he will vamp out in front of them. He is teased about the pretty woman, confirming it, a little embarrassed, but amused. Nick tells them he cannot believe how real it was. He could feel her touch. Nick looks behind him and sees a dead ringer for the vampire being escorted across the bullpen. They exchange a look. Reese approaches, telling them she's Rita Scott, owner of the other half of Virtual Dimensions Labs. Nick confuses Reese by saying she is the model for the virtual vampire, explaining it is the one from the game.

Inside the interview room, Rita says she met R.H. at York University where she was in her third year in Computer Animation and he was designing hardware and software. They clicked, but it was strictly business. They worked in the video business for a few years before striking out on their own as pioneers. R.H. designed the remote headset because there was nothing like it on the market, which it will revolutionize. Nick comments it will be worth a lot of money, hearing she is counting on it. She says she was giving an online interview four hours ago, going over the same things. When they are skeptical, she tells them to log on and retrieve the transcript. She logged on from her office. Tracy says they will check it out. Rita cannot think of any enemies Lo had.

Nick enters the evidence room, takes the game off the shelf, and slips into it.

Inside the game, Nick and the female vampire are at the ROM. She asks if he is there to work or play. Nick asks the woman how to play the game, and is taken into a blue room. VR Rita tells him he's a vampire in the game and is free to do whatever he wants to do. He must kill because blood is his power source. Nick does not reflect in the game's mirrors. VR Rita says he can indulge himself because no one truly gets hurt. A woman seduces Nick, telling him to take her. He tries hard to resist.

In the evidence room, it is clear Nick is totally engrossed in the game.

Inside the game, the woman is attempting to seduce Nick to the point where he must take her. Nick asks VR Rita what is the purpose of the game, hearing it is pleasure and fantasy fulfillment. She explains she has made some modifications to the game in case anyone came looking, and he will find what he is after if he wins. Nick says he is looking for Lo's killer. She confesses, telling him no court in reality would accept a virtual confession. She vanishes. Nick sees his power level is nearly drained and there's a little over 11:54 left. Nick drains the woman, realizing he must if he wants to win. He is now at full power. VR Rita returns, congratulates him, and asks if it was thrilling. She says it is time to move onto better things as she shows him a door. Nick opens it and steps through a bright light arriving at another place.

He is inside BCE Place, near the brownstone building. VR Rita congratulates him on finishing the first level. He is now on level two. He must watch his remaining time and blood level.

Reese angrily asks Nick what does he think he is doing, because it is evidence. Nick's startled and tells Reese Rita confessed to him in the game. Reese asks if he is supposed to haul her hologram into virtual court. He reminds Nick they have nothing what so ever so they cannot get a search warrant. Nick should be at the computer lab with Tracy and Linda. Nick says he needs to play the game out, hearing why would Rita leave evidence, which would put her away for a long time. Nick says it is the game. Reese wants him at the lab.

Nick enters the computer lab. Tracy is studying information while Linda is working on the computer. Rita's alibi checks out. She was doing the interview, logged in from her office. It would be possible, but very difficult to log on elsewhere and make it seem like she was at the lab. Nick reminds them she is a computer wizard. Linda says it is the most intricate interactive engine she has ever seen. Tracy adds that Lo's shares revert to the company upon death, leaving Rita sole owner of the company. It is a motive, but it is too obvious. Nick says Rita does not care because she thinks she has committed the perfect murder. Nick shocks them with the news Rita confessed, then admits it was in the game. Linda says she would have to be online and it will not be easy to trace. Tracy says the case will not be solved in the game. Nick tells her he already got that speech from Reese. She reminds him it is not the usual procedure. He says it cannot hurt because they have nothing else. He tells them about the real locations he has been at. When Tracy learns he does not know what he's looking for, she tells him he is wasting his time. Linda has been analyzing the game and it seems to be deleting itself. It is how they make each game unique. Nick say Rita did tell him there is a time limit. He has less than twelve hours for his only shot at the game. Reese calls them back to the precinct. Nick says he has to get back into the game and hears Reese insists on his presence.

Inside an interview room, Rita is upset they suspect her of Lo's murder based on a virtual confession she denies giving. She also denies accessing the game. Nick comments the murder was not enough and that she had to tell someone. She tells Nick he is making less sense the more he talks. She is allowed to leave. Reese tells Nick he is close to an unscheduled vacation. Nick says maybe he needs one and leaves.

Inside the room, Nick is let into the blue room. He looks around, noticing he reflects in the morrow, but did not in the game. He remembers the door with the bright light and approaches it. He discovers it is a large walk in closet. On a floor to ceiling shelving unit on the far wall, he discovers a life sized crystal skull. He leaves with it.

Nick enters BCE Place, puts on the VR gear and activates the game. VR Rita says she was beginning to think he was not coming. She's impressed when she learns he was scouting and found the skull. She says the challenges get harder from now on. She says Megan is his if he can get her, and leaves. Nick approaches Megan, who sees him, panics and begs him not to kill her, as she brandishes a cross. The cross is knocked out of her hand and she is drained by Nick, in front of the brownstone building. His power readout was less than half and there is just over 8:52 left. He gently lays her down and backs along the wrought iron fence.

In reality, Nick's back is pressed against the fence. He takes off the sunglasses and immediately spins around, realizing he is vamped out. He is now facing the building, tightly holding onto the fence. Moments later he's in control, looks around and removes the gloves. He finds a blood bag label by a plant behind the fence, by the wall of the building.

Inside the bullpen, Tracy looks at the skull and label on the desk, asking if it is some kind of joke. Nick says he found them where Rita said they would be. Tracy is crankier, asking it was Rita from the game. Nick says it was. She tells him Reese is going to blow an important blood vessel if he does not stop pushing it. Nick explains they have to mean something because they were found in real locations, exactly where they were in the game. She says Rita is probably placing them there. He needs a reality check because someone is yanking his chain, and it is not like him. He says he must find m ore clues, which Linda interprets, as returning to the game. He reminds them of the real locations he finds the clues in, ones from the game. Linda asks what he is going to do with the clues once he finds them and hears Nick does not know. She suggests trying another angle and is whammied to agree with him. Natalie is shocked that he is whammying with Tracy right behind him. She nervously looks around then at Nick. Nick leans on the desk, momentarily weak, tells Tracy he's okay, when asked. She comments he is a little hyped, hearing it's the game and he has to leave. Tracy grudgingly gives in and he leaves.

Natalie intercepts him and angrily tells him they must talk now. He's not in a good mood and is escorted to the interview room. She shuts the door behind her. She angrily asks what the hell is wrong with him, hypnotizing a cop in front of Tracy. He says he is wrong and probably should not have done it, not sounding too apologetic. She cannot believe what she is hearing. He tells her no one wants to solve the murder. She comments no one wants to solve it his way, through the game. She asks if it is providing the missing kick in his life. He denies it. She says he probably has to kill in the game, which is not good. She reminds him of the recent setbacks, commenting on his hypnotizing cops in the middle of the precinct. He tells her he will get over this one, as he did the others. She does not think he is over any of them. His angry expression tells her to stay out of his way as he says he must return to the game and leaves. Her back is to him. She looks like she's about to cry, beat the crap out of someone, possibly using a wooden stake.

Nick enters the loft in a bad mood, heads straight for the fridge, grabs a bottle of blood and takes a nice long drink. He heads for the fireplace and is reaching for the VR gear when he is startled to see LaCroix. LaCroix offers him a bottle of human. Nick hesitates for a short time, then takes the bottle and takes a long drink from it. LaCroix tells him he is getting the strangest stirrings from him, asking what's wrong. Nick denies anything's wrong. LaCroix's expression shows he does not believe a word of it. Nick semi-reluctantly explains about the game, which he is only playing to solve the case. LaCroix does not totally believe him, commenting on the killing in it rekindling those desires within him, getting a somewhat reluctant confirmation. Nick's expression is mixed, part likes it and part does not. LaCroix comments on Nick savoring their blood in the very impressive game and leaves. Nick has another drink then grabs the VR gear.

Inside the game, Nick is in a power plant among the pipes. He is almost instantly attacked by a crossbow that barely misses him. Nick growls at the guy, takes him out, but not with his fangs. He's vamped out and runs around the place looking for the clue while avoiding the humans and crossbow bolts trying to kill him. He fights when attacked.

In the loft, Nick's head jerks as the game affects him.

Inside the game, Nick drains a man who attacked him with an axe. His power indicator grows to about halfway. He's again attacked with an axe and drains the guy, bringing the indicator to full power. VR Rita tells him there is only 6:21 to go.

Nick yanks off the sunglasses, his eyes are vampire yellow. He grabs the bottle and has a long drink from it.

Nick visits the power plant and ducks from site as workers approach. He vamps out, softly growling, and almost instantly restrains himself. He comes out when it is clear. He finds a brass and glass hourglass on the floor not too far way. He examines it, then looks in the direction of the men, wanting to hunt them.

Inside the bullpen, Tracy is holding the hourglass, telling Nick he is pushing it and Reese already thinks he has lost it. Nick asks if she agrees. Reese approaches, comments Nick found another item from the novelty shop. Nick says he can drop the game right now, but Rita walks if he does. Reese says if Nick wants he will put a tail on Rita. It is the only kind of police work he can wrap his mind around. Nick says Rita is online somewhere and she will only slip up inside the game. Reese is starting to lose his temper. Nick is crankier as he tells them Rita leads him to virtual clues that bring him closer to a real piece of evidence that will convict her. He's up against a clock and must get to the next level. Reese comments he is already there. Nick leaves. Linda, Tracy and Reese look uncomfortable, thinking Nick has lost it big time.

Nick storms into his loft, grabs a bottle of blood, sits at the table, has a drink, then puts on the VR gear.

Inside the game, Nick is somewhere undetermined, looking for the next clue. Suddenly a large flaming cross appears. Nick cringes back from the flames, vamping out and protecting his face with his hands. Nick runs, looks around, still vamped out. Nick is jumped from above, pushes the man into a power junction box, and is jolted by the current from two large conduits. Nick jumps back, pulls the guy loose before he is fried, and tosses him across the room. Nick is searching for his attacker. Flames leap up in his path. He is attacked with an axe, blocking it with a metal wheel. The fight continues through various levels of the place. VR Rita tells him he is down to 3:28. He sees he is down to half power.

Inside the bullpen, Tracy's looking at Nick's collection, frustrated but calm as she says the background check on Rita showed nothing, the canvas teams got nothing and there's nothing on R.H. Lo pointing to the killer. Linda suggests that Nick could be right, and asks why games. She sees Tracy and Reese's puzzled look and explains people like computer games and the Internet for the challenge and fun. The harder it is the bigger the ego boost when you win. Maybe Rita is addicted to her own game, sure she will win, thinking no matter what she does she cannot be convicted. Reese is considering it, while Tracy looks confused and uncertain. Linda says Rita probably gets a kick out of leaving clues in real places, and the game will not end until it is played out. Tracy points out that Rita is there only suspect, and Nick might have been right all along. They know they might owe Nick a major apology. Reese asks what the clues mean and learn they are likely another game. Tracy suggests an anagram.

Nick is inside a factory collecting clues. He slips into the VR gear. VR Rita tells him there's one more level, but he must first figure out the clues, telling him it is a game within a game. He comments it is an anagram. She reminds him time's becoming a factor with just over fifty-eight minutes left and has less than a quarter of his power left. She vanishes. Nick quickly removes the gear and calls the precinct. He tells Tracy the two new clues are a jackknife and a noose. She cuts him off telling him it is a game within a game, both say anagram about the same time and hangs up. Nick does not seem happy they know he was right all along, yet does seem a bit surprised they figured it out. He sits down and lists the clues in his notebook, starting with the skull.

In the bullpen, Tracy informs Reese and Linda. Linda inputs them into the computer program she wrote for the RCMP, which will give them answers to word jumbles in minutes. Tracy says they only need one answer. Linda says they need to tell the computer which letters to use, first, last or progressing. Reese suggests progressing as first is too easy. She types it in and the computer runs through the combinations.

Nick is still working with his handwritten list.

Tracy asks Linda about the dice revolving onscreen, and learns that they get bored. The first answer is gibberish. Reese asks if they get to buy another vowel.

Nick turns to the next page and writes the first letter of each word (sohtnj) across the top of the page, writing St. John on the next line. He gives a small disbelieving shake of his head and grumbles it is a church. The sun is rising.

Reese suggests last letters. Linda instructs the computer.

Nick pulls up at the church all bundled up and makes a dash for the door as fast as humanly possible, leaving a smoking trail behind him, along with sounds of pain.

He runs inside the church, letting the door close behind him and leans against the other door. He walks further into the church, looking around as he removes his scarf. He slips on the VR glasses, the gloves already on. He hears VR Rita tell him that she is very impressed. The weapon is hidden somewhere in the church, looking more like herself than her VR self. It is somewhere a vampire would not want to touch.

Tracy, Reese, and Linda are still getting nonsense words. Tracy asks if they are words, hearing Reese give a smartass answer that he was in Lensde the other day earns him a playful tap on the arm from Tracy. She asks what is left, and learns it is first letters. Reese mutters it would work out that way. They get the same first letters Nick did. Tracy comes up with John St. Reese perks up, saying it's St. John as in St. John's church. Tracy comments it is the perfect place for a vampire game.

Inside the game, Nick looks at the baptismal fountain, hearing it is a good guess, but he will never get to it. He reminds her he is not a detective in there, but a vampire. He says she can call him Nicholas de Brabant. She says that the great thing about games is that you can be anyone but yourself, and vanishes. He is given a three-minute warning. His remaining power takes a drop. A pillar with a cross appears behind him.

In reality, Nick sees nothing behind him but the front of the pews. He does not see Rita in the back of the church, her back to the wall. Her sunglasses have only one eyepiece. There is a smirk on her face.

In the game there's about a minute and forty five seconds left as his power drops to nearly non existent, warning him the game's almost over. Rita appears again, telling him there is a dark corner of the psyche, which can be exploited because everyone wants to be someone else. Nick asks what she wants to be and learns she wants to win, as she shoots him with a crossbow. There is a minute and a half left as Nick goes down, the wooden arrow through his heart.

In reality, it is a silence gunshot fired at the same instant the crossbow fired. Rita pulls off her goggles as Nick lies on the floor in pain. He quickly pulls off the sunglasses and works on getting the gloves off despite the pain. She approaches, tells him the perfect crime cannot go on forever, shooting him three more times. She admits the weapon is not in the fountain, but in her hand. He is in even more agony, flat on his back as she turns her back on him. He sits up vamped out and growls softly. He is quickly behind Rita, grabs her, spins her around. He tells her in his dark gravely tone if she is going to play a game, she should know who she's playing against. She is terrified to see a real vampire. Nick grabs her, roughly pushes her neck to the side and is about to sink his fangs in when he pulls back for the kill, his two halves at war. He gets within an inch of her neck and cannot do it. He turns her around and whammies her into forgetting she saw him vamped out.

Nick breaks the whammy and is holding her by her wrists when backup bursts through the door. Nick turns Rita over to an officer who reads her her rights. Tracy asks Nick if he's okay and hears he is. Nick holds up the gun, hanging off either a finger or a pen, telling them it is the murder weapon. The uniformed officer takes it, being careful not to smudge any prints, or spoil any evidence on the gun. Reese tells Nick he hopes he is right and will run it by Ballistics to be sure. Rita does not look happy to have lost. Reese and Tracy walk away. Tracy handcuffs Rita, telling her there is no get out of jail free card. Rita says she does not care as long as there is a game to play. Nick watches Tracy lead Rita away and the others leave, a concerned, angsty what do I do now look on his face.

Inside the loft, Natalie is studying the VR glasses. They both walk towards the fireplace, a wineglass in his hand, the glasses in hers. She tells him it is a good thing backup arrived because he probably would not have made it to the precinct at eight am with the suspect. She looks down at the sunglasses and asks if he is going to keep them. He tells he thought about it, virtual vampire, virtual feeding. He's about to take a sip when she reminds him slightly cranky, it's virtual killing. He's stunned, does not take his drink, his shock showing on his face. Her concern shows as she tells him she is worried about him and how addictive games can be. She says it is up to him. There is a hint of reluctance as he tells her to do whatever she wants with them. She tosses the glasses into the fireplace, puts her hand on his chest and gives him a small grin. He takes her hand, returning the grin. A moment later he walks away. She watches the brightly dancing flames consume the glasses.

Black Buddha Part 1 | Black Buddha Part 2 | Outside the Lines | Blackwing
Blind Faith | My Boyfriend is a Vampire | Hearts of Darkness | Trophy Girl
Let No Man Tear Asunder | Night in Question | Sons of Belial | Strings
Fever | Dead of Night | The Games Vampires Play | The Human Factor
Avenging Angel | Fallen Idol | Jane Doe | Francesca
Ashes to Ashes | Last Knight


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