7×13 First Person Shooter

Three teen guerrillas, bursting with testosterone, buckle up their stun suits in a dimly lit equipment bunker. They rack their futuristic, automatic weapons in preparation for war. But their battlefield is a virtual reality game, where they are pitted against imaginary gunmen. Game controllers Ivan and Phoebe monitor the players’ vital statistics from an outside console. One of the players is “shot” and another waits as Retro moves farther into the depths of the virtual environment to encounter a beautiful female warrior in leather and stilettos. “I am Maitreya,” she tells him, slinking closer. “This is my game.” She brandishes an antique flintlock pistol and aims it at him. Retro can only watch as sparks flash from the powder-pan when she pulls the trigger.

Later that night, Mulder and Scully enter the FPS corporate building amid stringent security. They are met by the Lone Gunmen, who are uncharacteristically enthusiastic about the company. The trio explains that they serve as consultants to the game, but that Retro’s death has put a damper on the company’s upcoming initial public stock offering.

Scully checks Retro’s body and notes that the man was obviously shot. Ivan vehemently refutes the visual proof, saying there is no way a real gun could have gotten into the highly-secured complex. The entire scenario, Phoebe explains, is digital. Nothing exists outside the game space. Mulder reviews the videotape of the game that shows nothing out of the ordinary. Yet when they switch the game environment to wire mode and all the textures and surfaces are stripped, the tape reveals a female pointing a gun at Retro. Mulder and the Lone Gunmen are shocked, but Phoebe’s face shows a spark of recognition. After the men leave the room, she stares at the cyber-vixen on the monitor. “Goddess,” she whispers in disbelief.

Mulder gives a detective the printout of Maitreya as the suspect, but Scully remains skeptical that a fictional female character could commit a real murder. Their ensuing discussion is cut short by the entrance of Darryl Musashi, a revered virtual programmer and game-playing legend. Like fan-crazed little boys, Mulder and the Lone Gunmen leave to watch Musashi take on the game and its unexpected female challenger. They are shocked when Musashi meets a gruesome end in a matter of minutes, decapitated by the Samurai sword-wielding Maitreya.

Completing her preliminary examination of Retro, Scully is confused about how his wound left no trace of evidence. She and Mulder argue lightly about the merits of computer games, questioning whether they add to a culture of violence or provide a necessary outlet. As the remains of Darryl Musashi are brought into the autopsy bay, Mulder receives a call from the Sheriff’s Department that their female suspect is in custody at the station house. At the station, Mulder and Scully must maneuver around the many male officers hovering over the sexy suspect, an exotic dancer who goes by the name Jade Blue Afterglow. Confronted by the printed image of her likeness, she tells them that she was paid for allowing a medical imaging company make a computer scan of her body. The agents release the woman.

Back in the offices of FPS, the Lone Gunmen prepare to enter the game space to implement a patch program that will override the software problem. Before they are ready, the game begins on its own and the Gunmen are shot at. Mulder rushes to enter the game space in order to rescue the trio, but he is unable to follow them out before the module closes. He is trapped inside the game. Phoebe and Scully watch as Mulder’s image disappears from their monitor. His vitals are still registering on the console, and they realize that even though Mulder isn’t physically in the game space, he is lost somewhere inside the game.

Scully angrily confronts Ivan about putting the female figure into the game, but it’s Phoebe who runs out of the room with a guilty sob. As Scully follows her into the hall, the young woman admits that she created Maitreya to be her own game character in an attempt to make her mark as a woman in the gaming world. Yet, she maintains, she has no idea how the character moved from her computer to the game mainframe.

Inside the game, Mulder and Maitreya square off. She is able to move and disappear at will, but Mulder manages to survive against her. Maitreya multiplies herself and continues to fire at him. Her electronic advantage takes its toll on Mulder, and he quickly loses ammunition. Finally, in desperation, Scully suits up and enters the game space herself, brandishing her own high-powered weapon. Round after round, she overpowers Maitreya, but the confrontations continue to grow difficult. Maitreya comes after them with a tank.

Phoebe finally decides that she must enact the game’s kill switch. Ivan tries to stop her, because the kill switch will erase the whole game, but she succeeds. With the push of a few buttons, the game completely evaporates. For a brief moment, it appears that Mulder and Scully have been erased with the game, but when the module opens, the two agents are safely inside, battle-worn and weary.

Later, while Ivan sits working at his computer, a new female figure suddenly appears that resembles a warrior who once mastered the game — Special Agent Dana Scully.

Original Air Date: 02/27/00

Written by William Gibson & Tom Maddox
Directed by Chris Carter

DAVID DUCHOVNY as Special Agent Fox Mulder
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully

Also Starring:
Krista Allen as Maitreya
Jamie Marsh as Ivan Martinez
Constance Zimmer as Phoebe
Billy Ray Gallion as Retro
Tom Braidwood as Frohike
Dean Haglund as Langly
Bruce Harwood as Byers
Michael Ray Bower as Lo-Fat
Ryan Todd as Moxie
James Geraldne as Detective Lacoeur
John Marrott as Security Guard
Christopher Ng as Darryl Musashi