GAMES VAMPIRES PLAY
R.H. Lo: Okay...there you are. Not bad. Feels almost real...but I think I'd better debug the code in the tactile response routines, don't you think? I thought you'd agree. (Changes something) That should work a little better.
Vampire in Virtual Reality Game (Rita) Did you come to work, or would you care to play?
Lo: Sure, I've got an hour to kill.
Vampire Rita: But it only takes a second to die.... (In the game, she runs one of her nails along the side of his face...in reality, it's a gun)
Lo: Oh...that feels real. Damn I'm good.
Vampire Rita: I want you to experience the greatest sensation of all. Something you've never felt before, and you'll never feel again. Death. (He's gets shot...dies)
Tracy: (To Nick who's driving but not paying much attention) Okay, here's the deal. In the last few weeks I have been swamped with paperwork. Our paperwork. Our arrest reports, our weapons discharge reports, our brief sheets, our requisitions, our case summaries, the works. I have our paperwork pilled up to here. Our paperwork. As in you and me. So, my question to you, Nicholas B. Knight is this--why am I doing all of the paperwork myself? I mean, partners work together, right? So, that means you should be helping me with the paperwork. You and me. Good. Got that off my chest. And now I feel much better. Nick?
Tracy: Did you hear what I said?
Nick: Yeah, sure. You said you were feeling better and that's good. Isn't it?
Tracy: What is wrong with you lately? You are so out of it!
Nick: (seriously not knowing) Out of what?
Natalie: Single shot, close range, killed him instantly.
Reese: Execution style. No sign of struggle or forcible entry. Killer knew the victim or victim trusted the killer.
Nick: Or he was preoccupied. Virtual reality gear. If he was in here, he was oblivious to everything else.
Reese: Brain candy. I've got a nephew who mainlines the stuff.
Tracy: Victim's name is R.H. Lo. He's a programmer here, software developer and co-owner of the company. So, we're looking for the other owner.
Reese: You with us here, Detective? I hope we're not boring you.
Nick: Yeah, sure.
Reese: Okay, here's the drill--I'll talk to Nassy(?) in computer ops, get one of his people in on this case. Vetter, I want you on that. Knight? Knight, I want you to follow up on ballistics.
Nick: Don't you ever get tired of it?
Natalie: Of what?
Nick: The repetition of routine.
Natalie: So that's what this is all about. Unlike yourself, some of us are on a clock. Life is short and busy and there's not enough time to do as much as we'd like, so we are compelled to make the most of it. Wait a minute, you're not bored, are you?
Nick: I don't know.
Natalie: Not good. Bored cops get careless, which might not be of much concern to you, but could prove disasrous for your partner.
Nick: I can't help what I'm feeling. I...I can't seem to stay interested in the job.
Natalie: I hate to say this, but boredom on the job is a very common, human, dilemma. If you were anybody else, I'd prescribe a week on a beach somewhere and write it off as burnout. But you're not anybody else. In the past when this happened you've just....
Nick: Moved on.
Natalie: Moved on. Well, there it is.
Nick: Look, I'm not saying that that's what I'm going to do.
Natalie: Look, Nick, I understand that being a vampire gives your life a little extra kick and that losing it has its downside, but it is something that you want, isn't it? If you're missing something in your life, in this life, try to do what the rest of us do. Find something else to fill the void, or...live with it.
Reese: Nick! In my office! I'll cut right to the chase, here, Nick. I'm worried about you, you're off your game.
Nick: Yeah, I know. Problem is, I don't know what to do about it.
Reese: Well, maybe you need some time off, a change of pace?
Nick: No, I don't think so.
Reese: You need something, Nick. I never thought I'd hear myself saying this but, I don't like what I'm seeing from you lately. I think you need to take stock of this situation and work it out...before Vetter starts thinking she better be watching her back while she's out there with you.
Nick: Captain, my partners can rely on me.
Reese: Cops are human, Nick. Sometimes they loose focus and they don't realize it until it's too late. You're lucky. You see the signs. You just have to decide what you're going to do about them.
Linda Fulford: It's a vampire! Look at this. That's what she is. She's a vampire. This is good. This is the best I've ever seen. (Nick comes over, and she takes off the gear) You want to try it?
Tracy: Nick, this is Detective Linda Fulford from computer ops, she'll be helping us with this.
Nick: It's good to have you with us, Detective.
Linda: Thanks, this is going to be fun. This is a prototype--combination virtual reality game and online service. The hardware is uplinked by digital cell phone to a high-speed mainframe over at virtual dimensions lab. Next generation stuff. Check it out. (Nick has put the gloves on)
Tracy: Frankly, I prefer reality to computer games.
Linda: Yeah, but reality doesn't have vampires. Hang on, Nick.
(Nick puts it on and it's switched on)
Vampire Rita: (to Nick) Did you come to work, or would you care to play?
Tracy: Nick, what's going on in there?
Nick: I think I'm being seduced.
Linda: Well, these things are designed to seduce you.
Tracy: Into opening your wallet.
Linda: It's an interactive vampire game.
(The vampire brushes her hand against Nick's face in the game, and he reacts)
(He pulls the headgear off) Linda: Pretty girl, huh?
Nick: Yeah, very pretty. It's unbelievable. I could feel her touch. (He turns, and sees a woman who looks like the vampire in the game escorted through the precinct.)
Reese: Her name's Rita Scott. She's R.H. Lo's partner.
Nick: And obviously the model for the virtual vampire.
Nick: The vampire in the game.
Tracy: You and R.H. Lo are co-owners of Virtual Dimensions? (Nick comes in)
Rita Scott: We met at York University. I was in the computer animation program while R.H. was designing software and hardware. We clicked.
Rita: In a business sense only. We spent a few years in the video business, then struck out on our own. We're pioneers. R.H. designed those remote headsets. They'll revolution the market. There's nothing else like them anywhere.
Nick: I imagine they'll be work a lot of money some day.
Rita: I'm betting the ranch they will. This is like deja vu or something, I was just saying all of this stuff four hours ago. On the internet. I was online doing an interview with a computer rag.
Nick: It's not much of an alibi.
Rita: I didn't know I needed one.
Linda: Where were you logged on from?
Rita: From my office. If you'd like, you can log onto the system for a transcript.
Tracy: We'll do that.
Nick: Did Lo have any enemies?
Rita: I can't think of any.
Vampire Rita: Did you come to work, or would you like to play?
Nick: Show me how.
Vampire Rita: Are you sure you're ready for what I have to offer.
Nick: I think I can handle it.
Vampire Rita: In here, you may do as you please. In here, you are a vampire. To win the game, you must kill and keep killing. The victim's blood will be your source of power. Go ahead, sink your fangs into her flesh. Drink her essence--she will not resist. Why don't you do as she asks?
Victim 1: Take me...please. Take me!
Rita: It's just a game.
Victim 1 Take me...? Please. Take me.
Nick: I can't.
Vampire Rita: It's not real. No one gets hurt. Indulge yourself as you please.
Victim 1 Please. Take me.
Nick: What is the point of the game?
Vampire Rita: Pleasure. Fantasy fulfillment. Although I've made a few adjustments for this particular game.
Vampire Rita: In case someone came looking. You are looking for something, aren't you, Detective? More than just escape, I mean. You will find what you're looking for, if you make it all the way to the end. But first, you have to play the game.
Nick: I'm looking for who killed Lo.
Vampire Rita: Well, that would be me. But tell me, Detective, is there a court of law, in reality, where a virtual confession is admissible? I didn't think so.
(Nick drains the victim, killing her)
Vampire Rita: Excellent, Detective. Thrilling, wasn't she? Now then, it's time to move on-ward, and up-ward.
(He goes through a door, and his surroundings change)
Vampire Rita: You've passed the first level, which, let's face it, was pretty easy. Now, keep an eye on the display, your time left, and your blood supply. I look forward to seeing you again.
Reese: Nick, what the hell are you doing? (Takes off the gear) Have you lost it or something?
Nick: Captain, I think the game is the key.
Reese: This is evidence. Put it away!
Nick: I can't. Rita Scott killed Lo. She said so in the game.
Reese: In the game. Oh, that's great. So what am I gonna do? Bring her hologram up on charges in virtual court? I don't even have circumstantial evidence against her, let alone a weapon. And I can't get a warrant to search her place without probable cause, period. The end.
Nick: Where's Tracy?
Reese: She's with Fulford. They went back to the computer lab to see if Fulford can get in that mainframe thing, search the files, figure out what's what. Now, that's where you should be!
Nick: Captain, I've got to play this game out. I'm telling you, the answer's in the game.
Reese: What answer?!
Nick: Whatever it is, its got to link Rita Scott to the crime. The murder weapon, maybe.
Reese: Nick, you're not thinking right. Look, you're telling me she's going to lead you to a piece of evidence that could put her away for life? Now why in God's name would anyone do that?
Nick: Maybe that's the game she wants to play.
Reese: Enough with the games! Nick, look, you got a reasonable suspicion. We'll haul her back in here and we'll get the truth out of her. But in the meantime, will you get back on side with your partner, please?
Linda: Rita Scott's alibi checks out. She was on the internet when Lo was murdered. Logged on from her office.
Nick: We're talking about a computer wizard here, I mean.... Could she have faked it?
Linda: It'd be some trick, but with the right stuff, maybe. The heart of their program is the most sophisticated interactive engine I have ever seen. Anything's possible.
Tracy: Looks like the partner's had a contract. Lo's shares revert to the corporation in the event of his death. Meaning, the sole remaining partner, Rita, controls them, now.
Linda: Sounds like motive to me.
Tracy: Yeah, but it's so in your face. Didn't she think we'd clue into that right away?
Nick: She didn't care. She thinks she committed the perfect crime.
Tracy: Are you saying you know she's guilty?
Nick: She confessed to me. In the game.
Linda: She'd have to be online somewhere to do that. But, that's hard to trace and harder to prove.
Tracy: Ah, Nick, come on.
Nick: I know, I know--we have no evidence. Okay, I got the same speech from Reese. But look at it this way--right now we have nothing. If there's a clue or clues in the game, it can't hurt to keep playing.
Tracy: It's not exactly our regular procedure.
Nick: Okay, from what I know of the game, everything takes place in real Toronto locations. The first was a boudoir in a museum, the second looked like BCE Place...the clews could be in there.
Tracy: How do you know where to look? How do you know what you're looking for?
Nick: I don't.
Tracy: Well, then, it's crazy to waste your time on it.
Linda: Guys...this is weird. I'm analyzing the game program. It must be the game that you're playing, Nick. It's hard to describe--it's like the program's deleting itself, so that every game is unique.
Nick: She said there was a time limit.
Linda: It's not just counting. If you're right, it looks like you have one chance at finding whatever there is to find, and less than twelve hours to do it.
Tracy: (Her phone rings) Vetter. Yes, Captain, we're on our way. Yes, he'll be there. (Hangs up) Rita Scott's at the precinct.
Nick: I've got to get back into the game.
Tracy: Sorry, Nick. The Captain kind of insists.
Rita: Let me see if I've got this straight--I'm here as a suspect in Lo's murder because you say I confessed to you while you were playing the virtual vampire game?
Nick: Why did you access the game I'm playing?
Rita: Whoa...whoa, hold on and back up. I didn't access anything.
Nick: Is it the game? You just couldn't kill Lo, that would be too easy. You needed to let someone know what you've done, to see how clever you are.
Rita: You know, the more you talk, the less sense you make.
Nick: I know you're playing this game with me. I know you killed R.H. Lo, and I'll prove it.
Rita: I don't have to listen to this. I was not in the game with you and I never confessed to anything. Can I go now, or should I call my lawyer?
Reese: Yes, you can go. (She leaves)
You're close to getting yourself an unscheduled vacation, here, Nick.
Nick: Maybe I need one. (He leaves)
Reese: Where are you going?
Vampire Rita: Where have you been? I was beginning to worry.
Nick: I've been doing a little scavenging.
Vampire Rita: You found it? The skull?
Vampire Rita: Not bad at all, but of course, you have a long way to go yet, and the challenges? Well, they get harder. Like Megan over there. She's all yours, if you can get her.
Nick: You have nothing to fear.
Victim 2: Please don't kill me! I haven't done anything. Please! (She holds up a cross, and backs away...he comes up behind her) Please. Please, don't...don't kill me! I don't want to die. Please have mercy. Please. Please.... (He kills her as she screams)
Tracy: Nick, is this your idea of a joke?
Nick: Rita said I'd find what I was looking for if I kept playing the game.
Tracy: Rita in the game.
Tracy: Right. Nick, Reese is going to blow an important blood vessel if you don't stop pushing this. And I'm not really on board with you, either.
Nick: The have to mean something. I found them in real locations that I also saw in the game. The skull in a closet at the museum...the blood label at BCE Place. Someone, probably Rita Scott, is placing them there.
Tracy: Nick! Someone is yanking your chain! You need a reality check, maybe. I don't know, but this is not you.
Nick: I have to find more clues.
Linda: In the game?
Nick: The game only points to them, the clues are in real places.
Linda: And once we get the clues, how do we figure out what they mean?
Nick: I don't know.
Linda: Maybe we should look at a different approach, here.
Nick: *We don't need a different approach. I'm on the right track, aren't I?*
Nick: See, she's with me.
Tracy: Nick, are you all right?
Nick: I'm fine.
Tracy: You seem a little hyped.
Nick: It's the game.
Nick: I've got to get going.
Natalie: (Stops him as he leaves) Could we have a private chat?
Nick: Can't it wait?
Natalie: Absolutely not!
Nick: I really don't have time for this.
Natalie: What the hell is wrong with you? Tracy was right there. You hypnotized a cop right in front of her!
Nick: Yeah, I know. I shouldn't have.
Natalie: Shouldn't have?
Nick: Look, there's been a murder, and no one seems to want to solve it but me.
Tracy: You mean no on wants to do it your way, through that game.
Nick: It's the only way.
Natalie: What is it about the game, Nick? That vampire game? Is it because it's giving you the kick that you're missing?
Natalie: Let me guess, you have to kill in that game, don't you? You're not looking at the bigger picture, here. We've had some major setbacks recently, and now you're hypnotizing cops in the precinct?
Nick: I got over those and I'll get over this.
Natalie: I don't think you're over any of it.
Nick: I've got to get back into the game.
LaCroix: Would you care to try a little human vintage? It's young, but it has an earthy, robust taste. And it finishes quite well. It really is quite delicious. (Nick takes the bottle and drinks from it) You know, I've been having the strangest inklings about you, Nicholas, that you are ever so slowly wondering back to the fold. (Nick drinks some more) So you can imagine my delight at finding you here like this. I almost hesitate to ask...what has happened to you?
Nick: Nothing's happened. It's the game. It's a virtual reality game...about vampires.
LaCroix: How...quaint. And this game has rekindled the stirrings in you?
Nick: I'm doing it to solve a crime.
LaCroix: Ah, yes. Yes, of course you are...and you have killed in this game?
LaCroix: Savored the victim's blood? Must be quite an impressive game.
Nick: You think I'm pushing it?
Tracy: 'Pushing it' would be an understatement. Captain thinks you've lost it.
Nick: And you think he's right?
Reese: More collectibles from the novelty shop, Knight?
Nick: I know how you think this looks. Listen, I can drop this game right now, if you want me to. But I swear, Rita Scott walks if I do.
Reese: Look, you want me to put a surveillance team on Rita Scott, no problem. Maybe she'll slip up somehow. You see, that kind of police work I can understand.
Nick: It doesn't matter where she is right now, she's online with this game. And the only place she's going to slip up is in the game.
Reese: Oh, yeah...and she's in there dropping little bread crumbs for you?
Nick: Virtual clues, yeah.
Reese: Virtual clues.
Nick: Captain, each virtual clue leads me to a real clue. And every time I move up a level, something brings me closer to a real piece of evidence that's going to convict her. But, there's a clock on this. Time's running out. I need to get to the next level.
Reese: You are on the next level, if you ask me.
Nick: Oh, fine! (Nick walks out)
Reese: Well, how's it going?
Tracy: There is nothing in Rita Scott's background. Nothing from what the canvas teams got on her or R.H. Lo. Nothing at all that points to her as his killer, or to anyone, for that matter.
Linda: You know, there may be something to what Nick has been saying. I mean, ask yourself, why games?
Reese: I beg your pardon?
Linda: These computer games, the internet, the whole thing. People are into it because it gives them something to think about. Gives their mind something challenging to do. And it's fun. It's an ego boost too, when you win. The harder the game, the greater the boost. That's why people play. They get hooked.
Linda: What if Rita Scott is hooked on her own game. She's sure she's going to win. That nothing anyone does is going to get her convicted. The clues she leaves in the real world...she gets a charge out of that. And she won't stop until the game she's playing with Nick has been played out. Hypothetically speaking.
Tracy: Well, she is your only suspect with motive. In fact, she's our only suspect. Maybe it's just remotely possible that Nick is right.
Reese: Well, what do the clues mean?
Linda: They're probably a game in themselves.
Tracy: An anagram, maybe.
Vampire Rita: There's just one level left. The problem is, you can't get there until you've figured out the clues. The game within the game.
Nick: An anagram.
Vampire Rita: Time as they say, is becoming a factor. Bye for now.
Nick: Tracy? Nick. I found two more clues. A jack-knife and a noose.
Tracy: Nick, listen. We think it's a-
Nick: It's a game within a game. An anagram.
Tracy: (With Nick) An anagram.
Tracy: The last two--a jack-knife and a noose.
Linda: This is a decoding program we developed for the RCMP. It can give us thousands of answers to a word jumble in minutes.
Tracy: Yeah, but we only want one answer.
Linda: Then we should tell it whether we want first letters, last letters, middle letters, progressing....
Reese: I'd say progressing. First is too easy.
Tracy: What's with that cute little dice?
Linda: We get bored. S-R-C-P-G-E.
Tracy: (Trying to pronounce it): Scripgee...scribee..?
Reese: Do we get to buy another vowel?
Nick: (Figuring the anagram out--St John) A church.
Reese: I don't know. Maybe we should try last letters.
Vampire Rita: I really have to say I'm impressed, Detective. Good work, but where is the murder weapon? Yes, it's here. My guess would be, it's somewhere a vampire wouldn't want to touch it. Lots of possibilities for that in a church.
Tracy: L-N-E-D-S-E. Nedles, Densel, Lesned.
Reese: These are words?
Linda: They could be place names.
Reese: Oh, yeah, of course. I was in Lesned the other day. So what's left?
Tracy: First letters.
Linda: O-H-N-T-S-J. John St.
Reese: Or St John.
Tracy: Of course, the Church of St John. Perfect place for a vampire game.
Vampire Rita: Good guess, but you'll never get to it.
Nick: Oh, I'm not a detective in here. Here I'm a vampire. You may call me Nicholas de Brabant.
Vampire Rita: That's the point of games like this, Nicolas de Brabant. People can be anything they want to be, except who they are.
Rita: It's a little dark corner of the human psyche that can be exploited without limitation. Everyone wants to be something they aren't.
Nick: And what do you want to be?
Rita: Exactly what I am. The winner. (Shoots him--in the game it's a cross bow, in reality it's a gun) Too bad, Detective. You played a very good game, but you lose anyway. The perfect crime can't go on forever. One last thing. The murder weapon? It's not in the baptismal font, it's right here. (Shoots him several times)
Nick: If you're going to play a game, you should know who you're playing against. (Nick nearly bites Rita) *You never saw me like this.*
Rita: Never saw....
Nick: (As everyone else arrives) You have the right to remain silent. You have a right to an attorney. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Tracy: Nick, are you okay?
Nick: Yeah, I'm fine. This is the weapon.
Reese: You sure?
Nick: Yeah. We'll send it down to ballistics. It'll check out.
Reese: You may not believe this, but uh, I sure hope you're right.
Tracy: So Rita, there's no 'get out of jail free' cards where you're going.
Rita: Maybe not. As long as there's a game to play.
Natalie: It's a good thing Tracy decided to show up at the church. I wouldn't have bet on your chances of getting Rita Scott back to the precinct at eight in the morning. You gonna keep these?
Nick: I was thinking about it. Virtual vampire, virtual feeding.
Natalie: Virtual killing, you mean. Nick, I'm scared. I know that you enjoyed killing again, even if it was just a game. Trouble is, these games can be addictive. It's up to you.
Nick: Do what you want with them....
(Natalie throws the game into the fireplace)