Watch where you're going.
Everybody's got an angle, huh?
Excuse me. Just need a napkin.
Not exactly your style.
It's a gift for my mom.
Mind if I take a look inside?
It wasn't a request.
Come on, man, this is harassment. That's my purse.
Hands up where I can see them!
That's not my purse!
NCIS Season 8 Episode 16 Kill Screen
Boss, I wouldn't do that. I just finished calibrating your... monitors.
It was working fine until you touched it.
All I did was tweak the color gamma.
Mind if I...? Thanks.
Probably just need to restart your e-mail client.
All right. Let me try this.
Boss, that's really not going to help.
It helps me.
Thanks. Thank you.
How about, how about you take mine?
It's a double half-caf Sumatra blend with a twist of lemon.
I'll have it fixed by the time you get back.
Morning, boss. I like that shirt.
I hope you didn't break it. He doesn't like that thing even when it's working.
Should have listened to my horoscope. It said I should stay home today.
What else did it say?
Avoid new relationships.
Which, after last week, is probably not a bad idea either.
What's so funny?
Just that you think you have a choice.
And that you read your horoscope.
Just for fun.
It is interesting.
I have been thinking about taking a break from dating for a while.
Okay, now what's so funny?
Thanks for the support, Tony.
Thought you were going for coffee.
Yeah, well, I was.
Grab your gear. We got a dead Marine... or at least some of him.
Just give me one second here, boss. I almost have this fixed.
We got the same I.D. Arlington P.D. did.
Corporal Zack Armstrong.
Check 'em all, McGee.
We also need to I.D. the teeth.
I've already requested the corporal's dental records. I can construct a mold when we get back to the Navy yard.
Is this all there is?
Any clue as to where the rest of him is?
This tooth appears to have been extracted with a pair of pliers.
Victim dead or alive, Duck?
Impossible to say.
But all of these identifying features have been removed for a reason.
I'll check with the county coroner.
See if anything's turned up.
The pickpocket told us the same story.
We pulled prints from the hot dog cart.
Hopefully, our suspect is among them.
That's one cold-blooded killer.
He stops for a hot dog while getting rid of the evidence.
It's not uncommon for killers to find themselves unusually hungry after the act.
It is uncommon, however, to find them disposing of the evidence in such a stylish bag.
Actually, it's a knockoff.
You can tell by the stitching here and how steep the curves are in the "C's".
It's a long story.
And a good catch, Gremlin.
Might help us trace it to the killer.
Though We need to find the rest.
I think I just did.
County coroner's got a body.
Found it in Glen Oak Preserve, not far from here, tied to a tree.
Missing his fingers and teeth.
It's got to be our guy.
Good news is, DNA confirms this is, in fact, Corporal Armstrong.
Okay, give me the bad news.
Well, I haven't started my autopsy yet, but the previous M.E. had some information which I thought relevant.
Her report... indicates that this bullet wound to the head was postmortem.
Killer making sure he was dead.
The actual cause of death is far more interesting.
This is Armstrong's medical file.
It says right here that he is...
Though I measure him at just over six feet tall.
Hell of a growth spurt.
X rays indicate massive dislocations to virtually every bone in his body and synovial capsule trauma tells me that these occurred rather slowly, and I'm sure you noticed the rope burns to his wrists and ankles.
So he was tied up, and he was tortured?
Rather violently, using a method that was quite popular during the Spanish Inquisition, known as the rack.
Our corporal was stretched to death.
Corporal Zack Armstrong, 25, was a decorated Marine.
He was about to be deployed to Afghanistan.
Before that, he served two tours in Iraq.
Which earned him a Silver Star.
He single-handedly captured the nine and ten of clubs in the Iraq war fugitive deck of cards.
With many just now being sentenced.
Think the corporal's murder was payback for their capture?
He was tied while someone tried to drive off with his feet.
He certainly pissed off somebody.
Witnesses say they saw him arguing with a woman outside a movie theater the night before he was killed, and they said she was pissed.
You get a name?
I could check ATM cameras in the area.
Not without a warrant, of course.
You must be Agent McGee.
Can I help you with something?
Blake Martin, Viper Key Security.
I e-mailed you about my visit.
We've been having some computer problems today.
So are we.
My company handles certain sensitive security issues for the Pentagon.
I was assigned by D.O.D. to investigate several breaches that have emanated from this office.
Must be some computer virus or something.
Or illegal hacking.
You are Agent McGee, right?
Your director assigned you to help me with my investigation.
Sure, yeah, happy to help.
Boss, someone just used our dead Marine's credit card.
Sorry, I've gotta...
Of course, I understand.
I'll be here when you get back.
So we're looking for a player named Max Destructo.
Paid for his game using Corporal Armstrong's credit card.
Should be out soon.
That's going to be me when that Pentagon guy is done with his investigation.
This is a very interesting way to spend money.
Do you do this?
It's too geeky, even for me.
McGeeminator, you ready for a rematch?
No, actually, I'm, I'm here working. Sorry.
All right, maybe I played once or... twice.
There's our guy.
Excuse me. We need to speak with you.
Please turn around, Max.
Maxine, and I don't have to talk to you.
Actually, you do.
Did you use this man's credit card?
Oh, my God, he called the cops.
We were dating.
Found out he was screwing around, so I dumped him about a week ago.
And stole his credit card?
No, he owed me money.
I was using the card to square the debt.
Look, you can have his stupid card back.
He won't be needing it. He's dead.
That's what we're trying to figure out.
Care to add anything to your statement?
There is something else. He gave me this envelope when we were dating.
He was weird about it.
What was in it?
I don't know.
He made me promise not to open it, you know, unless he didn't come back from Afghanistan.
I've been holding it hostage until he paid me back.
It's at my place.
Just give me a minute.
Why don't you go?
I'll stay and... finish the interview with the manager.
How about I stay?
Look, I'm supposed to be avoiding relationships, and...
She's pretty and...
Fine, I'll go with her.
Got to start somewhere.
McGee is not going to jail if I can help it.
McGee's not going to go to jail.
Can you say that with 100% certainty?
All right, then.
On to the case.
I I.D.'d the bullet from Armstrong's head.
It doesn't match any unsolved cases.
But I did get tons of hits on this.
Palmer was right, it's a fake.
And I traced it to an online retailer in Indonesia.
I need their client list.
That's not really my department, but for five bucks, I can see what I can do.
You're a good man.
And for that, I give you this.
It was used for centuries as an insecticide until it burst on the scene in the '60s as a perfume.
Why are you having me smell that, Abbs?
Because, Ducky found traces of this in the scratch that was on Armstrong's face.
So whoever he was with when he was killed was wearing it.
Unfortunately, that narrows our suspect pool down to pretty much everyone that was at Woodstock.
So once I have the fusion module, how do I get into the reactor?
There's a key under the Dragon Lord's throne.
See, he kills me every time. He eats my tongue.
Well, takes practice.
Here, let me get your envelope.
You can come in, you know.
I'd prefer not to.
Because you're supposed to be avoiding relationships?
You heard that?
Bit presumptuous, but you can relax.
You're not really my type.
You really think that has something to do with Zack's murder?
Well, if it does, I'll find out.
I mean, we'll find out.
Is that a 12-core?
With a ten-meg pipe.
I need the faster response times for the newer online games.
There's a lot of people after my high scores.
Wait a second. Is Max Destructo your gaming handle, too?
But it's not just Max Destructo, it's Max Destructo 5, seven 4's?
Nope, just Max Destructo.
You hold the high score in virtually every massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
You single-handedly killed the entire skank hoard from Isle of Cardias in Blood Fun 6.
You know, I lied. You actually are my type.
Danger, Will Robinson.
I love that show.
Me, too. Me, too.
I should go.
You should stay.
16 cores. What a waste.
So, was the target your girlfriend or her computer?
She's not my girlfriend.
Tony said she was very clingy when they went to the safe house last night.
That's just a normal reaction to being shot at.
This shooting's got to be connected to Corporal Armstrong's murder.
Maybe it has something to do with his... mystery letter?
We're gonna have to wait for Abs to tell us what's inside.
Shooter didn't police his brass.
I don't think he had time.
Neighbors say anything?
No one saw the shooting itself.
Did your girlfriend mention...
She's not my girlfriend, Ziva. She's just another victim.
Did the victim happen to mention any unusual vehicles around the area this past week?
She didn't mention it.
Several neighbors did.
I have a partial plate.
Run it down.
Back at NCIS?
There a problem, McGee?
No, no, not at all.
Yeah. Just running a partial plate here.
On that drive-by shooting? I heard about that. Exciting stuff.
How's your work going?
Nothing like yours.
Well, I used to be a sergeant in force recon, but now all I do is spend all my time sitting at a desk, chasing down ones and zeroes.
Only thing we have in common is we both put people in jail.
How's that looking?
So far, I got nothing.
Either this hacker's pretty good at covering his tracks, or maybe it's a virus, like you said.
Either way, I won't stop until...
Abby have any luck with those bullet fragments we found in Maxine's apartment?
She matched them to the slug from Armstrong's head.
She also opened Armstrong's mystery envelope.
Give you two guesses as to what was inside.
Swiss bank account numbers?
Not even close.
Armstrong gave his girlfriend a copy of his last will and testament.
Not his girlfriend.
He says he's leaving over a million bucks to his mom, and then five million to various animal and children's charities.
Does Armstrong have money like that?
Not even close.
He does not even have $5, 000 to his name.
That you know of.
Do you guys have a forensic accountant?
Is there something else you could be doing?
Actually, boss, that's a really great angle.
Don't you think?
Can you get us some names?
We use forensic accountants all the time.
Not having much luck here, anyway.
You are, Agent McGee. You just got a hit on your shooter.
Great. Name came back on the partial plate.
Martial arts instructor.
Recently sentenced to court-assigned anger management classes.
Sounds like killer material to me.
One more deep breath... all the way down to your root chakra.
Welcome to your body.
Welcome your friendly neighborhood NCIS agents.
Don't worry, everybody. We're here to talk to Lisa.
We have a few questions, Lisa.
I thought you were a martial arts instructor.
I was, but... in light of some recent, legal troubles...
You slashed a student's tires.
My therapist suggested I find a new line of work.
You know this woman?
You mean "man-stealing piece of..."
That wasn't nice. We dated the same guy.
Corporal Zack Armstrong?
I thought he was a nice guy, until he gave me a fake will.
He told me not to open it unless he didn't return from Afghanistan.
How did you know it was fake?
I found a bunch of copies when...
I accidentally went through his desk.
He would give them to women he was dating to make them think he was loaded.
Cheeseball even kept a case of fake Chanel purses in his trunk.
That is disgusting.
I was going to say "genius."
Except that he's dead now.
Guess he pissed off the wrong girl.
Someone left patchouli on the dead guy's face.
When we broke up, I may have... accidentally hit him.
But I didn't kill him.
Someone made an attempt on her life last night.
Last night, I was teaching a class. Same thing the night Zack was killed.
You want some advice? Zack was on every dating site there is.
See who else he's been screwing over.
There's a lot of really unstable women out there.
Abbs. Hey, you busy?
I'm just processing Armstrong's computer.
Mind if I use your spare?
I'm trying to keep a low profile.
Don't you worry.
We have got your back.
Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
So what are you looking for?
Got a lead on the shooter. Women Armstrong has been dating.
There's a lot. Gonna have to interview them.
Maybe you'll meet someone.
Though I heard you already have.
Wait? What? No. Who told you that?
I mean, if you have, it's okay.
But I haven't.
That's not what I hear.
Which would be fine with me. I mean, why wouldn't it be?
You tell me.
Nothing to tell.
What you got?
There's some sort of bug on Armstrong's computer.
I see it.
It's an eavesdropping program remotely installed over the Internet.
Got a time stamp?
Was installed two days ago at 10:31 p.m.
According to Ducky, that's right before he was killed.
Got to be a connection.
Okay, this is weird.
The bug is only monitoring game ports, but Armstrong doesn't have any games on his computer.
There's nothing to monitor.
Maybe they weren't after him.
Yeah, I play video games. What's the big deal?
You buy any using Corporal Armstrong's credit card?
I may have used the card to pay for the last few weeks of my subscription to Fear Tower 3.
I mean, like I said, he owed me money.
It has something to do with his murder?
Someone was bugging the game ports on Corporal Armstrong's computer.
But he didn't play games. It wasn't his thing.
Yeah, we know that.
You think someone was trying to bug me?
And because I used Zack's Visa, the trace led back to him instead?
I know it sounds kind of crazy.
Actually, it doesn't.
Two days ago, I was at home, playing Fear Tower on my laptop, having a kick-ass game.
Broke my all-time points record. And then...
I hit a kill screen.
Ouch. That hurts.
It's kind of like a Y2K bug for video games.
Sometimes, if a player gets too high a score, game can't handle it, and it crashes.
The last screen you see is called a kill screen.
This was the weirdest I've ever seen.
Almost looked like some sort of encrypted data.
I got a ton of screen grabs I can show you.
When was this?
On the dot.
Boss, less than one minute later someone bugged Armstrong's computer.
Armstrong is dead because she won... a video game?
So, this is Fear Tower 3.
Yeah, and these are screen grabs from Maxine's last game.
It's not exactly Pong, huh?
Well, the important point is, at 10:30 p.m., Maxine got such a high score the game crashed, dumping her into a kill screen.
Now, this isn't exactly your grandfather's kill screen.
Exposed some kind of encrypted data hidden in the game.
Killer thought Corporal Armstrong was doing the exposing.
Yep, and then somehow figured out his mistake and went after Maxine.
So, what's it say?
Abby's working on it.
But the more pressing question is...
How did the data get in the game.
And I have the answers.
Picking up Gibbs' forensic accountant.
Thanks again for that, boss.
I spoke to the CEO at L9 Games, the company that makes Fear Tower 3.
They have quite a facility. I mean, like, pool tables and saunas and... and employees who are very focused on their work, like this man, Reed Snyder. The CEO said he was the lead programmer for Fear Tower 3.
If there was anything hidden in the game code, Snyder would know about it.
Bring him in.
Two days ago.
I got the BOLO. We'll alert local airports and bus stations.
Okay, got something here, boss. Several large wire transfers to Snyder's bank account.
You recognize something?
Yeah, I do.
Why is a video game designer getting money from an arms dealer?
You must be Agent Gibbs.
It's an honor to finally meet you.
May I call you Jethro?
Agent Gibbs it is, then.
You know him?
You wired him a hundred thousand dollars.
Now you mentioned it, yes, we do have some business together.
You're an arms dealer, and he makes video games, what kind of business?
I commissioned him to... to create a video game to showcase some of my more exotic merchandise.
Totally legitimate, wouldn't you say...
You see, I like games.
Yes, I can see that.
Are we done?
No. Sit down.
I must say, you're much more imposing in person than your dossier leads one to believe.
And a lot grayer.
Do you know where he is?
No, I don't.
And it seems like you don't, either.
Been missing for two days.
You should keep better tabs on your investment.
A hundred G's is a lot of money.
Forgive me... if I don't take business advice from a government employee.
Where did you get those?
But if you give me a copy, I can help you decipher it.
I only need one thing from you.
As they say.
Where were you two days ago?
I was in Vera Cruz.
A guest of the governor.
Am I correct to assume that means we're done here?
State Department confirms it, Boss... his whole entourage was in Vera Cruz for two weeks, must be nice.
It is nice.
Still no word on Snyder's whereabouts.
But we found interesting stuff in his background may explain Bayar's interest in him.
Reed Snyder, age 29, he was born on a small farm in Idaho, home-schooled by his parents.
Until he ran away to the big city, where he taught himself how to do whatever the voodoo is you do, McGee.
Worked as a computer programmer.
D.O.D.'s had their eye on Snyder for a while.
He suspected of hacking the Pentagon and selling classified information.
Hacking the Pentagon!
They should lock him up and throw away the key.
Why haven't they?
We don't really understand it, either.
Look, it's simple.
During World War II, the Allies hid secret codes in crossword puzzles.
Now, to thousands of regular readers it would've looked like another puzzle.
But if you had the decryption key...
You could read the code.
D.O.D. thinks Snyder's been putting encrypted secrets in video games which then are mass-distributed.
All right, I get it now, McSmarty Pants, when he puts it like that.
He didn't say it like that before. I get it. All Snyder has to do is sell the harmless decryption key, and then the buyers can access the data themselves, right?
Buyers like Agah Bayar.
So, what's inside Fear Tower 3 would interest an arms dealer?
You name it.
Data on arms shipments, satellite codes...
Whatever it is, hitting the kill screen accidentally exposed it.
And Snyder killed to keep it a secret.
What is he doing now?
I'm not sure I follow.
You kill the zombie...
And then you kill their brains.
Wouldn't hypovolemic shock render the second step unnecessary?
No, 'Cause when you shoot a zombie in the head, sometimes the brains sneak out through the hole, and then you have to kill that separately.
I see. I think.
Or maybe I'd rather not.
I'd rather you did.
I need some answers.
I've been going over the evidence from Mr. Snyder's house, hoping to find some clue to his current whereabouts.
What do you got?
On the outside, a normal, productive individual, but on the inside...
I'm sure Dr. Mallard will elaborate for us.
Mr. Snyder is a very disturbed individual, his choice of game design notwithstanding.
Take this, his diary, or manifesto.
It's a rambling call for revolution against
"modern society's technological industrial systems."
Our computer guy?
Who seems to favor old-fashioned board games in his personal life.
Like this one, from World War II.
Fingerprint analysis shows that he preferred to play for the Axis powers.
This man had no love of country.
And he appears to be removing himself from it.
I found all this stuff in the trash.
He hadn't packed anything, but I can't escape the feeling that he is going someplace.
Perhaps because he is.
With the help of Martin's forensic accountant, we were able to trace some of the money Snyder received from his wire transfers.
He purchased a home recently.
You guys got to find him before he gets there.
We may already have.
The BOLO came back on his car.
So, when I said, "quietly"?
Door was rusted shut, all right?
Snyder could be anywhere.
Abandoned power plants are creepy.
It's not a power plant, it's a pump storage facility.
It stores energy in the form of...
What? You talking to me?
When this is over, are you gonna ask that Maxine girl out on a date, or what?
You still hiding behind your horoscope?
Who said I was hiding?
The guy who's been working with you for the last seven years.
I think I'd like sarcastic Tony back now, please.
He's not here right now.
Just wise, insightful Tony.
And, he thinks you've got more on your mind than just a horoscope.
But there's taking it easy, and then there's, being a dumb-ass, which is kind of my strong suit.
But you like this girl; she seems to like you...
What more do you need to know?
I'll think about it.
Don't think too long; life's short.
Just ask this guy.
We found our missing programmer.
Abdominal distension suggested that time of death was roughly three days ago.
However, this... yeah, well, this... slightly increases the estimate.
A mature rove beetle.
They don't appear until at least the 4th day.
He was already dead when Corporal Armstrong was murdered.
Yes, which rules him out as your killer, a killer that's been quite busy.
Both he and Armstrong have identical mutilations.
I believe the same person is responsible for both.
Armstrong was a mistake; this guy wasn't.
Espionage is a dangerous game.
If you want to find out why this man is dead, perhaps you need to find out what he was selling.
And you are not going to like it.
What am I looking at?
It's executable code.
Snyder wasn't selling secrets that he hacked.
He was selling his actual hacking program.
It's like a locksmith selling his lock-picking tools.
And these tools enable the buye to gain access to the Pentagon's most secure mainframe.
I mean, the good news is that even with Snyder's hacking program, it would take a computer, like, millions of years to crack the Pentagon's defenses.
How long would it take a million computers?
Gibbs, you're a genius.
It's called "distributive computing."
If this is downloaded onto millions of computers, then...
Snyder would have enough combined processing power to crack the Pentagon wide open.
Or Agah Bayar.
Anyone who bought an unlock code is going to have access to top secret information.
This could make WikiLeaks look like a little, tiny dripping faucet.
You have to call the Pentagon, Gibbs, now.
I think there's already someone there that knows.
Took the liberty of accessing your security logs.
You knew about the hacks coming out of NCIS a long time ago, but you never reported it.
I'm here now, aren't I?
Puts you in a perfect position to keep tabs on the investigation into Corporal Armstrong's murder.
Why on earth would I do that?
So you'd know when to run.
You swept the NCIS hacks under the carpet because they made you look bad.
But you couldn't ignore what Snyder was doing.
If the Pentagon knew how badly they could be hacked You'd be looking for a new billion-dollar contract.
You tracked Snyder down, you chased him into an old utility plant, and you killed him.
Have you lost your mind?
Bet you almost did when Maxine triggered the kill screen.
Looked like another attack.
Which you tracked back to Armstrong.
Only, he didn't know a thing.
Even after you nearly tore off his arms and legs in an enhanced interrogation.
I got to tell you.
It's a great story. You know, it'd be even better if you had any evidence.
We got your fingerprint on the hot dog cart.
Next time you may want to dump the evidence before you stop for a bite.
You know how many enemies are trying to destroy our way of life?
You're doing a pretty good job of that by yourself.
Pentagon computers are still at risk.
You killed Snyder for nothing.
No one could get enough evidence to nail him.
I wasn't willing to wait.
We got enough, boss.
You don't have my fingerprints.
But we just got your confession.
So all this time, Martin was eavesdropping on our conversation.
That's how he learned about Maxine.
Luckily, she's still alive.
Which means she's...
Sorry. Can't do.
Got a major security hole at the Pentagon that needs help plugging.
It might be too late for that.
Bring Gibbs to my lab now.
Snyder built an insurance policy into his hacking program.
Insurance policy for what?
Every week, he needed to enter a code into the system.
It's like a dead man's switch. If he didn't, then Fear Tower 3 would go Armageddon.
What does that mean?
Snyder's hacker program would disable all department of defense firewalls and erase...
Any military computer on the grid would be wiped clean.
Yeah, it's on, Gibbs.
The program... it's already launched.
Shut it down.
Fear Tower 3 is installed on 15 million computers.
You can't stop them all.
Maybe we don't have to.
Snyder's got to have a mainframe somewhere to coordinate the attack, and I can try to shut it down from MTAC, we also need to find its physical location and try shutting it down directly.
It's a good thing I already found it.
Snyder did not come here to hide from Martin.
He was on his way to his hideout.
Where are we going?
I'm accessing the facility map on Snyder's mainframe.
Mapping your location and your destination.
There should be a corridor in front of you.
And move fast. We've only got three minutes and 40 seconds left, and I'm not having any luck shutting his mainframe down from here.
There is nothing.
Three minutes, 30 seconds remaining.
Not according to Snyder's map.
This is hollow.
Find something to wedge it, Ziva. We can probably...
Or we could do that.
I think you just tripped the security system.
Is there a reset button you can hit?
Tony, this is not a video game, okay?
Three minutes remaining.
Look, maybe we should just wait for the bomb squad here.
It looks like the whole place is booby trapped.
I got no time, McGee. Get me through this.
Fifth firewall breached.
I can try, go video.
Two minutes, 30 seconds remaining.
Okay, the safest route should be...
Wait. Boss! Get out of there!
Where am I going, McGee?
I don't know.
Fourth firewall breached.
Talk to me!
It is a video game.
Two minutes remaining.
All right, continue straight, Boss, until I say.
Make that right turn.
There you go.
Something's wrong. It's too quiet.
All right, Boss, it's a left turn up ahead.
Take that left.
Walk straight for about 20 yards.
One minute, 30 seconds remaining.
Boss, are you okay?
Boss, can you hear me?
Third firewall breached.
Can you hear me?
You missed one.
Sorry about that.
It'll be coming up. Snyder's mainframe should be right around the next corner.
One minute remaining.
Getting interference on the visual. Wait, Boss, that's got to be it.
Man, I hate computers.
Second firewall breached.
Boss, what's happening?
I lost visual.
30 seconds remaining.
Boss, are you okay?
What's going on?
I cut all the power. It's still going.
Must have an internal battery backup.
But it could also be booby trapped.
Now we're gonna have to shut down the computer using the Unix command line.
Now listen to me very carefully.
Boss, what's happening?
Boss, what's happening?
Are you okay?
Can you hear me?
I would have liked to see Gibbs shoot that computer.
If I don't get his e-mail working, you may get a second chance.
I almost shot Tony last night.
We were stuck for almost three hours before the firemen were able to open up the fire doors.
And you loved every second of it.
Tony said you weren't going to be at my debriefing.
But he passed along your message.
8:00 works great.
See you then?
And thank you.
You have a date.
Yes, I did.
Don't mention it.
I hate this thing, McGee.