DIC Karin Parke sits outside a room, waiting. She'[s eventually summoned into the inquiry room and they ask her for the recollections of the events from the last May. Karin explains that she first got involved on the 15th.
Karen goes to her apartment and unpacks her groceries. She settles down and then watches a news report about the sacking of demands for a news columnist Jo Powers to be sacked after she dismisses the death of "Wheelchair Martyr" Gwen Marbury as a cry for attention.
Jo walks down the street and everyone glares at her.
the newscaster talks about how the drone insect, Autonomous Drone Insect-- ADIs--from the Granular Project have been activated for their second summer.
A dog walker passes Jo and calls her a bitch. As she goes home, a bakery delivery man arrives with a cake for her. Jo takes it and goes inside where her husband Simon is waiting. She opens the box and discovers that it says ""Fucking Bitch" on the top. Jo insists on eating it and Simon walks off to take a bath, disgusted.
That night, Jo reads all of the complaints about her columns and chuckles
Karen is watching a news show about a rapper, Tusk, dismissing one of his fans trying to emulate him as an idiot. A text message comes in and Karin goes to the Powers home. The police have cordoned off the place, and DCD Chloe "Blue" Perrone introduces herself and says that she's Karin's shadow. They go in and meet with the DCI Nick Shelton. He explains that Jo is the victim and he signed the petition to get her sacked. Inside, Jo is on the floor, her throat torn open. There are clear signs of a major struggle, and Nick says that Simon was unconscious, slashed across the stomach. The police are checking the nearby CCTVs, and the mentions of Jo are still coming in. Karin notices the cake and tells Nick to run toxicology on the cake, and they'll question Simon when he wakes up.
As Karin and Blue leave, Karin admits that a throat-slitting is unusual. She insists that Blue ride with her, and they drive off. As they drive, Blue says that she was in Tech Crime but got tired of all the people that left their crimes on their phones. When Karin wonders why she left TC, Blue says that she was the one who cracked child killer Ian Rannick's souvenir folder. She saw all the pictures and videos, and decided she had to stop similar crimes in the real world. Karin drops Blue off at her flat and says that she'll see her the next day.
The next morning, Karin is watching the newscast about Jo's death. She arrives at the station and finds Nick already showing Blue the CCTV. No one came in or out, but the camera covering the rear patio is broken. Blue goes back to her desk and does a search on Jo and all the insulting names people used. Karin comes over and Blue says that she's collating all the threats and insults leveled at Jo over the last 48 hours. She isn't convinced that Simon killed his wife, but Karin dismisses the Internet hate as something that blows off, while the hate between a husband wife is "sincere." Nick tells them that Simon is up at the hospital and talking.
Karin and Blue go to the hospital and meet with Simon. He says that he heard Jo streaming and when he ran in, Jo was walking around the room as if she was in pain. Then she had a seizure and clawed at her own skin, and smashed her head onto the desk. Jo then picked up a bottle, broke it, slashed him when he tried to stop her, and cut her own throat. As they leave, Karin suggests that there was something in the cake. Blue says that Simon didn't seem like the type, but Karin isn't convinced and says that they should check on the person who sent the cake.
As they drive across London, Blue complains that Karin is patronizing her. She figures that they're not wasting time, but Blue hasn't had a chance to get bored with reality yet. Blue checks the sender's social feeds as they arrive. The woman, Liza Bahar, posted a "death to Jo Powers" message. They get to the school where she teaches, and Liza explains that she collected money from 80 other people to pay for the cake. She claims that she was expressing her freedom of speech, and that it must be normal because she wasn't the only one. Blue shows her the message she posted, and Liza dismisses it as a hashtag game that was a joke. The teacher, Liza Behar, doesn't know who started it, and Karin receives a report from Toxicology. She privately tells Blue that the cake is clean, and they'll just give Liza a warning. Liza insists that she didn't do anything, and Karen tells her to start a thread about it.
Back at the station, Karin tells Blue that they're arresting the husband and the Internet will soon be pissed after someone else. Nick, overhearing, says that Tusk is getting death threats for his comments about the kid.
That night after a performance, Tusk goes down to the parking garage. He suddenly clutches at his head and goes berserk. His bodyguard holds him down as Tusk clutches at his head, screaming at them to get it out. They call an ambulance, and the EMTs give him a sedative and take him to the hospital. The doctors perform an MRI and Tusk immediately goes into convulsions and dies, his eyeball exploded. The doctors find an ADI in the MRI chamber.
Shaun Li with the National Comm Agency soon arrives at the hospital morgue and looks at Tusk's body.
Karen picks up Blue and they go to the hospital morgue where Jo's body is. The technician is describing how he found a victim with a bore hole in her brain. There was an ADI inside, and it apparently burrowed into her brain near the pain center. A victim would do anything to make the pain stop... including cut their own throat.
The detectives go to Granular and Blue says that the ADI project is sponsored by the government. A lot of people believe the government uses the ADIs to spy on them. A woman, Vanessa Dahl, greets them and takes them to a greenhouse filled with the ADIs pollinating plants. She introduces them to Rasmus Sjoberg, who heads the swarm. He explains that bees are virtually extinct so the solar-powered ADIs stand in for them, pollinating flowers. Rasmus says that they have basic visual sensors to navigate, and Blue confirms that their autonomous. The designer says that they couldn't possibly monitor all of the ADIs across the UK. The ADIs construct and building "hives" that act as #D printers, letting them build more of themselves. If Granular hadn't built them, there would have been an environmental catastrophe. Karin explains that one of the ADIs may have been involved with an unexplained death. Rasmus takes the detectives to his workshop and examines the ADI in Jo's head. He confirms that it's one of theirs, but if they malfunction then they shut down. Blue wonders if someone could hack one, but Rasmus says that each ADI has military encryption and it would be impossible. Karin doesn't believe him, and Rasmus shows them monitors checking every line that they have online. Blue takes over the search input and asks if they lost any around Jo's home.
Rasmus confirms that one went off the grid and Blue realizes that someone apparently spoofed a hive signal to take control of it. The designer warns that they'd need a diagnostic controller to do it and it has the same military encryption. The range of such a controller is 20 meters, so the killer would have been outside the house. Rasmus suggests that they leave and let him do it in peace, Karin agrees and asks if they can shut down the entire system, and Vanessa explains that they need approval from the Department of the Environment. As they go, Karin tells them to put together a list of any Granular employees who could have accessed a controller.
Back at the station, Karin gives Nick the file Vanessa has provided. He says that the NCAI already knows about the death. Shaun comes in and says that there's been another ADI-related death. He shows the detectives video of Tusk in the parking garage and explains what happened. Since that ADI was torn up, Shaun needs their ADI for analysis. Karin points out that both victims were the targets of Internet hate campaigns, and that it's a near-perfect murder MO.
Blue accesses the computers and swears, and then calls over Karin, Nick, and Shaun. In both cases, someone was using a hashtag #DeathTo. The first use of the hashtag was a week ago by the same automated IP. The sender's avatar is a bee. Each tweet had an instruction video named Game of Consequences. If enough people hate the same person then that person gets targeted and the person with the most votes by 5 pm is killed, and then the "game" resets at midnight. More people are using the hashtag every day. and the most votes are for Clara Meades. Clara took a selfie of herself pretending to be pissing on a memorial. Blue accesses the citizens' detail database despite the fact that she's not supposed to have access to it, and gets Clara's location.
Clara is at home nervously rolling a joint and watching the hate tweets come in. Her phone rings and she ignores it, Her roommate Fiona takes a call and tells Clara that the police have called. It's Karin, who tells her to stay where they are until they get there and keep her windows closed. As they head out, Clara contacts Rasmus and tells him to check for any rogue ADIs near Clara's location. Rasmus says that he thinks he's set a trap to locate the ADI's controller. The team head for Clara's flat in Shaun's automatic car.
Clara and Fiona watch as the police pull up to their housing complex and set up positions on the outside balconies.
Rasmus detects a breach in the system. Karin, Blue, and Shaun arrive and Rasmus notifies them of the breach. Karin and Shaun go to Clara's apartment and get her out, while Blue tries to spot the ADI. The police escort Clara to Shaun's car and leave, while Rasmus tries to track the controller.
The officers take Clara to a safe house in the country... unaware that a drone is on the back of the car. Inside, Clara asks the detectives if they have kids and both women immediately say no. As they go upstairs, Rasmus calls Blue and says that he can't trace the controller. A whole hive suddenly goes offline close to the safe house, and then the phone signal breaks up. Outside, Shaun loses his phone signal as well.
At Granular, Rasmus realizes that someone has taken control of the entire ADI system.
Shaun sees an ADI swarm heading toward the house.
Rasmus texts Blue to get out of the house. She sees the swarm heading toward the house and tells Karin and Clara that they have to go. The bees swarm in through the mail slot and the women take refuge upstairs, and Karin blocks the sill. More bees cluster on the window and the women get into the bathroom as the window shatters. The ADIs cluster on the door, trying to find a way in. They start coming in through the keyhole and Karin quickly plugs it. More ADIs come in through the air vent and attack Clara as Blue shuts the vent. One ADI flies into Clara's nose and she goes into convulsions from the agony until she dies.
Karin says that she's never seen anyone die despite all of the corpses that she's seen. She explains that Blue took it hard.
As the medis take Clara's body away, Karin leads a shell-shocked Blue away. Back at the station, the team meets with Rasmus, who admits that whoever is responsible is controlling the whole system. Blue suggests that the ADIs are using facial recognition, means the killer is accessing the ADIs' visual sensors. Rasmus admits that one of the governments' condition was that they could access the visual feeds during "times of national security." Shaun insists that it's all classified, and that the government saw an opportunity to get more and took it. He tells Blue that they kept the people safe, but Blue points out that Clara isn't safe and they could have saved her with what Shaun knew.
Karin warns that the news will soon get out and then they'll have another body. Rasmus doesn't know what to do since they're locked out, and Blue has him give her the encryption key to the ADIs' command logs. Shaun gets a text and says that he has to be somewhere.
The news reports about the deaths and the hashtag responsible, and many people use the hashtag to target Chancellor Tom Pickering. The pundits discuss whether people are doing it confident that they'll never be caught and they're not directly responsible. At the station, Nick brings Blue coffee as she tries to access the ADI's command logs.
Shaun attends a NCA meeting where Pickering is demanding that they shut down social media before he's murdered. Technically they can do it, but Shaun warns that it's not a good idea because it will guarantee that Pickering is number one. Pickering tells them to leak a memo about the number four man on the list, Farrington, figuring that he's in his 80s and had his life. Shaun suggests that they move Pickering to a safe location before 5 and offers to show him what they have.
Nick tells Karin that the likely suspect on the list is Tess Wallender, who quit Granular due to nervous exhaustion and worked in HR. She fired a man who turned out to have a learning disability, and she received tons of hate on social media. Karin talks to Tess, who says that the hate messages were like a weather system piling on day after day. People had fun kicker her from the anonymity of the Internet. Karin notices the scars on Tess' wrists and asks who found her, and Tess says it was her flat mate Garrett Scholes. She tells Karin that she thought Garrett always had a thing for her and they both worked at Granular so it was awkward. Tess confirms that he worked on the ADI project
Blue accesses the command log , and they go to find Karin just as she says that Garrett might be a suspect. Nick tells her that a manifesto was buried in the command logs.
Shaun runs a live feed of a field team destroying an ADI hive, and then says that they'll move Pickering to an underground bunker and destroy every hive in a ten-mile radius. He warns that it would take two years to take out all 30,000 hives in the UK. On the feed, the ADIs attack the field team and kill them, and Pickering asks Shaun what his Plan B is.
Across the UK, the ADIs go about their business.
When Shaun returns to the station, Blue hands out copies of Garrett's manifesto and Nick says that they discounted him because he left the country six months ago. Garrett likens the population to insects, saying that they revel in cruelty, He wants people to face the consequences of what they say and do, and considers what he's doing a moral lesson. Nick uses the hashtag on Garrett, while Blue realizes that Garrett left a geotag on the image of himself that Garrett attached to the manifesto. He took it from a location near Granular HQ.
Garrett sees the hashtag with his name and photo on it, and hears the police pull up outside. By the time they break in, Garrett is gone. They search the place and find Garrett's hard drive, and take it back to the station for analysis.
At the station, Rasmus and Blue recover the source code from the hard drive with three minutes until 5 pm. Karin wonders if Garrett set the whole thing up, and Rasmus notices a file that wasn't there before. There's a list of 387,000 people and Liza's name is among them. Blue realizes that it's a list of everyone that has used the hashtag, and Nick has her confirm that his name is on the list as well. Rasmus prepares to deactivate the system, and Karin warns that doing so might trigger an end-game targeting everyone who took part in the game. Shaun hits the deactivation button anyway, and all of the ADI hives shut down. However, after a moment they activate again and the ADIs swarm out across the UK.
At Liza's school, the ADIs gather on the window and the children point them out.
Bees gather at the station windows in the thousands.
Garrett confirms that the program has gone as planned and shaves off his hair and beard to change his appearance. He puts in eye-color-changing contact lenses and walks to a nearby dam. Garrett then tosses his laptop and old clothes into the water.
Karin finishes her report to the board of inquiry.
Karin and Blue go to the warehouse where the bodies of the hashtag users have been stored.
Karin informs the board that Blue blamed herself and left the force. Four months later they found her things on a beach with a note, after she apparently killed herself. The board comments her on sharing her testimony and thanks her, and Karin walks out. Garrett is in a bar in Spain, watching the televised inquiry.
Outside, Karin gets into her car and ignores the reporters trying to get a statement from her. Inside, Stuart begins his testimony.
Garrett leaves the bar, unaware that Blue is there, following him. She texts Karin saying that she has Garrett, and Karin smiles in satisfaction before deleting the text.
Blue follows Garrett through the streets and closes in on him.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 7, 2016