The USS Callister is in deep space when a cruiser jumps out of white space in front of them. Captain Robert Daly arrives on the bridge and Lt. Dudani reports that it's a stolen Gorgan Dreadnaught. Packer and Tulaska confirm that the weapons and shields are at full strength. Lt. Walton advises that they surrender, and Warlord Valdack opens fire. The Callister takes heavy damage and Walton advises surrender. Daly orders the ship into a nearby asteroid gas cluster. He figures that they can use the gas particles to increase their photon intensity.
The Callister goes into the gas cluster and then Packer turns them around behind the Dreadnaught. Tulaska fires and renders the Dreadnaught defenseless. Valdack hails them and swears revenge, and refuses to hand over the plasmorthian crystals. When the humanoid refuses, Daly has Tulaska destroy the Dreadnaught. Valdack escapes in a pod, and everyone applauds and hails Daly as a hero. Daly kisses Tulaska and Lowry as the Callister continues on course.
Chief Technical Officer Robert Daly arrives at work at Callister and his pass doesn't work. He turns to the receptionist, Elena Tulaska-and she looks up from her phone to tell him that he has to renew it each month. Since the first was on a weekend, Elena lets him through manually and goes back to her phone. As Robert goes in, he passes subjects hooked up to the company's interactive MMORPG and says hello to intern Nate Packer. Nate is making coffee and Robert asks him to make him one as well. After Nate vaguely agrees, Robert continues on past Shania Lowry. He trips over Valdack's gym bag as programmer Kabir Dudani glances over. Www helps Robert up while James Walton closes the door to his office and continues his conference call. Robert goes into his office and looks out at where Shania and Www are laughing about his tripping.
Nanette Cole comes into Robert's office and stares at him in admiration. She introduces herself and says that she just started coding the update. Nanette expresses her admiration about his coding of the MMORPG, Infinity. She explains that it's why she wanted to work there and admires his collection of videos and collectibles of the TV show Space Fleet. The show is set aboard the Callister, and Robert explains that he convinced James to name the company "Callister" in honor of the show. James didn't get the reference but let Robert have it.
James comes in and demands to know if the Infinity update will be up before the weekend. When Robert says that he'll ask Kabir, James tells him to tell people rather than ask. James notices Nanette, introduces himself, and says that he runs the company. He offers to give Nanette the tour and leads her out. Robert goes over to Kabir and asks him about the patch, and glances at Nanette meeting Shania and Nate. He distractedly tells Kabir to take the extra time he needs to tweak it and goes back to his office.
That night, Robert goes home to his apartment, gets some chocolate milk to drink, and plugs himself into the Infinity MMORPG using the Space Fleet mod.
Daly enters the bridge and points out that Walton hasn't located Valdack yet. Walton admits that he hasn't, and Daly grabs him by the throat, lifts him up to the air, and says that he's pathetic. He tells Walton and the other crewmen that they're disgusting and orders them to find Valdack. They all quickly agree and Daly orders Packer to get him coffee. As Packer runs off, Daly uses the crouching Walton as an ottoman and then exits game.
The next day, Nanette is coding when while Robert glares at James, who is flirting with Elena. Kabir comes in and tells him that the batch will be later than anticipated because of the alterations he approved. Once Robert dismisses Kabir, Nanette comes in and offers to get him some coffee, and Robert accepts. As Nanette gets the coffee, Shania comes over and asks Nanette how she's doing. She admits that James is the boss and dismisses Robert as a bit starey, and warns Nanette not to get to close to him. Robert listens from nearby as Nanette stares that she only likes his code, not him.
Nanette brings Robert his coffee and quickly leaves. She drinks from her own cup and Robert stares at her. After everyone leave for the night, Robert goes to Nanette's desk, gets her cup from the garbage, and puts the lid in a sample bag. Back at home, he swabs Nanette's DNA from the lid and assimilates the information into his computers.
The next morning, Robert goes to Callister and Elena lets him in. Once he goes to his office, James storms in and complains about the delay in the update.
The computer finishes assimilating the DNA data.
Yeoman Nanette Cole wakes up in a chamber and is surprised to discover that she's in a Space Fleet uniform. The door opens and she hesitantly walks out. Nobody answers her calls and the hallways seem deserted. Cole comes to a viewport and realizes that she's in space. She hears voices and follows them to the bridge where the crew is sitting around. They realize that there's a new girl in the office and Walton fixes her a drink. He sarcastically explains that they're the Callister's loyal crew and so is Cole, and Lowry explains that she wouldn't know that they met in the real world.
Dudani tells Cole that she's aboard Daly's ship, and Packer is disappointed to learn that he's still an intern in the real world. Cole recognizes all of them from the office, and they finally explain that they're in the Infinity MMORPG. Robert has reskinned it to look like Space Fleet, and keeps it off-line so that nobody can detect it. Cole wonders how they get out, and Lowry says that none of them can because they're digital clones. Robert created clones of all of them because they somehow offended him, and Walton warns that it's an eternal nightmare from which they can't escape.
The lights come up and the clones realize that Robert is coming. Packer warns Cole that Daly does things to make them cooperate, but Cole runs out. She comes to a hatch and when she tries to open it, Dudani transports her to the bridge. Daly welcomes her aboard and orders her to take her post. Cole refuses and Daly tells her that it's better for her if she gets into it. She still refuses, and Daly snaps his fingers and removes Cole's face. Cole collapses, unable to breath, and Daly tells her that she won't die because no one dies unless he wants them to. She finally nods in agreement, and Daly gives her her face back. Cole goes to her station and triangulates Valdack's signal.
The signal leads to a planet, and Daly takes Walton, Packer, and Lowry with him, and Cole to see if she's qualified. She quickly gets into the transporter chamber with the others, and Dudani beams them down. As Daly follows the crystals, Packer tells Cole that the guns don't work and even if they did, Daly is invincible.
Valdack steps out on a cliff, wielding a large gun, and Daly figures that he hasn't killed them because he needs them to work the crystals. The warlord sends an Archnajax to eat them, and Daly steps out to the real world to get his pizza. He freezes the game and himself, and Walton tells Cole that Daly has a pizza delivery.
Robert answers the door and gets his pizza.
Valdack complains that his weapon is too heavy, while Walton talks to the Archnajax, and Lowry explains that it's Gillian from Marketing. She's one of the clones that failed to play along, so Robert transformed her into a monster.
Robert gets his pizza, eats a slice, and reenters the game.
The game unfreezes and Daly tells Valdack that if they die then the secret of the crystals dies with them. He then claims there's a naked lady nearby. When Valdack turns, Daly shoots him and Gillian runs off. Valdack begs Daly to kill him, but Daly says that cold-blooded killing is against Space Fleet code. He orders his crew to take Valdack to the brig, and has Dudani transport them board.
Back aboard the Callister, everyone praises Daly except Cole. When Daly tries to kiss her, Cole slaps him. He says that he'll show her mercy but she should reconsider the next day. He exits the game and the bridge shuts down. They tell Dudani what happened, and they explain that there's no tongues in the kissing because Tongues aren't Space Fleet way. Walton pulls down his pants to reveal that he doesn't have any genitalia because it's a wholesome universe. Furious that Robert has taken her genitalia, Cole vows to get revenge. Walton warns that Robert is a god, but Cole figures that he's a coder and coders are fallible.
Thinking back, Cole remembers that Daly always held an omnicorder and it's what he uses to communicate with the computer. She tries to connect to it, but Dudani warns that it's impossible. She brings up the front-end and sends a 144-character message attached to an Infinity invite to the real world.
Nanette arrives at work and gets a message through the omnicorder saying that they're people trapped in Infinity and need her help. Cole asks her to contact the cyber police, and Nanette asks if Robert sent her an Infinity invite. She explains what happened, and he dismisses it as a spammer. Angry, Robert walks off and sees James in his office, playing guitar.
Walton bangs his head against a console, and the power comes up early. Daly comes in and complains that they're screwing up the scenario. Cole admits that she was the only one who did it, and tells Daly that he needs help. Lowry begs Daly to give Cole a break, and he transforms Lowry into an Archnajax. He says that they'll dump it off on a barren planet and give Cole time to think about what she's done.
Later, Cole sits and stares out into space. She sees a wormhole forming outside, and tells the others that it's the Christmas update patch installing itself. They can't get online access from the ship, so Cole suggests that they fly into the wormhole and decode, "dying". She points out that they'd be dead, but free, and suggests that they can do it when Robert is in the game but on pause. They have to stall Robert longer, and if they can get Daly's omnicorder then they can make a phone call to Nanette. She explains that she has leverage on herself: racy photos on her PhotoCloud account. Using them, Cole can blackmail Nanette into helping them.
They all agree to help rather than face another 10,000 years with Daly... except Walton. Cole asks why he won't fight back, and Walton explains that Robert made a digital clone of Walton's son Tommy. He then brought him into the game and threw him out of an airlock in front of Walton. Robert keeps all of their stolen DNA in a minifridge in his apartment, so even if they "die" he can bring them back. He promised to do it again and again because he still has Tommy's DNA. Cole tells him that they'll get the DNA and asks Walton to believe in her.
Later, Daly enters the bridge and finds Cole at her station, apparently cooperating. She reports that they've picked up a distress signal from a crashed shuttle. Daly prepares to beam down and Cole asks if she can go with him to get more experience. She flirts with him and Daly agrees.
Daly and Cole beam down and Daly takes out his omnicorder to scan the area. They find a lake and go over, and find the deserted shuttle. Cole takes off her uniform and invites Daly to go swimming with her. Daly finally goes in with her, leaving his omnicorder behind. The others beam it up to the Callister and Dudani patches it into the ship's systems. He accesses Nanette's PhotoCloud account and finally locate the racy photos.
Shania asks Nanette if she's heading out for Christmas, and Nanette says that she will when she finishes her coding. The photos come up on her phone, and Walton calls her while scrambling his voice. He tells Nanette that she's to do exactly what they say or they'll share the photos with her friends and family.
Cole keeps flirting with Daly, and then claims that something grabbed her when he starts to go back to shore. She splashes him and he splashes her back.
Nanette breaks into Robert's apartment and Walton hangs up. They then beam the omnicorder back to Daly's uniform, while Nanette calls and orders pizza from the nearby pizza place. As Cole starts to kiss Daly, he hears the doorbell via the intercom, gets the omnicorder, and pauses the game. Cole comes ashore and tells Dudani to beam her up, while Robert answers the door. Nanette slips in and takes the DNA samples from the minifridge and sends a signal via phone. Cole gives the order for Packer to pilot the ship into the wormhole.
Nanette swaps drives for a dud, while Robert gets the pizza. She slips back out the window just as Robert returns to his computer and plugs back into the game. He discovers that the drives doesn't work and fiddles with it.
Cole worries that the update will complete and the wormhole will vanish. The only quicker route is through a nearby asteroid belt, but if they get hit the ship will be destroyed but they'll continue on.
Robert plugs in a new drive and Daly discovers that Cole is gone. He calls the bridge and demands to know what's going on, and Cole tells Tulaska not to answer it. The wormhole starts shrinking, and Cole tells Packer to go through the belt. He says that he'll try to get through it and changes course.
Daly dresses and goes to the shuttle, turns on the engine, and uses its sensors to confirm that Callister is heading for the update vortex. He realizes what the others are doing and lifts off in the shuttle.
Dudani detects the shuttle approaching as Packer navigates through the belt. Daly calls and threatens them, but Dudani says that he can't do anything to them until Daly gets back onboard. Tulaska turns off the radio. Callister emerges from the belt but hits an asteroid, taking out the engines. They can only restart the engines manually, but one of them will be burned to a crisp when the engines reactivate. Walton calls over the interview that he already has gone, and has Tulaska patch him through to Daly. He apologizes to Daly for exploiting Robert's genius. Walton tells him that he should have treated him better, but Daly threw Tommy out of an airlock so fuck him. With that he activates the engine and dies in the discharge.
The power comes back up and Packer navigates toward the wormhole. Everyone holds hands, and Callister enters the wormhole just before it closes. Daly curses, realizing that he's lost them.
The Callister crew screams as the ship plummets through the wormhole. They discover that the Space Fleet mod has been stripped away by the firewall and they're all "normal". They're in the Cloud, and the firewall disabled Daly's controls so Robert is stuck in the mod.
Daly realizes that his controls don't work.
Valdack and Shania enter the bridge, back to normal as well. Dudani figures that they can go anywhere in an infinite procedurally generated universe.
The main Infinity computer detects the rogue universe and deletes it... with Daly still inside.
Robert sits in his apartment, brain-dead.
A ship approaches Callister and its owner, Gamer691, hails them. He's a player in the MMORPG, and asks if they have anything to trade. Gamer691 complains that they're wasting his time, and Shania curses at him. They then fuck off into space.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 30, 2017