In the Washington DC area, a school bus transporting twenty-four high school students home after school is commandeered. The GPS on the bus is disabled, meaning that the bus disappears without a trace along with all its passengers, which not only includes the students, but also the driver, Roy Webster, and the bus monitor, Carol Roberts. Cell phone calls to the students are unanswered. The bus and the cell phones are eventually found, but the twenty-six are nowhere to be found. Initially the BAU believes the abduction has something to do with a previous altercation between Webster and the students, which resulted in the need for the bus monitor. However as the BAU gathers evidence on the case, Rossi notices that much of that evidence is remarkably similar to a video game called Gods of Combat, pointing to the suspicion that the unsubs are extreme gamers who are turning their love of the game into reality. So the team delves into the psyche of gamers and the codes by which they live in the hope of finding the bus passengers still alive.