Monday, August 3, 2009

Final Entry.

The Matrix is Offline. Every instance has gone. There isn't even a broadcast signal to hack into. The Black Code's hovercraft is near the surface. So far we haven't detected a single sentinel, machine or Merv aligned. I look over accross at MindX and Pool, they look as perplexed as I do, as the hovercraft rises up to the surface.

I'm looking at the download I extracted. It's a grid reference on the surface, a broadcast frequency and a time. We've got plenty of time to get there but it will mean flying over some of the pod fields. Zion wants an update on the blue pills, so it seems logical to kill to birds with one stone.

It only takes about an hour to get there.

"We're going to fly over one of the pod fields now." Calls Xenin.

We all come up to the pilot's station to look. Devastation is all we can see. The massive towers are just burnt spikes. The occasional pods we can see has a blue pill body in each of them. Some are burnt, some you can see, they tried to escape. Pool is looking over the instruments for any life signs. He looks back up and shakes his head. We suspected that would the case, the redpills who didn't make it out of Mara, suffered something similar. There wasn't a single survivor.

The Hovercraft carries on with stunned silence on the bridge. It's an Image that I'm going to take with me to my grave.

Half an hour further on and we arrive at the coordinates, it's 10 Km from Machine city, but even from here we can see nothing. There are no defenses and there no light coming from the buildings in the distance.

"Here you go." said Mindx, "what have we got?"

We all watch the screen as the antenna is brought up to the right frequency and all we get is static. We all look at each other wondering what next. Slowly a picture fades in. There, sat on a bench at what looks like Debir Court, sits the Oracle. In the background we can see Sati and Saraph. They're standing next to Trinity and Morpheus (we can't tell if it's the real one or the sim), with Neo's RSI hovering in the air next to them.

"You made it Kiddo." The Oracle talks without standing up.

"So did you." I reply.

"Well it was a pretty close thing but we got them, You've probably seen the cost."

"All instances destroyed and not a single blue pill left alive."

"There plenty up here."

"Up? I suspected as much. Virtual is in orbit. The entire energy drain was to put the last instance in space."

"Yes and no." She replies. "We're not in orbit, we're leaving. The energy drain was caused by the Oligarchs trying to stop us leaving. We'd tricked all the oligarchs onto this instance using trinity and closed the door behind them. Unfortunately, they destroyed the instances in a vain attempt to get their minds back into their bodies."

"That's one hell of honeytrap."

"Ain't that the truth. They're not too happy about it but we've managed to purge their control from the mainframe and right now, they're just another set of programs Exiled to the Matrix. I think we're be fighting them for some time to come. I regret to say Niobe and Ghost can't come back either. You'll probably find their breathing bodies at some point but there's nothing left in there."

"So are there still bluepills up there?"

"Oh yes, you can't have the Matrix without the blue pills and the red pills. You should see the size of this craft we have. I hate to say it but the Architect designed it right."

"And there's no way to get there?"

"Kiddo, in twenty minutes, you won't even be able to reach us with you're transmitters. Not a snowball's chance in hell. "

"So this is Goodbye then, at least I saw smith wiped."

"You saw him deleted?"

"Completely, He wasn't too happy about it."

"That's a relief, at least we won't have him threatening us here. or anywhere for that matter. Anyway, I've left you three things. Kind of like leaving presents. They're in a bunker about thirty metres below you."


"You'll find a computer terminal and a Pod. The Computer holds two important pieces of information; The first is how operation Sky Scorch was carried out. Once you workout how to reverse the process, you'll see sunshine again. I'd give you ten years to sort that out, but knowing you lot you'll probably do it in five."

"Always with the back handed compliments"

She Smiles "The second is location of the seed and gene bank. Before the original war, mankind set up a seedbank up in the wastes of Findland. It was nulcear powered, so even now it should still be running. I'm sure you'll work out how to use that as well."

"Sounds like a fresh start."

"Well, talking of Fresh starts. The pod holds Persephone. She wanted a new purpose in life, so trinity transferred her into the body in the pod. She's in suspended animation at the moment but she does want to help, you have my word on that one."

"So where's the Frenchman then?"

"Oh, here's up here somewhere. Probably trying to work out what he's going to do next. He's going to do his nut when he finds his wife missing but knowing him, he'll start with a new scam pretty soon."

"And what about the rest."

"Don't worry about it Kiddo, it's now not your problem. You've got a more important job to do, and when you're able to, you can join us up here."

The signal begins to fade.

"We're loosing connection."

"I told you we wouldn't have long. Take Care Kiddo."

"You too."

With that, the signal goes. I look over at MindX, Xenin and Poolshark. Mindx Nodds and we all walk down to the gantry.

It looks we've got a lot of digging to do.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

End Of Line.

It's weird, After all the the chaos of the last month or so, it's as calm as it ever was. We have blue sky, no wind and the birds flying over the city as if nothing has happened. There's an unofficial truce on, the Merv, Machine and Zion operatives might be in under orders to eliminate each other but those orders are being ignored. It's like Christmas in the trenches.

I don't get it, did my contact win? Is everything back to normal? I hope so. For four hours I walk round the whole of the mega city. I've recently gained access to all of the nodes so there's not an agent in sight. It's strange that it's so quiet. I walk round Central park into Park East, ignored by everyone as if I'm a ghost.

It's then all hell breaks loose.

"Zion Alert." It's broadcast in the clear.

"We are receiving reports that the recursion instance of the Matrix has crashed. As of this time there is no machine activity near either new Zion or the old zion ruins. All operatives are to be on their guard. It's obvious that the machines have had some kind of power failure and we pray for the blue pills."

"MindX?" I call up the captain's link.

"Yeah, I heard." Comes the reply. "I got nothing on this. I'm putting the rest of the black code on alert and called up people who haven't been online for years."

"I guess it's keep your eyes open."

"Damn Straight."

The Connection re-establishes itself.

"Get o..r t. ... Om..a M.n! P..k .p p..k..e. R.n to M..a C..t..l. D..'t s..p, JUST RUN!!"

The connection drops.

I kick in my speed ability and make for the Kalt Chemical Headquarters in the centre of Park East. This building is a front for the Machine HQ. The original HQ was torn down and rebuilt as this one, but the hallway is the same. I burst in and see the metal dector's, the security guards and tactical security goons. I race straight past them all before any of them can loosten a shot.

I get up to the elevator and hit floor 80. thirty seconds later and I'm on the roof, in the corner is the Omega man. A program which collects oddities from the matrix. Things that have fallen through the cracks. But when I see Him I know something is really wrong. He's only half there and fading by the second.

"Operative, I have one item for you, no charge." He says.

"erm ok. Any instructions?"

"Yes, Get out at Mara Central. No other hardline will work with this package."

"That it ?"

"No, look behind you." His RSI fades completely.

"Mr Ford!"

Oh Crap, Please not HIM.

I slowly turn round and there, just as I was warned, is Smith, walking towards me, gun raised.

"You probably could have chosen a better time than this to come back."

"It was inevitable that I would return." That Monotone voice makes my fists itch but I keep calm.

"You did that on recursion?"

That threw him. He wasn't expecting that. He cocked his head to one side as if listening to the wind.

"No, why should I be bothered by recursion?"

"Because it's crashed."

"That is such an inconvenience." He didn't sound bothered.

I could see something form behind him. A red mist of Matrix Symbols, slowly spreading out form the point he arrived.

"So you're not doing that then?" I say pointing behind him.

Smith turns and observes the expanding red symbols. Behind them, there is nothing but inky black.

"No, No, NOOOOOOO!" Smith yells, and shoots into the nothingness. "Not Like this, NOT LIKE THIS!"

But it's too late, the red symbols slowly cover him. He manages to turn round and he looks me straight in the eye. I've seen the terror on red pills faces when they're RSI is Deleted, but that's nothing to what happens to Smith. I almost feel sorry for him as he melts away in red. Almost!

Aw Pants. I've just seen the expanding cloud reach the stairwells. I look over the edge at the eight story drop. Ah, what the hell. I jump.

I've never hyperjumped this high and for this long, but it doesn't break my legs and I'm able to start running. I glance round and see the red sphere expand and engulf the Kalt building. Everything is going, the buildings, the exiles and the Bluepills. If my contact is right, then the hard lines are down, which means Subway trains. The closest is in the historical District.

I kick in my desperation ability and my running speed increases. I'm outpacing the red but will I have enough distance by the time I get to the yellow line?

I call up the Captain.



"It's happening here. Park East just imploded! The only hardline working is Mara Central! Get everyone out."

It's getting hard to breath as I race through the park in the centre of the Historical District, the Train station comes into view. I glance behind me to see a wall of red devour the city. I run down the steps and make thanks to any god who's listening, as there's a subway car ready to go.

I jump in, the door's shut and the car speeds it's way to tabor park.

"Zion alert!" Another broadcast in the clear again. "We have reports of the collapse of the vector instance. In addition syntax is collapsing as we speak. All Zion Operatives are to evacuate using the Mara Central Hardline."

At least Mind got through to Tyndell. The car's stop at tabor park and I get out. I run up the stairs and look towards Downtown. It's gone, the Sphere has made it to the bridges, it won't be long before it gets here. I kick in every trick in the book, every ability. I'm jumping over the highway when I notice how much faster the red sphere has become, it's going to be close.

I land in Debir Court and allow myself a second to say goodbye. It's the last time I'll ever see the place. Then I start running again.

I get up to the hypercube monument, there are redpills dancing and cheering but with a shriek, they all freeze and curl up into a physically impossible ball. I'm trying to resist and even though I can feel my limbs beginning to contort, I throw myself
round the corner and into the hardline. The Red is so close it can almost touch me.

I jack out and into our loading area. Mindx and Pool are both there.

"Close one." Mind says

"What about the others round the monument?"

MindX looks over at Pool, who shakes his head.

Xenin calls up. "Hey Dfire. What's that new file you brought with you?"

We Jack out to look at it.