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."
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.