Thursday, May 19, 2005

Log - Agent Heyward - Matrix Standard Date 4/4/05

I have returned to Zion -- the hoverbarge I boarded in my rush to gain access to the Matrix and contact with No Exit has finally made its way back to this crowded mass of Humanity. The vessel itself was highly inefficient -- the hardware primitive, even by Human standards, and connection to the Matrix unreliable. It did, however, serve my purpose -- it allowed me access to the Matrix at what proved to be a crucial and . . . enlightening time.

I was largely ignored on the hoverbarge (as in the Matrix, I am taken by all -- again, except perhaps that Exile, Veneer -- to be what I . . . appear to be. Human. The idea continues to distress me, but it does have its uses -- being ignored is quite preferable to being watched, as I was on the craft that . . . found me and which I have so recently abandoned). In any case, I was allowed to jack in to the Matrix without comment or argument, even in the aftermath of an unsurprising terrorist attack by the Zionist fanatic, Niobe. Within the Matrix, I was quickly contacted by the No Exit member Treius, who is to be my . . . captain, it appears. I will accept his authority for now, in light of the information membership in this faction will undoubtedly allow and in light of the confusion they have afforded me with their "yellow pill."

I have had some time to think about this "yellow pill" in the past few days, and I have concluded that it is, for now, of secondary importance. I will continue to try to learn more of it and of what it made me -- this body -- so intensely experience; but, for the moment, at least, what can I do with such information . . . ? The . . . visions the "pill" showed me can, I think, serve only to distract and divide my attention in this time when I need most to understand my present . . . situation. I will listen and I will learn, but I must also work to remain . . . alive . . . and sane. Thinking too long on the "yellow pill" will facilitate neither . . .

Yet I did intend to question these Humans more closely about it when I entered the Matrix this time -- however, in the wake of the terrorists' actions, there was little time for me to do anything but absorb the information I was confronted with. A meeting took place -- I will not record the details here, but suffice it to say that I received more information at this meeting than I have been able to gather on my own in all of the time I have been . . . separated . . . from the Matrix. It was . . . refreshing -- though also unsettling. The Humans are privy to much more knowledge and have much more sway now, than I would truly believe wise -- and they form alliances with the Exiles, who now work more and more openly within the Matrix. What was once so ordered, so . . . predictable now seems haphazard, chaotic, almost anarchistic. The Humans are creating their own events, their own forms of government within the Matrix; and I fear they may . . . contaminate the systems that have been so effective for so much longer than I have, myself, existed . . .

There was much talk of the Agents at this meeting -- they appear to have personal contact with Human Machinist factions, which gives me hope that I am, indeed, aligned as I should be and that I may yet make contact with my peers . . . if they will listen, as, in my . . . current form . . . I have been unable to convince any Machine to do. I continue to be isolated.

(There was a point in the meeting in which I feared my actual identity had been . . . compromised and that I was to be revealed in front of a crowd of unpredictable Humanity. Fortunately, such was not the case -- the Human language is woefully imprecise, and the term "agent" is used in several ways, not just as a label for my particular subgroup of programs, it seems . . .)

Shortly after the meeting and after another No Exit member -- a Human male called "Badge" -- had introduced himself to me, I was forcibly ejected from the Matrix. This was a very . . . unpleasant experience -- leaving me disoriented and weak yet again and reminding me too much of my first . . . rejection from the system . . . (I learned later that this connection failure after the meeting was a universal one, not simply a result of the hoverbarge's poor hardware. More evidence of the Matrix's troubling instability . . .)

I considered the information I had acquired at the meeting on the way back to Zion aboard the hoverbarge; and it was only today, as I entered my rooms in the . . . city . . . again, that I removed myself from these considerations long enough to realize that I have a . . . problem.

As a newly-inducted member of No Exit, I am expected -- required -- to take a position on one of their hovercraft -- the ship Nothingness, captained by Treius. I had no real reservations about this transfer -- certainly, operating within a firmly Machinist crew is to my advantage -- but I had forgotten the Human obsession with physical identity . . .

And I know what the No Exit members will see when they meet with me . . . in person . . . for the first time. I know what I see when I look in the damnable mirror that hangs in my rooms here -- what I have seen in every mirror since I was . . . awakened (ha! my eyes were more open before that "awakening"). A Human female -- a girl, I am guessing Humans would call it -- age somewhere between late teens and early twenties, if I am any judge of Human age. Young, small, healthy. I remain . . . grateful for the last -- I could, of course, have been trapped in a diseased or disabled body just as easily, as we make no distinctions when we choose a host -- vicinity to our subject of pursuit is all that matters . . . the host's RSI has no influence on our decision or on our ability to adapt and use it.

But Humans, as I have said, have an obsession with their physical identity -- so much so that their RSIs within the Matrix mimic their physical forms, with few exceptions. Treius and other members of No Exit have met me within the Matrix -- they have seen my RSI, the male form that is the best match the system allows me to generate to my true -- my original -- appearance. They will expect a male Human -- they will expect myself, as I was -- when I enter the docks and approach the Nothingness, as I am about to do. They will not expect this . . . girl, this . . . Joan Watson. I know her name, and I know that she is dead -- that is all I know of this Human whose body I now, against my will, inhabit. She died in the transition -- erased, I suppose, would be a better term -- but I . . . lived. I held on. It was not a conscious decision . . . and I think I sometimes regret it, or will . . . live to . . .

But in any case, I am here, at the docks. I see the hovercraft which must be the Nothingness, and I hesitate a moment. I am . . . almost afraid, now. There will be questions, and I do not know how to answer them. I do not know how to explain my . . . self, my double being. There is even the chance that one of the Humans of No Exit once knew this body, when it was . . . alive, as a "bluepill." Would they kill me, for killing a Human they knew, for living on when the Human mind did not? I think they might, quite easily . . . But I see no options. I need these Humans -- I can no longer avoid that fact -- and I must face their reactions as best I can.

I walk up to the ship, standing on the docks before the entrance to the craft, and I raise my hand to knock. I try to control this body's involuntary reactions; but the hand -- my hand or her hand, I do not know which -- still shakes. "Crew of the Nothingness?" I call through the closed hatch, listening to this body's high-pitched female voice -- and I keep it steady, unlike the hand. "Heyward . . . may I come aboard?"

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