Thursday, May 19, 2005

Log – Agent Heyward – Matrix Standard Date 4/7/05

There is an Agent dead at my feet . . . lying there, looking like I should, like I am meant to – this false . . . thing, this virus, this untraceable program that can so easily assume the appearance, the role, that is lost to me. It is a perversion, and it can do this. I . . . am a perversion, and I cannot . . .

Another of these things the Humans call “false Agents” strikes at my legs from behind me. It knocks me down, causes me . . . pain, but I rise as quickly as I can, let it hit me, let it bruise this fragile RSI, break and fracture the small bones of this body, let it make . . . me . . . bleed. After all, Veneer, you damnable Exile, it is – as the Humans are so fond of saying – “only code,” right? This reality, the Matrix, this wonder of design and efficiency that can replicate with such great detail these unpleasantnesses of physicality and yet can also make all those things Humans think of as good – all of those things they can never have outside the Matrix – this system that can make you, Veneer, as well as myself. It isn’t as good as the “real” world, is it? Is it . . . ?

I am not just passively receiving pain – I am seeking to inflict it now, as well. I am turning all of the few resources, the ineffectual subroutines, I have retained and . . . relearned in my new existence, against this false Agent. I want to make it bleed, I want to make it hurt – I do not know why I want this – I only know that, since my brief meeting this evening with the Exile, I have had something within me that burns and that must be used – used to take apart, to tear down, in energy and motion. Why . . . ?

And I know that I cannot do what I wish to do. This program I am slowly . . . killing will not feel the pain I want it to feel. It will bleed, it will break, it will . . . die, but it will not feel – it is perfect, cold, objective, pure – as I was pure. It is truth – not a will, not a personality – but simply a means to an end, a purpose. Certainly, it is a twisted truth, this false thing, no sanctioned part of the carefully-monitored world I knew, but it is still closer to the truth than I am now . . .

I finally succeed in reaching in, getting close, snapping its neck carefully, with precision. In the middle of all this . . . chaos of violence that I have been seeking, it is a move that is loaded with . . . memories, sensations. That one clear moment – that grace and efficiency – no wasted movement or effort – the neck snaps and the target dies. I . . . remember that. That was the end of a . . . hunt, the achievement of an objective. That sound, that feeling, the “snap,” meant I had done what I was meant to do, what I was created to do . . . A Zionist dead, an Exile – the death, the “snap,” was all that I needed from them, if my instructions were to kill. And they often were . . .

I stand and stare at the false Agent’s . . . body – and I do not know what I feel. Empty. Confused. Lacking. Dead . . . lost to my own world . . . forever . . . ? I cannot let that be . . .

*blackness*

I . . . wake up . . . later. I do not know how much later. I am in the chair I had used to . . . jack in. Back in the physical world. And, for a moment, I cannot move. There is pain everywhere – and I know again the fear that the “yellow pill” introduced me to – the fear of death . . .

How can this be better than the code of the Matrix? How can this existence be better? How can you believe that, Veneer?

Salamander, this ship’s . . . irritating operator program, Veneer’s spy, is speaking to me, I notice – babbling, as it seems to do.

“Well, ’ey – look who’s up. How ya doin’, princess? Doesn’t seem like you take getting the answers to your questions too well, eh? Well, the boss does seem to have that effect on people . . .

“Anyway, you were having quite the tantrum in there – not paying much attention to your quote ‘. . . physical body . . .’ end quote. Thought it might be best to get you out of there before you broke something we couldn’t fix . . .”

After the first few seconds of pain and immobility, it becomes clear to me that I can move; and I sit up, ignoring Salamander, as I have been trying to do since my arrival on the Nothingness. I am damaged, it seems – my body . . . traumatized in ways that seem to parallel my wounds within the Matrix. Blood fills my mouth, and I taste it – salty, insignificant – it does not taste like “life,” it does not taste like anything I would consider important. There is so little clear information attached to the structure of this physical world. This body considers pain important, but it does not react unduly to the flavor of its own blood – why? Why does nothing make sense here . . . ?

I reach my room here aboard the ship slowly, haltingly – I enter and close the door behind me. The privacy is an illusion, I know – I am certain Salamander has its own ways of monitoring me, even here. I am used to not having privacy – Agents are always overseen by other programs within the Matrix – we do only what we are instructed to do and have no reason to withhold information from the programs which . . . govern our actions. One cannot choose to withhold – one is simply part of a whole and has no reason, no purpose, beyond it.

I have never resented a lack of privacy before, but I do now – perhaps because it is Humans and Exiles who watch me – autonomous beings that have no part in my self, in my whole, in my purpose. They look with curiosity, with emotion – not with solidity and union. They can offer nothing to me, beyond information and some degree of physical safety . . .

And yet . . . I find myself striking the metal wall next to the doorframe – hard, painfully, in the same way that I was striking that false Agent within the Matrix. I feel the skin over the knuckles split, and I draw the hand back from the wall. I hold the hand against me, cradling it, watching it bleed, and not understanding . . . any of this. There is moisture on my face now – has been for some time, even within the Matrix, as I killed the . . . Agent – and I know – because I do know the rudimentary facts about Humans – that part of it is blood from the mouth and nose – but not all of it is . . . Not all of it is . . .

There is nothing left. Nothing. I am left here, bleeding as a Human would, occupying a Human body. Veneer is . . . is he . . . he cannot be right? I cannot be . . . condemned to this, can I? I am tainted now . . . corrupted, made weak, but . . .

But . . .

I do not want to think on this. I am a Machine, I am made to know truth and not made to deny it. I am control. I am certainty – mastery. I . . . am faced by paradoxes, and I cannot understand.

Undoubtedly, Veneer will know of this – his Salamander will take pleasure in watching me, his new toy, his captured Agent, break. I will not give the Exile the satisfaction of observing me express any more . . . emotion . . .

I lie down on my berth in this room; and for the first time, I am grateful for the Human loss of consciousness during sleep.

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