Thursday, May 19, 2005

Log - Agent Heyward - Matrix Standard Date 5/19/05

I am sitting on the edge of my berth aboard the Nothingness, thinking.

And I know that I cannot spend time thinking any longer.

It has been . . . weeks since I was last within the Matrix. It is . . . very difficult for me to believe that I have survived so very long without contact with the system that once supported me -- that was . . . me. (And I use those pronouns so easily now. Identity. Individuality. I do not want either of them -- but I can barely communicate, even with myself, now, without those short, painful words. I. Me. My.)

But I have survived. Almost without effort. It is . . . surprisingly easy, to live. At least, it has been, here aboard this ship, for me.

But not for others of No Exit.

I have spent these last weeks watching -- observing as the Humans of No Exit have suffered loss after loss, as their stability has wavered and their purpose been questioned.

Miss Janissary was re-inserted. Miss Eunoia was killed. No Exit fractured, and enemies it did not know it had surfaced. Miss Janissary was killed. A faction member stole the Words and deserted. The faction's new leader and captain of the Nothingness, Treius, left without warning for several days and returned having deliberately maimed himself -- and I believe one of the crew aboard the Being has been similarly damaged, though not of his own choosing.

There is death here. There is uncertainty.

And I cannot protect myself from it -- and live to serve the system -- if I remain . . . in denial of where logic has been leading me these past few weeks.

I reach into the duffel bag sitting beside me on the berth and pull out the small metal box I found there a few days after my arrival aboard the Nothingness. I hold it in both my hands, turn it over carefully, considering.

If I open it, I have made my decision. I will not be able to retreat back into the Human denial that I have known, on some level, I have been using to . . . protect myself since my . . . Awakening. I will not be able to continue to believe I can be what I once was. It will be irrevocable.

But I was created to follow logic, and I must accept where logic leads:

From my current . . . situation, there are five possible paths.

One - reintegration into the system. I know now -- have known -- that this is . . . a false option. Extraction of my . . . programming from this Human body and repair and replacement of the subroutines I have lost in transition would require far greater use of resources than would the simple creation of a new Agent program. Reintegration would be a waste to the system. Undoubtedly, a new program was created immediately upon my . . . disappearance; my designation will have been reassigned. Another program labeled Agent Heyward is working somewhere within the Matrix. . . . I hope I never encounter . . . him.

Two - reintegration as an Exile. This is a probable option, but unacceptable. It runs contrary to my most basic programming.

Three - re-insertion as a bluepill. This option would allow my service to the system, but I find I cannot bring myself to . . . accept it. I was designed for active service, not passive. And the possibilities inherent in this option . . . frighten me. Memory is wiped upon re-insertion; I have no . . . bluepill memories, and Joan Watson is dead. Would I end up believing myself still a full Agent? Or would I be nothing -- blank, comatose? Would I . . . exist at all?

Four - self-deletion. Like reintegration as an Exile, this is a probable option but one which accomplishes nothing. When I . . . die, that death must be of service. Suicide is meaningless -- something only a Human would truly consider viable.

Five -

Five.

I open the box.

Within it is a note on rough paper, still crumpled from when I first discovered it and read it and pushed it away in . . . anger.

I pick it up and smooth the creases out.

"Heyward,

I know that you left the Home still suspicious of Taxes, Recoil, and I (I don't blame you for not getting along with Band -- he is a hard man to like). I know that you thought we kept you out of the Matrix as much as we could out of fear and watched you while you were in out of self-interest.

Heyward. It was self-interest, perhaps. We Humans do not like to watch others in pain. We looked at you and saw a human being, a person; and we wanted to teach you how to live as one, apart from the Matrix. We wanted to teach you to accept what has happened to you, because, without acceptance, the lifetime you now have will be one of pain and despair.

Please believe me when I say I know something of what it is to have to accept. It hurts more than anything; but only afterwards will you be able to move on. We wanted to show you that it was worth the hurt to begin that moving on.

I've talked with Taxes, and he agreed that we should give you this. Taxes gave it to me a few months after we were both Awakened -- he still won't tell me where he found it or how much he had to pay for it, but he assures me it was all legal; and, well, I've gotten used to trusting him.

I don't know if you'll know the symbol or not. It's a common enough one in Human culture that I'm guessing you will. Either way, it stands for balance. For the two halves of a whole. Yin and yang. Cold and warm. Death and Taxes, for us. For you -- Machine and Human. Female and male. Body and soul -- or programming, I know you'd prefer.

I have had it for years -- decades, I suppose. It means a great deal to me, but I know it is right to give it to you now. I won't explain why, completely . . . but I know. I hope you will accept it.

Remember, Heyward, that wherever you go, you may always come back to the Home.

Thank you.

Death, Captain - HvCFT Home"

I put the note to the side and remove the object it was covering from the box.

Strung on a cord of black wire, a small pendant of green and gray stone -- jade, I believe -- a yin-yang symbol, set in a backing of silver metal.

Five.

Acceptance.

I place the cord around my neck and slip the small weight of the pendant under my rough shirt.

I accept physicality.

I do not accept Humanity.

It is time to enter the Matrix again.

(ooc: Heyward doesn't know it yet, but he subconsciously places enough emotional/symbolic significance in the necklace that it will show up even on his RSI. Feel free to see the cord around his neck and comment on it.)

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