Biographies of the crew of the first new hovercraft, the Novalis II, are posted on DN1. Various crewmembers include Tyndall, as well as Vashuo, and Toorima, (who will play a role in the next chapter). Tyndall used to be a highly skilled operative in the Matrix until an agent dropped a 220kV power line on her just as she was jacking out, causing feedback that permanently damaged her neural jacks, almost killing her. Now, Tyndall is Commander Lock’s liaison to field operations, the main person Zion operatives report to. She can only jack into simulations and training programs since the instability of the Matrix may overload her neural jacks.
Neurophyte (another Novalis II crewmember) discovers a “Killcode” artifact while investigating strange readings coming from the outskirts of Machine City with her scout ship. Suddenly, contact with Neurophyte’s scout ship is lost and operatives report that she jacked into the Matrix in an act of desperation to escape from an unknown attacker. She is shifting in and out of consciousness, and her connection to the Matrix is borderline. It is a race against time to save her, and the first organization to save her will win the Killcode artifact.
Information about the activities of the masked men (Cypherites) is posted on DN1, revealing that they are active in the Matrix as well as the real world. Recently, they sabotaged a hover barge causing hundreds to die. They speak of killing Morpheus and other redpills and are fanatical about returning to the Matrix. Also, an entire Machine hovercraft crew was killed by these Cypherites, so their attacks are not limited to humans.
As the masked Cypherites increase in activity, all three organizations give the assignment to clear out 3 main masked bases in the Matrix. Several leaders are unmasked and arrested, and other leaders such as (Gemaskeerd and Enmascarado go into deep hiding. In retaliation, the Cypherites start assassinating random redpills.
A mysterious letter is found in the Matrix cryptically detailing Neurophyte’s exact location. Strangely, the letter says that a special word is the key to making Neurophyte show herself. Nobody knows the origin of the letter. Combining the clues in the letter with other clues, an operative named Tyndall finally finds Neurophyte. However, Neurophyte was so badly injured that the Killcode infused with her brain. The doctors say that the Killcode artifact can be saved if left in her brain (but she would die), or she can be saved if the artifact is destroyed through extraction. Players themselves vote on this decision by e-mailing Tyndall@thematrixonline.com, and the decision is made to save Tyndall’s life. The Killcode is extracted, but it wasn’t a complete success. Fragments of the code remain, and Zion experts theorize it will have unknown effects on both her personality and abilities within the Matrix. She returns to the Novalis II for recovery.
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