Organizational priority shifts back to the Assassin since Cypherite activity quickly decreases, probably due to one of their leaders being killed and the other being captured. Machine and Merovingian forces try to obtain the insecticide code from Zion but are unsuccessful. Zion quickly determines that they need an efficient way to disperse the insecticide code in a live battle situation, so Zion operatives are sent to infiltrate Machine facilities to acquire the schematics for a flit gun and are successful. Zion is forced to make a deal with the machines since coding the gun completely from scratch is impossible. The deal involves several tradeoffs between Zion and Machine operatives, and Merovingian forces stop some of the trades from being completed. Despite this interference, Zion and Machines are happy and consider the deal a success.
During the tradeoffs, Zion operatives raid a Merovingian base and discover a data disk that cannot be deciphered without Machine assistance, which Ghost is ordered to obtain. The disk ends up being a list of names under “Operation Omega”. Morpheus is first on the list, and others on the list include top ranking Machines and Zion redpills. Machine operatives soon discover more information about Operation Omega: an exile program named Fillament created the kill code hack used in the Assassin’s bullets under employment of the Merovingian. The hack uses a sample of the victim’s RSI to track their location in the real world and remotely cancel the auto jackout. Each bullet has to be specifically designed for a single target, and the code can only be used by one specific exile, the Assassin. Finally, it is discovered that the kill code hack is the result of the Merovingian’s efforts to research a way to permanently kill redpills. Operation Omega is a hit list aimed at taking care of the Merovingian’s enemies, and Niobe and Ghost are next on the list.
Zion coders successfully decompile the flit gun parts acquired and mass production within the Matrix begins. Exile forces strike the production centers, indicating that the Merovingian is trying to protect the Assassin. An anonymous message asks Tyndall to meet the sender of the message in order to find out where the Assassin is. Tyndall sends an operative even though it seems like a trap, but the informant turns out to be Persephone, the Merovingian’s wife. She says she hates the Assassin program, but the Merovingian is trying to protect the Assassin, so she wants Zion to kill the Assassin. She reveals the Assassin’s base of operations to be on a garbage barge on Megacity River that is impossible to access by normal means. Persephone concludes by giving the redpill coordinates of a Merovingian base that offers more information about the barge.
A redpill operative infiltrates the Merovingian base and finds out about a hidden network of hardlines running through Megacity. The hardlines lead to the Assassin’s barge as well as some other interesting places such as “The Coroner’s Office” and “The Morgue”. A redpill is sent to the barge and finds the Assassin. The flit gun severely weakens the Assassin, but the Assassin escapes through the hardline network before a final blow can be struck.
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