Matrix Games: The Matrix Online

Chapter 4.2b: A Piece of Blue Sky

Concert sites around the city are suddenly found set up at certain parks, with advertising banners that read “A piece of blue sky - a musical celebration of dreams fulfilled”. Rumors, speculation and accusations fly, especially as people notice that the sky is more blue than ever before, even more blue than special sunsets created by Sati. Many believe it to be a Cypherite plot. A mysterious masked group called sleepwalkers start attacking redpills, believed to have something to do with the speculated Cypherite plot. Matarax, the Cypherite liaison, confirms suspicions that sleepwalkers are indeed the feared Cypherite splinter group by officially announcing to redpills of the city that sleepwalkers are not operating within the Cypherite organization. According to her, Cryptos fights for “education and enlightenment” over force, and would never support putting such strain on his “beautiful” system.

Zion sends operatives to meet with Ghost about the concerts, and Ghost says that the Machine simulation doesn’t allow for blue skies except when Sati is permitted to change it, and a concert certainly isn’t her style. The blue skies must not be coming from Sati. Ghost also reports that Metacortex co-founder Decius Wadsworth has claimed the concerts to be his “gift to the city”. Zion’s contacts within Metacortex had no warning of this announcement, and Wadsworth is dodging investigations. Zion expects trouble at the concerts.

The following Sentinel issue is released:

March 30, 2006: City Girds for “Blue Sky”

Redpill investigation reveals that the spotlights present at the concert sites are giving out small pieces of Matrix code from their bases, and the lights themselves are deep blue. Redpills wonder if the spotlights are behind the change of sky. Patches of black smog also intermingle with the sky itself. Security personnel begin patrolling blue sky concert sites, regularly clearing the sites of local gang members, breaking up redpill brawls and quietly conversing with blue sky vendors. They also make absolutely sure nobody touches any of the concert equipment. They act as if they’re just bluepills hired for the concert sites, yet they are seen using hardlines and occasionally hyperjumping.

The Architect enters the Matrix to hold a top secret meeting with Machine leaders. His presence alone means something very serious. The Architect says that while the origin of power fluctuations is still unknown, the sleepwalkers are the cause of the unauthorized blue skies and concert grounds coincided with the sleepwalkers’ arrival in the system. Due to their fundamental flaws, the recent events must be the work of the human mind. The Architect calculates that the simulation will soon suffer a cascading system failure and every human will die if the power drain continues at its current rate of growth. The Architect also suspects sleepwalkers won’t allow this to happen and suspects they have powerful devices and subroutines for separating residual self images from their physical counterparts and rerouting bluepill neurological data. Sleepwalkers are declared the system’s number one enemies to be stopped at all costs.

All organizations rally for battle against the sleepwalkers. Cypherites believe it is their duty to preserve the system from the threat they inadvertently created, E Pluribus Neo wants to rid the Matrix of these fanatics even worse than the normal masked, the Merovingian feels his power threatened and cannot afford to lose the system he depends on for life, Machines fear cataclysmic system crash, and Zion sees sleepwalkers as a threat to humanity. The concert sites are put under constant surveillance.

Over the next couple of days, the sky slowly darkens to a foreboding deep blue. Sleepwalkers continue to attack and guards continue on their strange patrols. Everyone is counting down the minutes until Wadsworth’s “gift” begins - all they can do is wait. The time finally arrives, and a loud voice plays over the concert speakers:

“The time is now, behold the blue lights and feel your powers melt like ice to a flame. This is our spectacle and it will change you. Lie down redpills and return to the dream. Some of you will try to shut down the pretty lights but you will be opposed, you will fail. Our brothers tried sweet persuasion with you. You could of been slicing the steak, but instead the knife cuts you. You wouldn't take the bluepill, now feel the blue light. And Sleep...”

The spotlights begin to shake and convulse, blasting blinding blue light that truly stains the simulation, also releasing a virus into the immediate vicinity that weakens all redpills. Sleepwalkers begin storming the concert sites, and redpills of all 5 organizations join forces as they try to figure out how to defeat the sleepwalker’s plan. Redpills fight their way through never-ending legions of sleepwalkers to get to the spotlights themselves. A panel is discovered on the underside of the spotlights, revealing fail safe controls which allows for deactivation, given enough time. Sleepwalkers must be held off long enough to allow for this deactivation process to complete. The closer each light gets to deactivation, the more unstable it becomes. In each light’s final stages, it begins to burst out visible clouds of virus code as well as blue bolts of energy that immediately activates the redpill’s auto jackout mechanism. This clearly strains the Matrix system and threatens cataclysmic crash, but it is a necessary risk if sleepwalkers are to be defeated.

Spotlights around Megacity are finally deactivated without crashing the system. After some uneasy silence, the security personnel from before arrive, no longer wearing baseball caps, revealing their dark blue hair and the fact that they are also sleepwalkers. These elite fanatics storm the concert sites and very quickly reactivate the destructive lights. Fighting appears to be never-ending with a constant loop of spotlight deactivation and reactivation, and with security personnel reconstructing only moments after they are defeated.

All hope seems to be lost when suddenly the Architect sends a broadcast message to all redpills, announcing activation of a system subroutine, a highly advanced tracking program that initiates feedback code to be sent to each and every sleepwalker in the system as soon as all the spotlights are simultaneously deactivated. This feedback code will either destroy sleepwalkers’ cranial jacks in the real world, or it will return converted sleepwalkers back into bluepills. The final battle commences, and united redpills are victorious. Sleepwalkers are instantly killed or reinserted with no knowledge of what happened. Security guards wander the sites, and when questioned, indicate they don’t know anything about the real world or the madness that took place moments earlier.

More powerful sleepwalker bosses somehow avoided the Architect’s feedback loop and went into hiding. Zion, the Machines and the Merovingian each send operatives on missions to kill them. The missions are a success, but nobody knows what ever happened to Decius Wadsworth.

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