Matrix Games: The Matrix Online: The Sentinel

March 15, 2005 (Beta)

Note: Keep in mind that this is a Beta edition of the Sentinel. The first non-Beta edition ( March 17, 2005) is issued before Morpheus even thinks of setting off bombs, because it is released immediately after M3 ends, before Morpheus is even aware that the Machines are not going to return Neo's body. In some cases, Beta articles will be repeated several months later during the "real" gameplay. Still, the Beta issues have articles that never appear for regular players that are interesting to read.

Spring is Finally Here!
Tourism Up, Floods Over, Spirits are Set To Soar As The Sun Smiles on The City - By SENTINEL STAFF

This edition of the Sentinel seems to be an unfinished version of the next edition that is dated only two days later. This article is truncated in the middle of a sentence, so the summary of this article will be given in the next edition.

However, this issue (not the next issue) has a secret link if you click on the top triangle of the Sentinel pyramid logo. It brings up the following encoded message:

## The Sentinel Mainframe ##
## Backdoor Initialized ##
## ACCESS secured ##
## ZION RELAY Initialized ##
## Bulletin Transmission ##

ZION BULLETIN

The Machines have acted unacceptably. Morpheus was killed
with a special workaround code subverting the backup process
that protects Redpills.

This represents a new aggression and it will not stand.

Morpheus will not die in vain.

We lift our restriction. Continue Morpheus's campaign.
Strain the Matrix however you can.

The Machines must agree never to use this code again.

And they must return Neo's remains.

Anything less is unacceptable. And we have more means at
our disposal now than during the Battle of Zion. We believe
and expect the Machines to act responsibily and make their
use unnecessary.

## End Transmission ##
## Access Logs Cleaned ##
## Relay terminated ##

(not an article)
In place of an article, there is an obnoxious red box that looks like it has no place being in a newspaper, and in the box is black text that reads:

We are shutting down the Matrix for a period.
Bluepills will sleep through it.

We will let Redpills reenter after a period of rest
and evaluation. Get out now.

Failure to disconnect will bring an experience of
death, burning, freezing, electrical shock and
itching (simultaneously). Blindness will follow.

The Machine Civilization

What is this period of "rest and evaluation" for? If you click on the red box, it brings up a plain black page with green text in the upper left corner of the screen (simulating a computer screen with a monochrome monitor):

## The Sentinel Mainframe ##
## Backdoor Initialized ##
## ACCESS secured ##
## ZION RELAY Initialized ##
## Bulletin Transmission ##

ZION FLASH TRAFFIC

We now advise Redpills to jack out immediately.

They're really going to do it.

## End Transmission ##
## Access Logs Cleaned ##
## Relay terminated ##

What is "it" when the message says "They're really going to do it"? It could be simply referring to restarting the Matrix, reinforcing that machines are not bluffing that the Matrix is going to be restarted. This probably happened because Agent Skinner was permanently deleted by the Assassin (after the Assassin killed Morpheus), and machines created Agent Pace to take his place. We saw a similar upgrade at the beginning of M2 when Neo noticed the improved agents. Since agents are such an integral part of the system programmed with the capability to jump in and out of certain humans experiencing shock, the system probably has to be taken down and restarted with the new agent programming.

From this encoded message, it becomes clear that machines officially use the Sentinel to communicate with Zion by somehow encrypting messages into the paper that bluepills would never detect. The red box was probably not seen as a red box when bluepills looked at it. This also explains why the machines' most important propaganda always makes it into the newspaper: they are in control of it.

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