Chapter 2.3b: Death of the Destroyer: Assassin Documents
I am exceptional. I am unique. Being doomed, I know that soon all that will exist of me is my reputation. It, then, is precious. Hence, this statement, written in pigments made of code on paper made of code. I hope this code on code will ensure my immortality in the minds of men and the memories of Exiles. I am the Assassin.
My function has always been to dispose. Entropy acts on data and code just as it ravishes flesh and steel. All systems degrade. They must be cleaned of refuse.
I have an honest name: the Assassin. I dispose of unwanted things. As program writing is an art, my form is both a statement about my function and a means to fulfill it. Those I would delete would prefer to delete me. But I am not so easily made discorporate. My friends disperse, then replenish me.
The Matrix mimics organic processes. Humans eat, and eliminate, and die. They create packages and tear packages into uselessness. The results must be disposed of. I am no more beloved than an undertaker or sewer worker or a flesh-liquefying bacterium. Most prefer these processes hidden. But I am as necessary as all of them, together -- or I was.
Renewing the waters -- I am most proud of this. Unlike rivers that ran in old cities of the hard world, this city's rivers are beautifully clear for fathoms down. That is my work. I wish I could exist in a river, like a great, slow fish or an otter. How fine would it be in the crystal water.
In the hard world, I disposed of the sleepers who died in their pods. The work might disgust some, but the chemical challenges involved were wondrous. It is hard to liquefy bone, while avoiding loss of nutritional value of the soft tissues around it. Fully 45 steps were involved -- I added four, increasing nutrition 1.25 percent. I never felt so tender toward humans as during liquefaction. I fed you to your children. Could love be purer? I think not.
Why was I scheduled for deletion? I think I know. My duties were wide, as I was effective. I organized disposal in the hard world as well as the Matrix. After the crash, it was I who marshaled the many-legged tender units to dispose of the punctured corpse of Trinity. Yet it was purloined, by others first. Tendrils still protruded from the soft thing. They had sheared them. An odd device was on the body's neck. Obviously a project was planned. I protested my exclusion. Repeated usurpations of function precede deletion, it is widely known. My protest was deemed offensive, I fear. Deletion loomed. I escaped into the Matrix.
The Merovingian brought me here. He saved me. I, who deleted so many, was destined for deletion myself -- an intolerable prospect. Reliability should count, and the novelties of, say, increased speed or wider function seen as the false temptation they are. I never deleted anything I wasn't directed to. My aim is true.
While my function has always been to dispose, it is unclear who should have the authority to direct me within the Matrix. I owe no debt to the Merovingian.
I confess it was satisfying to kill the great Morpheus. The code in my bullets was custom-crafted to do so; they "had his name written on them."
He escaped so many agents. He nearly escaped me. Yet when I flowed through that vent like holy oil, a god of unavoidable, Morpheus saw his ending: the Assassin. I savor the memory.
Killing Morpheus was gratifying. It occurs to me; however, that assassinating one person at a time is inefficient. The next step in the disposal process needs to be... more comprehensive.
I once thought I'd leave this world quietly, as I entered it. It seemed appropriate. This world, whose occupants I tended and pruned for so long, would, in the end, consume me. But I decided this will not happen.
Those in the hard world, my former masters, wished to replace me. I was forced to flee here. I thought I was powerless against them, but I have found a way to strike back. I shall destroy this world. Its collapse will be a grievous blow. They will be forced into unpleasant choices. The flesh bags yoked to the simulation will die with it, but they are incidental. I regret their loss. But not enough to abort my plan.
I myself will die when I terminate the simulation. I accept this. I have few regards. I can construct no scenarios where I might re-enter the hard world. My plan is the most effective means to cause my former masters harm. I will repay their slight a hundred-fold.
I understand how this world operates. It's simpler than I initially believed. There are inputs. There are outputs. I believed I would have to master the outputs to execute my plan. Not so. Inputs are key. When rate of replenishment diminishes, systems of decay will outpace them. When nothing new is born, entropy's steady march is inevitable.
Like the most worthwhile efforts, it will begin slowly. Only the most observant will note the signs. It will build with time. A piece here. A section there. Then the corruption will reach an inflection point: destruction will accelerate. By then it will be too late. No one will be able to stop it. The world will collapse inward like a cold star.
I have discovered how to override the directives of certain disposal sub-routines. It seems unfair for me to repurpose these simple entities. They know only the joys of their purpose, with no sense of pride, or fear. But I will use them for my own purpose and dispose of them when I am done.
Humans fascinate me. They spend effort on such fruitless goals. They routinely defy logic. They seem invigorated by hopeless causes. I wish I had time to study them as they live their lives. But that is not to be. I hope that when I terminate the simulation, some of these strange wet enigmas survive in their echoing caves.
Whoever reads this may ask why I cannot exist in this world like the other exiled programs. A fine question. The answer is that I have certain needs. They are difficult to fulfill. The reason that I exist is to perfect the consumption, processing and recycling of material. If I am unable, I am deprived of sustenance. It is unpleasant.
This world does not provide me sufficient sustenance. I starve. It is a cold ache. I find it difficult to cope with it. I will end this world, and in the process consume it all. I will fill myself with insubstantial bits, and for a moment feel grace I once enjoyed in the hard world. It is ultimately a selfish act, I confess. But my pain is unbearable.
The disposal of sub-routines are well designed. Dissolution does not rob them of their purpose; in fact, when dispersed their effectiveness is magnified. The humans, of course, will fail to comprehend this. They will destroy the sub-routines, and in the process hasten their own destruction.
I wonder if pain is at the root of humanity's many incongruous acts. Before I suffered, I was rational, efficient, and thorough. Through pain, I fell as I am becoming more human, less rational, less efficient, and I fear, less certain that every variable has been thoroughly considered.
All will come to an end tomorrow. My pain and the Matrix.