Agent Pace informs Machine operatives that another program, DifferenceEngine [definition], will take on her role as Machine liaison in case of her absence.
Agent Gray decides to apply pressure to the Merovingian’s assets in hopes of weakening his “pathetic” empire and causing him to lose focus. Machines strike several Merovingian bases.
Agent Gray sends Machine operatives to “terminate” one of the Merovingian’s key exile lieutenants. After fighting through the lieutenant’s personal guard, they pick up a fluctuation in the next room. They investigate and find that the exile was able to escape out of thin air. Further analysis reveals it to be the work of the Effectuator. Agent Gray orders them to proceed and attack the base of one of the Merovingian’s known security captains. Preliminary scans show the exile’s signal clearly, but he disappears as soon as operatives enter the building. Gray comments that the Effectuator’s talents are becoming an “inconvenience”.
Agent Gray has Machine operatives track the Effectuator’s movements. Armed with a powerful data recording device, they follow a sporadic train across the city, encountering many empty rooms and battles with dire lupines. Gray assures them that they are getting close to capturing the Effectuator.
The Machines finish work on a device designed to lock down the Effectuator’s RSI, but the device must be placed on his body by hand. Machine operatives try to do this, but the Effectuator always disappears before reaching him. Agent Gray aborts in order to formulate a new strategy.
Agent Gray orders a Machine operative to take the anti-exile weapon codes to a top scientist within the Matrix to decompile so that it can also be altered and used against the Effectuator. During the scientist’s work, he rambles about his work with the human body and how he once worked on a “damaged” human found “on the edge of the…”, never finishing his sentence. [Notice the scientist's name is not given. I think this is the same scientist whos journal entries appear in Pandora's Boxes - see Matrix Games: Matrix Online: Pandora's Boxes.] Once finished, the operative goes to the tracked Effectuator location, meeting a huge number of dire lupines. All of them take massive hits of damage due to the area effect of the anti exile weapon, dying quickly. The Effectuator is taken by surprise since he didn’t expect his dire lupines to fall so quickly, and just as the Effectuator is about to phase out, the operative plants the device, locking his RSI in place. Two agents enter the room and take the Effectuator into custody.
The Machines are unsuccessful interrogating the Effectuator and believe it to be inherent in his coding. Agent Gray turns to interrogating a redpill operative, who only speaks of Machine foolishness. He also leads Machines to one of his terminals from which he ejects a data disk. Agent Gray easily recognizes the virus within the disk and destroys it.
Agent Gray calls for one representative from each Machine faction to attend a meeting of great importance. Agent Pace informs everyone that a Machine operative named Bugsweep recently went missing while investigating a report about the Machine’s stolen case. The operation is simple: rescue Bugsweep at all costs and find the kidnapper for interrogation concerning the case. Within minutes, operatives are able to find the wounded and weakened Bugsweep in an alley, who immediately warns that his attacker is fleeing the city. Operatives find him at the downtown helipads (the only way out of the city that Machines can’t track). They find the kidnapper, Darago, attempting to escape. Darago fights off operatives but flees once agent backup arrives. A chase takes place all throughout the city. Darago calls on the assistance of the Demons Army gang, causing a mass brawl, but Darago eventually falls and the gang disperses. Agent Pace, Agent Gray and DifferenceEngine arrive and examine Darago’s body, finding a communication device. Agent Gray determines it is set to the same frequency as used by commandos. The agents conclude that the General is responsible for the theft of their case and currently have it in their possession.
DifferenceEngine starts displaying odd behavior and finally snaps and loses himself, acting as if he is possessed. He demands access codes to the Zion mainframe and complains of humanity’s stench. Redpills recognize this as a remnant of the Smith virus, similar to what Agent Gray occasionally encounters. The crowd attempts to calm the unstable program down, but he continues to say that the Oracle and “Mr. Anderson” must be killed. When questioned about the One, the program says that after the final battle, Neo was provided with a hovercraft and left Machine City alive. Agent Pace detains and sends DE offline for debugging. She says all statements made should be treated as false because they came from the ramblings of a malfunctioning program.
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