Agent Gray sends an operative to investigate an “unfortunate incident”. At the location, the redpill finds several dead bodies without any sign of struggle. Distressed bluepill witness describe a loud bang like an explosion, followed by loads of “green stuff” appearing. They described people dying from what looked like convulsive choking, and a person dressed like “some sort of priest” was seen running out of the building. It sounds as if the dead bluepills were forcefully awakened from their pods due to some sort of code bomb and drowned in their pods. Agent Gray scans for a priestlike figure in the local area and turns up a positive match in a nearby building. The area turns out to be empty upon arrival except for a single computer terminal that logs in as “N30_LIVES” when hacked (the “3” representing a backwards “E”), confirming that the priestlike figure is responsible for the code bomb. MxO players suspect E Pluribus Neo.
Agent Gray informs operatives that a Zion contact is helping them and has said that the wanted “priest” has been linked with a group of Zion radicals. The informant reveals that The Kid is the one behind it all, and that two code bombs are planned to go off soon. The informant promises to help by blocking the radicals’ communication signals as long as machine operatives stay quiet about his helping them. The machine operatives hurry to the first bomb location but are too late. They are met with a “crazy” code signal and confused bluepills breaking down and collapsing. Rushing to the second bomb location, Gray confirms that their informant is currently jamming the renegade signal. They find the E Pluribus Neo Crusaders, who claim to be working for the “good of humanity”, and operatives fight their way to the bomb leader just before the bomb is set.
Agent Gray sends operatives to counter an E Pluribus Neo raid on a Machine code storage facility, probably to find components needed to construct more code bombs. The operatives engage in a long and tiresome battle, but eventually the crusaders fall and the facility is secured. Becoming agitated at the intolerable level of EPN interference, Agent Gray calls a meeting with a Zion representative to discuss the matter. Zion unfortunately sends Anome. Anome says the Zion Council are hesitant to deal with EPN and that they have been officially disavowed. He also lets slip that he has people “working on it”. Agent Gray is fully satisfied with the fact that Zion has essentially given the Machines “What humans call Carte Blanche." Anome predicts the Machine’s campaigns against EPN will be “very… satisfying.”
Agent Gray informs operatives of “unfinished business”, referring to Darago, the one directly involved in the loss of the Machine’s case of valuables. It has been revealed that the General was behind Darago’s case theft, but due to Darago’s alliance with Zion, confronting Darago directly will be difficult (but not impossible). The plans are not ready to be discussed yet, and for now, operatives are to deal with the Demon Army, the exile gang who helped Darago. They are sent to Tabor Park (the Demon Army’s “turf”) and hunt down Mammon, their leader, who has been scheduled for deletion. After fighting through Demon Army Cheitans, they find an encrypted data disk that reveals a message regarding Cacophony (who Machines know is a code name for the General), Darago and a payment of 200 million info to someone by the name of Grover.
Grover is known by Machines to be an exile who lends his services to the highest bidder. Operatives track his location in order to question him about Mammon’s location. Out of fear of the operatives and mentioning of Agent Gray’s name, Grover quickly gives them all information they want to know, and says he was merely a messenger and package handler between Cacophony and the Demon’s Army gang. Grover offers to give them the drop point location as long as machines leave him be, and Agent Gray agrees. Predicting that Mammon will have a large number of Demon Army guards, operatives are granted 2 agent programs for assistance in deletion of Mammon. The guards fall easily to the power of the agents, and as Mammon is killed, he claims he will “only rise again”.
In Agent Gray’s debriefing, he admits to underestimating the Merovingian’s level of coordination and regrets forces being stretched thin because of E Pluribus Neo and The General. He says it was inefficient to hold the Effectuator in the long term anyway, and future operations will focus on “more… tangible targets”.
Once again, DifferenceEngine shows odd behavior and loses his mind, going on a rampage around the city, attacking random Zionists and easily repelling anyone who gets in his way. As Machine captains are meeting to discuss what should be done, they receive reports that DE is cornered by many redpills in the city, some trying to calm DE and others trying to take him down. DE releases dangerous modified agent programs to defend himself. Agent Pace finally arrives to reclaim the loose programs and takes DE away for extensive code cleansing in Machine City. Whether the cleansing will be successful or not is unknown. Agent Pace assigns Turring (one of the Machine organization’s top redpills) as the new liaison officer, hoping his human nature will allow for more stability.
Agent Gray holds a meeting regarding Cypherite and E Pluribus Neo groups since the two organization (with extreme opposite ideals) are always at war with each other. Agent Gray declares the two groups illegal and places their leaders and liaisons on the Machine’s most wanted criminals list.
Agent Gray informs operatives of distinct “power fluctuations” that have recently been detected throughout the system. Origins are currently unknown but they cannot afford for the fluctuations to continue. Machinists are told to report unusual activity to liaison Turring immediately.
Back to Mxo Chapter 4.2