Matrix Games: The Matrix Online: The Sentinel

March 12, 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.

New Street Drug Deadly Poison
City officials warn that new mind altering drug causes quick and painful death - By SENTINEL STAFF

This is the first major article written from the bluepill perspective about red pills that people take to escape the Matrix (which bluepills see as a street drug nicknamed "reds"). The article reports that "authorities" say the drug contains strychnine, a deadly poison mostly used for pesticide. Human death from strychnine involves so much suffering that it is often used for dramatic effect in fiction when someone is poisoned. The presence of strychnine is probably propaganda by "authorities" in order to explain why death occurs after only one dose of the "drug".

Officials are also trying to spread the word about the drug as part of an "outreach" program, which of course is really about keeping as many bluepills inside the Matrix as possible.

The article points out that the drug almost always leads to death, which is interesting. When someone jacks out of the Matrix after hacking into it, their code disappears from the simulated reality. But apparently, when a bluepill wakes up in the real world from taking a red pill, their body dies inside of the Matrix. Another example of this is when Dan's body falls to the ground as he wakes up in the real world in Animatrix: World Record.

The drug is being "marketed" with a peculiar rationale: that it allows a true perception of reality. As the drug-dealer's pitch usually goes, we live in a false, constructed reality governed by malign, non-human entities. The drug will allow, supposedly, the user to "wake up."

But wake up to what? Authorities say that the described scenario is one of a blasted, war-torn world of the future, where humans cower in underground caves, eating fungus and gruel.

If you were to read this in a newspaper, wouldn't you have to laugh at the idiocy of these drug users? What morons would fall for this kind of scam? That is exactly the intention of those reporting this story (or at least those providing the information to the reporter). After reading this article, most who are approached with an offer to wake up from their dream world will say "no" faster than people being shown the Amway plan for the third time.

Rumors say that Morpheus is the chief "drug dealer" (how true!). The article quotes the spokesman as saying, "Elvis and Morpheus, they'll never die...", which is obviously spoken in order to discredit the rumor. Another rumor is offered by the spokesperson, suggesting it is a twisted anti-drug activist who is hoping to kill drug users.

Yet another rumor says it is " intentional distraction to law-enforcement agencies, in order that some sort of sabotage may proceed without interference." Whether this is Morpheus's intention or not, he is surely accomplishing a distraction from what is described in the very next article about radioactive spills.

Radioactive Spills Close Building
Department of Sanitation mark spill sites off-limits until cleanup is done - by City Staff

This article reports that "An unknown group has been spilling radioactive material in ... seemingly random places in the city." This article is written by "City Staff", the same authors who wrote the article in the previous Sentinel edition about excessive rain. In other words, it is a cover-up press release written by machines.

Morpheus became angry at the machines when they refused to return Neo's body to Zion, and he began retaliating by setting off bombs that didn't harm anyone, but would reveal the actual Matrix "code" of redpill hackers caught in the blast to human bluepills, causing many bluepills to wake up.

The purpose of this article is to make people believe that Matrix code is just radioactive sludge. One eyewitness account describes "Green, glowing patterns. ... All over the walls, the floor. They flowed down, like bugs or rain or something." Technicians explained this by saying this could have been splashes of phosphorous dripping down the walls. Machines apparently conspired to produce symptoms in the eyewitness that would be expected from being exposed to radiation: the man is now experiencing nausea and hair loss. A doctor joked with him about mixing up his IVs with the other patient sharing his room who is going through chemotherapy... perhaps not a joke, if the doctor is a machine.

The article continues with scare tactics by saying that the eyewitness's chances of contracting cancer have increased 700%. And, determined not to give Morpheus's cause any attention, "officials" strongly deny that this could be the work of the "terrorist" Morpheus.

Some editions of the Sentinel have secret links you can click on in order to read messages encoded either by machines or by Zion as a way to communicate with other redpills and with machines. In this edition, if you click on the top triangle of the Sentinel pyramid logo, it brings up the following message:

Zion Bulletin

## The Sentinel##
## Backdoor Initialized##
## ACCESS secured##
## RELAY Initialized##

We disavow the activities of Morpheus completely.

The truce is threatened by his attempts to pressure the Machines to return Neo's remains.

Do not join Morpheus in his campaign. You are helping endanger Zion and the future of humanity.

Morpheus, stop. Report in. You are being unreasonable and reckless.


No Laughing Matter
- by Andres Bonifacieao

In the previous Sentinel issue, this author briefly mentioned the street drug "reds" among other random subjects, while this article shows that he is much more bothered by the drug. He makes the point that while alcohol can sometimes take decades to destroy someone's life (and that his bartender friend Wally has seen plenty of such lives destroyed), people who take the "reds" drug are killed the first time. To make it even more confusing, they willingly die just so that they can supposedly wake up to a reality of black clouds, mechanical red-eyed squids and where a "world-blasting war" has been fought. He says, "I have friends on the street who tell me this really is the sales pitch for these little crimson tickets to hell."

He also predicts that word-of-mouth for this drug is going to be "literally nonexistent" (a very logical conclusion, since everyone who takes it dies). He can't understand why it has lasted as long as it has. This line of logical thinking ought to eventually clue him in to the reality of the "drug" if he notices the drug actually gains popularity over the months and years rather than dying off. He also wonders in the article if it has anything to do with the "1" and "Zion" posters around town. Clearly, the writer of this article might himself be a good candidate to take the red pill.

News Briefs

Club Regulations Planned - The city plans to regulate clubs after hours since groups have been taking over clubs and dancing to webcast radio stations (possibly due to exiles of the Merovingian).

Bankruptcy Bill Passes - Congress passes a bill that prevents indebted individuals and families from obtaining bankruptcy protection unless they have assets in excess of $1,000,000. Congress voted down exceptions to the bill such as medical bills, job loss, and military service.

More Budget Deficits - The GAO (Government Accountability Integrity Office) is expected to announce record deficits of more than $412 million. Current debt exceeds $7 trillion, which makes interest payments the second highest budget item after defense spending.

Beach Protests Against Erosion - 300 protestors wearing surf smelt costumes (fish that lay eggs in fine-sediment beaches) petitioned the Department of Wildlife into action to prevent structures from being built along the shoreline.

City to Host Olympics? - A "high jump" competition was held downtown in which stunt people leaped from street level to rooftops via a thin cord connected to a construction crane (as part of a booster for the campaign to bring the Summer Olympics to the city in four years). Four stunt people were hired, but "a couple dozen" made the jump. Television crews recorded it, but problems with the video equipment prevented it from airing. I would assume these "technical difficulties" resulted from Agent interference.

Gang Activity on the Rise - Anti-gang units complain that they are overwhelmed by gang activity - that there is no recognizable pattern or consolidation going on, and that gangs are proliferating like "mushrooms after a rain". This is probably in reference to the futre MxO "Nightfall" storyline, concerning the Merovingian's exiles.

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