THE PURE AND TAINTED RAGE

(c) Julia Haas (Agent Unity)
unity@matrixagents.net
[read in russian]


        "Dare you talk to me of crime?
         And the price you had to pay?
         Every man is born with sin! 
         Every man must chose his way!"
            --Herbert Kretzmer, "Les MisÚrables - 'The Confrontation'"

+Mentality Of Machines.+
"...And embarassed, the pupil asked: 'Then may I ask, how the Wise Kings 
ruled?'
Master Lao spoke: 'The Wise Kings ruled in a manner that their work spread 
across the world, and yet it seemed like they were not the source. Their 
honorable work and intention comforted and helped all creatures, but the 
people did not recognize it. And since their name was never mentioned, all 
beings could feel themselves free. They were impossible to explain, and 
wandered at the brink of being nothing and everything all at once.' "
Thus wrote a chinese philosopher remembered as Tsuang-Tse. I read the musings 
once while I was still human, and it was mainly his philosophy, his way, that 
truly compelled and interested me. As an Agent, I remember it. It is 
something I don't think I shall ever forget. I have made specific request to 
have it saved in my memories, and there it remains. He also wrote that the way of 
Heaven and Earth, the virtue of perfection and completeness, lies in 
self-awareness without certainity, to help humans without loving humans, to 
be a ruler and yet not be accepted as such, to live without calling it an 
art. To possess everything and yet nothing, eternal tranquility, and an unset 
value.
Reflecting thus, I wonder if we, mere Agents, are truly perfect. Possibly. I 
rarely have time to reflect lately. The Rebels have been quite busy. Then 
again, without them, I'd suddenly be unemployed.  



+The Flame.+
"Violent, more violent, his hand cracks the chair
 Moves on reaction, then slumps in despair."
    --Joy Divison, "I Remember Nothing"

I don't know why I once said night is peaceful, and Rebels only come out to 
the day. This time, they've certainly planned their ideas out. Fader informed 
me of it, verbally, which is something quite unusual. However, like mentioned 
the ideas were planned out. Whatever they managed, the lines are a constant 
static. 
Fader claimed he had the information from a different source, but he refused 
to share who it was. To be perfectly frank, it doesn't matter to me. As long 
as the data is correct and we get there on time, I see no trouble. Three of 
them are online, Fader claimed, one of them the leader, the other the two 
we've already dealt with, this Tisiphone, and Alecto. The latter, how 
distinctivley human this notion may be, is _mine_. End of the discussion. 
It's a family matter, and I can handle it. Carter and Fader leave to follow 
the other two as I enter. The thing, whatever it is they're planning, it's 
happening at the Eaton's Centre - one of the major sights to see in this 
Matrix segment, next to the CN Tower. I would've walked through the coding of 
the wall, but there's no need - one door is open, propably lockpicked. I draw 
the revolver and walk in. I don't need the nightvision function this time - 
the moon shines full and bright, through the glass tiles at the ceiling 
inside. 
The blur of the red trenchcoat in the distance is like a shaded flame, as 
impossible as the idea may sound. She runs, and I follow. She has a good head 
start, but I catch on quickly. Yes, my dear, there is a spoon. For you and 
for me. I can feel her gasp for breath as she runs. That alone is proof 
enough. No matter where they go - this is my turf. I know everything about 
it, even if the lines are still an irritating and all-compassing static. She 
suddenly whirls around to face me. 
Trouble is - that's not Alecto. It's the other one. I am quietly a bit upset, 
I was very much hoping to have Alecto for myself. Now I'll have to make do 
with this... Tisiphone, how she calls herself. Why isn't she running? That's 
not how it's supposed to be. She's supposed to run. It's always been like 
this. They run. We hunt. It's almost a tradition. This isn't "Stargate", 
little human. I won't go away just because you show no fear of me. I eye her 
suspiciously as I stop before her.

"How foolish are you?" I question grimly. "You had such a good chance of 
escaping, human. Such a perfect possibility of surviving."

"That's not the bloody point, Agent." Tisiphone says, and a sick grin twists 
over her face. She is happy - but why? She's about to die, what can make her 
glad? Even as a human, I wouldn't have understood this notion. "This is the 
revenge, Agent, for Megera."

"Pathetic." I hiss back. "Your revenge is pointless. Your ideas are 
pointless. But they are over now, all of them." 

"_You_ are the pathetic one, Agent. No purpose, no love, no friendship flows 
in you, only heartless, soulless source code. You do not truly live."

I narrow my eyes. Why do I let her go on? I could kill her right now. But it 
is somewhat amusing. Let her finish, I think to myself. 

"And this is what always makes you so weak. You have no free will, you have 
no true passion or emotions." She breathes, to conclude. I should have killed 
her then, but instead, I let her finish - the grave error, "This is why the 
One was right to destroy that one of your ranks. He was the worst of all. No 
freedom, no existence, no feelings."

Rage surges through me, destroys the Order inside me. I don't want it to. 
It's the most horrible emotion I have ever felt. This complete lack of 
control, the red haze running over my vision. The source code within me moans 
and aches as feelings of frenzy and anger surge through and take control. She 
can insult me, fine. She can insult all Agents, I do not care. But by judging 
him, my creator, my initiator, the only one who ever understood and helped 
me, and accuse him of things that are furthest from the truth - this I cannot 
tolerate. For unrecorded time, I cease to be Agent, and become a vessel of 
flaming anger. 

I do not remember what I did. A red curtain fell over everything. 

As I open my eyes, something odd is happening. My hands... are trembling. I 
control myself again and urge them to stop. There is a crack in the 
sunglasses that I can barely see as I regain composure. I find myself in a 
bit of a staggering position and straighten up, only now realizing the 
strange, wet feel to my hands. I look down on them, and find them to be 
dripping with blood - not mine. Hers. I flinch and stumble backwards. What 
happened? The feel of blood, the warmth and yet the feeling of contamination 
I sense is sickening. Not only her clothes taint the ground crimson anymore, 
but her entire being. 

What happened? I ask myself again, unbelieving. I thought the Rage I fell to 
had been pure and just, but it is tainted. As tainted as my own hands, 
drenched red. Just then, a beeping sounds across the building. In another 
corner stands a device she must've set up. A shockwave of green coding races 
out from a radar and sweeps the entire ground. I feel it ripping through me, 
knocking me to the ground, but suddenly, there's no ground anymore - only a 
dark void, reaching up and devouring me whole.



+Lost Into The Void. +
"Maybe this IS death. No harps, no tridents. Only an eternal nothing, but in 
this certainity lies no peace. No comfort. Only fear. Fear and a horrible 
loneliness, which cuts deep. Maybe he isn't falling, however. Maybe he is 
rising..."
    --Todd McFarlane & Brian Holguin, "Spawn #74 - The Void"

I was wrong. I was naive. I thought the Pattern Web was the Pattern of Life, 
the Pattern of Order, the Pattern of the Matrix. It is much, much more than 
that. 
I'm not floating in it like before, I'm falling, plunging, deeper and deeper. 
Morpheus so much enjoys using the metaphor of Alice, plunging further down 
the rabbit hole. --He has no idea.-- 
This is the true rabbit hole. However, much like Lewis Carrol wrote, there 
are things, shelves, information, items, running by me as I fall. Like in the 
story. They aren't jars or such things, they are the true depth of the 
Pattern Web that I had never seen before. 
Every human, every human of billions of humans, has a past, hopes, dreams, 
ideas, agendas, thoughts, feelings, emotions, all at once, and all are 
different. However, unlike Alice, who may chose to look at some and ignore 
others, I see them, have to see and feel them all. They bomb my senses, flow 
through me wildly and independently. 
Then I see myself. I see my own memories, my own ideas and codes, my own 
behaviour, from a different angle... I feel a burning on my eyelids as I 
percieve what truly happened in my Rage. I can not bear writing this down. It 
is too chaotic. It is too.... horrible.
I see the life and breath of everything, everyone. I see the souls of all 
beings in the Mother. All the existences.
I don't want them. I don't want them! They're too much! No being was ever 
meant to see this! It's infinite in it's flowing life. Only a God, a divine 
being of some sort, could be able to understand this, to accept this, to 
realize and wish to see this. I am no God. I never asked to be one. I am a 
mere guardian, a sentry, a protector. 

    //Is that what you are... Planet Protector...// 

The voice is soft and cold. It's not mocking or teasing, it is... 
undefinable. I call, weakly, into the unknown, who it is.

    //Do you truly wish to know, Guardian?//

It isn't wary... it is as though a warning. However, falling through the 
souls, I am beyond caring about this. I ask again who is out there.

    //They call me Sekhmet, little Program.//

I feel a sudden madness, a small glint of chaos, sweep through the 
programming at the name. I had heard of her before, and terror strikes me. If 
there is any willingness to stay in this vortex left in me, I loose it at 
this moment. I mouth a silent plea.

    //Afraid, little sister? Why?//

This time, the voice is spiteful, teasing, and an inhuman laughter echoes 
closer into the distance, where a bright light flickers, beckoning. I can 
feel this is her. I have never known such panic, not as a human, not as an 
Agent. It pulls me closer, and I cannot do anything about it. 

        //You are mine. All mine.//

The pull becomes stronger, and I try to grab ahold of anything, but there is 
nothing, my hands claw into empty air. The light moves closer, and soon I see 
it right in front of my face. It is only then, that I realize there is, 
impossible as it may sound, an insane face, an undefinable, insane, 
infinitely powerful face, that stares back at me, victoriously. The light 
becomes blinding, unbearable.

+Return To The Dream.+
"Guardian of the land...Awaken..."
    --"Tokyo Revelation"

And all of a sudden - everything is dark again. I open my eyes, and 
everything turns red. 

"What-I...." I start, finding myself lying on the ground and slowly getting 
up. 

"Awake at last?" asks a strange, definitely unfamiliar voice. I look up, and 
see, a woman, african american, wearing crimson pants and a flowing red vest 
over a red shirt, looking down at me with somewhat of a kind smile. 

What is going on? This is... this person... she is...

"Yes, I am a rebel." She says with a smile, looking at me knowingly. "I am 
Hemera. I am the captain of the Erynia." 

I get to my feet and glare at her best as I can given the circumstances. A 
rift is breaking through my mind. Of course, Matrix Law is more important 
than personal honor but...this is different...

"Why did you do that?" I ask coldly.

"It's a humane thing to do, is all. May I inquire your name?"

"Unity." I answer, a bit uneasy. "Agent Unity."

"It's a pleasure." She smiles again, her warm is lovingly and like a mother's 
upon a child, as if she had no reason in the world to hate me. 

A phone in a booth next to us rings. 

"I give you this freely - your life." She says, and before I can react, she 
has picked up the phone, and vanishes out of the Matrix. 

Carter and Fader arrive a few seconds later. Fader looks suspiciously at me, 
then looks at my hands, still covered in liquid red. 

"What has been going on here?" he asks me in distrust. I look a bit 
off-guard, I suppose, taking a long time to answer.

"I terminated Tisiphone." I reply matter-of-factly. "She was... rather 
skilled."

I can see that they don't buy that. I don't need them to. I have much, much 
more disturbing things to deal with. The static is gone out of the lines, 
everything works normally again. 

+Conflict+
"Enchant me with your tale-telling
 Tell about Tree, Grass, River and Wind
 Tell why Truth must fight the Falsehood,
 And why Truth will always win."
    --Wizards of the Coast, "The Love Song of Night And Day"

I don't know what she did, what this Hemera plans... I stand by the docks and 
look out onto the open water surface. I can not let this affect me. I can't 
live in the debt of a rebel, it's ludicrous. This cannot repay the trouble 
they have been causing. 

I remember with a shudder about this Sekhmet. I had only heard rumors about 
this AI, but looking at her... looking at madness incarnate... was 
unforgetable. 

The perfect world of black and white I should be following slowly dissolves 
into shades of gray, making me feel at a disturbing unease. These grays... 
This world, these humans... for eternity, an everlasting task... It only now 
begins to dawn on me. I have no regrets, no doubts, only... concerns. 
Everything has turned... turned so fast, and I feel deep within that it will 
be a long time until I have come to a proper conclusion.

                    "Turning, turning, turning through the years
                     Minutes into hours and the hours into years
                     Nothing changes, nothing ever can
                     Round and round the roundabout 
                     And back where you began..."
                        --Herbert Kretzmer, "Les Miserables"
                            ("Turning")





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