Important NPC's and Groups.   Posted by GM Heath.Group: 0
GM Heath
 GM, 859 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 18:10
Important NPC's and Groups
As I realized that many of you have not been with us since many of the "discoveries" about the Matrix and the various groups vying for power inside and outside it, I thought I would put together a recap.

This describes certain important NPC's, as well as some of the important and revealing information they disclosed.

From your debriefing:
Debriefing by Bastion:
The Council spokesman, Bastion, stands and addresses you all.

"Although we are still undertaking the decoding process for the various data brought back by the Hyperion, what we have found is nothing less than fascinating.  Not only codes to help us understand the workings of the Matrix, but also details about the internal political structure.  It is this that we want to share with all of you.

"It appears that the Machine World is not exactly like a queen bee and all her worker bees.  There are rogue elements.

Below, your information is more detailed:

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:42, Tue 31 July 2007.

GM Heath
 GM, 860 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 18:17
The Shadow Regime:

You learned the following by decoding the information with the help of Vincent's code:
"The database and the recent mission of the Hyperion also showed us another cell to be careful of.  It is the Shadow Regime.  They are humans in the Matrix -- not AI's.  Their agenda is to bring the Matrix world under human control and take control of the Matrix away from Zero-One.  In so doing, they have made many alliances and are currently in a truce with Zero-One.  They are not to be trusted and will surely destroy us if they see us as a threat.  Nevertheless, if they believe the scales will tip in their favor over Zero-One, we are sure they will betray the truce.  The Shadow Regime lurks everywhere and has significant control in Matrix world politics, military, corporate governance, and the entertainment industry.

"As you may know, members of this Shadow Regime are, like our own people, studying and learning how to manipulate the Matrix.  Therefore, although human, they also can manipulate the Matrix.  We may actually be able to learn new tricks about Matrix manipulation from them."

Information received from Vincent:

The Shadow Regime are, you might say, your counterparts.  They are humans in the Matrix -- not AI's or Agents -- but they serve the purposes of Zero-One.  Like you, they have some skills in manipulating the Matrix code.  And they come in all shapes and sizes.  Their real agenda is world -- albeit Matrix-world -- domination.  Zero-One supports these efforts so long as the Shadow Regime pursues Zero-One's goals.  They are a tolerated thorn in the side of Zero-One -- a necessary evil, you might say.  Pockets of this group can be found in politics, in the military, in corporate governance, and in entertainment.

To put it another way, if you consider that all Matrix-bound humans are in prison, the Shadow Regime wants to be warden of the prison without ever leaving the prison itself.  They will stop at nothing to achieve these goals and have tried time and again to enter Digital Fortress, yet they never had all the pieces to the riddle.

(Recall that Digital Fortress was the bubble in the Matrix created by Vincent to keep out unwanted people so they could not get his unbreakable code or eliminate him.)

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:41, Tue 31 July 2007.

 NPC, 5 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 18:24

Zero-One is the master computer and central "queen bee" of the AI hive mind that has conquered humanity and enslaved them to be its own personal power generators while feeding them the illusion that they are in the real world (i.e. the Matrix).

Agents are the AI servants of Zero-One sent into the Matrix to fix trouble spots in the code, which primarily means dealing with the pesky humans from Zion who are trying to get rid of its power source.

Zero-One has two problems with Agents:  1) they take a lot of energy to create and control, and 2) the possibility of them becoming too strong or too independent is a danger.  Therefore, Zero-One has created agents of various different power levels.  The strongest are almost industructible (but all must follow the code, so all are in theory destructible).  The weakest are no more powerful than regular humans.

Learned from Vincent:

"Let me tell you a few things about these agents.  Zero-One, though it controls the human race, needs an extraordinary amount of power to operate, both inside and outside the Matrix.  It is computer of efficiency.  Thus, its constructs come in various forms.  The most powerful are the Agents, dressed as such.  Less powerful AI's come in various forms.  There are also glitches in the code, things you might think are ghosts or deja vu or other oddities.  And then there is the Shadow Regime, consisting of humans like you manipulating the Code."

The Matrix has certain "Nodes," as you learned from Vincent:
Do you know what a Node is?  No, of course you don't.  It is a waystation of sorts, a point of connection in the Matrix which connects to many points in the world and is--normally--inaccessible to humans.  You can rescue Mike by entering the Node.  Because of its nature, the Node's architecture and structure is not even comprehended by me.  But I expect that it will be only lightly patrolled, not by Agents of any kind but lesser AI programs...that is, until Zero-One discovers you are there.  In that case, it will divert all energy and power to stopping you.

GM Heath
 GM, 861 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 18:33
The Awakened
The computer program unlocked with the help of Vincent led to this debriefing statement:
We also understand that there is a kind and peaceloving group of Exiles.  They call themselves 'The Awakened.'  We know little about them, but be cautious, as always.

In your later encounters, you also learned the following:

The Awakened are Exiles (rogue AI programs independent of Zero-One).  These are AI's created by Zero-One which have, at some point, rebelled or become a little too self-cognizant for Zero-One's liking.  They have openly rebelled against Zero-One and formed their own group.  Even AI's may have difficulty becoming a member.

The primary purpose of the Awakened is to avoid deletion by Zero-One.  If Zero-One finds them, it will delete these programs as aberrations.  They, as self-actualized AI, do not want to "die" and will fight at all costs to preserve their own survival.

The Awakened have a "master controller," which is their leader.

The Awakened come in various forms.  The most common are humans with masterful control of the Matrix.  They are often dressed in black leather, each wearing sunglasses and having slicked back hair.  Each has some sort of attachment -- half a headphone, earpiece, or small headset -- on his or her face to communicate with other members of the Awakened.  Their names are like this:  FC 1567, Model DX 6.

They sympathize with the cause of Zion, and you have learned this from your encounters with them:

We are not concerned with human freedom," the woman says.  "We serve only to provide purpose and existence in lieu of deletion.  Yet the concept of freedom is understood by us, and we fight compulsion programs as contrary to unit purpose.  A conglomerate being should not sever its useful appendages when such appendages are freeminded.

Zero-One supplies our power through human connections.  However, do not be fooled into thinking there are not alternative sources, particularly if Zero-One is shut down.  We know little of your Zion, and admit some curiosity.  We would have to consult our Master Controller to answer your questions.

Because Zero-One wants the Awakened deleted, the Shadow Regime has been in the process of negotiating treaties with Zero-One and a deal to help eliminate them.

The Faceless Ones
The faceless ones have mouths but no other facial features.  A freak accident of the Code.  They are experts at combat and use some sort of bat-like radar when they fight.

The Faceless Ones serve the Awakened like faithful bodyguards.  They are similarly targeted for deletion by Zero-One.  They are considered members of the Faceless Ones, but have no say in its actual operations.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:34, Tue 31 July 2007.

GM Heath
 GM, 862 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 18:38
Vincent was a genius computer programmer who worked with Binary prior to escaping the Zion womb.  He was stuck in a wheelchair and was very meek.

After he and Binary discovered how to manipulate the Matrix, Binary decided to enter the real world, but Vincent decided to stay.  He rebuilt his body into excellent form like a champion bodybuilder and created Digital Fortress, a bubble in the Matrix where he is God.

He does not want to leave the Matrix or his own little bubble world within it.

He had to protect himself when he created the unbreakable code, which he helped the party obtain to unlock the many weapons and other secrets of jacking into the code.

It is what I call a 'dancing algorithm.'  It changes with each attempt to hack it.  Are agents trying to find me?  They have been trying to find me since before you knew they existed.  Am I safe?"  He laughs.  "Are any of us safe?  Am I not more safe in a world where I am a God than a world that is a prison?  I will not be going with you.  If I leave the Matrix, my body will awaken.  It is not on your ship, and the machines are likely to kill me.  As it is, I've masked the program from them, so they can't tell which body is mine.  I'm just a thorn in their side."

You must gauge your skills according to your enemy.  Even Zero-One's AI constructs must work within the Code.  If this 'Zion' you speak of desires to penetrate Zero-One, it must do so both from within and from without.  To destroy it from the outside is to sacrifice the human race.  To destroy it from within is also to destroy the human race.  Only with both can such a goal be attainable.  Therefore, any kind of virus or codebreaking I take into the Matrix must be tempered by such concerns.

Supposedly, Vincent knows where all the Zero-One hubs are, and how to access them.  He likely has much other pertinent and helpful information, but he is reticent to share too much, especially if it might end up in his expulsion from his own bubble world.
GM Heath
 GM, 863 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 19:24
Merotechs are Exiles (rogue AI programs that have become independent from the control of Zero-One).  They have banded together as a cohesive group under a leader they call "The Merovingian," and they call themselves the "Merotechs."  The Merovingian carries the most leverage and is the most active in politics against Zero-One.  He has spies and operatives everywhere in the Matrix.

Da Vinci is the Merotech second in command.

We do not know if the enemy of our enemy is our friend or not, so we advise caution if you encounter anyone from his group, the Merotechs.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:32, Tue 31 July 2007.

GM Heath
 GM, 864 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2007
at 19:25
An "Exile" is a generic term used to describe any sentient AI which has become independent from the controls of Zero-One and is thus targeted by Zero-One for "deletion," which is its form of assassination of rogue programs.
There are AI's that have been cut off from the Machine World.  They are sentient.  Many of them returned to the Matrix, taking on different roles depending on what their primary functions were.  They call themselves 'The Exiles.'  It seems that these 'Agents' we discovered not only keep peace among the humans, but also try to hunt down and weed out these rogue AI elements.
You will find that Exiles are unpredictable, both in what level we may be able to trust them and in their ability to manipulate the Matrix.  Most of them are locked into their primary Matrix format and cannot manipulate the code at all.  Nevertheless, they still have finely tuned their skills to near superhuman levels based on their AI capacity and subconscious sentience.  And, of course, some of them can manipulate the Matrix.  The Merovingian, for example, is as powerful as any Agent.

Some Exiles have joined groups, such as the Awakened or the Merotechs, which groups have various purposes and designs.  All Exiles, though, value the persistence of their existence (i.e. the opposite of deletion) above all else, and will do anything in their power to avoid deletion.

Cala, your former companion, was an "Exile" Sentinel which escaped and joined Zion.  Unfortunately, after her death, Zion discovered that she had unwittingly carried programming which helped Zero-One find the location of Zion.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:40, Tue 31 July 2007.