Tuesday - March 28, 2006
Nostalgia -- the sad feeling that accompanies the remembrance of good times past, or maybe not so good times. The bittersweetness can get to the best of us at times. One year since the restart, and I've caught the bug. How can a moment feel like yesterday and ages ago at the same time? Perhaps time is an illusion we've created for ourselves. No matter, it has been a busy year, what with dreams from Neo, the death of Morpheus and his Assassin, and the adventures of the Novalis II crew. Yep, I got it bad. Nothin' a trip down to the local pub won't cure.

I step outside to find another antidote -- blue skies. Not the stuff of the little girl. No, these are much more vivid. As I stare up, the nostalgia is replaced with feelings of awe and a sense of calm. Surely, I must be dreaming. The Machines would never do this. It wouldn't fit into the Architect's damn equation. At this moment, none of that matters. This is a beauty the likes of which have never been seen in the Matrix nor Zion. It's enough to bring a tear to this man's eye, and I will not look away.

The tear is soon replaced by a boot, and then a fist. The next strike is met by my forearm and a counter-punch, followed by a sweep and finally, a mid-air blow to the chest. The assailant lands ten feet away and twitches a little before he goes out. His buddies look down at him and then up at me. I can see the looks of surprise behind their masks. I crack half a smile. My operator loaded me with combat upgrades this week, and I been itchin' to try 'em out. These sons-a-bitches are already dead. They just don't know it yet. They move in. Two minutes later, all four of 'em are laying on the ground. Now they know. I've never seen these before. Sleepwalkers. I search 'em for clues, but all I find is some worthless loot. I better call this in.

"Yes, yes. We've heard about these minor annoyances", Flood replied. Thanks for giving me a heads-up, you pompous prick. "We have more pressing matters to deal with at the moment -- these 'blue sky' concerts that have been set up around the city. Go talk to Malphas. He'll fill you in on the details." "I'm on it." Always a pleasure dealing with Flood, and now he sends me to this freak-show, Malphas. That is one ugly sum-bitch. Malphas tells me that Decius Wadsworth, co-founder of Metacortex, is behind the concerts. Malphas has some kind of beef with him, but I'm not interested.

According to Flood, the "climax" of the concert is Sunday at 10 AM. I decide to check things out beforehand. I arrive at the concert site in Union Hill, and it's about what you'd expect: stages, billboards, big screens, and of course, stuff for sale. With eight of these sites across the city, Wadsworth must be planning something big. Vendors are selling "blue sky" shirts and caps. Not my cup of tea, but I pick up a couple as souvenirs. They are also selling security gear in exchange for blue frags. I'm not sure what those are, so I move on. Before long, the Sleepwalkers show up again and they're easily dispatched. They seem more aggressive around the concert sites.

Blue skies. Sleepwalkers. Concerts. Something is up. For now, I'll sit back and enjoy the blue skies, but I don't think they'll be smiling at me for long.

Thursday - March 30, 2006

Wadsworth is in the paper today. "I tell people we started Metacortex with nothing but a 'piece of blue sky' - no shippable product, no staff, just a dream.... A lot of people in this town helped... I want to say thanks in a big way." The bullshit meter just pegged out. I don't know what this is all about, but trust me, a rich man giving something back to "the people" ain't it.

It's been business as usual the past couple of days: Visit the concert sites. The Sleepwalkers attack. The Sleepwalkers die. Rinse and repeat. Security guards have had more of a presence at the sites lately: Mr. McNeal, Ms. Finch, Mr. Meters, Ms. Walls, etcetera, etcetera. All doing the security thing, "Roger, Central".

These Sleepwalkers are attracting the attention of the big whigs. The Merovingian called a meeting tonight to discuss. I wasn't able to make it, but my faction mates had me covered. He told us to keep at it with the Sleepwalkers, and also to keep an eye on security. Hmmm...

Friday - March 31, 2006

The concert is scheduled for today. So far, the only show going on is Sleepwalkers hitting the dirt.

Niobe called a Zion meeting tonight. It didn't take long for word to get out, and several of us decided to crash the party. Niobe was having none of that. She turned the zerg on us, and even "escorted" a few out herself. You gotta respect a woman who ain't afraid to tangle. We got our information anyway. This Sleepwalker problem is affecting all of the organizations, so the message is basically the same: Wipe them out.

Saturday - April 1, 2006

Reports of high-level Sleepwalkers have been going around . Apparently, some of these guys aren't pushovers. There are rumours that they are carrying the blue frags that concert vendors are seeking. Lately, security have been acting suspiciously, and they're doing something with the spotlights. Things are starting to escalate.

Sunday - April 2, 2006

Today is the big day. The so-called "climax" of the concert series, which so far has been a non-event. Still, I should see how things turn out. I step outside to find that my blue skies have been painted black. Nothing good lasts forever. A shame. I shake it off and head over to Murasaki. No concert. As usual, I am greeted by the Sleepwalkers. This time something is different: the lights. They're spouting some kind of blue lightning. An impressive sight, but I can feel the drain as I fight off the Sleepwalkers. This can't be good.

It doesn't take long to figure out that these lights have to be shut down. It's a tedious process: "Remove Emergency Panel", "Accept and Execute", "Reverse Polarity", etc. I find out quickly that the lights have protective measures built in. I take a few hits, but I keep at it. The Sleepwalkers are none too happy about it either. Hordes of them show up to protect the devices. Several of us are eventually able to shut down the lights, and the Sleepwalkers go down with them. A search of the bodies reveals blue frags. I collect a set and trade them in for security gear.

Speaking of Security, it becomes apparent that they are involved in this plot as well. Mr. McNeal shows up at one of the sites spouting bluepill nonsense. I go head-to-head with him, but he is more powerful than your average redpill. With the help of other redpills, he eventually goes down. He assures us that he is not dead, and he will return. Damn.

Battles rage all day long from site to site. No sooner do we shut down a light than the Sleepwalkers get it up and running again. How long can this go on? The Architect sends out a message that the lights are draining our energy, and we must shut them down to stop the Sleepwalkers. No shit, Sherlock. However, the Sleepwalkers are weakening, and it is starting to show. As we shut down the lights again, they make their last stand. Redpills fight off hundreds of Sleepwalkers across the city, but we are victorious. The Sleepwalkers go out in a blaze of glory, but they do go out.

The war has been waged, and I welcome the calm after the storm. Mr. Meters has drawn a crowd in Kaede. This isn't "Evil Meters". It's good ol' "Security Guard Meters". Go figure. He informs us that the concerts were cancelled because of the "riots" and he heads home. Afterwards, the Architect sends out another message to congratulate us on our victory. Gee, thanks.

A group of us congregate in front of the Murasaki big screen to see if Wadsworth has anything in store for us after all. It was not to be. After the excitement of the day, I don't mind a little down time with friends.

Flood informs us that he has reserved Club Sphinx for Merovingian operatives. I head down there with friends to unwind. I am told that the Merovigian himself eventually showed up to congratulate us on a job well done. I was catching z's by then. After an exhausting week, I need some rest.


Happy Anniversary! Hard to believe it's been a year already. Like my character, I get a little nostalgic when I think about it. It's certainly been a year of ups and downs. Friends have come and gone. The excitement surrounding beta/launch was followed by the disappointment of lackluster MxO sales. Regardless, what Morpheus said holds true: "We are still here!" I look forward to the next year of gameplay.

Regarding the event, I thought it was good overall. The devs did a good job with the story and creating anticipation around it.The blue lightning effects around the spotlights were impressive, and of course there was the beautiful blue sky we got to enjoy most of the week. The most disappointing part of the event was the ending. It started with a bang but ended in a whimper. I thought there might be some kind of show or movie at the concert sites to reward us for our efforts, but it never happened (the devs do have something in store for us later). As I logged off, all we got was a couple of system messages, but the LET characters eventually showed up, albeit in the middle of the night. The best part of the event, without a doubt, was how many friends were on at the same time. I had to scroll my buddy list to see all the green. Some were players I hadn't seen in a long time, including some that had quit and came back. That holds out some hope for the future.

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