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Retrieval

The Ashutur came into dock today for repairs and a crew swap.  A
quarter-thou in the city, a tenday break.  A hundred fifty hour pass
to go home, curl up in Sand's and Ricky's arms, play with L.D. and
forget the last run.

****

We were running an extrication when Lucky picked up the distress
pinger.  The timing couldn't have been worse.  All six of the
Ashutur's Players were inside and I had just started the trace.  The
pinger was nearby - lucky for the suckers in the water, otherwise we'd
never have heard it - but for the next 14 minutes while the trace ran
and Lucky did his magic to unplug the recruit, we would have limited
maneuverability, at best.  In other words, we were sitting ducks.

I called into the headset, "Cap...we got a complication." 
"Rind, this is a bad time to tell me that..." 
"There are some swimmers in the sewers near here.  There's at least
one active pinger." 
"Damn." 
"Abort the extrication?" 
"Too late for that.  Pull out Cally.  He can help Lucky and keep an 
eye out for wasps." 
"Yes sir." 
"And get that fix, fast." 
"It's coming...." 

And then things started happening too fast.  I had to leave Cally to
get himself out of the chair.  The trace hit a snag.  

Shit. 

"Cap, Agents incoming.  Estimate less than 3 minutes." 
"Can you finish the trace?"
"I think so." 
"Don't think. Do." 
"Get out of there...CALLY!  Get back down here. I'm pulling them
out." 

Lucky called out, "We got company..." 

Great....

The trace program pinged.  Got it.  A keystroke sent the coordinates
to Lucky.  The ship started to move, racing into the dangerous area
where the pods-stacks are, with wasps on its tail.  

"Cally, go back up and help Lucky.  I can get the rest of them out."
I saw him nod and he turned and ran back to bridge.  He was knocked
off his feet by a sudden swerve.  Still unsteady after all these
years.

Rat.  Singer.  Ralf.  They were already out. 

The agents arrived as Hammer picked up the phone.  Cap was in there
alone.  "Cap!" 

Bodies clustered around, watching me work. Breaths held tight.  He was
surrounded. Three agents. I had the line ready - at least they hadn't
cut it - but he couldn't get to it.  

No....

His body convulsed in the chair and blood came out his mouth.  

No....

The ship rocked and bucked beneath us.  Lucky was putting it through
some kind of hell, out running the mechs.  I remembered Bird's words to
me back when I graduated and got my assignment.  "Eventually, you are
going to loose a Player, Rind, and it is going to hurt.  You will have
to put it behind you and take care of the rest.  That is your
job. That is what we do."  I never thought I'd loose one 'till today.
And I did have a job to do.  After Lucky and Cap, none of the others
had real skill with the grabber and this was no time for them to be
making due with programs.

I tore off the headset and shoved Singer and Hammer out of my way.  I
still had work to do. I could cry my tears later.  

First we pulled our recruit then we went after the pinger.  There were
two heat signatures in the water.  I got one of them on board and I
was going for the second when Lucky bailed and ran for it.  Something
went right, though. The grabber hooked on the second one's shirt.
Somehow, despite the swerving, we got her aboard.  She was knocked
about pretty good.  Turned put she was a natural, which was a good
thing or that beating would have killed her.

Ralf was standing by with sedatives.  We blasted all three of them,
dumped them in the infirmary and then dealt with Cap.  Cally was in
charge now.  

Lucky had browned the engines as he fled and we didn't have the parts
to fix them. Nor did we have the medical facilities to deal with three
people.  We clearly had to go back to Zion.  We laid low for a bit to
be sure we shook the wasps, and then we dove into the tunnels and
headed home.

****

Rumor has it that Command is going to shake up the crews and rearrange
things after the recent rash of careless mistakes and lost ships.  The
two we grabbed were from the Skaldi, but there'd been three others
lost over the last thousand.  A switch would be good for me.  The
Ashutur was my first assignment out of the Academy.  Serving on her
without Cap would be hard.

I look at the console one last time.  Everything is dark, turned off
and locked up, ready for the next operator, whomever that is.  The
ship is quiet.  Our recruit and the other two we pulled out were taken
off to base medical in Zion.  The others have already left.
Debriefing is over.

I shoulder my bag and leave the ship.  Time to go home and cry in the
arms of the people who love me.  Time to go home and play with
L.D. who is growing up too fast.  I have a hundred and a half hours to
drink myself senseless and forget.  I have a hundred and a half hours
to be ready to go out again.  Why?  Because I am Rind and that is what
I do.


                    { story by Avon Russell }

Introduction

The Matrix, has presented an intriguing series of questions: what will happen next, what are the flaws of the Matrix, what makes Neo special, what is Zion like, and how the hell do you fight the Matrix anyway?

I've taken a very fundamental issue in the movie, and expanded the story around it. Your role is to explore the world, find out what's really going on, and decide what you want to do about it.

What is the story? That would be telling--but I can give you some background on this future world. It is almost a certainty that this game will not match the Wachowskis' next two Matrix movies, but we're going to explore one possible future.

You'll have to play to learn more...

Game Status

The Matrix games are table-top, face-to-face role playing run by the storytellers in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. If you're not nearby enough to play, we encourage you to adapt the world and rules to your own uses!

 

matrix-info@downwardspiral.net The Matrix Role Playing Game at downwardspiral.net updated 12/16/2001