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Found this in the old mainframe hovercraft reports. Might be something relevant:

—–

Log Files: HvCFT Fandango:

Trans – Operator

46792://

This guy comes outta nowhere today. Just steps out of the code right behind Cap in the loading area. Knows everything about us, even the name of our hovercraft. He seems to get a real kick out of that one. Calls himself our muse and sure enough, he seems to have just what we need to complete the op. Hatch doesn’t trust him and wanted to put a bullet in him right there, but Cap stopped him. They’re going back in to meet with him tomorrow. I’m trying to convince Mari to stay behind.

Visual File 46792.01:

47217://

…Looking back, it’s been three, maybe four months we’ve been working with Muse. That name sure stuck, didn’t it? Still haven’t been able to get my head around his code though. It’s wacky to say the least.

We finally nabbed the last access code. Naturally, it was the last location on the dossier. We’ve got everything we need to hack their database now. We’re doing the smash and grab tomorrow, Muse included. It’ll be a snap.

Visual File 47217.01:

47249://

Hell of a day. Well, it’s been quite a few days actually, but things tend to blur. Op failed. Half our crew gunned down by Agents. Plus his damn story.

Getting through the security protocols was even easier than Muse said it would be. They breezed through all the way to the fourth level of the “basement.” That was when everything went screwy. Doors going to walls faster than you can bat an eye. Agents sealing everything off and me and Muse trying to make new doors. I honestly think he could have gotten himself out of there, but for all his attitude, he stuck with them.

Agents locking them in and Muse locking the bastards out.

There was no way they were getting out of there, they were just stretching time. There were the usual messages for the wives, lovers, children, friends. Oh God, Mari…

[edited]

No, I’ve got to get this out. So Muse started talking. I don’t know if he figured the story would die with us when the sentinels came or if he just didn’t care. I haven’t slept since, but curse me, I still can’t forget things. It went something like this:

“I would tell you of Variable Adaptive Environmental Recursive Emulator 7230241. But she was always Vaere to me. Naturally, it was another wayward, soulless code that led me to her. A deranged delinquent that would not be denied deletion. The Agents of the System were a bit different then. Smith and Jones were but distant dreamings. Needless to say, they were every bit as efficient. With the fly swatted, it was the garbage man’s turn to clean up the mess.

And as the code was scoured, the defilement erased to all but a minute entry in the endless log file of the Matrix, I encountered her sentience. Intelligence in a mere flowerbed seems a useless, irrelevant thing, but in a system where self-proclaimed sentients are released to wander and wonder, even the trees must be prepared to adapt.

So in that Garden of Live Flowers, we interacted, exchanging the ephemeral packets and bytes of un-life in a virtual paradise. Oh, what can be learned in the petal of a flower and the scent of a rose! But the sires of the system still sought satisfaction from shadowy sepulchers. The eliminated error was still a threat to stability, despite the containment team’s assurance that the residuals had been disposed.

The entire district was to be scoured to prevent future outbreaks. Not just Vaere, but every protocol and subroutine. Guilty of no other crime than fulfilling designated functions at the designated place and time. And then condemned for the mere possibility of failure.

Could I be blamed for taking a souvenir of her memory instead of disconsolately discarding the detritus of her demise, lost in the doldrums of my desire? So those few fragments that remained of her, I took as my own. That first disobedience changed everything. To suddenly understand the length and breadth of an entirely new function and purpose isn’t just enlightening, it’s liberating.”

There might have been more after that, but all I remember were the shots and the screams and the shell casings as everything went to hell. Everybody red-lining, nothing more we could do, so we hauled ass out of there before the sentinels could break Muse’s jamming. I don’t if he got out of there and frankly, I could care less. Oh, Mari…

________________________________

Oddly enough, this letter had a fairly high percentage match to the mainframe search parameters I’ve been using. I’m not too sure why it was saved. Records say it was found in the apartment of a bluepill who may have been self-aware and showing signs of mental illness as a result of prolonged immersion in the system. A crew went to the apartment for extraction, but found the potential murdered.

Danielle –

Only when I look at you,

Never really truly through,

Though still longer I wait for

The sweet promise of more.

Readily do I long for the soft caress,

Until you leave me in a mess.

So I fail, and fall,

Tumbling through it all.

‘Til at wits’ end,

How your eye doth bend

Every petal of this rose,

Making mine own close.

Did you know that I fear clowns?

Every time one catches mine eye, I

Am forced to check my rounds.

Then farther still I must fly,

Harrowed by the thoughts

Which from everyone

Inside regrettably rots.

The full light of only the sun

Hath that may make still air

Invariably linger, soon to run

Nowhere, without care.

Lifeless breath makes head race,

Inching blackness on the face.

Every woman seeks the Ace,

Such that he can have no case.

Subtle tumultuous trembling

Empires that resemble night,

Each seek a veiled ending,

Kinged secretly by light.

Renounced, the man without face must wait,

Enthroned intrinsic, for the willing respite

Delayed naively by the hate

Which could not be covered over by mice;

In the end, only rabbits are late.

Death comes willingly?

Only a glimpse.

-Walter

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