Manifold Mischief

Mission reviews, essays, and documents of record regarding The Matrix Online. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sugar Shack 19: Mission Reviews: Pepper: Hopeless Klutz

Sugar Shack 19: Mission Reviews: Pepper: Hopeless Klutz

Most Exiles have a profession, or a sense of mission; think of the Coroner (but not for long!) or The Chef. Pepper has neither. She has resources, and she has intelligence, but seems to be governed by whims, with no discernable strategy in her behavior. Obviously she is a dangerous business partner. If she gets mad at Silver this week, and sends you to sabotage his server, who’s to say she won’t do the same thing to you next week? She likes you at the end, but who knows how long that will last?

1. Petty Retribution

The raison d’etre for this revenge against Silver is not clear; apparently she regards him as stingy. It seems trivial and pointless. Steal a virus and load it into Silver’s server. Apparently she is too lazy, or thinks too little of Silver, to make the effort to design a virus herself. This seems like the kind of easy mission you are given to prove your ability and trustworthiness. It certainly seems to have no other point!

2. Speed Kills

Pepper has heard of some Exiles smuggling in speed-enhancing algorithms from Machine City, and she wants some for her Lab to look at. What? She has a lab? Who would want to work for her? The first site has nothing except some interesting bluepills to talk to. The second site has a stern taskmaster who must be satisfied before he gives you the schematics you desire. However, things do not go as smoothly as we might have expected.

3. Unexpected Consequences

The speed-boosters have driven test subjects nuts, and you have to put them down before they kill all of Pepper’s techies! Maybe there are some things that Exiles were not meant to know! The problems is less simple than it seems: a couple of the ailing subjects have fled, and after saving Pepper’s scientists, you need to track down the fugitives. The fugitive is not nutso affected though, just hallucinating people he cares about. The whole experiment was doomed from the word go, turns out.

4. Hazard Pay

With that crisis past, Pepper’s attention returns to her other business operations. It turns out that a courier has gone missing, and you need to track him down. A file purporting to help you find him turns out to be corrupted, and you need to get it reconstructed from backup. A security breach at Pepper’s labs has affected your ability to complete the mission! Eventually the courier is found, dead, and the package he was carrying is retrieved and delivered. Once more, things have gone way awry for Pepper. One of her scientists complimented me on having saved the techies in the last mission; I always appreciate tight continuity like this.

5. The Swap

It emerges that the “speed” code carried a Trojan virus; hence its unexpected toxicity. The question is, who put it there? An informant promises to make all clear if his palm is crossed with a special delivery. Your task is to complete the exchange and relay the information. When the secret enemy is revealed, you are tasked with the complete, pitiless destruction of her and her gang. At the end Pepper concludes that “you’ve been a great help to me, Sugaree”, and downloaded a fine purple coat to compensate me for all my troubles. In true Pepper fashion, though, it went to the wrong person.

As the “enemy” dies, Pepper muses how sad this was, since this exile was one of her most promising recruits. It’s hard not to wonder if someone had planted disinformation, knowing how gullible and intemperate she is. And in every mission, something seems to go wrong; pepper always seems in over her head, needing you to straighten things out. She doesn’t pay you enough! But there are many witty touches in the writing for this, and the lines for Exiles and thugs.

Roukan, Black, Shread, Zurish, and BrightAngel were a tremendous help with this. And BA leveled from the last mish!

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