Manifold Mischief

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

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sugar Shack 38: Mercury: Tries Harder

Sugar Shack 38: Mercury: Tries Harder

Really, it seems to me that Mercury basically does not want to be found. Master of his datacenter administration room, he waits, secluded in Uriah Industrial park at -50, -14, 271. The room itself is a recluse’s dream, only accessible by long stair walks up and down. When you walk in, you can feel the cold dry air, and hear the monstrous humming behind him and all around you, and feel the load-balancing struggle. I wish there had been one server rack named Recursion, one Syntax, etc. It would have been the perfect touch. Mercury stood there, tense in my presence, with big eyes and bigger hands. I could tell that he would never demean himself to hawk himself on a cold corner downtown like The Newsie or Madame T. He’s not a people person, clearly. For the slightest task involving other people, he needs outside help. He stood in front of me and despite his power and presence, he seemed uncomfortable, like he would rather be juggling cinderblocks or something.

1. Turnabout is Fair Play

This first missions is a fine example of Mercury’s endless anxiety. He bids you steal some files from the obsessive, possessive Silver’s network, and blurts out at the end that he is a better inventor. This mish is fairly straightforward; Mercury’s ingenuity does not extend, it appears, to narrative design…. My partner for this mish, Blackfir3 from The Collective, was so high-powered that by the time I had found my way to the mish site, he had the whole things wrapped up! Whoah!

2. A Prize for Molly B

In this brief mish, you travel to a nearby location to get a package for Mercury from one of Molly B’s guys, and then drop it off. The contents are not disclosed, and nothing else ever seems to happen with this mish. I think the technical term is “filler”, though when I do Molly B’s missions, maybe a connection will emerge.

3. Component Parts

He has a shipment of some parts that needs to be escorted for safety’s sake. He’s buying some stuff from The Collector, and needs to make sure it gets safely to his storehouse. The contact looks like a clone of Mercury, and tells me to get out and stop bothering him as soon as I plucked the items from their cardboard box! What a team! Then I evaded an attack, and dropped off everything with some grateful aides of Mercury. Their boss has been keeping an eye on things, and calls at the end: “Nice work, Sugaree. Not too tough, eh?”

4. Company Secrets

Silver is not one to give up easily, and Mercury needs someone to protect his warehouse. Silver seems to be interested in a prototype, and we need to discourage them. One thug says “I think it just got a little dumber in here” and another chirps, “So, I suppose Mercury sent you to stop us, huh?” I always love these little touches; they show someone brought their imagination to work.
All things considered, fairly easy and fairly entertaining. And it’s all located within the same building at Mercury’s lair, so the commute it great! “That’ll show them,” he says at the end, “Good work, Sugaree.”

5. The Tick Tock Box

Clearly Mercury has come to like me. He got worked up and greeted me as soon as I came in, “Hey, hope you’re doing okay.” The target for today is a technical work commissioned by Tick Tock, which needs to be delivered. Naturally enemy forces are interested as well, and must be wiped out prior to the delivery. This went smoothly enough. The recipient, though, looks at it critically, and seemed puzzled, commenting, “Thanks. Uh, what the hell is this thing? This isn’t a cell phone. Well, never mind. Thanks again.” I have no idea what it is or where this is going, but I like the way these details are worked into the story. Nice work!

Mercury has come to rely on me. He brings his toughest problems to me for solutions. Now, with things quieted down, he takes a deep breath and relaxes. I could tell he liked me, as he started to gush. “Thanks, Sugaree. You have done great. I don’t have any more jobs for now, but if anything comes up, you’ll be the first one I come to.” Unlike all the other dozens of Exiles who have said this over the months, I kind of believed him.

There are good things about these missions. Their convenience. The connections to other Exiles. The brisk battles. Mercury’s personality. The mystery of the item for Tick Tock. On the other hand, the unexplained mission involving Molly B disappointed. Overall, still worth doing.

Many thanks to BlackFir3 from The Collective and Alixander for their help with these missions. Their help and company were most welcome.

This review may be found at, along with other reviews and writings relevant to MxO.