Manifold Mischief

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

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sugar Shack 40: Ruth: Not a Total Jerk

Sugar Shack 40: Ruth: Not a Total Jerk

Right there in the middle of the Projects (1007, 04, -1411), Ruth loiters. It’s what she wants, she says. She eschews the “high and mighty crap” that other Exiles like so much. You know, the ones like Silver and the Jeweller, not to mention the Merovingian She prefers to be “down here in the think of the action with the bluepills”. Basically, she likes slumming 365 days a year. You see it in her appearance too, the clinging dark blouse and the baggy dark pants; the shock locks going every which way. Everything about her outfit seems like a casual afterthought. Far from dressing for success, Ruth affects a tough-guy, street-smart image.

To join the Grrls’ Club, you have to “prove yourself to me by rescuing a bluepills from an Exile gang’s threats”.

1. Rescue Blue

A bluepill is being harassed by five bullies, for no obvious reason. They seemed to have camped out in his apartment, perhaps intending it as a base for operations. So I killed two, sat down for some milk and chow mein (bad combination!), and the slew the rest. The bluepill was overjoyed; Ruth less so: “That wasn’t bad, Sugaree. You might have some good moves.”

2. The Viper’s Nest

Strike against Thallia’s network. She is a social "viper" who needs to be “taken down a peg”; she tears down other Exiles to make herself look better to the Merovingian, so Ruth says. And I have to say, this is quite consistent with that I saw of her during her missions. Ruth’s idea is to put a small virus in her network that will throw her social calendar into disarray. This will have her showing up at all the wrong events; the worst kind of hell for her. And the mish is simple enough: run in, insert disk, and run out. “You’re a pretty competent one, Sugaree.” The apparent squalor of Thallia’s office surprised me, especially considering how luxurious her lair is! Perhaps Ruth is not the only one that likes to slum.

3. Gadget Grab

Silver’s been up to some mechanical mischief, and now Ruth wants to know about it. This mission was surprisingly difficult. Four very tough Machine staff awaited me, and my membership card for The Collective did not carry much weight with them. Eventually I killed enough to get a key, and ran past the others to reach my goal. “Sharp moves, Sugaree”, judged Ruth.

4. Poison the Well

Silver has been up to some serious trouble-making, even for an Exile. He has come up with “some sort of prototype decompiler that works on bluepills”. It would permit Silver to take apart bluepills for their raw code. Yes, I agreed, this would not be a good thing. Ruth bids me insert a virus into his network (as usual). But this is not the usual, garden-variety, format-the-hard-drive virus. That would precipitate tape restorations, after all. This virus simply adjusts the data flow imperceptibly so that things do not work correctly. Nice thinking, Ruth! She agrees: “You’ve saved some innocent lives today, Sugaree.” More than “some”, I should think.

5. Both Ends Against the Middle

The last mission was a half-way measure to delay Silver. The next step is to distract him. This is done by exposing his research to Tick Tock, a wily intelligence-oriented Exile from downtown (we did his missions a while back). If they start fighting, this will slow them both down. However, complications arise. Your contact for Tick Tock has been killed, and someone else impersonates him and tries to brewko you. Eventually you put the ersatz ally down, and upload the file and folder, but the identity of the third party is never clear. Who tried to cut in? How did they find out? What was their interest? All is not clear, though I would put my money on Hypatia, who has an unparalleled thirst for knowledge of anything and everything.

Ruth’s missions can all be done in an hour, so they’re perfect for an evening of action that leaves time for hanging out and socializing. When you are working on them you have the feeling that you are making the world a better place for pills of both colors, which is very gratifying. And there are interesting connections between Ruth and other exiles, which is always satisfying. You don’t have the feeling that Ruth exist in dumpy vacuum, as you do with some others, such as the Auditor. Ruth does not have the rich personality that some other Exiles do, but she does have a vision, her missions are satisfying and quite varied.

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