Manifold Mischief

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

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sugar Shack 51: Dame White: Loud as a Loon

And now I turn my weary brown pumps to the Far East, the Asian glories of rice and seaweed, the last district to yield its exotic, exilic secrets to my inquiring heart. I feel excitement; I feel reluctance. Soon, the nine remaining Exiles will be documented and my cup will be drained. And then, what will there be? The Pandora’s Box suites? The construct missions? Player events? There seems so much to do, yet I feel anxiety. And soon I will feel remorse, satisfied or bitter I know not, for the final judgment lies hidden in a future I cannot discern. But go on I must, the code compels.

Dame White is the mother of the clashing colors we recently studied in Westview (Mr. Black is their father). Various archival materials, now long gone, recount how she and her husband were displaced by the Merovingian and Persephone; still others speak of Dame White as an aesthetic force tweaking the Matrix for beauty. A review of her current state inclines one to skepticism, though.

She resides in Shinjuku, in Club Masanume (-189. -6. 337), on the lower level. Above and outside, flocks of Jade Moons angrily mill about. I’ll admit it; I felt nervous approaching her. The club’s décor emphasized recessed green lights, and delightful landscape scrolls. For someone who’s had so many kids, I must say, she’s in fine form! In fact, give her a darker outfit and she could pass for Agent Pace! But the effect is marred once you talk to her. Doing a few of her mishes erodes it completely. Whatever she may once have been, the Dame White of the current age is loud as a loon, abrasive as a sandstorm, and grasping as a magpie. No wonder her husband lives so far away! Let us probe the darkness that is White.

1. Data Mining

If I were her, I’d want to know what my kids over in Westview were up to! But perhaps she read my mission reports and is up to speed on their mischief. At any rate, her inaugural instructions for me this afternoon are pertain to Kowloon and Shirabaka. “Yes, I know what you want and it just so happens that I do have a job for you.” I need to visit a couple of computers. I like her businesslike style.

The first one, in Shinjuku, is guarded by a cordial Blood Drunk, who cheerfully advises me that “You so much as touch that computer; I will gladly break your fingers”. After its data was uploaded, I gave Dame White an update, which was a poor decision on my part. She responded: “You mean you still don’t have the data on Shirakaba? Well, what are you wasting my time for? Go get it!” I cleared my throat and hung up. “Well, what are you wasting my time for?” I told my operator, “Go get the next site!”

The second computer was much harder to get to. There were five or six souped-up elite guards. Eventually I prevailed, got the disk, uploaded it, and was told…

“Hmm, yes… As I suspected, this data shows that… Eh? Well, what is it? You’ve got your pay, haven’t you? So stop pestering me!”

I’m beginning to see why her children have all fled so far afield.

2. Running Interference

Someone somewhere is delivering some item to somebody. That’s it! And Dame White wants it intercepted. You can reach the single site in this mish without much trouble, but it turns out you have been anticipated, and the item is nowhere to be found. Needless to say you come under attack.

Mrs. White is livid about this! She goes off about “some stinking, slimy, pathetic little weasel” tipped off the opposition. (Her imperturbable picture, perched above this tirade, is delightfully ironic!) She throws my money down on the ground, and then goes back to pondering death and destruction. I wish I had thought to ask her kids about her. What stories they could tell!

3. Polygraphic

Dame White tasks you with identifying and eliminating a traitor within her organization, by polygraphing four of her chief lieutenants. The first, Fraction, is clean, and takes the test without hesitation. Some of the White security forces hanging around her wonder if the Dame isn’t getting a little paranoid. They’ll pay for their impertinence! At the second site, looking for the second lieutenant, Dollar, I hear from an Enforcer, “Look, you want my advice? “Stick that thing on Dame White’s finger. Yeah, you heard me!” Then, “I didn’t say nothin’. We never had this talk.” Dollar herself (wearing the same golden gi as do all four) refuses the test until I kill three of her tough guards. Then she does so, loudly claiming it to be under duress.

The third one is a, ahem, dead end: the lieutenant and everyone there is dead. The fourth one is the target. Naturally, at the end, the Dame claims, “Hah, I knew it all along!”

This long mission is well-designed. When I heard there were _four_ suspects, I worried about this being tedious. But the four encounters are well-differentiated even though the four principals looked identical. Nice work!

4. Disk Jockey

With the traitor gone, it is back to business. She wants you to get two disks, from separate locations for her. Naturally there are the usual slugfests for the first one. After another fight at the second site, the disk is simply handed to you by a principal who says “It’s okay, they just think I’m the janitor.” I’m not sure what was going on with this. After all, if they thought this person was the janitor, then she could have simply smuggled the disk out in her overalls pocket. In any case, then it’s off to drop them off with one of the Dame’s operatives.

My patron was clearly overwhelmed with me! “Hm, you seem to be doing fairly well. For once.”

The White operative slated to receive the disks has been killed by a seething crowd of five or six blood drunks, nobles, and elite guards. They all started firing at me too, but their aim sucked, because I was able to put each disk in a computer and escape without being killed. Go figure! One taunted me with the usual “Fool! You have no idea of the power of the artifact you seek!” Yeah, whatever! Then Mrs. White had the information she needed and we were off to the next and final mish.

5. Paydirt

An artifact is soon to change hands, and a payment is soon to be made. Dame White wants both. This sounds like that the second mission was originally intended to be, before it went south. You are tasked with taking two of her aides to break up the transaction. You go to a single site and engage in extended mayhem. You end up with two packages, but zero aides. Then it got interesting.

I took the artifact to White’s hand-off. There were already many bodies in the building and lots of nervous security guards. The main contact was agitated, and couldn’t stop talking: “Come on now, don’t f-freak out on me. Give me one of the packages and put the other one in the wall safe. It’s easy. Easy.” And “Okay, okay. This is good. I like this. Okay, put the other package in the, uhh, wall safe over there. Yeah.” When I, cool as a cucumber, was done, the hand-off said, “Right. Okay, good. Yeah. The Dame’ll like this. Okay. Everybody’s okay.” I tipped my hat and sauntered out for a smoke.

Dame White, ever the generous one, contacted me to say that the artifact was better than they expected, and the captured payment was less. ”That being the case, I suppose…I suppose I might as well give the captured money to you. Just don’t cause me any more trouble for a while.” I could tell she liked me.

Conclusion. Dame White has the strong, abrasive, effective leadership style you would expect from one of MegaCity’s senior Exiles. And I have to say, it’s easy to see why she and her husband live in different districts; she cannot be easy to get along with. Yet for all her power and influence, she limits herself to the same kind of Maltese Falcon knock-off missions that are more suited for the Digger or Mockingbird, when you would expect her to be working on much vaster projects. She seems like the millionaire who cannot resist checking payphones for loose change.

On the other hand, there is a logical progression to these five missions which is quite satisfying: she learns of the trade (#1), she fails to intercept it (#2), she straightens out her organization (#3, #4), and finally succeeds with the heist (#5). With so many children, an estranged husband, and a preoccupation with “things”, Dame White is one of the most intriguing characters in the Matrix, and one begging for further development beyond her brief appearance in the Pandora’s Box arcs. Give her more! The Dame damns, but doesn’t disappoint!