Manifold Mischief

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

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sugar Shack 61: Synn: The End of the Line

As the code trickled and faded last night from my eyes, I felt unaccountably nervous. I had done so many exile missions (hundreds!), made some friends, made some enemies, scored some trivial loot, found many answers and more questions, and now this was the end. I hesitated, feeling at a loss. Had Dorothy felt like this, confronting the Wizard? Synn impatiently beckoned to me from the opposite corner. Like all the Exiles, she could only imagine her own self. For her, I would come and go like a stray thought at a drunken revel.

Synn has no club, no bristling band of angry followers. She stood (-660, 339) on the corner across from the Murasaki NW hardline, watching from afar the idling Black Tigers in the Yeung Park. Like them, she favored dark colors: tightly-zipped, grey leather that drew attention to her busty form and quirky blonde hair. She seemed evilly, eternally young; her voice was distant and cold.

1. The New Plague

Her first, trivial, mish involved putting “virus trackers” on two Machine systems. The first was a “Machine sorting station” and the second was a “listening outpost” used to monitor bluepill behavior. More likely the latter was a spy outpost directed at Zion, to whom Synn was going to offer the take. But Agent Gray would soon read my report, and be able to send them all the dummy traffic he wanted. Nice try!

These were straightforward tasks that a child could have done. I was disgusted that in the first one, I had to kill a bluepill to get a key to a locked room. This went very much against my nature, and I wish there had been some alternative, as there would be in the next mission. There, at least I could complete the mish without killing everything I encountered.

After hearing about the carnage, Synn remarked in her clipped style, “So far so good. Come see me again when you need a job”. Some new plague… “The New Pest” would have been more apropos.

Odd: One thing about this seemed strange to me. Sending me in through armed guards to insert viruses to steal information did not seem very stealthy. I can only surmise that this first, test mission was a diversion to distract Machine attention while a genuine mission took place elsewhere.

2. Crackdown

Last time Synn wanted the interception of important information. This time it’s papers from a courier (a “low-level” program). And it’s easier than it sounds! Go to the site and nose around. You discover a bluepill and an exile (named “Cockroach”!) planning to kill the courier. Explain this to him, and he gladly forks over the papers to you without a shot. Done! Alternately, you can kill him for the same papers, but why be direct? As Synn put it, “This just adds to your cred. Nice job.” And the “crackdown” is…where?

Odd: After I got the papers, I swung by to taunt the schemers. They did not seem to even notice I had them! This seems odd; it would have made more sense for them to have attacked me.

3. In Her Fear

Ostensibly, this seemed annoying: I had to go talk to a candidate for Synn’s organization. But when I arrived, the ostensible applicant attacked me! This led me to think that she would not be suitable material for Synn or for anyone else, and I definitely had no desire to watch her bob for apples at Synn’s Thanksgiving party. So I killed her. I fretted about telling Synn the news, thinking that she might question my motives in killing the aspiring Synner. However, when updated, all Synn said was that I had “come out of that well”.

Odd: For a serious plan to kidnap and interrogate me, I was puzzled that only one person had been sent. Am I so slightly regarded by Synn’s enemies? I only rate a single attacker? Huff! And, as any reader of the first two mission reports can attest, there would not have been much to report.

Odd: Also, why kidnap and interrogate someone like me who had been so little in Synn’s employ? Someone, somewhere, must be desperate to find out something about this fairly trivial exile. Perhaps she has an admirer who wants to know her favorite snack food or her shoe size.

4. Nudged

Once more, not very complicated, even though it’s supposed to be part of a scheme of Synn’s. Get some “incriminating evidence” from an obnoxious contact (“you’re not exactly what I had in mind” he purred when I arrived), kill someone, and leave the “evidence” on him. The reason for all this was not made clear. And who was meant to discover this “incriminating evidence”? And do what? More generally, Synn never really explains the reason of her missions, and you never have the slightest sense of what their purpose is. You are always regarded as a hired contractor and an absolute outsider. But I am not doing these for love, so I turned in my report with one hand, accepted payment with the other, and felt the great wheel turn.

5. The Wheel

Now you learn that the previous mission was to set a trap, and it is about to close. Apparently a Merv crew has been causing trouble for Synn and “her operations” one time too many. The plant last time brought them all in, and now you will take them all out. They are separated across the floor, apparently looking for something, and you can take them down piecemeal. That’s it! Synn remarks at the end, “you’re getting quite good at this” but has no further work she is willing to entrust to you.

Odd: In one room there is a mysterious locked cabinet, but I did not have pick lock loaded, and none of the enemies had a key. Thus the cabinet was left unopened, but the mission was completed nonetheless. Not sure what was happening with this. Rumor has it that it contained three FM-1500s, but no one will ever know.

At the end I felt disappointed. What were Synn’s “operations” which she was safeguarding? Who were her enemies? What did she seek? Did she have a larger plan or was she simply an idle schemer trying to be like others, like a less comely, less engaging version of Rose? Who even cared about her? For the life of me, after working for her I could not see why anyone would give her any thought whatsoever.

And that’s how my survey of MegaCity’s exile contacts ended: in puzzlement. Not that it was not a great ride, and in one of my next posts, I’ll review the best on International. For now, her missions are worth doing, since there’s a small amount of story behind them. However, of all the Exiles in International, hers and Rickshaw’s are the absolute weakest.