Chapter 20: The Final Phase
Colin woke up in his cot to Parker standing over him apparently starring at him.
“Ah!” he jumped startled. “What the hell are you doing?” Colin sat up and looked at Parker.
“Did you sleep well?” asked Parker.
“Well yeah, did you?”
“I slept just great thanks. Now get the hell up and let’s get your upload finished, so the Captain doesn’t freak out at me today ok.” Parker threw Colin’s clothing at him and left the room. Colin got up out of bed and quickly got dressed, he finished and left the room. He headed to the broadcast zone where he assumed Parker would be waiting for him. He walked in and sure enough Parker was sitting at his station waiting to hook him in.
“I assume I just take a seat, huh?” said Colin.
“Yeah.” Parker got up and walked over to one of the terminals. Colin followed him and he hooked him in. Parker sat back down at his computer and picked up another disk. “Ok so, since yesterday we did all the combat stuff, now I’m gonna give you your operations protocols.” He stuck the disk in the computer and began to type.
Colin felt the information begin to flow into him through the jack. He knew so much now, it was really strange how the learning process worked here in the real world. Knowledge was just a click of a button away, it was a lot better than sitting in school for hours on end that’s for sure.
I had just woke up and gone to the navigation deck Colin’s training had been started again for the day and I was sitting in the navigation center with Isaiah.
“How did you sleep?” he asked.
“I slept well, how about you?” Isaiah shrugged his shoulders.
“I can’t complain.”
I looked at Isaiah and half began, for some reason, to wonder if he would have been happier in the real world or if I should have just left him in the matrix. Isaiah looked at me and smiled.
“I’m glad you freed me, you know that right?” he said.
“Now that was timing. . . I was just starting to think about that actually.”
“I know, I heard you somehow.”
Isaiah looked at me for a second and Tarra walked in.
“Good morning you two.”
“Morning,” we both replied.
“Dan is on his way up I assume, his pilot shift is about to start. That and there is a group of sentinels heading toward us, I don’t think they have spotted us yet,” said Isaiah.
“He’s on his way up, he is just getting dressed.” Tarra took a seat at one of signal terminals where we monitored the matrix net activity.
Dan walked in and stood next to Tarra waiting for Isaiah to move from the chair. Isaiah stood up and moved to the holographic scanner. Dan sat down and got the ship airborne.
“Dan I’ve laid a course into the computer for you to follow, make variations if you think you need to,” I said.
“Aye Captain.” I got up from my seat, while Colin was in training, Parker would be busy so I went to monitor the operators station.
I walked into the downstairs and Colin and Parker were just getting done.
“Man I need to go lay down, I feel really dizzy all of a sudden,” said Colin as he sat up.
“Yeah that’s a good idea you have taken in a lot of information in the last two days, you need to rest your mind,” explained Parker. Colin got up and nodded to Parker and walked out of the room.
“Good morning Captain.” I nodded to him as I sat in the operator’s chair.
“I think its time we check in on the media, see if anyone has made any big appearances lately.”
The code screen activated and I was looking through the green at the local newspapers and news broadcasts. Parker stood beside me with his arms crossed and gazed into the code.
“Looks like the usual paper stars eh?” he said.
“Yup, Morpheus, Niobe, Soren, the best of the best. I say we need to make an appearance soon.” I glanced through the missing column at the different people, both Colin and Isaiah were mentioned. There was soon to be some action. Just then the proximity alarm sounded. I put on my headset and talked to the navigation room.
“How many is there Isaiah?” I asked.
“There is one loner and another group closing in. You better come up here Captain.” Isaiah spoke through the headset. I headed back up to the navigation deck, I walked in and we were already landed Colin had met me on the way.
“Brandan what’s going on?”
“Shh,” Tarra shushed him.
“That’s what is called a sentinel. They are the machines hunters and they only have one purpose,” I paused and looked at him, “Search and destroy. They are nothing but brutal killing machines. Isaiah charge the E.M.P.” Colin looked at me strangely.
“What’s an E.M.P.” The lights on the ship went out and all was silent. Tarra leaned over to Colin and started to whisper to him.
“Electro magnetic pulse, it’s our only weapon against the machines that is guaranteed to knock’em out in one hit. It knocks out there power supply, damaging electrical systems, that’s why we have to kill the power in the ship every time we use it,” she explained.
“Shh,” I shushed the both of them and walked closer to the window out of the ship looking for more of them.
“We have to wait for all of them to get in range, when will they all be in range Isaiah.” Isaiah looked at the small holographic scanner in his lap.
“Maybe a minute, tops.” Just then we heard as the sentinels began to cling to the hull of the ship.
“Oh shit!” yelled Colin, startled.
“Its ok,” said Dan, “Just try to stay quiet.” We heard several more of them cling to the hull of the ship and use their lasers to cut through the hull.
“Hang on, steady, steady as she goes guys. . . Isaiah is that all of them.” Isaiah shook his head no.
“There is still two more coming.” We heard another cling to the hull and the light on the E.M.P. switch was fully lit.
“One more, come on baby.”
“We’ve got a breach Captain,” said Parker through my headset. One more clung to the hall and I flicked the switch releasing the E.M.P. and shorting out the sentinels. As the E.M.P. cleared the sentinels one by one fell from the ship and the lights began to come back on.
“Parker where was the breach at?”
“It was in the weaponry compartment.”
“Ok, I’ll send Dan to help you meet him there and get rid of that thing and fix the hull. I’m going to take care of the last phase of Colin’s training.”
“Confirmed.” Dan got up and went to meet Parker and Tarra took his place.
“Isaiah, Colin come with me please. Tarra you keep watch ok.”
Isaiah and Colin followed me downstairs to the broadcast zone.
“Isaiah I want you to take the operators station,” I ordered. Isaiah sat down and put on the headset.
“Ok Brandan lets get going.” Colin got into one of the chairs and I loaded him in. I sat in one of the chairs and Isaiah came over and started to hook me up.
“Load the jumping program then we will do the agent program, ok?” Isaiah nodded and hit the load button.
I opened my eyes and we were standing in the construct program, our surroundings quickly changed to that of the building tops.
“Ok Colin as I had told you before, the matrix is a system built on another system. This system is not unlike a computer program, thus the rules can be bent, or even broken.” I walked to the edge of the building and looked over, Colin did the same.
“Pretty high up huh?”
“Damn straight.” Colin looked to the next building over.
“Being inside the matrix and being able to bend the rules does that mean we can do a lot of crazy shit.” I looked at him with my eyebrows perked.
“I don’t know you tell me.”
“Hmm.” Colin had a thinkers look on his face as he glared across the sky at the next building. “I bet you I can jump to that building over there.” I shrugged my shoulders. Colin suddenly leaped into the air and seemingly flew across the sky, landing on the next building. “HAHA I’m unstoppable in this place,” yelled Colin excitedly from the next building. I quickly and easily joined him on the building.
“Congratulations, not everyone makes that first jump. But now here we go.” The surroundings change back to the construct program and then to a crowded city street near a fountain.
I began to walk.
“There is some small things I wish to go over with you.” He followed me.
“All the people you see inside the matrix, doctors, teachers, lawyers, fast food workers, these are the minds of the very people we are trying to save. But one thing you must remember is that the human mind will have such a hard time letting go of this false reality that it will do anything to keep it. The fact is that all these people are our enemies as long as they are connected to the matrix.” A young blonde women walks by in a provocative dress and Colin whips his head around at her, I stopped walking.
“Colin were you listening to me or were you looking at the blonde women?”
“Oh a sorry Brandan, what was that last part again. I kinda drifted off there. . .”
“Look again.” Colin turned his head around and was starring down the barrel of an agents gun, he ducked and the program froze.
“I thought we were in the matrix.” I shook my head.
“No. This is an agent they are sentinel programs that can move in and out of any software still connected to the matrix. They are everything they are everywhere and they can be anyone. Inside the matrix they are the keepers of the gate, almost every rebel that has met an agent and fought has died. This is one of our most important training sessions. It’s purpose is to teach you one thing. If you are not one of us then you are one of them, do not be fooled.” Colin nodded his head in acknowledgment. We loaded back into the construct program.
“Hey can I ask you something before we go back out.” I turned to look at him.
“How do you look so damn cool? Where did you get those cloths?” I smiled at him and pushed a button on the remote for the construct program. Suddenly we’re standing in a clothing aisle that stretched for miles.
“Welcome to the rebel clothing store. Pick out whatever you want whatever you need.”
“Cool!” Colin ran down the aisle and looked at almost every article of clothing on the way down. He picked out his clothing. “Hey so how do I avoid doing this all the time.”
“When you load up picture yourself exactly as you want to look in the matrix and the computer will save it for you if you want it to.” Colin nodded. “Ok Isaiah pull us out he is done.”