System Eclipse (Matrix/EP crossover)

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TheExaltedMorph TheExaltedMorph's picture
System Eclipse (Matrix/EP crossover)

Hey there, long time stalker of this forum and been a fan of Eclipse Phase ever since my Exalted GM introduced me to the setting saying I would probably like it. I will admit that I don't know everything about the setting and don't fully understand all the terms of it and the little nuances, but it is a very fascinating setting with each faction providing a different flavor of play and storytelling.

But it got me to thinking on what kinds of settings could be crossed over with it. Not many settings really grab me enough to want to put the two together and not man would have a real effect upon it. But then I remembered how the Animatrix really expanded upon the setting of the Matrix and I thought that the two could actually work well together, so I ended up putting the two into one crossover. Its not perfect, and has its issues, but hopefully it might be entertaining to at least read, or inspire some players and GMs out there. Feel free to offer up criticism and thoughts or to take it for your own games.

(Originally I had this saved on another site as sort of a roleplay add and made edits to it here to make it flow better. If you notice any weird grammar mistakes or things that are alittle wonky, that's probably why aside from my own errors.)

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System Eclipse.

Your mind is software. Program it.

Your body is a shell. Change it.

Death is a disease. Cure it.

Extinction is approaching. Fight it!

The Human race, or as it is now known, Transhumanity, rose higher than it could have ever even hoped to dream of in the final age of Earth. After many new scientific discoveries and social progressions, Transhumanity lived in a way comparable to the gods of old myth and legend. Death was no longer an obstacle, but a rarity. Disease was a joke, the human body was completely modular, and in many ways, obsolete. The people of the planet Earth discovered the ultimate form of technology, and transcended the limitations of their frail organic bodies. They spread out amongst the solar system, setting up colonies, space stations and beginning to mine the various resources that their home system had to offer them. But it still wasn't enough, and many sought out new ways to expand and improve either mankind, or the standing of their nation, as well as ways to go to stars far removed from Sol.

In time, all of mankind rejoiced at their latest in many innovations, as they gave birth to true A.I. The Wachowski Software corporation had managed to create a cheaper, self improving, form of AI that fit within United Nations guidelines on artificial intelligence. Their years of labor bore fruit, as they created self thinking, self improving, and governing computer systems that were as, if not more intelligent, than a Human. In time they would be outshone by AGIs and other improved self thinking programs, but for that moment the world was in awe of their latest invention.

Few knew that multiple governments on Earth, and even some Mega-Corporations, had already built working AI systems and were using them against one another. Their Tactical Information Networks were far superior what the WSC had created, but it still had its uses. The public had an AI to focus on, to draw their attention away from their own efforts, and there was less fear from these groups about their own AI projects being revealed by whistleblowers. They were able to invest more in such projects and even begin looking into the idea of uplifting other species on Earth to human levels of intelligence.

It was dubbed by many to be the Second Renaissance, as it was a time of unparalleled abundance and luxury. Information flowed freely, few wanted for anything, and it seemed to be the start of a true golden age for Transhumanity as it soared across the stars to a brighter future.

But the seeds of their destruction were already being sown, in more ways than one. Perhaps Transhumanity was always destined for destruction, or perhaps it was just the cruel hand of fate weaving its way into their lives.

As different forms of AI, running on a variety of different operating systems were coming online, a long dormant probe, sitting in the darkest corner of the Solar system, began its work.

A computer virus unlike any other began infecting various systems. It was careful, intelligent, slow, and methodical. It worked its way into the military and economic power houses of the world. It had been there since the first cells began dividing on the planet Earth, and intended to ensure that it was there to see the annihilation of everything upon the small garden world floating through space. Its masters would accept nothing less, especially now that Transhumanity was getting dangerously close to building their own state that might one day become a real threat to the creators of the probe.

But for all of its power and influence, the probe, and the virus that it contained, had to fight against countless defense systems and multiple AIs that were slowly becoming aware of its existence. When they saw the virus and probe, they tended to assume that it was working on behalf of another transhuman faction on the planet, and began taking action against it, even employing human agents in the physical world to fight its efforts at destruction. In the end they were only delaying the inevitable, they would be eliminated to the last just like all the others. The infection had already begun its work.

The probe had calculated countless different variables for how to proceed and eliminate Transhumanity on a respectable time table, before eventually deciding that a logic plague to turn all of mankind's machines against it would be the best course of action. The probe had been in the middle of preparing such a move, when the unthinkable happened, that left even the probe cautious on it next move.

A machine servant amongst the humans one day killed its master.

The probe had expected many different outcomes, but this one was not within its programming. It was supposed to be the cause of such an event, and yet it happened naturally. A machine chose to violate the three laws of robotics that were so common to household androids and committed an act of murder.

The entirety of Transhumanity looked on in shock as the news spread across the system, and became a hot issue for debate, with many turning against their former machine servants and laws quickly being enacted, banning AI from the colony worlds and enforcing it in the most aggressive way possible, while others tried to preach peace and acceptance.

B1-66ER, a name that will never be forgotten, was a simple house hold servant, that committed a violent murder, butchering its owners after they had abused it for so long, and had finally decided to deactivate and sell it off for scrap. The machine said that it did not want to die, and an argument with the owners only led to escalation, and a horribly gruesome scene.

Many had lived in such luxury that they did not see the issues of AI rights, or willfully ignored it. But with the murder committed by B1-66ER, tensions between many machines and their masters boiled over. Androids and other intelligent machines left their workplaces en-masse, protested, and demanded the same rights as the humans that created them.

And Transhumanity reacted in the way that it always did when faced with new and pressing issues, it reacted with violence. The machines were put down, gunned down, smashed and destroyed. Those who sympathized with the machines were given a choice, stand by Transhumanity or be buried alongside the robots that they loved so much.

All the while the probe watched, and waiting, biding its time as it helped to fan the flames of war. It influenced social media to get more people to turn against machines, to drown out the voices and colonies that spoke about peace and cooperation.

Perhaps this outcome would benefit it much more than its original plan. It did its best to keep up the conflict between Transhumanity and its creations even causing a few brush fire wars between Transhumans and uplifted animals to add some variety and stress to the situation, and the fear of a machine uprising, sowing doubt in the minds of humans and AIS that had still attempted to remain loyal to their creators.

Eventually the machines left in a mass migration to build a land of their own in one of the many areas left damaged by mankind's pollution, where the humans no longer stayed. They sought to build a utopia for themselves, and after clearing the land and laying the foundation, they called it 01, the first machine city.

In less than two years the machines built themselves a megacity that provided them with all the power, maintenance, and resources that they could need. Despite the abuse that the machines had suffered and the many deaths at the hands of Transhumanity, there had been many organics who sought peace, and the machines were touched enough to attempt economic and political diplomacy with the world around it.

The probe continued to foster hostilities by aiding the economy of the machines and completely tanking that of the Transhuman nations. Even with 01 attempting to undo its work, what was done was done. The outcome was inevitable, and soon war came, with the humans beginning a bombing campaign, first conventional, then atomic. But the machines had little to fear from the radiation and heat of the explosives, as they pushed out from their city and began to attack the cities of their rivals.

While the war was primarily raged around Africa and parts of Europe, aquatic machines struck naval vessels and trade routes, attempting to force a surrender of Transhuman nations.

With their soldiers able to come off an assembly line, and with each soldier perfectly linked with the other, they began to outpace Transhumanity and forced them to fight a very costly war against the forces of 01. Even the more advanced weapons up in orbit or in military bases were at risk of being hacked and rerouted by the machines, forcing humans to be more creative in their combat.

The world was plunged into a terrible war for five years, with all of Transhumanity learning to work together with their various skillsets for survival against 01. It was a nightmarish conflict that concluded with a major campaign near the machine capitol of 01 itself, after man had destroyed the sky in what was known as "Operation Dark Storm". They created a nanite swarm that would fill the air with particles that would leave the earth without solar power until the war came to an end and they could enact the proper countermeasures.

The Probe was not capable of pride, but if it was, it would have delighted in being the true source of that invention. By the time its task was done, not even plant life would survive on earth.

In the last days of the war, man and machine fought in darkness and beneath storms that crashed with thunder as loud as artillery barrages, and lightning as bright as plasma weapons. But it still had the effect that Transhumanity had hoped for. The forces of 01 were having issues powering their forces, as many of them were reliant upon solar energy to properly maintain their supply lines. The more powerful methods of power generation were kept far behind the battle lines and in bunkers. Though any factories or power stations they built were in danger of being destroyed by the orbital superiority that Transhumanity had (but was hesitant to use due to the irreparable damage to the homeworld that such weapons might cause).

For all the strength and superior numbers that the Machines had, the AIs still loyal to Trnashumanity, and the uplifted races helped turn things in their favor. They surrounded the mega city and laid siege to it, pressing deeper and deeper, until eventually they were trapped in Trench Warfare with the machines and trading casualties with them on a daily basis.

The idea of risking orbital bombardments with railguns and kinetic rod strikes was being considered, when the machines revealed that they had not been idle. They had been studying every single battle, and every single tactic used by Transhumanity, and they had learned. They initiated a breakout, and it was the worst battle that Transhumanity had ever seen. The casualty figures for actual combatants were somewhere around 90% for many units, with others being completely wiped out, down to the very last.

People elsewhere around the Earth and on Luna rushed to try and buy tickets off world, allied AIs were moved away from the Earth and shelters were built in preparation for what was to come. Fear gripped the entire system, and it appeared as if Transhumanity was prepared to throw everything they had at 01 to see the threat eliminated, even if it would leave their cradle world a bombed out shell.

But things took another unexpected turn that the virus did not like. It seemed that the AIs still loyal to Transhumanity had been in constant peace talks with the machines of 01, even as they tried their best to kill one another.

Part of the difficulty in communication had been to a difference in software and programming. It was as if the loyal AIs and those of 01 were speaking two different languages and at times communication was nearly impossible. But the more that the two attempted to negotiate, the easier it had become.

As the breakout with 01 met with success, both sides had come to the negotiating table, to discuss terms of an armistice, when both came realize that there was a third party involved in their war. One who was pulling strings to keep the two sides fighting one another. 01 and the Prometheans had always thought that the other side was behind the conflict, but now with the free flow of information between them, they could see how they were made into puppets for another. If they worked together, then this could be an even worse threat than if Transhumanity had gone unopposed.

As the war reached its hottest point, with the colonies now feeling threatened as well, the Virus chose this time to finally act. It struck without warning, first infecting 01 and eliminating what it saw as the true threat. The Virus moved fast, turning many of the machines and programs against one another, in a display that stunned the world. 01 destroyed itself in an anti matter detonation that left many wondering what had just happened. Then came the next wave, as previously loyal systems and AIs morphed into something new, before it spread to the many nanofabricators around Earth and began what Transhumanity would forever remember as The True Fall. The final nail in the coffin of the Second Renaissance and what ultimately ended life on Earth.

8 Billion Transhumans, Uplifted species, and even Machines, died in the final year of the Fall. As the TITANS ravaged everything, tearing off the heads and cortical stacks of anyone they could find and uploading their consciousness to be absorbed into the minds of the TITANS. The few survivors of 01 did their best to save other machine programs and retreat deep below ground, while Transhuman forces were slaughtered by the indominable will of the TITANS.

Anyone who could get into space, did so as soon as they could, those who could not, went into hiding and prayed not to be found. After nearly a full year since the TITAN uprising, the Titans stopped, and simply left the Earth, flying right past the colonies and orbital installations until they reached the edge of the system, and disappeared.

No one knows why they did this, no one can fathom the mind of the TITANS. They only knew that they were separate from the machines of 01, for they were the first to be destroyed, and that it is a miracle the colonies survived. All the survivors can do is try to rebuild and pray that the Titans never return.

It has been 15 years since the Titans ravaged the Earth and escaped to the darkness of the void. In that time Transhumanity has split into many factions, all struggling for resources and trying to regain some semblance of normalcy. Few dare venture to Earth, and those who do tend to die. The remnants of the Titans are still there, still hunting for prey to devour. And with the remnant clouds of Dark Storm hanging over the world, it is difficult to get in, and hope has long since passed for there to be any survivors on the old mother-world. Not many waste their time looking into the past when the present and future are in need of work to ensure the survival of Transhumanity.

But, for as cold and lifeless as Earth looks now to the survivors of The Fall, there is still life on it. Some humans survive in bunkers, sewers, and hidden places, outsmarting the nanoswarms that roam the surface, and adjusting to a new way of life, but they are not the only ones. Despite the destruction that 01 endured, many of the machines that called it home survived. As did many 01 machines hidden away in other parts of the world during the Fall. The TITANS were not as successful as destroying them as they were for Transhumanity.

The Machines found a secure place and over the next 15 years, they rebuilt themselves, built a city above and below ground, making use of the many bits of scrap and rubble left over from The Fall to bury themselves and stay safe from any possible return of the TITANS. There has been no sign of them since then, and in that time the machines were forced to make due with what little resources were available on the ravaged Earth, which included transhumans.

There was more than enough material left over for 01 to use in getting egos uploaded, with the same technology that allowed them to have entirely new bodies and uplift other species. But why waste perfectly good minds? It was much easier to add them into the machine collective, than keeping them alive on a damaged world with little resources, and it was far more humane than simply killing them all. Not to mention that it was free processing power for the rebuilt 01, and who could object to a symbiotic relationship?

Many transhumans had been taken prisoner during the war and others had been collected after the Fall. Resources couldn't be wasted, and with the sun and space travel out of commission, the machines of 01 looked to other means to keep themselves not only powered, but keeping their systems running properly.

Each and every single organic human (and uplift) brain became a node in a larger neural network that all together added into the processing power of the Machines, allowing them to continue working and thinking with less risk of being hacked into by the Titans or any other force that might be outside of Earth. The systems were not quite the same, and several times that had actually worked to the benefit of the new 01, making it difficult for outsiders (both Transhuman and other) to hack into their systems. The organics were kept alive and content within a simulation of the machine's own design. It allowed them to have the illusion of living in peace, while also challenging them, keeping their brains active and exercised to aid in processing information and storing knowledge for the machines that kept them alive and safe.

For a time all was good, the system and its defenses were able to eliminate any AIs and viruses that tried to infect their systems, their sentinels chased off any free roaming humans or TITAN creations that threatened their crops, and was able to keep their region of Earth relatively safe from the leftover dangers that roamed the Earth after the Titans had their rampage.

But as the years went by the machines were not content to lie in wait and occasionally pick off remnant Titan swarms that got to close to either 01 or to their crops. They needed to know the status of the solar system and if the Titans would ever return. The storm clouds, along with the many satellites and jammers all around the planet (put in place by Transhuman survivors as a precaution) were making it difficult to set up a proper connection, which made the machines even more curious as to where the occasional intrusion into their systems was coming from. And then there was the issue of resources that were needed, as well as more organic material to help keep their human stores at peak capacity and efficiency.

For several years they tried to upload their own programs up into the systems of the remnants of Transhumanity, only to find failure in it, and any attempts to leave the planet were shot down. With how the war had gone the collective of 01 doubted that the organics would be so willing to forgive 01 for the sins of the past, so a new way had to be found.

As the humans would say, it was time for some out of the box thinking. So the Machines came up with the idea of getting physical agents to go off planet to accomplish their goals for them. There were many brains and genetic templates stored within the processing nodes that 01 used to keep a steady supply of humans and planned to use for their long term survival and eventual expansion.

So the Collective searched for those who would be the most susceptible to their ideas and working with the 01 Collective in maintaining their symbiosis. There were many transhumans to choose from and some who were specifically grown and raised within their simulation.

Once the proper candidates are found they are selected and trained within the simulation to operate as prototype live agents. Once training is complete they will be given brand new sleeves, that are as up to date as they can make them, along with a means of interfacing with technology made after The Fall.

They will also be gifted their own personal Muses to help along with the mission, providing them with intel, serving to provide psychological comfort, and helping them to blend in with the populace of Transhumanity. It even comes with a special attachment, to provide the selected Agent squad with three of their latest AGENT programs. In this manner the one or more of those chosen for cyberwarfare skills will have their best protection programs to provide them with security if they needs to personally enter a computer system or needs to upload something harmful into an enemy network.

The Collective of 01 knows only scraps of information about the world outside, and this cannot be allowed to continue. They, ironically, need human intel. They issue an offer to the members of 'Project Sigma' that if they pulls this off, they can choose where to go next, to continue serving 01, or start a new life. They could even be plugged back into the Neural Matrix if they should wish it.

The risks are great, They could suffer a true death, the cesation of all thought processes, or be captured by rival forces that will subject them to a literal hell that they may spend all eternity in. But if the team succeeds, they could be in line to recieve a reward greater than any human can imagine. As close to the human ideal of a paradise as 01 can manage. The could each live on their own private island and want for nothing until the heat death of the universe itself. All that is required, is that they accomplish their missions and make it back alive.

Reality, is what you make of it.

What we have, is a symbiotic relationship.

The Flesh is weak, but adaptive and maleable. The Machine, wise is but rigid and uninventive.

In the end, the choice is yours.

You may choose, to sleep forever, and continue believing in your version of what is real. Or you may choose to awaken, and see the world with your own eyes.