this is the second part of the story of the events that led to the machines' dominance over the planet and the Matrix, this episode presenting the conflagration that completely ravaged Earth and eventually ended with humanity's downfall. Narrated by a female bearing a fairy appearance in both parts and named as a file in the Zion archives, we are presented with more imagery to reinforce the events and decisions that take place, such as a skeleton clapping when world leaders decide to destroy the sky to block the sun and a mechanical, seemingly apocalyptic rider on a horse during the war. it begins with the machines retaliating after Zero One is bombarded with nuclear weapons, and operation dark storm is implemented to deprive the machines of their main energy source, the sun. it appears to be a gas, or perhaps nano-machines, distributed by planes across the sky. it is called a last resort, and although it seems crazy that leaders would resort to such an ecologically damaging solution, it is perhaps a sign of the sheer desperation of the situation and a hint at the world shattering escalation of methods and weapons of war concurrent with our technological development. after all, the cold war partially involved averting the use of globally destructive weaponry.
the machines fight back in full force after the sky is scorched and we see the terrible and overpowering onslaught of the machines against marines and soldiers and human weaponry in a battle royale. it's preceded by praying and trenches and fear and bravado, and then our world falls, with brutal explosions and machines rending people limb from limb. in the aftermath, the music takes a tragic turn and the narrator presents the post apocalyptic vision of the machines' victory and subsequent experiments and conversion of our bodies and species to batteries and an energy source to compensate for the lack of sun. we return to the UN where world leaders are told to give up their flesh by a machine, before the place goes up in a massive explosion.
we see the fields getting set up, people getting experimented on and the symbiotic, one sided relationship being born. we then see a boy playing in the snowy ruins of a city, before being called home by parents. running home, the spotlight falls on him and the penny drops. we see a flash of agents in the parents' place, and the world falls apart around the boy, to reveal him in a pod. it was possibly an early matrix. the fairy strokes the pod sadly before fading and the camera pans out to reveal the fields. the narration wraps it up, and it's a bleak, tragic, poignant and effective precursor to the films.
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