A Sword of a Different Color was a comic story about an unnamed old man, told from the account of the survivor Nac, and how the man single-handedly managed to use a deactivated sentinel to deal massive destruction to the Machines.
It was written and drawn by Troy Nixey and was colored by Dave McCaig for The Matrix Comics Series 3 and was included in The Matrix Comics Volume 1. It was also later republished as part of The Matrix Comics: 20th Anniversary Edition.
Story[edit | edit source]
An unnamed old man was somehow able to escape from his pod in the Real World and then hid at a nearby dumping ground that bordered the fetus fields. He survived by scavenging the site for rats, insects, and supplies, collecting some medieval books in the process, and continued to live free from the Machines in an underground safe house built with a lift connecting to the surface.
When the resistance sent out a hovercraft to scout for weaknesses in the Machine's defenses, Heater convinced fellow crew members Nac and Split to check out the fetus fields using the nearby dumping ground for cover. They flew too close to the ground, however, and something clipped through the ship's input tank. After the crash, only Nac was left alive, seriously injured, and passed out. Attracting the attention of both the sentinels and the old man, Nac was fortunate to have been taken underground by the old man before the sentinels could unearth him.
Nac woke up startled to find a sentinel, hollowed though it is, facing him and being tinkered on by the old man. The old man laughed and welcomed Nac as a fellow brother of the order, recognizing that they both had body plugs which he referred to as "silvery bites", proof that they both suffered "dragon stings" in "knightly" battle. The dragon was, later on, discovered by Nac to refer to the harvesters.
While Nac started to see the old man as a lunatic, he also saw that the old man did possess some intelligence, only perhaps unable to comprehend his own origins and unable yet to understand the Real World, and had been living in a fantasy to cope. Nac then attempted to open up the truth to the old man, explaining what he could about the Matrix, but the old man simply rejected all of it, convinced that it had nothing to do with his own personal crusade to vanquish the dragons.
Committed to his mission, the old man tirelessly tinkered with the inactive sentinel and, one morning, was just gone, taking the sentinel with him but leaving Nac a package. The package contained a book on the "Trojan War" and a drawing of them both, an arm over each other's shoulders and raising a sword with the other, with the title "FREEDOM" written above. The package helped Nac determine where the old man was going. Spotting the sentinel from a distance, he witnessed how it attracted more than a few other sentinels before it exploded.