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Neo, extracted from the Matrix and in need of rescue from his pod

Extraction was the general term used to describe liberating someone's mind from the Matrix and into the Real World.

In order to extract a bluepill's mind from the Matrix, it was first necessary for the person to take a red pill. Once successfully extracted in this manner, the liberated human was then referred to as a redpill. As a redpill, the person could always jack back into the Matrix, and further re-extraction required a proper exit.

The term could also be applied to other simulated reality like the Construct but the disconnection process differed. In the Construct, for example, the redpill could be safely disconnected anytime without the need for an exit.

Bluepill Extraction[]

Selection Process[]

Neo's first contact with the Resistance

The candidate bluepills were chosen by the Resistance. Common qualities sought included a penchant for rebelliousness, hacking skills, and a subconscious awareness of the Matrix. In times before The One was found, many redpills were on the lookout for the possible presence and discovery of The One.

Candidates were typically disqualified for extraction once they were found to be overly mentally dependent to the Matrix, the Resistance having a rule against extracting anyone over a certain age limit. Disregarding the rule and otherwise attempting to free an overly dependent mind either resulted in failure or caused the redpill's mind to become unstable.

Due to these criteria, candidates were subjected to surveillance by the Resistance for a period of time. If a candidate showed promise then they were contacted in some cryptic or covert way, sometimes given further tests and challenges in order to measure the worthiness of the candidate.[1]

The Choice[]

Neo, choosing between Morpheus' red and blue pills

A candidate deemed fit and deserving of extraction was met by an existing redpill and was offered the choice between two pills, a red pill or a blue one. If the blue pill was taken, then the person remained connected to the Matrix, supposedly forgetting the encounter, simply carrying on believing what the person wanted to believe.

During the extraction of Neo, he perceives a mirror as becoming fluid and bio-consuming.

If the red pill was taken, then the person perceived distortions in reality. These distortions spread across the body causing the person to feel a sense of coldness, a dangerous phase within the extraction process as the mind would suffer, or possibly die, if extraction was prolonged. Aside from these distortions, the red pill also launched a trace program which the operator used to locate the subject's body in the Real World. Immediately after the subject's body was located, the operator could then remotely disconnect the person from the Matrix, waking the person up into the Real World.

Upon waking, the person will find his or her body encased and connected to a pod, the back of the head connected to a headjack, the mouth to a feeding tube, and the rest of the body having body plugs connected to tubes protruding from the pod. The pod itself was part of a larger power plant.

The disconnection prompts the attention of the nearest docbot which would proceed to detach the person's headjack before abandoning the person. Detachment of the headjack was followed by the the rest of the tubes auto-detaching from the body plugs. The person was then flushed down into the liquefaction facilities, allowing the pod to be reused for another human.

Sixty years later, the extraction process appeared to be more disorientating than harmful to the subject. When the resurrected Trinity was extracted, she did not need to take the redpill due to Sati and Kujaku transferring her mind directly into her body on the Mnemosyne. However, disconnecting Trinity from the power plant while her mind was still in the Matrix required first getting her consent to be freed and then a surgical proceedure of sorts to disconnect parts of the headjack. The final step in this process was a bypass using a compatible human mind as a neural bridge for a brief period of time. Afterwards, Trinty was plugged into the Mnemosyne's systems like a redpill until she could reach an exit.

Rescue and Recovery[]

Neo's muscles getting rebuilt

A nearby hovercraft immediately needed to follow the newly awoken subject in order to rescue the person from the liquid waste, typically using a grappling claw. The person, suffering from muscle atrophy, required intensive care. The muscles are non-surgically rebuilt with a medical procedure resembling acupuncture, using a combination of electricity, needles, and some tinkering with the body plugs.

Once the person had made a full physical recovery, an orientation followed suit to explain the true state of Earth. This could be done using the Construct.

Program Extraction[]

Sixty years after the end of the Machine War, it is now possible to extract friendly programs from the Matrix. According to Bugs, the extraction process for bluepills and programs is basically the same. In the case of Morpheus, after he took the redpill, he was able to use an exit alongside Bugs to escape from the Matrix and experienced the same disorientation that Neo experienced soon afterwards when Bugs and her crew freed him. Morpheus ended up in the computer systems of the Mnemosyne, Bugs' hovercraft, until he was given a nanobot body. Like any redpill, Morpheus was then capable of jacking in and out of the Matrix.

Redpill Extraction[]

Main article: Exit

Morpheus extracted from the Matrix using a hardline

Extracting a redpill from the Matrix required an entirely different setup. The redpill no longer took a red pill and could no longer be remotely disconnected. Instead, the redpill needed to find a proper exit using a hardline phone while the operator needed to initiate the disconnection sequence from the Real World by ringing the hardline within the Matrix. The redpill operative then needed to pick up the phone, allowing the mind to re-upload back to the owner's brain. The data probe simply needed to be manually detached afterwards.

Notable Cases[]

  • The bluepill extraction of the Kid was a unique case. He experienced an in-Matrix death by means of a fatal fall but, bolstered by deep faith in Neo, refused to believe his death. His mind thus maintained awareness and continued to function in the Real World. By the time the Kid awoke, he was already successfully rescued by the Resistance.

See also[]


  1. A Detective Story, Trinity had a system in place to attract candidates