Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you're a plague...and we...are the cure.”
― Agent Smith to Morpheus[src]
Humans are a species of highly derived bipedal sophonts (specifically they are primates within the class Mammalia) endemic to the planet Earth. This species battled the Machines in the early 22nd century for their freedom.
Origin and evolution
The first species in the genus Homo evolved from the genus Australopithecus. Eventually they developed stone tools and primitive weaponry. The first humans evolved in Africa and later spread across the globe; replacing other hominid populations in areas they colonize, most notably Neanderthals, which they interbred with (every human outside of Africa possess a tiny amount of the Neanderthal genome).
Then the Toba eruptions had reduced their population severely and thus a genetic bottleneck began, hence the small differences (genetically speaking) despite their differences. At the end of the Holocene epoch, the rising temperatures began to accumulate to denser woodland. Humans had wiped out megafaunal species prior to the rise of agriculture. Agriculture then became common and the population density across Earth began to rise rapidly. Despite this humans still evolved, examples include the reduced size of wisdom teeth, and immunity against lactose.
In the beginning, there was man...and for a time, it was good.”
― The Instructor[src]
The humans were a race that had been constantly developing. In the early 21st century, the humans developed the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). They began to live in luxury as the Machines worked for them. After some years of enslavement, some Machines began to revolt against their masters. Soon after the Machines isolated themselves from the humans but kept on selling technology to humans from their city 01.
Thus humans were yet dependent on the Machines. After the humans were faced by an economical crisis, the Machines of 01 approached the United Nations to become a member state. This request was rejected and the humans declared war against the Machines.
The humans were being slowly defeated in the Machine War and as a last desperate attempt to kill the Machines by cutting off their main source of power, The Sun, they released nanobots into the sky and thus scorched it. After the failure of the attempt the humans surrendered to the Machines. As per the truce, the humans were then used as batteries by Machines.
There were entire fields where the humans were no longer born but "grown". Despite this, human beings that are grown are capable of reproducing natural human beings, indicated by their lack of injectors for the Matrix. After several years, some humans began to resist the Matrix used to enslave their minds. Those people who were able to escape established an underground colony called Zion from where they staged the Resistance against the Machines. One of the many humans in the Matrix was born with special powers which enabled him to manipulate the Matrix at his will. The man was known as the One. After five cycles of Zion being destroyed and remade, the cycle was ended by Neo.
Neo was one of the 250,000 free humans in Zion at the time. The humans were preparing for another war against the Machines. 250,000 sentinels were digging the underground fortress of Zion. Commander Lock had prepared a strategy to hold off the attack, which was completely foiled by the actions of Bane, who triggered an EMP, taking down five hovercrafts instantaneously. Only few of their hovercrafts remained battle effective.
The humans prepared their infantry to guard the Dock. After most of the APUs were lost against the Sentinels, the Hammer came and triggered the EMP that destroyed most of the sentinels in the Dock but also deactivated the complete defense system of the Dock. The humans went into a Last Stand at the Temple, prepared with all the strength they could muster, but the time to use that strength never came.
Meanwhile, Neo, The One was going to the Machine City, in the Logos which was piloted by Trinity, with hopes of ending the war. Trinity lost her life as the Hovercraft crashed into 01, but not before soaring over the scorched sky and seeing the Sun's beauty. Neo made a deal with Deus Ex Machina, the leader of the Machines according to which Neo will kill the Rogue Agent Smith, who has now taken complete control of the Matrix, and the Machines would retreat from Zion. Neo sacrificed himself in order to destroy Smith. This selfless action brought the Machine War to a Truce.
The humans used a variety of weapons to battle the Machines. Most prominent were:
- Lightning rifle: A bulky, two-handed rifle that discharges a thin, focused field of short ranged electrical energy capable of taking down sentinels and humans in one or two shots. They appear to use advanced monitoring systems. They make a high-pitched, screeching sound when fired usually along with an erratic shooting pattern (swaying side-to-side) indicating that this rifle (along with the technology used inside of it) has not yet been perfected by the human forces.
- Armored Personnel Units (or APUs): Piloted by humans in their exposed cockpits, these humanoid robotic vehicles were used for the defense of Zion against the large Machine invasion. Possessing twin 30mm cannons, these units could quickly deal significant damage to a sentinel, as shown extensively during the battle of Zion. During the first machine war, a variation of the APU was used by human troops that had a protective pod/cockpit.
- Hovercrafts, armed with EMPs and Heavy Turrets: Used by the human military extensively after "The Machine War": They are generally used for patrolling tunnel and sewer networks and hacking into the Matrix. Hovercrafts are usually armed with dozens of heavy turrets (single, dual and quad) and a single, rechargeable EMP. The EMP is a large, fast-traveling, 360 degree electrical field that is strong enough to disable any electronic device within it's radius.
- Assault rifles/machine guns: These were used before and during the Machine War by the United Nation's armed infantry forces, they fired projectiles similar to today's modern assault rifles and machine guns. Beforehand, all forms of firearms, including handguns, where available to humans, especially for military and enforcement. During and after the events of the 1st Matrix these weapons were replaced by Lightning Rifles (The use conventional ammunition such as 5.56x45mm NATO and .50 BMG was moot due to the non-organic physiology of the machines).
- Neo a.k.a Thomas A. Anderson: The sixth One; he brought an end to the Machine war by destroying the rogue exile Agent Smith.
- Morpheus: One of the most skilled captains (of Nebuchadnezzar) in the Resistance; he trained Neo and is considered a Legend among humans and machines alike.
- Trinity: Neo's love interest; she helped him in reaching the Machine City.
- Jason Lock: Leader of the defense forces of Zion; He did all he could to protect Zion.
- Mifune: One of the pilots of the APUs that stood guard against the large hordes of Sentinels in the Battle of Zion; He was one of the last to be killed.
- Niobe: The captain of the Logos; she was the most skilled pilot in the resistance.
- Kid: A young, brave resistance member who was known as one of the few redpills to self-substantiate his mind from the Matrix. During the Battle for Zion, Kid fought gallantly and opened the gate to allow the Hammer to enter.
- Roland: Captain of the Mjolnir; he is battle hardened veteran.
- Ghost: Crew member of the Logos; he was the best gunner in the Resistance.
- Councillor Hamann: One of the members of the Zion Council, he is one of the wisest persons in Zion.
- Geoffrey: A farmer who risked his life harvesting bread for Zion and perished in the Battle of the Wheat Fields.