Sorry folks had to reupload, first version of this fic I put up was not the
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
She walked slowly towards the dock. The Caduceus had just come in, she was
a member of their crew and she had some questions for Ballard, as well as
going to meet her brother; or at least he had been her brother in the
"Xistenz!" She heard a voice calling. Malachi and Bane were hurrying
towards her; Malachi was waving his arms. He caught her up in a hug.
"Malachi, welcome back. Hey, Bane." She said, grinning at her older
brother. Bane looked at her oddly and then continued walking.
"What's wrong with him?" Malachi frowned slightly.
"I don't really know, he's been acting a little strange since we were last
in the Matrix."
"We were being chased by an agent. Never seen an agent like him before
though. He seemed to be able to make multiple copies of hi..."
"Xistenz, what are you doing here?" Ballard joined them.
"Welcoming back the conquering heroes." She replied, smiling easily.
After a moment though the smile slid off her face.
"What's going on? Why are all the ships docked?" Ballard glanced at
Malachi, as if trying to decide if he should say anything. Then he looked
around to make sure no one was within earshot.
"Machines are digging, tunneling straight down to Zion. The ships are here
for a meeting, we have to discuss a plan of action before it's to late."
"The rumors are true then. How long before they get down this far?"
"Jesus Christ. How the hell can we stop them?"
"We don't know that's why we're having this meeting."
"What's wrong with Bane? Malachi said he's been acting a little oddly."
"We don't really know anything, maybe he's finally decided to take things a
little more seriously." Ballard grinned as he said it. Bane was known for
being a bit of a clown, but when the time came for him to take things
seriously he was all business.
"I'll talk to him, see what I can do." She said. She reached into one of
her pockets and pulled out a small disc.
"Medical completed, I am now ready to go back to work, or so I'm told. I
think that they might just want to get rid of me, I don't make the best of
patients. I'm going to catch up with him see what's bothering him."
'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
She sat waiting for him to return to the common quarters that they both
shared. When he finally came in he gave her that look again; it sent
shivers down her spine.
"Welcome back. You ready to talk now?" She asked.
"Whatever it is that's bothering you. Come on Bane you know you can't fool
me. What's going on?"
"I don't know what you mean." He spoke slowly, as if he had trouble
pronouncing his words.
"Malachi said that you've been acting strangely ever since you guys saw
that agent the last time you were inside."
"I don't remember an any agent." He said. Now it was her turn to give him
a strange look and she came over to him, a concerned look in her eyes.
"Are you sure you're okay? Did you hit your head or something?"
"I'm...fine. I acquired no injury to my cortex." He said.
"Okay, out with the strange talk and tell me what the hell's wrong with
you, Bane." She told him.
"I have already told you that nothing is wrong with me. Do you hu...you
never take anyone at their word?"
"Of course I do. But you're acting a little strangely. Come on Bane I'm
only trying to help."
"If you really want to help, then leave me alone." He said. She gave him
a hurt look, then shrugged.
"Fine then. I've got to meet AK. I'll see you later." She walked out of
"What's wrong, Xistenz?" AK asked her.
"I don't know, something's wrong with Bane and he won't tell me what."
Xistenz told him. He moved closer to her, hugging her close to his chest.
"Maybe he doesn't want to worry you." He told her. She shook her head
against his shoulder.
"That's not it. Something he said bothers me; Malachi told me that they
ran into an agent after they met the Oracle. Bane says he doesn't remember
seeing any agent." She said.
"Maybe he didn't see the agent that Malachi saw." He said, as he pulled
back from her.
"I don't know. But something's wrong with him, I just wish he'd tell me."
"I have a way to help you forget about him for a while." AK grinned at
"Well I supposed if I must." She sighed, as if she didn't really want to,
but allowed him to lead her to the bedroom.
"Bane? You in here?" She called, she had just returned from AK's
quarters. She saw her brother sitting on one of the sofas, cutting himself
with a knife.
"Jesus Christ, Bane! What the fuck are you doing?!" She yelled, dashing
to him and wrenching the scissors from his grip. He looked up at her with
a mild flicker of annoyance.
"Let me look at that. What the hell's wrong with you?" She took his hand
"I'll be right back." She disappeared into one of the back rooms and
returned a moment later with a box. She sat down next to him and pulled
out some bandages to wrap around his hand. She shook her head as she did
"Why do you do this?" He asked her.
"Why the fuck do you think?" She snapped angrily. He stared her.
"I have always thought that you people only did things for yourself. If it
does not benefit you, then why do it?" He asked.
"What the hell are you talking about now?" She tied the end of the bandage
"Many of my old colleagues thought that you humans would not go out of your
way to help one of your own. Your actions just now disprove that theory."
"Bane what the fuck are you talking about?" She genuinely had no idea what
he was doing. But referring to her as a 'human' was a little
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
'Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home
"Or perhaps it is that you are not like others of your kind. You are an
anomaly, but you are still one of them and your continued existence is
"Okaaay...look I only just came back to tell you that I'm going to spend the
day with AK. If you want to join us, then you are welcome." AK didn't
know that she was going to invite Bane to join them and he probably
wouldn't be to pleased when he found out either, but she knew that he would
understand her reasons. She stood up to go out again.
"Oh no, I can't let you leave. You see you know to much." He said.
"Riiight. Well, that might be true if you'd actually tell me something,
instead of talking in riddles." She snapped. She turned and started
walking towards the door, but stopped when the knife that Bane had been
cutting himself with slammed into the wall next to her. She turned an
angry look on her face now.
"Jesus Christ Bane. What the hell is this?!" She yelled. He came at her,
moving faster than anyone she had ever seen. He slammed her into the wall,
pulling the knife free he traced it back and forth across her throat.
Frightened now, she fought with everything she had in her, slamming one
knee into his gut he was shoved away. But it did not seem to have affected
him in the way it should have. He came at her again.
"Tell me something Miss Roberts how would you like to die?" He asked.
"Xistenz, get out of here, now!"
"What the hell is going on here? This isn't possible. How can you be out
here?" She whispered, then she made a dash for the door. But he grabbed
her hair as she flashed past him. He bent her head back and looked into
her eyes, an eerie smile on his face.
"I don't know, but I am here. And this Bane you speak of is not." He
said. With that he drew the knife slowly across her throat. He stood
looking down as blood sprayed across the floor and walls and her body
jerked fitfully a few times before it went still, her eyes wide and
"Well he is, but it's not like he can do anything, is it?" Smith laughed.
Inside of him Bane raged at his own inability to stop Smith from murdering
"Bane, that's the name you're gonna use?" The thirteen-year-old looked
over her older brothers' shoulder. He turned a grin on her.
"Yeah, it's good isn't it?"
"Oh, yeah. Great, I'll tell you what, you can be Bane and I'll be Xistenz.
Bane of my existence, get it?" She snorted at her own joked. Her brother
just rolled his eyes and turned back to his computer.
She raced down the street, phone clutched tightly in one hand. She had
just received a phonecall from someone who had warned her that agents were
coming for her. She risked a glance over her shoulder and saw the agents
still chasing her, but then she saw something that was impossible. She
faced forward again, heart beating wildly, she speeded up slightly.
Leaping over a fire hydrant and ducking in and out between people on the
busy street. She moved across the road trying to avoid her pursuers, she
didn't get very far because she slammed into a car on the far side. And
tumbled backwards. A man got out of the car, dressed in a dark suit, he
held his hand down to her.
"Come one! Get in!" He called. She grabbed his hand, but wasn't to sure
if she should get into the car, but another look back over her shoulder
convinced her. She dived for the open door and the man got in behind her,
pulling the door closed behind him. There was another man in front, behind
"Move it, Malachi!" The man beside her yelled. They screeched away from
the footpath, she looked out the back window and saw the agents stop,
they're faces seemed to writhe for a minute and then the agents were
replaced by two men. She turned to look at the dark man beside her.
"What the fuck is going on? I've never seen anyone do that before." She
asked. The man turned to look at her, as he slipped off his glasses.
"You already have an idea of what's going on, that's why you're here. Do
you want to know the whole truth?" He asked.
"The whole truth? What the hell does that mean 'the whole truth'?"
"Welcome to your dreams. Do you want to know what's real? What's the
truth?" He asked again.
"Truth? What truth?" She asked.
"We have our ways. Do you want it or not, this is a one time offer, yes or
no." He said again.
"Yes, I want to know everything." She said. The man smiled and took a
phone of his pocket.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
"Have you got it set up?...Good we're on our way. Yes, she said yes." The
car pulled up to an old abandoned warehouse as he spoke. Before we got out
the man pulled a small silver box from his pocket, opening it he removed
two pills a red one and a blue one.
"The choice is yours, you take the blue one you continue to live this lie.
Take the red and I show you the truth." He said. She didn't even seem to
think about it, just took the red pill and swallowed it
"Come." He walked towards the building and inside, she followed him not
quite knowing that he was leading her towards her freedom. As she sat in
the chair he directed her towards, he asked her name.
"Grace." She replied.
"No, I am referring to your chosen name."
After that they had connected her up to some kind of wires, while she had
sat there wondering what the hell she had just gotten herself into. Then
some sort of weird feeling had overtaken her whole body and she had woken
up in a type of pod, surrounded by a reddish liquid. Wires were connected
all over her body and she was about to start pulling them out, when most of
them popped out of their own accord, causing her a lot of pain, the tube in
her throat she finally managed to rip out causing even more pain. Then a
machine of some kind floated down in front of her, not knowing what was
going on she wriggled backwards to get away from it. It reached out with
one claw like appendage and in one smooth motion pulled something from the
back of her head, and then something opened up beneath her and she slid
down a long tunnel. At the bottom she fell into some water and started to
sink below the surface, that was when a huge clawlike thing grabbed her and
pulled her up out of the water. She was hauled into what looked like some
kind of ship, which was marginally warmer than where she had been. She saw
someone that looked like the man who had given her the pill, but in this
place he looked older and kind of sickly. Then she saw someone she had
thought she would never see again.
"Bane of my existence." She asked weakly. She heard him laugh a little at
"Yeah, told you I'd get you out, didn't I?" He said. She tried to point
to the dark man.
"Then why was it him who got me out?" She whispered tiredly. Bane wrapped
her in a rough blanket.
"Oops! He wouldn't let me." He said. She fell asleep with the question
of 'since when did you let anyone tell you what to do?' on her lips.
She had been woken up in some dingy looking room, by the dark man.
"Come with me." He had told her and silently she had followed him. He
brought her up to what he referred to the main deck. Three people were
"I believe you already know Bane." He said.
"Kind of hard to forget him." She said.
"Could say the same about you." Bane shot back. The dark man just raised
his eyebrows and pointed to the woman behind the monitors.
"That's Cyladriel, our operator."
"You'll see soon enough. Standing next to her, trying to look
inconspicuous is Malachi." Malachi waved at her.
"And I'm Ballard, the captain of the Caduceus." He finished. Her eyes
widened in surprise.
"Ballard?" She looked towards Bane; she had remembered him mentioning this
Ballard person in the same kind of way one would mention an idle of theirs.
"I've heard about you. You're one of the best." She said.
"From where?" He asked. She pointed at Bane.
"You are his god. And after I started hacking to I can understand why."
She said. She could see Bane blushing behind Ballard and I grinned.
"Oops! Was I not meant to say that?" She asked impishly.
"No you weren't. Just stop talking, okay?" Bane said. She shrugged good
naturadly and nodded at him.
"You wanted to know the truth, Xistenz?" Ballard asked her. She looked
right back at him and said nothing.
"Well? Do you or not?" She remained silent, just stared at him. Ballard
didn't know how to respond he turned to look at Bane, who was trying his
best not to laugh.
"Alright, alright. You can talk if you want to." Bane said.
"Oh, great. As if one of you wasn't bad enough. We now have two."
Ballard said, rolling his eyes.
"Hey, I take offence to that. I am much worse than he is. You won't know
what his you." She said indignantly.
"Not true, little sister. You know that I am by far the worst." Bane
said. She turned her green eyes on him.
"You're right, you are." She grinned at him.
"Not again." He murmured.
"After the number of times that's happened before you're still falling for
it? Man you are slow." She laughed.
"I wouldn't talk if I were you, Baldy." He shot back. She ran a hand over
her hairless skull.
"Everyone knows that bald chicks are sexy." She smiled easily. The others
laughed even the serious Ballard and she knew that she was home.
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun.