Title: Daughter

Author: Stormhawk

Rating: PG ('Shit' appears three times including this one. Don't want to up the rating so I thought I would warn you.)

Disclaimer: This all belongs to The W Brothers and Warner Brothers. And the Agents, don't forget the agents.

Notes: Read 'Agents' first or you won't know who Mimosa is. I am writing another one that takes place straight after Agents. This is to follow that but this one was finished first.

Word Count: 5571

Summary: The three main agents are issued with an experiment to understand humanity better. Each is given a child and they have to observe and learn as they grow up. Forty-eight hours before the experiment is to end Smith realizes that he won't allow his daughter to die.

Please Read and Review.

Neo and Smith fought in a back alley. Both being of comparable abilities, it was an interesting fight.

Both of their guns had been knocked aside. Neo knocked Smith down and grabbed his gun.

Both looked up when they heard someone come into the alley. Neo saw a young girl, not wanting her to get hurt, he yelled at her.

'Run kid, run.' She looked at the pair. Fear crossed into her eyes. She picked up Smith's gun which was lying at her feet.

'Get out of here kid.'

She leveled the gun at him and fired. Neo had a second to react. Unsure of what was happening, he escaped.

The girl dropped the gun and ran to Smith who was picking himself up.

'Are you okay Dad?'

'I'm fine Stevie, thank you.'

'Who was that guy?'

'A dangerous criminal. Anderson. If you ever see him, run.'

'Are you sure you're ok?'

'He didn't hurt me, let's go home.'

Smith drove them home. Their house was a normal house, in a normal suburb. In a computer simulation.

'How was school?' Smith asked.

'Fine, I am so sick of my IT class, it's like they think we are in kindergarten.'

'It may just seem that way because you are predisposed toward computers.'

'I love computers.'

'I know you do.'

Stevie opened the door. Photos lined the lounge room. Most of them were of her and Smith but a few were of her 'uncles' Brown and Jones. She thought they were creepy. Especially Brown, Jones was ok as he was a geek like her.

Their kids were worse, they had one kid each. Brown's son was into heavy violence. Jones's son spent 23 hours a day at his computer. Stevie was the only one who approached normal. Her aunt Mimosa was ok, she didn't have any children and wasn't as strange as her uncles.

'I'm sleeping over at Tanya's this weekend dad.'

'It's Thursday, when were you planning on telling me?'

'I told you two days ago.'

'No you didn't.'

'Yes I did.'

'Stevie, haven't you learned yet that it is impossible to lie to your old man?'

'Can I?'

'Of course.'


Dinner was at six o'clock as it was everyday that Smith wasn't delayed by work. Stevie had no idea that there was anything wrong with her life or her father.

'Is it Tanya Fraser's house you're staying at?'

'Yeah, how many Tanya's do I know?'

'Do you want me to answer that?'

'Don't scare me dad. I'm going to take my stuff to school with me tomorrow. Her brother drives and will take us home after we finish.'

'Who else is staying?'

'Mary, Gina, Clea. Couple more maybe but I'm not sure.'

'Will her parents be home?'

'Don't you trust me?'

'Of course, it's the rest of the world I don't trust.'

'No they won't be home but we all know the drill plus they ring about twenty times whenever they leave her alone.'

'Okay. You can go.'

'I knew you'd say that.'

Smith saw a worried look in his daughter's eyes. 'What is it Stevie?'

'Anderson. What if he had killed you? I'd be an orphan.'

'You don't have to worry about that. I won't go away.'

'It's bad enough I don't have a mother. I don't want to lose you.'

'Your aunt or one of your uncles would take you in.' Smith said, knowing full well that he couldn't die so that contingency would never come up. He wouldn't be comfortable leaving her with Brown or Jones, they way they treated their own kids was bad enough. Mimosa would take care of Stevie, if it was possible for an agent, Smith trusted Agent Mimosa.

'Do you think you could get another job?' Stevie asked in all seriousness. Smith hid a smile.

'I am doing what I'm best at. Anderson won't be on the streets forever.'

'Be careful.'



On the Neb Neo paced as Tank, Trinity and Morpheus stared at the screen. 'Can someone explain to me what is going on?'

'We haven't worked it out yet Neo.'

'This is disturbing,' Trinity said. 'This is really disturbing.'

'I agree Trinity. Why would they be doing something like this? Why would agents have kids?' Tank asked.

'I don't think any of you are thinking along the right lines. I think the mainframe of the matrix gave them programmed kids so that they could do a humanity study.' Morpheus said.

'What do we do about it?'

'I have an idea,' Neo said.


Stevie got dropped off at school the next day. She dumped her overnight bag in her locker and found Tanya.

The day went swiftly and as arranged Tanya's brother picked them up after school. The other girls had gotten their own way there.

The night progressed, they gossiped, listened to music and swapped magazines. As the time wore on they got hungry. No one wanted to cook so they pooled their money for pizza.

Ten minutes later the doorbell rang. 'That was quick,' Tanya said. She tried to get up but didn't want to wreck her newly-painted toenails.

'I'll get it,' Stevie said. 'Give me the money.'

Tanya pointed to the desk and Stevie picked up the notes and pile of change. She went to the front door.

She opened it and went to comment on the fast service. No one was there. She took a step out and looked around. She heard something at the side of the house. She carefully stepped toward the shadow, her hands balled into fists in case of danger.

'Who's there?' She asked of the shadow. No one answered, she sighed with relief. She turned to go back into the house and walked right into someone.

She took a step back to see who it was. Neo looked down at her.

'Shit!' She screamed. 'Tanya, Gina, Clea!' She stopped screaming when he silently pointed a gun at her.

'Make one more sound and I pull the trigger,' he threatened.

Stevie nodded numbly. He dragged her to the car that Trinity was waiting in. Her friends had flocked the window and saw her kidnap.

Tanya reached for the phone and went to called the cops. As soon as she told them the details she rang Smith.


'Mr. Smith, it's Tanya, someone just kidnapped Stevie.'


'I don't know how it happened, this guy.'

'What did he look like?'

'Tall, in all black, I didn't see much.'

'Damn,' she heard him say. He slammed the phone down.

Trinity drove to the edge of town. The whole time Neo and Stevie were in the back seat, Neo had the gun pointed at her. She closed her eyes and prayed her dad would find her soon.

They pulled up in front of an old building and got out. Neo led Stevie in and once inside Trinity locked the door. Stevie backed away from them.

'What do you want?'

'We just want to talk to you Stevie,' Trinity said.

'How do you know my name?'

'We know much more than that,' Neo said.

'I am not talking to criminals.'

'We aren't criminals Stevie.'

'There are some things we want you to hear. Things you might find hard to accept, like about your 'father'.'

'What are you talking about?'

'He isn't human.' Neo said, Stevie's worried look turned to a laugh.

'What are you talking about? Of course he's human.'

'No he's not Stevie,' Neo said.

'I am not going to talk to you, you tried to kill him.'

'It wouldn't have mattered, he always comes back.'

'Keep away from me Anderson.'

A shot rang out in the dark, Neo dodged it but it caught Trinity in the gut. Neo ran to her, she was hurt bad but not dead yet. Stevie dove to the floor, not wanting to get shot.

He looked through the darkness and saw Smith. Neo pulled Stevie to her feet and pointed his gun at her head.

'Stay back Smith or I kill her.'

'Neo,' Trinity said from the floor. 'Help me.'

'Let her go,' Smith said.

'Why should I?' Neo asked as he tightened his grip around her throat to hold her still.

'Dad help me.' Stevie said deathly afraid.

'Let her go,' Smith repeated.

'No.' Neo said. He went to fire the trigger. Stevie pleaded, helpless in his grip.

'Please don't kill me.'

'Let her go,' Smith said a third time.

'Help,' Trinity said. Neo looked down, a puddle of blood was spreading out around her.

'She's going to die Mr. Anderson. Let Stevie go and you can get her to an exit.'

Neo considered it. He let Stevie go, shot at Smith. He brought the gun around toward Stevie, shot it right beside her head.

Her eardrums bled and rang out with pain. She was left alone and reeling on the floor. Neo picked Trinity up and helped her to the nearest exit.

Smith morphed out of a street person near the abandoned building and ran back to Stevie. She was rocking back and forth on the floor, holding her ears.

'Are you all right?'

'He was going to kill me.'

'I know, it's ok, shh.' He pulled her toward him. She rested against him, the blood from her ears covered the front of his jacket.

'I thought he killed you.'

'He didn't.'

'You shouldn't have let him go. You should have shot him.'

'I couldn't take the chance, he might have hurt you.'

'Can we go home?' Smith nodded. Even though she was way too old (but it was no effort for him) he picked her up and took her to the car. He opened the door and gently put her in the passenger seat.

Her head rested against the window and it seemed like only seconds later that she was home, it was probably the headache that made it seem that way.

She changed into her pajamas then Smith carefully inspected her head, making sure there was no permanent damage. After a few moments, she fell asleep.

Smith left once he was sure she was all right.

It was only supposed to be an experiment. The three main agents, himself, Brown and Jones had each been given a 'child' to help them learn about humans.

Brown and Jones had kept their children at a scientist's arm's length. Observing only, that was why their kids were so unusual. He had given up a chance to get Mr. Anderson tonight, a chance that didn't come up very often for his experiment.

His child, the other half of his mind said. She was more than an experiment. Chances to kill Anderson would come again but he would kill the rebel one day.

Brown was waiting in his bedroom. Smith looked at him in distaste. 'What do you want?'

'Your actions were observed tonight.'


'Your priorities are out of order. You placed the experiment above the key directive to kill rebels.'

'I kill rebels everyday.'

'You are aware the experiment is over in forty -eight hours aren't you Smith?'

'I know. Leave my house.'

Brown looked at his fellow agent as he left, So disgustingly human. He thought as he disappeared into the fabric of the matrix.

Forty-eight hours? Smith thought. I have to do something. He wasn't going to let them erase his daughter, no matter the consequences.

Smith sat down in frustration. There was only one person who could think of a plan. Agent Mimosa. He pressed his ear piece and called her. She had the unique ability to think of plans to get out of tight spots. Unusual for an agent - then again she was a unusual agent.

Mimosa appeared from the fabric of the matrix. She was decidedly angry. 'What do you want, I had three rebels cornered.' She took a second to look him and the anger drained away. 'What's wrong? Is Stevie.'

'She's fine. For the next forty-eight hours.'

'Is the experiment over that soon?'

'Yes. They will kill her. I can't let that happen.' Mimosa took a step closer to him, put her hand up and pulled his ear piece out.

'Now the mainframe can't see your every thought. You taught me that remember? Give me a minute.'

She disappeared for a minute. Smith waited then opened the front door for her. As Brown had been, Stef had been in communication, a temporary way for Agents to talk to each other. It only lasted for a few minutes so Stef had morphed out of a dog walker in Smith's street.

Smith looked at her sadly. 'Stef, I need your help.'

'Jesus Smith, you're acting more human than I was.'


Stef sat down beside him and thought for a moment.

'Either way you will lose her. But I have an idea.'

'What do you mean?'

'She can't stay in the matrix.'

'You can't mean.Mimosa you're insane.'

'You want her to live or not? If she stays in here they will kill her, it's not like she can hide.'

'They won't protect her. They're rebels.'

'They're human. They might.'

'Anderson threatened to kill her tonight. He might have.I can't trust any of them.'

'Is she human? I never saw the specifics of the experiment since it wasn't necessary I participate.'

'Yes, she is human. She has a body that could be unplugged. She's not just a program.'

'Unlike us.'

'Unlike us.' Smith agreed. 'Is it the only way?'

'Unless you have any bright ideas.'

Stef was still there the next morning. Stevie woke, as far as she was concerned, Stef was an aunt. And a hell of a lot more normal than her uncles.

'Hello Stevie.'

'Hey Stef.'

Stevie sat down at the table and yawned as Stef shot Smith a look. 'Paper come yet?' Stevie asked.

'No, not yet here. Take mine.' Stef required a paper and handed it to Stevie. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, smiled nervously and accepted the paper.

'Do you think you could give me a lift today dad? I don't think I'll be ready before the bus comes.'

'You don't have to go to school today.'

'I'm fine, plus I have a test.'

'You don't have to go anymore.'

'Dad? What is going on?' Smith looked away.

'Tell her Smith,' Stef commanded. 'It's the only way.'

'What did they say last night?'

'A lot of things that didn't make sense.'

'Tell her.'

'This is going to be a little hard to understand but it's the truth.'

Smith explained everything like he had for Stef. When he finished he sat back so she could absorb it all.

'Cool,' she said simply. She had no trouble accepting it. 'Teach me how to do the thing with the paper.'

'Only agents can do that,' Stef said.

Stevie turned to Smith. 'Bastard.' She got up from the table and went to her room, the other two heard her slam the door shut.

'I thought she had accepted it.'

'It's not the matrix. She's mad at you.'


'You're her father, go ask her.'

Smith rose and knocked on Stevie's door. 'Get lost!' she screamed from inside. Smith manipulated the lock and opened the door.


'Why did you lie to me?'

'I had to.'

'I would have had no trouble accepting it. You lying to me, that's another thing. I could never lie to you, why couldn't you have done me the same courtesy?'

'I had instructions.'

'My whole life was just an experiment? That's all?'

'No, at least not to me. Or to Stef.'

Stevie sighed, 'at least that explains Brown, Jones and their kids.' Smith smiled. 'I knew there was something weird about them.'

'They don't understand children.'

'Or humans.' He nodded.

'Why now? Why did you tell me?'

'The experiment is over in forty-eight hours.'

'Meaning what?'

'They are going to kill you, wipe your mind. Take away who you are.'

Stevie shook her head, 'they can't.'

'They are going to. I'm not going to let them.'

'What are you going to do?'

Stef appeared in the doorway. 'You're going to leave the matrix.'

'I can't the rebels will.'

'It's your only chance.' Smith said. 'Will you at least let us see if they will take you?'

'Who came up with this plan?'

'I did,' Stef said.

'Where the hell does she come into it?' Stevie asked Smith. 'She like, normal, at least compared to my uncles.'

'She was human once.'

'Cool,' Stevie said.


Smith left Stef with Stevie while he went to find Neo. Neo was in the matrix, recruiting rebels.

Smith morphed out of the one that was in the room with him. Neo muttered a curse and drew his gun. Smith threw his hands up as a gesture of defeat.

'I just want to talk.'

'What could you possibly want to talk about?'

'I need your help Neo.' That stopped Neo dead.


'You heard me, I need your help.'

'Speak.' Neo said but didn't move the gun.

'I need you to take Stevie out of the matrix.'


'They are going to kill her in less than forty-eight hours. You are the only chance I have.'

'Why would I do that exactly?'

'She's human. Like you.'

'She's not human, she calls you dad for god's sake.'

'Stevie is human no matter her origins.'

'Why would I help you?'

'I have no one else that is capable of helping her.'

The door behind them opened, Morpheus and Trinity walked in. They saw Smith and froze.

'Neo?' Trinity asked. Morpheus saw the agent's raised arms.

'What is going on?'

Smith explained it all to them, from the beginning of the experiment. 'Well, will you help her?'

The other two rebels looked to Morpheus. 'We should let her die, then you would know what it feels like for the resistance everyday.'

'She's human.'

'And as such we can't leave her for the matrix to eliminate.'

'You will set her free?'

'Bring her here tomorrow, ten in the morning. If this is a trick Neo will find some way to make you very sorry.'

'No problem,' Neo said.

'Thank you.'

Smith left. Neo turned to Morpheus.

'Did he actually just thank us?'

'I think he did.'


Stevie and Stef watched TV. Stevie turned to Stef. 'What if they kill him?'

'It's impossible to kill an agent.'

'I'm still worried. I can't believe all this.'

'It does take a while to get used to. Once you accept it, everything seems easy.'

'What about the rebels?'

'Anderson is a jerk, trust me on that. The other two he hangs around with might actually have some sympathy. We will find some way out of this.'

'I don't want to leave here, everything I know is here, everyone I care about is here.'

'You have to, that's why your dad is taking a chance to see if they will take you out.'

'What chance, you said they couldn't.'

'Not them, the mainframe could delete him if they found out he was making a deal with rebels.'

'He's taking a chance for me? Why?'

'Because he loves you Stevie.'

They heard a car pull up, Stevie got up and ran out to see Smith. He nodded. 'They will take you out tomorrow.'

'Isn't that cutting it a bit close?'

'It is what we agreed on.'

'Tomorrow?' Stevie asked.

'We have until then.' Stef looked around, quickly placed her ear piece back in and gave Smith a look.

He quickly replaced his own as Brown and Jones drove up. They stepped out, Stef had disappeared before they had seen her.

'What is it?' Smith asked his fellow agents.

They looked at Stevie, Smith told her to go into the house. 'Rebels, why didn't you know?'

'What were you doing?'

Smith wished he had Stef's quick thinking brain. 'My experiment was discussing teenage matters, I did not wish to bother the mainframe.'

The other two seemed to accept this. Without a look back he went with them to help deal with the rebels.

Stevie gasped in shock as she heard Mimosa's voice behind her. 'Last day in paradise, want to have some fun?'

Stevie nodded to her 'aunt'. Stef did more than her fair share of requirements that day, mainly consisting of wads of cash.

When she was sure that Stevie had done everything within reason before she was to leave the matrix they returned home.

It was an hour before Smith returned, a rebel mass attack had kept him busy. Stevie lay on the lounge, not really concentrating on the TV.

She went to bed for the last time in her bedroom. She looked around at all of her things, knowing she couldn't take any of them with her.

Smith lay on his own bed, not even bothering to simulate sleep as he usually did. He got up and went into Stevie's room. He looked to her bed - she was gone!

He turned the light on and looked around. He mentally checked the other rooms of the house, she wasn't anywhere.

'Stevie,' he murmured.

He entered the fabric of the matrix and exited at the training facility for the human agents. Stef slept there. Since she was somewhere between human and true agent she could sleep when she wanted to.

She wasn't in her room, Smith quickly made his way to the gym. She was practicing moves on the balance beam. She saw him and as she jumped down she changed from her training outfit to her agent uniform.

'What's wrong?'

'She's gone, I can't find her.'

'Why would she have left?'

Jones entered the gym. 'My experiment has gone missing,' he said without emotion.

'So has mine, were they deleted earlier than arranged?' Smith asked.

'No, we would have been informed.'

Jones pressed his ear piece and summoned Brown. Brown didn't appear as requested so the trio made their way to his house.

Brown's house was exceedingly plain, there were no decorations besides a few antiquated weapons in cases.

The house appeared empty so they entered. All of the weapon cases were smashed and empty.

If hadn't been a sign of human frailty, Stef would have muttered, 'I've got a bad feeling about this.'

'Where's Brown?' Jones asked.

Brown stumbled out of the next room. He took a minute to right himself but was still swaying. The other three agents looked at him thinking various thoughts about his human-like behavior.

'The experiments.' he began.

'Are missing, we know Brown,' Stef said. She had no patience for him.

'What happened?' Jones asked.

'As a cap to my experiment, I told him the about the real world. He accepted it but has powers that exceed our own.'

'How is that possible?' Smith asked.

'Glitch,' Brown said simply.

'My experiment has glitches but none this bad,' Jones said. 'Did yours kidnap the other two?'

'Before he knocked my program off-line he mentioned something about if they weren't real it wouldn't matter if he killed them.'

Stef and Smith carefully controlled their expressions. 'Where did they go?' Smith asked.

'I have been off line for half an hour, I don't have that information. He is blocking attempts to track him.'

'We will have to use other methods then,' Stef said. As the other three looked down at her, she clarified, 'physical searches of probable locations.'

'How do you suggest we define probable locations Agent Mimosa?' Brown asked. He saw her as lowlier for several reasons, firstly - she was female. Secondly she had been human and thirdly she was stranger at times than Smith.

'What weapons are missing?'

He ran down a list and cross referencing files with her own ideas about the human significance of the weapons she listen twelve of the most likely locations.

Each agent took three and went searching. Smith was worried, this was an unexpected hiccup in his plan. He ran a self-diagnostic to make sure he wasn't glitching himself. He was going to give his daughter his enemy. He must be insane.

Mimosa assured him it was the only way. If she couldn't think of another plan it was usually because there wasn't one.

He searched one location and moved onto the next.

Stef was already onto her second location when she heard an evil cackle. Brown's son was blustering and showing off his powers to the other two children. They were both bound and gagged.

She put herself in communicator mode and found Smith.

'Got them, follow me.'

He nodded and headed toward her. Stef snapped back into her own body and peeked around the corner to see him.

She would have gone in blasting but what he done to Brown stopped her, this required tact.

'Tact?' The voice came. 'You can't do anything.'

She looked back around the corner to see him. A gun barrel was in her face, she pushed it away.

'I'm an agent like Brown, think you can hurt me?'

'This is what I used on him.'

She took a step backward and stepped into a brick wall. 'No escape agent.' He said and reached forward. She leapt up and came down behind him.

He turned faster than she could follow and punched her, she fell backward. 'My powers brings it back down to the human level. This should be interesting.'

Stef stood and pulled her gun out, shot at him ten times in succession. He simply held up his hand and stopped the bullets. His powers were almost on the same level as Mr. Anderson.

Stef wasn't without talent so she used every trick in her book plus a couple she made up on the go but he blocked every single one of them.

He brought the agent-disabling weapon up and shot her. She prepared to go off-line but it struck her in the chest. She fell back but was still conscious. She tried to morph out but she was trapped.

'Like the little addition? Just thought of that.' He reached down and dragged her by one leg over to the other two. Stevie looked down at her in fear. Jones' son stared straight ahead, scared worse - suffering from computer withdrawals.

Smith appeared from the alley beyond the pool of light they were in. He stopped when he saw his daughter tied up and his co-agent injured on the ground.

Brown's son had disappeared, he was lying in wait somewhere beyond the shadows. Stef tried to think of something to do. Smith had said once that it never took her more than thirty-two seconds to think of a new plan.

Maybe death had some effect on her brain. She smiled to herself. She had a plan.

'Stevie? She whispered. Stevie looked to her. Stef slowly pulled her spare gun from her jacket and rested it in her tied hands.

'Got it?' Stevie nodded. 'Shoot me.'

Stevie's look said 'what?.'

'You can't hurt me, it might save us.' Stevie closed her eyes and squeezed the trigger.

Stef found herself floating in the green code scroll of the matrix. She willed herself to morph from Stevie's body.

With the change of form the ropes were loose enough to get free from. Jones' son snapped out of withdrawals when he heard the shot.

Brown's son was too busy fighting Smith to notice he had one less hostage now. Stef stood and freed the other experiment and told him to run.

She looked down at the body she had shot, the one she had previously occupied. She required it to take on Stevie's specifications until it appeared Stevie was lying there.

The other two agents finally showed up and fought the glitch. Stef did the one thing none of the others had thought of.

Require. Mainframe delete experiment child of Agent Brown. The boy immediately disappeared and the other agents relaxed.

They looked incredulously at her, lateral thinking wasn't part of their programming.

'Experiment deleted,' she said.

Jones took one last look at his son and made the same request. 'Agent Smith your experiment was terminated,' Stef said unemotionally. Brown and Jones walked away, their job was done.

Smith walked over to Stef and saw 'Stevie's' dead body. 'I failed her.' Stef reached up and pulled his ear piece out before doing the same to herself.

'She's not dead Smith.'

'No, merely her program was destroyed when Brown's experiment son killed her.'

'You really are an idiot. You think I.'

'Did you just call me an idiot?'

'Yes. Do you think I would let her die?'

'Then who is that?'

'A dead battery.'

'How did you.?'

'Am I teaching you tricks now? Requirements are all you need. This is the body I was in after I left the building. I ordered her to take on Stevie's appearance. I also rerouted a few path names so when I got shot and she died it seemed to them like Stevie died.'


'Hard to write subroutines do come in handy.'

'You come in handy Mimosa.'


Smith breathed a purely human sigh of relief. 'I thought I had lost her.'

'That happens tomorrow. Today, it's after midnight.'

'We meet Mr. Anderson in four hours.'

'Would you like me to get out of her body so you can talk to her?'

'She needs to rest, unconscious she can do that. She will have enough to deal with in four hours.'

'You look like shit. If you were human I would say you need coffee.'

'I am not human Stef. You aren't even human anymore.'

'Human, agent, code. My quick-thinking brain is all that matters.'

He replaced his ear piece and Stef did the same as they left the alley. 'We're even now ok?'

'What are you talking about?'

'You did me a favor by killing me, it was painless. I did what I just did, we are even.'

Smith required a car so they could drive. 'We are not even Mimosa.'

Opening the door, she looked at him. 'To quote you - what are you talking about?'

'That was one favor, I did you another.'

'What was that? The warm milk thing?'

'No. You asked if any other recruits had been agents and I told you no.'

She shut her door. 'I remember that.'

'There is a reason for that.'

'The way I come up with ideas?'

'That was only part of it. I suggested to them that you would be a worthwhile agent.'

Stef stopped dead and didn't reply for a few moments. 'Thank you,' she said quietly.

He smiled, 'welcome.'

Four hours later, after a cup of unreal coffee each they went to the arranged place. The three rebels were waiting. Each was weighed down by loaded weapons.

Seeing only Smith and Stef Neo shook his head. 'This isn't right.'

'Smith?' Morpheus asked in a half-threatening, half-questioning voice. Make that three-quarters threatening.

'No tricks Morpheus,' Smith said. 'Stef?'

'Oh, right,' Stef said as she left Stevie's body. Smith reached out a hand to steady Stevie as Stef left her.

'Here she is, are you still going to take her?'

'Yes,' Morpheus said evenly.

Stevie looked back at Smith. 'I don't want to go dad, please don't make me go.'

'Stevie,' he said gently as he pulled her into a hug. 'I love you. If you love me you'll go. I want you to live.'

She held him tightly and he felt her nod. 'Ok,' came through a sob.

'Goodbye.' He let her go and she walked over to the rebels. She stayed cautiously away from Neo, he had threatened to shoot her. Trinity handed her a red pill and she swallowed it.

'I'm coming, I'm coming,' Stef yelled as she ran back into the building.

Everyone looked at her. 'I wanted to say goodbye. The only person around was some homeless guy three blocks away.'

'Bye Stef.'

'Bye Stevie, good luck kid.'

Smith and Stef watched as the rebels prepared to take Stevie into the real world. 'Got a signal Tank?' Morpheus said into a phone.

'Got it,' Trinity said as they watched Stevie disappear from the matrix forever. One by one the rebels left. Neo turned and growled at Smith, 'this changes nothing.'

Smith nodded in agreement as Neo left the matrix. He stared blankly forward. 'Are you going to cry?' Stef asked him.

'Don't be ridiculous - I have no tear ducts.'

'She'll be fine.'

They sat on the stairs. Stef looked at him. 'I thought you didn't have tear ducts.' He didn't answer her. He wasn't the kind of guy you hugged so she patted him on the back.

'Stop worrying. Besides every time you're trying to kill Mr. Anderson you can ask him how she is.'

'Only you would think of that.'

'Sue me.'


'Don't ever call me that again or I'll tell the mainframe you cried.'

'Can I borrow your phone? I have to call the school and tell them she won't be coming anymore.'

'Why do you always borrow my phone. Require one for yourself.'

'Phone,' she handed it to him and he dialed a number. 'Good afternoon. This is Agent Smith. I am calling to inform you that Albert Jones, Adolph Brown and Stephanie Smith were all killed in a car accident.'

He waited for a moment, 'thank you for your sympathy.' He hung up the phone. 'Albert and Adolph?' She laughed, 'perfect for them, a geek and warlord.' She stopped and looked at him.

He nodded. 'You called your daughter Stephanie?'

The End.