It had to happen!

Agent Smith Studies: Hangovers and Dementia.

Sunlight poured through a crack in his bedroom curtains, causing Agent Smith to squint in pain. He felt tired even after his long slumber. Oh, and he had also received a nasty flaw in his programming which he identified as a headache. Was this the typical aftermath of being drunk or, as Agent Jones gad put whilst being so, "completely smashed;" Namely, a hangover?

            Shuffling into the kitchen, he saw Agent Brown seated and slumped onto the table. He seemed to be muttering something in his sleep: "Car…all gone now… "Dodge bullets," I'll give you dodge bleedin' bullets, come 'ere!" He then punched himself in the face, seemingly unaware that he had done so. "Oh-ho!" he murmured gradually, as the pain evidently lessened. "So that's the way you wanna play it, ey?"

            Placing a respective hand on the rambling man before any real damage could be done, Smith shook Agent Brown awake. "Fear not," he announced as the sleepy man snorted, to caught up in his fight to want to chicken out by waking up. "We can replace it…"

            Grumbling something about 'Getting 'Em Later,' Agent Brown finally woke up, head rising from it's pool of excess saliva. "Huh-rumph!" He grunted, rubbing his eyes with spittle-soaked hands. "Ewww…Er, what was that? God, I feel terrible…"

             "The car," Agent Smith answered, traipsing over to the fridge. "We can retrieve the coding again, and duplicate it at no extra cost…Orange Juice? It's said to help with hangovers-"

            "Hung over what, exactly?" Agent Jones asked as he stumbled over to another chair, far away from Brown, and collapsing into it. Out of all the difficulties that arose from this task of studying human life, he found their use of language the most peculiar. Round about now, he was trying his hardest to decipher the meaning of the phrase "Cutting Me Own Throat," whatever that meant.

            "Hangover," Agent Smith muttered, calling up the matrix's data on the word. "Unpleasant physical effects following the heavy use of alcohol…In a word, Jones, what we've received from last night's – what shall I call it? – Success."

            Brown snorted scornfull. "Success? At what, may I ask? All I've succeeded in is to be utterly determined never to touch another drop of alcohol until my Day of Deletion!"

            This phrase was the Agent equivalent of the human's "Until My Dieing Day," and had, quite simply, good reason to be. No Agent was ever willing to face deletion, just as the average human wishes to be immortal. This is where the similarities end, however, and conflicting views take-off. Humans believe that immortality is impossible because death comes too soon.

            Agents believe  that ever-lasting life is all too achievable, as death is only meant for lesser beings. They were above death.

            "God, I wish I was dead!" Brown groaned, head slamming back onto the table with a resounding crack. "D-don't want nunna that stuff, either…"

            Very Well, Agent Smith thought, there are exceptions for everything, I suppose…"Indeed I do know it," he snapped crisply. "I know because our study has taught me a great much… Orange Juice, Mr. Jones?"

            "Does it contain alcohol, toxins, beer, 'booze' or any other stupid phrase along the same lines?" Agent Jones asked wearily, eyeing the juice carton with cautious scepticism.

            Pulling out his shades from his inside suit pocket and placing them on, Smith gave the carton a professionalized scrutinizing gaze, turning it over in his hands, the liquid sloshing around inside. After a while, he said: "No, but it is said to contain 'No Gunk, No Junk, Just Juice,' which I think is evidence enough…"

            "Then give me excess of it!" Jones announced dryly, pushing a glass tumbler toward Smith. "Just as long as it gets rid of this damn headache."

            Smith gave a thin smile. "Oh, I can't promise a miracle," he said, recalling another human phrase he frequently heard on the streets. He tipped some juice into the glass, handed it back to Jones, and waited.

After fifteen minutes, Agent Brown was once again asleep and Agent Jones was behaving peculiarly.

"It's good!" He bellowed, "it's damn good – give me more!"

Smith up-turned the carton. "There's none left," he replied curtly. This was amazing, was this orange juice a drug or an alcoholic beverage? It seemed that whichever it was, Jones was firmly addicted to it nonetheless, and seemed to be getting very slightly drunk at the same time. "Anyway," he added, rising from his seat. "I think you've had enough…"

"I could have given ya some fresh orange juice yesterday," Brown mumbled against the flat surface of the table. "But I didn't think you'd like to drink the blood of mine enemies…"

In a burst of anger, Agent Smith aimed a low kick at Brown's chair, sending it flying out from underneath him. The poor Agent, too sleepy to be alert, fell onto the floor on his back with a grunt of: "Argh! You bas***d! The light's right above my eyes! Lemme up-"

But before Brown had a chance to get up, Agent Jones and Agent Smith placed one restraining foot on each of his struggling shoulders. His legs flailed, but he couldn't get up.

"If I've told you once," Agent Smith snarled, glaring down at the floundering man before him, "I must've told you…fourteen times, to be precise. Anyway, there are no guerrilla oranges, and there never were. You merely imagined there was, and raided the fridge and attacking all fruits of the aforesaid variety with a tenderizer."

"Oh," Brown grunted, finally giving up his struggles. "Oh…"

"Indeed, now, I don't wish to hear any more of this, so you will have to repeat after me: Oranges are not militaristic!" Smith snapped, resembling an drill instructor, Brown couldn't help realising.

"Oranges are not militaristic…" Brown grumbled. "Look, can I get up now? That damn light going to make me blind if I have to stare at it any longer."

"Yes. How do you feel?"

            "Like a person waking halfway through his own Operation, only to discover he hasn't got the right number of limbs, can I get up now?!"

            Removing their boots from Brown, Agent Smith and Agent Jones exchanged a knowing nod. This was another aspect of human nature they would surely have to explore, the way some mortals broke under pressure and went inevitably insane. Could the same be happening to an Agent, just when they thought the limiting rules of human life did not apply to them? They would have to investigate…

            "Agent Jones?" Smith sighed, pulling on his coat. "I'm going to find out what "flicks" are one at the "movies…" Carry on experimenting, if you wish."

            And, as Agent Smith left, the door banging shut behind him, Jones turned to the now-wary Brown with a sadistic smile of a boy planning to skin his first real catch with a potato peeler. He sniggered. "Funny you should mention operations," he murmured, producing what looked like a stun-gun to the wide-eyed Agent before him. "Because this won't hurt…much."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        End