AUTHOR'S NOTE: All original characters from the Matrix trilogy belong to Warner Bros. and the brothers Wachowski; I'm just ad-libbing.
Last chapter! Hope you like it, a huge thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this - Morithil.
"His form had yet not lost
All her original brightness, nor appear'd
Less than archangel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory obscur'd."
Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 591.
There are lights going out all over town.
All the lights that were in this corridor have been switched off, one by one, as if they are pointing someone towards us. It could be a power cut.
Seraph walks faster now. His hand is a giant, holding mine so that I cannot see the fingers, only my wrist ending and his smooth hand beginning.
The room we have hurried into is dark. Seraph stands with me against the wall, as if he is waiting for something to happen, for someone to come in. He has not spoken a word to me since we left the Oracle, and now I am frightened.
Why is Seraph so quiet? I want to ask him. Why are we hiding, is it a game?
He looks so serious that I am sure it is not a game. His hand covering mine is getting warmer. He raises his head and looks at the door to this room.
We wait. I have to hush my breathing or whatever is coming will find us. If we are quiet, whatever is outside may not notice we are here.
I can hear something. Perhaps a cat in walking along the windowsill, perhaps a mouse is scuttling away from a cat, maybe -
Seraph's back has straightened a little. He looks as if he is expecting someone, something he knows to come in. If so, why is he so quiet? Why doesn't he go to the door and show them in. What are we hiding from?
Something bad is about to happen. I can feel it, in the tingling in my toes and how my image copies the signs of fear. Hair rises on my arms.
The door opens slowly.
A man comes into the room. He is tall, and in black. The white of his shirt shows up against the dim room and his black tie. His sunglasses hide his eyes; I cannot see him properly because the room is too dark. I do not like his smile, it is neither happy or friendly. It makes me feel cold. He is like the stone angels on tombstones. I do not like them.
I know him from somewhere. He's like a character from a storybook that I can't remember the name of.
He walks towards us, and Seraph squeezes my hand. I think he's trying to make me feel better, but the Oracle always said that you should think of the things you like whenever you're scared, think of something you love. I want to tell Seraph, but the man is talking to him.
His voice is like is black coffee. I don't know why I think that, it's such a strange thing to think about someone's voice, but it is. The Oracle would smile and tell me I'm a clever girl if I told her that. Now I remember - I remember who the man is, the Oracle told me the story about him, him and Neo. I miss Neo, I hope he is alright. The Train Man would not let him come with us. I waved him goodbye as the train moved away. I hope he saw it.
"The Oracle told me about you"
I couldn't stop myself. Seraph looked at me, I could feel warmth come out from behind his sunglasses. The Oracle told me that Seraph is always so calm, even when he's afraid. I'm trying to be brave. The man asks me what the Oracle said about him. Now I am afraid, he has crouched down and is looking at me. Seraph is tensing, maybe he is about to push the man away, tell him to stop frightening me.
He smiles, but I am still scared. I remember his name. His name is Smith.
"She told me you were a bad man"
"Oh, I'm not so bad, once you get to know me"
I think he is. I think he is still the bad man that the Oracle told me about. I think that Neo is right not to like him. But there is something sad about him, something angry as well, as if he is doing something he doesn't want to and he cannot stop himself. I want to tell him to try. I want to ask him if its true, that he is different from the others, if he really is connected to Neo. I want to ask him if he is like Seraph. Maybe they took his wings from him as well. Maybe that is why he is sad and angry.
The room fills with more, more of the same, more of Smith. We are surrounded. Can Seraph fight all of these at the same time? Is there anywhere I can hide until it's all over? Seraph and Smith said that they had fought before. Seraph won, I know now, and it makes me glad. Perhaps he can win again.
I don't know why, but Seraph's hand is cold. I squeeze his hand this time, and before he steps forward, he looks down at me, a little puzzled.
"Think of the garden, Seraph. The Oracle said that it was beautiful and that you liked it there"
The man called Smith presses his lips together when I say this.
Seraph gives me a little smile at the corner of his mouth.
Does Smith know about the garden? I think so. Because when they look at each other they seem to lose it, lose paradise all over again.