Darkness, it was everywhere. From beneath the lids of his closed eyes, he could sense the presence of others in the room, muffled voices echoing in his frost-bitten ears. Yet the incredibly painful throbbing in his head prevented him from opening his eyes to find out where he was. Everything felt different , painful and numb....but also pleasant, like a sense of relief had washed over him; like a heavy load had been removed from his back.
Now that he began to recognize more than just the pain consuming his body, questions plagued his mind. Where was he? Why did everything feel so cold and painful? The Matrix....Morpheus.....Trinity...had it all just been some strange dream? At once, a sense of fear overcame him as the muffled voices became clearer to his ears.
"We've done it, Trinity." Said Morpheus in a stern and fatherly voice, his words echoing in the dark corner's of Neo's mind. "We've found him."
"I hope you're right." Replied a calm, elegant feminine voice. It was a woman's voice, a voice he had heard once before...and yet-he hadn't. The very sound enraptured him, brought a somewhat soothing sensation to his disoriented body. The sound was a sound of perfection that drew him from the dark prison he had built behind his closed eyes.
Opening his eyes to find the source for the sound, a flash of blinding neon white light spread over his eyes has he opened them to light. At once, he felt the tension in his muscles as they struggled to hold his eyes open, the blinding pain only matched with his will to find the source of the voice he had become so captivated by.
"We don't have to hope. I know it." Replied Morpheus as Neo's vision came into focus. Neo could feel the happiness in his calm tone rebounding off the walls of the strange room he was in.
Where was he anyway? Previous questions began to fill his mind again but were quickly brushed aside when he saw the figure staring down from above him. Her electric blue eyes shimmered with life against the beauty of her fair skin, framed by the elegant feminine figure of a warrior. Strands of short-cut, ebony hair fell in wisps around the sides of her face as she watched him intently, worry evident in her stony gaze.
She was truly the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Some strange enigma that had walked into his life and changed it completely. She reminded him of the stunningly beautiful Trinity he had met prior to this day. But there was something different about her now...like some strange aura that surrounded this charming woman. Is she a woman? No, impossible. She's too beautiful to be human. Maybe she's some sort of angel, sent to watch over me by some greater force. Yes, that's the only explanation. She's an angel...but if that's true, then...
"Am I dead?" Neo asked, surprised to hear the hoarse pain in his own voice. His eyes flickered away from the angel reluctantly and focused instead on Morpheus. At least he thought it was Morpheus...everyone looked so different in this place...
Morpheus bent over him, concern visible in his clam exterior as he stated seriously, "Far from it."
Not dead? Does that mean she's human? Feeling his mind cave from an overload of thoughts, he let his eyes close and slipped back into darkness, falling into a restless sleep.
"You know what really bothers me about working on a ship with Mouse?" Switch asked casually, pushing another spoonful of goop to her lips and watching her eating companion from across the table with large, blue eyes.
"Hmm?" Trinity mumbled absent mindedly, staring at the bowl in front of her and the food that she was merely toying with as she ran the spoon around the edges.
"He always picks the wrong time to pay a visit on Apoc and I." Switch replied, scowling as she drained her mug of metallic water. "Take last week for instance, when he walked in on the two of us in the mess hall. You know, sometimes I think he actually wants to get on my bad side. I'm telling you, there's something seriously wrong with that kid. I don't think it's healthy for him to be so into women and porn at his age. How old is he anyway?"
Trinity shrugged, finally setting down her spoon and rejecting her attempt to eat. Something about spending the entire day helping Morpheus tending to Neo had caused her to loose her appetite. In fact, she had hardly felt like eating since Morpheus had ordered her to keep an eye on Neo by means of the Matrix code. Of course, she would never reveal it to anyone, but it had been the best mission she had ever been assigned to.
"Hey, are you even listening to me?" Switch asked rudely, also dropping her spoon into the now empty bowl. "Earth to Trinity? Hello?"
"Sorry," Trinity mumbled, Switch's sharp tone brining her back into reality. "What were you saying?"
"Something's wrong, isn't it?" Switch asked worriedly, leaning across the table and forcing Trinity to meet her intense stare directly. "You've been acting really strange ever since Morpheus first told us about Neo."
Feeling her throat clench, Trinity found herself unable to reply and merely gave Switch her most dangerous look. Unfortunately, Switch was now so well accustomed to Trinity's menacing glare that she brushed it off easily and stood to wash her bowl and mug, a wise smirk spread across her face.
"You know, I'm actually starting to believe what Cypher keeps saying about you."
"What?" Trinity asked sharply, finding her voice in the name of the man that sent a shiver tracing down her spine, and not for the reasons he would have wanted to cause the reaction for.
"He says that you're entranced by Neo. Apparently you actually take Cypher's shifts in the Matrix even though the two of you were meant to be working on unplugging Neo together. You spend every free moment watching him on the Matrix screens, and I know from my own personal experience that you never miss an opportunity to talk about him."
"Let's just drop the subject, ok?" Said Trinity fiercely, feeling her pale cheeks burn red, causing Switch's smirk to widen dramatically.
"Ha! You're blushing!" Switch said almost happily from her place at the sink. "See? Cypher's right! And if I didn't know any better, I'd say he's jealous."
"Of Neo?" To Switch's nod, Trinity spluttered with laughter. "You have to be joking. That bastard would never be interested in me, and even if he was there isn't anything to be jealous about. Because anything Cypher has been telling you is a lie."
"Well I don't know about that..." Switch said shiftily, trying and failing to contain a sly smile.
"You really trust Cypher over me?" Trinity quirked an eyebrow, brining her unfinished food to the sink and standing beside Switch. "I thought we both agreed that he was a bastard who didn't deserve to work on this ship. Don't tell me you've forgotten the whole ordeal with Gina already."
"Who could forget something like that?" Switch scowled, pushing the unpleasant memory out of her mind. "All I'm saying is that he may be right about this. Tell me truthfully, how many of those comments Cypher says about you are true?"
Trinity sighed as Switch moved over slightly to allow her access to the sink. "All three of them." Switch's eyes widened in shock; she hadn't expected Trinity to be this lenient in telling her about Neo. Catching the look in Switch's eyes, Trinity added quickly, "But only because I have to. I've just been following orders and watching him like Morpheus told him to."
"What about taking Cypher's shifts?" Switch questioned, now moving aside to dry and stack her bowl, spoon and mug.
"You know me." Trinity said quietly, feeling the water in the sink lap against the rim of her rolled-up sleeves. "I like working. It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something worthwhile. And it's been a while since Morpheus decided he wanted to unplug someone new, so I was looking for an excuse to get back into the Matrix."
"Ok, fine." Switch sighed, preparing to leave. "But what about talking about him all the time? You can't deny that you don't, since I've witnessed it for myself. Whenever the opportunity arises, you bring him into the conversation."
Trinity froze, turning to face Switch sharply. The other woman was smirking, her purest white eyebrows rose lightly under the untidily cut fringe of white hair. She knew that what Switch said was most definitely true. Trinity never meant to bring Neo up continuously, but whenever someone in the crew mentioned something, it would remind her of something Neo does in the Matrix and the words could just push against her lips until she could no longer contain them. She realized now how odd this must look, especially for someone who spoke only when necessary or to give an order, unless she included her frequent conversations with Tank and Switch.
"Gotcha!" Switch called happily, moving quickly towards the door. But not quickly enough, as a sod covered rag slapped into her back fiercely. Switch darted out of the mess hall, her evil laughter echoing on the walls of the hall outside. Laughing quietly to herself, Trinity bent to pick up the soggy rag and carried it back to the sink.
As the water drained away, she felt tiredness overcome her and she let a wide yawn escape her lips as she dried her hands and pulled down the sleeves of her gray knit over shirt. As she made her way back to her room, Switch's words replayed continuously in Trinity's mind. Cypher says you always try to take his shifts in the Matrix. You spend hours at a time just watching him in the Matrix, and you never miss an opportunity to talk about him.
Maybe what Switch said was true. But so what? She was only following orders...wasn't she? In the privacy of her own mind, she could not deny that she did enjoy watching Neo when he was still plugged into the Matrix. She would spend the entire day sitting in front of the brilliant green raindrop coding and watch his life progress until she knew his weekly routine off by heart. Trinity couldn't even tell herself why she did it; all she knew was that there was just something comforting about seeing him lying in his bed, sound asleep with the blankets pulled around him tightly, his chest heaving with his steady breathing and his eyelids fluttering in light sleep...
"Oh God, Trinity. Listen to yourself." Trinity complained as she reached the door to her room. She always talked to herself for comfort and often failed to realize the consequences for this. "You sound like someone in..."
"Someone in what?" Asked a slimly, slithery voice. Whirling around, she met Cypher's piercing blue eyes. Cursing herself inwardly for failing to recognize his footsteps following her down the corridor, Trinity folded her arms across her chest and an emotionless stare.
"Finish that sentence." Cypher stated, taking slow and careful steps towards her. "Go on. It doesn't matter anyway, because I already knew what you were going to say."
"Piss off, Cypher. I'm not in the mood for this shit." Trinity said coldly, turning her back to him and marching back to her door, pulling it open with a loud creek.
"Just answer this for me, Trinity." Cypher whispered, moving ever closer to her. "What does he have that I don't? Why are you so enchanted by him? I just can't see why you would prefer him over me."
Probably because Neo isn't a slimy bastard with a hidden agenda. Trinity thought to herself, but decided not to voice her opinions aloud. She was too tired to get into a fight, although she would have liked nothing better than to kick him where the sun don't shine. Instead, she chose not to reply and backed into her room, slamming the door shut behind her.
Laughing mechanically, Cypher moved against the door and pressed his warm
cheek against the cool metal door, listening to Trinity moving towards her bed inside.
She's one hell of a woman. Cypher thought to himself as he finally moved away from the door. And I'm going to risk everything to get her to love me. And by everything, I mean everything.