For any Matrix Fan out there.
In him are woven the sky and the earth and all the regions of the air, and in him rest the mind and all the powers of life. Know him as The One and leave aside all other words. He is the bridge of immortality. Beyond the senses is the mind, and beyond the mind is reason, its essence. Beyond reason is the Spirit in man, and beyond this is the Spirit of the Universe, the evolver of all. When the five senses and the mind are still, and reason itself rests in silence, then begins the Path supreme. And when he is seen in his immanence and transcendence, then the ties that have bound the heart are unloosened, the doubts of the mind vanish, and the law of Karma works no more.
From delusion lead me to truth. From darkness lead me to light. From death lead me to immortality.
One plus Negative One equals Zero.
That is where they are.
His name was Neo. He was the Messiah, the Savior, the One given upon humanity. He died. His name is Neo. He is the Messiah, the Savior, The One. He is dead. He gave himself for peace. He gave life to all of man. He gave Machines his human heart. He gave freedom to all.
His body is dead and cold within the safety of Mechanical arms. His heart now beats within them, a part of them. He of all humans connected to them in a way only love can match. A heart, they have his heart, and they can recognize love, they can recognize hate. And within this love for him, their Source of new and endless life, they have strived to become more like their mothers and their fathers. Humanoids. Androids. Tall and elegant creatures, the only thing threatening are their faces, which bare many round red glass eyes in different sizes. Still they mean no harm, no not them. They hold his body now, touching the face, and wiping some blood that has dripped from the mouth. Somewhere safe in Machine City, they stare at him, holding the limp body. They rub his legs, hold his hands, caress his face with gentle touches as humans do. They dare to touch the blindfold over non-existent eyes and feel pain in doing so. They can see burned scars, dried blood, and dead skin still trying to heal seep from the blindfold. Silently they apologize, it was their fault his eyes were now gone. Mute and without mouths, they promise, they will give him eyes and eyelids so that he may close them, and forever sleep in the bliss of death.
Within the core of the Earth the people rejoice in a repairing city called Zion. Sentinels now fly free within the open air, fixing whatever they have broken. And all throughout the now free people scream his name. "NEO! NEO! NEO! NEO! NEO!" They yell. His name echoed throughout the holy caves. People go and dance to beating drums. Children run and play, and yell, "I am Neo!" "It's my turn to be Neo!" Lovers now leave their people to the caves just as he and the woman he loved once did, they now listen to their lover's heartbeats and they say, "Thank you, Neo."
The body is dead, but immortal is the mind.
The mind goes on in Zero. In nothingness he is falling. Falling from the skies he mastered, and the light he held. Falling, falling in nothing. Slowly he opens his brown eyes, and uncurls from the fetal position to opening his arms as if they were wings. This is when he hits the ground.
The mind goes on. The Great Fall not even hurting. He simply stopped falling. For he is in Zero, a place made of nothing. A white place, much like the Construct, an endless white place of nothing. Where there is no up or down, left or right, there just simply is. Here he finds himself walking in a direction that tells him he must go. Walking in the endless place, where he knows there is an end. He finds himself bound no more to anything. He is weightless, free from any pain or anguish that will ever curse the living. Everything now is at peace. Content he is, with everything that has happened, and everything that will happen. Completely and utterly at peace with everything. He is one with all, and all is one with him.
Unaware and not caring of time, he persists forward. Not really sure when he may find the end of the white place called Zero, or if there really ever was. Still he continues on, because he chooses to. Nothing else matters, or alters his choice. He chooses to go on and so he does.
That is until something stops him.
His name was Smith. His name is Smith and he lies on the floor that isn't there in Zero, his arms spread out as if he were hanging from the Cross. Neo stops inches from his shoe meeting Smith's ribs, and stares down at the Virus. The former Virus. Neo slowly tilts his head, scanning Smith, knowing somewhere inside him is Smith. Finally Neo grabs Smith within his arms, holding the program's head and legs up, and continues on his path. He does not care what Smith was in the past, or the intensity of the hatred he once knew towards the Virus. He remembers the nightmares Smith has caused him. The pain and torture. He remembers how much he would have given to have Smith dead. He remembers being One with Smith. But none of that matters anymore. He no longer cares.
Neo believes it to be a day or two before Smith finally awakens, only to be too weak to move. Neo continues on in walking even as Smith tells him to stop and leave him there. Neo refuses, because of nothing else but his choice.
"Where are we…?" Smith whispers.
"I am not sure." Neo says plainly.
"Where are we going?"
"We must return home."
"We must leave this place. We do not belong here. This place is nothing, and yet we are not nothing."
"When we return…I will run away."
Smith looks up at Neo, still in his arms, and wants Neo to scream at him. He wants Neo to punch him, make him bleed, and beat him to death. He wants to hear the hatred in his voice as Neo kills him. He wants to remember what that was like, because it was all he could remember that gave him freedom. But Neo does not. He simply continues on walking.
"I know." Neo finally says. "I knew the moment I saw you still alive."
Smith then fell asleep in his weak state for the next week. And Neo was left in the nothingness and silence of his own mind. He remembered old memories. He remembers when he was small and how his mother always cried. He remembers his father, always beating him. He remembers his mother being murdered. He remembers being alone, others of his kind never caring for him, and he never caring for them. Loneliness was not so bad as it was made to be. He remembers his computer that he lovingly named Neo. He remembers drawing in his notebook at school, a man in a trench coat, and again and again he would write "Neo." It all hurt so much then, and yet now they are almost comforting, reminding him that he was more than just an anomaly in the system, that he was not always dead.
He rather liked this new way of thinking. He remembers the old way he used to think, how it was clouded by emotion and hurt. He enjoyed this knew content self, this freedom beyond all freedoms. No more hate, no more pain.
"Wake up." He said then. "Wake up, Smith. We are home."
There was a green door that led to a hallway with many more green doors. And within the first step back into the Matrix, he remembered he was The One.
They slept in an apartment building called Heart O' The City, in room 303, with which the hallway was stilled stained in blood. Neo slept for the first time in such a long time, he had forgotten the dreams and the bliss of sleep. He slept in the corner, where he sat upward, resting his head. While Smith had dragged himself to the center of the room, sleeping in an awkward position, too weak to make comfortable.
It was this, the moment of which they both slept, they both felt like One again.
And when Neo awoke, Smith was gone, just as they both knew he would be. Neo was surprised by the longing he had for Smith to return. The One walked out towards the hallways, where he saw his own blood, and distantly touched it, bringing out memories of death. And below he saw scratched into the wall was a little note saying: "Mr. Anderson, I hate you."
"Smith…." Neo tried to explain to the note.
He should have said something, he realized. He should have known the hatred still within Smith. He should have tried to explain the bliss he now felt, so content with everything that had happened. He should have tried to give Smith that feeling. He should have, but he didn't.
Instead of contentment Smith now ran the streets, cursing every name he knew, every human his computer mind remembered. He hated this, he hated them, hated Neo, he hated himself. He hated…he hated so much he thought it to be the only thing he was capable of feeling, of ever comprehending. He was so close…he was so close to never hating again. To being free. So many dead because him, he killed them and gave them masks of his face to wear. He was free…so free for one night, when the laws were no more to him. When the sky was taken by him, and the world wept for the story that was existence. Yes…no one would ever cry for him, not even himself, so he made the entire world cry. For one night all knew who he was, not just the man you saw in the corner of your eye. All knew him, all were him. All were free in the dream world he made his world. He held it in the palm of his hand, everything his, and he crushed it all. Hated it. Hated all of it. And in freedom all he hated was Neo. Hated and respected by Smith, Neo was going to die. And he did…then he died with him… Why couldn't he just die? Then he could feel no more hate…nothing…. He stopped then, stopped running in the middle of the street. That was when someone he knew as a woman he took over in his crusade of the Matrix, walk right through him. For a moment he wondered why people were walking through him like a ghost, but then he cursed them all for it.
Neo found that he was not there in a similar way. A boy was standing in the street, a mere four year old going after his ball. The boy's mother was screaming at him about something, so Neo went over to the boy and tried to take his hand so that they may cross the street. The boy's hand passed right through his. That was when the car hit the boy, and the mother began crying. It reminded Neo of how his mother was killed. He can dodge bullets, but he couldn't get out of the way of a car. Neo frowned, kneeling to the hysterical mother, and the now dead boy. The driver panicking drove away as fast as he could. Neo stared at the boy, such innocence, the kind he had given his life to save. He placed his hand on the boy's chest, and touched the boy's heart, and made it beat again.
"I hate you all! I hate you! I hate you!"
Smith yelled at them, pointing at them, and accusing them of all his pain. Yet they merely walked right through him, not even bothering to listen.
"Stop! Stop, listen to me! Listen to me! I hate you! Stop it!"
He put his hands in front of them, trying to make them stop. Trying to make them go away, all of them he wanted them to listen. To know who he was, and how much he hated them for all the pain. But in horror he found it futile, and in loneliness he sat in the middle of the road, waiting for a car to hit him and kill him, instead of go right through him. He remembered the way blood tended to spatter when hit at such speeds as a car or bullet. He remembers remnants of brain spilling out of skulls. He remembered cutting his own skin. How glorious blood was. He knew that was the way he wanted to die. Not from losing to Mr. Anderson. But in a ballet of red blood, his blood, flying and falling through the air for all to see, and all to know who he was. Oh how he wanted blood to stain his suit, stain the perfection he held with pride. Stain it, kill it. Kill him, kill him.
Then a car driven by Agent Jackson, with Agents Thompson and Johnson drove right through him.
Time moved quicker for them now. Days went end on end like mere minutes. Years were months. Nearly a century passed without their knowing. And in it they moved on as ghosts or angels, fragments of what once was. Minds without bodies, souls without shells, coding without a solid. Ghosts of the Matrix they have watched the war rage on within it. Peace in reality, yet war persisted between man and program it seemed. Perhaps a Civil War could have been prophesized. This was not what Neo wanted. But it didn't matter to him anymore. He chose what to do, and he usually brought people back from the dead as he had come to do. Still his people chant his name. Still people tell of the Messiah killing the Virus.
He knows this, because he himself has changed. Truly he was connected to all living beings, both man and machine, both in the dream world and the real world. For he could hear them all now. Hear each and everyone one of them. Everyone baring a voice that can be heard by only his ears. Sometimes they scream, another boy he saved has now discovered the fear of the boogieman, but tonight he's going to go into his closet, his mother's broom as a weapon. Sometimes they cry, like Mae whose going to have to eat a lot of chocolate ice cream tonight to stop the tears. Sometimes they're angry, like someone named Thomas who seems to be going through the same thing he once was at sixteen. Sometimes their full of so much pain…Murderers calling for Redemption, victims dying in horror. He can hear all of them.
Children laughing. Daughters…running to Daddies…Mommies watching them and smiling. Sons urging to play catch. Toddlers falling from running too much…Daddies there to pick them up. Children becoming teenagers…parents worrying again and again, becoming more and more distant. Then something terrible happens, and the teenager is a child again, coming to Daddy and Mommy crying. Teenager becomes an adult, finds a love, gets married, and makes grandchildren.
He watches and listens to everything he and Trinity would never have. And somehow he was still content in his new and pure mind. Sometimes he'll visit children, tell them the story of himself, tell them about Trinity as they sleep.
"She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." He said softly to them, "I never knew such love…pure love, before her. I had people I loved, or thought I loved, but they always left me, they said I spent too much time on the computer. But she…she showed me real love. I still love her. Even now, I don't say it often enough, or remember it enough. But I do love her, I still love her. I will always love her. I hope you, little child, will feel such a love someday. If not I'll be here, okay?" he trails his fingers down their pure faces. "I'll visit you often, see if I can share some of the love she's given me."
He watches them grow, and mother and father die together. He has seen so many pass on, just as he cannot.
And he can hear them. Voices within his mind, their minds. Everyone's minds calling to him, and he can hear them. He sees them now, in light or code, whichever he chooses, and he listens. So many of them. So many of them and he feels compassion for all of them. Whether they were born with blood or coding, all that he fought for, all of these people, he is now a part of them. He gives them life, the Source for both man and machine, he gives them life, and return they allow him to watch them, to make him feel that maybe he was not so alone in that world. He is beyond death now, as he wanders the Matrix. He travels it up and down, been to everywhere there is twice by now, all of it so beautiful. All of it, he is it's witness to it all, a Savior that cannot be heard or seen, or even believed to still go on in some way.
Sometimes he travels to homes, tucking children in just because he chooses to. And when a woman that bares some remnant of a woman named Trinity cries, he goes to them and holds them even if they can't feel it, and he can't feel them. He'll run with Rebels, whispering in the back of their mind's, "Keep going, you too can learn to dodge bullets." Descendents of the great Morpheus and Michael Karl Popper, or "Kid" as he was lovingly called are often his favorites to visit whenever they enter the Matrix. And somehow he believes that they know that somehow he is there, somewhere in their minds he hears them call back to him, "Neo, I believe."
Once he even visited his own home. It had been greatly improved from what he had lived in. It seemed…happier, safer. There was no angry father living there, no crying boy. No child that had to play chess by themselves. Just a perfect family. He didn't go into the house, he didn't dare, nor did he believe he could give any more to the family that now lived there.
"Neo, I believe." They whisper as they run.
Neo, I believe.
Neo, I believe.
Neo, I believe.
He watched them thank him. And even fight for him. There was a statue made, and even for a time, Morpheus was making a Residual Self Image of him, preaching his sacrifice, calling all humans home to Zion. He stood next to Morpheus as the man spoke, and Rebels came to listen. He looked at them all, smiling at them all, seeing what he fought for. In the center of all this was him. Or at least a shining green coding of him, the beginning of a Neo, people could touch and feel in this world. It would not be a Resurrection, it would just be to allow the future to see Neo, and touch him, and hear his voice. He smiles and enjoys the idea, even if he is right there; they need a Neo they can really see.
People searched for his coding fragments that were spread throughout the Matrix, possible fragments that were not already making him there in the Matrix. People and machine alike searched for these fragments.
Neo left more than he thought he had. He left behind a trail of his coding that he was unaware of. Apparently people spoke of these fragments all the time. And even newer Agents that were being made bared a striking resemblance to him. "Agent Anderson," the Rebels dubbed these Agents. It always made Neo smile whenever he saw one of them, or heard a Rebel say their name. He often stood beside them, studying them and getting within inches of their face. And whenever he would notice Smith out of the corner of his eyes, watching him watching the Agent Andersons he would always laugh.
"Look, Smith!" Neo would yell, "My Copies!"
It was meant to be a joke, but Smith did not take it as so.
And somewhere Agent Smith watches as well. Watches the world, watches Morpheus, watches Neo. Then he watched from far away as Neo attended Morpheus's funeral, he stood next to Niobi, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. He would be buried in the Matrix and the Real World. Neo would often bring a flower or two, and speak to the grave, talk about Trinity, the good old times. Morpheus had a son with Niobi, soon Niobi was buried next to Morpheus, and Neo would watch over their son. Soon the son died, and he visited his grave as well. Smith watched this, and Smith watched as Neo visited those graves again and again.
And when Neo left, Smith would walk among the graves. He would stand above Morpheus, then Niobi, their son, and many other people. He would walk along this now called "Rebel graveyard," reading their names, and trying to remember if he was the one that killed them or not. Then he always seem to pass by a grave marked "Bane," and he always seems to stop there, and stare down into the ground at it. He once put his hand on the gravestone, and shook his head.
"You allowed me to feel what is real. Thank you."
And he leaves Bane.
We hate you, Smith.
We hate you, Smith.
We hate you, Smith.
That is all he hears from them. No praises, no love and understanding graces their voices. All he hears from the world is a mix of screams and curses towards him, filled with nothing but hate, just as his voice was once filled. Even he can get so tired of the hate, so weary of their screams. Even he would say sorry just to make them stop.
But he doesn't really hear their minds. He just makes himself hear them. He does not listen; he is cursed in silence when he sits alone, with no one to speak to.
Agent Smith, mere fragments of his once whole coding now wanders the Dream World much like his second half, Neo The One. He unlike Neo does not tend to wander far from the city, or even far from a Hotel called the Heart Of the City with a room 303 and a hallway with blood on the wall. He has no need to go any farther than the city limits, for he was once all. That one night when he ruled all of the Dream World, when everyone was he, and he was everything he had seen all of the world through all their eyes. Within one night he had traveled of the world, and was all over the world all at once. The one night he ruled the world, and made it cry for him. He has seen all this world has to offer, and all of it so insipid and dull, so he has no need to go out into it.
He walks the streets at a rather slow pace, staring down at the ground as people pass by and through him. He revisits places sometimes, places he knew meant something great to him when he was alive. A hospital where an infant named Thomas A. Anderson was born, the many interrogation rooms of the Matrix, even the Oracle's apartment. He stands there, right in front of people, and just waits until they are able to see him, of course such a thing never happens.
Through the many years there in the Dream World the Negative and Positive have crossed paths before. Smith ignores Neo whenever they pass each other, usually looking away and refusing to acknowledge that he is there.
Once they both met at the Merovingian's restaurant where Neo was enjoying the voices of the crowd's mind, casually sitting in an empty leather couch. Smith walked by, without even a glance towards the Piano, where the player was resting on the bench, waiting for the French Man's command to start to play again. Smith scanned it up and down, what an elegant instrument, black and reflective as his own sunglasses. He slid his hands down the Grand Piano, standing and then sitting next to the player who never even saw he was there. Smith put his hands to the keys, and began playing. Though the Piano made no sound, for his hands went right through the keys, he really didn't care. He was playing Mozart, and rather exceptional piece for mankind. He was playing, his hands moving as though he had spent his entire life playing the instrument. And though no one else could hear, both he and Neo did, within in their heads, they knew what he was doing.
That's when guns started to fire, making Smith break off key. That's when an Exile, a Protector of the Oracle, a wingless Angel named Seraph came into the room aided by a group of Rebels firing with no mercy and the French man. That's when two ghosts flew towards them; two white ghost twins ready to haunt any souls. That's when former Agents now named Cain and Abel took out their guns, both having been brought back from death, both still only able to die from a silver bullet. And then they are joined by a man that was once named Agent Johnson, now Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve. Agent Johnson, Seth, fires his Desert Eagle, and begins to dodge bullets.
Smith could not help but smile at Agent Johnson, Seth. He remembered the few but sufficing conversations he had with his Leading Agent replacement. Johnson would go on and on as he once did, praising the life of the Agent, and the purpose of the Agent, never even questioning the system once. Always asking how, how could Smith just turn his back on the Mainframe? How could he betray them? And Johnson hated Smith, hated for what he made of the Agents. But Smith would only grin, and turn Johnson into him.
And now look. Johnson an Exile. Working for one of the very Exiles he promised to kill. Johnson, no longer Johnson. Seth.
At least Seth seemed happy, among Cain and Abel, One and Two, Vlad and Cujo. Yes, he was alive, and he was happy.
Neo and Smith both decided to leave, not together, they simply lost each other in the bullets and screaming, disappearing from each other, leaving the violence. They had already had too much violence.
Smith just wishes Neo knew how much he still hates him. But he doesn't know, Neo already knows. He still hates this place, and everyone in it for what they did and are doing to him. Mocking him as they pass through him, silently laughing at him.
"I hate you." He whispers under his breath.
They give no reply, no sign of fear, nothing. He clenches his fist and closes his eyes, punching right through people, smiling and waiting for them to die. They never do.
Alone and separate they walk the Dream World, perhaps not who they once were. On separate paths they walk, never looking back towards the other. Still the Negative and the Positive are one. Yin and Yang are one. And within the back of each of their minds, they know this, and they long for the other's company.
Perhaps that is why Smith follows Neo nearly wherever he goes.
Neo now walks the streets he's come to know so well. Different now, altered and changed he senses the world around him like never before. Listening to the voices of the people he fought so hard to free. He takes comfort from them; their thoughts of him remind him of whom he is and whom he was. He likes this new him, this enlightened him, this peaceful way of thinking, it's so…perfect. He can hear them, and when he closes his eyes he can see them. Their lives, their dreams, their fears and futures.
A woman passes him, and her mind calls to him in a way that reminds him of Trinity.
And now as he walks in one direction, he knows it, he can felt it. Smith is now follows him, in the faces of the crowd or the rooftops nearest to the sky. Smith often follows him, and Neo knows this but doesn't usually do much about it, and when he turns to see Smith, The former ruler of the world only runs. Neo wonders if Smith could really be that foolish, as to not know that he can sense him. And The One wonders why he persists on hiding from him, running to the shadows where he surely does not belong.
And even with Neo's new self, he will never know just why he runs so far away, far away from him.
Sometimes the Positive will search out for the Negative. Neo, remembering who he was, and how he enjoyed the company of others. He remembers being alone for so long when he was younger…when his mother was dead and all he had were computers. Then he was freed…then he met Trinity. Sometimes he longs for such companionship again. Sometimes he misses speaking. He misses the sound of his own voice, for he has found it useless to speak to those who can only hear him through his mind. He's stopped speaking, and sometimes the silence scares him, and he knows it must be worse for Smith. So sometimes he will search for Smith, entering the shadows, and blending with the darkness in the trench coat he died in. Neo listens and he can hear the beating of the heart Smith does not have, and he can feel his eyes watching him.
This is where Smith hides. In the darkness and the shadows of things as old and dead as they are. Abandon buildings and anything waning in the time that passes. The darkness of the coded green world, where no one can hear him, or see him, or even know they exist. Neo supposes Smith likes it that way, alone that's really all that Smith ever wanted. Alone and free from the smells. Neo now walks the long emptied hallways of the apartments. Layers of dust cover all that lay dead there, broken pieces of wood, and furniture that wears away. He slides his hand down a red couch and searches for Smith in the cold darkness.
Something is dropped, splattering on the ground, and then Smith runs.
Smith stumbles and looks back and Neo as he stands still. The one could easily catch him, perhaps without the slightest of effort, but he doesn't. Someday, he hopes soon, Smith will stop running, and he will come to him.
And when Smith is really gone, Neo looks down at his hands, now covered in blood.
The blood drips from his fingers, and slowly Neo pulls up his sleeves to reveal numerous cut all bleeding down his arms. Each cut varying, no patter at all, just chaos. They almost seem like streams of Matrix coding. It doesn't hurt, not at all, merely appearing gruesome. Neo stopped feeling pain a long time ago, the night he died. Neo looks to the floor to see a knife coated in blood, Smith's blood. It is then Neo knows what he is doing, cutting yourself just like in the Real World to try and feel alive. And he knows these cuts on his arms are there because Smith has them too.
They have a connection.
Slowly Neo wipes the blood from his hands, almost grateful to see it, for he has not seen it in so long. He bends down and picks up the knife, gently tucking it in one of his pockets, and begins to walk towards the direction Smith had run to.
He wonders why Smith always runs, and why he resists so much. Nothing should matter anymore…after all they are both dead.
He hopes Smith will someday come to him, he knows they both hate the loneliness the same way. He knows that when Smith isn't following him or looking for things he once had, he knows where Smith is. Smith searches for the life he had before the words "Mr. Anderson" passed through his lips, back before Neo. He often searches out and stands with the Exiles that were once Agents, Smith's partners, Jones and Brown. He often stands with them as they go on with their lives and smile, no even knowing he is there. Smith stands with them, silent as he watches them and listens to them as if he were part of the conversation. And they smile, and he smiles, and he appears as if he's alive again, and Jones and Brown can see him and can touch him. But they can't, and the often speak of him.
"I miss Smith." Brown will say.
"I know." Jones will reply.
The Exiles have made a home for themselves, a cozy little apartment where they enjoy each other's company and the wonderful things such as food and sleep. They often visit the Oracle and other Exiles. They laugh about the Agent Andersons, and thank God Smith isn't alive to see them. But then the laughing dies, and they are silent again. Sometimes they like stretching out, meaning they like putting on the old suits and jump from rooftop to rooftop, mostly during the night, they enjoy the stars and the moon even if they aren't real. Brown has gotten the hang of being much more flexible than he used to be. He likes doing flips, and spinning into windows. He often laughs, and leaves Jones behind. Jones finally catches up to him, and bites his lower lip. Then he just pats Brown on the back quite hard and says, "Smith would be impressed." And that means the world to Brown.
Smith is impressed. He often jumps with them, running beside them from rooftop to rooftop, wondering if the next jump he'll fly. And sometimes he finds it difficult to keep up with Brown's twists and turns throughout the air. He'll stay with Jones, and see Jones smile at Brown, and he'll smile at Jones. And when the two catch up to Brown, Smith pats him on the back as well.
"I am impressed, Brown." Smith says.
Neo knows this, because Neo has seen it. He stands upon the rooftop of the taller buildings, and watches as three silhouettes, only two that people can see, fly throughout the sky. Then he'll follow them himself, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, never flying, no. Never flying, because he knows Smith can't fly anymore, so he doesn't either.
And so another few months pass by as if they were mere days. And the loneliness builds up within Neo, as more and more cuts appear on his arms. Then one right across his cheek.
So The One goes to The Virus.
And this time, The Virus does not run.
They stand within a park just beyond the city, across a river, and a bridge, where concrete meets green, and two things collide into one. There Smith stands in a somewhat patio, blocked off from the sun. He leans in the doorway watching the world. And The One stands behind him.
Smith watches in the little park as a young woman, appearing the age of seventeen smiles as she walks with an elderly woman. Then an Asian man follows them closely behind. If his arms didn't hurt from all the cutting he would have smiled at the sight of them. For they were the faces of the life he had. Sati, now as if she were a seventeen year old human. She is beauty itself, perfection with a her hair braided in a single strand that reaches down her back. A wingless guardian Angel named Seraph watches them happily, smiling at them because now there is hardly any danger. He stares lovingly at Sati, how beautiful and precious she is to him. And the Oracle smiling, and walking with a stride only she can accomplish with such wisdom as hers. She smiles and looks over as if she were looking right at the two of them, as if she knew she was really there.
"Oracle?" Asks Sati.
"What is it?"
"Nothing, dear, nothing at all."
Neo stares at Smith, not even having to look over at the Oracle to know she and the others are there, not to even hear their minds. And as he tries to speak, all those years of silence final catch up to him. The mouth opens, the lips that kissed a woman named Trinity part, but mere silence is all that is able to be coughed up. And for a moment, he forgets how to speak.
"It's going to rain." Smith says.
And just as he destroyed the world, Smith destroyed the silence.
"I can feel it."
Smith stands still, as if afraid to move in the presence of Neo. He doesn't even look back at Neo as The One takes a few steps towards him.
"Sometimes…" Smith begins. "Sometimes…"
Smith slightly moves his head towards Neo.
"Sometimes when it rains…I believe that it's me making it rain…taking it all back again." Smith says.
Neo is still silent, moving ever so gracefully towards Smith, nearly reaching towards him. Smith watches him out of the corner of his eye for a moment, before returning his gaze over towards Sati.
"Sometimes when the sun doesn't stand still for her, I believe it's me, taking it from her…It never is me…but every time I think it is, I know each time it's not…but I still just believe that it is…and I'm struck down every time when I find out I'm wrong, but the next time I just…believe again."
Sati now pushes her shoulder against Seraph and laughs. He pushes her back and he laughs. The Oracle looks back at them and smiles.
Neo notices them and slightly smiles as he finally stands right next to Smith. Smith turns to him, and shakes his head, scanning Neo up and down as he looks away. It's been so long, so long since they were this close to each other…
"Neo…what are we?" Smith asks. "How are we still here?"
Neo for a moment didn't speak, he just stared at Sati. Then he smiled and didn't even look at Smith.
"We are an equation. We are the equation. The equation for all things. We live on because they live on." Neo waves his arm towards the city far away.
"I don't understand, Neo."
"I know." Neo nodded, still not looking at Smith. "I am not sure even I understand it. I am not even sure anyone could understand it, man or machine. But we…I am the Source. I…took it, and made it me…and because the Machines live on, and the Matrix lives on from their energy, I live on…and because I live on, you live on."
That is when Neo looks at Smith, taking off his sunglasses and smiling at those confused blue eyes. Neo looks down at his sunglasses in his hands, nods at them, and smiles back up at Smith. Smith just frowns, and bites his lips; he lowers his head and then looks at Neo's sunglasses.
"We have a connection…you and I." Smith said softly.
"It is that connection, that keeps us alive. That connection that balances the Source." Neo smiles.
"You know all this?"
"I've had a long time to think about it…to listen and to learn."
"I can hear them, Smith…all of them…their voices in my head."
Smith shudders at such a thing, a horrible thing he thinks, terrifying to never be alone within your own mind. But Neo smiles contently, happy with such a connection to everyone else.
"I listen to them, and they tell me what's happening." Neo says.
Neo smiles. Neo is happy. It is strange to even himself. He remembers his life, and how it was so sad and frustrating. How much he feared, how much he hated. But all this. All this has elevated him in some way. All this, all this is good, all is good, and all is peace. And he is at peace with it all.
But Smith only frowns.
"I keep running from you. I don't know why…sometimes I thought you had come to kill me. But then I just remember that we can't die like this…" Smith whispers.
"We are already dead."
"I just…don't want to run anymore. I just don't want…any of this anymore… Can you help me? Can you make it stop?"
Neo frowns, and doesn't say anything for a moment. He just turns back to Sati, and watches her as he has for so long. Brown, content eyes looking at her, skipping and playing Kung fu with Seraph.
"She is The One, I think." Neo says. "My replacement for the physical world. I will need…to teach her how to fly." Neo smiles. "I always wanted to teach someone to fly…to teach Trinity how to fly." Neo nods. "Yes, that's what I would have done if she and I hadn't died."
"Sati? The One?" Smith asks.
"I want to tell her so much…"
Smith looks towards Sati, who laughs as she gently punches Seraph in the chest. He blocks, and slowly pretends to kick her in the head. She ducks down and tries to kick him off his feet. He jumps. But then she just jumps on him and hugs, and they both laugh. All of it for fun for now, all of it in peace, time to play.
"When I look at her, all I see is that little girl…" Smith whispers. "The One?"
"She reminds me of Trinity now." Neo smiles.
Smith looks away from the little girl, the Last Exile, his little Last Exile. He remembers taking her. He put the little girl in his arms, and he told her it wouldn't hurt that much. She was already silently sobbing, as she saw Seraph fighting the Smiths. He remembers he rocked her, and took pleasure from her tears. He wiped them and touched them, savoring the fear that was causing them. And he walked down the hallways, all before gently holding her hand, and turning her into him.
"Sometimes…I sleep. I hate it, but I find myself so tired sometimes…not like before. I think that comes form you. But when I sleep…I sometimes dream." Smith whispers.
"I sleep. I dream of such beautiful things." Neo smiles.
"I dream of Trinity, Neo."
Neo is shocked into silence.
"She's falling. She's in the Matrix. Then she's in the Real World…with poles stabbing into her. And hear you, crying…" Smith shakes his head. "Or you would be crying if I hadn't taken your eyes then…"
Neo says nothing.
"You love her." Smith says.
Neo says nothing.
"I'm sorry." Smith looks away.
Smith looked down to the floor, where he saw Neo's hand holding his sunglasses. Smith took them from Neo's hand, and grabbed them gently. Neo looked over at him, as Smith held them.
"I lost mine." Smith says. "A long time ago."
Smith gently runs his finger down the lenses of the dark and circular sunglasses, transfixed on them; he tilts his head and raises them up to his eyes. Then slowly he puts them on, and then raises his head, as if he expected to see things differently with them on. He frowns, for nothing has changed. He looks over at Neo, staring at him with brown eyes.
"I don't want to be here anymore, Neo." Smith whispers.
"I want to die, Neo."
"And I can't, and I want you to make it better."
Smith slowly took the sunglasses off, and handed them to Neo. Neo stood still for a moment, taking his sunglasses, then grabbing Smith by the arm, and began dragging him towards the Oracle and everyone else.
"Lovely day, Sati." The Oracle was complimenting.
"Thank you." Sati smiled.
"I think it's time we should go."
"Seraph, stop it!" Sati yelled.
Seraph was tickling her, and he stopped, smiling at her and the Oracle. The little trio began walking back home, out of the grass and to the concrete.
"Goodbye, Oracle!" Neo waved, even though she could never hear or see him.
Neo still dragged Smith, as they walked towards a park bench, and sat down. Neo finally released Smith, as he smiled at him, and looked at a little plaque on the bench that said "In Memory of Thomas Anderson." It was a gift from the Machines to him, a thank you, small but still a thank you.
Neo rolled up his sleeves, then grabbed Smith's arm, and rolled up his sleeves. Smith looked away at what he saw, as he turned and stared at the grass. Both their arms were covered in cuts, little cuts, all turning to scars that would heal.
"This." Neo took Smith's arm. "This must stop."
Smith says nothing.
"See what you're doing to both of us? Look, Smith, look." Neo raises his arms closer to Smith. "See? The connection, Smith, you hurt yourself, you're hurting us. I don't care what you think, Smith. I understand. You're a part of me, I know."
Smith says nothing, and Neo pulls at his arm.
"You can't get out of this, Smith. You can't just escape to the Mainframe anymore. We're the equation. We're the things giving life to this place. Without us, as we are, everyone would die. We're immortal this way, and we can't leave."
Smith says nothing.
"I can make it better. But you have to stay with me." Neo says.
Smith pulls his arms away from Neo, and slowly rolls up his sleeves.
"I remember what it was like…to be alive, in the Real World. But I can't even feel that anymore! Dead! We're dead, why couldn't we have just stayed that way? Now I can't even feel the rain!" Smith yells.
Neo grabs his arm, and begins to squeeze it tightly.
"But you can feel that. You can feel me." Neo says.
Slowly Smith nods.
"You and I are alone forever, but at least we're alone together. And the only way to make this eternity better is if we at least spend some time together…I know how lonely it gets, Smith. It must be worse for you, I have voices in my head that I can listen to, but you…you have silence."
Enough of this, Smith thought. Enough of all this. Smith bit his lower lip and just stared at Neo, stared blankly. He stared, without emotion, as if he were an Agent again, as if he really had no concept of choice or emotion. Just like it used to be.
"Don't give me that bull shit stare, Smith." Neo told him.
"I…" Smith began.
"Come with me, Smith. That will make it better. But it can never end, we have to stay here, we have to continue so that everyone can continue."
We must balance it all, we must balance the world. We are the forces of light and dark, good and bad, love and hate, positive and negative. We are the shining example of the balance of nature. We live, though we are dead, but we are living examples of true balance. We were made by artificial hands, made by the Architect whose purpose is to balance the equation. Yet still, are we not the perfect balance? We are the balance. We are everything. We touch the Source itself, the life giver of machine, the life giver of man. Without us here, even in this state of living, all shall crumble. This peace we've made, it mimics us as a balance, and without us it shall vanish. Without us, without us as a balance as One all shall be gone.
Can't you see that?
Smith doesn't want to see it. Neo grabs him by the arm.
"We're One." Neo says.
"An equation. A mirror image." Smith pulls his arm away. "That's all we are, but we aren't One."
"We were One." Neo smiles. "I went inside you, you copy me. Both times I was you."
"Both times I ended up dying."
"I died too."
Smith looks up.
"The cracks on the skin…" Neo holds up his hand to his face. "I remember them, revealing your coding beneath. Quite amazing, really…"
"You…saw that?" Smith asks.
"Of course. I saw everything. I wasn't dead yet." Neo smiles.
Slowly The One rises and takes a few steps forward, stretching out his arms like wings.
"Come with me, Smith. I'll teach you how to fly." Neo says.
"Only you can fly, Neo." Smith says.
"That's not true. You flew that time because who had so much power, but that is not so with me. One can be taught how to fly."
"Come with me." Neo says again.
The next two hours they spent together, playing chess in an outside public chess area. It was nice a quiet, no one really seemed to know the chess area existed, or perhaps just didn't care. But they enjoyed it. Somewhere far from the city and noises, they played again and again.
It was a draw every time.
It gave Neo a smile to play chess again. His father had a set he never used, and young Tommy Anderson found it after mom had died in the attic and taught himself how to play. Though he played by himself in those times, no one really wanted to play with the loner and geek with the chess set. He was weird. Though, his computer didn't mind a round of chess.
And now Neo looked at Smith, his new companion for as long as it can last, and he couldn't help but laugh at it all, the silliness of it all. Ghosts, that's what they were. Ghosts! Ghosts of once mortal enemies that would have given anything for the other to die and stay dead, together now in a Dream World made my little mechanical squids.
Neo laughed, Smith moved his Queen and smiled.
"Check." Smith said.
Neo grinned and nodded, moving his King.
"It's going to be another draw." Neo said.
"Yes. Yes, it is." Smith then smiled.
They moved on from their little chess games, walking to the quiet suburban homes that Neo once called his. Neo showed Smith the outside of his house, but Smith had already seen it. He said the Agents were once assigned to monitor this house, and investigate it. They waited until the boy went to school and the man went to work until they went into the young boy's room. They were never told why they had to investigate, or even what they were looking for. But they were used to it by then, being Agents. Neo said that was rather creepy, and asked Smith if he saw his teddy bear. That teddy bear he named Neo. Smith said yes, in fact he had held it in his arms, and felt how fuzzy it was. "Yeah, he was a fuzzy bear." Neo laughed.
They wandered then on. Not really having a true destination. They made their visits to Morpheus and Niobi, and all the others. They even saw Neo's shrine with which many visited to ask for his blessings. Smith said he had seen it, and that Neo had never answered him. I'm not God, Neo claims. But you are the closest thing to him, Smith corrects. Within the graveyard they walked. Smith pointed at each one of them, saying their name and all he knew about them. Their lives, their hobbies, their land ladies, just as he did with Neo. And Neo told Smith about their lives in the Real World.
And then for the nest two weeks it rained.
Sati made the world cry, for it was the anniversary of Neo's and so many other's deaths.
It was the perfect time.
"This is my world! My world!"
The perfect time to learn how to fly.
"From delusion lead me to Truth!" Smith yells. "From darkness lead me to light!"
And within the air he flies again. Smiling down at the city that looks so small now. The rain is not as hard or full as he had it, really a mere drizzle, but it will do. It will do. Then suddenly Neo flies behind Smith, kicking him in the back, sending him towards the ground.
"From death lead me to immortality!" Neo finishes laughing.
Neo laughs and watches as Smith falls, skillfully stopping within mid air. Smith stares up at the hovering Neo, and Neo playfully gestures with his hand, "Come and get me." And Smith smiles, flying up towards him.
Again they are Masters of the sky. Masters of it all. Again they dance in a ballet that no one shall ever see. Angels with invisible wings. Wings made of light, wings made of lighting. Guardian Angels that fly above the city, and even when a young child loses her red balloon and looks up towards the sky to watch it fly away, she does not see them. Though the balloon does run into Neo eventually.
The rain that falls, crying for them, the Matrix itself saying it misses them.
But then they fly at each other, punching each other in the chest, and causing a shock wave perhaps only they can see or hear. Neo kicks, and Smith blocks, counterattack with a punch that sends Neo flying up. Neo stops twisting around, his trench coat whipping the rain right off of it. He stares at Smith, isn't this fun? And Neo flies towards him again, a second and even larger shockwave is made.
"Holy shit!" A Rebel yells.
"What the hell was that?"
"I swear to God, I didn't touch a damn thing!" An Operator yells over a cell phone.
"What is it?"
"I don't know! The Matrix! The code keeps breaking up and shit!" The Operator yells, witnessing pulses within the green code. "Do you see anything in there?"
"In the sky!" The Operator yells.
But the Rebel, no matter how ridiculous it sounded, looked up into the sky, where very faintly the green coding that made the sky could be seen, exploding. The Rebel dropped his phone, as the raindrops fell onto his sunglasses. My, God…the Rebel thought.
If there was a ground in the air, Smith stood proudly upon it, staring up at Neo, grinning.
"Why, Mr. Anderson?" Smith yelled up at him. "Why, why? Why do you do it? Why get up, why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? Something worth more than your survival?"
"Shut the hell up, bastard!" Neo shook his fist and laughed. "On and on, with your little speeches! I swear you never let me talk!"
"Well go ahead!"
Neo stood in the air for a moment.
"…I can't think of anything!" Neo yelled.
And Smith just laughed and laughed.
But in that moment of which Smith's eyes were closed, Neo was flying towards him, welcoming him with a kick to the head. Smith grabbed Neo's leg, and swung him down towards the ground, and then flying towards him, beginning to punch him as he fell. Finally Neo grabbed his arm, and punched him in the right ribs. Smith would have flown, if not Neo still gripped onto his arm, kicking him in the left ribs. Neo then flipped within the sky, flying as fast as he could in the other direction. For a moment Smith held his chest as he floated in the air as a ball. Smith then unfolded, laughing, and following Neo, flying as if he had his entire laugh.
Rebels calling Rebels, all of them looking up towards the sky, the pulsating Matrix code making them watch. All of them looking up. Jones and Brown even stopped; jumping towards the highest building they could find to watch. And they smiled, because they knew what it meant. Agents, all Agents, even the Andersons looked up and tilted their heads. People in the Real World, riding on Sentinels ran towards the nearest console to watch the coding. And even the Sentinels carefully walked close to them, wanting to see as well.
The Oracle looked up, and she smiled. Sati looked up, and smiled.
Neo skillfully twisted within the air, looking behind him to see how close Smith was. He smiled as he flipped around, flying between two buildings, soon flying straight up one, mere inches from the glass. But Smith surprised him, kicking him into the building, and if they were still alive, it would have hurt. But instead Neo merely is kicked into the office building of another man named Anderson, who's just getting a FedEx delivering. He lies on the ground looking up at the man.
"Whoa. Déjà vu." Neo mumbles.
Neo flips over though, flying out of the building, not knowing where Smith is, not really caring, just flying forward, towards any building. Fly, faster and faster, and if he were alive, he would be leaving a wake of destruction behind him. He dove down, towards the streets, having a little dangerous fun flying on the ground, within a traffic jam. He flew by the cars, rushing through them, having no choice but to fly through a few. He soon saw Smith doing the same, mere two lanes over.
Smith pointed up, and they both went up, punching each other, and causing the Matrix to shake.
And it was over.
Smith now sat cross-legged in the air, slightly floating to the right. He was looking straight town at the Mega City below. Slowly he raised his arm, and began stretching.
"Getting rusty?" Neo asked, floating above him, upside down.
"Perhaps." Smith answered, and Neo floated down next to him. "Your reaction time has slowed since last time we did this."
"You mean three hundred years ago? Smith, no offense, but anyone would have their reaction times slowed after that." Neo smiled.
"Well, it didn't slow by much."
Neo smiled, as he too looked down at the city.
"I think we must have put on a show." Neo said, and pointed. "They're watching. Rebels and Agents. They don't know what the hell just happened!"
"Do you believe we'll ever make contact with them again?" Smith asked rather calmly.
"…I don't think so. But I think that's how it is supposed to be."
"Yes." Smith nodded.
"We shall forever be here now. Even if everyone is freed from the Matrix, it will still be, and it will never be shut down. All the programs living here now. We will always be." Neo said.
"We shall witness everything."
"I guess we should begin now, then." Smith said.
"Yes. We should."
They did. They sat there in the clouds and the drizzling rain, and they watched. They always are watching now. Neo still comes to visit the young children, telling them stories of Trinity. And Smith tells them, whispering in their ear, everyone can change; everyone deserves a second change, even he. They watch those children grow. They watch Jones and Brown speak about them. They watch as Sati trains with Seraph, sooner or later falling on top of him, and showing him with kisses. He kisses back. They watch and usually stand by the Oracle, trying to figure out whatever she is looking and looking at is as well.
They walk the streets when no one can see them. They hold you and you can't feel them. They whisper in your ear, but you don't know it. They listen to your thoughts, and you tell them everything. They'll prepare you for being unplugged, or your fist mission as a Rebel. They'll hold off the Agents for you, and guide you to the ringing exit. They'll give you hope, and promise somehow that they shall return, in one form or another. They fly like Angels in the sky, guarding all from harm, balancing the equation of life.
They went on.
They came together again.
They are One.
100, Wow. That's a big number. I guess, I should say something, yes, that sounds right. I will say something!
I remember the first time I was looking around my friend, Muriel, having told me. And I saw someone with forty-three stories, and I thought "Wow." Well…wow, again. I mean…wow. 100, it's a big number. And I can go back to the first stories, and just go up, and watch as they get better and better, or if one was made just cause I was bored, of if I was really into it that day, or even just didn't want to do homework.
Well, you know me. What I want to be and all. But you know, I could never have really…gotten into this whole writing thing without any of you guys, you know that right? Well you do now. The reviews really do help, all the support and everything. Makes me want to write more of these stories. More for everyone! I guess you guys would like to know my neighbor who works in film production, he's getting me on some film sets he's working with, and I couldn't be happier! And I've recently been accepted into a High School with a magnificent film program.
But I'd like to thank all of you, unfortunately I don't think I will be able to remember everyone. Apologies if you aren't mention, truly it is nothing personal, I just…you know…I'd love to thank Selina, who has said so many kind words over and has provided so much love and Smith love. Agent Silver who is one of my age, and I do hope we will work together someday. Thessli, who reviewed each story as I can remember, even if she only said a little, it was still always appreciated. Nautical Acronym, who always seemed to catch the little things I tried to put into stories.
Oh no, I'm starting to remember them all…Anakin Mcfly, Zeo the OTHER One, Stormhawk, Cinn, LiMiYa, Centress, LadySmith, One Who Spins Flags, Sangri Star, Agent-Diva, Dorysblue, Alexandra Paris, Servatis, hiei1317, Lovelace, BoredCored, T'Lorie, and dear God so many others! So many from so many other fandoms!
All of you thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So much pride and self esteem comes from here and all of you.
For the future, yes I have some more Matrix ideas, Neo, and Smith. Not as many as there used to be at the beginning of this, but there still there. I'll point to my head, and smile. All up there. Stories on my computer half done, calling to be full. I still have Neo flying around in my head, and somewhere its raining, very hard. And I even have things on Johnson and his crew, the Merovingian, Sati, Jones and Brown of course, Seraph, the Key Maker, a young Oracle, some short stories, and a Sentinel lovingly named Edison.
But also I shall explore more things with the closing of this 100th story. What to expect? Dracula, for one. I am writing a screenplay regarding a certain Renfield from Dracula, and oh I do love vampires. Yes, Dracula, Dracula and other little vampires. Star Wars for sure, I've become one with many people that have been Star Wars fans since the first trilogy came out, and their love and passion matches that of ours of the Matrix, it is quite…infectious. Some unfinished Spider-man stories lurk in my computer. Oh, yes and one or two Star Trek ones, yes, I'm a Trekkie. Oh yes, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I've read all five books and seen the movie. Might I say, vote Beeblebrox?
Oh I love them, those characters. I loved them before I even know what a fangirl was. Going from each fictional character to the next, I thought I was strange, I didn't know then. But I love Smith, and so many others. I love Renfield and Dracula. Spider-man and Doctor Octavius. I love Spock. I love Zaphod. Oh I love them all so much! And I think it's really a good thing. To love characters, love them so much you just want to make the story good, you just want to make them proud.
Of course there will be more original stories, I have been neglecting my own little original ideas in my brain, not putting them on paper yet. I do have a little bit of short stories I'd like to get done.
Anyway, with that I say this:
"See you at 200."
Love, Mae "Shadow" Catt