Disclaimer: If you recognise anything, I don't own it. Unfortunately.
A/N: This story is set before 'The Matrix'. Also, I am probably not going to be accurate all the time, as I am only going by what I remember and what I find important. If you think that I've made errors, please feel free to tell me. I won't be sticking to all parts of the story, as obviously this is FAN Fiction and writers are free to take some liberties. But if you tell me what you think, I will try to explain why I've done something, or alter it for the better. Either way, I hope you will help me, as this is my first try at a Matrix fanfic.
Chapter 1 - Anomaly
Now, finally, the Nebuchanezzar was silent. The cold metal deck was empty, apart from a lithe figure poised on the swivelling chair in the Core; sharply boned face lit up faintly by the green glow of the monitors. The only movement was the flick of her eyes across the computer screens, and the cascading streams of indecipherable symbols and numbers that filled the monitors.
The woman was still, but it was clear to see that she was constantly prepared for action. Her eyes were alert and intent, and her jet-black hair ended sharply at her chin. Although she was wearing several thin layers of grey clothing, that fitted shapelessly and was patchworked by holes and repairs, there was no mistaking her natural grace.
Trinity was watching the night shift, while the rest of the crew slept. With a lack of immediate threats, and no sign of Sentinels, she was scanning through the potentials, those from the Matrix who could be ready to be unplugged. The code was not indecipherable after all. By now, she didn't see the numbers any more. Instead she could see a man working at a computer, a woman walking down the street, a child sleeping.
She scanned through their basic profiles, containing their full names, hacker names, some basic information and an RSI compiled from their codes. They were mostly hackers, with a few 'randoms' thrown in – usually philosophy students. Carefully reading through the first profile, she committed the information to memory. It was a male computer hacker, James Webster in the daytime, 'Slider' at night. Running a search through the code, she found him at the computer, hacking into a government database. Pausing to watch for a while, she made some brief notes to add to his profile and moved on. With his abilities, he would be a useful addition to any crew, but would he be able to handle the truth? They would probably have to wait a little longer to see.
For the next 50 minutes, Trinity worked through the rest of the Prospects, finding them in the code, then adding notes to their profiles. It was all pretty routine, and she could see that some of the more inquisitive ones would benefit from a little encouragement soon. She would talk to Morpheus about it in the morning; it wasn't urgent.
Finally, she was down to the last profile. She glanced at the large, square numbers above the screen. 10 minutes left to run this final search, then her shift was up, and it was Tank's turn. As she quickly scanned through the profile, fingers poised to fly over the black keyboards, Trinity suddenly paused. Her piercing eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly. It must be a mistake.
The girl was 15. There was nothing unusual about that. Young minds were more adaptable, found it easier to comprehend. That was why no one over 30 had ever been unplugged, or ever would be. The mind found it too hard to let go, after so long. Trinity herself had been unplugged at a similar age. No, there was nothing remarkable about this girl. That was the problem.
She was not a hacker, she was not a psychology student, a philosophy student – none of the usual. She was clever, yes, topped the class in every subject, and a few more. She played music, sports, and read avidly. Other than that, nothing. She seemed unwilling to break or even bend rules, the first requirement for escaping the Matrix. She was reasonable, OK, average with computers, like every single teenager in the Matrix. She had never even considered hacking in her life, and didn't even have an alias to go by. As Trinity watched her in the code, she became more and more puzzled. There had to be a mistake. This girl was completely unsuitable. Trinity shook her head slightly, causing her hair to flare out slightly, as if clearing her head of thoughts. She would talk to Morpheus in the morning; they could just delete this girl from the system.
It was time. Her shift was ended; she should go down now, get Tank up and return to her room. Then she should go to sleep and forget about this. She was tired now; she'd been training all day, spurred on by the last time she entered the Matrix. She would not come that close to failure again. She should get up… But something made her stay in the chair. It was probably her 'goddamn stubbornness', as Morpheus always called it, with a faint smile. There wasn't a problem that she didn't solve, logically. And as First Officer since Niobe had left for the Logos, she came across her fair share. But as long as she stuck with it, thought it out logically, it was easy as… hacking an IRS d-base, she thought with a wry smile. But this, it just did not make sense. The search program was a computer program. They didn't make mistakes. But this girl had none of the qualities they wanted. As far as Trinity could see, she had never even come across the words 'The Matrix'.
Minutes passed, or it could have been hours. Trinity watched the electric green wash down the screens, some symbols lighter, some darker, some streams stopping halfway down, or disappearing altogether. And in her mind, thoughts were racing just as fast, along with one that wouldn't go away. Why does this matter?
A hand resting on her shoulder jerked her from her reverie, and automatically she flew from the chair, twisting round, ready to flip her attacker over. It was Tank, looking alarmed.
"Shit, Trinity. That's only the second time I've crept up on you"
Trinity gave an almost feline grin. "But this time you didn't end up on your ass."
Tank grimaced at the memory. "Why didn't you call me? Your shift was up 30 minutes ago." Now released by Trinity, he swung into the chair with easy grace, looking intently at the screen. "What had you so interested? It's just a girl sleeping."
"It's…nothing", she replied quickly, unsure herself of why she was being so secretive. "It's just a girl", she said, unconsciously echoing his words.
Tank quirked an eyebrow and slipped on the headset hanging above him.
"You should get some rest", he said over his shoulder, his fingers already creating a rapid rhythm across the keys.
Trinity turned, not seeing the worried look he flashed over his shoulder. When she had first been unplugged, he had thought her cold and distant. She could still be like that with strangers. Now, she felt almost like a little sister to him, although he would never say that to her. She could kick his ass in 5 seconds flat, and every time he saw her in the Matrix, she was that much faster, that much stronger. But now, on board the Nebuchanezzar, she had gradually become close to all of the crew, especially Morpheus. It was obvious he was like a father to her. Turning back to the screens, Tank began to type again.
A/N: If you get down here, thanks for reading! Please tell me if you think I should continue. Tell me what you liked, or what you didn't like. It's the only way I can improve.