Summary: Shadows leave an intangible imprint.
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Don't claim to. All hail the almighty Wachowskis for their ingenious creations. I'm just taking them for a walk while Warner Brothers is counting the takings. Don't even bother trying to sue, because I'm sure that the court case will cost more than the 50c you'll get from my dwindling bank account at the end of it.
A/N: A special shout to DFS and Zelda to whom this fic is dedicated and would not have been written without. Their guidance, and the inspiration I find in their writing, gives me the encouragement to do my bit for the resurrection of our great fandom. And another special mention to Syd and ZA, who are eternally inspirational in their literary stamina and extraordinary ability to get characterisation just right.
Blackness. The room was so small, suffocating almost. She lay on the tiny cot made for one, yet inexplicably so empty. As thoughts of a face from a dream world surfaced, a sudden wave of loneliness broke over her troubled mind. Loneliness was the friend of a soldier. Kept emotions at bay. Kept the mind clear and ready to dodge the next bullet. Loneliness paraded itself as a form of protection, refusing to be acknowledged as a false sense of security. And for Trinity, loneliness had become three steps close to comfortable as she fought to retain her independence at all costs.
Everything was on the line, and in a world where each soldier lived from one day to the next eating goop and running from sentinels, there was no certainty anymore. She knew that the future relied solely upon the end of the war. Which in turn relied solely upon finding him. The One.
It was hard to know what to believe these days about Morpheus' goddamn prophecy. Every time he spoke about it, his voice was filled with steely conviction and his eyes would seek a point in the distance as he lost himself in it all. It sounded epic and great and heroic, but the more times she heard his great speeches, the more she was beginning to wonder where it was all going in the end.
Once, she'd known what her own role in this epic plan was, but the longer she stayed in this cold ship, the more digitized deaths she was responsible for, the more people began to whisper about Morpheus being crazy... the more she began to doubt the faith she'd once instilled in her fearless leader. The more she had the dreams...
A long-forgotten conversation with the Oracle was now beginning to slowly creep its way back into her mind. That had been a distant foretelling, she thought as she stared at the ceiling. So long ago.
Maybe she was making too much out of it, blowing it out of all proportion. Maybe it had been the lighting and the dizzying cloud of weed smoke that haunted the corner of the club.
Or maybe yesterday changed everything.
For just a moment, when eyes locked and the world tilted, loneliness had become a distant emotion, before it came crashing down over her once again as she tore her eyes away from his.
Yesterday filled her mind.
If she closed her eyes in the darkness and let her mind wander, she could still see his eyes. Wide, brown and in some small way frigtened. But not guarded. Never guarded. She could feel his breath whisper against her neck as they stood, pressed to the wall in the darkest segment of the dingy club.
And then she would be startled awake by the sound of his voice.
But she was alone in the tiny room.
Countless hours of sleepless tossing made the tension in her mind unbearable. With only the Neb's standard issue ragged clothing and a light blanket, the cold had begun to seep into her. In a world where physical and mental were so far removed, only the icy air had found a way to slide into both domains. After another night shivering in the cold metal cabin, her resolve was beginning to freeze over once again.
She had never cared what others thought of her, committing herself to ambition alone. For a long time, she had hidden behind self-constructed walls of coldness, bricks and mortar substituted by authority and uneasy silence.
Some mistook it for frigidity, choosing easy dismissal of her apparent emotional deficit over understanding her as a person. Understanding that her position within the Resistance was as close to her heart as any person could ever be. There were few who truly appreciated her on this level, who understood the inherent equality between the responsibilities behind the rank and the woman behind the rank.
Weeks later, dreams had begun to blur her coldbluegreymetal reality with the warmgreenbrowndream reality. It was so dark, yet she could see his silhouette, hear his voice say her name, but could never see his face. Never his face. She walked towards him, hands and mind outstretched, but as she did, the silhouette dissolved. The blurring black changed into her own shadow, as she stood alone amongst the pulsating lights of a club, each strobe inducing a question in her mind.
It was in this dream alone that she allowed herself to scream.
The questions kept coming, and for the first time in her regimented and organised life, there we no real answers. No magic numbers to input, no command procedures to follow, just the guidance of a feeling over the guidance of her mind.
Finally giving up on the hope of getting any meaningful rest, she pulled on her boots, and strode silently to the observation station adjacent to the Core.
Behind the raining green, a man lay in darkness, halfway between dreams and reality. In his mind, the silhouette of a woman in black blurred in and out of his vision. He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out though his mind screamed one word.