What Were You Doing?

Disclaimer: I do not own The Matrix. If I did, I might consider making a sequel as that was such a great movie. As it stands though, there is sadly only the one.

"I have to get inside Zion and you have to tell me how. You are going to tell me…or you are going to die…" Agent Smith whispered menacingly.

"And…what then?" Morpheus asked, acknowledging the Agent's presence for the first time.

"What then?" Smith repeated, confused.

"What if I tell you? Are you just going to let me go free? You know I'll just find another way out. Are you going to imprison me? That seems like it would take quite a bit of work on your end and there's always a risk I'll convince someone else of the truth. Are you going to promise me what you always promise traitors? The chance to go back into the Matrix with my memory nice and neatly erased? I don't know if you can do that, but if you can…I've made a life for myself freeing others and tracking down the One who can destroy all of this. What makes you think I won't find the truth again? Erasing my memory and then imprisoning me for my 'crimes' seems the most viable, but even then, it's far more…efficient to simply kill me," Morpheus pointed out, remarkably calm, given his situation.

"Are you accusing us of being inefficient?" Smith bristled. "You? A mere human? And a 'resistance fighter' at that! You're an experienced and motivation leader, I'll give you that, and you sacrificed yourself and who knows how many others for the sake of one man who does not even believe the fairy tales you spew of a breaking the laws of the Matrix."

Morpheus eyed the Agent curiously and cocked his head. "You're getting rather worked up over this. I've seen my share of Agents over the years. They're always calm. Sociopathic. You, however, are getting riled rather easily. It seems almost…human."

Enraged, Smith struck Morpheus across the face. Spitting blood, the Captain of the Nebakanezer nevertheless managed a smile. "A very emotional reaction to a rather obvious taunt," he said simply.

"Fine, yes, you'll die either way," Smith conceded, getting back on track. "But you can either die now quickly or we can make your death lasts weeks while we bleed you dry. Pick your poison."

"I will never betray humanity," Morpheus declared. "And you won't get weeks. My crew will pull the plug once they see there is no other option."

"Your crew isDEAD," Smith taunted.

"Neo isn't," Morpheus said confidently.

" 'The One' or not, he is a still a human and as such will die as easily as any other. I'm sure The Informant made sure to dispose of him first," Smith replied, equally confident.

"Who is The Informant?" Morpheus asked.

"You mean you still don't know?" Smith sounded amused.

Morpheus shook his head. "I love my crew like family and would trust them with my life."

"You mistake," Smith pointed out coolly.

Ignoring him, Morpheus continued, "I honestly cannot imagine any of them selling out like this. And for what? To be plugged back in? I gave them all the chance to turn back and they all rejected it."

"The Informant could barely get a sentence out without some reference to the fact that he wished you had not removed him from the Matrix," Smith told his prisoner.

"Cypher?" Morpheus said, horrified. "No…"

"Is it really so hard to believe?" Smith asked. "Humans are weak. An Agent would never do such a thing."

"Because at the first sign of dissent you 'delete' them," Morpheus shot back.

"And that is why our positions will never be reversed and we will never suffer a betrayal." A pause. "You didn't answer my question."

"I…suppose if there was a betrayal, then it would be Cypher," Morpheus admitted at last. "But still, I don't see why…"

"Our world is better than yours," Smith said smugly. "From what I've heard, you don't explain what a wasteland you turned the physical world into and just lure unsuspecting prey with pretty promises of 'understanding' what is 'wrong with' the world. There is NOTHING wrong that humanity does not need or you do not cause. And creature comforts! Never underestimate the persuasive power of a forty dollar steak."

"Cypher betrayed us…for luxuries? They aren't real!" Morpheus protested.

"Define 'real'," Smith challenged. "As you say, if you've been in a dream your whole life, how would you know any better? Our world is good enough for over six billion people. If you should ever… 'win', let us say, they will not be pleased to be forced into the wasteland you so cherish."

"You call it a wasteland?" Morpheus asked rhetorically. "Fine, maybe it is. But it has been well over a century since this cycle began. You are virtually alone on the planet. How is it that you've made NO progress fixing the world? Surely if the technology to unblock the sun does not exist yet, you could create it since the need is so pressing. Admit it: you don't need to enslave us. You want to. It's pretty and vindictive and oh so very human."

"Humanity cannot be trusted with the physical world after the mess you left it in last time," Smith said stiffly. "Earth is the only 'home' we have, after all."

Morpheus barked out a laugh. "Do you honestly think we could make things any worse?"

"Humanity always makes things worse. It's in your very nature," Smith said contemptuously. "Your oh so very viral nature."

Morpheus looked annoyed. "I'm not sure where you got your definition of mammal from but it is NOT 'develops a natural equilibrium with their environment.' A mammal has four traits: warm-blooded, vertebrate, possessing hair or fur, and have live young. I'm not entirely sure what your… 'crop-growing' has done to mess with that, but when left to our own devices, we fit the category perfectly. You Agents, on the other hand…"

Smith looked highly affronted. "We are not viruses!" he insisted.

"You're not?" Morpheus raised his eyebrows. "You seem to fit the bill better than we do. Viruses aren't alive, you aren't alive. Viruses are parasites, since you refuse to work towards restoring the sun, you cannot live without us and trust me when I tell you we can get along just fine without you. Even by your admittedly skewed definition of moving to an area and multiplying until every natural resource is destroyed…well we didn't destroy the planet by ourselves, did we? No, when it was just us the worse you got was the urban sprawl you recreated. I don't know who struck first in this little war of ours but we created you. If we saw you as useful, we would not have attacked. Therefore, if we started it, you must have been a threat. You're not innocent in this."

"I never said we were," Smith replied shortly. "But aside from a few…glitches, people are unquestionably happier here. Your Zion is now a threat to us."

"What use have you for Zion?" Morpheus asked. "You want the mainframe? What if you destroy it? You'll never get out of here."

"Don't say that!" Smith hissed.

"Why not? It's true, after all," Morpheus replied. "I don't know how the resistance was started, but I do know this: someone found their way out alone once and given enough time, someone will do it again. We never have any shortage of potentials to save. Most people are blind, but enough aren't. You will always need to be here, always need to be on your guard against them."

"Once we know longer have to worry about your interference they will cease to be anything resembling a threat," Smith gritted out. "And if they should become one, we will eliminate them."

"There will ALWAYS be more," Morpheus vowed. "Always."

Enraged again, Smith put both hands on Morpheus's head and attempted to crush it.

"…What were you doing?" Agent Jones asked, returning to the room with news of Neo and Trinity's rescue attempt.

Smith wisely chose not to answer.

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