A/N: It's hard to believe I'm finally posting this! I started writing this about a year and a half ago. It took me 10 months (of pretty consistent writing) to finish it! My immense thanks go out to Scottishlass, Ibonekoen, as well as Rae - all of whom I hold in the highest literary respect. Scottishlass gave up her own precious time to beta for me, Ibonekoen was always there to encourage me and give me ideas when I was blocked. =) I had set this aside for some time and was actually not going to post this, then prompted by Rae I took another look at it. I realized then that it was a lot better than I'd remembered! For that reason, you're now reading the first fan fic I ever wrote, even though I have a bunch posted already. At long last, enjoy!
"Do You Believe in Fate?"
She was scared, in fact she was too frightened to move. Her senses numbed so she felt little aside from increasing terror knotting in her gut, the dull pain behind her eyes from ceasing to blink, the pressure in her chest as she denied it movement to breath, all moisture lost from inside her mouth, her throat compressing, and her heart pulsating with erratic but augmenting intensity as the adrenaline flushed her blood cold.
Crack, crack, crack- the knuckles of his hand popped as he faced her with his stony, malevolent stare.
The sound made her aware of the lack of oxygen in her lungs. With a sharp inhalation she drew in the life giving air. At once she blinked her eyes, though only for a fraction of a second. Suddenly his head jerked, tearing his glare from her and placing it on the wall opposite them, as he listened with an appearance of annoyance and anger to his earpiece transmitting information to his database.
Without daring to take her eyes off him, she slowly let her breath out in an attempt to quell the pounding of her heart.
Never had a more welcome sound been heard by anyone, nor been heard at a more crucial momentshe realized as the shrill ring came from a mere few feet behind her. The short distance seemed almost immeasurable, though, as his glassy, unblinking eyes met with her fear filled ones at the unexpected noise. His thin lips centered below his high cheekbones showed no emotion, but his indifference almost scared her more. It meant he would not feel the slightest remorse in instantly ending her life, the life so newly released from the dream world she'd been trapped in for so long.
Go, NOW!She told herself, for her feet remained planted where they stood. Before he could even incline to make a forward advance, though, she was in the booth, phone in hand, without any recollection of how she got there.
Even feeling the cool liquid embrace of her reentry into the real world, she was unable to shake the raw terror coursing through her body. Afraid that somehow she hadn't made it back to the ship, she refused to open her eyes even as the long, cylindrical plug was carefully removed from her head. The sudden drop in temperature and familiar whirring of machines combined with scuffling of feet informed her of her security. Yet she lingered in darkness, not quite knowing what she was waiting for, but telling herself that she was procrastinating until her breathing and heart rate eased to a normal speed.
"Trinity…?" the voice was quiet, barely a whisper. It sounded concerned and cautious, but, to her surprise, she also detected something loving in it. The sensation that ran through her body at the sound of it told her how familiar it was, yet she could not place it. She focused on this voice and let it calm her mind, still rushed from the adrenaline.
"Hey, you all right kiddo?" Tank. She smiled as she allowed her eyelids to flutter open to the image of his kind face. Though her smile faded as she realized that his upbeat tone did not fit with the previous voice. The disconcerted looks from her other crewmates also concurred that no one else had spoken. Then who?
"We were all very worried Trinity, none of us detected that agent in the vicinity. I'm so sorry for keeping you until last to exit. In the future, I will stay behind to make sure this doesn't happen again." All other thoughts were pushed to the back of her mind as Morpheus's words sent the gripping fear, which had been overshadowed by the strange and unexpected voice, straight to her throat. With her voice constricted, all she could do was nod and give him a thankful look as she was escorted to her cabin.
Later, in the mess hall Morpheus expressed his remorse. "I feel awful that was her first experience in the Matrix! And she's only been with us for a year, hardly enough time for her to truly trust us." Switch nodded in understanding at his lament. "Things were going smoothly, but…" his voice trailed off as he averted his eyes to the table.
Switch usually spoke little, but her words carried meaning when they were given out. Her slight accent smoothed the words she delivered while she absently stirred the food in her dish. "There was nothing you could have done Morpheus, there comes a time for all of us. Hers just came sooner than most. She'll sleep it off, don't worry. In the morning you'll see." Quickly glancing at Apoc for some sign of approval, she looked directly at her captain who seemed to be chewing over her spoken thoughts.
"Yes, I suppose. I just hope." The other crew exchanged silent but meaningful glances.
In general, Morpheus was matter of fact, knowing that some things just happened. With this new freed mind, though, he seemed extra cautious. He seemed to take extra measures to risk harming her. There was something he saw in her, and the others had seen it too. She was not merely another young rebel looking for answers; she held a special destiny. I wonder if she knows just how special she is? Morpheus mused as he mentally left the table's conversation whose the topic had now turned to other subjects.