Computer codes in green.
An onslaught of computer codes strained across the screen, into the abyss of cyberspace. A blinking cursor pulsing in the electric darkness like a heart coursing with phosphorous light-- burning beneath the derma of the black-neon LCARS.
"Trinity to Seifer," a voice was traced.
"Seifer here," a male voice replied.
"Is everything in place?" the female voice, Trinity asked.
"You weren't supposed to relieve me," Seifer replied.
"I know, but I felt like taking a shift."
"You like him don't you? You like watching him?" the man's voice pushed.
"Don't be ridiculous," Trinity quickly said.
"We're going to kill him. You understand that?"
"Morpheus believes he is the one," she continued.
"It doesn't matter what I believe..."
"You don't, do you?" Seifer asked.
"...Did you hear that?"
"Are you sure this comm link is secure?"
"Yeah, of course I'm sure."
"--I better go," Trinity decided all but too late.
As the codes of numbers finally localized on her location, a small force of security officer's had tracked her down to Starbase 375. The station's systems had been failing, and the lights were knocked out mostly in the upper decks.
Four security guards were sent up to Deck 2, to take down the threat they had been informed of. They flashed their wrist lights through the darkness, aiming their phasers, as they closed in on Station Office 303.
One officer placed an emergency hand actuator upon the door, and used it to unlock the powerless entrance. Nodding to the others, he pulled the doors open-- to where they all quickly flooded into the room, aiming their lights and phasers at a desked Trinity.
"Freeze! Security!" An officer yelled.
"Hands on your head! Do it! ...Do it now!" Another one belted.
Trinity the stood up slowly, her back to the men, placing her hands upon the back of her head.
Meanwhile, out in cold space, a highly advanced Runabout had come to dock at the station. It passed by and parked next to the U.S.S. Excelsior. Inside the Docking Hall, people in black suits came from out the Runabout to meet with the rest of security in the Central Core Operations Centre.
Excelsior staff had been tipped off by these men in black suits... these people claiming to be a part of Section 31--- and had taken over the situation on the Starbase. At the Operation's table, one of the Agents approached the Lieutenant in charge.
"Lieutenant..." the lead Agent spoke out. "Lieutenant, you were given specific orders."
"Hey, I'm just doing my job," the man replied. "You gimme that Juris-my dick-tion crap, and you can cram it up your ass."
The Agent looked up, as if seeing through the Decks, "the orders were for your protection."
"Heh! Heh! I think we can handle one little girl," the officer said.
Having enough of this small talk, the Agent glanced over at his two other Agent followers and began walking toward the Turbolift.
"I sent two units," he continued, calling out to the Agents, "They're bringing her down now."
The lead Agent stopped for a moment, "No, Lieutenant... your men are already dead."
Up in Office 303, one of the security officers broke out the Starfleet hand-cuffs and was about to slap them onto Trinity’s wrists-- when Trinity suddenly spun around and grabbed the out-reaching security officer’s arm.
She quickly used her other arm to break it, and then she jabbed him in the face. “Augh!” - Trinity jumped up in mid air-- and, as if in slow-motion, she kicked the officer in the chest... sending him across the room and into the wall.
The other officer’s caught glimpse of this, but were too slow. Trinity kicked a chair into the second security officer, knocking him down. The third immediately started firing phaser beams at her, to which she ran to dodge. In fact, she ran along the walls in great speed, with a dragging beam along the wall behind her. She returned to the ground, next to the officer, and embedded her shoulder into his chest.
Trinity grabbed his arm while he continued firing and aimed it at the fourth security officer. The phaser beam knocked out his fellow officer, and she in turn knocked him out with a high-kick to his head. - When both security officer’s hit the ground, Trinity stopped to survey her work.
Down below, the Turbolift began carrying its black suited occupants up through the Station.
Trinity wasted no time in tapping her commbadge, and contacting her leader. - “Morpheus. The line was traced... I don’t know how.”
“I know,” came a voice reply. “They put up a dampening field. There’s no time. You’re going to have to get to another transport-site.”
“Are there any Agents?” Trinity asked.
“You have to focus, Trinity. There’s comm-link on the Excelsior. You can make it.”
“Alright...” Trinity finally said after placing some belief in herself.
“Go,” Morpheus ordered, already believing she could.
...And then she ran.
But out in the corridors, the turbolift doors were opening. The Agents had found her, and began running. Trinity stopped in her tracks and then turned a corner. She ran as fast as she could... until finding a ladder to the next Deck.
She climbed it to an upper level docking corridor, and began running there. The Agents and a second batch of security officers followed the same path. They made their way to the docking corridor, where all the airlocks to other ships were.
Running past airlock, after airlock, the Agents and officers were keeping up pretty well. One officer fell over a pack of cargo-cases, sitting next to an airlock, but the others just continued running. There was no other way to catch her, since transporters were inhibited by the placed dampening field.
Finally, Trinity ran to the airlock she’d been looking for: one not connected to any starship. An Agent stopped to blast a phaser beam at her, but missed to only hit the edge of the airlock. Trinity quickly tapped at the panel and power-kicked the airlock open-- blowing air out into the vastness of space.
She blew herself out into space, followed by the lead Agent who also allowed himself to be blown into space right after her. The force fields went up, as the officer’s stopped right before them. They could see the two flying through space, and Trinity landed into the hull of the U.S.S. Lexington.
“That’s impossible!” One of the officer’s observed in shock.
Trinity hid behind an architectural structure of the Lexington, as the Agent landed himself onto the same hull as her. He held up his phaser, and began walking the hull slowly in search.
Meanwhile, Trinity, holding her breath and keeping her warmth, more super-humanly than known to any man, saw the Agent coming for her. She returned to her position and began to think fast... and then she saw the U.S.S. Excelsior.
This was her only chance.
She pushed herself off the edge of her hiding spot and began running the hull of the Lexington. She continued pushing her self faster and faster along the hull, eventually leaping out into the cold of space again. She flew across until breaking through the windows of the Excelsior.
Inside, force fields went up to save the air, as she crashed into the empty living quarters of some officer. Tables and couches were knocked away, as she pulled out her own phasers and aimed them at the window.... expecting the Agent to have followed her.
From the floor, she continued to aim... “Get up, Trinity... Get up!”
Out in the shuttle bay of the Excelsior, Trinity had used a tricorder to locate the secure transport site. She went to tap her commbadge, when one of the shuttles were suddenly activated.
Looking to her right, she could see the shuttle lifting off the ground and then gaining speed toward her. Trinity immediately tapped her commbadge for an exit, and began materializing!
The Shuttle went right through her position and smashed into the wall! The back doors opened and two Agents stepped out to survey the frontal damage. There was no sign of Trinity in the wreckage.
“She got out,” an Agent said.
“It doesn’t matter,” the lead Agent replied.
“The informant is real,” the other Agent continued.
Finally, the third Agent approached them, “We have the name of their next target.”
“The name is... Neo,” the other Agent stated.
“We need to search for him,” the lead Agent said.
“It has already begun,” the third Agent reassured.
Elsewhere, the U.S.S. Enterprise - E was docked at Deep Space 9. An Ensign had fallen asleep at his messy laptop desk in his Quarters. The screen before him suddenly went black and began listing words.
‘Wake up, Neo...’ the first line said.
Ensign Anderson just happened to be waking up, and saw this on his screen. He lifted his head slowly.
‘The Matrix has you...’ another line typed out.
“What the hell?” the groggy Ensign said. He tried clearing the screen, but another line came out.
‘Follow the white rabbit.’
He tried clearing it again, but was unsuccessful.
‘Knock, knock, Neo.’
Just then the doorbell chirp to his quarters went off. The screen went blank, and the Ensign knew he had company. “Who is it?”
“Anthony,” a muffled reply came form outside.
The Ensign went to his door, labeled 101, and opened it. Out in the hall were a small group of wildly-dressed Catullans, Tiburons, and Humans. The main leader leaned against the door-frame with his arm around his girlfriend.
“You’re two hours late,” the Ensign said.
“I know... it’s her fault,” the main leader, Anthony, said.
“You got the latinum?” the Ensign asked.
Anthony reached into his jacket and pulled it out, “Two bars.”
“Hold on,” the Ensign took it and went inside his Quarters. On a shelf he pulled out a case, and from inside took out a small chip. He put the latinum down and took the chip to the door.
For a Starfleet officer, latinum usually supplied no purpose. But for Ensign Anderson, it helped serve his renegade hacker ways.
The Ensign re-opened the doors and handed over the chip.
“Halleluiah! You’re my savior, man,” Anthony said. “My own personal Kahless, or Surak.”
“You get caught using that...”
Anthony nodded, beginning to walk away with his group, “Yeah I know. This never happened. You don’t exist.”
“Something wrong, man? You look a little more wired than usual.”
“My computer-- it... Heh. You ever have that feeling... where you’re not sure you’re awake or still dreaming?”
Anthony nodded, “All the time. Hey, it just sounds to me like you need to unplug, man. You know, get some R and R? ...Hey what do you think Dujour,” he said to his girlfriend, “Should we take him with us?”
Dujour looked him over and replied, “Definitely.”
“I can’t... I have a shift tomorrow.”
“Come on,” Dujour said, putting her arm around Anthony, “It’ll be fun. I promise.”
Ensign Anderson sighed in conflict, but suddenly noticed a white-rabbit tattoo on Dujour’s shoulder. He then replied, “Yeah. Sure. I‘ll go.”
In one of the Ferengi rogue ship’s docked at Deep Space 9, a large darkened party was being held. Loud pulsating music blasted through the audio channels, allowing many paid young visitors to dance and go wild.
The Ensign leaned against the wall at some vague corner, thinking to himself... working out his troubles-- when suddenly an attractive young female approached him.
“Hello, Neo,” she said.
“How do you know that name?”
“I know a lot about you,” she continued.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Trinity.”
“Trinity...” he had to think, “The Trinity... that cracked Starfleet Headquarters?”
“That was a long time ago,” Trinity replied.
“I just thought-- um... you were a guy.”
“Most guy’s do.”
“That was you on my computer,” he began to realize, “How did you do that?”
“Right now,” she got closer to him, “All I can tell you... is that you’re in danger. I brought you here to warn you.”
“They’re watching you, Neo... I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing. I know why you hide in your sleep. Why you live alone, and why night after night you sit at your computer. You’re looking for him... I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him; I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.”
The Ensign... Neo, was following her words closely. He did know the question. “What is the Matrix?” He said.
“The answer is out there, Neo. It’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.” She pulled away from him, and before he knew it... it was morning.
The computer in Neo’s quarter’s continued to state the time. He was in bed, late for his shift. Unable to report to his posting in time, Neo was called to the Captain’s Ready Room.
“Do you have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson?” Picard sat back in his chair and asked. “Do you believe you are special... that somehow the rules do not apply to you?”
“No, sir,” Neo replied. “Not at all.”
Captain Picard then widened his eyes, “Oh. Perhaps Maddox has been exaggerating again.”
“I guess I could say, I’ve enjoyed being on the Enterprise. I mean... it is the top ship of the entire Federation fleet. Every Officer understands they’re part of a whole. If I had a problem, I guess the ship would have a problem.”
“I suppose you could put it that way. According to Commander Maddox, he would like you to make a choice, Mr. Anderson. He said, either you choose to be at your position on time, from this day forward, or you choose to find yourself another posting,” Picard said.
“You’ve made yourself perfectly clear, sir,” Neo replied.
Picard nodded, “I think Maddox has been playing it a bit hard on the crew lately. He needs to lighten up, don’t you think?”
Neo looked at him in confusion.
“I’ll speak to him. In the meantime, you’re dismissed.”
The Ensign had returned to the bowels of the ship, taking a console in Engineering. As he began to tap at it incessantly, a crewmen from another department approached him.
“Yeah, that’s me,” the Ensign replied, looking over.
The crewmen had a package on him and gave it. There, he prepared a padd for a thumbprint. The Ensign implemented his thumbprint and received the package.
“Great. Have a nice day,” the crewmen finished and walked off.
But the Ensign was left shocked and ill by the comment, fearing that perhaps his assumptions at how great he was supposed to feel on this ship were wrong.
He opened the package, suddenly finding an odd looking commbadge. Out of nowhere, the commbadge chirped. Neo tapped the commbadge, causing it to automatically open bigger, and said, “Hello?”
“Hello, Neo. Do you know who this is?”
Neo only had one hunch... “Morpheus?”
“Yes. I’ve been looking for you, Neo. I don’t know if you’re ready to see what I want to show you, but unfortunately you and I have run out of time. They’re coming for you, Neo, and I don’t know what they’re going to do.”
“Who’s coming for me?”
“Turn the corner and see for yourself.”
“What... right now, during my shift?”
“Yes. Now... Do it slowly. Near the turbolift.”
Neo peaked his head around the corner and saw three Section 31 Agents speaking to Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge. He was appalled at their sudden appearance in Engineering, ready to call Security. The Agents turned their heads in Neo’s direction, causing Neo to duck back behind his area.
The Agents began walking towards Neo’s position.
“What the hell do they want from me?”
“I don’t know, but if you don’t want to find out I suggest you get out of there.”
“I can guide you, but you must do exactly as I say.”
“The Warp core Station to your left is empty... Go, now!”
Neo ducked and ran to the next computer station. As the Agent’s arrived, they found he was gone.
“Stay here for just a moment.”
The Agents thought they heard a comm voice, and looked around. They eventually decided to split up and search Engineering.
“When I tell you; go to the level of Engineering and take the Jeffery’s Tubes to the Nacelle Control room. Stay low to the floor.”
Neo nodded in fear.
Neo continually kept ducked and ran up the ladder to the next level. None of the Agents had noticed. He made his way through the Jeffery’s Tubes to the Nacelle Control room on another Deck. The Agents had infiltrated the Corridors and were not far off.
Just then one of the Agents began making their way to the Nacelle Control Room.
“Good. Now, up the stairs is a cat-walk.”
“How do you know all this?”
“We don’t have time, Neo. To your left are stairs. Go up them. If you wait up on the cat-walk, the Agent will not see you.”
“No way! No way! This is crazy.”
“There are two ways to loose these Agents. One way is that cat-walk, the other is their custody. You take a chance either way. I leave it to you.” Then the commbadge clicked off, leaving Neo to his own devices.
“This is insane... why is this happening to me? What did I do?” Neo began talking to himself as he stepped up the stairs to the cat-walk. Down below he could see the deadly plasma stream created by the Nacelle. As the Agent entered the room to have a glimpse around, Neo dropped his commbadge into the plasma stream. It was immediately incinerated; never to be seen again. “I can’t do this,” he finally decided, and allowed himself to be captured by the Agents.
Out in space, a small fighter ship next to Deep Space 9 took notice to an advanced looking runabout undocking the Enterprise. The runabout suddenly cloaked itself, out of sight.
“Shit,” Trinity said from within the fighter ship, and jumped it to warp.
Her scans before the cloak, showed they had Neo.
Inside the runabout, Neo was left alone at the table in the Briefing Room. Then entered the Agents. The lead one, Agent Smith, took a seat across the table from Neo.
He threw down a padd of the Ensign’s records and began sifting through them.
“As you can see, we’ve had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems you’ve been living two lives. In one life, you’re Thomas A. Anderson, Engineering programmer for a highly powerful Federation Starship. You have a Registration number, you go to ship events, and you help your Quarter-master carry out her decomposed replicator rations.” The Agent then sifted through the padd again. “The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker-alias Neo and you’re guilty of virtually every computer crime the Federation has a law for. One of these lives has a future... and one of them does not.”
Neo was getting edgy now. The truth was out.
“I’m going to be as forthcoming as I can be, Mr. Anderson,” the Agent continued. “You’re here because we need your help. We know that you’ve been contacted by a certain individual. A man who calls himself Morpheus. Whatever you think you know about this man is irrelevant. He is considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive. My colleagues believe that I’m wasting my time with you, but I believe you wish to do the right thing. We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start - and all that we’re asking in return is your co-operation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo nodded in understanding, although he seemed to understand something else entirely. “Yeah. Well that sounds like a really good deal. But I think I got a better one. How about... I give you the finger? And you give me my subspace transmission?”
The Agent sighed, “Mr. Anderson... you disappoint me.”
“You can’t scare me with this Obsidian Order crap. I know my rights. I want my subspace transmission.”
“Tell me, Mr. Anderson,” the Agent began, “what good is a subspace transmission if you’re unable to present your face?”
Just then, parts of Neo’s face began to patch up... his mouth was suddenly covered by skin... then his nose, and almost his eyes. Neo tried to scream but couldn’t. The other Agents grabbed him and slammed him against the table, opening his uniform.
“You’re going to help us, Mr. Anderson,” Agent Smith said, taking out a nano-probe creature, “Whether you want to, or not.”
He placed the Nano Probe Creature over Neo’s belly button where it squirmed its way inside!
Neo woke up completely out of breath in his bed in his Quarters. It all seemed like a nightmarish dream. But his commbadge went off, and he was hesitant to tap it.
“This signal is tapped, so I must be brief,” Morpheus said. “They got to you first, but they under-estimated how important you are. If they knew what I know, you would probably be dead.”
“What are you talking about?” Neo asked. “What is happening to me?”
“You are the one Neo. You see, you may have spent the last two years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you. Now do you still want to meet?”
“Then go to the Deep Space 9 docking ring.”
At the Docking Ring, after hours, Neo waited at an airlock until a small Shuttle connected with it. The doors opened and Trinity was there with a few others.
“Get in,” she said.
Neo hesitated, but entered the Shuttle. He was immediately met with a phaser-rifle by one of the other people.
“What the hell is this?” the Ensign asked.
Trinity looked over, “It’s necessary, Neo. For our protection.”
Trinity replied, “From you.”
“Take off your uniform top,” the woman with the rifle ordered.
“What?” Neo said in shock.
“Don’t undock yet,” the woman ordered the Helmsmen. “Listen to me, Federation, we don’t have time to play 20 questions. Right now there’s only one rule... our way, or the hallway.”
“Fine,” Neo replied, ready to step back into Deep Space 9.
But he was stopped by Trinity. “Please, Neo. You have to trust me.”
“Why?” Neo asked.
Trinity held his arm back in hopes, “Because you have been down there, Neo. You know that corridor. You know exactly where it ends. And I know that’s not where you want to be.”
Neo hesitated but returned back into the shuttle. The shuttle then undocked the station and sped off.
“Apoc, lights,” Trinity ordered the helmsmen. The lights went brighter, and Trinity pulled out a gastly device. “Lie back, lift up your uniform top.”
“What is that thing?” Neo asked. “It looks like ancient technology.”
“We think you’re bugged,” Trinity responded as she placed a tube-part of it over his belly button. “Try and relax,” she began plugging in parts of it, to get it going. “Come on... come on...” The rustic device began scanning his stomach, in search for the Nano Probe Creature.
“It’s on the move,” the woman holding the phaser rifle said. “You’re gonna lose it!”
“No I’m not...” Trinity said, focused. “Clear!” She electrically charged the device against Neo’s stomach, causing him immense pain.
“Uuughhh!!” The Creature was suddenly sucked out through his belly button, into the device. “Almighty Changelings, that thing’s real!?”
Trinity the tapped at the control panel and had it beamed out into space where it died.
The Shuttle finally approached a small and rural Starbase orbiting Bringloid V. It was completely ruined due too solar flares. Neo and Trinity made their way inside, taking a Turbolift to the Station’s main Command Centre.
Before they stepped out, she stopped him. “This is it. Let me give you one piece of advice... Be honest. He knows more than you can imagine.”
They then entered the Command Centre and saw Morpheus staring out a window to the planet and flaring sun in the distance. He turned to them and smiled... “At last.” They approached each other, “Welcome, Neo. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus.”
“It’s an honour to meet you,” Neo outstretched his hand.
“No. The honour is mine,” Morpheus shook it. “Please... come, sit.” He lead Neo to two Command Chairs, turned to face each other. Trinity took that as her cue to leave. “I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice... tumbling down the rabbit hole? Hm?”
“You could say that,” Neo replied.
“I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man that accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?”
“Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” Morpheus said before taking a seat aswell. “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life; that there’s something wrong with the universe. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there... like a splinter in your mind... driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me.” They shared a pause, over this mysterious conversation. “Do you know what I’m talking about?”
“The Matrix?” Neo asked.
Then Morpheus went for the big question: “Do you want to know what it is?”
Neo nodded hesitantly.
“The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now in this very Command Centre. You can see it when you look out your window... or when you go to 10-Forward. You can feel it when you take your shift... when you visit Bajoran Shrines; when you go to ship events. It is the universe that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
“What truth?” Neo dared to ask.
Morpheus leaned in, “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage; born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. You’re in a prison for your mind.” Morpheus leaned back again and sighed. “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.” Morpheus opened a box he was holding, and placed two metallic rods in each of his fists.
He leaned forward again.
“This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back.” He opened his left hand, “You take the blue hypospray: The story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe... whatever you want to believe.” He opened his left hand, “You take the red hypospray: You stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Neo almost hesitated, but began to reach for the right hand.
“--Remember,” Morpheus interrupted, “all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
Neo then proceeded to take the red hypospray. He slowly brought it to his neck and administered the truth-- as he did so, the solar flares from out the window crackled and ignited in the far distance.
When it was over, Morpheus got up, “Follow me.”
Neo followed Morpheus into the upper area of Command Centre. There, the rest of his crew were already at work on the station’s and computer consoles.
“Apoc, are we online?” Morpheus asked.
“Almost,” Apoc replied.
Morpheus led Neo around the computer consoles, “Time is always against us. Please, take a seat there,” he gestured to a medical chair, set up next to all the equipment.
Neo allowed them to take his uniform jacket off, and he took a seat. “You did all this?” Neo asked Trinity as she was placing adhesives on his skin.
“Mhm,” she said.
“The hypo you took is part of a trace program,” Morpheus began explaining, “it’s designed to disrupt your input-output carrier signal so we can pin-point your location.”
“What does that mean?” Neo asked.
“It means, buckle your seatbelt Dorothy... cause Kansas is going bye-bye,” Seifer added as the flares outside the window lit up.
The others tended to glance at each other at this reality. Knowing what Neo was about to step into.
Neo looked down in thought, and decided to take a deep breath. The wires were already attached to him for some odd reason, and he had no idea what they were for. --He then glanced to his right, where a cracked LCARS console showed his reflection. Some of the damaged equipment in this place must’ve been due to shaky solar flares.
As he peered at it, he could have sworn he saw the cracked element repair itself. “Did you--?” He almost asked someone, but couldn’t form the question. Morpheus walked over, and watched as Neo attempted to put his finger against the console. It suddenly was a sticky liquid, which attached to his finger as he pulled on it.
“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference from the dream world and the real world?” Morpheus said.
Neo pulled enough to rid himself of the sticking apparent liquid console surface. On his finger was some of that liquid console surface, remaining there. It began growing and coating his hand, “This can’t be...”
“Be what? Be real?” Morpheus asked.
It began to coat his arm now, as he feared what it was beginning to do.
“It’s going into replication,” Trinity warned.
“Apoc?” Morpheus asked.
“Still nothing,” Apoc replied.
“It’s cold... it’s cold...” Neo was starting to panic as the coating was encompassing his upper body. It began taking his neck.
Morpheus tapped his commbadge, “Tank, we’re going to need a signal soon.”
“I got a fibrillation,” Trinity warned this time.
“Apoc, location?” Morpheus pushed.
“Targeting, almost there,” Apoc said as he worked his control panels.
The coating was reaching Neo’s mouth now, “He’s going into arrest,” Trinity called.
“Lock! I got ‘em,” Apoc said.
“Now Tank, now,” Morpheus belted.
The coating had already entered Neo’s body, but Neo got luckly.
He awoke inside a liquid-filled chamber. Tubes and tubes were attatched all around his body for sustenance. The question was, who’s sustenance?
Neo broke out the sticky thin layer of organic material that encompassed his chamber, and he pulled a large tube from out his mouth. His body was completely different, naked, and covered in disgusting goo. He then was about to pull another large tube from out the back of his head, when he noticed more chambers to his left.
He looked down and up before him, and saw that his chamber was a part of a trillion others connected to large and tall structures. Electrical currents riding each one.
A hovering machine, the maintenance drone for this area, caught sight of Neo’s awakening and scanned him. It reached out an insect-like machine-arm and grabbed Neo by the neck. It then allowed the tube in the back of his head to be pulled out. Letting go now, the drone hovered away.
“Uggh!” The rest of the tubes popped out of Neo, and he was sucked down a tunnel in his chamber through the tall structure.
Sliding through this tunnel, violently, Neo was eventually deposited into a pool of waste at the bottom.
Above him appeared lights that belong to a hover-ship of some sort. It launched a grappling claw that picked him out of the water and pulled him into the ship.
Inside the ship was Morpheus and his crew, dressed in worse clothing, including dark sweaters. They picked up Neo to take care of him. “Welcome... to the real world.”
“We’ve done it Trinity. We’ve found him.” Morpheus’ voice said, as Neo attempted to open his eyes. He was laying on a stale medical bed of some sort.
“I hope you’re right,” Trinity replied.
“You don’t have to hope. I know it.”
“Am I dead?” Neo asked.
“Far from it,” Morpheus replied.
Time passed again.
Neo was now covered in acupuncture needles, all over his body.
“He still needs a lot of work,” someone said.
“What are you doing?” Neo asked in a weak state.
“Your muscles have atrophied. We are rebuilding them,” Morpheus explained.
“Why do my eyes hurt?”
“You’ve never used them before,” Morpheus said. “Rest, Neo. The answers are coming.”
Time passed again and again. The tube connections on his body were removed one after the other... all except the one in the back of his head.
When it was over, Neo was sleeping in his own personal Quarters. Although they were small and appeared to be the Quarters on an ancient Earth submarine.
He woke up and pulled out one last tube from his arm. Then felt the back of his head and...
The door to his Quarters cracked open and Morpheus entered.
“Morpheus, what’s happened to me?” Neo asked seriously. “What is this place?”
“More important than what... is when.”
“You believe it’s the year 2382... when in fact it’s closer to 2182. I can’t tell you exactly what year it is, because we honestly don’t know. There’s nothing I can say that will explain it for you. Neo. Come with me. See for yourself.”
Morpheus took Neo up some ladders into the main Control Deck.
“This is my ship,” he said, “the Nebuchadnezzar. It's a hovercraft. This is the main Deck.”
Neo walked through, looking at all the primitive technology in shock.
“This is the core,” Morpheus said, “where we broadcast our pirate signal and hack into the Matrix... Most of my crew, you already know.”
He walked by Trinity, and then was introduced to more people.
“This is Apoc... Switch... and Seifer.”
“Hi,” Seifer said.
“The ones you don’t know,” Morpheus continued, “Tank... and his big brother Dozer. The little one behind you is Mouse.” Morpheus then walked over, “You wanted to know what the Matrix is, Neo?” He then turned. “Trinity.”
Trinity came over and led Neo to a terrible looking chair. It was connected into the ship’s systems by ugly black cords.
“Try to relax,” Morpheus said as Neo was sat back on it. “This will feel... a little weird.”
A sharp link was connected into the back of his head and a program was activated. Neo found himself in a white abyss. He looked around for a moment and found Morpheus standing there in a suit.
“This is the Construct. It’s our loading program. We can load anything from clothing... to equipment... to weapons... Training simulations, anything we need.”
A bunch of chairs and a TV were suddenly layed out between them.
“Right now... we’re inside a computer program?” Neo asked.
“Is it really so hard to believe?” Morpheus asked. “Your clothes are different the plugs in your arms and head are gone. Your hair is changed. Your appearance now is what we call residual self image. It is the mental projection of your digital self.”
Neo walked over to the chairs... “This, this isn’t real? I’ve never seen anything like it before.” Then he thought back to his life on the Enterprise. “Wait a second, I have--”
“What is real?” Morpheus interrupted. “How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, touch, taste, and see? Then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
“I completely understand. You see on the Enterprise we have holode--”
But Morpheus interrupted him again and picked up the remote control, “Hold that thought. This is the world you know.” He clicked the TV on, showing a view of New York: clean and safe. “The world as it was at the end of the 20th Century.”
“I never lived at that time,” Neo said.
“Precisely. The possible future of that time, presented in the 24th Century, exists now only as a neural-interactive simulation that we call the Matrix.”
Neo looked at Morpheus in shock.
“You’ve been living in a dream universe, Neo,” Morpheus said as he turned off the TV. “This is the universe as it exists today...”
He re-activated the TV, where an image of just Earth, and then its major cities were demolished. Neo and Morpheus suddenly found themselves within this environment now.
“Welcome... to the desert of the real,” Morpheus said with open arms. “We have only bits and pieces of information. But what we know for certain, is that at some point in the early 21st Century, all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to A.I.”
“A.I.? You mean artificial intelligence?” Neo asked.
“A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. You think your... Doctor Noonien Soong had it, but that was just a clever rouse...” they shared a look, “We... don’t know who struck first: us, or them? But we know that it was us that scorched the sky.”
As he pointed up at the dark clouds overhead, Neo was already getting very sick.
“At the time, they were dependent on solar power, and it was believed that they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun. Throughout human history we have been dependant on machines to survive. Fate it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”
As he looked away, images of baby’s trapped inside pink human-pods flashed by.
“The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery, and over 25-thousand BTU’s of body-heat. Combined with a form of fusion, the machines had found all the energy they would ever need.”
The images before them now began showing machines, cultivating the human-pods.
“There are fields, Neo, endless fields where human beings are no longer born... we are grown. For the longest time, I wouldn’t believe it; and then I saw the fields with my own eyes: watched them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living-- and standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth.”
They had finally returned to the white space, where the TV lay.
“What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer generated dream world; built to keep us under control, in order to change a human being into this,” he held up a power-cell as an example.
“No...” Neo shook his head in sickly disbelief, “I don’t believe it. It’s not possible.”
“I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.”
“Stop-- Lemme out. Lemme out! I want out!!!”
Neo was then released from the simulation. He was panicking and losing breath. Trinity and Doser were tr