Ancillary Program

by: Narsus
original is *here*

Disclaimers: They belong to the Wachowski brothers, Time-Warner and whoever else…

1st Continuation part to “Separate Lives”. Won’t make sense unless you’ve read it first.

A small group of ‘freeded’ humans stood in a room in what appeared to be a deserted shop. Two women, three men. One of the women appeared to be arguing with one of the men. They were trying to whisper so only scraps of conversation floated past.

“…too risky…”

“…need to be sure…”

“…can’t risk it…”

The man snorted and turned away from the woman. He addressed the group, waving a computer print-out for emphasis, “We need to be sure that this ancillary program isn’t a threat.”

“So you’re going after it!” the woman burst out.

“We need to know what it is. You said so yourself and the only way to do that is to access the Mainframe.”

“Do you have any idea how may Agents you’d have to get past to do that?!” she sounded both incredulous and panicked.

“This tracking program is too effective. We need to shut it down!”

“Fine then!” the woman turned away, picking up the telephone receiver. The two women and one of the men disappeared back into the real world. Of the remaining two, only the man with the print out looked confident.

 

In a stark white room several banks of monitors flickered. One particular monitor stopped running code and changed to display Agent Brown seemingly holding a staring contest with a security camera. Nodding to himself Brown turned back towards the rest of the room. He looked first to Jones, who had been leaning against a wall, then to Smith who sat rigidly at the table in the centre of the room. Jones moved towards the door. Smith’s only response was to spread his fingers out and lay his hands flat on the table. “Today.” He said “Today is important.”

Brown considered this, he supposed it might be.

 

The two humans watched from across the road as the three Agents filled out of the building, got into a car and drove off.

“Good.”

“Good? What about all the other Agents in that building?”

“From our reports those are the three assigned to Mainframe patrol, so if they’re not there…”

“I hope you’re right.”

 

Breaking into the building that served as central command here in the Matrix wasn’t as difficult as the humans though it would have been.

“Are you sure this isn’t a trap?”

“How could it be? It’s not as if they know we’re here.”

A gunshot sounded along the length of the corridor. A glance was enough to confirm that Jones was stood at the end of the corridor with a row of SWAT team officers behind him. The humans dived round the corner and began to run towards the lifts. Behind them came the steady sound of marching feet. Apparently the SWAT team weren’t in a particular hurry.

 

As the lift doors closed both humans looked at eachother aghast.

“They knew! We’re trapped!”

“Calm down. If we can reach the Mainframe… If we can reach the Mainframe and shut down enough Agents…”

“You think we can?”

 

The 28th floor appeared to be empty, though both humans treaded wearily along the length of the corridors. The hidden security cameras turned to watch their progress. The mirrored length of one wall made them both jump.

 

Behind the mirrored wall, Brown and Smith watched the humans’ progress.

“They intend to shut down the Mainframe” Smith stated.

“Yes.” A pause “They do not seem to realise the enormity of their task.” The corner of Brown’s lips quirked in what, had he been human, would have been the beginnings of a smile.

One of Smith’s eyebrows gravitated upwards slightly, in response, “I do not think they will get very far.”

“They never do.” Came Jones’ response through their earpieces.

Had any of the Agents been inclined to laugh, now would have been the time that they would have done so.

 

The humans made their way further along the corridors unhindered. Near panic fuelling their movements. One was about to speak when their heard a voice coming from one of the corridors adjoining the one they were in. Brown’s voice was heard distinctly, “Secure corridor 2A.” Both men began to move more quickly, now they had the exact location of the Mainframe access terminal.

 

“Knight to d3.” A female voice echoed through the Agents’ communication system. Smith began to walk with a slow measured tread towards the Mainframe access terminal. The humans had just disappeared inside the room leading to the terminal room when he reached the door.

 

Inside the first room the humans were looking for a way to operate the door mechanism with barred them from the Mainframe. They managed to unlock the door and one had entered the Mainframe room.

 

“Bishop to d2.”

Brown entered the room from a previously concealed entrance. The human inside the Mainframe room suddenly pulled the door shut. Effectively trapping his companion inside the other room with Brown. He was forced to turn away from the security glass portal in the door when Brown pulled the trigger.

If only he could shut down the Mainframe or at least erase this Ancillary Program used to track them…

“Knight to d1.” Came a female voice in front of him. The human looked up to see a woman sat in front of him, perched between two monitors. A female Agent? He was so stunned that he almost didn’t feel the bullet explode in the base of his skull.

 

Smith looked up from the corpse. “Happy anniversary dear.”

In response, the Ancillary Program that had once been his wife, smiled.

 

How did Smith’s wife become an Ancillary Program? I don’t know yet. I just figured that she’d hardly side with the ‘freeded’ humans once they’d killed her husband.
And the chess references? Well, just because.
Oh, and she smiles when all the other Agents don’t tend to because she’s a strategic program and strategists always smile…

Now I just need to sort out Addendums 2 and 3, for Brown and Jones, respectively…

 

- Narsus (2:35am, 27/03/02)


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