Separate Lives

by: Narsus
original is *here*

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

I guess the premise is, how were the Agents created…

Thanks to 02 for a long discussion on the topic.

 

A boy sits facing a computer screen, in what appears to be his bedroom. We don’t know his name… it’s not important. There is the sound of footsteps pounding up the stairs. A knock at the door. Someone on the other side. Nothing important, someone calling him to come down for dinner.

After dinner, apparently. He, we’ll call him Johnny, is sitting in front of his computer again. He’s surfing the web. Nothing unusual in that. But Johnny isn’t looking for porn or warez. He seems to be quite interested in hacking materials. We look closer at the screen. A copy of the ‘Jolly Roger Cook Book’ flashes by. A page comes up, nothing too exciting. “Morpheus” Johnny breaths, reverently. There’s a pounding on the door again. Apparently dad wants him to go to bed and not spend so much time on the computer. Johnny spends the rest of the night in front of the glowing screen.

We can guess that this isn’t the only night that Johnny has spent thus. Days have passed, we don’t know how many. We see Johnny nervously looking over his shoulder before running down an alleyway. A few seconds after he disappears out of site we see a larger shape follow the path he has taken, it bears a passing resemblance to Agent Jones.

Inside what appears to be a deserted warehouse someone is offering Johnny a red pill or a blue pill. It’s not Morpheus but probably the next best thing. Johnny is starting to look nervous. There are people standing round with various guns. Someone seems to hear something, several of them panic. Johnny makes a dash for the door, he doesn’t get very far in the gunfire. They check the now lifeless body, cursing that it might have been a trap.

We see a man running through the dark streets. Disbelief and fear is written on his face. It’s understandable. His son has just been killed and there is every chance that he’ll be too late to save his wife and two daughters. He reaches the suburbs, comes flying through the back door of a house, his house, just in time to see that he’s too late. He falls under a barrage of gunfire. His killers curse amongst themselves, deciding it wasn’t a trap after all, only a father trying to protect his son.

 

Somewhere else, we don’t know where, a green screen flashes gleefully. We see the words spell themselves out across the screen:

Capture program initiated

 

********************

 

An overhead view of a city. Traffic along the streets, pedestrians rushing to and froe. Someone on a moped, a miscellaneous pizza delivery guy. He stops by a tall skyscraper, asking directions at the front desk. He’s directed up to the 28th floor. The sign at that level announces “Bullfrog Play-testing Labs”, there’s a large frog logo emblazoned beneath the words. A man wearing a “Syndicate Wars” T-shirt sticks his head round the door, cheerily pays the pizza guy and ambles back into the lab area, arms full of pizza boxes.

Inside the lab now, we see one of the flat-back monitors blank out to suddenly display the predictable message of “The Matrix has you”. Cutting back to the group now surrounding the pile of pizzas we can see the play-testers riffling through the boxes to find their orders. One of them stands towards the back of the crowd. “Cheese” someone yells. “Triple cheese.” He calls back, grinning as someone hands him the box. Returning to his desk he notices the message. A curse escapes his lips. He glares at his workmates as they return to their places “OK. Who’s been pulling this ‘Matrix’ crap?” They all look wary. He’s about to call someone over to look at the evidence then suddenly his monitor refreshes to display a ‘blue screen of death’.

A flicker and for a moment we wonder if we’ve been blue-screen-of-deathed too, but now we see a waiting room. It’s the sort of room that neurotic patients for expensive physiatrists spend most of their time in. He’s sitting in the corner, our play-tester from earlier. Briefly, he lifts his head from his hands and we notices that he bears a certain resemblance to Agent Brown.

We can safely assume that he’s spent at least an hour with a company-paid-for physiatrist, when he re-enters the waiting room. He’s clutching what looks like a medical letter of some sort.

Returning to the Play-testing labs we notice that his desk is empty. His co-workers are whispering amongst themselves. We catch a few words ‘…freak…’, ‘…seeing things…’, ‘…Matrix…’.

In his apartment, supposedly, we see several figures standing round him. He is cringing on the couch, mostly uninterested in either pill being offered to him. If we could lip-read we would be able to pick out him mouthing the word ‘police’. The gunshot rings quite loudly as he slumps onto the couch. His murderers argue amongst themselves, apparently he wasn’t meant to die.

 

The same green screen as before fills our vision. Somehow more malevolent than previously, it spells out:

Capture program initiated

 

**********************

 

We’re in a white, pristine lab now. Several scientists are carrying out various jobs on the benches. A woman checks a centrifuge, before moving on to an electrophoresis gel. She signals to another that the gel is ready to run. We take a closer looks at her colleague, who is on the phone. We see her gesticulate while speaking and we note the platinum wedding band on her fourth finger, under her surgical gloves. She hangs up the phone. We hear a faint beeping; she glances at her colleague before hurrying into the side office and taping a few keys on her laptop. We can’t see the monitor. Seemingly satisfied with her message she hits the ‘return’ key before re-entering the main lab.

We cut to the parking lot of the research laboratories. The woman puts her laptop in the boot of her Mercedes. She climbs into the car, turning up the volume on the radio before driving off. We watch her. She drives like a rally driver. We see her clench her teeth, annoyance bordering on anger radiated in every muscle in her body.

Our view pans out and we see the streetlights flash past. We see a tall building, a fancy apartment block. A sign proclaims it ‘St George’s Warf’. The light from the river reflects off it oddly, almost rivalling the MI6 building across from it. Our view carries us up, along the outside of the building, to one specific apartment window.

Now inside the brightly illuminated apartment, in soft focus. We hear a shot ringing in the air before we can resolve the image. The sound of running feet. Then we are hovering over the scene. A man lies, slumped over a grand piano, blue eyes wide with shock. We can see the scorch mark were the bullet entered his skull, at point blank range. He looks a lot like Agent Smith.

The door bursts open. The scientist is frozen in place. She doesn’t notice the red pill placed carefully on top of the piano, she’s too busy staring at her husband’s lifeless body.

 

This time the green screen somehow looks all the more vengeful. The intensity of its text grows until it is almost blinding:

Capture program initiated

 

********************

 

We are suspended in an apparent screen burnout. Then it fades. Our vision resolves to focus on the green screen again. The data flashes past far to quickly for us to read or comprehend. We can just about see three distinct profiles, as the vital statistics for three new Matrix agents are uploaded. Suddenly the screen blanks. Then text begins to spell itself out contentedly:

Agent activation complete

 

 

Why is Jones’ kid called Johnny? I don’t know, he needed a name.
Brown works for Bullfrog because Maxis would have been too happy.
Smith lives by Vauxhall Bridge for no reason other than they were building St George’s Warf when I still had to drive over Vauxhall Bridge on a frequent basis (it should be on your right if you’re heading south of the river).

Translation note: apparently in America you say ‘trunk’ of the car rather than ‘boot’.

00:37am - 18th March 2002


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