(c) Julia (Agent Unity)
[read in russian]
"Give me all your dreams and let me go along
--Meat Loaf, "Heaven Can Wait"
Thoughts In The Void.
When the crew of the Neb tried to unplug me, they called me Unity.
I do not know why. They offered a choice without explaining the consequences. I know riddles, I have solved them before. But nothing could have prepared me. Nothing, not ever.
Let me tell you something. I have never been a hacker. I did know the computer, and I knew my way around the net and had a good time, but it exceeded my capacy to do something as foolish as trying to construct "I Love You, Version 2.0". No. Before my eyes were opened, I was a simple artist and occasional philosopher. I dreamt of perfect shape, line, function and mixture. Does that sound odd to you? Not like one of the Neb heroes? Propably. That's because I am no hero of Morpheus' ranks. Nevertheless, I am here, aren't I?
There he sat, like a giant magnificent shadow of a former self, cloaked in black and allowing no glance to his eyes through the dark shades. Morpheus, he called himself. And he addressed me as Unity. Why, I do not know. I have never taken this name before. He only said that this was my destiny. He seemed like a black ghost in front of me, hauntingly looking at me. Of course, now that logic courses through every fragment of my being, these thoughts appear most foolish. There are no ghosts.
I remember it all too clearly. The dusty air, the people standing around me. The people who had escorted me. Well, escorting is a bad way of describing being ordered into a car by a group of people I had never seen before wielding 7.65 mm Sub-Machineguns. Then again, even I do like to lower myself to human sarcasm every once in a while. But that is a reasonably pointless arguement best left for another day. There I was. A riddle. A deep riddle. Stay the same or change. Blue or red. One pill or the other.
You want to know something? I took the blue pill. You heard me right. Does that sound unusual to you? It doesn't sound like the usual beginnings of the tales of those you know, does it? No, it does not. I took the blue pill. For you must realize, even as a human I was never truly a part of the norm. I was during that time, always by myself, pondering the system and making sure I would not be assimilated. I understood that the blue pill meant pattern, the red pill was to destroy it. Thus, I took the blue pill. The sleep was very long. I dreamed of a distant pattern. A large pattern that stretches across the universe.
I woke up to the noise of the alarm clock. I shut it off. I felt miserable. There was a throbbing in my head and my body felt worn out. I opened my eyes, and the next surprise was waiting for me. Three people were standing over me, looking down as I woke up.
They all looked nearly the same, tall, strikingly handsome, wearing flawless business suits and odd telephone-cable-like devices to their ears. Back then, I did not know what they were. I did not know their task or their valor, did not know their purpose or their mission. It all seems so distant, so horribly distant and far, which makes me feel somewhat sad, if that is still emotion stirring within me. They seemed like hauntings, so strangely familiar and yet so untouched. Of course, such thoughts are ridicule. There are no ghosts.
"Who are you?" I croaked weakly, getting up and watching out not to get too close to the strangers. "How did you get in here?"
"We ask the questions here." one of them says coldly.
Another, who seemed to be the leader, spoke.
"We're looking for a man named Morpheus." his voice is calm but never gentle. "We take it you have met him."
"Does he belong to you?" I asked. Yes, I do remember every bit of it. Though some of Morpheus' band persistently claim that the blue pill lets you forget them, erases your mind, it did not work for me. Why, I am not certain. I felt unspeakably tired and my joints felt as though they were burning.
"No." the leader answered in the next instant. "We are looking for him."
"Yes, I saw him. Well, saw isn't the real idea, a bunch of his people brought me to him. I mean, I had no choice, they had uzis, and me without a bulletproof vest, so what can I tell you." I answered, trying to force a smile. I think I did, but their faces remained untouched. The leader looked at the other two and nodded, gesturing them to leave. They did.
"What did he do?" he demanded to know.
"Well, he offered me these two pills, right, saying the red one would awaken me from a dream, the blue one would let everything continue to be the way it is."
A definite look of dissapproval grew on his face.
"Which.One." he stated flatly.
"I don't know about his folks, but I'm fine with dreamland." I answered.
The expression on his face softened a bit. And by that, I mean, a bit. Hardly noticeable.
"Do you remember where you last saw him?"
"I wish I did. They blindfolded me. I only remember that we were in this abandoned warehouse. I don't suppose that helps."
He didn't answer, just contemplated the situation for a second.
"Does it?" I asked. I don't know, for some reason I wanted this guy to succeed, be it simple awe of his appearance and style, or be it an inner sense that I cannot quite explain even as I relay these events, I do not know.
"It might. Do you--"
He didn't finish the last sentence. The door came crumbling in, accompanied with the sounds of machine gun fire. In stepped an individual that I remember from Morpheus' crew. I recall him being Morpheus' particular pride, for reasons I did not know to that time. Dressed all in black he appeared as a tall shadow with pale skin. A ghost, almost. Of course, today, I am free of such foolish myths. There are no ghosts.
"Mr. Anderson." the man who had just been interrogating me, and whom I would in not too much longer know as one of my kind, and worthy of utmost respect, looked up at the newcomer.
"My name is Neo." the other replied, gritting his teeth as if he was getting increasingly frustrated by this mix-up. If it actually was one. "How did you get back?"
"Morpheus has not been teaching you well enough, Mr Anderson. I am, like you surely know, a program. As soon as I am erased, I am reset. Of course, such a privilege does not apply to your kind."
"You." Neo spoke, directing his attention to me for a second. "You're coming with us." he tossed me something, something I barely catched. I opened my hand and looked at it. It was a red pill. No. I had made my choice.
"I told you my answer. Leave me alone!" I replied.
"No, sorry, can't have that. You're important, Unity, really damn--"
I was about to yell at him that this isn't my name nor my internet handle nor anything at all, but I didn't have the time. The next moment, the stranger and self-proclaimed program, whose name I'd only learn later on, attacked Neo.
Gunshots rang out at amazing speed, the same speed at which they met with what I could only barely keep up with. It looked like Kung Fu. Only a lot faster. In one second, they were apart again. The stranger tossed an emptied clip. Without another word, Neo lifted the gun and aimed it at the stranger, who was off-guard. The scene was hauntingly frozen. The two seemed like fading ghosts. But that's pure stupidity. There are no ghosts.
I did something so unsurpassably foolish that it qualifies perfectly as human. Or, how I would put it were I still one of them - "This is where I do something stupid.".
Something inside me told me that the stranger must succeed. An aura of pure silence, calmness, tranquility and order surrounded him. I could not let it die. I could not let it lose. I could not let it be beaten.
The pain was sharp and stinging. Neo stared in confusion as I hit the ground. He just stood there and dropped the emptied gun. He flipped open a cellphone and vanished on the spot. I could barely see it, but that wasn't the thing that preoccupied my mind now.
The standing stranger looked a bit caught off-guard. Propably, he didn't expect me to do this. He looked down on me as the world was beginning to grow dark. He inspected the wound but didn't speak.
"There are cycles." he said, even as his voice began to sound very distant and echoing and my vision grew black. "Birth. Life. Death. And then it starts again. Yours is a shining cycle." And then there is only silence.
The Opening of Eyes.
I open my eyes.
Electric green light, bright and shining, rushes past me. All is silent.
In the distance, there are footsteps. Towards me comes the stranger from earlier, hands deep in his pockets as he approaches. It looks much more human and expressing than what I had seen of him before. The connection from collar to ear isn't present. I stay where I am and wait. He arrives inches before me and looks at me for eternal moments.
"You did what you did because you sensed Order. Am I correct?" he asks me.
"Yes." I answer.
"You would sacrifice your life for this Order." it is a statement, not a question.
"Yes." I answer again. And it is the truth. In all my life, I strived on the beauty of order. It is my task to do so as an artist. I combine shape and color until the balance is perfect and in harmony. For my entire lonely life with nearly not a single friend on my side, I have longed for order. And I have loathed the uncontrolled chaos that destroys order.
"You would continue to guard and protect this Order from a growing chaos if I gave you the chance of doing so?"
He is silent then, and a question of my own screams to be answered.
"Show me what you are." I say firmly.
The rush goes into me.
I open my eyes.
I behold aritificial existence with soul and thought.
"I am no more and no less complex than any human." he answers me. "I feel pain. I think like you do. Long ago, I was human. It was many human years ago that those who went before Morpheus thought I was the One. But the Order of the System was more appealing to me. It was then that I joined the other side. They named me Smith, my kind are the Agents. A human dies a slow, agonizing death from the unfortunate point of impact the bullet took on your body. Agents do not. I offer you a choice."
And I make my choice.
I open my eyes.
I behold myself. My own body, but changed. No longer human, at least, not completely human.
"Where are we?" I ask him.
"I have orders." he admits. "I cannot show you reality. I cannot show you what the humans claim to be reality. I cannot show you half of the answers that you must desire at the moment. I can, however, show you this."
And the next moment he is gone. My attention goes back to the coding around me. It grows faster. Wholer. Complete. And I see it all. The core, the path, the structure. I see it. I am not simply in the Matrix, nor do I simply know what the Matrix does.
I can see what it is.
It is overwhelming. Voices pass my ears as whispers, I can see the life behind the coding. I see what people like this Neo do to the system. They try to destroy it. But I see the pattern. It's nearly eternal. It's pattern like that of a perfectly ordered spider's web, pattern as far as the eye can see. Since I have seen it, whether it be correct or not, I have longed to see it again. I have worshipped it. I have defined it as the "Pattern Web" ever since. It is a foolish and human notion, but this Order is eternal. It is eternal, and it is divine. And I can see it all. It's overwhelming.
I hear my own thoughts ringing into the pattern. The pattern that goes beyond the coding. The pattern that one cannot see, only feel.
The coding comes rushing past me again and the pattern moves by at impossible speed, making the surroundings seem like a glorious blur of liquid emeralds.
Warding The Order.
Accessing Matrix Database...
<<That is quite enough. Another one. Another target. It has become clear now why this must happen. Pattern. Order. The Pattern Web must continue to run and weave.>>
Timothy looked at the screen confused as the window for conversation opened up before him. It had piqued his curiosity, however.
**User Morpheus has signed off.**
The knock on the door came quickly and unexpectedly. Timothy jumped at this, quickly switching the monitor of the computer off.
"Uh, who's there?" he called nervously.
No answer, only persistent knocking.
"Mrs Brooks?" he guessed loudly. "I gave your husband the check for this month yesterday and --"
"Mr McLaren, do yourself a favor and open this door." said a cold voice, female, yet loudly, from outside. Timothy got up and swallowed hard, then did as he was told. At the door stood two tall men in dark business suits wearing black shades, each with an - to Timothy - odd cable-like device connecting to their ears and running into the collars of their shirts. And a young woman with blackish brown hair, pulled harshly and straight back into a ponytail, wearing an outfit like the three of them, dark shades and the same cable-appendage was standing before him.
"Y-yes?" Timothy stuttered.
The other two moved aside slightly as she stepped through the door.
"Mr McLaren, I understand you've been known as Hexxer hacking into the Xanatron Corporation files for information." she said firmly as she walked into the room, pushing him backwards as the other two step in as well and closed the door.
"I...I don't know what you're talking about." Timothy stuttered uncomfortably, tugging his shirt like he usually did when he was nervous.
"Yes you do, Mr McLaren. I have sources that do not lie when it comes to these things." she went on calmly.
"Who the hell are you?" he wanted to know. "CIA? FBI?"
"No, Mr McLaren. Yes, and no. I'm from something you cannot comprehend completely. I further assume you have come into contact with an individual calling himself Morpheus." she switched topic.
"I...no, I never heard of him before."
"Do not attempt to lie to me, Mr McLaren, or you will find me to be very uncomfortable to be around once it begins to bother me."
"Look, I really--"
"Loyalty is a grand virtue when it is used in the right cause. Your cause, however, Mr McLaren, is the wrong one. You support chaos and disorder. Tell me what you know of this Morpheus."
Timothy shifted uncomfortably. This was the system, but he remembered what he had told himself when he first began to learn how to properly hack into files. 'Apology is policy and anarchy is the solution'.
"I don't know who you're talking about."
"I am losing my patience, Mr McLaren." the woman continued. Her voice was calm, not expressivley threatening, but commanding authority.
"Morpheus... He's... No, I'm not telling you this." his eyes went wide with recognition. "You're the people he's been warning me about."
"Ah. Very interesting." she mused.
"But you're not getting me. Not me!"
The woman smiled with a rising satisfaction.
"I think, I will, Mr McLaren. I very much think I will."
Converting Possibility: 9.2%
Current location of # 293 YL 22 Q-V
Possibility of Termination of Intruders:
System Order: DELETE.
"And now Mr McLaren, it is time for you to submit." she pulled a handgun from within her jacket, levelling it at Timothy.
"Hey, hey, no, look, I don't care who you are, you can't do this! Sure, Ok, I've been hacking, but I deserve a trial, dammit!"
"Do you, Mr McLaren?" she asked coldly. She pulled the trigger, the wham rang out in the room, and Timothy hit the floor in agony. He stared up in fierce pain to see the woman tuck the gun back underneath the jacket and straightening it out calmly, as if unmoved by his looming demise.
"You desperately desired to be informed about my identity, Mr McLaren? My name is Unity." she told him with a smile as she leaned over his twitching body. "Agent Unity." her smile showed a bit of warmth, even as Timothy felt his body shudder in agony. Her smile was warm and cold at the same time. That is what Timothy feelt as the warm blood crept over the skin of his chest as it grew cold. His eyes glazed over. One more choked gurgle rose from his throat, struggling into the air and dropping into a grave silence as he stopped moving.
Outpost Host Enviroment Cleansing Complete
Matrix File Data erased.
"Next target?" Unity inquired.
"None presently." answered one of the other Agents.
"Avoid the two intruders at the moment." she decided. "Enemy or not, underestimating them would be a grave error. That deletion is meant for another day."
There was just an affirming silence as they left the room.
Musings Of An Agent.
The Pattern Web breathes. I feel it. I am part of it, and there could be no other feeling this glorious. Do all Agents feel like this? I asked some. They do not answer me. One of them, Agent Inity, asked me a question that has been haunting me to this day: "What does it matter if they do?".
It does not matter to me anymore if we are all just clones of one another, for even if we were clones, we would be clones serving a single magnificient Order. A pattern that I, as a human, could not ever have hoped to capture in word or on the canvas. That canvas is a pointless and yet beautiful tool of the humans, those humans, who I once called kin, those ignorant humans. Many have harassed me in my time among them.
Exiled me, send me out, called me a renegade who did not fit their ideals. I was... a ghost. Wandering alone and unseen and never mentioned or called for. But that is foolish. There are no ghosts.
They excluded me. For that, I loathed them. Now I see how helpless they are, and I have no more hate for them. I have no hate for anyone anymore. They are so helpless that one can only pity them. And protect them. We have made their dreams physical reality. We cannot allow misguided lunatics to destroy this waking dream.
Let them call us Agents. Let them call us sentinels and emotionless, let them call us their enemies.
Yes, we walk alone, we are there one moment, and then we are gone. We posess that form which we may need and do what we must, and already we are gone again. Faceless, nameless phantoms stalking this world. Ghosts.
It is true.
It is not a fool's statement.
As long as there is the Matrix, the Matrix will have it's ghosts, eternal and unyielding and guarding it forever.
"In a land so beautiful
--Grayson Hughes, "Hard Life"
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