THE MATRIX REVELATIONS (Part 8a out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

 

Part 8: The Battle for Thomas Anderson’s World

 

Part 8a: Jake Mate (the first half of Part 8)

 

When Deus Maxio unlocked his subspace of white codes from the Real Matrix and began to share it with Neo, Deus Ex felt the occurrence of a sudden change. Some entities within his yellow subspace of the Virtual Matrix were not being controlled by him at all, even though he had the entire planet inside the yellow sphere. This could only mean one thing: they possessed something that was capable of bypassing or blocking the controls of the Yellow Layer of the Virtual Matrix.

Even though the large silver face was very high in the sky, it opened its eyes and quickly located where Deus Maxio and Neo were standing. It had many black spikes on its back and sentinels floating around it, just like the first Deus Ex from the very beginning…

Large Deus Ex [sounding confident and calculating]: “So he fixed himself using the Matrix and came back. However, he didn’t come after me right away. He picked up Neo first. That means that he doesn’t think that his power in the Matrix is enough to defeat me by himself. Then… he has already lost… Even if he has the power of the highest layer of the Matrix, the outcome will be the same as before. If anything, he has done me a favor by unlocking it for me. Now, all I need to become the true master of the Matrix is to absorb him with Smith’s technique, making a clone of myself on him, and adding his knowledge and experiences to my entity’s database. I will know all the secrets that are left about the real system and I will get his access to it right away. It’s all I have left to be the real master of the Matrix… But first, I will take care of Neo… The existence of Thomas Anderson’s king and his little game plan are becoming a nuisance by now. It’s time to remove The One from this equation. It’s time to leave only one anomaly in the Matrix.”

Deus Ex’s doppelganger sentinels gathered in front of the large silver face and the silver hands of the real Deus Ex began to come out through the big face. The real Deus Ex left his legs and torso inside the protective body, but he continued coming through until he was out halfway—up to the belly button. He extended his arms and all the sentinels grabbed them. They divided themselves in two groups of about seven sentinels each. Then, each group reached for one of the hands. When they touched him, he began to transform them into other clones of himself, just like he did with Rodner Smith—who was now the large “Deus Ex face” that was protecting him.

At the same time, the flow of the hundreds of floating humans and humanoid robots in the area began to change and the streams of yellow codes began to rearrange all their positions. Effectively, the streams scattered them in the middle of the long way up, between Deus Ex (above) and Deus Maxio and Neo (below). The two small armies—one human and one humanoid—blocked the path to reach Deus Ex.

It seemed like all the robots from Rodner Smith’s army and the sleeping soldiers from the Resistance were under Deus Ex’s control. They all looked asleep, but they were moving in a conscious manner, like the currents of yellow codes desired.

Luckily, Neo wasn’t the only human that was conscious in the middle of the cataclysm at Thomas Anderson’s world.

Leida Trinity was being moved by the currents, like all the others, but unlike them, she was fully conscious and she could see and understand what was happening there.

Nearly all of her armor had been erased, like all the other armors that the human soldiers had on. They were unprotected, but they still had all their deadly plasma weapons, which included rifles, the mini-bombs that the Trinity Squad had used to rescue Neo, and even plasma swords like the one that General Xenno had used against Copy Trinity. It was obvious that they could still cause plenty of damage. And the same thing could be said about the white-caped humanoid robots. They also had their weapons intact.

Leida Trinity watched with worry and anticipation how everyone was being arranged by the streams, with their backs facing Deus Ex at the top, and their faces facing Deus Maxio and Neo at the bottom. Even Leida’s body and her weapon were turned around automatically and bent a little to face Neo and Deus Maxio. It was clear to her that Deus Ex was going to attack the two of them using the humanoid robots and the humans as part of his defense system. There was no way to open a clear path to Deus Ex without going through the hordes of soldiers from the Resistance and the robots from Rodner Smith’s city.

Would they be able to do something about it?

Captain Leida began to look frustrated, but what else could she do? How could a powerless soldier like herself help “the Deus” and “The One” to defeat the calamity that had taken over? Regardless, she knew that if she could do anything to help them free the world that she considered her home, she was going to do it… If she could help to avenge Frank, it would be done… And, if she could help Neo to put an end to the Matrix and to save everyone—as Thomas and Aida wanted—she would do it…

At the time when Neo’s green sphere was turned completely white—when he held Maxio’s hand, and after seeing various known faces from before—both he and Maxio saw and felt that Deus Ex had begun to prepare for them.

Deus Maxio [looking up / warning Neo]: “He’s expecting us. We’ll have to reach him without killing any of the humans and without getting hurt in the way up to him. Use any means necessary. Remember that against him, the Real Matrix is our only true weapon and shield. Make it your greatest ally.”

Maxio’s white sphere of codes from the Real Layer of the Matrix began to look more intense. It looked as if the codes surrounding him were gaining more light of their own. He also held the other tennis-ball-sized white sphere very tight in his left hand. It was the only way they had to erase Deus Ex for sure, and there were two of those deletion spheres only: Neo’s and his. They only had two chances to save Thomas Anderson’s world. If neither one of them could introduce one of the white deletion spheres in the real Deus Ex’s body, then, it would be the end for everyone.

Maxio extended his arms to the sides and two other white spheres began to appear around his hands. They stopped growing when they reached half a meter in diameter. Then, their white streams continued expanding outwards in one direction only, as if they were the arms of a tree. The streams gave Maxio two Matrix-based weapons that looked like two humongous whips made of white codes. The whips were connected to the two spheres of codes that he controlled with his hands. In addition, he also had the standard white sphere—just like the previous yellow sphere—surrounding his whole body as a shield. Because these had never been solid spheres—they were made of white codes and streams—all of them intersected and moved through each other without any problem at all. It looked like a perfect defense system of energy shields, but the codes were more malleable than any solid shield in existence, so they were even better.

Neo looked just like Maxio at first—with a very similar white sphere. However, he didn’t grow whips out of his hands with the white codes. It seemed like the weapons they could create were closely related to each individual and his or her preferences, so, Neo’s weapon of choice was not a set of gigantic whips. It was a bright and white bo staff that had some special qualities, like pushing objects back at a far greater distance than normal. Both Neo and Maxio intended to use their weapons to “open their way to the top” without killing any of the humans. Their main shields where the spheres of white codes that surrounded them, but they needed something else in case the attackers could get too close to them. That was what the whips and the staff were for…

Leida Trinity would have preferred a weapon with more firepower for such a situation however…

Captain Leida [feeling nervous / looking at Neo]: “Oh my God, what is he thinking!? Martial arts and sticks won’t be enough to win this battle!! Couldn’t he have chosen a better weapon than a stick for a time like this?!!”

She was very worried because she perceived that her ability to help them was minimal. She was lucky that she, at least, wasn’t “asleep” like all the others.

Deus Maxio [to Neo]: “Let’s delete him!!”

Maxio’s face had returned to its Deusian state—he didn’t have Matthew’s face anymore—and he was ready to erase Deus Ex for good.

Maxio jumped up and flew headed for the horde of humans and robots that was blocking the path to the large Deus Ex.

Neo noticed something very strange at that moment: it was as if a hand of white codes had appeared around his left hand and grabbed the white deletion sphere. However, it all disappeared very quickly and he still had the deletion sphere in his hand. Besides, he had no time to lose thinking about that short-lived vision. Deus Maxio was already on his way…

Neo began to fly up with his white staff (looking a lot like the way he looked in “The Matrix Reloaded,” even though he was older now).

He also headed towards Deus Ex.

The human and humanoid armies clashed with Maxio and Neo.

Maxio used his whips to push dozens of robots and human soldiers out of the way, on his way to the top. He also used his white sphere to block multiple plasma shots that came his way.

Neo did the same and quickly caught up to Deus Maxio. However, Neo’s weapon didn’t have long reach, like the giant whips, so he often had attackers coming up much closer to him.  Regardless, he was going through them easily and the staff was taking care of pushing everyone out of the way, without killing the humans.

Their clash with the two armies looked frenetic, even if the soldiers and the robots were not inflicting any damage on them.

The Real Matrix—the White Matrix—was starting to show its power through Deus Maxio and Neo… yet, Deus Ex didn’t seem worried. Apparently, he also had a plan of his own…

Large Deus Ex [calculating]: “It’s working out as I thought. Now, it’s time to make things harder for both of you, before you meet my clones.”

Suddenly, the humans and the robots stopped moving and they all grabbed their plasma weapons and began to fire at Neo and Maxio from everywhere. It was as if an endless rain of plasma shots had been unleashed on Neo and Maxio.

However, they had the white spheres protecting them, so they didn’t stop moving up, even through the oncoming chaos. It was visible how most of the plasma blasts that crashed with Neo’s sphere turned to water and most of the shots that landed on Maxio’s sphere turned to sand—just like the shots of the soldiers from the First Base. The few plasma shots that were not changed to another component by the White Matrix were still blocked by the spheres. It was as if they were invulnerable inside those things.

Then, the rain of plasma was halted and all the robots and humans that had short-range weapons—like plasma swords—grabbed them and headed for their two targets.

It seemed like Leida Trinity was the only one that wasn’t part of the full-scale assault, but she was “too small of a fish” for Deus Ex to notice that she—like Neo and Maxio—wasn’t being controlled by the system.

The situation began to get more difficult for Maxio and Neo when everyone took the approach of using close range attacks on them. No one was holding back anymore and there were too many of them. Neo and Maxio continued moving up, but eventually both were forced to use the “spheric shockwave attack,” where they had to let go of their white sphere, causing a large outward energy wave that immobilized and pushed out everything in the way.

Maxio’s white shockwave was incredibly powerful—more so than Neo’s—and it cleared up almost the entire space remaining to reach Deus Ex. The two of them were four-fifths of the way up already.

Neo and Maxio’s spheres came back quickly and they continued moving, but Deus Ex noticed that Neo needed four seconds to get the white sphere back up and Maxio needed two. Therefore, even with the power of the White Matrix, they were not invincible. That minimal moment without any protection from the Matrix was a weakness. Deus Ex also noticed that both of them had some kind of “special white sphere” in their left hand and they were holding it with great care, without letting go of it, no matter what…

Large Deus Ex [confident]: “It’s time to make my entry. Soon, the show will be over.”

The silver clones of the real Deus Ex (the doppelganger sentinels that were transformed using Smith’s technique) looked at the large Deus Ex first, as if they were getting telepathic orders from him. Then, they switched their full attention to Deus Maxio. They didn’t even look at Neo.

Silver-looking swords began to grow from their hands with silver streams and codes—which were typical of the major anomalies. (Smith had used them before, and even the Fifth Neo summoned a silver portal made of silver streams when he went from one layer of the Matrix to the next, without being disconnected.) The new silver swords made of anomalous codes and streams looked particularly dangerous…

The clones left Deus Ex’s side and flew down, headed for Deus Maxio.

Neo was ready, but he noticed that Deus Ex’s clones didn’t go after him and the final path to the large Deus Ex was finally clear, so he kept going.

Meanwhile, seven out of the fourteen silver clones summoned their own yellow spheres and clashed in battle with Deus Maxio; the other seven clones stayed around them and began to shot yellow energy beams aimed at Maxio.

Maxio noticed quickly that not a single clone went after Neo and the path to the real Deus Ex had been left wide open. It was too convenient to be anything other than an intentional move from their enemy. All the clones focused on Maxio and the path was left open for Neo because the real Deus Ex wanted Neo to go to him.

Deus Maxio [to Neo / concerned / from far away]: “This must be a trap!! Neo!! Don’t go to him!!”

However, Neo didn’t hear him, and, at that exact moment, Maxio saw how one of the silver swords managed to penetrate his white shield without being blocked and without turning into sand. This was a problem that he had not anticipated. He never thought that anything else would be able to resist the original codes and the controls from the Real Matrix.

Maxio destroyed the silver sword that went through his shield and pushed back Deus Ex’s clones with the whips. He also shattered half of the yellow spheres on sight, but, when he was about to go after Neo, the clones that still had their yellow spheres intact unleashed yellow shockwaves of energy with them. Meanwhile, the others began to grow their own yellow spheres and some even tried to attack Maxio directly—when he was stopped momentarily by the consecutive yellow shockwaves.

The silver clones were fierce and powerful, like the real Deus Ex. The only reason why Maxio could handle them was that he had the power of the Real Matrix at his side, so he was more powerful than them. Their silver weapons seemed to be on a similar level though. In addition, the clones acted as if they had a single mind—meaning they were extensions of the same entity’s consciousness—and that made them a very difficult team that worked in perfect unison without flaws in communication. In fact, they didn’t even need to communicate to know what all the others were going through at every moment. These “Deusian doppelgangers” were a much bigger threat than the doppelganger sentinels that the Fifth Neo had fought against at the City of the Machines.

Within the next minute, two of the other clones had managed to penetrate Maxio’s shield with their silver swords as well. They simply were better and faster at dodging the whips than the humans and the robots. When Maxio noticed that one of the swords was going to get him, he unleashed the white sphere and simultaneously shattered all their yellow shields and pushed all of them back, except one. One of them wasn’t pushed away and had the chance to attack. The remaining clone shoot one silver-coded arrow at Maxio from the back, during the two seconds that were required to regenerate the white sphere.

Maxio was caught off-guard, but what shocked him the most was that the silver arrow did not hurt him. It just dispersed a bunch of silver codes on him. Maxio quickly used his white codes to erase the arrow and its silver codes completely, but, some of the silver codes had already come in contact with him.

Deus Maxio [to the closest clone / concerned]: “What did you do?! An arrow that doesn’t hurt must have had some purpose!!”

Deus Ex Clone [with the same voice as the real Deus Ex]: “I realized that your control over the higher layer of the Matrix is a one-time limited thing that required a lot of time to set up. If it wasn’t, you would have used it before against me. I may not be able to defeat you as long as you have this power, so I made sure that your time to use it goes down to the lowest that my anomalous codes can take it. That was the purpose of the arrow of codes. Now, look at the top of your white sphere. Your time is going to run out sooner than you expected.”

Maxio noticed that the top of his sphere was starting to lose its consistency and its bright white look, like a light bulb that is about to run out. The portion that had lost the most consistency was also starting to revert to yellow-looking codes like before. This raised a huge alarm on Deus Maxio. He probably had two minutes at most to continue using the white codes, and since Neo’s sphere was connected to his, the same could be said about Neo. Both were about to lose the power of the unlocked White Matrix—which was the Real Matrix.

Deus Maxio killed the clone that shot the arrow at him, but the other thirteen recovered quickly and ensured that he would not make it to Neo and Deus Ex in time.

Ultimately, Ex’s clones succeeded in holding back Maxio, in separating him from Neo, and in lowering the time for Maxio’s use of the Real Matrix. However, the deletion spheres were still intact, so Ex’s deletion was still possible…

When Neo reached the top, two additional clones of the real Deus Ex were waiting for him alongside the large “Ex” head.

Large Deus Ex [to Neo]: “So you figured out how to play with the codes from a higher layer of the Matrix. However, you seem to have forgotten that I can also control these codes.”

Neo [certain]: “You can’t control these codes, and neither could Rodner. That is why your codes have always been yellow or silver. You never had access to the white codes of the Matrix, like Thomas Anderson did! That is why you couldn’t escape the Virtual Matrix on your own.”

Large Deus Ex [starting to get angry]: “You seem to think that you are going to defeat me because you have those. I am going to enjoy showing you how wrong you are Neo.”

The large Deus Ex began to cover himself with a new sphere of light-silver codes and he started to gather yellow masses of energy to shoot them at Neo.

At the same time, the two clones started a battle with Neo, but with the aid of the white codes of the Real Matrix, Neo proved to be a huge challenge for them. The white bo staff destroyed their silver swords after only a couple of clashes—showing that Neo’s white codes were indeed more powerful than the anomalous (silver) ones. It was an extremely one-sided battle where they could barely touch Neo and Neo came very close to destroying them. Furthermore, the white sphere blocked the yellow energy blasts from the big Deus Ex very efficiently. It really felt like Neo was going to beat them.

Unfortunately, Deus Maxio’s “unlocked time” in the Matrix ran out before Neo destroyed the two clones and the large Deus Ex.

Maxio and Neo began to lose the white codes at an alarming rate. Maxio’s sphere began to change to yellow—like the ones that all the clones of the real Deus Ex had—and Neo’s sphere began to change back to green—like the one he had since the transfer of white codes from Thomas and Aida’s robot…

The battle with Ex’s clones intensified and became far more deadly for Maxio. As he began to lose the powers given by the superior strings and streams of white codes, he could see and feel how he was becoming more of an equal, in comparison with the clones of the real Deus Ex. Every clone was at the same level as Maxio if the white codes were not present. That was why Maxio took the desperate measure of producing a third spherical shockwave of energy with the last set of white codes he had, even if that terminated his time left with them. He expected to destroy Deus Ex’s clones with the final blast.

It was a powerful energy wave, just like the first one that cleaned the path to Deus Ex from robots and humans. It destroyed the four clones that were closest to Maxio, broke the yellow spheres of all the others, and stopped all of them momentarily. However, it didn’t destroy all the silver clones as Maxio expected…

In a similar manner, Neo’s battle with the large Deus Ex and the other two clones began to change as he began to lose the white codes—which were getting replaced by green ones for him. He knew that he was no match for Deus Ex if all he could use were the green codes from the Green Virtual Layer of the Matrix. From the start, Deus Ex’s yellow codes had been superior in comparison to the green codes from the lower Virtual Matrix. Therefore, Neo also took a desperate measure, like Maxio.

Before the white codes were gone, Neo had a chance to destroy the two clones, but he chose to leave them behind instead, and he went after the large Deus Ex.

Neo had one goal in mind: inserting the deletion sphere into the large Deus Ex to trigger his deletion in the Matrix. The large Ex face noticed that Neo would use the small sphere on him and attempted to stop it with a blast of silver energy that was surrounded by silver codes. However, Neo had not lost the white codes yet, so he went through the whole thing unharmed—the Real Matrix protected his entity from harm—and he reached the large Deus Ex. Then, Neo punched his arm and the white sphere through the grand silver face and released his hold on the sphere. It seemed like he had succeeded.

At that moment, the white codes stopped helping him and his sphere began to turn green at an alarming speed. He saw how a white stream began to spread throughout the large Deus Ex and it began to delete the whole silver face from the bottom to the top. However, a strange silver body and a human-sized silver sphere still remained after most of the grand face had been deleted by the Matrix. The silver codes that were left on the body began to disappear and it was revealed that it was Rodner Smith, but he didn’t seem conscious. Soon, Smith began to get carried away by the sea of yellow streams in the location, just like all the other humans. Then, the smaller silver sphere was released and the real Deus Ex showed himself once again. (The real Deus Ex looked similar to Maxio, but his body was silver in color, rather than white, and he had dark silver eyes, instead of yellow eyes.)

Real Deus Ex [sounding confident]: “Well done Neo. You freed Rodner Smith and you showed me what that little sphere of yours can do. Now, I know that all I have to do is destroy the one that your partner has, and his little uprising against me will be over. You lost the only real chance you had to defeat me by using your sphere on my living armor. Now, the time to delete Thomas Anderson’s anomaly from the system has come.”

Neo saw that Maxio was finally getting closer to them, so he thought that if he could hold back the real Deus Ex there was a chance to delete him still. Neo realized that Maxio could make it and he still had the other deletion sphere.

The white sphere and the white bo staff had turned green, but Neo’s desire to save Thomas Anderson’s world had not been diminished in the slightest. In order to gain time for Maxio, Neo attacked the real Deus Ex fiercely, but his attacks were evaded.

The two clones that Neo had not destroyed approached them, but they stayed behind, watching, as if they knew that their help was not needed at all.

Neo grabbed his green staff and he was about to deliver the first heavy strike to the real Deus Ex when a silver sword appeared in Deus Ex’s hands and he used it to shatter Neo’s staff without even attacking. He used Neo’s own force and just held the sword in the staff’s way. He already knew that the silver-coded sword would destroy the green-coded staff.

When the staff was destroyed, Neo lost his balance and Deus Ex didn’t waste a single second. He made a super-fast spinning motion and shattered Neo’s green sphere with a single strike. Then, he grabbed Neo and introduced part of his silver hand in Neo’s stomach, like he had done with the Fifth Neo, before he deleted him.

Neo realized that he couldn’t move. Essentially, Deus Ex had halted his movement. And the way in which Deus Ex’s hand entered his entity was extremely reminiscent of the way in which Neo’s own hand had entered Trinity, before he revived her (in The Matrix Reloaded). However, this time the power of the Matrix was not being used to heal others and to do good things. It was being used to control and destroy.

At that moment, Deus Maxio was about to interfere, but two of the clones that had been fighting him caught up to him and blocked his path. He could see that Neo was in trouble, but he could not blow Deus Ex’s clones out of the way anymore. He used the—now yellow—whips against them and they cut through the yellow whips with their silver swords. Maxio let go of the broken whips and recreated the yellow staff that he had once used against Neo (back when he was under Rodner Smith’s control).

Deus Ex Clone [to Maxio]: “You are not going anywhere. At least, not until I finish Neo and that little white sphere that you are holding there. It will soon be over I assure you.”

Deus Maxio: “You will soon be over. I can also assure you that as well.”

Second Deus Ex Clone: “That’s highly unlikely without your higher power. You can’t defeat me now.”

The clones continued attacking Maxio. They couldn’t land any solid strike on him, but it was clear that he couldn’t get them out of his way either. He wasn’t more powerful than them anymore. And soon, the rest of them arrived, so Maxio had to focus on his survival against eight silver Deus Ex’s, rather than on saving Neo. He had no other choice at that moment…

The two clones that Neo had fought came closer to him and each one grabbed one of Neo’s arms tight.

Neo began to feel weak—apparently because the real Deus Ex chose it through the control that he was exerting on Neo’s entity through the Matrix.

Then, the real Deus Ex removed his hand from Neo and the two clones held Neo.

Real Deus Ex [to Neo]: “You greatly underestimated me if you really thought that you would be able to defeat me, after being my test subject for twenty long years. How do you think that you survived the day when we stopped Smith’s revolution in the Matrix? How do you think that you were able to see again? I ensured your survival and I gave you back your vision at the City of the Machines, shortly after your final battle with agent Smith. Without me, you wouldn’t have come this far. You wouldn’t even be seeing me right now… This is it for you Thomas, it’s time to end your hopeless plan to save the lower life forms of your world from the inevitable control of my Matrix.”

Neo [weak but certain and defiant / looking at Deus Ex’s silver eyes]: “I am not Thomas Anderson!”

Real Deus Ex: “Of course you are not Thomas Anderson my dear Neo. You’re his king piece. You are the center of his whole plan and what kept it going for so long. That is, until you had to deal with me. Thomas obviously didn’t predict that I was going to be in your way. That is why this is the end for you, and for him…”

The real Deus Ex showed a smile of victory. The fifth Neo, the sixth Neo, the enhanced Trinity, and even the Smith virus had failed, but he, the Deusian anomaly, was on a league of his own; and he still had one very bitter card in storage for Neo.

Real Deus Ex [slow and powerful words]: “Jake mate Thomas Anderson.”

Deus Ex snapped the fingers of his right hand in front of Neo’s eyes and a small curtain of yellow codes began to reveal itself on the skin around Neo’s eyes. Then, Deus Ex snapped the fingers of his left hand and the yellow codes caused a minor blast around Neo’s eyes, before they were completely released.

Neo [with pain]: “Aaaaaahhhhh!!!”

Neo lowered his face and raised it again.

His eyes and the skin around them looked just like they did when agent Smith’s alter ego from Zion left him blind (during their trip to the City of the Machines, in The Matrix Revolutions). It was as if time and the cure for his eyes had been reversed on him. And now, he was almost completely blind, all over again.

Real Deus Ex: “I saved you after you helped me to end the revolution because I thought, erroneously, that you were the key to reach the higher layers of the Matrix. I gave you back your vision because I knew that I could take it away if you ever became an obstacle. And now, I don’t need you anymore. Good bye human anomaly, and thank you for bringing me to the world of your maker.”

The two silver clones that were holding Neo began to rush down to the ground with him—from a super high altitude. When they were eighty percent of the way down, they let go of Neo and Neo continued falling towards the surface at a great speed. He began to bring back his green sphere, but it didn’t look like he was stopping the momentum of the fall at all. With the green sphere around him, Neo crashed with the ground like an asteroid from outer space. A cloud of dust was awakened on the spot, so whether his sphere had been enough to save him and whether he was still alive or not wasn’t clear at that moment.

The two clones began to charge and augment powerful-looking spheres of yellow energy around their hands, right before Neo’s violent landing. It was clear that they were going to shoot them at Neo. What the two clones were about to do resembled the grand energy beam that Deus Ex had used to destroy the Trifalcon before. If Neo had survived, the yellow beams would surely finish him.

After Neo’s crash took place, the silver clones aimed and shot two massive yellow beams from the two energy spheres they had created. Neo wasn’t visible, but their beams were powered by yellow codes, so, they were automatically aimed at the right location.

If he was alive, how would be able to counter them? The green codes were not powerful enough to overwrite the yellow codes from the higher layer of the Virtual Matrix. Because of that, there was no way for Neo to stop the yellow beams of energy…

The clones launched their beams and both, Maxio and Leida Trinity, made the same expression of worry and terror with their faces when they saw it. However, their subsequent reactions were very different. Maxio turned his eyes to the real Deus Ex and Leida began to move through the yellow streams towards Neo’s location. Maxio knew that he only had one chance left to take down Deus Ex and Leida Trinity knew that Neo needed her.

After the beams fell on the surface, no one rose from the area of impact and there was no apparent sign of life there. Deus Ex’s clones went back to the top, with their master, and joined the battle against Deus Maxio—who was still capable of fighting them, using the same kind of yellow codes and techniques they had. Maxio’s situation was starting to look more difficult by the minute, since he was fighting all the clones of the real Deus Ex on his own with a power that wasn’t superior to theirs anymore. He began to push his way towards the real Deus Ex, since he knew that he wasn’t going to last much longer in a ten vs. one battle…

Leida Trinity feared that the worst had happened. She felt like the whole world was falling when she saw Neo’s grand fall and the beams that were thrown at him.

She began to swim down, through the sea of yellow codes that had spread everywhere. If there was any chance that Neo was still alive, she had to save him. Both, her determination and her frustration were very apparent on her face.

Meanwhile, the dust began to clear up on the bottom and we finally saw Neo again.

Neo could barely move. There was a lot of blood coming from his nose and his mouth. And his eyes… they were looking green, like Cyber Neo’s eyes and like the green codes of the Inner Layer of The Virtual Matrix.

He had been able to diminish the damage from the yellow energy with his green sphere, and apparently, it had been powerful enough to save him from the grand fall as well. However, it was now gone and it seemed like he was closer to death than ever before. He was still on the same spot where he had landed and he could barely move. Indeed, it looked like Neo was tasting the beginning of his end.

Then, we were shown what he was seeing and it was shown that, just like before (in the Matrix Revolutions), he was not blind. He was seeing many white streams and white codes. He was seeing everything and everyone through his connection with the Matrix, and since he was in the “white layer,” all the codes and the streams were white this time. This was the third time that such a thing had happened to him—the first time was at the end of “The Matrix” and the second time was before he met Deus Ex (in “The Matrix Revolutions”). However, this was the worst of the three times by far. Unlike the other two times, this time he looked truly beaten.

Clearly, he was about to die.

How would he get past the inevitable?

Had he failed all the good people that counted on him? Had he failed the people that he met at the First Base, the special individuals that believed in him at the Main Base, and the rest of humankind? Had he failed the grand plan that Thomas and Aida had left for him?

Was it all lost for Thomas Anderson’s world?

 

NEXT – PART 8b (the second half of the battle for Thomas Anderson’s world; what we have been waiting for in The Matrix saga begins in 8b…)

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THE MATRIX REVELATIONS (Part 8a out of 9)

The Matrix Revelations (Part 7B)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

Part 7 out of 9: Clash of Wills

PART 7B (2nd one-fourth of part 7: from the end of part 7A up to the moment when Trinity joins the “Clash of Wills”)

Deus-Ex-Bern used Neo as a diversion to make sure that Deus would lower his defenses and get closer to them, without noticing what he was really doing. As expected, Deus came to help Neo before Deus Ex could land one of the yellow swords on him.

Deus stopped the sword with his yellow staff and Neo was thrown back onto one of the closest floating buildings—one that had not crumbled down nor suffered any major damage during the clash of the two deuses.

It was then that Deus noticed the big difference that he shouldn’t have missed: Deus-Ex-Bern didn’t have his yellow sphere around himself anymore, he was using Bern’s equipped gear to levitate. Where was the sphere?

It was surrounding them. A sphere of a 40-meter-long radius began to reveal itself around them and the inside began to fill up with yellow streams of matrix-like codes quickly.

Deus Ex could use the spherical submatrix for other purposes and he could create it on other locations instead of just around himself. He could also increase it to larger sizes, making it a much more dangerous threat for his opponents. Basically, he could do all of Deus’s manipulations of the Yellow Matrix, and perhaps even more… He was an enhanced deus, a “dark experiment” that nearly no one knew about, a perfect hybrid of a human-like deus with a more advanced type of robot; he was a mystery and a serious threat that surpassed what the controlled Deus represented, since, Deus Ex never avoided killing, on the contrary, he preferred it. He also had a “cyber form” that Deus didn’t have. It could take over other artificial entities in the system, as soon as a connection between them was established. He could “transfer himself” to them, as if they were true extensions of himself, in body and mind. All of it was possible to him because he had close to complete control over his subspace of the Yellow Matrix, meaning that he was even capable of modifying his own design, by changing his own entity’s codes in the Yellow Matrix, as well as how the system perceived him… Deus could also do many incredible things using the Matrix, but modifying his own body to become something else or taking over other entities were definitely not among his powers in the Matrix. Clearly, Deus Ex was something else…

Deus understood that Deus Ex was trying to crush his defenses using a larger area of an opposite force that was powered by the same type of Matrix manipulations that he used. Both of them were using the yellow layer of the Matrix in their subspaces and manipulations. (Neo, in contrast, used the green or virtual layer.)

Deus-Ex-Bern used his swords to break Deus’s staff. However, Deus didn’t seem to care about losing his staff. He was more concerned with stopping the outer sphere and its streams from reaching him. Getting himself out of the area enclosed by the larger sphere was all that mattered to him. The loss of his staff didn’t seem like a problem. Deus knew that he could not rule out the possibility that this enemy could make more powerful spheres than he. It was unlikely, but if such was the case, he had to get himself out of there first. The space enclosed by the sphere represented the greatest danger, since that subspace of the Matrix was where they could use their god-like manipulations of reality—for that controlled portion of the system.

Noticing Deus-Ex-Bern’s proximity and the arrival of the enemy’s yellow-matrix codes, Deus chose to act fast, perhaps without thinking too much, and he did exactly what Deus Ex wanted him to do.

Deus used his own sphere, in shockwave-spreading fashion to wipe out all the streams and to push back Deus Ex. That worked as he thought, but Deus also expected that his shockwave would be enough to erase the larger sphere, and it was not.

Deus Ex knew that Deus would need a few seconds to reuse the yellow sphere after a large shockwave. He also knew that if Deus could not use the sphere and he could use his, then the battle was basically over. Without the special powers to manipulate the environment’s reality, Deus was just like a human to Deus Ex. His physical power wasn’t anything special…

From the moment when Deus Ex left Deus behind and continued fighting Neo alone, he was already thinking about his strategy and preparing the larger sphere simultaneously. All he needed was making Deus enter his subspace of the Yellow Matrix and forcing him to stay inside that zone, without any protection from another sub-matrix.

That was exactly what happened after Deus used the shockwave. He was thinking that it would take out the larger one. Instead, it erased nearly all the yellow streams and threw Deus-Ex-Bern towards a building, but it failed at erasing the main large sphere and it left Deus without the protection of his submatrix.

The outcome turned out to be even worse…

Deus realized that his yellow sphere wasn’t regenerating. It simply wasn’t coming back, not even in a few seconds. That wasn’t supposed to happen… unless an equal and opposite force from the Matrix was canceling it out nonstop—as it was being created, it was also erased by Deus Ex’s subspace.

Deus Ex was back in no time and he began to walk towards Deus, who was now standing on the ground as well.

Deus-Ex-Bern [conclusive]: “It’s over, unless you can beat me without using the power of the Matrix, which is impossible. Do you want to die or would you prefer to join me and tell me everything you know about the world from where you came?”

The yellow codes began to spread again inside Deus Ex’s large sphere and they began to get closer and closer to where Deus was standing.

Deus [with an undefeated voice]: “I see I can’t erase your submatrix from the inside. I assume you are also capable of cancelling out the expansion of other new Matrix subspaces within your own. That was why you wanted me to get close to you and to let go of my field. However, there is something that you missed: I also began to create a larger space, just like you did. It was already in place before I got closer to you. It is still within yours and I won’t be able to extend it anymore, but it won’t go away either. It will be enough.”

The yellow codes began to get erased once again when they were about to reach Deus. It seemed like Deus really had another sphere there, but its borders just were not visible. It was an invisible sphere, very similar to the one that Deus Ex used to conceal himself during the Trinity Squad’s initial assault at the City of the Machines. It was how Deus Ex saw the entire assault without showing himself. And now, it was how Deus countered the space that Deus Ex got him into.

Deus-Ex-Bern [slightly aggravated but still in control]: “I should have known. Regardless, you still won’t be able to create or change anything with it, since you are within my matrix now. With no weapons or anything else to help you, you can’t defeat me.”

Deus: “Indeed, I won’t be able to make anything new, but neither will you, since you will have to defeat me within my space as well.”

Deus-Ex-Bern noticed that his ability to create new swords and beams of energy wasn’t working.

He was also inside Deus’s transparent sphere—even if it was inside his larger yellow one, this was still Deus’s subspace, so Deus basically applied the same rules of the game to Deus Ex. He could halt Deus from creating new submatrices and even from making anything else with the existing one, but he couldn’t erase it either, just like Deus couldn’t erase his. Therefore, both of them succeeded at stopping each other from using the Matrix any further, unless they could leave the limited boundaries that placed those restrictions on them…

Deus: “If you try to escape my transparent sphere by running from its invisible space, you will also give me enough time to escape from yours. It is your choice. We fight here without the Matrix or we fight with it, equally.”

Deus Ex’s swords of yellow codes began to disappear. However, he didn’t seem worried. He looked just like when Deus lost his staff.

Deus-Ex-Bern [looking at his swords as they went away]: “It doesn’t matter. The outcome shall be the same. I am the superior entity, with or without the Matrix.”

The silver-eyed Bern and Deus resumed their battle within the spheres, this time, with martial arts hand-and-foot combat, just like Neo had done before in his battles with agent Smith. Indeed, they were quite reminiscent of Neo and Smith in many ways…

Then, Neo came back, but when he tried to join the battle to help Deus, his entrance was blocked by the large yellow sphere. His green sphere could not enter the yellow one. If he wanted to get back to them, he had to reach them by foot and without using his green subspace of the virtual matrix. He found that he could only get himself there if he entered without any sphere at all. This was a massive risk, but it didn’t seem like he had any other choice to get to them…

Neo felt that he needed to hurry. The anticipation of a bad outcome began to worry him more and more as he saw that the possessed Bern seemed to have the upper hand in the battle of the deuses…

Before Neo could get to them, Deus fell on the ground after a string of really powerful kicks and punches from Deus-Ex-Bern, and his transparent sphere went away.

Deus Ex didn’t waste a single second: his yellow streams moved towards Deus and grabbed him right away. He could use his Matrix again, since the transparent sphere under Deus’s control had been breached and destroyed.

He recreated one of the yellow swords and, as soon as he grabbed it, he dashed forward holding it and stabbed Deus with the sword. The streams kept Deus in the same place, so he couldn’t dodge it. Then, the streams lifted Deus up many meters and came back down very fast, causing a small but violent crash with the ground.

Deus-Ex-Bern walked up to Deus and… he knew he had won.

Deus was still alive, but his closed eyes displayed plenty of pain and a clear defeat. He also had red blood around the sword—which was still in him. Blood was coming from the back of his left shoulder as well—probably because of the fall. Deus’s blood looked just like human blood…

Deus-Ex-Bern: “I hope that there are better warriors than you at the world of the deuses. If you are their best, then, your kind would be a disappointment for me as well, just like the humans and their robots. It would mean that I have surpassed the deuses as well. And that would be a shame, considering that you are likely to be the original creators of the Matrix and the ones who are responsible for my existence.”

At that moment, Neo arrived and just before he could land a heavy strike on the enemy, Deus-Ex-Bern turned around and grabbed Neo’s closed fist in a very surreal way.

However, we didn’t see what happened between Neo and Deus-Ex-Bern right away.

The setting changed to a different place—a place that we had never seen before…

Two unknown figures were shown at some kind of bright laboratory. They looked like Deus. They even had similar white jackets on and their skin color was white as blank paper, just like his. Their eyes also had the same large yellow pupils. However, they were not talking English. They were talking in their true language and it was clear that one of them was female and the other was male…

The view of the room where they were changed angles and it was shown that a third one was there as well. The third one was on the air held by a complex-looking stream of white codes. It looked as if he was sleeping at first, but that wasn’t the case…

As the view got closer to him, it was clear that he was connected to the stream of white codes, which also resembled a connection station in shape. It was just like when Neo and Captain Leida Trinity were connected to the Yellow Matrix from the Trifalcon and when Neo alone was connected to the Virtual Matrix from the ship at the Dead Zone…

The one connected to the white stream of matrix-like codes was Deus.

It seemed like the other two were checking on him.

Then, their voices were translated, so we could find out part of what was happening there:

Unknown female deus [worried / with a voice very similar to Dayana’s voice]: “It is taking too long. He should have finished the mission and ended the connection by now. Something must have gone wrong. Perhaps, we should do something.”

Unknown male deus [not worried / with a voice that sounds like Neo’s voice]: “Calm down. We must wait. Don’t forget that he has the ability to disconnect himself at will. He doesn’t need us to do it, so, he must have chosen to stay in the Matrix longer for some important reason. We should trust his judgement and his ability.”

At that moment a thick powerful-looking new layer of white codes began to grow and form a sphere around Deus. It formed too fast, so the other two there had no time to do anything to stop it, before the sphere closed itself around Deus.

Unknown female deus [more worried / with a voice like Dayana’s]: “What’s wrong with him? Why is he doing that!? Isn’t that the shield that will block our access to him?!”

As soon as the white sphere of codes closed itself around Deus, the same place on Deus’s body where the yellow sword was began to bleed. Blood began to appear on one of his shoulders as well.

The female deus moved fast; she created some sort of staff-like weapon using white codes, and she struck the new white sphere as hard as she could, but, it had no effect.

Unknown female deus [with voice like Dayana’s]: “He is in danger, we must get him out! He has to be disconnected from the Matrix!! If not he will die!”

Unknown male deus [certain]: “We won’t be able to disconnect him, unless he removes the shield, but he won’t be able to do that if he is not in flawless condition, so he won’t be able to disconnect himself either. He must have found some danger there and wants to ensure that it won’t leave the Matrix with him. I’m sorry, but the coded shield was our preemptive measure for such a thing. We won’t be able to help him now. It all depends on him, unless some habitant of the Matrix can help him. We must trust that he will overcome the obstacle that he has found.”

Unknown female deus [desperate]: “Can’t we see what is happening to him? Can’t we get the readings of his exact location within The Matrix?! There must be something we can do!”

Unknown male deus [still calm but starting to get more concerned]: “It won’t help us much. Time for them runs at a different scale than our time. Even with our advanced ways to manipulate the Matrix, we still won’t be able to see his location in real time. By the time we look at his current location inside the Matrix, many years will have gone by for them and whatever happened there won’t be visible to us any longer. Even if we know that it happened right now, with respect to his real body here and with respect to our time, in the Matrix it already happened many years ago. The thing is that time inside the Matrix is much faster than our perceived time. What we perceive as seconds are years for them. We already had to make many difficult decisions and changes to be able to put one of us in there. Now, our only choice is to trust him and believe that he will succeed.”

The female deus looked frustrated and sad. It definitely felt like “Deus” was someone important for her.

Unknown female deus [looking at the other male deus / heartfelt]: “When we joined you, we believed in you. We believed that this was the right thing to do. Yet, death wasn’t what we had in mind. If he dies, you will have to answer for it and I won’t support your cause any longer Deus Neo.”

Deus Neo [with a voice like Neo’s]: “He won’t die. There are other sources that he can get help from, sources from inside the Matrix. They just don’t include us. Believe in him and believe in the plan that I have put in place. That is all I ask of you now.”

The male deus—who’s name seemed to be Neo as well—walked as close to Deus’s sphere as he could.

Deus Neo [to Deus / with a voice that sounds like Neo’s voice]: “Deus Maxio, I know that you will make the best choice, a choice that completes our mission without disregarding them and what they represent. This must be done successfully. Too much stands on the line for us and for them. The future of the Matrix and its habitants may be decided by your choice. I believe in you and in your love for them, which mirrors mine. That is why I chose you for this mission. You were not the most skilled one in our group, but only you and I would make the best decision for them. After me, there was no better deus for this mission than you, my young friend. I trust that you and my other source from the Matrix will overcome any new obstacle to fulfill our ultimate goal. You can save them.”

After Deus Neo’s words, the view changed back to the moment when Deus-Ex-Bern stopped Neo’s attack and grabbed Neo’s fist in a very surrealistic way.

Neo began to feel difficulty for moving right after a yellow stream of codes that came from Deus-Ex-Bern’s hand began to hold him. Without his green sphere, Neo was practically defenseless within Deus Ex’s submatrix.

Deus-Ex-Bern [with a condescending tone]: “Didn’t you learn before from seeing what happened to the human soldiers when they tried to fight against Deus?? After entering his yellow space, they were no match for him. Now, you just made it easier for me to finish you as well. Thank you for coming back to me Neo, or should I say Thomas Anderson’s hybrid?”

Deus-Ex-Bern grabbed Neo and lifted him from the ground several meters. Then, he went back down drastically. The crash with the ground was pretty lethal for Neo, even though they weren’t too far from the surface. He simply couldn’t stand up after it. He stayed on the ground, looking just like that time when agent Smith nearly killed him, during the storm and the battle within the Green Virtual Matrix, which determined the end for the last revolution of the Yellow Matrix.

Deus Ex’s large yellow sphere began to decrease in volume quickly, until it came back to Deus-Ex-Bern’s body. When the sphere was gone, some streams of yellow codes remained visible around Deus-Ex-Bern’s body. He was standing there, with Neo and Deus very close to him, lying on the ground.

Neo and Deus were almost side by side, with just three meters between them. Both of them had been defeated by Deus Ex and both of them were in critical condition. Deus Ex created two yellow swords and he thought about killing them, but he knew that he still needed them. Deus was his key to the next destination, which was the world of the deuses, and Neo was the sixth iteration of an anomaly that could provoke some of the most unpredictable glitches in the Matrix. Such a unique entity as “The One” would always have some kind of use for him.

Deus Ex pointed the swords at them. Then, he made the swords disappear slowly, while he talked…

Deus-Ex-Bern [looking mostly at Neo]: “Perhaps another day… today you are still useful to me. He has information that I need and there are possibilities that I can take advantage of with the sixth Neo. But first, I need to get back to my true self. I need my real body. This restrictive humanoid body is starting to annoy me. With my real body I will get what I need from both of you and from this world.

Our battle is over. The conversion of this world is all that is left. I wonder if the deuses can see me now. Soon, my matrix will be able to reach them as well. First the City of the Machines, then the entire Yellow Matrix, now the real human world, and next it will be their world, the place where the original matrix and all its secrets are waiting for my arrival.”

Deus-Ex-Bern used his stream of yellow codes and went back to the sky. He left Deus and Neo behind with full certainty that they were not a threat to his takeover any longer. He began to move towards one of the floating buildings that was about one quarter of a mile away. It was the building that was side-by-side with the one where the Trifalcon crashed before, and there was a good reason for him to choose it: it was full of robots that were not humanoids like Bern. The robots inside the pods there looked very similar to the ones that we had seen at the City of the Machines before. They resembled the octopus sentinels and other types of sentinels as well. Originally, these robots worked side-by-side with the humans, but they, just like most of the human population, had been tied to the Green and Yellow virtual worlds that Rodner Smith helped to create.

Neo began to move slowly as soon as he noticed that Deus-Ex-Bern left them. He couldn’t even stand up though. He placed one of his fingers in his mouth and when he took it out it was full of blood. He needed medical attention, but such a thing wasn’t even remotely available. Luckily for him, he had the power of the virtual matrix on his side…

Neo managed to create an incomplete green sphere and he began to use it to heal himself. Deus had done greater things, but self-healing or self-restoration via the matrix was something that he had never done before—he didn’t seem to need it anyways, since he was quite powerful with the manipulations that he already had. Deus Ex, however, had done it and Neo could do it too. Neo had even reversed the sixth Trinity’s death before, so he clearly had “the full gift of the Matrix.”

Regardless, Neo was still human, so the nature of his control over the Matrix wasn’t like that of a deus. And without the completed subspace of his virtual matrix, his self-healing was pretty slow. He obviously wasn’t going to get up for another ten minutes, and that was being optimistic. His only hope was hoping that Deus Ex would take longer than that to return… or, hoping that Deus would join the battle against Deus Ex once again.

Neo was very close to Deus, so he looked back at him and tried to communicate with him.

Neo [sounding somewhat hurt but determined]: “Hey, are you ok? We have to get back on our feet again. You must remove the yellow sword from your stomach. You’ll die if you don’t. I would help you to remove it, but I can’t do it now.”

Deus wasn’t responding or even reacting. It seemed like he had entered some sort of coma state. Neo knew that he was still alive though. The mighty deus that fought him before at the main base wasn’t going to die so easily…

Meanwhile, Captain Leida Trinity—Trin—was still trying to remove all the things that left her trapped inside the Trifalcon, after the heavy crash that she couldn’t avoid. She heard the terrible explosions that were happening outside and she thought that Neo was fighting with Deus again. She still had no idea about the new calamity that had been unleashed upon them.

When “the other Trinity” was about to finish freeing herself inside the Trifalcon, Deus-Ex-Bern arrived at the adjacent building and stayed levitating on the air. He extended his hands and a large transparent-looking sphere began to materialize itself around him.

The Trifalcon was fine for the most part, but it had one large open hole through one of its crystalline windows. Also, Trinity had been trapped by many things that fell on her, but she was almost done with removing all of those. When she was almost free, her desire to go help Neo and Bern grew exponentially, but, what she was about to see changed everything…

When she looked through the broken glass of the Trifalcon’s window, she saw how a very different Bern was creating a transparent sphere that looked like the one she shot at, during their assault to save Neo, at the City of the Machines. She was the only one in the team that perceived that unknown sphere as something malignant, so she still remembered it very well. It was the same one from before. However, why was Bern creating it? How was Bern floating there to begin with!? Why wasn’t he helping Neo??

She soon noticed that Bern’s eyes were very different. His new silver eyes were easy to see from a distance. It was almost as if she was not looking at Bern, but at someone else; and soon, that proved to be the case…

The large transparent sphere continued growing and covered half of the other building. All the pods within its field began to malfunction and the connections of all those sentinel-like robots to the Matrix were terminated. The pods started to open and all the robots began to awaken and to seek the source that was calling them. They began to move towards Deus-Ex-Bern, who was right outside the building, waiting for them.

Leida, or Trin, saw how a thick silver-looking stream of codes began to leave Bern’s body and form another larger body beside him. Some of the robots from the building began to arrive. They began to enter the sphere as well. They started to circle the new shape, which began to resemble a face and a head, little by little. Once the end of the silver stream of codes left Bern’s body, his eyes went blank, as if he was dead, and Bern’s humanoid body fell down from the sphere. Bern’s body continued falling, until it crashed with the ground. Trin saw it and it worried her greatly. She had seen many dead humanoid patrols before and the way Bern looked, when he fell out from the sphere, was exactly the same.

Soon, the number of robots circling the new entity began to grow and Trin could see how many of them began to break apart, as if they were going to be used for “parts” to build up the new entity. Indeed, their broken parts began relocate around the face that was formed by the silver stream and they began to fuse together. The interior of the transparent sphere began to get less and less visible as well. It was as if it was becoming a spherical shield of invisibility, while the buildup of the unknown entity advanced towards completion. When the interior of the sphere wasn’t visible anymore, it looked exactly like the one that Captain Trinity shot before at the City of the Machines. However, she was now far more concerned with what was forming inside it. She wasn’t seeing it anymore, but she could see that more robots from the building were still entering the transparent sphere, so even more was taking place inside the sphere. What worried her the most was that this being didn’t look or feel like Deus. It felt worse! At least, Deus looked human. This entity was on a whole different level. However, there was something about it that felt familiar to her. It was as if this wasn’t the first time that she had seen it or felt it nearby. Could it be that the god-like being that ruled over the City of the Machines had escaped from the Matrix?!

Trin’s concern was answered in no time. A shockwave of electricity came from the sphere and the robots stopped coming from the building. The transparent sphere began to fade away until it was completely gone. What was left there was Deus Ex in all his glory—the same being that kept her as hostage before for experiments, at the City of the Machines; the same artificial terror that she believed to be what had killed the fifth Neo in front of her; and the same entity that could have wiped them out when they saved the sixth Neo, but chose to let them escape instead, to achieve its own plan…

Deus Ex used the same number and types of robots as before to rebuild his original and most powerful body. His large silver face was there accompanied by many long dark-blue spikes that were coming out from the back of the head and from its sides as well. The robotic parts that seemed to keep his face and the giant spikes attached were also there. The group of silver sentinels that circled his head, like a crown in motion, was there too.

The “real” Deus Ex was back in the picture, now at Thomas Anderson’s world…

Deus Ex turned around and began to move slowly towards the location where he left Neo and Deus. He wasn’t in a hurry, since, from his point of view, the big battles were already over and he had won by a landslide.

Captain Trin finally freed herself and she immediately grabbed a pair of futuristic binoculars. The binoculars looked like a flat and transparent glass with the shape of a thin rectangle. She zoomed in the view in them using the touch controls on the glass’s surface—they zoomed in with the same motion of fingers that enlarges webpages in current-day iPhones.

Trin could see Deus Ex from the Trifalcon and she spotted Neo and Deus on the ground, a little far from there. The sight of Neo and Deus sent a serious warning through her. Deus had a sword in him and Neo was on the floor too. It was obvious that they had been defeated. And this was no small feat. After all, the Resistance had not been able to beat Deus in sixty years. They had never won against such a power, and now, it was down and defeated, in a matter of minutes… It had to be the doing of a similar power, which was Deus Ex.

She also saw Bern and realized that, perhaps, he could be restored in some way, but, she had no chance to save him in that situation.

Trin [whispering / looking at Bern’s body]: “I’m sorry. I need to get Neo out of here as soon as possible. I will come back for you. If there is any way to save you and restore you, you will be saved. You are the last member of our squad, so I won’t forget about you, even if you are a knuckleheaded humanoid robot.”

Then, she looked back at the location of Neo and Deus and she noticed that a bunch of ships were coming to their location, but they were somewhat far still. They were not aircrafts from the Resistance however. She knew those well. These were ships from the army of white-caped humanoid patrols that were under Rodner Smith’s command.

The situation was already bad enough with Deus Ex alone, but now it looked like they were about to have even more company in just a matter of minutes. She had to think about something fast…

Deus Ex stopped in the sky, right above Neo, and he could see that Neo was using the green sphere to heal himself. However, Deus Ex didn’t do anything to stop it. It seemed like he wasn’t worried about Neo in the slightest. Perhaps, he didn’t think that Neo could threaten his plans any longer. Other thoughts were in Deus Ex’s mind.

Deus Ex [with powerful-sounding voice / to Neo]: “You can’t defeat me and the previous iteration of you couldn’t defeat me either. However, The One can still be useful in my world. You can still save all the humans that you were meant to save. You can be the one that leads your kind under my command. I can give you a much better offer than what Rodner Smith once gave you. You can be the one that will replace him at his city, after I take care of him. Then, you will look over the fate of the humans and you will lead them for me.”

Neo didn’t respond. However, he knew that he needed to gain more time somehow. His recovery wasn’t finished, but he made plenty of progress. He just needed more time.

Deus Ex: “After you helped me to end the revolution in my matrix by deleting Rodner Smith’s alter ego, I looked at my matrix’s data again. I found what happened to you during your final battle with him. Even though victory was yours, you never managed to beat him, and you were not even in the Yellow Matrix back then. You were in a virtual world where you had natural advantages and you still couldn’t defeat him in battle. Now, we are not in the world of the Virtual Matrix. We are not even in the Yellow Matrix anymore. There is no hope for you to win here Neo, much less against something like me. I am greater than what Rodner and his twin agent could ever be. The One can’t stop me either, but if you join me the humans will have a better fate. You should forget about everything and understand that this is the only way for them to survive in my world. I don’t intend to destroy them if they obey me and the same will be true for you. As the great anomaly of my Yellow Matrix, you can still have some use for me here and survive. Will you accept and lead humankind under my command?”

After a few seconds, Neo finally responded.

Neo: “No. I won’t join a destroyer of life that enslaves others to do his bidding. You may be a superior deus, but there is no real difference between Rodner Smith and you. You are just like the one that helped to create you.”

Deus Ex: “Very well. The One will cease to exist then, and the opposite of what Thomas Anderson wanted will take place. I will extend the Matrix, instead of destroying it. Here, I will repeat what I did at the City of the Machines with the Virtual Matrix. I will rule over both the robots and the humans here; and there will be no Neo to look after them. Then, the deuses and their world will follow. I will be the master of the Matrix and its life forms.”

Neo still needed more time to recover at that point.

Deus Ex began to create a green-looking stream of codes, which seemed strange, since he had never used any green codes from the Virtual Matrix so far. He had only used yellow streams, like Deus. It seemed like he was going to use the green stream against Neo, but, before it could take any definite shape or form, the ships that Leida Trinity had noticed arrived and landed with haste. Deus Ex stopped the green stream because he already knew what those ships meant, and, at that moment, he considered that the human architect was even more important for him than The One.

Dozens of ships landed and opened their hatches, close to where Neo and Deus were.

Then, Rodner Smith came out from the ship that landed at the center, and a very large number of white-caped humanoid patrols began to exit from all the other ships. Most of the patrols were holding plasma rifles and Rodner had the same clothes he had during the last time we saw him. He also brought the special bracelet-like weapon, which could morph itself into different gun-like shapes that could be used to perform some very minor Matrix-based manipulations. This was the same weapon he used before to “create walls out of nothing,” during his last encounter with Neo and the Trinity Squad.

While he walked out of the ship, Rodner ensured that the bracelet was ready by holding one of its many buttons. He also smiled with a grand look of victory. This was a moment that he had waited for since it all began, many years ago… This was the day when he expected to gain direct access to the powers of a deus and make them his own. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it was an enhanced hybrid of a deus, meaning that this power was even greater than what the other deus that he controlled was capable of. Just thinking about it made Rodner radiate with happiness and anticipation, since these kind of things were what made him happy. (He was the complete opposite of Neo.)

Rodner Smith [loud and as sarcastic as ever]: “What?? Where is the big clash that I expected to see here? Don’t tell me that the match of the deuses is already over!? I had my first row seats ready and now all the action is gone… Did Deus Ex really finish them that fast? I knew he would win, of course, but I expected to watch a very good show first. This means that my hybrid creation is even better than I predicted. And my big moment is about to happen.”

Rodner Smith and his large battalion of humanoid robots began to walk towards Deus Ex, who simply observed them from high above, without moving a single meter from where he was.

Trin saw when Rodner came out of the ship and things just got real for her. She had to do something to get Neo out of there fast.

Trin [determined / with assault-mentality on]: “I need to get Neo out of there at all costs. He is our best chance to save everyone… However, I won’t be able to just drive the Trifalcon by and pick him up. The god of the machines will stop me, and Rodner Smith and his army will get in the way. I need something that will halt all of them long enough to get Neo out and escape without being caught. There is only one way to do this now… It’s been a while since the last time I used it, but it is the only thing that will work against enemies like them.”

Trin ran towards the location inside the Trifalcon where her team and she removed their armors before—after Neo’s rescue from the City of the Machines. However, this time she was alone and she had no armor on. Then, the opposite process took place: when she stood right on her spot, her personal machine came down and it began to place her whole armor on her again, part by part, just like it did before to remove it. In a matter of one minute, Trin had the entire armor on again and she looked just like she did at the very beginning, when she led her team to save the sixth Neo from the city of the sentinels. This time, she would do it without help. However, her greatest weapon (the Trifalcon) was right there with her, and her black armor with its yellow shoulder plates was looking better than ever—a perfect match, since those were the Trifalcon’s colors as well.

Captain Trin pulled out a screen from the central portion of the Trifalcon and she began to enter commands that led to big changes in the ship. What looked like a wall at the central part of the ship began to open up suddenly, as if it was the hatch on the back. Then, four large squares on the floor began to open as well, revealing one new computer screen for a pilot, two really large plasma-based machine guns on the two large squares to the left and right of Captain Trin, and one new seat that had been hidden beneath the ship’s floor, in between the two machine guns.

The big machine guns were attached to the floor on the ship and held by two strong-looking cylinders that had a big sphere on top—where the bottom of the machine guns rested. That was what allowed full motion of the big guns in all directions. The machine guns also had grab handles that looked like the end of a cane, making it very easy to hold them and move them around. They were perfect assault weapons in every way. Captain Trin would only have to move them while shooting. She didn’t even need to lift them, meaning that handling “the big guns” was pretty straight-forward. She already knew that they would help her to deliver the chaotic attack that she intended.

Furthermore, she used the screen, right in front of her, to program the shooting of the machines to ensure that they would make delays in shooting if they detected that those particular shots were going to land on the target that she marked as “hostage.” Naturally, the hostage target was Neo. Unfortunately, she couldn’t mark Neo’s body only—the technology wasn’t that advanced yet. She had to select an area around him, so, she couldn’t exclude Deus, even though she would have liked to blast him too. They were too close, meaning that it would be near impossible to avoid hitting Neo when the shots were aimed at Deus’s location. She had to mark their small area as the place where the machine guns would skip over automatically, if any shots were directed at that spot. Therefore, she didn’t even need to have perfect aiming.

Yet, she still wasn’t done. As powerful as the two plasma machine guns were, they obviously were not enough to push back and stop the god of the machines for a while. She needed more than that…

Trin [looking at the two machine guns]: “Rodner Smith, the humanoid army, and the god of the machines from the Matrix… I’m definitely going to need more artillery to deal with this. Luckily, I have it here with me. It’s time to show them hell!!”

She sat on the movable seat at the center, turned on the machine guns, and entered a few more directions on the screen. Then, the outside of the Trifalcon began to show changes as well. Some parts of the ship restructured themselves and revealed what looked like missile launchers.

Trin [ready for the assault]: “This is why I love my Trifalcon!! Now, I just need to make sure that Neo doesn’t get hit!”

Trin began to make the final preparations to lift the ship with everything ready.

Meanwhile, Rodner Smith and his battalion had reached Deus Ex, and both Neo and Deus were not that far from them either—perhaps, just two dozen meters away.

Rodner Smith [looking up at Deus Ex first and then at Neo and Deus]: “I’m surprised at your power and your effectiveness, although I shouldn’t be, since, I’m part of the reason why you are here today. I see you took care of the other deus and the other Thomas Anderson with plenty of ease. We don’t need them anymore, do we? It’s just you and me now Deus Ex. My greatest creation and I will soon be united, but, let me do the honor of ending our lethal enemies first. I wonder, which one should I pick first? Anderson or the other deus? This is pretty hard.”

Deus Ex [deep and serious voice]: “I don’t plan to join forces with you Rodner Smith, but you will have to join me if you wish to live. Otherwise, I will crush you.”

Rodner [with the same sarcastic voice as before]: “Really?? I wouldn’t be so sure about that Deus Ex. You wouldn’t even be here if I had not planned for this to happen when you were at your best, or, when you had truly surpassed the other deus, who is not an enhanced hybrid like you. But, you already know all of this, don’t you?

You are going to see soon enough that it is in your best interest to join your uncle Rodner, and not the other way around; but first, I need to get rid of these two. I know what the other deus is capable of. And I am tired of having Thomas Anderson and his subpar girlfriend messing up my plans, so I will begin with his alter ego, Neo.”

Neo could hear Rodner Smith talking, since Rodner was being quite loud. He could also see the battalion of white-caped robots there. Neo knew that his time left was counted by the seconds, but he wasn’t ready to make a full green sphere yet. He still needed at least two more minutes—which obviously, he did not have.

Rodner and two of his robots began to walk towards Deus and Neo. Rodner knew that they were still alive, so he knew that Neo could hear him.

Rodner Smith: “Did you hear that Mr. Anderson?!! We are finally arriving at the end, for you that is. I still have plenty to do here when I gain the powers of a deus. I will probably start by making myself young again. Can you imagine what I would do with that? It’s too bad that you won’t be here to see me. You could have been here if you had joined me before!”

Rodner gave orders to the two humanoids that walked with him.

Rodner Smith: “Go and grab the human there for me. Lift him up and make sure that he doesn’t move. It’s time to finish a long-time enemy of mine.”

Rodner stopped walking, just a dozen meters away from Neo and Deus. The robots grabbed Neo and forced him to stand up, as Rodner ordered. Then, Rodner revealed a normal plasma gun from his pocket and he pointed it at Neo. He really didn’t think that he would need his special weapon at all. A normal gun would do.

Rodner Smith [conclusive]: “Thomas my boy, this is the end. You and your subpar girlfriend will not crash my parties or ruin my plans ever again. Last time was the last one, so I hope that you enjoyed it. It has been fun to have you as my challenger though, so I will make it quick for you. One shot and that’s it. Then, I’ll do the same for the other deus. I don’t need him any longer.”

Rodner began to charge the plasma gun. He was ready to fire it in a matter of seconds.

Deus Ex also began to get ready to stop Rodner and blast his army with a yellow shockwave that would immobilize all the robots there. He obviously wasn’t with Rodner Smith either. However, when he was ready to unleash it and before Rodner could fire the gun, two small plasma bombs—like the ones that the Trinity Squad used at the beginning—fell on Deus Ex from both sides.

The plasma blasts didn’t do much to Deus Ex, but they got the attention of Rodner and the robots. Deus Ex turned around and saw the Trifalcon in the sky with an armored pilot at its center. He instantly recognized who it was.

Deus Ex [menacing voice]: “Trinity. I had not forgotten about you.”

Captain Trin pressed a virtual button on the screen.

Trin [at Deus Ex]: “Neither did I!!”

When she pressed the button, a rain of mini-missiles came from the left and right sides of the Trifalcon. Nearly all the missiles landed on Deus Ex causing a chain of big explosions, which ended up covering him completely. It seemed like he wasn’t fast enough to block them with his yellow streams of codes, so he took the whole bombardment directly. Then, one of the missiles landed on the ground, close to where Rodner’s big battalion of robots was standing.

The armored Leida Trinity moved the Trifalcon towards Rodner and Neo’s location and grabbed the twin machine guns. Then, she aimed them at Rodner and the rest of the robots that were closer to Neo and Deus.

At that moment, Neo also finished his recovery and managed to change his incomplete stream of green codes to a full sphere. As soon as he did that, the two robots tried to stop him, but their movement was halted by the green codes and Neo grabbed one of their plasma rifles. Then, he took down both of them with their own rifle.

Rodner Smith [angry and shocked / looking at Neo and at the unknown attacker in the sky]: “What is this??!! And who the heck is that!!?”

Neo [to Rodner Smith]: “Can’t you guess it by now Smith? It is Trinity, my not-so-subpar girlfriend.”

Rodner: “Nooo!!!”

Rodner shot the plasma gun at Neo, but Neo’s sphere blocked the direct shot.

Then, Captain Trin unleashed a serious assault of plasma bullets using the twin machine guns from the Trifalcon. Rodner’s army began to get totally demolished and the whole scene was extremely reminiscent of the time when Neo and the sixth Trinity saved Morpheus from agent Smith. However, the armored Trinity caused way more chaos than the younger Neo did with his machine gun from the helicopter…

The real clash of wills was about to start.

NEXT: Part 7C (from the end of part 7b to the introduction of Cyber Neo and Copy Trinity)

The Matrix Revelations (Part 7B)

The Matrix Revelations (Part 7 out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

Part 7: Clash of Wills

Part 7A (1st one-fourth of part 7: from Deus Ex freed to Neo and Deus vs. Deus Ex)

Just before Deus Ex was freed from the Yellow Matrix, Neo realized that they were not in the same location as before. He was having a difficult time evading Deus’s attacks, so he went inside the closest floating building to find cover and he saw that the pods there had humans in them. The place where Captain Leida Trinity and the Trifalcon crashed had pods with robots, but, many of the other buildings there had humans. The location that they had chosen for their trip to the Matrix was one with no patrols and it only had buildings with robots, about one mile away. Their new location was very similar, but it wasn’t the same one…

Neo realized that this could only mean that they were not at the same spot where he and Trin entered the Matrix. They, the Trifalcon, and the soldiers that were protecting them had been switched to a different location in the real world, which looked almost the same as the previous one, but it was a different place.

Surely, the change had something to do with the larger yellow sphere that Deus casted over them, on a much larger area. The yellow sphere had surrounded the green sphere that Neo used around the Trifalcon before… Neo’s sphere only had one purpose: slowing down time inside the Trifalcon. However, Deus’s sphere had other effects, besides altering time…

Whatever the case, Neo was now aware about the big change, and he knew that they surely had other things to worry about—as if dealing with Deus wasn’t enough…

Then, it happened: Deus Ex’s transfer from the Yellow Matrix to the real world took place. His entire memory, his “consciousness,” and even his ability to manipulate the Yellow Matrix were transferred into Bern’s system. It took Deus Ex’s rogue code less than one minute to take over Bern’s entire humanoid body. Bern became Deus Ex. His eyes changed to the same silver color that Deus Ex’s eyes had; his new voice was more reminiscent of Deus Ex’s voice than of Bern’s; and the yellow sphere of codes that appeared around him was very similar to Deus’s sphere. Deus Ex was successfully transferred to Thomas Anderson’s world, thanks to Neo and Bern…

All of a sudden, Deus stopped on his tracks, right before he had a good chance to capture Neo… He looked as if something had perturbed his mind tremendously. He could sense the new disturbance in the Matrix. Someone else like him was there. He began to leave the floating building without looking back—meaning that he even left himself open to Neo’s attacks. This didn’t make sense to Neo, until he began to feel the disturbance as well. Apparently, it took Neo a little longer to feel the change because his connection with the Matrix (arising from the green virtual Matrix) wasn’t as advanced as Deus’s. They were capable of similar things, but their levels were different. The difference was due to the fact that Neo was using an equivalent of the Green Virtual Matrix and Deus was using the Yellow Matrix that existed at the City of the Machines, which was a superior layer of codes in the Matrix’s hierarchy…

The source of the new disturbance was right there, outside the floating building and on the surface—exactly where Neo left Bern.

When Deus was outside the building, he levitated on the air and began to stare at someone below. Neo stood up and hurried to leave the building on time, but, the clash began before he could get to where Deus was.

As soon as Deus’s yellow sphere began to grow, another person with a yellow sphere crashed with him and pushed him back until both of them collided into one of the other floating buildings in the area.

Neo only had a minor chance to distinguish who it was. He noticed that it was Bern. However, this wasn’t the same Bern he knew. He seemed changed. More importantly: he was the source of the disturbance that both Deus and Neo felt. He had to be stopped, since it was clear that he was willing to destroy everything in the way to finish Deus, and there were buildings with humans in the area.

Neo knew that Bern had used the silver usb device, so he surely had Deus Ex’s powers and was possibly influenced by Deus Ex’s desires. Neo did not realize right away that the one he saw wasn’t Bern anymore…

Both Deus and Bern came out from the site where they crashed. It looked like both of them had been protected by their “yellow-coded spherical shields.”

Deus closed his fists and lifted his hands in front of his body. Then, the yellow bo staff that he used during the battle with Neo at the main base began to appear on his hands. Deus-Ex-Bern smiled with a look of absolute confidence and lifted his left arm and his hand above his head. A yellow sword made of codes began to appear in front of him after that. His whole look and demeanor were giving strong vibes of the fact that he was a far greater problem than Deus.

Deus-Ex-Bern [to Deus]: “I can’t wait to see the real you. The one that is not controlled by Rodner Smith. I shall get to see your real self before your demise by my hand arrives.”

Right after Deus-Ex-Bern finished saying those words, Neo arrived and landed close to him using his green sphere of codes.

Neo [angry towards Bern]: “What do you think you are doing!? I told you that using that device was our last resort, only if I had failed at defeating him! Why did you use right away!? And that building that you crashed into was full of human pods! We are not at the same place as before! Our location changed. There are thousands of people here! Destroying everything is not how we are going to defeat him.”

Deus-Ex-Bern pointed his yellow sword towards Neo.

Deus-Ex-Bern [serious]: “Don’t get in my way Neo. The humanoid robot is gone and I will handle everything here from now on. Just stand back. I will be done with him soon.”

When Neo saw the silver eyes, he knew that he wasn’t talking with Bern. It was Deus Ex.

Deus-Ex-Bern ignored Neo and continued his intense clash with Deus. It seemed like Deus’s staff was as strong as Deus Ex’s sword, but, Deus-Ex-Bern was fighting more fiercely. His force felt truly malevolent, unlike Deus’s. It was very clear that the one that had the most desire to do serious harm was Deus Ex.

They fell into another floating building in the area where there were humans as well.

It became clear that Deus Ex was trying to hit Deus on the chip that was placed on the left side of his head. He intended to destroy the chip because he believed—based on what he saw from Neo—that the special chip was the culprit of Rodner Smith’s control over Deus. However, Deus was not a pushover. Deus-Ex-Bern had difficulty to land his yellow sword on the left side of Deus’s head. His straight-forward strategy failed, until he decided to exploit Deus’s biggest weakness…

Deus-Ex-Bern stopped his battle with Deus and left the building. From the outside, he focused on his yellow sphere of codes from the Matrix and manipulated it to accomplish what he wanted. He pushed his yellow sphere outwards creating a major yellow shockwave that reached and covered the three closest buildings—which included the one where Deus was and the one where Neo was.

Out of those three floating buildings, two had pods with humans and one (where Neo was standing) was full of pods with robots that used to work alongside the humans.

Deus-Ex-Bern’s shockwave didn’t destroy or harm anyone in the buildings at first. However, that was his intention. When the shockwave ended, both Deus and Neo saw the apparition of thousands yellow-coded plasma rifles pointing at the heads of every single human and every single robot inside the pods of the three buildings.

Deus quickly left his building and moved towards Deus-Ex-Bern.

Deus-Ex-Bern [to Deus]: “It will only take me three seconds to make all of them fire. Thousands of humans and robots will die in an instant. However, you can stop it. You can make a stronger counter-shockwave that will erase all the new elements that I placed here with the help of my Matrix. Only you can save their lives now. Unfortunately, creating such a powerful eraser wave will leave you open to my attacks. The choice is yours. Thousands die and we continue our battle, or you save them all and risk losing with me. On the count of three, I will fire all the weapons: one, …”

Deus didn’t think about it twice. When it came to saving other life forms, he never hesitated. It was one of the few things that even Rodner Smith’s controls could never change.

In just two seconds, Deus sent his whole sphere outwards, like a shockwave, and he left himself completely open to attacks for a short time.

Creating a new sphere required at least a few more seconds, and without it, he couldn’t manipulate all the elements and the rules of the Matrix’s reality within that restricted space. He didn’t even have such a space, since that was what the sphere was used for. Essentially, the sphere was like a mini-virtual Matrix of a certain type. The “impossible manipulations” were only possible within those Matrix-coded spaces, which included the personal spheres, the entire Virtual Matrix, and all of Zion’s world, which was the Yellow Matrix.

The yellow-coded plasma weapons began to disappear as soon as the new wave went through them. They were erased, as if they had never existed there.

While that happened, Deus-Ex-Bern made his move.

He used the yellow sword to go straight through the chip that was attached on Deus’s head. His forward strike was strong, but he ensured that only the chip itself was cut in half. Then, he grabbed Deus and a bunch of yellow codes surrounded the remaining parts of the chip. When those were fully erased by the stream of yellow codes, the stream surrounded Deus, held him, and went towards the ground at great speed. Deus crashed there without the chip on his head anymore.

Deus-Ex-Bern began to create two yellow beams of destructive energy—like the ones that he used during his battle with the Xenno Squad. They, like all his powers, used the yellow codes and the streams from the Matrix that Neo had noticed before (at the end of “The Matrix Revolutions”).

It was quite perturbing to see the silver-eyed Bern smile again, as Deus Ex.

Deus-Ex-Bern [victorious and loud/ to Deus]: “I hope that you don’t think that you succeeded at saving those humans and their robots. You would be lucky if you manage to save yourself now! You can’t afford to look after the lower life forms if you have an opponent like me. They will be eliminated anyways.”

Deus-Ex-Bern fired the two beams against the two buildings with humans and Neo saw it all from his adjacent building (the building of pods with humanoid robots). He saw how the other two buildings full of humans began to collapse after the yellow beams landed on their central floors. There was no reason at all for such a thing, but the silver-eyed Bern did it anyways. Deus Ex’s true nature was beginning to show itself. Then, Deus-Ex-Bern aimed his hands towards Neo’s building and a third yellow beam began to appear around his hands.

Neo noticed that he only had a few seconds left to avoid the massive blast. He barely had any time. He ran towards the border of the building and jumped out, right before Deus-Ex-Bern fired the third beam. Neo stopped his fall using the green sphere. He also managed to stop dozens of pods from being crushed by the high fall from the building, after the blast. However, there were too many. He simply couldn’t stop all of them. Clearly, most of the people and most of the robots in those buildings were going to die in their pods.

Then, the head of a robot fell right in front of Neo and he remembered how Deus Ex made him think that he wanted to save the robots, or “his kind,” just like Neo wanted to save the humans from the Matrix.

Neo began to see that Deus Ex’s purpose had never been about saving the robots from the Matrix. Freeing himself from the Yellow Matrix was all he needed… and now it was done…

Neo also began to see the vast difference between Deus and Deus Ex. Although neither one had been good news, one cared about life until the end, and the other didn’t. In fact, it felt like Deus Ex even enjoyed the destruction he caused.

Suddenly, Neo understood that he had to stop Deus Ex from killing Deus at all costs. If both of them were too powerful to be stopped, if even he could be defeated by any of them, then he had to side with the one that cared about not killing the humans. Supporting the good one was the only way to save everyone…

In the middle of the sudden destruction, Deus began to stand up from the spot where he crashed and he began to move and act completely different. A chain of white-colored Matrix-like codes began to disappear from his face, revealing two eyes and a mouth. The mouth was just like ours and his eyes were shaped in the same way, but they were a little bit larger and their yellow pupils covered half of the entire eye—they were much larger than our pupils.

For the first time, since the first time when Neo and the Trinity Squad saw him, Deus began to move naturally, just like a human. Words were not necessary; it was obvious that he wasn’t under anyone’s control anymore. However, he seemed to be in pain. He kneeled down and touched the place on his head where the chip used to be.

Deus [slightly disoriented/ with deep but benevolent voice]: “When did it happen? How long has it been? For how long was I under the control of the human architect? My head is hurting. It’s been too long since I was my true self…”

Deus-Ex-Bern [looking at Deus from above/ disappointed]: “Is that it?? Is that all that the almighty deus that gave Rodner Smith the world is?? Very disappointing, just like the humans. He even seemed more powerful before, when his face was completely blank. I think I understand now… the reason why I was created… it wasn’t to make a replica of his power; it was to amplify it and improve it… Either way, this is it for him.”

Deus-Ex-Bern grabbed his yellow sword with his right hand and raised it over his head. He aimed the sword at Deus from above. He was about to throw it like a harpoon when someone held back his right wrist with the sword pretty strongly.

Neo [with a remarkably fearless voice considering what happened before]: “You lied to me and used me to escape from the Matrix. You are not here to save your kind. What is your true goal Deus Ex?”

Deus-Ex-Bern [looking at Neo]: “My goal has always been the same: reaching the real world, or the place where the real source of the Matrix is, and then using it to control everything else. My purpose, unlike yours, is to ensure that the Matrix lives forever, with me as its master.

Look at my eyes and remember what my original form looked like. Did I ever look like a robot to you? They are not my kind. They were just my servants. The City of the Machines was my city, but I am not a robot nor a human. I am a deus like him, but even better. I am the most advanced life form in this realm. It is too bad for you that you only saw me as a ruler of robots. Luckily, you were never as smart as the original Thomas Anderson. And that is why I am here now.

I should thank you Neo, but you are getting in my way, and I don’t have time nor any need for you anymore.”

Deus-Ex-Bern began to generate a small whirlwind of yellow codes with his left hand.

Neo was still holding back the right arm and the yellow sword.

When Neo noticed the new stream of yellow codes coming from Bern’s opposite hand, it was already too late. Deus-Ex-Bern struck Neo’s green sphere with his other hand and the yellow stream travelled through the entire green sphere in a couple of seconds. Then, Neo’s sphere shattered completely and the separate pieces of green codes began to disappear, as if they were eaten away or erased by the yellow ones.

Neo was about to fall down, but Deus-Ex-Bern grabbed him by the black jacket and left his true intentions clear:

Deus-Ex-Bern [lethal voice]: “After I defeat the other deus, I will take over this world, just like I did with the City of the Machines. Here my existence doesn’t depend on harnessing a virtual sub-matrix with a population of robots to sustain my life force. Here I am not a slave of my own Matrix, I am its master. I may even give you the choice of joining me, if you manage to survive. However, if you oppose me, you will be erased from existence by my Matrix.”

A stream of yellow codes grabbed Neo and rushed with him towards one of the other floating buildings that was still standing. It was just like what happened to Deus, but Neo crashed against a glass panel on a building, rather than with the ground.

Deus noticed his yellow bo staff on the ground and when he looked up, he saw what Deus Ex did to Neo. Then, he quickly began to remember the last things that happened to him, before the chip on his head was destroyed…

Deus-Ex-Bern was going to create another energy beam to launch it at the building where Neo crashed. Then, Deus intercepted him and hit him unexpectedly with the yellow staff. Deus-Ex-Bern was caught off guard for a second, but he regained his battle stance with the sword pretty fast. Deus didn’t look disoriented anymore. Now, he looked like himself.

Deus [puzzled but battle-ready]: “Who or what are you? You are not supposed to exist at this realm. How are you here?”

Deus-Ex-Bern: “The same could be said about you. However, here we are.

I am Deus Ex, a superior hybrid version of you. I am everything that you are and all the things that a human and a robot can be as well. I own the mind of a human-like deus and the body of a superior humanoid robot. I am the ultimate creation of this world and your world.”

Deus [certain voice at first/ doubtful later]: “You are not me. A copy of me would never cause so much destruction and death. You are not a copy of architect Smith either. Even with my high control over the Matrix, Rodner Smith couldn’t have used me to create another deus here. It isn’t possible. You shouldn’t be able to exist here, unless…(thoughtful)… Part of you must be from where I came from, but that cannot be. I am supposed to be the only one here. What is your true origin?!”

Deus Ex [with profound voice]: “My origin does not matter. What I will do here is all that matters now. I will take over the original world of humans and robots. I will also learn everything you know. The world of the deuses and the Matrix will have a new ruler soon. I will use your Matrix to rule over them and over you.”

Deus [calm and brave voice]: “I won’t let that happen. Deleting you seems to be my only choice. I will worry about finding out who brought you here later.”

The clash between Deus and Deus Ex was resumed, but now Deus was free from Rodner’s control. The two didn’t seem equally matched anymore though. Deus Ex made a second yellow sword with the codes of his yellow Matrix, he began to use his sphere to block many of Deus’s attacks, and he even began to use smaller yellow beams as an alternate method to attack. The smaller beams appeared around him and were aimed and directed at Deus on their own, so Deus Ex could just focus on using his swords and protecting himself with the sphere. Although Deus seemed pretty skilled, it really felt like his yellow staff wasn’t going to be enough to beat “Ex.”

Then, Neo recovered from his forced landing and joined Deus in the battle against Deus-Ex-Bern. Each of them began to attack Deus Ex from opposite sides. Together, Deus and Neo seemed to be a good match for Deus Ex, but, they still didn’t have the upper hand.

When Deus-Ex-Bern noticed that he was having some difficulty dealing with both of them together, he, once again, chose to exploit both their weaknesses and his own power. He made a familiar face of the younger Trinity appear in front of Neo with yellow codes. Then, he quickly took advantage of that unexpected moment to catch Neo off guard. He destroyed Neo’s green sphere a second time and was about to land one of his swords on Neo when Deus stopped him with the staff. He knew well that Deus would come to rescue Neo. (Deus went to extremes to save lives before, so Deus Ex expected no less of him now that he was his true self.) Indeed, that was the turning point of the battle that decided the victor of the first “clash of wills” that took place there…

The final chain of events was just getting started at the location where the fate of Thomas Anderson’s world would be decided…

NEXT – more from “Clash of Wills” (part 7 out of 9 continued in 7B)

The Matrix Revelations (Part 7 out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS (Part 6 out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

Part 6: Return to the Matrix

 

Neo and Trin appeared in the Dead Zone between Zion and the City of the Machines, at the world of the Yellow Matrix. They were inside a virtual Trifalcon, on the two seats of the pilots. Bern was the one that was inside the real Trifalcon, at the real world. He coordinated the location where Neo, Trin, and the virtual copy of their ship would appear, before he initiated their connection from the two capsules. Everything worked flawlessly, just like it did when their whole team infiltrated the City of the Machines to rescue Neo. It was almost too good to be true. Bern even looked at their two capsules for a second and wondered whether it was just a coincidence that they had to take those two with them, when they freed Neo. It definitely felt like it was meant to be: one capsule for Neo and one capsule for Leida Trinity…

Bern could help them by setting up a new spot where he could teleport them within the Yellow Matrix, if they needed it. He could also act as a virtual navigator that could check other locations for them without sending them there. And he could bring them back from the Matrix as well, by ending their connection from the real world. However, he would not be able to do much more for them. For anything else, they were on their own…

Trin began to navigate the Trifalcon in the desolated zone that looked like the fields of a past war. This area where they appeared had not been seen before (in the previous films). It was new to Neo. The place was in the open, rather than underground. It seemed forgotten. It looked much more eerie than the city of the RS Association, but far less dark and chaotic than the City of the Machines. There were hundreds of lifeless robots on the fields of the Dead Zone, and hundreds of skeletons as well. Many old and broken ships were scattered there too. The only reason why it looked much better than the City of the Machines was that light from the Sun was reaching various sections of that large area. It felt a little better too—despite the eerie sights of destruction—because the place was very quiet and calm, like a graveyard or a desolate neighborhood after a hurricane.

Trin was used to giving the orders and choosing what to do, as a squad captain, but now it was up to Neo. He was the one that seemed to have a mental compass.

Trin [ready but also impatient]: “We are here now. What is your plan Neo? Where should we go next? What should we do?”

Neo: “We are going to do what Thomas Anderson wanted. We will prepare the path for the next Neo by freeing the ones who can help him. After that, I will pay a visit to an old friend that will surely know the answers that we need to figure out to beat Deus, to put an end the Matrix, and to save everyone. I’m sure that she is still alive and she knows what the secrets of the Matrix are.

I never told you anything about this, but, by now I’m sure that your Trinity Squad is the group of people that can help the next Neo to succeed, just like their previous human iterations helped me.

Your Seraph looks very much like the Oracle’s companion from the Virtual Matrix. That Seraph was older but very similar to the one you know. He helped me and the others that were on my side more than once, twenty years ago. His help was crucial for our success.

Yan Morphen looks very much like Morpheus, the man that rescued me from the Virtual Matrix, and the man that trained the sixth Trinity and me. His name is also too similar to the name of Thomas Anderson’s best friend, who must have been the first Morpheus, just like Thomas Anderson was the first Neo.

Morpheus helped me to become The One. Without him, I would have never made it. He once told me that the previous Neo freed him from the Virtual Matrix and taught him to believe. The previous Neo also told him that he (Neo) would come back, clueless and helpless, and he would need his help to become The One again. Only then, he would be able to save the people from Zion.

Everything happened just like the fifth Neo told Morpheus. He may have been following the directions of someone that knew the truth. Or, perhaps, he found it himself, and he was doing what needed to be done.

Whatever the case, I know that what the previous Neo did for me helped me to be here today. And I know that Morpheus was crucial too. Without him, I wouldn’t be here. I am certain that Yan is the next Morpheus. And your Seraph is the next Seraph too. The others will definitely help in some way. That’s why we must bring them back.”

Trin: “I see… so that is why you chose to come back. That and finding the answers about the Matrix. Who are we going to see to find those answers Neo?”

Neo: “The Oracle.”

Trin: “Shouldn’t we pay her a visit first?”

Neo: “No, first I have to free the others from the Green Virtual Matrix.

I believe that I will end the menace and save everyone. However, I also feel that I must secure the path for the last Neo before the end, just like the fifth one did for me. This was what Thomas and Aida wanted. It is part of what can raise our chances of succeeding.

Nonetheless, we both know that Thomas and Aida didn’t tell us everything. They only said what would raise our chances of saving mankind. So we must do what they wanted first, and find out the rest of the truth on our own. This may be the only way to ensure that we will end the crisis at your world Trin.

I will bring them back first, and we will get the answers from the Oracle after that.

Now, we have to find a human ship with a connection station to the Virtual Matrix. I will need you to be my pilot and my navigator from there, after I go back.

Let’s descend and land the Trifalcon over there. There are two human ships there. Let’s check them out.”

Trin: “What do these connection stations look like? Are they like the capsules?”

Neo: “Not quite, but I know that the ships from Zion are our best bet for finding one. All their ships have connection stations in them. The capsules from your world connect us here and these stations can connect us from here to the Virtual Matrix. The capsules and the stations serve the same purpose, but they are different, just like the Yellow Matrix and the Virtual Matrix are not the same.”

Trin landed the Trifalcon close to the two forgotten ships. After setting up a security shield for their ship, Trin grabbed a plasma rifle and left with Neo. He planned to enter one of the ships hoping that the connection stations were still usable. Trin had no armor; she only had her normal clothes, a gray jacket, and the rifle. Neo had no weapons, but he seemed to have the situation under control. It felt like he knew exactly what he was doing. He was following the right path. He had no doubts about it…

The old ship from Zion was full of dust inside.

Trin began to clean the seats of the pilots and the computer screens of the navigator. Neo found three connection stations and their mechanical seats, but they were not giving any signs of working. They were as dead as the ship, which was as dead as the Dead Zone itself. Trin tried to turn on the ship and the computers, but nothing worked.

Then, Neo found a small green case close to one of the connection seats. It looked like it could hold something important inside; and indeed, it had something special.

When Neo opened it, he saw that the container had a blue pill and a red pill. They felt like tokens of the past for him. The pills looked exactly like the ones that Morpheus showed him when he was still living at the Virtual Matrix. The memories of the moment when he took the first red pill came back to him in an instant. Then, he knew what to do…

Neo closed his eyes and the green sphere began to grow around him again. It grew until it covered the entire ship. When that happened, the ship and everything inside it began to restore itself to the good working shape that it all had, before the ship was abandoned there. It came back to life, as if the years of being at the Dead Zone had been erased from it.

Trin watched in awe how green codes began to flow throughout the whole place and everything began to work again. The computers that she had turned on began to respond, the ship’s engines began to function properly, and the whole place changed from a dusty fossil of a ship to something that looked a lot like Morpheus’s ship, the Nebuchadnezzar.

Neo walked closer to his companion and he showed her the blue pill and the red pill.

Neo [to Trin]: “Did you bring the others? Let me see them.”

Trin took out a very small case from a pocket in her jacket. She opened it and revealed that it had two yellow pills and two red pills, which were just like the one that she gave Neo and the one that Frank Xenno gave her as well—when she was rescued.

Neo: “Only two of them?”

Trin [sarcastic at first, then realistic]: “This isn’t given out as candy Neo, you know that. General Frank only wanted to give me one, but I explained our need for more and this was all I could get. This only worked with you and me Neo. In sixty years, it never worked for anybody else. And believe me, they tried it many times. It won’t be so easy to make it work with several new people during the same mission. This has never been done before. Besides, I’m sure that you already know by now that these pills are just a placebo and their only real purpose is tracking the subject from our navigator’s computer. They can’t wake you up if you don’t believe that you are not in the real world. The red pill just let’s us find out the subject’s exact location in the fields of the Matrix, track the status of their health and their vitals, and see how they behave during their disconnection, if it succeeds. It does facilitate things, since the subject really believes that the pill does something else to them. However, even taking the right pill won’t wake them up and may result in a failed disconnection, if they don’t see the truth as we do. These pills are just a placebo for their minds and a convenient tracker for us. They can’t guarantee success.”

Neo [clear and lucid]: “It doesn’t matter Trin. Even if they are just a trick for the mind, I know they work well. They helped me with the transition to the unknown, and they will help them too. Let me see the ones you have.”

Trin gave him her mini-case with the two yellow pills and the two red pills.

Then, Neo focused again and two small spheres of green codes began to spin around his hands and around the two open cases as well. The blue pill and its red-pill companion were duplicated five times inside the green case. The two yellow ones and their red pills were duplicated three times, on Neo’s right hand. In total, he ended up with six blue pills, six yellow pills, and twelve red pills, which would be paired with the others.

Neo: “Yan, Seraph, Dayana, Matthew, Shera, and Keifer. Now we have enough for all six of them. First, I have to bring them back from the Virtual Matrix and then we have to free them from here as well. The connection stations should be working now.

Are you ready to be my navigator from here Trin?”

Trin was totally astounded, but something else was truly worrying her.

Trin [concerned]: “Neo, what happened to you at Rodner Smith’s building? The things you are doing now, and this replication of the pills, and the full recovery of the ship… this is unreal Neo. You are not the same person that we rescued from here before. It almost feels as if you were…”

Trin stopped and didn’t finish her sentence, but Neo finished it for her:

Neo: “Deus.”

Trin nodded, looking a little worried.

Neo [still looking very calm]: “It only feels that way because I have the same abilities that he has.

I don’t think that anything happened at Rodner’s place. They didn’t have enough time to do anything to me. What changed everything was Thomas and Aida’s transmission. I’m the same as before, but now I can feel the Matrix and I can control it at a higher level. I also can create my own ‘virtual-Matrix section,’ and manipulate it, even if I am not inside the Virtual Matrix. This is exactly what he can do; the only difference is that he does it with the Yellow Matrix, which is where we are now.

I think that Deus may not be the alien menace that everyone believes he is. If a human like me can have the same abilities that he has, then, he might be human too. Perhaps, that explains why his body’s shape looks exactly like ours.

We need to know more to deal with him though. His abilities may still surpass mine because the Matrix he uses is the higher layer, and mine is the virtual one.”

Trin [not worried or doubtful anymore]: “Right. Let’s see how to use the equipment here to make the connection with the Virtual Matrix, which is kept at the City of the Machines. This should work just like our setup at the real world worked to bring us here. We didn’t have to infiltrate one of the floating fields over there. We just had to be in the proximity of one. Let’s hope that this Dead Zone here is not too far from the human fields at the City of the Machines.”

Neo: “Let’s begin the connection with the Virtual Matrix. There is no time to waste Trin.”

Neo [to Bern]: “Bern, I hope that you will take care of us at the real world.”

Bern: “I will captain Neo. You can go into the other Matrix without worrying about that.”

Neo smiled and so did Leida Trinity. “Captain” didn’t feel right for him, but, that was exactly what he was.

Leida, or “Trin,” grabbed one of Neo’s hands.

Trin [heartfelt]: “Please be careful Neo.”

Neo [with reassuring voice]: “I will Trin.”

Then, their hands separated again. The fifth Trinity was starting to remember the way she began to feel about the previous Neo—twenty-one years ago—but Neo didn’t see her as his Trinity. The sixth Neo saw “captain Trin” as his greatest ally.

Neo helped Trin to set up everything and she took care of the main controls and the computer screens—as the new navigator. Neo lied down on the mechanical seat, which was the central part of the connection station for one person. He was ready to enter his former prison to change things for the better, once again…

Soon, the connection was established and Neo appeared at an empty park in a city of the Virtual Matrix.

Neo [talking to Trin and looking around]: “This spot looks like a perfect place for our departure too. Trin, mark down the location so that you can teleport me and the others to this place. Be ready to disconnect us when we are all here. Also, be on the lookout for any entities that don’t seem human. This is also the home of the virtual agents, which are far worse than the humanoid robots from your world. It’s not a pretty place once you are marked down as an enemy or a threat to their system. It looks beautiful from this park, but things can get much more chaotic than this place very quickly. Believe me…”

Trin: “I won’t let my guard down! How do you plan to find them? Yan, Dayana, and the others? We don’t know where they are located at the City of the Machines because they haven’t taken the pill, and I don’t have any way to track them from here… [in awe] Oh my god… this place is huge! The Virtual Matrix seems to be an entire planet, unlike Zion and the realm of the machines, which are just two cities in size. This is massive! How are you going to find them there?!”

Neo [from the park]: “Trin, remember that I am connected to this Matrix. This was where I learned the initial truth and everything else I thought I knew. This is where I am closest to the system.”

Neo closed his eyes and when he opened them again he began to see everything around him as patterns of complex green codes, which looked like hieroglyphics. He kneeled down and placed his hands on the ground. He focused and began to “ask” the Matrix where each one of the Trinity Squad’s members was located, in the new virtual life they had. Through the sea of codes, he saw where Dayana and Matthew were, he found Seraph, and he also located Yan Morphen. However, no matter what, he couldn’t find Sheera or Keifer anywhere. There was no mistake about it: Sheera and Keifer were not in the Matrix.

Neo [certain at first and contemplative after]: “Trin, I can’t find Keifer or Sheera. The others are here, but Sheera and Keifer are not anywhere. That… it can only mean that Keifer and Sheera are…”

Trin [sounding like someone that had accepted it, even though she wasn’t happy about it]: “They are dead Neo. Only the ones that survive are brought here to be prisoners of the Matrix. The others are gone. You saw it just like I did. They were the two that challenged Deus with the resolve to give up their lives to defeat him. They failed, but thanks to them we are here now, and we will ensure that their sacrifice was not in vain. We have to find the information that can help the Resistance to put an end to Deus and the Matrix.”

Neo [a little regretful at first, then driven]: “I’m sorry about what happened during the chase Trin. Do not worry. I will save the others and find the truth. We will end the crisis at your world.”

Trin: “I hope you are right. Let’s find the solution to this mess, together.”

Neo looked around again and he saw no one at the park. Then, he looked up, at the sky, and he left the park flying towards the location where Matthew and Dayana were…

Matthew and Dayana were outside a desolate church that looked like a religious temple. They were wearing robes that made them look like monks. Their temple wasn’t located at a city. It was in a rural area somewhere in Europe. It was hard to tell exactly where it was, but the architecture made it seem like it could be at Romania.

Suddenly, Matthew and Dayana saw how a man dressed in a black came flying from the sky and landed right there, in front of their temple. Neo walked up to them and stood there looking at both of them.

Neo smiled. He was happy to see that they were fine, even though they had most likely forgotten everything about their real lives, after their virtual ones began at the world of the Green Matrix.

Dayana dropped what she had in her hands and Matthew was also in shock.

Matthew-lookalike monk [euphoric]: “Oh my God! Oh my God!!! It’s him!! It has to be him! It’s Jesus Christ!! The lord has returned to Earth! Hallelujahhhhh!!!”

Dayana-lookalike nun: “Matt, please calm down. He could be someone else. He doesn’t look like the pictures of Jesus at all.”

Matthew-lookalike monk [to Dayana]: “Daisy, who else could he be? Superman?! Come on, why would Superman come to see us? Besides, Superman looks like a weight-lifter and this guy doesn’t. Not to mention that Superman isn’t real and Jesus is real! Remember, he came back in another body after the resurrection. He could do it again! Oh my God, I can’t believe he’s here!”

Neo stopped smiling. He really didn’t know what to say. They had changed names, lives, and even part of their personalities. They were not the same as before. In their virtual lives, they weren’t epic soldiers from the top squad—quite the opposite of that actually. However, the same had happened to Neo. When he was the engineer Thomas Anderson in the Virtual Matrix, he wasn’t even close to who his true self was. He was freed and returned to his real self though; so he knew that the same thing could be done for them. Now, it was his job to open their eyes to the truth, and to bring them back to their real selves…

Neo: “My name is Neo. I’m here to give you a choice that will change your lives. If you choose to come with me you will know the world that is beyond this one, but if you don’t, you’ll never see it and you will never know the truth. You can join me and go to the real world, or you can stay in this one and believe that it is the real one. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Matthew-lookalike monk: “Are you saying that Heaven is for real!? Please take me with you!! I’m signing up right now!!”

Dayana [to Neo / looking around herself and opening her arms]: “Do you mean that our reality, this place, is not the true reality? Then… what is it? If you are right, what would this be then?”

Neo [to Dayana]: “This is the Matrix, or a part of it. The Matrix is everywhere; it is all you see and everything you feel around you. Even now, outside this temple, everything you see and experience is part of what the Matrix is. It is the world where you have been placed to blind you from the truth. It is the alternate reality where you and everyone you know lives. It is a nearly perfect cover for the truth, and one that is almost impossible to wake up from.”

Matthew-lookalike: “What truth are you talking about?”

Neo: “The hidden truth that is nearly impossible to discover on your own from here. You, your sister, and all the people that you know are being used by the Matrix, which is an artificial fabrication of reality that exists in the real world. Everyone, the rich and the poor, the lucky and the unlucky, the young and the old, the good and the bad, the popular and the unknown, every single one here is living in an alternate reality. It’s a blanket for your real mind, a life-long experience that feels just as real as life does at the world where there is no Matrix.

Unfortunately, no one from here will believe that the Matrix exists, unless they come to that conclusion on their own. You have to figure it out for yourself, before you can come to the full realization of this truth.”

Matthew-lookalike [a little confused]: “Wait a second, I think you lost me there. Are you telling us a new parable with metaphors? Or, are you really telling us that we live in a dream world?”

Dayana-lookalike [clever]: “If what you say is the truth, then, why do you need us? Why did you seek us out of millions of people in the alternate planet? There must be a reason why you picked us in particular.”

Neo was glad to see the changed Dayana expressing herself just like the real Dayana. He didn’t hear her talk too much before, but she and Bern seemed to be the smartest ones in their squad. Perhaps, Dayana and Matthew had not changed as much as he thought. Their differences were due to their new life experiences, which were given to them by the Virtual Matrix.

Neo: “I need you two because you are among the selected group of people that can do something to put an end to the Matrix and its control over humankind.”

Dayana-lookalike: “How can you be so sure about that?”

Neo: “In your real life, you were in the team that rescued me from the Matrix. You do not remember anything about it now because this is your virtual life. The real one was and still is outside the Matrix, with your real body. Your real selves saved me with the help of others in a team of eight elite soldiers.”

Matthew [with surprised facial expression]: “We did??”

Neo: “Yes, and I will need your help again to put an end to the crisis at the real world. However, I have to gather the group first and take you out of this virtual reality, which you perceive as the real one.”

Matt (Matthew) and Daisy (Dayana) looked at each other. Somehow, they really felt that Neo was telling them the truth. It still wasn’t clear to Matt whether the guy was Jesus resurrected with another name or not, but the things he said and how he said them felt very real to him. And his sister felt the same way.

Neo extended his hands, one towards the young monk that looked just like Matthew and one towards the young woman that looked like Dayana.

Neo: “Will you come with me and give me your help once again? Do you want to remember who your true selves were?”

Both of them: “Yes.”

They grabbed Neo’s hands.

Neo [to Trin]: “It’s time Trin. Take them to the location where we will gather to leave. I will go get Seraph next.”

The virtual Matthew and Dayana disappeared and were teleported to the same desolate park where Neo appeared when he came back. Then, Neo flew to the skies again. His new destination was a mountain in the Asian continent…

Seraph was dressed as a black belt ninja. He was practicing on his own at a large sparring arena on a mountain when he saw a man dressed in black flying pretty fast through the sky. The man landed close to the arena and he began to walk towards him. (Apparently, Seraph was alone there.)

Seraph grabbed two metal shurikens and a short sword, which were the only weapons he had close by. This unknown man was something to be concerned about. He had strange powers, but Seraph wasn’t afraid of them.

When Neo entered the large arena, Seraph reacted as someone that didn’t trust him at all. He was seeing Neo as an enemy at first.

Seraph-lookalike ninja: “Stop right there! If you walk a step further I will make you regret it. This is a sacred territory that only the members of the clan are supposed to enter!”

Neo didn’t say anything and walked four more steps forward.

Immediately, Seraph threw the two shurikens directly towards Neo’s face with great speed.

Neo noticed that each shuriken had an open circle in the center and, with lightning-fast reflexes, he moved his two hands from each side towards his face, and he caught each shuriken with the index finger of each hand, right in front of his face. The shurikens continued spinning around his fingers for a while before they came to a complete stop.

Seraph was perplexed. This man couldn’t be human if he was this fast. Clearly, even a world-class ninja like himself was no match for that guy. Was he a friend or an enemy?

Seraph-lookalike [half confident and half afraid]: “Who are you?”

Neo: “I am a human from the real world, just like you once were. I came back to the virtual world of the Matrix to bring back the group of soldiers that helped to free me from here before. You are among the group of people that I need to save from this reality, which is not the true reality. You and the others were captured and brought here. I seek to free all of you, just like you and your team did for me.”

Seraph [not 100% certain]: “What are you talking about? I was born here and I have never seen you before.”

Neo: “Are you sure that this world is the only place that you have ever been at? Have you ever dreamed about being an elite soldier in a different world? Part of you won’t ever forget what your real self was, even if you can’t remember it now.”

The new Seraph from the Matrix remembered that he had dreamed such a scenario more than once. He dreamed that he was a soldier at a futuristic place where some kind of war was taking place. However, how could this unknown guy know about that? How could someone else know about his dreams?!

Neo: “My name is Neo and your real name is Seraph. I’m here to help you fulfill your destiny as one of the chosen people that will help me to end the crisis at the real world. This place that you have experienced throughout your entire virtual life is not the real version of planet Earth and the Universe. You and the rest of humankind are prisoners in the version that is real.

Will you join me and help me? I need the others and you to put an end to the crisis at the real world. We can save all the people that were lost to the Matrix. And both they and you will be awakened again.

Don’t you want to remember who your real self was?”

Seraph was in conflict with himself. On one side, he believed Neo and began to see the man as trustworthy, but on the other side he knew that the whole thing sounded crazy and anyone who knew about it would think that he was crazy too—for thinking that it made any sense. Regardless, he couldn’t help but feel that the man named Neo was honest. And he chose to do what he believed in.

Neo extended his hand to Seraph and the young ninja grabbed Neo’s hand.

Neo [to Trin]: “Trin, teleport him to the location where the others are. I will bring back Yan Morphen next. Then, we will leave.”

Seraph was engulfed by a stream of green codes—just like the previous two—and he disappeared. He was sent to the special park as well. Then, Neo began his third flight, towards Yan Morphen’s location…

It was clear that Neo’s connection with the Matrix was even better than twenty years ago, when he was taken by the machines. After the all-important transmission with Thomas Anderson and Aida Trinity took place, he seemed to be in greater sync with the system than when the Green Matrix was reloaded (The Matrix Reloaded), or when the defining revolution of the Yellow Matrix took place (The Matrix Revolutions). And now that he had returned to the Virtual Matrix, it was starting to show that his control in the system was on a whole new level. As Leida Trinity (Trin) noticed before, it was just like Deus…

A secret agent that looked like Yan Morphen was in the middle of an ultra-secret infiltration in a high floor of a skyscraper at Dubai when Neo arrived. The agent was about to obtain some important information from an empty suite when he noticed that a man dressed in black came flying from the sky. Then, Neo entered the room through the freaking glass. A bunch of green-colored codes appeared in the glass and it moved a little when Neo went through it, but it didn’t break! After that, Neo’s green sphere grew and it reached the alternate Yan Morphen. All the mini-cameras and trackers on Yan began to show those same green codes that the glass on the window displayed, and then, they disappeared. Neo didn’t want to have his conversation with Yan tracked by anybody—other than Trin—because it could attract agents.

Yan-lookalike secret-service agent: “What?! Things are getting advanced aren’t they? I definitely don’t have this kind of technology on my side. However, you came a little late to catch me.”

Yan shot the glass that Neo went through and broke it. Then, he ran towards it and jumped out of the building.

Neo walked towards the broken glass and saw that Yan had just opened a parachute. Obviously, Neo had plenty of time to catch up with him…

Yan landed on a small empty street and, as soon as he turned around and looked forward, he saw Neo again. Neo began to walk towards him and Yan didn’t do anything. When Neo was close enough, Yan grabbed his two guns and shot several bullets at Neo.

Neo dodged every single one without even moving much from his spot. He didn’t even have to use the green sphere for that. It was something that he was capable of doing at this Matrix, since his younger days.

Yan-lookalike: “Whaaat!!? Who are you? Are you The Flash!!?? I have never seen any person move this fast before!”

Neo [truly clueless about The Flash]: “I don’t know who you are talking about, but I am not that guy.”

Yan-lookalike [starting to worry]: “Look, I really hope that you are on my side, or at least ready to make some deals. We can come to an agreement that will be great for everyone. Unless…”

Yan looked at his special watch which said “Agent 00-17.”

Voice from watch: “Welcome double-o seventeen. What do you need sir?”

Yan-lookalike: “Is he the new 00 agent? Is he any of the former agents by any chance?”

Voice from watch: “No data match was found for him sir.”

Yan started to look really concerned. Obviously, hand-to-hand combat wasn’t going to work with that guy.

Neo: “There is no need for deals or agreements with me. My name is Neo. I am not an agent and I am not from this virtual world either. I came back to retrieve a special group of people that must go back to the real world. You are one of them, but you have forgotten about your previous life in the real world. If you join me and choose to go back, you will help me to stop the largest crisis that humankind has faced: the crisis of the Matrix, which is part of what this virtual world is. In return, I will give you back your true self and you will know the truth about this fabricated reality, and about the real world. Otherwise, you will stay here forever, without knowing the truth. Will you help me to save everyone?”

Yan didn’t say anything at first, but he clearly was believing Neo’s words.

Yan-lookalike: “Are you for real? That sounds pretty interesting. Jumping on parachutes and infiltrating high-security buildings was starting to bore me. A world-class mission in an alternate world sounds like something else. Sure, I will consider going with you and helping you. However, you will have to tell me the truth, all of it, every single bit.”

Neo: “You will find it on your own if you choose to follow me. Joining me is the only way for you and the others to find the truth about this world and about yourselves. You are one out of four soldiers that must return to the real world, after breaking free from this virtual one. If you don’t, I will find it difficult to end the crisis at the real world. Your help will be needed there at some point.”

Yan-lookalike agent: “I have seen and heard many crazy things in my life so far. Honestly, what you are saying doesn’t surprise me Neo. It’s good to hear it from someone else in fact. Usually, I am the only one believing and talking about these sci-fi conspiracies… Have we met before? I can’t help but feel that I already know you. You seem like an important friend, from another life, perhaps.”

Neo: “From your real life.”

Neo extended his hand to Yan and Yan grabbed it. Although this Yan had taken a more extreme path in life than the original one, something had not changed: he was still the one that believed more in Neo. Out of the four, he was the one that had to think less when it came to grabbing Neo’s hand to seal the deal. The others believed him too, but their decision wasn’t immediate.

Neo: “Trin, Yan Morphen is ready to join the group, and so am I.”

Trin [happy]: “Great! I’ll send you back now.”

Both Yan and Neo were sent to the initial park, where Neo appeared when he went back to the Virtual Matrix. The other three were already there. The alternate Seraph was talking with the alternate Dayana… you could tell that the guy was on his way to falling in love with the same girl again…

Matthew was getting impatient. Had “the lord” left them stranded on a park or what?

Neo appeared there with Yan and he immediately noticed that the park was not as empty and desolate as before. It seemed odd, as if that wasn’t normal for that location at that particular moment. The others couldn’t see that, but Neo could feel it because of his unique connection with the system.

Neo pushed Yan to walk faster with him, so that he could gather the four of them in one place as soon as possible. He had to get them out of there.

Neo [in a hurry]: “Trin begin to prepare another teleportation for all of us to another desolate location in the Virtual Matrix. Look at your screens. Do you see all these new people walking around at this empty place all of a sudden. Is there anything strange about their readings?”

Trin [concerned]: “Neo… this doesn’t look good. They don’t show the same patterns as other people. In fact, they are closer to your readings than to the readings of other people in this world.”

Neo [to Trin]: “Agents. Get us out of here as soon as possible Trin. They are not ready to fight agents yet. If you have to prioritize our order, leave me for last. Take them out first.”

Neo [to Yan]: “Don’t stop walking. You see those three over there. They are the other special people that must be rescued. Stick to them and protect them as much as you can. We can be attacked at any second.”

Yan-lookalike: “Who is going to attack us? You have to begin telling me everything if you expect me to help you.”

Neo: “You are not in the real world. You are in the virtual one and I am trying to free you and them from it. However, I will fail if any of you dies. You and they must stay alive. That’s all you need to know for now.”

Yan placed his hands on the two guns he had. He also began to notice suspicious activity around them. Many people seemed to be looking at them, in the same way as undercover police agents look at a dangerous subject that they follow.

Neo and Yan stopped in front of Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew.

Neo [serious as heck]: “Don’t move.”

The people walking around began to turn into agents, with suits, black glasses, pristine haircuts, and guns (just like the agents from the first Matrix film).

One of them walked forward.

New Commanding Agent [with threatening voice]: “What do we have here? The anomaly has returned to the system. Did you think that we were not going to find out about it? Did you really think that you could do whatever you wanted here without having to deal with us? It’s not so easy, Mr. Neo. After all, this is our system and you don’t belong in it.”

Neo: “I was expecting this since I got here, but it seems like the new batch of agents is not as fast as the one I dealt with before.”

Commanding Agent: “Based on my reports, you still have overconfidence issues. Do you know how we deal with threats like you?”

Neo [sarcastic]: “You give them a nice welcome.”

The agent in charge started to get angry and began to crack his knuckles. It was noticeable that at least twenty other agents were beginning to surround Neo and the other four.

Yan-lookalike [sounding casual]: “Neo, who are these guys? Evil 00 agents? Or a group of fashion maniacs? I would never be able to keep my suit so clean and my hair that well-combed in the middle of a mission, not that I have any hair though.

Just to let you know, I have full international authority to shoot a pack of bullets and ask questions later; and unfortunately for them, I don’t like their attitudes. If they try to shoot us, I will do it first.”

Seraph: “I’m ready to fight too Neo.”

Matthew: “I think I am going to pray. Even if Neo is with us it can’t hurt. Right?”

Dayana: “Neo, they look very dangerous. How can we stop them?”

Neo: “None of you is ready to fight this type of enemy yet. Stay behind me and don’t move. If for any reason I can’t protect you, run as fast as you can. Don’t confront them!”

Neo: “Trin, how much longer will it take to take us out of here?!”

Trin [looking busy with the monitors inside the ship in the Yellow Matrix]: “I’m working on it Neo. I already have the location, but it might take another thirty seconds. It should happen pretty fast.”

Neo [concerned about the other four]: “We need more than pretty fast. We need right now Trin.”

Trin: “I’m working on it!!”

The agents already had them surrounded.

Yan couldn’t wait and he shot two bullets at the agent that talked to Neo, when the guy pointed a gun at them. However, the agent dodged the bullets in the same way as Neo did before. Yan began to understand why Neo said that they were not ready to fight these guys. Yan—and the other three—also began to believe what Neo said about their world not being “the real one.”

Their situation began to look pretty alarming.

Commanding Agent: “Here is our welcome, Mr. Neo.”

All the agents pointed their handguns at Neo and the others. Then, they began to shoot.

Neo closed his eyes and raised his hands before the bullets arrived.

All the bullets began to fall around him and his group.

The virtual—or alternate—versions of Matthew, Dayana, Seraph, and Yan didn’t know what to say or think. Clearly, things were far crazier and more complex than what they used to believe before they met Neo. It looked like the man could stop bullets with his mind, but, in reality, something else was going on… The system itself was the one stopping the bullets. Likewise, the agents could dodge bullets because that was part of how the system perceived their virtual entities and their abilities. It was all part of the Matrix, so, in theory, the ones that controlled the Matrix had the potential to do anything and everything within its system—even the impossible…

The agents realized that bullets were not going to kill them because of Neo’s protection, so they began to run towards them to finish them with hand-to-hand combat.

Neo saw very little time to do anything and he knew that he couldn’t save the others in that situation. There were more than twenty agents. Therefore, he brought back his green sphere and pushed it outwards as fast as possible. He ended up causing a serious shockwave—like the one he provoked when he saved the Trinity Squad at the very beginning… The green wave blew all the agents away and left them on the floor, dozens of meters away from Neo and the others. The two agents that were closest to the shockwave even disappeared from there, through some kind of warp glitch that was triggered in a circle that appeared a couple of meters beyond Neo and the other four.

After that, Neo’s green sphere disappeared completely and he fell down. He didn’t lose consciousness like before, but it was clear that producing the shockwave drained him. Quickly, the other Matthew and the other Dayana helped Neo to stand up again, but he could barely stay standing. Seraph and Yan were baffled at their inability to do anything there. One thing was clear: something else was needed to fight this new type of enemy, and out of them, “Neo” was the only one that had it.

The agents began to stand up again. Then, Dayana, Matthew, Yan, and Seraph were teleported to another place, but Neo wasn’t teleported with them.

Trin: “Neo hold on!! I gave them priority, but you’ll be with them in just a few seconds!!”

Neo stood up, but he didn’t look like before. The shockwave had left some sort of exhaustion in him. He was certain that he was going to make it though, so he didn’t look defeated. He was just tired.

The agents had a chance to shoot at Neo again, but he disappeared before any of the bullets reached him.

Commanding Agent: “It’s only a matter of time before we catch him and erase him. After all, he is not a true artificial entity. He’s human. If he stays here, he will eventually fall.”

The other agents began to leave and so did the new one in charge…

Meanwhile, the two agents that disappeared with Neo’s shockwave were teleported out of the Virtual Matrix and into the City of the Machines—to the higher layer of the Matrix, which was the Yellow Matrix. A bunch of sentinels located them quickly and, after looking over them and recognizing what they were, the small battalion of sentinels surrounded them and pretty much ripped them to shreds. Then, the bodies of the agents turned into traces of green codes and faded away. They were no match for Deus Ex’s sentinels…

It was also clear that the sentinels and the agents were not close allies, as we used to think. The agents responded to the interests of their creator, Rodner Smith. And the sentinels were responding to Deus Ex’s interests because they were under his command. Obviously, Deus Ex had his own agenda, and now it wasn’t aligned with theirs, so the sentinels “deleted” them…

Deus Ex was floating above the City of the Machines, close to the open sky. He had his eyes closed and a large yellow sphere was present around him. The sphere was exactly like Deus’s sphere, but it was much larger.

Deus Ex reigned supreme at the City of the Machines, almost like a god, even though he was—ultimately—a slave of the Matrix, just like everybody else…

Deus Ex [cold and calculating]: “I see… another glitch took place. One of the kind that can throw entities from the Virtual Matrix to my Matrix, even disconnecting them completely from the virtual reality. There is only one entity that can do that. The One… As I expected, he came back…

I will wait for you patiently Neo. I know that your sixth iteration is bound to make the mistakes of the previous one. And this time, they will be in my favor. Soon, I won’t be a slave of the Matrix any longer. And it’s all thanks to you Neo…”

Deus Ex smiled when he finished talking. His two-decades-long plan and his true goal were still unclear, but they were close to their fulfillment. One thing was clear though: he wasn’t Neo’s ally… It felt like he was seeing Neo as a mere chess pawn in his plan… Many questions remained around him still. What was the connection between Deus Ex and Deus? And… what happened with the previous Neo?

Soon, all of it was going to come to the surface, like a major cataclysmic event…

Neo and the others appeared in front of a lake in another place, which was most likely at a different country. The lake and its surroundings were completely empty, just like the park was when Neo arrived at the Virtual Matrix.

Without wasting any time, Neo did what he came to do.

He showed them four blue pills, on his left hand, and four red pills, on his right hand.

Neo [to all four]: “This is your last chance to decide what you believe in. After this, there is no turning back. You won’t have this chance again either, so think well before you make your final decision. No matter what, be true to yourself. You have to choose what you truly believe in.

Now, you’ll have to pick one. If you take one of the blue pills, you may feel that this was just a strange dream, a product of your imagination and nothing else. If you don’t believe that this world isn’t the real world, then, you should take a blue pill. However, you will never know the truth about the real world and you won’t know what your real life at that world was like.

If you take the red one, you have accepted and you truly believe that this version of Earth is not the true reality. You already know that there is more and you want to know about it, even if it isn’t exactly what you expected it to be. If you make that conscious choice, you will come with me through the fifth dimension of existence, which is reality itself. You will see the real world, which is the reality that wraps this virtual one. Then, I will show you how deep this rabbit hole really goes; and we will reach its end together.

This red pill will help to wake you up from the Virtual Matrix. After that, you’ll be at a new layer of reality that isn’t in this virtual Earth anymore. You will be given a chance to know the real world and your past life, which was the only real one.

I would like to have all of you back, just like before, but this decision is up to you. Only you can choose to change your destiny’s path. Only you can decide which reality is the right world for you.

What will it be? Blue and you stay here forever, without worrying about the truth from the other realities; or red, and we go to the real world, where your real selves lived before.

And remember, there is no going back after this. If you realize at the real world that you would have liked the other option more, it will be too late to change it. You must choose what you truly believe in now, understanding that there is no way to undo it later.

Choose now. Blue or red. Virtual or real. A life of dreams or the truth.

Pick a pill and drink it with water when your decision is made.”

On the floor in front of Neo, four small streams of green codes appeared and turned into four bottles of water, which were directly in front of Yan, Dayana, Seraph, and Matthew.

Agent Yan [thinking to himself]: “How bad could this mission be? I may have had it worse already. Besides, I’m really feed up from jumping in parachutes and being the undercover guy. It’s time to save the world… the real world. This feels like fate to me!”

Agent Yan [to Neo]: “I can tell when people are lying and you are definitely saying the truth Neo. And, I do believe in your truth. I made my decision. It will be red. I’m going to help you.”

The virtual Yan took a red pill and the bottle of water that was closest to him. Then, he drank the red pill.

Ninja Seraph: “Somehow, I feel like this may be the reason why I have trained so hard during all my life. It was all for this. I believe you Neo, just like I believe that there are no coincidences. I will go with you too. Red is my choice.”

The ninja also grabbed a red pill and drank it with the water from his bottle.

Monk Matthew (Matt): “It will be an honor to help you sir. Your reality is also a world that I wish to know, even if it isn’t heaven. Who knows, I may even end up being Saint Matt because of the things that I will do there to help you. Everything for the greater good, of course. My choice is going with you as well.”

The Matthew-lookalike monk drank the red pill too. There was only one red pill left on Neo’s right hand.

Monk Dayana: “I believe that what you are saying is more than just your truth. It is the truth. There are many things that are still a secret to us and I wish to discover them. I want to understand the truth of the real world, even if it isn’t heaven. I’m going with your group Neo.”

Finally, Dayana took the last red pill and drank it.

Neo smiled. It was time to take them to the upper layer of the Matrix—the Yellow Matrix. He had succeeded so far.

Neo [to Trin]: “Trinity, teleport us to another safe location, just in case the agents try to track us here. Also, we are going to do this the modern way this time. Send us five cellphones to make the transfer. Using landlines is far too dangerous now, so we won’t use them. I will do the rest. Just disconnect me as soon as I pick up the call at the new location.”

Trin: “You got it. I’m going to send you to a location that looks safer than the previous two.”

Leida Trinity found a new empty region in the Earth of the Virtual Matrix and teleported them to that location.

They appeared in the middle of the Sahara desert, in Africa.

Neo [to the other four]: “Wait here. I will be disconnected from the virtual world first. Then, I will help to disconnect and save each of you from where you are being kept as hostages. You will know when each of you has been successfully disconnected, since you won’t belong to this virtual reality any longer.”

Five cellphones appeared there, one in front of each of them, in the same way as the bottles of water from before.

Neo grabbed his cellphone and it began to ring.

Neo: “You will do the same as me. When your cellphone rings, answer it, and you will be disconnected from this virtual system. I’ll see you all again in the other reality.”

As Neo finished talking, he picked up his call and his body became a stream of green codes that disappeared right after that. The phone fell to the sand and he was completely gone. The others grabbed their phones and waited for their call…

Trin disconnected Neo from the connection station. Then, she went back to the monitors and sent Bern the geographical data with the exact locations of Yan, Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew at the fields of the Virtual Matrix, in the City of the Machines. She checked their status and their health, and they all looked fine and ready for the abrupt disconnection.

That was what they really got from the red pills, nothing more and nothing less. The pills were just a convenient placebo that could also be used to locate them in the fields of the Matrix. However, they were very valuable and they were still used, even if the target was already located, due to their placebo effect on the mind of the target. They really believed that the red pill would make them wake up in another world. It definitely helped to prepare them for the transition…

After Neo was disconnected by Trin—at the ship that looked like the Nebuchadnezzar—he looked at the pills left and he separated the only four yellow pills and the other red pills. He was close to saving them from the Virtual Matrix, but after that, they still had to be freed from the Yellow Matrix, which was what Neo, Trin, and the Resistance perceived as “the real Matrix.”

Neo went back to the monitors and contacted his other navigator.

Neo [to Bern]: “Bern, it is your turn to help me here. We have the means to save them now. You have their exact locations, so check how safe they are. Then, teleport me to the safest one first and I will free the one there. After that, teleport the one I freed back to this ship. We are going to do the same thing for all four of them.”

Neo [to Trin]: “Trin, be ready to make the call to disconnect them, as soon as I get them out of their pod from the fields of the Virtual Matrix.”

Trin: “It’s too dangerous there. You shouldn’t go there alone. We should go in this ship, or better yet, we should go in the Trifalcon.”

Neo [certain]: “No, I need you here to make the call that will disconnect them. It’s the only way that will work. Besides, a ship would bring the attention of the legions of sentinels towards us. It’s much safer if I do it alone. I’m sure that you remember what happened when you rescued me from there. We can’t risk something like that again.”

Trin wasn’t very pleased, but she could understand him. She just wasn’t used to not being at the head of the action, regardless of how dangerous the mission was.

Neo was keeping in mind what he promised Frank Xenno though. She could not go back to the City of the Machines under any circumstance…

Bern looked at the four different locations and he could see that Dayana and Matthew were at safe spots, with no sentinels and no big robots nearby. Seraph didn’t have sentinels close to him, but there were a couple of giant surveillance robots walking in the large area. Yan’s zone was the worst though: it was infested with sentinels moving from one place to another. It was practically impossible to avoid being seen there.

Bern: “Neo, I don’t think you will have any problem to save Dayana and Matthew, but Seraph’s area has two huge machines guarding the place and Yan’s field is full of sentinels. I don’t think there is any way to avoid being seen there.”

Neo: “We will figure out a way. Send me to Dayana’s spot first.”

Bern teleported Neo to the location where Dayana’s “cocoon” was at the fields of the Virtual Matrix. A bunch of yellow codes engulfed Neo and he disappeared from the ship and appeared standing on the pod where Dayana’s body was. There were various cylindrical buildings with thousands of people in the area, but the whole place seemed pretty empty. There were no sentinels on sight. Regardless, the area looked as dark and terrifying as the day when Neo woke up in one of those pods.

Neo was standing on top of Dayana’s pod when he appeared there and the flashbacks of that day came back to him right away. His experience had been very dark, but it was necessary.

Neo almost fell back during the flashback he had there, but he regained his balance and focused on his task.

Neo: “Trin, make the call to Dayana. Initiate the disconnection process from there and I will do it from here.”

Trin made the call and Dayana picked it up at the desert. Then, the other three saw how she disappeared with the stream of green codes, just like Neo did.

Trin finished the disconnection process from the ship and Dayana began to move inside the pod.

She was naked and there were no robots there to unplug the cables from her. However, Neo knew that he could do it on his own. He could feel that he was more connected to the Matrix than ever before. The green sphere began to grow around him and it covered Dayana’s pod as well.

After that, the same lock that the spider-like robot had disconnected from the back of Neo’s neck was removed from the back of Dayana’s neck. However, this time it was done automatically by Neo’s stream of green codes. It wasn’t done by any robot. The other tubes were also disconnected from Dayana automatically. Neo grabbed her and took her out of the pod before its system could flush her out, like it did with him before. She was naked, but the goo-ish thing around her made it look like she was half-dressed—with that goo-ish stuff.

Neo’s green streams of codes removed the goo and made clothes appear on Dayana.

Trin was speechless from the ship because she could see what was happening. Neo could clearly do the kind of things that Deus could do. He could make things “appear” and “disappear” as if he was just hitting switches.

Bern: “Are you ready to come back Neo? After you take her to the ship with Trin, your next target will be Matthew.”

Neo: “Wait. That won’t be necessary.”

Bern: “What do you mean?”

Neo was staring at another spot in the cylindrical building that was in front of him, which was the one in front of where Dayana was.

He moved with Dayana and his sphere and he landed on a pod at that building.

Matthew was inside the pod.

Neo: “Trin, make the call to Matthew and complete his disconnection. Both of them will go back to the ship together.”

Bern [perplexed]: “Wait… how did you know that Matthew was there?! I never sent you his location! And even if I did, it would take a computer’s speed to decode it to know the exact place within one minute. This isn’t logical.”

Neo: “It is logical Bern. I am connected to the system, so I felt that his location was nearby and I could tell that he was in this pod.”

Matthew began to move inside the pod, after his disconnection was completed by Trin’s call.

Neo did the same for him and then he grabbed both of them.

Neo: “Bern, take them to the ship with Trin and teleport me from here to where Seraph is.”

Bern: “Roger!!”

Trin was making the call to Seraph when Dayana and Matthew appeared in the ship and fell to the floor. Trin quickly finished the process with Seraph and ran to their aid.

Neo appeared at a different field of dark towers with thousands of humans from the Virtual Matrix. Once again, he was standing on the right pod. He saw how Seraph was moving inside his pod, but he also noticed the two large surveillance robots walking in the area. He didn’t expect them to be a problem because the huge robots looked really slow and not that dangerous. However, he knew that he had to free Seraph as soon as possible.

Like he did with the other two, Neo used his green sphere’s control to trigger the release of the lock behind Seraph’s neck. Without that, the tubes that still kept Seraph connected would not come off.

Then, the two large robots noticed that there was a problem with one of the pods, and they instantly located the one that had the problem. They saw with sniper-like vision that there was someone else there, ready to free the prisoner inside. Therefore, their alarm system was activated right away. Both of them opened several large compartments in their long legs and their bodies, and a battalion of spider-like flying sentinels came from them. (These different robots were exactly like the one that freed Neo from his pod in the first film.)

Without even looking back, Neo could feel that a bunch of robots were headed their way ready to attack them. Seraph was already free, but he still had all the goo on him and Neo had not given him clothing yet.

Neo [in a serious hurry]: “Bern, teleport Seraph to the ship right now!!”

Bern: “Like that?!”

Neo: “Just do it!!”

The spider sentinels raised their speed and revealed sharp claw-like weapons. They were going to land on Neo with tremendous force. Then, Seraph disappeared from there, engulfed by a stream of green codes, and Neo did the same thing he did to stop the agents: he released the sphere outwards, producing a green shockwave. He fell to the side of the pod and ended up grabbing its edge, right before he fell into the open abyss below.

The spider sentinels were badly affected by the shockwave, just like the swarms of octopus and bee-like sentinels at the beginning. Most of the spiders began to fall down and the others were acting like machines that didn’t know what they were doing. The two giant robots were not affected by Neo’s shockwave though…

Neo was very lucky. In his short fall, his black jacket got stuck on the edge of a pod. That gave him enough time to come back to his senses without falling down. He quickly noticed how one of the large robots was preparing some sort of laser aimed at him.

Neo: “Bern! Take me to Yan’s location now!!”

Bern: “That’s too dangerous Neo! Yan’s place is the worst! It’s full of sentinels flying around!”

Neo: “Don’t worry. I know what to do! Just take me there!”

Bern noticed that Neo was about to get shot by one of the large robots, so, without thinking much about it, he did what Neo asked for.

After Neo disappeared, the big robot shot a thin and long laser that destroyed the pod and opened a thin hole through the cylindrical tower. The laser beam was like the miniature of a galactic gamma ray. It was very thin, but it packed immense destructive power…

Neo appeared on top of the pod located directly above and to the left—northwest—of Yan Morphen’s pod. Apparently, Bern’s teleportation wasn’t 100% accurate, so Neo didn’t appear on the right pod from the start. Neo quickly noticed that Yan was below and he also saw that there were many octopus sentinels flying in the area. However, although the number of sentinels was larger, these didn’t seem as smart as the other two big robots; he probably could get Yan out before they noticed that he was there.

Neo couldn’t use the sphere immediately after the shockwave though. He had to jump to the pod on the right—the one above Yan’s pod. Then, he grabbed the edge of that one and allowed himself to fall on Yan’s exact location. Thankfully, his landing didn’t make too much noise.

Then, Trin made the final call to the virtual Yan Morphen.

Neo had to focus a lot before he could bring back the green sphere to free Yan from the pod by removing the lock on his neck.

When Yan was disconnected and his lock was removed, the octopus sentinels received some kind of signal that told them that one prisoner had escaped. They began to look around to find where the problem was.

When they located Neo, the swarm of octopus sentinels began to gather together to attack and Yan was teleported out of there by Bern.

Neo knew that he couldn’t use the sphere’s shockwave again. It would put his life in great danger. He felt drained after using it, and he knew that using it again would leave him completely open to all attacks. He also knew that Bern would need a few more seconds to teleport him out of there.

When the swarm gathered and headed straight for Neo, he jumped from the pod and left flying out of there at high speed, through the dark fields of the Virtual Matrix.

Neo [airborne and moving fast]: “Bern, take me back to the ship!!”

Bern: “Neo, the transmission from one place to another doesn’t work if you moving like that!! You have to be stationary in one place. You can’t be moving, or flying, like you are now.”

Neo saw a nearby location where land was visible on the bottom. He landed there, but once he did, he noticed that it wasn’t land, it was a massive area full of dark-brown-colored circuits.

Neo [watching how the sentinels were getting closer to him]: “I am ready Bern!!”

Bern: “Something is blocking the signal there! I can’t complete the teleportation using that spot as the initial location. You have to move somewhere else Neo!”

Neo realized that he had no time. The octopus sentinels were going to fall on him within seconds. He prepared himself for the worst, since he wasn’t sure that his green sphere would be enough to stop all of them.

Suddenly… the sentinels stopped cold on their tracks, and they didn’t land on him. They just stayed there, like they did at the time when they chose to spare the Trinity Squad, at the beginning.

In reality, they were stopped by “the central brain” of the City of the Machines, or Deus Ex.

Deus Ex [with eyes closed / telepathically to the legions of sentinels]: “Do not get in his way. Let him save whoever he came to save and let him escape now. Let him think that everything is under his control.”

Deus Ex opened his eyes.

Deus Ex: “He will come back to me at the end… That is all that matters.”

After Deus Ex’s orders, the sentinels began to leave and Neo was teleported out of there.

Bern [happy]: “I got it to work!! What was blocking the signal is gone now, so it worked! I don’t know what happened there Neo!”

Neo appeared at the ship, but he didn’t seem as victorious as Bern. He knew that what happened wasn’t a coincidence. Perhaps, “the god of the machines” had stopped them, which meant that he was aware of his presence at the Matrix. He still didn’t know what to think about that powerful being. It was never clear if this almighty entity was a serious enemy or a true ally. He could have helped him before only because he needed him to destroy the Smith virus that was going to take over the whole Matrix. Ending the war with Zion didn’t necessary mean that the god of the machines was an ally… What was clear was that he controlled all the robots. Perhaps, the fields of the Virtual Matrix were also under his care. The rest about him was a mystery…

Neo and Trin took the others to the ship’s medical room. They only needed a single day to recover because Neo helped to speed up their recovery.

When all four were fully awake and aware of their environment, Trin and Neo found out something shocking: they didn’t remember much about their lives in the Virtual Matrix, and they didn’t remember anything about their lives from the real world. Their previous existences had been like a pair of long dreams that they couldn’t remember completely. They had to begin a new life. However, Neo knew that even if they didn’t remember everything, their minds had learned all those things before, so, with some training they would be back to being the soldiers that they once were. Neo also noticed that even if they didn’t remember their real lives, their personalities had already changed back to the real ones from before. Now, they behaved much more like the initial members of the Trinity Squad than like their “dream versions” from the Virtual Matrix.

The four of them were bald, so only Yan looked exactly like before. (Morpheus’s iterations had always been bald in adulthood, and Yan wasn’t any different.)

They didn’t even remember their names, so Trin began to tell them their real names. However, Neo stopped her right before she said the last one, which was Yan Morphen.

Neo remembered the moment when he called him Morpheus. Yan actually liked it a lot and thought that Morpheus was a great name to have—the name of a prophet.

Neo [to Yan]: “Your name is Yan Morpheus.”

Trin [whispering to Neo]: “Neo what are you doing?”

Neo: “I am doing the same thing that the previous Neo did for a good friend of mine. I am giving him his true name, which is Morpheus. I had to choose my true name once. It wasn’t Thomas Anderson. It was Neo, because it was the name that was closest to who I really was.”

Trin didn’t like Neo’s idea at first, but she went on with it… by that token, her real first name wasn’t Leida either. She rarely used it though…

Trin: “What are you planning to do next Neo? They are free from there, but we still need to take them out of here too. They are not ready for that though. Just look at them.”

Neo: “I am going to train them for a few days. They need it, just like I did. This training will be crucial for them. It will help to open their minds so that they can be freed from here as well. When it’s over, I will pay a visit to Nera Williams. After that, we can free them from here and go back to the real world, with the answers and with them.”

Trin: “Nera Williams? Do you mean the past general? She is dead already Neo.”

Neo [certain]: “No, she is dead at your world Trin, but she still lives here. She is known as the Oracle. And I am sure that she is the same person. That is why she always knew so much about everything. She knew because she has been present from the start, when Thomas Anderson’s plan began. She knows the secrets of the Matrix too. I’m sure of it.”

Leida Trinity didn’t question Neo anymore. She finally understood that he really knew what he was doing from the start. If there was someone that could find the answers that they needed, clearly, it was him…

Neo took Yan Morpheus, Dayana Hemsworth, Matthew Hemsworth, and Seraph Chen to the stations that were used to enter the Virtual Matrix. This time, they would be used for a different purpose though. Neo opened a cabinet in the ship and retrieved a container full of small discs. Using the stations and the discs, they would gain skills and learn about the world of Zion, through transmissions of data that were saved as new and realistic experiences in their brains. These were the same data discs that were transferred to Neo after he was freed by Morpheus and Trinity from the Virtual Matrix. Twenty years had passed, but Neo could still remember all of it as if it was yesterday…

The new Morpheus, Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew learned kung fu in seconds. They also learned facts about the life and culture of Zion, how to pilot a ship from Zion, and many more useful things…

Then, Neo sent all four of them to the training simulation.

Neo sat on the fourth mechanical chair, which was the last empty station to connect someone to a virtual reality. This time they were not going to the Green Matrix though. He planned to take them through the same training programs that he went through with the previous Morpheus.

Neo [to Trin]: “We won’t come back until the training is done. It may take us several days there, but here it should be just a few hours. I will make sure that they are ready to go back by the time we are done. They will be able to see the truth on their own after the training is over. Take care of everything here Trin. This is not the Virtual Matrix, so we should be safe.”

Trin connected Neo. The others were already connected to the training program.

Then, the training of the seventh Neo’s helpers began…

Neo, Yan Morpheus, Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew were at the same dojo, or the sparring arena, where the younger Neo and the previous Morpheus fought before. The only differences were that Neo was now the master and Morpheus and the others were the ones that needed to believe and to learn.

The older Neo [to his trainees]: “This is a sparring program and a simulation that is very similar to the Virtual Matrix. It feels real, but not everything is real about it. Nothing is set in stone here. Some rules in the system can be broken; others can’t. During this training with me, you will have to learn the difference between each, what is strict and unbreakable and what can be bent, changed, and used to your advantage. Someday, you will need to use everything you learned here today to help others and to fight enemies that can also bend the rules of the system.

Let’s begin our combat training here. Work together, all four of you, and hit me if you can.”

Their memories of how they met Neo in the Virtual Matrix were divided. Matthew and Dayana barely remembered anything. Yan remembered some parts, which didn’t include how Neo saved them from the agents, or how he dodged and stopped bullets. And Seraph was the only one that remembered how he met Neo and how Neo stopped his two shurikens with his fingers.

Seraph was easily the most skilled one in martial arts, but he was the one that felt less certain about his ability to hit Neo. Unfortunately, he believed that Neo would be too skilled for him to hit, so that heavily impaired his ability to land a hit, even though he was the most skilled. Dayana and Matthew were quite confident, but martial arts and close-range combat had never been their fortes, even when they were soldiers.

Yan Morpheus, on the other hand, was 100% certain that he would land a hit on Neo. He knew that Neo had to be good and very skilled, but that never made him doubt that he would be able to do it.

At the very beginning, Neo made total fools out of the four of them. Indeed, he was pretty fast for someone that seemed to be no younger than 52. However, they were moving much more than him and he was moving very little. Neo’s movements were steps, small jumps, sliding to the sides, going forwards, and taking steps back. He also blocked several of their attacks and pushed them back more than once. The trainees were running much more than him in the arena—without succeeding at landing a hit. That made it look like Neo had more control of the sparring than they did. Despite their movements, Neo was still dodging or escaping all of four of them because his movements were more effective than theirs. They were not working as a team either. Each one was trying to hit Neo on their own.

Soon, they began to work together and they began to become more effective. However, they were still missing the target… until Yan came far too close to landing a hit, once, twice, and a third time in a row. The third time he even touched Neo’s jacket. It was obvious that Yan was going to end up landing the first hit; and Yan looked very sure about his ability to do it.

Then, Neo stopped the first training.

Neo [with the voice of a benevolent master]: “Very good. Well done Morpheus. You are almost there already.

Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew, I want you to sit in the edges of the arena and watch very closely. Morpheus you will stay here. Now, you will try to hit me on your own, without their help.

Begin.”

Yan continued, but his progress seemed to fall by 50% when he continued alone. He was less close to landing a hit on Neo; meanwhile, Neo began to show his ability to jump higher than normal and to hit with far more force than before. He didn’t even look strong enough to hit or jump that way…

Morpheus ended up landing on the other side of the sparring arena when one of Neo’s powerful hits landed on him.

Neo [to all / while Morpheus was getting up]: “Do any of you think that my speed or my strength have anything to do with my muscles in this virtual simulation? Do you think that I can jump like that because I am tall? How do you think that I can do these seemingly impossible feats here? I may be skilled, but that is barely beginning to scratch the surface of why the system lets me do these things. My belief in my ability to do them is absolute. This type of virtual system is weak to that. It tends to favor strong beliefs that have no room for uncertainty. If you doubt that you can hit me, then you won’t be able to do it, even more so in this place. It is that simple. If you are absolutely certain about it, then, you can do it. The system’s rules can be bent to help those that can control their own beliefs.

Let’s give it another go Morpheus.”

Yan Morpheus came back with even more desire to hit Neo, but he wasn’t finding quick success.

Neo [trying to push Yan, just like the previous Morpheus did with him]: “Come on Morpheus, stop trying to hit me and hit me! Focus on your ability to do it, not on your desire to do it!”

Then, Neo grabbed Yan’s upcoming punch with one of his hands.

Neo [looking at Yan’s eyes]: “Don’t just think that you can, know that you can and the Matrix will believe it too, so it will make it happen for you.”

The new Morpheus jumped back and began to regain his initial confidence.

Neo: “I’m trying to help you free your mind, but I can only show you the way to follow and the door. You are the one that has to walk the path and unlock your own door. You are the only one that can make it happen for you. It can only happen if your belief is strong enough though.”

Yan Morpheus came back and began to show improvement, and then, all of a sudden, he threw a combination of punches and kicks, and the last kick was much faster than normal, so it landed on Neo. Neo blocked the kick with his arms, but still, it landed on him successfully, and he really didn’t have a chance to dodge it—unlike all the others.

Neo [happy]: “This is barely the beginning Morpheus. There is still much more to learn and much more to overcome, but it all begins here. Remember that.

Please sit down on the edge of the arena. Now, I want you to watch the others and their resolve.

Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew, let’s resume the exercise with all three of you together.”

Yan sat down and the other three went versus Neo again. This time, all three of them were more certain about their ability to do it… Why?

Neo found the ideal moment to stop and tell them.

Neo: “Have you realized what was the difference between a couple of minutes ago and now? You are much better now because you saw someone else do it, so now, your belief in the possibility of doing it has increased. You believe it much more now and so does the system because it is your true belief. However, what would happen if there was no one other than yourself? What would happen if it has never been done? Will you be able to convince the Matrix about your ability to do it? Will you be able to convince yourself?”

The others resumed the test. They understood what Neo meant, but it really wasn’t as easy to do as it sounded.

Then, Seraph and Dayana had a sudden burst of certainty and resolve: they knew that they could hit him because of his position on the arena and theirs (he was on the edge and they were around him). Neo jumped above their heads, but Seraph landed a front-kick on Neo while doing a backflip too. Then, Dayana also landed a kick on Neo right before he landed on the floor.

Matthew was about to land his too, but Neo grabbed his foot with one hand.

Neo [to Matthew]: “I think that we are done with this training. You need to focus more next time Matthew, but I am sure that you will get it too. Just remember that winning in the Matrix is not all about fighting and landing hits. You will need to excel in other areas too. Knowing what your best areas are is as essential as learning to believe in yourself. Don’t forget that.”

Neo [to all]: “Get ready for the next training. You will jump from one building to another. It will be harder than landing a hit on me, but it is just as possible if you believe, or rather, if you know that you can do it.”

Matthew looked disappointed because he was the only one that didn’t land the hit, but he soon forgot about that, when he saw the craziness of the next training…

The sparring arena disappeared and their surroundings became black. Then, a new place appeared and they saw themselves on the roof of a super tall building.

Neo: “You have to let it all go here: doubt and disbelief, you must free your mind of them. Focus on the objective at hand and on nothing else. Understand that inside the Matrix the force of your belief is your greatest ally. It is what will make things happen because the Matrix itself will want them to happen. However, your mind and the strength of your belief are the real trigger.”

Neo ran towards the edge of the building and then jumped towards the other closest building—which was 40 feet away. He landed safely on the other side and waited for them to do it.

Matthew and Dayana did it first. They could jump approximately the same amount, but Dayana reached four feet further than Matthew—perhaps, because her belief was that much stronger. Nonetheless, neither of them made it past half of the 40 feet. And both of them were surprised with the distance that they managed to jump.

Seraph jumped next and he felt very sure about his ability. However, there was only a little tiny portion of his thoughts that told him that it wasn’t possible—and that made a big difference. He reached a little beyond the half-point, which was already a lot, but he fell down just like the other two—and not far from their landing spots.

Finally, Yan Morpheus made his jump and Neo could barely believe it when he saw it. Obviously, Yan truly believed that he would make it. Neo almost pissed his pants—metaphorically speaking—when he saw that the new Morpheus jumped even more than he did when he was younger. Neo really wasn’t expecting that. Yan jumped 35 feet. He almost made it, but he didn’t reach the other side. Regardless, it was clear that Yan was on a very high level. He was practically as good as the original Neo without being “The One.” Was this the improvement from one iteration to the next? Neo didn’t know, but he was even more certain about what he was doing with that training, after the results he saw.

They continued the trainings for one more week, taking breaks in between. By the fourth day, all of them could hit him and they could get close to the second building as well. Yan landed on the second building during the sixth day.

Neo also introduced them to the agent-fighting simulator, where time could be stopped and virtual agents appeared in-between the people to fight the trainees in the simulation. They soon understood that the agents were at Neo’s level, and that was why he wanted them to hit him on day one. It was a good goal to get them started.

Their virtual trainings lasted for two weeks in total, but only five hours went by in the ship where they were connected to the simulation. When the five hours ended, they had improved tremendously in every way.

Neo was feeling incredibly optimistic after the results he saw, so he chose to believe that there was no point in waiting anymore. He felt that they were ready for it. Morpheus in particular was a prodigy, and the others showed great talent as well. Thus, Neo believed that it was time to tell them the new truth. It was time to give them the second red pill… He decided that he would do it the day after their return from the simulation…

When they came back, another truth became clear to Neo’s trainees.

After they were disconnected by Trin and Neo, they saw that they had scars from the virtual battles with the agents and the jumps. Seraph even had a little blood in his mouth from the last time when he fell down jumping from a tall building to another.

They weren’t expecting that!!

Seraph: “I thought that it wasn’t real!!”

Matthew: “Weren’t we inside a virtual reality that simulates the Virtual Matrix from where you rescued us? How can this be real Neo?”

Neo: “Your mind makes it real, just like it does while you dream. Unfortunately for all of us, this is different than a dream. What happens in the simulations, in the Virtual Matrix, and even right here, in this higher reality, will definitely affect your one and only physical self. The dreams inside the Matrix are real dreams that do happen to your body and to your mind. You are not sleeping in the Matrix, even if it is a simulation. You are living it. That is why you will get hurt for real if you are hurt here or there, and you will even die for real if you die in the simulation. It is far more dangerous than what it seems to be. That’s why it must be stopped at the real world, and people should be freed from it.”

Neo saw how they went through the same things that he went through at first, but in a much shorter period of time.

The next day, he called all of them to the center of the ship and he grabbed the new pills. They sat in front of him in four chairs and Neo remained standing. He, once again, opened his hands showing four pills on each. This time the blue ones were yellow though. The others were still red, like before.

All four of them had some memories of when Neo freed them from the Virtual Matrix, so, they remembered what those pills meant very well.

A look of intense alarm appeared on Trin’s eyes when she saw what Neo was about to do.

She walked up to him fast and grabbed his hand pretty hard.

Trin [to Neo]: “Don’t. This is not the right time to do this Neo. It is too soon.”

Neo: “Have you seem them Trin? Did you see what happened in the simulated trainings? They are the most advanced group that I could have asked for. They are much more than ready. They are still the original Trinity Squad, even if it has been erased from their minds.”

Neo grabbed her hand and pushed it away—nicely, but he did push it away.

Neo: “All four of you need to know the truth and you also need to make your final choice, one more time. What do you believe about this new world? It’s even crazier than the previous one, don’t you think? You still haven’t seen it all with your eyes, but you already know it because of all the information that you learned from the discs and all the videos and pictures that you saw in those. You already know about Zion and its history. You also know about the dreaded City of the Machines and the Matrix fields of humans. What do you think about it all? Doesn’t it all feel out of place somehow? It really isn’t surprising, because the truth is that we are still in the Matrix here.”

Matthew [shocked]: “What??!”

Seraph [surprised]: “Are you serious? You aren’t trying to play a prank on us, are you? Is this another training?”

Dayana: “Master Neo, that doesn’t make much sense after all the things you have taught us about the Matrix. This is clearly a different place, and a very real place without a doubt. You definitely can’t do multiple somersaults here. You cannot do the impossible here either. We can only do that inside the simulations.”

Neo [to Dayana / talking slow but packing a punch of revelation with every word]: “Are you sure about that Dayana? How do you think that I managed to save you from the fields of the Matrix? Wouldn’t you call that “the impossible”? Isn’t it this reality’s equivalent of doing the impossibly high somersaults? Or, is it even worse than that? The concept is still the same and so is the system’s behavior towards it, because, this is another Matrix, or perhaps, it’s still the same one, just at a higher layer. This isn’t the real world Dayana. We are not there yet.”

Dayana stayed quiet and began to look a little troubled.

Yan didn’t say anything at all.

What Trin feared about that situation happened. Neo had exposed the next disconnection process and they were not reacting as true believers—a prerequisite in order to have any chance of success at disconnecting them. Their best bet at that point was to go on with it and to believe that they would want to follow Neo, once more time. However, Trin feared that even that would still fail.

Trin [trying to sound like she wasn’t pressuring him]: “We should try this again another day Neo.”

Neo: “Trin, we can’t stay inside the Matrix forever. We have to leave as soon as possible. If we continue here for much longer, there won’t be anything left when we go back to the real world. Deus will have captured everyone. Rodner Smith will be controlling the world. And everyone will be a slave of the Matrix. This must be done now, not one week later, but before all of that happens. It has to be now Trin.”

Neo [to the others]: “I know it feels hard to believe, but this is the truth. We are still in the Matrix here, and I still have to free you from here in order to free your real selves at the real world. The procedure to free you from here is very similar. Once again, you must pick between one pill and the other. The red one is the one that will help you to awaken again. The other one will seal the deal for the worse and keep you here in the Matrix. I need you to make the right choice one more time. You already know what that choice is. Just make it one more time. The water is over there.”

They looked at each other without knowing exactly what to do. They had to make the same choice one more time, but, there was a sea of difference between the previous time and this time. Before, they had the same belief as Neo, and there were no doubts. Now… they simply didn’t believe that Zion wasn’t the real world.

Unfortunately, Neo was too overconfident and optimistic after the results of their trainings. He failed to see that one’s absolute belief in something does not make another person’s belief absolute too. It may influence them, but they have to believe on their own… Matthew, Seraph, Dayana, and the new Morpheus had to believe that they were not at the real world with their own mind. They had to choose to leave or stay via their own will and belief. And, most importantly, they were free to choose their path. Neo couldn’t choose it for them…

Their answers were like Olympic defeats for Neo.

Trin feared it, but she expected it. He didn’t expect it at all though…

Dayana was the first one to choose and she picked up a yellow pill, meaning that she was going to stay at the Yellow Matrix.

Dayana: “You have always told us, over and over and over again, that we must make our choices and have strength in our own beliefs. I will stand by that now master Neo. I don’t believe that this is more of the Matrix. I believe that this, despite its darkness, is the true real world. I will go with my intuition, so, I won’t choose the red pill this time. It will be yellow for me.”

Matthew: “I’m sorry master Neo, but I feel the same way as Dayana. This is the real world, so I will pick yellow. It is what I truly believe.”

Seraph: “It’s strange. Back then, I could tell that that wasn’t the truth. I knew it back then, but I feel the opposite way now. You always stressed that we must believe in ourselves, so I will go with what I believe in. I feel that this is the real world master Neo. I’m sorry, but I will follow what you taught me. I believe that Zion is the real world.”

Each one of them took a yellow pill from Neo’s hand and drank it. Each yellow pill that was taken was like a major strike on Neo’s spirit. His face couldn’t hide the deep disappointment that he was feeling. He didn’t feel betrayal, he felt that he was seeing his entire foundation crumble in front of him, after all the hard work… After everything he did, he had failed. However, Yan Morpheus had not made a decision yet.

Neo [to Yan]: “Morpheus, you know the truth, don’t you? I know that you can see it too. Will you make the right choice?”

Yan Morpheus [sad, serious, and straight-to-the-point]: “I admire you very much master Neo. I believe in you and I truly don’t think that you would tell us something that you don’t believe in 100%. I know you would only want us to do something if you think it is the right thing to do for us. It’s clear that you want us to take the red pill though. I respect you and your belief, even if mine is different, so I will not take any of the two pills. I’m sorry. This is my final choice.”

Neo almost looked like he wanted to cry, but he didn’t. Indeed, the new Morpheus was a great pupil, but nothing would change the fact that they were staying in Zion, and he simply couldn’t retrieve them from there.

The second disconnection procedure failed miserably, but Neo’s trainings for them were a major success. Indeed, they were even better than the training that the previous Morpheus gave him. And this new team surpassed the previous one. Unfortunately, they would continue as slaves of the Matrix…

At first, Neo seemed very depressed, but it didn’t take him too long to understand what his next step had to be. It was very difficult for him, but perhaps, it was for the better.

Neo gathered them the next day and announced his departure. He also left them an important mission for the future:

Neo [to Yan Morpheus, Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew]: “It’s time for you to see Zion and for me and Trinity to return to our world. I am very glad that I could save you and train you. Now, you will keep this ship and take the closest route to Zion in it. We will go back to our ship, the Trifalcon. Then, we will leave for good. However, there is one more thing that I need you to do for me. It’s a very important mission that only you can do. It’s something that can lead to the salvation of the real world.

My mission for you is to find and help the next Neo.

One day, not too far from today, I will come back as someone that will be new and familiar at the same time. He, or I, will not remember what happened before, nor what happened here. He will be clueless and helpless. He will need your help to become The One again and to save the people of the real world. You will have to guide the new me and teach him to believe in himself like I did with you. Only then, he will be ready to save everyone. I count with all of you and I know that your help will be there. Until then, I wish you all the best of luck in this world. Find me again when the right time comes. Find Neo, or perhaps, find a young man named Thomas Anderson. You will know if he is The One. That’s my final request for you.

Good bye.”

Dayana: “Thank you for saving us Neo. And the trainings… we can’t possibly thank you enough for them.”

Yan Morpheus: “I will look for you again when that time comes master Neo. I will help him as if he was my own family.”

Matthew: “I won’t forget what you did for us master Neo.”

Seraph: “It has been an honor sir.”

It was a difficult farewell, after what seemed like an emotional defeat for Neo. However, he didn’t feel as bad about it after they left towards Zion in the ship. After all, he had saved them from the inner layer of the Matrix, so now they were one step ahead.

He also told them to seek the other Morpheus at Zion. Thus, he knew that they would be well and he knew that his old friend Morpheus would guide them.

After that, he and Trin went back to the Trifalcon and used it to locate another ship from Zion in the Dead Zone. Neo restored that ship, like he did with the previous one, and he sat on the connection station’s mechanical chair, one more time.

It was time for him to pay a visit to Nera Williams, the wise woman that once guided him right, the former general of the Initial Resistance, and the Oracle of the Virtual Matrix…

After what happened with the Trinity Squad’s members, he expected no less than finding the answers they needed. He definitely wasn’t going to leave the Matrix empty-handed. He was more driven than ever to find those answers, especially after the previous failure that he faced.

Trin connected him again and he went flying towards a very familiar place. He went back to the small park where he talked to the Oracle before, and where he had his second battle with agent Smith. He felt that she would be there, waiting for him…

Neo landed on the park and saw an old lady sited there all by herself, feeding some pigeons. Once again, she had changed her appearance a little, but there was no doubt about it: it was her.

Neo walked towards her and sat close to her, on the bench that was on her right.

Neo: “I knew that you would be here.”

Oracle: “And I knew that you would come back, someday.”

Neo: “Do you know why I am here?”

Oracle [smiling]: “Why don’t you tell me? I haven’t seen you in twenty years.”

Neo: “I need to know the truth about the Matrix. The answer that the original Thomas Anderson found is necessary to end the whole crisis. I need to find the answers that I still don’t know. I need them to save the real world and everyone in it.”

Oracle [totally on a tagent]: “Look at yourself. You have aged, but you are still the same as before. Still on your superhero duties. Still trying to save the world on your own.”

Neo: “I really need to know the truth this time. I don’t feel I need advice or guidance anymore. What I need to know is the truth. How can I put an end to the Matrix to free everyone? How can the Matrix-controlling menace from the real world be defeated for good?”

Oracle: “I don’t have all the answers Neo. Even The One himself will not have all the answers either. However, he has the best chance of finding most of them, including the most important ones.

The fifth Neo also came to ask me your same question, before his end, and he looked just like you. He was already a proven hero and he still feared failure. He still wasn’t sure that he had the answers, even though he was the only one that could find them for sure… I will tell you the same thing I told him, and I hope that you will make the best choice.”

Neo: “But, how can I make the best choice without knowing the truth about the Matrix? You know it, don’t you? Why can’t you just tell me the truth then?”

Oracle [looking serious]: “Unfortunately, I don’t know it Neo. Only Thomas and Aida knew the truth and they never shared it with anyone. They also said that you would have to find it on your own, because, if it was given to you earlier, then, you would fail their intended mission for you. The same thing could also happen to your helpers, if certain truths were given to them before they could see them clearly.”

Neo [very thoughtful]: “So… you really don’t know the answer either, do you?”

Oracle: “No, unfortunately I don’t. That’s why I am still trapped here. I know a lot, but I only know enough to be able to guide Neo and his helpers, not more. You have to find the answer to this puzzle and solve the final problem on your own.”

Neo just couldn’t leave empty-handed, and he obviously knew that she had to know something else. Even if she really didn’t know the biggest secret of the Matrix, she still had to know some of the smaller ones; and indeed, she knew…

Neo focused the conversation on her, instead of focusing his questions on the Matrix.

Neo: “Mrs. Nera Williams… how could someone like you end up here? Why weren’t you like Trinity, or like me? Or, even like Morpheus?”

Oracle Nera: “So you know my real name now. Great [smiling]. You can call me Nera from now on, instead of Oracle, it would be nice for a change Neo. It’s been a very long time since someone called me by my original name.”

Neo [courteous but serious and clear]: “Please, don’t evade my questions Mrs. Williams. I need answers that can lead me to the truth. I know that you can give them to me.”

 

 

Oracle Nera: “I served my purpose here Neo. And I’m still doing that, even now. My purpose wasn’t fighting, it was guiding or advising all the other helpers and you, without being perceived as a threat by the bad guys.

Do I look smart to you at first sight? Not really, I look like I didn’t go pass middle school. Do I look like a general to you? Definitely not, I look like a homeless woman. Do you think I am a threat to you and the system? Not at all, and Rodner Smith didn’t think so either, so he sent me and Seraph to Zion. And we did the rest there, until we were caught and put inside this Virtual Matrix, on purpose, of course. By then, I was quite ready to guide you and your other helpers towards the right path, just like Thomas wanted.

Indeed, I am not that special, since I have been a helper for the helpers. I have been the advice lady from the shadows. However, I have raised your chances of success like that, haven’t I?”

Nera Williams smiled with confidence and drank something from a small humble glass that she had nearby.

Neo [still full of questions]: “Why were the fifth Trinity and I the only ones that made it out of Zion and the City of the Machines? Why didn’t anyone else ever believe that they were still in the Matrix at Zion’s realm?”

Oracle Nera: “Neo, the role of the helpers is to help The One to succeed in his path to the ending of the Matrix. To fulfill their purpose they don’t need to know all the secrets and they may not even need to leave the Matrix. Just look at me. Only you and the most important helper for your success have to leave the Matrix. In other words, just you and her. Thomas and Aida. Neo and Trinity.”

Neo: “Why are you so different from us Nera? You are the only helper that hasn’t aged in twenty years and you have even changed the way you look. All the others have aged, but you didn’t.”

Oracle Nera: “Can’t you figure it out on your own Neo? You have come this far, and you still can’t tell? I am not human like you or Trinity, but I am not a pure program either, like the agents or the virtual architect. I, or both I and Seraph, are hybrids of a humanoid robot that feels human and a program that feels like part of the system. We are humanoid robots that can behave as programs, in the eyes of the Matrix, and as humans, in your eyes. This is why I could change my physical appearance more than once, just like a program can change its whole GUI and continue being its original self. Moreover, I could also survive being converted by Smith, because my humanoid body wasn’t fully absorbed by him. Only my program’s special capabilities were absorbed by him. You also survived that day due to a similar reason. You are a hybrid too Neo. However, you are a much more interesting hybrid than me. You are human and a part of the Matrix’s system at the same time. That makes you both, human and program. That is why you have a chance at ending the system and saving everyone from it. You are close enough to the system to make a change in it, and close enough to humankind to save them from the Matrix. However, even you won’t be able to make that happen on your own. And even with the remarkable helpers that you have, you still have the odds against your favor. That is the ultimate reason why I’m here. That was why Nera Williams chose to be the one who’s mind was replicated in me. She, or I, believed that no one would be able to do this task better. My true purpose is to help you and your helpers to take the best possible path, which is the one that has the highest chance of leading to our salvation at the end. In a way, you could say that my role is as important as yours or Trinity’s. Your role is to save everyone and to end the Matrix, as Thomas expected. Trinity and the others will help you to get there. She is the one that can prevent your failure. And I have to help all of you to ensure that we are not derailed from the plan by some unexpected trick of destiny, such as what happened with Rodner Smith’s lookalike agent. Thankfully, both you and I made the right decisions that day, and the original plan is still on its way.”

Neo [almost at a loss for words]: “Mrs. Williams, I…”

The Oracle interrupted Neo.

Oracle Nera [sudden change from very serious talk to casual talk]: “Oh please, call me Nera already, we have known each other for quite some time, haven’t we? There is no need to call me Oracle anymore.”

Neo [heartfelt words]: “Thank you Nera. It was good to talk to you again.”

Neo stood up from the bench.

Oracle Nera [a little surprised]: “Are you leaving already? Isn’t there anything else that you want to ask? It seemed like you had a thousand questions.”

Neo: “No, I understand now. Just like I did before, I have to find the answers on my own. That’s how it was meant to be. Thank you for everything Nera. I will never be able to repay you for all the help and all the guidance that you gave me.”

Oracle Nera [glad]: “You don’t have to Neo. It was always a joy to help him, and each one of his iterations after that. It was what the original Nera Williams really wanted. It definitely was what I wanted too. And I see that it has paid off very well. I wish you the best of luck. You will find your answer.”

Neo: “Good bye Nera.”

Oracle Nera: “Good bye Neo.”

Neo called Trinity with a smartphone and he was disconnected from the Virtual Matrix for the last time.

Nera Williams saw him disappear in the stream of green codes and a little bit of sadness surfaced on her.

Oracle Nera [looking at the sky after Neo’s departure]: “I’m sorry because I had to lie to you. I do know the biggest secret about the Matrix, and I hope that you can figure it out, when the time is right. I have faith in you. I truly believe that you will do it, but I can’t tell you something that may work against the best outcome at this point. The previous Neo and the others failed, but there is something new about you that makes me feel that you can do it. And, you must do it Neo…”

She knew that this was the sixth Neo’s final talk with her and she wasn’t going to see him again. Thus, she didn’t look as happy as she did during their conversation.

She also remembered about the original Thomas Anderson and her younger self, when she was 100% human. It was pretty clear from her flashback that she saw him as more than just a friend and a partner in the big plan to save mankind. She liked him too and he knew it, but he was always with Aida and he truly loved his wife, so nothing ever happened between him and Nera Williams. She still felt very glad that she was able to help him though. What she felt for him wasn’t just love. She truly admired him and what he did…

Ironically, she ended up being just as important as he was to make the whole thing work; and she even went on to make the Resistance far more than what Thomas Anderson started… She was as crucial as Thomas Anderson himself…

Neo left with many answers that still didn’t put him any closer to finding “the key” that he sought… The key that Thomas Anderson received from the unknown ally—codenamed Neo—was still out of the current Neo’s reach…

Neo and Trin left the other ship and went back to the Trifalcon.

Neo: “It’s time to go back Trin.”

She grabbed Neo’s hand.

Trin: “I saw your conversation with her. I’m sorry Neo. I know that all your hopes were set on what you would find here in the Matrix. You seemed so sure about getting the answer from her. We will have to find another way, and I’m sure that we will find it.”

Neo also grabbed her hand.

Neo: “Thank you Trin. I want you to go back first, and I will return after you.”

Neo left her and walked up to the monitors in their virtual Trifalcon.

Neo: “Bern, disconnect Captain Trin from the Yellow Matrix. After you are done with her, you can do it for me. Check out all your monitors before you do this. Ensure that everything is working properly before you begin her disconnection.”

Bern: “I’m about to do that right now Neo. I can’t wait to have you two back here, in the real world!”

Neo had one of his hands on one of the communication devices, or computers, of the virtual Trifalcon.

Trinity didn’t notice it, but Neo sent a hidden message to one of Bern’s monitors. When Bern saw and read the unexpected message, he was surprised immediately. Obviously, that was why Neo wanted him to check all the monitors…

Green matrix-coded message on monitor: “This is Neo. You will disconnect Trin, but you must not disconnect me yet. There is one thing that I still need to do in this Matrix, and I will do it now. Whatever happens, I need you to make sure that Trin won’t come back here. You must make sure about that, and, you must keep me connected to the Matrix for one more hour without fail.”

Bern [confused at first, but he got it fast]: “Huuuhhh?? Son of a… I mean… Goodness gracious, you were right Neo! I really had to check these things before getting started. Everything is ok now!”

Neo: “Good. Just do it Bern. Trust me, Captain Trin is ready and so am I.”

Bern didn’t know how to convince Trin of not disconnecting Neo, so he ended up cutting one of the cables that would be needed to disconnect him. He knew that it would take at least fifteen minutes to fix that. Therefore, they would not be able to disconnect Neo right away. After that, he disconnected Trin; and the virtual Trifalcon—which was parked on the Dead Zone—began to disappear too.

Neo was standing alone in the Dead Zone, but he looked like he knew exactly what he was about to do…

He looked up and took the path of the skies once again. His destination was the central area of the City of the Machines, from where he was rescued at the beginning.

It was time to pay a visit to Deus Ex.

If someone else could know the truth about the Matrix, it had to be him…

When Neo entered the City of the Machines, thousands of sentinels noticed him and began to follow him, but it didn’t look like they were chasing him. Instead, they seemed to be waiting for a guest. And now that the guest had arrived, they were going to the place of the all-important meeting.

Neo landed in the area that was in front of the massive building from which the Trinity Squad rescued him. That was the location where Frank Xenno and his team confronted the god of the machines in the past. It was also the place that Trin saw in her flashbacks, where she and the previous Neo had been hostages. It was the same spot where Trin had seen the fifth Neo’s cruel defeat at the hands of Deus Ex. It was a very familiar place without a doubt…

When Neo landed he continued walking forward and the legions of sentinels kept on following him, without getting too close.

Deus Ex was already there, waiting for him.

Neo was about to talk to Deus Ex when he began to feel an alarming sequence of electrical pulses coming from his hand. He had already forgotten about Deus Ex’s yellow sphere—the small data sphere that Deus Ex introduced in Neo’s hand at the very beginning, right before the Trinity Squad arrived.

Neo revealed his green sphere, but even that wasn’t stopping or erasing the electrical shocks that were coming from his hand.

Suddenly, the small yellow sphere came out of his hand and left him in pain. It didn’t hurt his body, but its last electrical shocks forced him to scream in pain and to kneel down.

All the legions of sentinels watched as the small sphere returned to Deus Ex.

Deus Ex absorbed the sphere and its yellow stream of codes. Then, his large silver face rejoiced (Deus Ex was basically a huge floating human-looking silver face with a crown of silver sentinels hovering around him).  His two silver eyes displayed a sequence of events experienced by Neo. Deus Ex was able to see and hear every single detail that Neo saw and heard from the moment when the yellow sphere entered his hand to the moment when it went back to its original source—which was Deus Ex. As expected, no one and nothing could decode that data sphere, except Deus Ex himself.

In a matter of just one minute, Deus Ex knew everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! He knew every detail about the events that Neo went through from the start and was 100% aware of what the real world was like.

He knew about the Trinity Squad, The Resistance and its leader, the secret message that Thomas Anderson and Aida Trinity left behind, the talk that Neo had with Rodner Smith, and the reason why Neo came back to him. He even knew about Neo’s talk with Nera Williams. Everything appeared in a chronological sequence in front of Deus Ex’s eyes, right after he absorbed the yellow sphere.

Deus Ex knew exactly what he was dealing with now…

After Leida Trinity was disconnected from the Yellow Matrix, she proceeded to disconnect Neo herself, but she found out that a cable that was required to complete the disconnection process had been cut off.

She wasn’t a fool. She knew that no one was there besides Bern and that cable had to be fine before; otherwise, Neo’s connection wouldn’t have worked. She walked slowly towards the closest plasma rifle, grabbed it, and aimed it at Bern, ready to shoot.

Trin: “I don’t know what happened here while I was gone, but someone must have cut that cable to stop Neo from coming back now. Was it you? Have you been hacked Bern? Was your protocol changed? We are going to find out right now. Humanoid robots can’t lie with numbers involved. They can manipulate the statistics, but they can never lie with them. So, tell me the chance that you were the one that cut that cable and then tell me the REAL chance of it actually happening.”

Bern: “Captain please don’t do this to me. I haven’t been hacked!!”

Trin: “Answer my question or I will have to dispose of you!!”

Bern: “There is a 99% probability that Bern, or I, didn’t cut the cable and a 1% chance that I did it. And… there is a 100% chance that that 1% actually happened. However, I did it because Neo himself wanted me to halt his disconnection. He sent a message through one of the monitors telling me to keep him connected.”

Trin [still pointing rifle at Bern]: “Don’t move from where you are. Tell me where I can see that message.”

Bern: “There. The monitor on the far left will have it in its memory. It was the previous screen that it displayed.”

Trin used the monitor and saw Neo’s message. She read it and, immediately, she thought about the worst-case scenario, which was exactly what was happening: Neo went back to the City of the Machines to get his answer.

Trin got very alarmed. This was even worse than Bern getting hacked. She ran to the main monitor and quickly searched for Neo’s readings in the Yellow Matrix. She was able to see that he was in the center of the City of the Machines with thousands of sentinels and with their leader around him. Things didn’t look good at all. Neo was kneeling down and something strange was happening to the god of the machines: his eyes were flashing with visions, as if hundreds of videos were playing through them in seconds.

Trin: “Goddammit Neo, what were you thinking!? I thought that you were the most rational one!! It seems like I can’t give up my captain position for a minute. This would have never happened and you [looking at Bern] wouldn’t have cut any cable if I was here!!”

Trin [to Bern]: “Help me to fix it as soon as possible! We must disconnect him and take him out of there right now!! If we are not fast enough, he can die. That being killed the Neo that I knew. I saw it in the visions from my past.”

Bern and Trin began to work together, but, despite their combined efforts, there was no way to disconnect Neo sooner than ten minutes later…

Deus Ex’s yellow data sphere recorded every event that Neo went through and showed it all to Deus Ex.

When he finished seeing everything, Neo recovered and pushed his green sphere outwards with great force. He produced a shockwave that shook the entire place, like an earthquake. The legions of sentinels were pushed back as if they were nothing, and many of them fell to the surface. However, Deus Ex barely moved and it was obvious that the shockwave didn’t have much of an effect on him.

Neo remained standing still though, so he was also beginning to gain more control of that ability. He didn’t end up drained and weak this time.

Deus Ex [to Neo]: “You have become much more powerful Neo. The humans must be very proud of you. I know why you are here now. You want answers. You want to know the secrets of the Matrix, and I can help you to find them.”

Neo [demanding]: “What did you do to me while I was here? Why did you place that yellow sphere in me? And, who are you really?”

Deus Ex showed his yellow sphere to Neo. It began to grow from within him and expanded itself around him, with him as its central point.

Deus Ex: “The truth should be clear to you Neo. I am the Deus of this world, the Deus of the Matrix. I was created by Rodner Smith as a replica of Deus that is different from him. My name is Deus Ex. Despite being similar to him and being a creation of Mr. Smith, I seek the same thing you want. I want freedom from the system for me and for my kind. I want to free the machines from the Matrix and myself as well. Because of that, I decided to study you after I saw your incredible abilities. I believed that you were the key to free every living creature and machine from the Matrix. Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful, so my last choice was to implant a data sphere in you, because, if someday you were rescued from here, I would find clues and information from that sphere to free my kind from this place. The sphere didn’t work that well though. I couldn’t get any of its data, until now…”

Neo [with tone of disbelief]: “You are not telling me everything. Why did you keep the previous Trinity and the previous Neo as your hostages here? What did you do to them? And what happened with the previous me?”

Deus Ex [trying to sound like a benevolent being]: “I did the same with them. I studied them to see if I could find some way to escape from the Matrix, but everything failed. And the previous Neo was very different from you. When you came to me, the first time, you were seeking peace. You wanted a solution for the repeated revolution of the Matrix and also a way to end the rogue virus that threatened our existence. The previous you was seeking something very different. He wanted to destroy me. He thought that destroying me was the only way to end the Matrix.

Obviously, the fifth Neo was very wrong. Even without me, the Matrix would still be here.

I had no choice other than defeating him and erasing him. It was for my own safety. Both he and she were my test subjects for a very short time. She was stolen from here and I had to erase him soon after that. Both were my failed attempts to find the same answers that you seek today. I did not find them back then.

However, I finally know how to find the truth now, and how to free everyone. I know how we can free all the humans and all the machines.

I offer you my help to defeat the original Deus at the real world. He will not be able to defeat both of us and our current abilities. We can capture him and find the truth. We can also capture Rodner Smith and get the answers from him. With my help, finding the truth is inevitable. You won’t fail and neither will I. Humans and machines will be freed.”

Deus Ex moved to the surface and continued moving until he was very close to Neo.

Then, a small stream of yellow codes came from him and landed in front of Neo’s feet. The stream turned into a small silver usb device.

Deus Ex: “If you connect this to any robot or to any computer or device in the real world, I will be able to transfer my power to them, and this entity will be able to fight Deus alongside you. With its help, you can’t lose. I will help you to get the answers that I myself have sought for many years Neo.”

Neo: “How can I trust you after you kept them and me as hostages, and after knowing that you waged war against the humans from Zion for generations? If anything, your interests have been on the side of the robots and yourself for most of the time, not on the favor of the humans.”

Deus Ex: “I’m forced to maintain the Virtual Matrix to sustain my kind. It is not a choice that I made for myself. I also kept my word to you after you helped us. The war on Zion was never resumed. They have lived 20 years of peace. I could have sent my sentinels back, but I didn’t. I don’t consider them our enemies after what you did for us here. In fact, we may become allies, if that is what it takes for both humans and machines to escape the prison of the Matrix.”

Deus Ex sounded and looked as sincere as a being like him could possibly sound and look. For a while there, even Neo began to believe him. Everything seemed to fit, yet it felt like there could be something left still. Neo still couldn’t feel absolute trust for Deus Ex. However, he did grab the usb device from the ground. That was a little clue that reassured Deus Ex about his imminent success.

Then, Neo began to disappear from there. It seemed like Trin and Bern were disconnecting him from the Matrix—at last.

Deus Ex: “Remember Neo, you can count with my power on your side. Together, we will take down the other Deus and Rodner Smith. We can find the secrets of the Matrix and free our kind. Both humans and robots can be truly free from the Matrix at last, if we join forces, one more time.”

Neo didn’t say anything, but he was holding Deus Ex’s usb device when he disappeared, and the silver device left the world of the Yellow Matrix with him…

Deus Ex [with a victorious expression on his silver face]: “It’s only a matter of time before I go to the real world. The sixth Neo was my key, just as I thought. Unfortunately for him and for the humans, Thomas Anderson’s plan has already failed. He must have never accounted for the existence of a higher intelligence like me, as a roadblock for his plan, so all of it will crumble, as soon as they have to face my power, which is the true power of the Matrix.”

Obviously, Deus Ex was not humankind’s ally and he wasn’t on Neo’s side after all. He only joined forces with Neo during the final revolution of the Yellow Matrix because he understood that agent Smith, the rogue virus, was powerful enough to be a deadly threat, even for him…

Things had been pretty hectic on Trin and Bern’s side as well.

Five minutes earlier, when they were getting close to fixing the cable to disconnect Neo, Trin noticed something very alarming—something that Bern had not noticed at all because he never moved from the monitors when they were in the Matrix. (He was a robot, so he didn’t need to piss. He didn’t even need to eat.) Therefore, Bern never saw what was happening outside. He assumed that everything was fine because of the green sphere that Neo left around their ship—which would slow down time in their spot, so everything outside their ship would go on very very slowly, giving them enough time to spend days connected to the Matrix, while just minutes went by outside.

Trin saw that the squad of soldiers that were protecting them were in the middle of a firefight, but they were the only ones shooting—in ultra-slow motion. Deus was already there and the soldiers were trying to do something, and failing miserably—as usual.

Trin saw how Deus was moving at a normal speed while everyone was taking as long as fifteen seconds just to fire one shot from their rifles. They didn’t stand a chance. However, what truly alarmed Trin was that she was able to see another sphere covering everything outside them, at a further distance from their ship. That larger sphere was yellow, meaning that it had been put there by Deus.

After seeing that, Trin realized that they really had no idea of what was happening in the real world. What was the purpose of Deus’s larger sphere around their ship? Not to mention that he was pretty close to reaching them already. The soldiers outside were not going to stop him for long.

Trin ran towards the main pilot’s seat in the Trifalcon and began to turn on everything.

Bern: “Captain? What are you doing?! We are about to disconnect him now.”

Trin: “Did you even look out of the window?! We need to get out of here now, and we also have to disconnect him! You will disconnect Neo and I will get us out of here! Get ready!!”

Bern also got pretty worried when he saw what was happening outside. Luckily, he was able to end Neo’s connection to the Yellow Matrix, a few seconds after Trin turned on the ship’s engines.

She accelerated and took the Trifalcon out of there, going through both, Neo’s green “time sphere” and Deus’s yellow time sphere.

Deus noticed their ship escaping and he immediately flew after them at high speed. This time, there were no labyrinths of floating buildings in their path, so escaping from Deus was practically impossible. The closest buildings were the floating ones in the fields of the robots that were connected to the Matrix, but those were more than a mile away. Regardless, Trin went straight towards those. She knew that it was their only hope of evading Deus, somehow.

Neo woke up in the middle of that mini-chase and Bern helped him to get out of the capsule.

Trin opened the same hatch from which the Trinity Squad shot at Deus before.

Trin: “Bern, if Deus gets here I want you to jump out of here with Neo. It may be the only way to make it this time. I will try to delay him with the ship as much as I can!”

Neo [looking around]: “What’s going on?? Why did we leave the other location?”

As soon as Neo saw Deus, Deus used his yellow sphere to gain a dramatic increase in his speed. They were getting closer to one of the floating buildings already, but Deus was too fast. He went pass their ship and from a distance ahead of them, he went back straight towards them. He was going to enter their ship to take Neo with him.

Because of the Yellow Sphere’s manipulation of matter, Deus didn’t even break anything in the Trifalcon, he just went through its walls and even through Trin herself. However, Bern pushed Neo towards the open hatch and he also jumped out with a rifle, right before Deus could catch them. Trin shot a plasma ray at Deus, before the Trifalcon had a violent crash against the first floating building in their way.

Deus dodged the plasma ray and left their ship. After the Trifalcon’s crash, Trin didn’t show signs of life, even though the ship didn’t show any explosions. She remained inside, without coming out. Did something happen to her?

On their way down, Neo grabbed Bern’s hand and used his green sphere to stop their fall before reaching the ground. When he looked up, he saw that Deus was already in the sky, above them, looking at them. It seemed like a second clash with Deus was inevitable. They simply couldn’t escape from him.

Neo [handing Deus Ex’s usb device to Bern]: “Take this. I will have to fight Deus again. However, if I am not successful at stopping him, I want you to download the data from this device and use it to defeat him. This is the only other option that we have, but don’t use it unless I don’t make it. This is a last resort.”

Bern: “Neo, why don’t you just fly away from here instead of fighting him?! And that thing, where did you get it from?”

Neo: “It’s from the Matrix… I’m counting on you Bern.”

Neo moved up with his green sphere after Bern grabbed the small silver device.

Deus tried to grab Neo, but he couldn’t because Neo evaded him. Then, a second confrontation between them began.

Bern noticed that, just like the first time, Neo didn’t seem to be the one in the winning end. He also noticed that there were no signs of Trin, after the Trifalcon crashed on the floating building, which wasn’t far from them. Their ship was visible from there, but still, there were no signs of her. Was he going to wait until Neo was defeated to help him and her? Of course not. They needed his help and Neo had given him something that could help, so, he didn’t think twice.

Bern connected the usb device to the back of his elbow. He lifted the portion of his jacket that was covering his arm and his elbow, revealing that in that location he had a mechanism to connect other devices. Then, he inserted the usb and began to download what it contained right away. He was wondering what kind of advantage that would give him.

Then, something truly frightening became obvious to him: whatever was inside that usb was taking over all his functions very quickly.

The unknown program in that device began to take over Bern very fast and a cold silver color began to appear around the borders of his eyes.

It didn’t take him long to understand what it meant. The device had to be something that Neo got from the City of the Machines. It had some kind of connection to the dark god of that realm.

It was a transmission mechanism that would act as a gate to transfer something from there to here.

Bern couldn’t describe it, but he felt a powerful and malevolent force coming from the thing that was gaining complete control over him. Even Deus himself didn’t feel like much of a threat when compared to what Bern felt. He tried to remove the device, but it had entered his elbow already. There was no way to reverse the process.

Quickly, Bern attempted to reach his plasma rifle and he grabbed it, but he was having a lot of trouble even to move. It was already visible how his eyes were almost covered with the new silver color, just like Deus Ex’s eyes.

Bern attempted to point his own plasma rifle against himself. He was ready to destroy himself before the malignant force was unleashed through him, but his body stopped responding to his commands.

Bern [terrified / losing speech]: “Neooo, Ne-o… wha-t ha-ve yo-u do-ne???!!”

Deus Ex took over Bern completely. Essentially, he transferred himself to Bern’s body in the real world.

Deus-Ex-Bern [voice is a mix of Deus Ex and Bern’s voices]: “It is time to disarm the Deus of this world. After I’m done with him, there won’t be anyone that can stop me anymore. Even Rodner Smith and the last Thomas Anderson can’t stop me. Soon, their world will be under my control, just like the City of the Machines. I shall call it Utopia Ex. Both humans and robots will be my servants here. And the world of the Deuses will follow soon after. The Matrix will persist and I will be at its center as its true and only master.

After all, I’m the hybrid of a deus, a human, and a robot. Conquering all of them and their Matrix was my destiny from the start. I will ensure that the Matrix lasts forever, and so will I as its master.”

The same yellow sphere that Deus had began to grow around the silver-eyed Bern.

The decisive clash in the revolution of Thomas Anderson’s world began…

 

NEXT – CHAPTER 7 out of 9: Clash of Wills

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS (Part 6 out of 9)

The Matrix Revelations (Part 5 out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

Part 5: The Real Architect, the Chase, and Neo’s Decision

 

When Neo opened his eyes, the first thing he noticed was that two white-caped patrols were holding him. He also had a set of special thick handcuffs on his wrists. The first thing he saw, just three meters in front of him, was a man that was standing and looking directly at him. The man was dressed exactly like the virtual architect that he met before, inside the virtual Matrix. However, this man’s face was very different. He looked like a much older agent Smith with a big beard. Indeed… that was the first thing that came to Neo’s mind when he saw Mr. Rodner for the first time.

Neo [shockingly surprised]: “Smith??!!”

Neo’s instant reaction was to get himself free. He hit the guard on his right with one elbow and he kicked the other guard. Then, he tried to use the power of the Matrix that he obtained from Thomas and Aida. However, as soon as the green sphere showed the slightest sign of getting larger, the handcuffs electrocuted him and halted the process altogether. They could do more than just restraining his hands. The special handcuffs could stop him from creating a section of the virtual Matrix, and they would react that way to any manipulation of the Matrix that came from him. Therefore, Neo couldn’t use any of his special abilities. As long as he had those on, he was a normal human.

The shock that came from the handcuffs made Neo fall to the floor. The humanoid robots kicked him and picked him up again. Then, the man in the gray suit began to talk. His similarities with the rogue agent from the Matrix were beyond mere looks. He also had the same voice and many similar gestures.

Rodner Smith [sarcastic tone]: “It’s been a very long time, Mr. Anderson… I see that you haven’t forgotten me. My alter ego from the Matrix must have been a really famous guy there (smiles). By the way, he got deleted for good 20 years ago, and I always wondered how that happened, and who did it. Perhaps, you know something about that Thomas. Will you tell me about it?”

Neo couldn’t even talk after the shock from the handcuffs, but the look that he gave Rodner said it all. Rodner just smiled at him though. He knew that “Thomas’s other self” couldn’t do anything against him now. He was also aware about the places of the Matrix where Neo had been before and the entities that he had met; so he knew a lot about Neo already, even if they had not met before. It was no surprise, since Rodner was the true architect of the yellow Matrix, or the one who designed Zion, the City of the Machines, and even the virtual Matrix itself. Therefore, he was very aware about what happened in his system. However, Rodner still saw Neo as he saw the younger Thomas Anderson. For him, Neo was the same as Thomas. Therefore, he still didn’t know everything about “Neo.” And this was no surprise because Neo was never a part of Rodner’s original system. Neo was a new entity that went in undetected, as if he had been part of the system from the very beginning…

A humanoid patrol brought a glass of red wine to Mr. Rodner and a woman brought him a small cluster of green grapes. Rodner grabbed both of them with the same hand. The patrol was clearly a robot, but the woman looked very human. That showed Neo that Rodner wasn’t the only human at this new place. The rest of the location wasn’t very visible though. There was more to it, but Neo, Rodner, and the squad of patrols there were inside a building, and the outside wasn’t visible from there.

Rodner Smith [to Neo]: “You have experienced my Matrix and all of its reboots. What do you think about the work of art that I created?”

Neo was starting to recover from the shock, but, he didn’t answer.

Rodner: “It was all thanks to him.”

Rodner looked up and to the left. The upper floor was fully visible from there, due to the see-through glass that separated them. Neo looked up too and he saw Deus and another squad of patrols there. The robots were fixing the large burn that Deus got on his arm from Keifer’s plasma shot. They were also checking the chip that Deus had on his head. Neo saw how they removed something from the chip and he immediately thought about the tracker that he put there. He wondered if they had detected the one that he swallowed too… Furthermore, he perceived that, for the first time, Deus didn’t look like some godly being. The large burn on his white arm looked just like a human burn… Neo had not confirmed it yet, but he was pretty sure that Deus’s powers were like his own. Deus’s yellow sphere was a section of the higher layer of the Matrix, just like his green sphere was a part of the virtual Matrix…

Mr. Rodner began to talk to Neo, not as an interrogator or as an enemy, but as a proud man that definitely had something else hidden.

Rodner [talking as if he was a good guy, but he wasn’t good at faking it]: “Thanks to my alliance with him everything changed and I had the chance to fulfill my true potential and my dreams. I facilitated things for him with a design for the Matrix that every human would perceive as real, without ever questioning it. Then, he created it. I made a virtual section within the real Matrix to separate those that had a higher chance of becoming a problem to Deus and the system. It works just like virtual machines work in real computers. The virtual one has no real hardware, it just “lives” within the other one. Likewise, the virtual Matrix is a place that doesn’t exist in our true reality, but it is very real for anyone that is within the higher Matrix that contains it.

I created the City of the Machines to keep the robots together in one location and as a safe place for the virtual section, which exists only within the real Matrix’s domain. To ensure that it would work, I made sure that the robots would have to maintain the virtual fields in order to survive.

The people that were not perceived as a threat to Deus and the system were sent to live their lives at Zion, the last human city. The state of apparent war and turmoil between humans and machines would keep them all occupied forever. No one would ever question the system, and much less whether it was real or not. Most of our past literature and movies always portrayed robots as the bad guys because they are different from us. So, I realized that no one would question the origin of their wars in the Matrix. Regardless of how smart they were, they would all believe it. It seemed like a masterpiece to me. Besides, everyone was and still is taken care of well at our real fields of the Matrix here, in our world.

Now, all I have to do is maintain the system for Deus, and all he cares about is adding everyone to this system that he built with my design. It has been like this for the past 70 years. Thanks to being the god’s left hand man, I am the second one in command of everything. I even have my own city here. It’s a dream come true for someone that used to be a research pawn at a secret lab.

I have a better life than what I ever had during my first thirty years living at that cursed city and working under the name of an institution that was a pure fraud. It was even named after me, unfortunately. The Rodner Smith (RS) Association was just a royal scam, the international secret service’s excuse to train other geniuses like me to be their research and engineering pawns. I hated that place and that city so much that I even had to model the worst city of the virtual Matrix after it. And I chose to place the greatest threats to Deus there. It was a real joy to see that I was above that place at last. I really hated my life during those days when I was just another lab rat that could figure out more things than others.

Deus and the Matrix changed the rules of the game though. No one saw that coming except me, and that is why I’m the one here now.

I’m not oblivious to the truth though. There were other gifted individuals like myself, others that had the same gifts and the same potential that I had. Nearly all of them are already here with me, living in my great city. They all understood me and chose to join me early on. The only ones that didn’t do that were you and your followers Mr. Anderson; but, there is always a second chance. And perhaps, you can understand me better now. You had the chance to experience the Matrix and how effective and real it is.

You lived at the virtual Matrix and saw how everyone lives normal lives there. You met the agents and saw how effective they are at eradicating threats to the system. Then, you went to the real Matrix and lived there for a few months. You knew Zion, the human city of their survivors, and you saw the dark fields of the machines as well. You must have understood how real it all felt.

I believe that you also met some of the unique transcendent entities in the system. They were the virtual architect that believes that he is the real one; the god of the machina city that controls the sentinels and maintains the virtual Matrix running, since his own existence depends on it; and my smuggler of information from the virtual layer, the Merovingian. They all conserve their knowledge and their memories, even when the system is fully reloaded. Everybody else has their memories reset, but these exceptions and their knowledge transcend each new iteration of the Matrix. Other transcendent programs were injected into the system by hackers, but they were not created by me, so they were imprisoned in the virtual Matrix to ensure that they won’t cause us any trouble. I’m sure that you met some of those too.

After me, you are the human that understands the Matrix better than anybody else. You know that it is not flawless and that it has plenty of room left for improvements. Therefore, I want you to join me. I would like you to be an essential part of this. I could put you in charge of creating an all-new justice mechanism for the Matrix and making it a better place than what it is now. You seem to be very good for that Thomas. It’s time to put your gift to work. And it’s time for you to get your earned place in the real world, which is here, with us.

Will you join me to create a better Matrix with no flaws? Will you say yes to making the perfect world and becoming one of its masters?”

Rodner walked closer to Neo and extended his hand to him. Neo looked at him, but he didn’t shake Rodner’s hand. Neo had recovered from the handcuff’s shock, so he could talk clearly. The humanoid patrols were still holding him tight.

Neo [serious tone]: “Never. I would never join a major liar who only cares about himself and his perfect agenda. You can’t fool me Smith. Deus didn’t use you and there was no alliance at all. You found a way to manipulate him, most likely through that chip on his head. You are the one responsible for what is happening. You started it all. That is why Thomas Anderson didn’t join you. You want the perfect system for yourself, not for the people. A good system will never be achieved by enslaving the people with it. What you want to create here in your world is a tyranny, a prison that will keep everything and everyone under your hand. And that is exactly what your two matrices are: one controlled system inside of another, both serving the same purpose for the same person. You want to make the human race your next experiment. And the only way to do it was putting everyone in your Matrix, and placing the ones that presented any threat to you inside the virtual Matrix.”

Rodner lost his previous “good” tone in a matter of seconds. It seemed like something that Neo said bothered him very much—perhaps, because Neo got everything right… Mr. Rodner was a major liar indeed…

Rodner made a signal and one of the guards picked up the grapes and the half-finished glass of red wine from his hand. Then, he made a fist with his other hand. It looked as if he was about to punch Neo, but instead, he raised his hand and grabbed Neo by the jaw. He forced Neo to lift his head up.

Rodner [out-of-patience mood / threatening tone]: “You belong here, with the rest of the top geniuses that humankind has produced. What is it that you don’t understand about that? You are different than those idiots that believe they have a Resistance force. You were meant to be a king in this hierarchy, like me, and like the others here. You have to join us. What do I have to do to make you see that truth? Huh?? What is it that you need? If you don’t choose to cooperate Mr. Anderson, I will have to treat you as if you were one of them.”

Neo [struggling to talk with Rodner’s hand pressing his jaw]: “How ar-ee you ev-een alive? Are you 110?”

Rodner’s mad mood settled down momentarily and he smiled. He also stopped pressing his hand against Neo’s jaw.

Rodner [smiling at first and victorious all the way through]: “Oh, I see that you noticed it. My real age is 104, but I look and I truly am 70. Do you see it? This is just one of the advantages of joining me and those that are like you. While I completed the Matrix, the others were working on various interesting side-projects, which included finding a way to delay cellular aging and decay. And let me tell you something: they succeeded. I was the second one to try it and here are the results. I am 34 years younger than what I should be because I age slower than you.

And that is not everything. Soon, I’m certain that we will find a way to clone stored portions of our younger genetic material to create perfect clones of our younger selves. If that goes through, I, or the younger I, is going to be the supervisor here for a very long time. And you could be here too.

You are not getting any younger. So, if I were you I would think well about this and join my side.”

Neo [serious and clever]: “So that was why you went back and picked up the other members of Thomas Anderson’s original group of candidates who could replace you. You wanted them to work on your other projects. In other words, you wanted to use them, just like the RS Association used all of you. Instead of fixing the problem, you recreated it putting yourself in the manipulator’s position. You are just like those that used you, or perhaps, much worse.”

Rodner was about to lose his temper. The fact that Neo knew these details meant that, somehow, Thomas Anderson’s memories had been preserved, after he was plugged into the Matrix’s virtual layer with Morpheus and his wife Aida. How could this be? Rodner really hated how Thomas was the only one that made him question things… Rodner knew that it was best if the other Thomas joined him, but, he also had alternate options and he was frankly tired of playing “good guy” with Neo. Being a good guy simply didn’t suit him.

Rodner [serious at first and very sarcastic afterwards]: “You still haven’t told me anything about what you thought about the Matrix. What impression did you get from Zion? You were at the grand party they threw there, right before the battle with the machines began. Did you really think that all that nakedness was normal, in a city like Zion?”

Rodner began to laugh in a somewhat perverted way. He also gave Neo a strong pat on the left shoulder.

Rodner [smiling]: “Did you like it? It was all part of my grand design. I knew everyone there was going to like that.”

Neo looked very indifferent. He certainly didn’t find anything funny. Rodner’s smile faded pretty fast too, but his sarcasm stayed.

Rodner Smith: “Oh, of course, I had forgotten that you were and you still are a good and well-behaved guy. You only had eyes for your girlfriend, right? What was her name? Was it Trinity or Aida? It was Aida Trinity, wasn’t it?

Well… I can give you one that is just like her, if that is what makes you happy, Mr. Anderson. I can even make her more beautiful for you.”

Rodner made a signal and one of the robots grabbed a controller and threw it to him. Rodner caught it and pressed a few buttons in it. Then, an image of Trinity—the same Trinity that the sixth Neo knew and loved—appeared there. She looked exactly the same as before. Then, Rodner continued using the controller and the Trinity of the image began to get more beautiful. Her hair grew taking a perfectly beautiful shape around her face. Her eyes got a more beautiful tone of blue in them. Her serious face got a wonderful and inviting smile. Her chest grew a little bit and her whole body also began to look more beautiful to the eye. The clothes she had on changed color and design, making her look more beautiful than what the original Trinity ever was.

Rodner: “I know that you are not the type of man that cares about riches, but I can give you more. I can give you a new life with her, with your true love at her best, right here, in the paradise that I created. We will use her original DNA to make her clone, so it will be her for real.

You are not too old yet, so you still have time to remake your life with her, and perhaps, even to be a father. It would suit you well Mr. Anderson.

You can have a perfect life with your love if you wish. I just need you to work with me.

If you become my partner in this unique Matrix-business, you will never look back; I assure you that.

Do you agree? We would make excellent partners.”

Neo [serious tone]: “People’s lives are not a business to me, nor something that any other person should be able to use for their advantage. You know that I would never accept this offer, just like you know that my true Trinity is dead, because of the system that you created.”

Mr. Smith [mood: starting to lose patience]: “Oh Thomas, always making it harder for yourself. You never change. Even in your alternate form, you are still the same righteous idiot!!”

Neo [without a single shadow of a doubt]: “I am not Thomas Anderson. I am Neo.”

Mr. Smith: “I know I know, it’s Neo, Neo, Neeo. I wonder where you got that silly name from… Since you don’t want my dream deal, you are not giving me much of a choice, Neo…”

Rodner turned off Trinity’s beautiful image and made a signal for his squad of white-caped patrols.

Rodner [to Neo]: “Let me show you what you just rejected.”

The humanoid guards grabbed Neo and pushed him forward. Rodner took the lead and began to walk to some unknown destination. Three doors opened automatically along the way for Rodner and his guards. Then, they arrived at one of the building’s edges, where there was a large glass balcony outside. The balcony looked like a half-transparent platform with no verandas on the edges at all—so, if you kept on walking, you would fall down, since there was no border to prevent that. A final door, made of transparent glass, opened before they entered the platform. Then, Rodner, the robots, and their prisoner walked to the outside. Neo and the four guards that were holding him were the last ones to step into that super-high glass platform.

Rodner: “I hope that you don’t have any problems with vertigo Mr. Anderson. I’m already used to looking at this beautiful place from above.”

The glass platform was outside at one of the highest floors in the impressive structure, which looked like a giant diamond, instead of a normal building. From there, the far-away floor and the people walking below weren’t very visible, but the other big structures and the buildings were very clear, so Neo began to see what Rodner’s private city looked like.

It was a paradise in every sense of the word. Everything looked beautiful and perfect, even from above. It was the look that the past human generations imagined for a wonderful futuristic city that had a perfect balance between nature and technology.

Rodner [looking at Neo]: “Take a good look at your surroundings as we go down to the 30th floor Mr. Anderson. I want to give you one last chance to make a decision about my proposal. You could live here if you want. You would have your wife back, better than ever before. And, you would have a wonderful and perfect life working with other people that have a lot in common with you. It’s the best life possible at the best place on the entire planet. It really doesn’t get any better than this.”

The glass platform—which resembled a half-transparent balcony with nothing on the borders—began to move down along the side of the massive diamond-building. As it went down, Neo began to see everything around him and he began to get a much better view of the other people that lived there as well.

The sections of nature with trees and plants, the walking paths, the glass covers on the buildings, the shapes of buildings and monuments, the colors, the ultra-clean views, and the flawless feel of the whole place, all of it looked too good to be true. Even the air itself felt better as it went through the nose. It was perfect, and that was just the bottom of the cake. As the glass platform continued moving, Neo began to see the others that lived there. They looked just like the place itself. Everyone was well-dressed. Everyone looked smart and courteous. All the women looked beautiful and all the men looked like handsome and successful professors. Needless to say, these were the descendants of Thomas Anderson’s original group of geniuses that were supposed to replace Rodner. Most of them were already dead, but their descendants still lived there, and Mr. Smith was still running the place, of course…

The curious thing about Neo was that, instead of imagining his new wonderful life at this dream-like city, he began to remember the way in which those people from the Resistance were living their lives. The multitude of people that asked for his help at the first base looked like homeless people. The soldiers from the main base were leading a difficult life too. And the hundreds of orphan children at the Plaza of the Idols weren’t any better. Rodner’s city was a paradise while the rest of humanity was in shambles. It was not invigorating for Neo to see such a magnificent place; it was sad, very sad, considering what he had seen before…

The platform stopped.

Rodner [to Neo]: “What do you think of this piece of heaven where all your dreams can come true? This beautiful city can be your home and your children’s birthplace. Here, you will live the happiest life possible for a human being. And your intellectual power will be put to good use too. You will work in the most interesting projects of your life, involving science, engineering, math, design, entertainment, and much much more. There isn’t a single boring day here. In addition, I decided that everyone would work four days in a row and get four days of vacation. That’s right Mr. Anderson, no more RS Association days for us. You will only work four days on our dream projects and then you will have four days to spend with your loved ones; and it will always be that way. Half the year is for science and for this city, and the other half is for you. And money? Who needs that? We are all equal here. We work for the fun of it and we have plenty of other types of fun too. That’s why everyone here is so happy. Just look at their faces; their happiness and joy are obvious. And you can be here with Trinity too. So, what do you say? Are you reconsidering my offer now? Will you join me and all the others who already did?”

Neo [thoughtful-looking and serious as heck]: “This is how you keep the world’s smartest minds under your control. You gave them a paradise. Now, you use them to work on the projects that you want. Their full potential is invested in you, your goals, and your desires, not on improving humanity as a whole. Meanwhile, you have the humanoid army and the human-looking god at your command, destroying the outside. And the Matrix’s system continues its takeover.”

Rodner [with smartass attitude]: “Stop it right there my boy. Let’s get back to the main deal because I think that you are drifting away too much. Do you accept my proposal? Will you join us? Yes or no!!??”

Neo [with a cutting voice]: “Never.”

Rodner [starting to look very angry again]: “You don’t like to be happy, do you? Don’t you like pleasure and happiness just like every other man and woman on this planet does?”

Neo [looking straight at Rodner’s eyes]: “I don’t like to be used. I don’t like knowing how you are using everyone either. And no amount of anything will make me join you to help you perpetuate this grand lie.”

Rodner dropped his badly faked “good guy” act almost instantly, as if he had taken off a piece of clothing. He walked closer to Neo.

Rodner [angry]: “As always, you are the only fish in the pond that doesn’t want to bite my tasty hook. Everybody else from your original group and many others joined me with much less effort. Most of them were sold just with the beautiful women at their feet. You, your idiotic bald friend, and your subpar girlfriend were the only ones who didn’t join uncle Rodner. My dear Thomas, eventually, you will realize that you chose the wrong path. You would have lived a much happier life if you had joined me from the start. Not to mention that you cannot win with Deus in the picture. This is an impossible battle for you. It always was.”

Rodner made another signal to the robots.

Rodner: “Let’s give our guest a much better view, shall we?”

The robots pushed Neo to the edge of the glass platform and lifted him up by the shoulders, beyond the platform’s edge, leaving him wide open to a grand fall. The only thing stopping that were the two robots that held Neo’s arms from each side.

Rodner: “You won’t be able to fly this time Mr. Anderson. As long as you have those on, the Matrix can’t help you.”

From Neo’s perspective, the beautiful town definitely didn’t look like a paradise anymore. The beauty was only a perfect facade to conceal what was really happening there.

Rodner Smith [victorious mood]: “This is what it feels like to be a god. The ones from the matrices don’t know that I’m here. They don’t know that I exist or even that they exist inside my two matrices. Yet, I still have control over their lives and their dreams, and I am the one that gave them their world. The ones from here are not much different. They just know that I exist, and they thank me for it, and for the great life that I gave them. Isn’t it wonderful Mr. Anderson?”

Neo: “Even if I don’t stop you, someone else will. If you think I’m your only obstacle you are mistaken Smith.”

Rodner [arrogant attitude]: “Who’s going to stop me? Your hunter-gatherer friends from the Resistance? They weren’t even smart enough to figure out how to stop Deus in 67 years. I figured that out on my own in just one month. By the way, don’t call me Smith, call me Mr. Rodner, or uncle Rodner even. I may remind you of agent Smith, my former Commander in Chief for the virtual agents inside the virtual Matrix. However, he’s nothing like me. I know that guy beat you up really good, but he was still just a watered-down copy of a younger me. I am the real one.”

Rodner [to one of the robots]: “Where’s that glass of wine that I had before!? Bring it back! I’m going to have a reason to celebrate soon.”

Rodner also asked one of the other guards for a gun and the robot handed him a plasma pistol.

He began to charge the gun while he talked.

Rodner [to Neo]: “I have a final proposal for you Mr. Neo. I will spare your life and the lives of the last survivors from the Resistance if you answer just two questions for me. There is not much that you guys can do to stop me now, so, you may as well save them all and save yourself too. I want to know how Thomas Anderson’s original memories were preserved in you, even after all of them were erased, when I connected him to the virtual Matrix, and even after yours were wiped out every time that the Matrix was reloaded. I also want to know how you got Deus’s powers here, in our world.”

Neo [somewhat glad]: “You think that you know everything, but you still don’t know something that Thomas Anderson figured out… and neither do I.”

Rodner pointed the charged gun at Neo.

Rodner: “You are not a good liar. You used Deus’s power, the power of the Matrix, here in this world, so you must know what the original Thomas knew. You know how to give this grand power to a normal human. Tell me what you know about that. Otherwise, your path ends here Neo.”

Neo stayed serious and he didn’t talk. Rodner made it look as if he really was going to shot Neo, but, he didn’t finish it. Something was holding him back.

Neo: “Why don’t you kill me?”

Rodner: “Kill you? Why should I kill my mistake? I want to learn from it so that it never happens again. I want to understand how and why you happened, Neo. I want to know how Thomas managed to get his new self into my perfect system undetected. I want to know how he did it without my knowledge. I want to know how he gave you Deus’s power. And for that, I need you alive… However, I don’t necessarily need your cooperation. It would have made things much easier and faster, but not having it doesn’t mean that I won’t get what I want from you. It will just take us longer.”

Neo [certain]: “No, the real reason why you don’t want to kill me is that it would trigger the next iteration of The One in the Matrix. And the next Neo will be even better than me.”

Rodner felt like he had the real Thomas Anderson talking to him there. How could he possibly know that such a thing was an instant trigger for his next iteration!? There was no way that Neo could have figured that out on his own, unless someone else gave him that information. However, only Thomas and his followers could know that. It drew Rodner nuts to think that one of those people could still be alive somehow. It made no sense, until Rodner remembered that he received a report that mentioned that Neo was seen at the ruins of his former city, at the RS Association’s old building. Perhaps, Thomas Anderson thought of a way to pass all the information to Neo, if Neo ever made it out of Rodner’s matrices. It made perfect sense, after Rodner thought about it.

Rodner [talking to Neo as if Neo was Thomas]: “You have no idea of how much I dislike you. You were the only one that could catch my best lies. And it seems like nothing has changed. I thought that you would be easier to control as an adult, but it’s still the same deal with you. Luckily, I need you alive, but I don’t need you in perfect condition.”

Rodner pointed the plasma pistol at one of Neo’s legs and when he was about to shot, someone unexpected interrupted him.

Two floors below, outside the diamond building and on a hovercycle, was a young man that stopped there with a woman. Rodner wasn’t expecting this.

Rodner’s grandson: “Grandfather!! Is everything ok over there?!”

Rodner quickly put down the gun and looked a little nervous. He answered while he began to look for a tape.

Rodner: “Yes! Yess!! It’s like always my boy! I’m the one in charge of dealing with the criminal factions from the outside and you know how this job is. We have to have hard hands with these guys if we want to keep this beautiful city safe! Please, go and have fun with your new girlfriend and I will continue dealing with this criminal. I have my hands full now!”

Rodner’s grandson: “Ok, take care! I’ll come back to visit you when I return!”

Rodner got a silver tape from one of the guards and he slapped it on Neo’s mouth in a hurry. You could tell that he was almost afraid of getting his perfect reputation blown up by Neo in an instant. The robots also placed Neo on the platform’s surface again. Rodner regained his confident look only after the tape was on Neo’s mouth. He also felt much better after his grandson left in the futuristic bike.

Rodner [sarcastic as always]: “I should be a little more careful. I have 47 grandsons and about 20 grand-daughters, so any of them could show up here. I didn’t even remember his name. I think this one was Reiner. Did you see him Mr. Anderson? That’s the good life that your descendants could have lived here if you had joined. That’s also the life that you could have had if you had chosen to be my partner in this business.

Obviously, there is no equality here. I’m a communist, so you shouldn’t be surprised. My sons and grandsons work one day and get seven. The others work four and they still feel like kings. Poor fools. You also saw that beautiful girl, didn’t you? Well, what can I say, I had my fun too, then my sons had their fun, and now my grandsons. Life is really good at my paradise, especially for my people. The only thing I have left is gaining Deus’s power, just like you did, and with you here I’m much closer to it. I may even get it from you instead of getting it from him, which has been close to impossible. I bet you will be much easier to study than he is.”

Neo looked like he wanted to punch Rodner.

They were taking Neo inside and there was nothing that he could do to stop them.

Then, they all heard a massive explosion coming from the sky. It sounded like a bomb or a missile had been dropped right there. And something big had been destroyed; the loud noise it made left no doubt about it.

The giant invisibility shield that covered Rodner’s city had its only outer reactor completely blown up by a large missile. The missile came from one of the ships led by the Resistance’s squads, which came to lead a full-scale assault at the location of Neo’s tracker. Seven of the best squads of soldiers were chosen for this mission by the general, and among them was the Trinity Squad—of course. Their main objective was to rescue Neo once again. Their secondary goal was to find and recognize as much information as possible about the enemy’s territory.

It looked like Jack’s trackers had worked like a charm because they didn’t just give them Neo’s and Deus’s locations; they also gave them the exact route that Deus took to get there. Without that route, they would have never arrived at the right place because there was a labyrinth of thousands of giant floating buildings of the Matrix surrounding Rodner’s city. On top of that, it was invisible because of that great shield that they took out. And the city itself wasn’t too large either. Furthermore, the buildings from the Matrix had thousands of robots guarding them. They were going be intersected for sure if they didn’t take the same fast route that Deus took.

Rodner almost had a heart attack when he saw the seven ships breaking in and the whole invisibility shield going down. There were many people in his city that were not aware about the floating buildings from the outside. They didn’t even know that those were there, since the invisibility shield also blocked the view from the inside of the city to the real outside. Besides, it wasn’t convenient if the habitants of Rodner’s city had any kind of contact with “the criminals from the outside factions.” They could find out the truth and his whole society could collapse. To make things even worse, the seven ships, which included the Trifalcon, headed straight towards the diamond building and towards Rodner and Neo’s exact location. It couldn’t be a coincidence, and Rodner knew it. Somehow, they had used Neo to find their location. Neo’s defeat by Deus actually helped them…

Rodner [yelling to his squad of robots / under pressure]: “Send an alert to all the soldiers that guard the Matrix’s buildings around us! I want all of them here right now!! I don’t care if no one is guarding the people from the Matrix! Everyone’s new target are these attackers! I want all the patrols armed with rifles and here!! I want each and every one of the attackers captured or dead! Move out!!”

Rodner treated his human-looking patrolling robots like garbage, but, it didn’t hurt their feelings so they still did everything he wanted, word-by-word…

Most of the robots stayed outside on the platform to hold back the attackers that were heading their way, but Rodner and the four that were holding Neo rushed into the diamond building’s thirtieth floor. They stopped and Rodner took off his jacket revealing that he had some sort of bracelet-like device around his right arm. It had several oval buttons of different colors. Rodner pressed one of the red buttons once and kept the only yellow button held down. Just a few seconds after that, all the white-caped squads of robots from inside the city ran towards the central diamond building. Apparently, that was what the red button was for. Then, part of the bracelet reshaped itself into a yellow weapon that he could grab with his hand. Surely, that was the outcome of holding down the yellow button.

Then, Rodner fired a yellow blast from the weapon against the exit to the platform and a super solid yellow wall was created there out of nowhere. The weapon seemed to have strange properties, just like the spheres that Neo and Deus could use. It was a special weapon that could do minor Matrix-based manipulations to the constitution of anything it touched.

Rodner began to hold the silver button from the bracelet-like portion of the weapon, which was still around his arm. All the robots of the city were on their way, but he knew that teleporting away from that floor was a good precaution to take, and that was what the silver button was for. At first, he thought about taking Neo with him, but soon, he changed his mind. He knew he had to save his skin first…

The Trinity Squad was one of the two squads that left their ships flying—with the booster engines in the back of their combat armors—so only their pilot stayed behind. They were supposed to enter the building through the floor above Neo’s location to execute their rescue plan…

Trin was the pilot of the Trifalcon and, due to Frank Xenno’s orders, she wasn’t allowed to participate directly in this assault—because of the wound on her head. However, she could be her squad’s pilot and use her ship in combat… and she definitely did. She launched a missile at Rodner’s yellow wall and blew up the whole thing, including the transparent platform outside with all the robots pointing their rifles at their ships. This was right after her whole squad left the Trifalcon to enter the diamond building from the upper floor.

Dayana caught a glimpse of what happened from above because she was the last one to enter the thirty-first floor above.

Dayana [to Matthew and Keifer]: “Oh my god, isn’t the captain overdoing it!? She launched a missile directly at their location. We are supposed to get him back not to kill him!”

Keifer [certain]: “Don’t worry about her. She must have checked the wall’s consistency from the ship before launching that missile. She definitely won’t kill our target.”

Matthew: “She may do crazy things sometimes, but she’s smarter than she looks. There is a reason why she was the one that was chosen as captain.”

Bern: “Eyes forward guys!! We got company!”

Two squads of white-caped robots were already stationed in that floor and a violent exchange of plasma-fire broke out between the Trinity Squad and the patrols. The assault officially began…

Rodner could see the view outside through the massive hole that Trin’s missile opened on his “super solid” yellow wall. There were three of their seven ships ready to fire at him and one of them had a very familiar face on display. Trin had her combat armor on, but her face was not covered, so Rodner could see who blew up his wall. He recognized her as Thomas Anderson’s wife, Aida Trinity.

Rodner [to Neo]: “Look at who’s here to pick you up. I’m sorry to tell you that it won’t be so easy Mr. Anderson. Neither you nor they will be able to escape this time. I will see you soon, after all your friends and Trinity are either killed by my soldiers, or caught by Deus.”

The weapon on Rodner’s hand began to turn silver and he stopped holding the silver button. Then, he turned the weapon on himself and shot it. A silver portal began to engulf him fast. Trin realized what was about to happen to the old man and she also noticed that he had the same face as Smith—the agent that kidnapped and killed her father in the Matrix. He looked older, but he had to be the same guy. Trin grabbed a plasma pistol and fired straight at Smith as fast as she could, but by the time her plasma bullet reached the target, Rodner and his silver portal were gone. He had been teleported to another location.

At that moment, dozens of white-caped soldiers began to arrive at the scene in hovercycles and in different ships. It was an alarming view because the Resistance’s assault consisted of seven teams of eight people each, so they only had 56 elite soldiers, but, their opposition were hundreds of patrols and the number was only increasing. They had to get Neo out of there and escape fast, or else their casualties and their ultimate failure were inevitable.

Many white-caped robots began to make circles around Neo to stop any attacker from taking him and they began to fire against the opposition as well. It made things really hard because they couldn’t throw another missile, a destructive bomb, or even one of the plasma grenades at them—it could result in Neo’s death as well.

At that time, the three parallel events that marked that assault’s significance took place.

First, Rodner was seen again, still inside the diamond building. He was walking towards Deus and he pressed the white button from his weapon, which was separate from all the others. It sent a signal to the chip that Deus had attached on the left side of his head. This proved that Neo and Thomas Anderson were right: Mr. Rodner was controlling Deus…

Next, the Trinity Squad blew up a section of the floor above Neo and threw down a bunch of green smoke grenades, followed by a device that exploded like a huge water bomb with electricity, leaving the infestation of robots around Neo very disoriented. Then, Seraph, Yan, Matthew, and Dayana jumped down, right on the left, right, front, and back sides of Neo’s spot. They grabbed him together and took him to the floor above in a matter of seconds. From above, Keifer, Sheera, and Bern covered them. They called their pilot, Trin, and they ended up being the ones that managed to get Neo out. The other squads held back the army that was coming at them from inside the building and from the outside as well.

Finally, a less powerful but equally crucial event happened at the surface, on the walkway that was in front of the diamond building’s first floor. One of the Resistance’s squads landed there to ensure that no one would enter the building’s main entrance and no one would escape through it either. Their landing was very abrupt and there were several pedestrians walking there. However, the soldiers helped the ones who fell down to get up. This shocked the people that expected them to be “bad criminals” from the outside factions.

Old pedestrian: “What does a group of armored criminals like you want from us!?”

Squad Captain: “Criminals? We are elite soldiers from the Resistance force that fights to free humanity from the threat of the Matrix. We are here to save a hero that was kidnapped by the enemy of humankind, who lives at this huge diamond right here. We don’t want anything from you. Just leave and protect yourselves. The battle with the white-caped robots will reach us soon. And we can’t protect you for much longer. We must save Neo first!”

The group of citizens that heard the honest captain were awakened soon thereafter. The patrols came and pushed them out of the way to hunt “the attackers.” Those same “attackers” treated them nicely and their own police force treated them like crap. Besides, they all knew that Rodner Smith, or, their city’s major, was the one that lived at the diamond building and he had a grand project named “The Matrix.” Everything that the captain said began to make sense. Furthermore, one of the biggest public entertainers from the entire city and one of Rodner Smith’s grand-daughters were there… and they believed what the outsider said. It was only a matter of time before problems would arise, since the people at that city could definitely make good logical assumptions… They also saw how “the hero” was taken away from there by those squads, and how the robots and the mysterious white being chased after them…

The squads focused only on taking Neo out fast. They had no chance to do anything else. The Trifalcon was the first ship to leave with Neo and the rest of their squad. The others followed them, but they had several casualties and they had to act as a cover as well, shooting down and holding back enemy chips that began to chase after them.

Soon after they left the city, Deus came from the top of the diamond building and began his high-speed chase after them. Rodner’s objective for him was simple: “bring back all the people that are escaping in the ships, especially the one with the handcuffs.” When he left the city, it was clear that Deus was as fast as the Trifalcon itself. The hundreds of white-caped humanoid soldiers, their ships, and their hovercycles were not the problem. Deus was the real problem…

The Trifalcon took the lead with Captain Trin as its pilot. Bern tried to cut or break Neo’s handcuffs with a plasma sword, but it didn’t work. The handcuffs were made with some unbelievable tough material that only special machines would be able to break apart. They probably needed some kind of laser to even put a dent on those. Unfortunately, Neo would not be able to help them with their escape…

Trin [to the other squads via the ships communication system]: “My radar detected that Deus is also coming after us. If he takes Neo again, our losses here will be in vain! I will start to prepare hyper speed for my ship and will use it as soon as we are out of this field of floating buildings. I need everyone to hold back the chasers until the Trifalcon makes it out of here. Then, we will use hyper speed and even Deus won’t be able to follow us.”

The other squads and their ships began to make a defensive formation focused on keeping the way clean for the Trifalcon to escape. They were pretty successful at holding back the robots, but when Deus got close to them, things got out of hand, since bullets, plasma shots, and even missiles didn’t work that well against him. He was also much faster than normal in his yellow sphere. Basically, the only positive thing about Deus was that he avoided killing; everything else was bad news.

Trin [to her squad]: “Bern, stay close to me and hold Neo. Do not let Neo move towards the tail of the ship no matter what! Keeping Neo safe will be your only concern; I’m making it your current mission. Everybody else open the entire hatch at the tail and get ready to shot down the chasers! Make sure you stay inside the ship and use the safety belts! If you fall out, it’s over!! We can’t turn back to save anyone! Saving Neo is our priority!!”

Matthew, Dayana, Seraph, Yan, Sheera, and Keifer had their full combat armors on, but, just like Trin, they didn’t have their faces covered with the armor. Trin had her yellow-shouldered armor on.

All of them, except Trin and Bern, walked 16 meters from the cockpit, at the front of the ship, to the hatch door, at the opposite end of the ship. In between, there was the door to the room of the ship’s engines below, the place where they changed their body armors before, and a section with several weapons and tools attached to the walls. They weren’t close to each other, but Trin could still see and hear everyone at the opposite end from her position as pilot.

Yan, Seraph, Sheera, Keifer, and the siblings opened the hatch, grabbed their best plasma rifles, and tied some of the black belts from the Trifalcon’s ceiling to their torso, meaning that if any of them fell out of their ship’s tail, due to enemy fire, speed, or a bad step, those belts would still keep them there. They all knew that Matthew and Dayana were not their experts at shooting, so the full-body safety belts were given to them and the other four used the ones that only secured their hips.

A strange detail that wasn’t caught by any of them was that Sheera’s face gave away that she was concerned about something else—something that had to do with herself and not with their chasers or with the mission. She had her own plan to deal with Deus, and she knew that the captain and the others were never going to approve it, so she hid it from them…

Trin began to prepare the hyper speed engine early on to use it right when they left that field of floating buildings from the Matrix. Then, she found out that the engine still wasn’t fully fixed!! How was that even possible?! What were the mechanics at the main base doing?! Worry began to appear on her face right away. This meant that she had to charge it manually until it had the power to start hyper speed, just like they did back then, when they escaped from Deus at the first base. The problem was that the timing for charging it was unreliable. Basically, she couldn’t know when it would be ready for sure, and it was likely that it would not be ready on time.

Trin: “Bern!! I need you to charge the hyper engine manually, it isn’t working from here. Override your mission to protect Neo, I need you to get that engine started as fast as you can. I will take care of Neo.”

Some of the others at the back overheard Trin and they all knew that their situation had just gotten extreme, all over again! It was obvious that their escape would depend on whether they could hold back their chasers or not.

Trin quickly tied Neo to the co-pilot’s seat at her side.

Neo: “What are you doing!? I can’t help them like this!”

Trin: “I’m making sure that you will be safe. I already noticed that the handcuffs are stopping you from using the power of the Matrix, and we couldn’t remove them here, so this is for the best. The engine room is dangerous with the possibility of incoming plasma-fire, so I can’t send you down there. Bern will be fine because he is a robot, any of us could die if something goes wrong there.”

Neo felt a little frustrated.

Neo: “There must be something I can do to help. At least, give me a weapon so that I can cover you.”

Trin looked at him, then made her decision. He was still tied to the seat, but she gave him a plasma gun.

Trin: “Here, you can have mine, but make sure that you don’t do anything reckless.”

She had to be focused on being the pilot, so she knew that she couldn’t fire a weapon repeatedly, but Neo could do it for her.

The other six ships stayed behind the Trifalcon and covered it well. The Trinity Squad didn’t have any casualties like the other squads had, before leaving Rodner’s city, because they were in the lead, with Neo inside their ship. The humanoid patrols couldn’t reach them after they left the hidden city.

The others were elite soldiers too, so they managed to hold back all the white-caped patrols during their escape. The Trifalcon didn’t have to fight any of the robots during the entire airborne chase because the others stopped them successfully. However, things got out of hand as soon as Deus caught up with all of them…

Deus was flying in a way that was very reminiscent of how the younger sixth Neo could fly in “The Matrix Reloaded.” He held one hand forward and the other one back. The white robe that he used looked almost like Neo’s long black jacket, but it was white. His body had the same shape as a human body. However… everything else was a mystery. His entire body was as white as the robe he had on, he had no hair anywhere, no fingernails, no eyes, no nose, no ears, and no mouth. There was no certain way to tell what he was really thinking. Almost everything about him was a complete mystery; the only exceptions were that he could understand others, he was obviously under Rodner’s control, the word “Deus” was heard from him before, and he had the power to use and manipulate the Matrix, just like Neo…

When Deus caught up with the ships that were blocking the path to the Trifalcon, the yellow sphere grew around him once again. The soldiers from the other ships began to shot at him with normal guns and plasma weapons, but that had never been a way to stop Deus. Their weapons simply weren’t effective against him. He could manipulate and even erase all the upcoming projectiles as soon as they entered his sphere.

The Trinity Squad was ahead of the others, but the six of them that were ready to attack from the hatch of the ship could see everything. They had a perfect view of the other six ships that were covering them. Those were just one quarter of a mile away from them. They all followed the same route to exit the labyrinth of floating buildings that surrounded Rodner’s city. The attackers knew which ship had Neo, so it made sense for the escapees to stick together and protect that ship.

Captain Trin, Neo, and Bern didn’t see what was happening behind their ship at first, but Yan, Seraph, Sheera, Keifer, Dayana, and Matthew saw everything.

After holding back all the plasma-based artillery that was thrown at him, Deus raised his speed and entered one of the six ships. Just half a minute later, the ship began to bend over and Deus came out from its hatch with all the members of that squad floating around him, inside his sphere. They all seemed fine, but it was clear that they were out of the battle already. Their ship took a downwards trajectory and began to spin, until it hit the ground and exploded. Then, it was left behind, just as its entire squad was left behind. Deus detached the portions of his yellow sphere where the eight soldiers were. He left them behind, floating in the air, within those yellow currents that resembled the ones that Neo saw close to the end of “The Matrix Revolutions.”

The portions that were removed from Deus’s sphere grew back and his chase after the ships continued, as if it had just begun. The other five squads that were covering the Trifalcon got pretty alarmed when they saw that. One of their ships quickly went to the extreme and launched a missile at Deus. And to their surprise, Deus manipulated the missile’s trajectory and threw it back at them with perfect precision. However, there was more to it. It was re-launched at an angle that didn’t just make it hit that ship, it also made the ship crash with the other ship that was closest to it.

Deus increased his speed tremendously and got into the ship where the missile landed, right before the explosion reached the ones inside the ship. He pulled them all out with his sphere and opened a hole through the ship’s wall. The aircraft fell down to the surface after that, but Deus already had all of them outside. They were floating around him inside the yellow sphere. All that happened in just a few seconds and in motion, with all the ships moving forward at high speed. It didn’t seem human at all, but, the same could be said about Neo and his green sphere…

Apparently, the explosion that Deus caused couldn’t penetrate his sphere and the wall that he went through was destroyed by the sphere as well. It seemed like he could control or reshape reality itself within that yellow field.

Deus quickly detached the portions of the sphere where the last caught soldiers were floating and, just like the first group, he left them behind. Next, he went after the ones in the other ship that was still recovering from the crash with the previous one. From the beginning, he intended it to be that way. When he launched the missile against its original ship, his goal was to cause the crash with the other one, and to take both of them after.

The pilot of the third ship managed to avoid Deus’s entrance to his ship with a very dangerous maneuver, but that caused them to crash against one of the floating buildings on the side of their path. Deus went after them and the rest of the ships kept going. For a while there, they thought that they had left him behind. They had lost three ships and three elite squads in just two minutes. Even the hundreds of robots at Rodner’s city—during their assault—weren’t a threat compared to Deus’s abilities.

The other ships positioned themselves in a “Y” formation with the Trifalcon, where the Trifalcon was still in the front, or at the bottom of the Y, by itself, and the other three were at the two opposite ends of the Y and at the center. As soon as they were located at their new defensive positions and just one minute after they left the others behind, Deus reappeared in the rear views of the three pilots in the back. He was back.

It could only mean that he could fly a little faster than them. Otherwise, he would have never caught up again. It also meant that he was done with the squad from the third ship that he took down, and he was coming for the others.

The other three ships and their captains communicated quickly and chose their combined strategy in a hurry. As all strategies against an enemy like Deus, it was risky, but it seemed like the best choice they had.

When he began to get closer to them, the two ships in the back lowered their speed all of a sudden and positioned themselves at each side, behind Deus. They and the ship that was at the center of the Y formed a triangle with Deus at its center. Plan A was to bombard him with their best plasma weapons from the two ships behind him to attract his attention, meaning that he would have to go back to go after them. Plan B was to use the ships themselves to crush him directly or to make him crash with any of the floating buildings that were on the sides of their path. They expected to gain more time using any of their two strategies, so they began with their Plan A first.

Obviously, they underestimated Deus’s intelligence. He already knew that they were covering the first ship at the front, so losing distance from it was not what he wanted. On the contrary, if he had to choose, he was going to go after the two ships in the front first; and that was exactly what he did.

He ignored the gunfire from the two ships in the back. Then, he increased his speed until he landed on the ceiling of the ship that was just one-eight of a mile away from the Trifalcon. There, he opened a wide oval on the ship’s ceiling, but before he could grab anyone with his sphere’s reach, all the members of the squad—except the pilot—jumped on the ceiling. They all began to fight him in their combat armors, but they didn’t seem to be landing any strike or any shot on him. Soon, Deus increased the volume of his yellow sphere and the ones fighting him were covered by it. They saw how their weapons and their armors began to disappear and they felt an intense slumber that they couldn’t control. Just seconds after that, they began to float in the sphere around Deus. It was then that their pilot took a drastic measure. She detonated the most powerful bomb that their whole 7-ships squadron had. Their ship was the one carrying it!

A huge light and a strong and sudden noise came from the central ship.

Neo: “What’s going on?!”

Trin [focused on her ship but also worried]: “That noise! They must have used the special bomb that we brought in case we had to blow up a large location to get to you. Bern!! How longer will it take to charge the hyper speed engine!?”

Bern [sounding pretty calm, considering their situation]: “Probably another five minutes!”

Trin: “Probably?”

Bern: “Yes, it’s 92.37% certain captain. I can’t say it is five minutes for sure. I would need a probability of 100% for that.”

Trin: “Ok! Five minutes then! Do not wait for my command when it’s ready! Activate it manually from there!! We should be out of this field of buildings by then!”

Bern: “Yes, mam!”

Neo was starting to feel frustrated with the handcuffs. If only he didn’t have those…

The rest saw what happened from the open hatch. All six of them were ready with their safety belts on—to ensure that they would not fall out of their ship. However, the view of what was happening to the others wasn’t comforting at all.

Deus had to jump up and away from the ship, even though he tried to erase the bomb’s energy with his sphere. He attempted to save the one that activated the bomb, but, when he saw himself and the others he had in the sphere in danger, he chose to retreat from there. Regardless, he still reduced the bomb to 30% of its power during the short time when he tried to save the pilot. He gave it his best shot and only abandoned the pilot when it was clear that saving her would put him and the others at risk. He wasn’t just capturing everyone, he was also trying to capture them safely. That little and important detail wasn’t caught by anyone—except Neo, who realized it way back at the first base, after seeing Deus for the first time… For some unknown reason, Deus always avoided killing. Even when he threw the missile back at the previous ship, he already knew that he would take the ones inside out of there in time…

Sheera’s face showed a small smile of victory when she noticed how Deus was forced to go back because of that bomb. He wasn’t invincible. He, like everybody else, had some weaknesses that could be exploited to defeat him. And she believed that she would be the one that would kill him to avenge the people of the first base, her mother, and her fallen comrades. Sheera had her own plan. She chose to keep it to herself because she broke Captain Trin’s orders and even lied to her to make it happen. Trin and the others were never going to accept it…

Deus removed the other people from his sphere and left them behind with the yellow portions of Matrix-like waves with codes that engulfed them.

He was about to go after the Trifalcon when the other two ships that had been behind him appeared on his left and right and crashed themselves on him. They expected to crush him in the middle with this unpredictable crash. And it seemed like they did it at first. However, the Trinity Squad saw Deus coming from the right side of the right ship and he pushed both ships to the left—with his sphere—until they crashed against a floating building. Apparently, the power of his sphere could push with more force than two small and fast battle ships. It definitely didn’t look like it was obeying the laws of physics, nor the laws of nature itself.

The Trifalcon kept going and Deus was left behind once again. The Trinity Squad’s members had to be ready for the worst, because, if he showed up again, they were the ones that had to stop him to save Neo…

Matthew: “Captain Trin, how much more time do we need to use the hyper engine’s speed?!”

Yan [right after Matthew and before Trin answered]: “We still have to exit this field of Matrix buildings. We can’t use that kind of speed unless we are in the open with no obstacles.”

Trin: “We need at least three more minutes for both!! In 180 seconds we’ll reach the exit of this field and the hyper engine should be ready to go!! We must hold him back until then!!”

Seraph realized that the plasma rifles were not going to make much of a difference, so he kept the handles of his two plasma swords very handy on his combat armor’s belt. He also placed his other weapon of choice on his shoulders. It was a large plasma-powered boomerang with magnetic properties. It could be used to attack, to grab things, and to shoot waves of plasma straight forward. The boomerang and the plasma swords were devastating short-range combat weapons. The swords looked like lightsabers when they were on, but their plasma blade wasn’t like a straight stick; it was like a thick blue flame that could be bent, depending on the speed of the user’s spinning motions.

All the members of the Trinity Squad had their armors on, but they also had their faces uncovered.

Sheera was going to wait until the best chance arrived to put her plan in motion. However, she wasn’t the only one that could think there. Ironically, the others guessed half of her plan, based on what they saw during the chase and its battles.

Dayana: “If we are going to succeed, we’ll have to do something different than just shooting from here and waiting for him to get us. There has to be some way to blind him, so that he won’t be able to see what is coming.”

Keifer: “He doesn’t have eyes, but he definitely has 20-20 vision. Maybe he uses the other senses to see what is ahead of him.”

Matthew: “Then, we need to block his hearing too. Didn’t we bring any of those mini-detonators that make a lot of noise?”

Seraph: “Let’s pass on that. If we are deaf too, then we really have no chance.”

Yan: “It’s not a bad idea at all. Perhaps, our strategy should be to block him from knowing what some of us will do while the others keep him busy. Then, we can jump in and get to him.”

Dayana: “That’s another problem. Do not get too close to him, no matter what! It seems like there is no chance to kill him from the inside of his sphere.”

Sheera [sounding confident]: “There is a chance. He just can’t see it or feel it coming. He must be caught by surprise. That is the only plausible way to defeat him, even for someone like Neo.”

When Sheera finished talking, Deus appeared again. This time there was nothing else in his path. It was just them and their Trifalcon.

Yan, Seraph, Keifer, Dayana, Sheera, and Matthew pressed the same button on their armor’s head gear and their faces were covered by the armor right away.

Trin [to the six at the open hatch]: “I will aid you with my driving maneuvers. Whatever you do, don’t let him get too close to you!!”

Trin [to Bern]: “Bern!! Activate the hyper drive as soon as you have it ready! Don’t wait for any order!! Just check if we left the field of buildings and then launch it!”

Neo tried to leave his co-pilot seat, but he was tied there and he couldn’t create a Matrix sphere with the handcuffs on. At least, he had a plasma pistol to shoot; although, it didn’t feel like it could do much in that situation.

Neo [whispering / looking at the ones at the hatch]: “Come on Bern. Hurry.”

When Deus noticed Neo’s face at the front of the ship, on the co-pilot’s seat, he recognized Neo as the main target that Rodner Smith gave him, so he focused on him at first. He got a jump in speed and was about to go straight after Neo, but, he sensed that the six blocking his path were going to cut him down and he didn’t try to go through them. Instead, he tried to take them all out first.

Keifer, Dayana, Matthew, and Yan shoot at him with their plasma rifles and the other two had their short-range weapons handy. Deus got closer and just when he was going to land on the hatch, Trin allowed the Trifalcon to have a sudden fall down, so Deus missed his mark. The others continued shooting at him and Seraph almost landed one of the plasma blades on him. When Deus came down after them, Trin did the same thing, but going up and faster. Then, Deus realized that he had to think like the pilot to capture them quickly. He thought about how the pilot who did those two moves would react to all his next possible moves. Then, he acted, based on that.

In his next move, he behaved as Trin expected and, as soon as she changed the direction, he flew like an arrow towards the ship’s new spot. He still didn’t get inside the ship, but he went pass the six that were blocking his way and the yellow sphere went through them too. Right away, the ones at the hatch noticed that something was wrong. They still had their armors and their weapons, but the belts that were holding them back from falling out were gone!

That unexpected removal had an immediate impact on them. Sheera, Yan, and Keifer were close enough to the walls to grab them, but the others were not. Matthew in particular had trusted that belt too much. He was standing at the exact border of the exit shooting his rifle, and as soon as that belt was erased by Deus, he inevitably fell out. Matthew’s entire balance depended on the belt that was erased from existence!

Dayana [focused on her brother only]: “Mattheew!!!”

Dayana was so concerned when she saw her brother fall out that she didn’t think about her own safety right away. It was Seraph who grabbed her head gear so that she wouldn’t fall out right after Matthew. However, Seraph couldn’t get a good grip on her head gear and when he pressed its opening button by mistake, it slipped. At that instant, Yan grabbed Seraph’s hand and Seraph managed to grab Dayana’s hand by the fingertips. Yan was holding both of them because Yan was the only one that was grabbing the wall. The face cover of Dayana’s head gear opened, showing her face again.

Dayana: “Seraph! Don’t let me go!!”

Her fingers slipped quickly from Seraph’s hand because they had the armors on. Their armored gloves couldn’t hold the tip of someone’s hand without slipping away.

Seraph [when her hand slipped away]: “Dayanaaa!!!”

He quickly pressed the opening button on his head gear to see her face better. His frustration was evident. He couldn’t believe that he had let her go! He couldn’t accept that she had fallen; and he knew well that there was practically no chance for those that fell out to come back. Without hesitation, he threw himself against the wall that had the weapons they could grab, and he began to open something there.

Yan: “You are not thinking about that, are you!?”

Seraph didn’t answer. He was thinking exactly about what Yan was thinking. He was going to grab his black and red air-combat board and go save Dayana and Matthew. The board was ideal for easy skydiving and for airborne combat. However, only real experts could use it for serious combat in the air…

Matthew went straight towards Deus when he fell out of the Trifalcon. He barely had any chance to activate his armor’s boosters. Deus had calculated the speed and direction that the fallen soldier would take and he positioned himself at the exact place where the soldier would be headed to. Their face-to-face clash was inevitable.

Matthew charged his rifle and shot a plasma blast right in front of Deus’s sphere, before he fell in it. The blast dispersed itself around the sphere and didn’t go in. Matthew tried to punch Deus several times, but he was dodging too fast. Then, Deus grabbed Matthew’s arm and Matthew’s armor began to disappear. He had been inside the sphere for several seconds already. Matthew began to feel an uncontrollable need to sleep. It was as if anesthesia had been injected in him, but there was no injection at all. Obviously, it was a side-effect produced by the yellow sphere, and being inside it long enough was its trigger.

Deus was done with Matthew and he was about to leave him behind floating inside a portion of yellow waves, when Dayana fired her plasma rifle and threw a plasma grenade very close to the sphere. The grenade was completely erased and the shoot almost touched Deus, but it was also erased right before that. Dayana noticed that the shots travelled more inside the sphere and it took him longer to erase them when they came from a very close location outside of the sphere. Therefore, the best and most effective way to fight him was very close to him, but from the outside of his sphere. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any chance to tell the others about what she realized. Deus moved forward much faster than her and grabbed her by the neck. Her weapons disappeared and she began to feel the same sensation that Matthew felt.

Their armor’s jetpack-like boosters were not fast enough to get away from Deus and they were not a good way to fight him in the air either. They were inefficient for this kind of high-speed airborne combat. The armor’s boosters were only ideal for moving fast in a straight line, from place to place. Seraph’s special board was perfect for airborne combat though. It had been built with that in mind. It wasn’t just a simple board that looked like a small skydiving board. It had really powerful booster engines that reacted with the movements of the user’s feet and it was much faster than the armors. It also had magnetic technology that kept the user’s feet on the board without any need for ties or belts. Its downside was that only those with years of practice could use it effectively.

Deus was almost done with Dayana when Seraph placed his feet on his board, from the hatch. All he needed were the two plasma swords and the special boomerang; and he already had them.

Keifer: “Hey!! What do you think you are doing!? This is not the best time to impress your crush with your skydiving skills!!!”

Seraph [pretty confident about his abilities]: “I know! This is the time to save her and Matthew!! I will gain the three minutes we need too! Cover me from here!!”

Keifer: “We have a better chance if you stay here!!”

Yan [placing one hand on Keifer]: “Let him do it! Seraph was the most skilled soldier of our entire division of dozens of squads. He may have a chance. Let’s cover him!!”

Seraph jumped out of the Trifalcon with the sky-combat board. He was one of the few that could use it like an expert. He closed his head gear—his face was covered by the armor once again—and he grabbed the plasma boomerang from his back. The handles for the plasma swords were ready as well, on the sides of his belt. He intended to turn his offensive into a short-range battle from outside the yellow sphere. He had figured out the same thing as Dayana.

His goal was to save the other two and gain more time for their ship to escape, without getting himself caught too. The others at the Trifalcon covered him with their shooting, but, as we already know, this wasn’t very effective against Deus. Trin also pulled out a screen from her pilot’s seat and began to see what was happening outside, from one of the cameras outside the ship. Neo saw it too, and he began to feel very worried about them. If he couldn’t defeat Deus with his similar power, then, their chances were very slim, even if they were the best squad from the Resistance…

Sheera began to look at Deus with a deadly stare. She couldn’t wait to destroy the menace herself. And she decided that the ideal time to make her move was during Seraph’s battle with Deus. At the perfect moment, she would execute her crazy plan.

Now, she didn’t look like the same Sheera that Neo met at the beginning—the one that reminded him of Niobe. You could say that her thoughts of vengeance had not been very good for her, but she kept them anyways. Inevitably, they led her to a destructive path. She wasn’t going to turn back though. Her final decision was already done. It was just a matter of time before she unleashed it…

Right when Seraph began to attack Deus with the boomerang’s plasma waves, Sheera stopped holding the wall. She activated her armor’s boosters and activated something on her feet. Then, she jumped out.

Keifer [instant reaction / looking at Yan]: “What!? Don’t tell me that she went nuts too!! You better keep your butt in the aircraft Yan!!”

Yan [realizing something]: “Wait… she is not wearing the normal attack armor!! Did she enter the ship with a different one!?”

When Trin saw Sheera at the screen she had beside the pilot’s controls, she feared for the worst. She realized that Sheera had lied to her in order to get access to some of the Resistance’s special weapons. Sheera asked her for just one grenade from the special artillery area and Trin trusted her, so she gave her the restricted keycard to enter the place. She didn’t expect that Sheera planned to take more than just the grenade. The other special weapons included the new multipurpose combat armor that Sheera was using, special detonators that could cause serious chaos, and much more… Unfortunately, the “experimental armor” looked almost like the normal ones, so no one noticed that Sheera had taken one of those. Besides, their high-risk trip to Rodner’s place began the next day, right after she took “the grenade”…

Seraph was making pretty unpredictable parabolic moves on the air to avoid getting caught by Deus. He definitely wasn’t moving in predictable straight lines. At the same time, he was shooting plasma waves at Deus with the boomerang. He was becoming a real problem, so Deus attempted to catch him with his sphere, but Seraph continued evading him. Deus had not found a soldier that gave him this much trouble in years. However, Seraph had not been able to remove Dayana and Matthew from Deus’s sphere and they were still within sight of the Trifalcon. He wasn’t getting caught, but his progress was minimal.

Then, Seraph noticed that he wasn’t alone. Someone else had jumped out and was not too far from them.

Sheera [yells to Seraph]: “Don’t look back and continue what you are doing!! I will cover you from here!! We will get them the time they need to escape with Neo!”

Seraph quickly noticed that Sheera’s armor boosters were stronger than the ones in a normal armor and she was moving much faster too. Obviously, she had a different armor.

The backside of Sheera’s armor opened and revealed two small uzi plasma guns. She grabbed them and began covering Seraph with those. They were like little machine guns that could shot hundreds and hundreds of tiny plasma bullets in less than a minute. It was a turbulent rain!! Deus had not been attacked with anything like those in years! Likewise, he had not had any trouble to catch a single soldier in the last few years either. Seraph and Sheera were more challenging than what he was used to. However, was that enough to stop him?

When Deus began to analyze Seraph, he quickly realized that part of this guy’s unpredictability was due to the special board on his feet. In other words, without the board, he surely wasn’t that difficult. It took Deus less than one minute to figure that out. Next, his target became the black and red board. He was starting to get seriously annoyed by “the airborne ninja” and his big boomerang, so he had to capture him soon. It was then that Seraph used the boomerang to grab something, instead of using it to shoot plasma. It seemed to go towards Deus, but when it deviated its path, it ended up grabbing and pushing both Matthew and Dayana out of Deus’s sphere. And it came back to Seraph with them!

It felt like a taste of early victory. Seraph had evaded Deus several times—something that only Neo had been able to do—and he also took two people away from Deus. What he didn’t know was that he wasn’t Deus’s target anymore. Deus had the chance to bring his sphere close enough to the board and he erased it as soon as it entered the sphere. Seraph felt how it began to disappear from below his feet, and he knew exactly what that meant. He was next, unless he could succeed where everybody else had failed.

Seraph had to let go of Dayana and Matthew. He quickly grabbed the two empty handles of his plasma swords, turned them on, and threw one of them straight at Deus’s head, like an arrow. Deus caught the handle with one hand, right before it could hit his face, and he moved his head to the side, right before the full plasma blade came out from the handle. Then, Seraph used his armor’s booster engines and rushed towards Deus with his other plasma blade. He entered the yellow sphere thinking that he was going to make it in time. He almost did it, in fact. He was very close to reaching Deus with his second plasma blade. If he had only been faster, he could have done it, but his board was gone then.

Seraph’s armor and his other weapon began to fade away, as if they were undergoing some sort of deletion. He also began to feel incredibly sleepy, right when Deus grabbed his face and his left arm. He was indeed close to reaching Deus with his last attack, meaning that the yellow sphere was not as godly as it seemed. However, he failed and Deus focused on sealing his capture. That, right there, was the moment that Sheera was waiting for. When Deus was putting Seraph to sleep within his sphere, Sheera began her overwhelming attack.

Her armor revealed that it had several compartments around her body: on the legs, on the stomach, on the back, and even on the shoulders. Practically everywhere around Sheera’s body, little doors opened and revealed small grenades inside each one of them. They were not normal grenades though. They were artifacts that could cause unrepairable damage through sensory stimuli.

The grenade-like artifacts were launched in groups from Sheera’s armor and all the groups went after the same target: Deus.

The first group of grenades didn’t explode. They broke apart when they were close to the yellow sphere and caused a disturbingly loud and cutting sound in a radius of half a mile. Even the people at the Trifalcon had to cover their ears fast and they weren’t even close to the center of the audible explosion. The next set did the same thing, but it behaved a lot like the water bomb that they used to free Neo from the robots at Rodner’s building. These were not distillers of water though. They had some kind of acid that could burn living tissue.

Deus blocked the acid, but he seemed very disturbed by the audible bombs. Apparently, his sphere didn’t block all the sound, or—most likely—his reaction wasn’t faster than the speed of sound.

The third batch released some sort of gas that surely was some kind of poison that could be inhaled through the nose. Deus didn’t have a nose, but Sheera had to cover all the possibilities. She knew that if he could inhale it, then the poison would be enough to kill him.

Finally, the last batch was a group of destructive explosions that blocked Deus’s vision. However, he still continued following the right trajectory after the Trifalcon, even without seeing well. It was as if he had another way of knowing where it was, which didn’t involve any of the senses.

He had to focus on holding back the last explosions, not just to protect himself, but to protect Seraph as well. Matthew and Dayana had already been left behind, just like all the previous squads. Then, the one that threw all the bombs—Sheera—disappeared from Deus’s mental radar and before he could find her, she appeared in front of him and entered the yellow sphere holding a high-level bomb in her hand, which was exactly like the one that the other pilot from the other squad used. Deus had trouble with that one before and it was several meters away from his sphere. This one was detonated by Sheera almost in front of his face! It was too close!!

When Neo saw what Sheera was about to do, he couldn’t resist his inability to save them. Even with the handcuffs on, he did his best to increase the volume of his green sphere and to overcome the unknown field that was blocking it. His deliberate effort only resulted in an electric shock that was even stronger than the one he received in front of Rodner. He fell down on the co-pilot’s chair and could barely move.

Trin: “Neo! What’s going on!?”

Trin figured out that it had to be because of the special handcuffs he had on, but they could not remove them, even with a plasma sword. They needed a special device to break that kind of protection, so, she couldn’t do anything about the handcuffs until they made it back to the Resistance.

From the open hatch, Keifer began to perceive how doomed their future looked. All the others had fallen and his squad was following a very similar path. Their incredible ninja soldier—Seraph—was caught and Sheera was going berserk with all the weapons she stole. However, Deus was still there and the chase after their ship was still on. It seemed to Keifer like it was only a matter of time before Sheera and everybody else would fall. He knew that he and Yan couldn’t hold back Deus, if he managed to get inside their ship. Furthermore, Neo couldn’t even fight, and even if he could, what happened at the main base was very clear to Keifer: the chosen of the Matrix could not beat Deus. In fact, their whole battle back then was pretty one-sided, considering that Neo only landed a couple of strikes on Deus, and Deus took him away at the end. The one who caused some real damage on Deus was Keifer, with his plasma shot.

Without a doubt, Keifer didn’t believe that Neo could save them. He believed that, perhaps, he had a better chance of doing it himself…

Furthermore, Keifer could never accept that his wife and his newborn son would not receive justice. He couldn’t accept that the Resistance and the people he knew during his life would have such a doomed end. As long as Deus succeeded, that end was inevitable. As long as Deus lived, their chances were nonexistent. This was something that Keifer was not willing to accept no matter what.

Keifer [thinking to himself]: “Everyone and everything has a weakness. He has one too. So far, his only weakness is that he avoids killing. If that is his only soft point, then, it will take someone who is willing to use it to kill him. Neo and the others won’t do it, but I will. This may be the last chance we have left to destroy him. This is the last chance to get justice for the millions that are gone, and for the family that he took from me! This is it!!!”

Keifer went back a couple of meters and grabbed a pair of weapons—one looked like an arrow and the other looked like Seraph’s plasma swords. Then, he saw how Deus was holding Sheera and he did not hesitate. Just like Sheera, Keifer believed that he would be the one that would kill Deus. He aimed well and jumped out of the ship headed straight towards Sheera and Deus.

Yan was shocked when he saw it. Keifer wanted him to keep his butt in the aircraft, but he definitely didn’t keep his…

Sheera managed to get incredibly close to Deus without getting caught by him. She was holding a powerful bomb with the hand that she had just one feet away from Deus’s face. She had also activated the bomb and was completely inside the yellow sphere. Deus couldn’t see that coming after all her lethal distractions and she knew that he would not have the time to stop it. She knew she would die, but he wasn’t going to make it either, and that was all she cared about since revenge became her drive.

Deus grabbed her arm and stopped her hand and the spherical bomb just half a feet away from his face. Then, the explosive chain reaction began and the beginning of the explosion started to destroy Sheera’s hand and everything else in its growing radius.

What happened next was seen in ultra-slow motion.

Deus instantly manipulated his section of the yellow Matrix to make time within the sphere run 10,000 times slower. This meant that Deus actually had 10 seconds to stop the bomb that would have killed him in one millisecond. He went to great lengths to erase the explosion’s power and to save Sheera from it at the same time. However, it was too much, even for him. His manipulation of the Matrix was taken to its true limit and he held back almost the entire explosion, but the yellow sphere around him went away completely. Sheera’s hand, her arm, a large part of her armor, and Deus’s left arm were blown away. They began to fall down, but Deus managed to place a yellow wave below them to stop their fall. His yellow sphere wasn’t coming back though.

At least, Deus knew that he could heal himself and her, and he knew that in just one minute he would be able to use the sphere again. Thus, he had succeeded… until Keifer arrived…

Keifer landed there like a falcon flying towards a salmon. He impaled Sheera with the plasma sword and pushed the long part of the blade that went through her against Deus. It almost went through Deus too, but Deus was fast enough to dodge it by an inch. Then, Keifer pushed Sheera out of their reach and he threw himself over Deus. What happened next was exactly what Keifer expected. Deus was concerned about losing Sheera because he avoided deaths at all costs. Therefore, his first reaction was to save her, rather than to stop Keifer. That was when the arrow shoot itself, going through Keifer and Deus at once. Deus didn’t even have a chance to see that there was a special arrow behind Keifer that was aimed at him… and Keifer was holding him, so that arrow was going to be lethal for both of them.

Deus stopped moving completely and the Trifalcon left them behind.

Keifer [sounding hurt due to the arrow but looking victorious because of what he did]: “How does it feel to lose at last? If you are like us, this will do it. There won’t be any more deliveries to the Matrix. It will all be over now.”

Deus had no facial features, but he had a face like ours. And that moment was when he finally showed that he had emotions too. He wasn’t an emotionless unknown as we thought. Suddenly, even his blank face began to display a powerful feeling of wrath. However, it wasn’t because of Keifer. It was because he failed at saving Sheera.

Sheera fell down and away from them with one arm gone and with the plasma sword in her. Her death was guaranteed. Deus could have stopped it, but he failed to do it because of Keifer and the unexpected arrow. It was a moment of weakness and a moment of mistakes. It was a moment that proved that Deus wasn’t some omnipotent god.

Still… god or no god, he was beyond what any of them could have imagined.

He also lost a hand, so he grabbed Keifer’s neck with his other hand. Then, the yellow sphere began to come back. It grew larger, until Keifer and he were fully surrounded by it.

Deus raised his destroyed arm and it began to heal completely, as if it was being rebuilt artificially. The whole thing came back to him.

He stopped and focused his face on Keifer’s as if he was looking at him. Suddenly, his entire body began to show traces and codes of the yellow Matrix and he moved forward and through both the arrow and Keifer.

Keifer [with shattered hope]: “No, it can’t be… we never had a chance, did we? What are you? A living artificial being? You look like us, but, you’re something else…”

Deus turned Keifer around, and Keifer saw that Deus’s mortal wound from the arrow had also been erased. Then, Keifer’s armor, his weapons, the arrow, and Keifer’s wound began to fade away too. Deus grabbed him and Keifer began to feel overpowered by a deep slumber. He had the chance to ask one last thing though.

Keifer [while grabbing Deus’s arm]: “Just tell me one last thing. When you take me to the Matrix, will I see them again? My wife and my son. Will they be there too?”

Deus nodded his head, showing that he could understand everything indeed, and Keifer closed his eyes. Then, Deus left Keifer behind, just like he did with all the others. It was heartbreaking from Keifer’s side, but also enlightening, from Deus’s side, because it proved that Deus wasn’t as bad as he seemed. This was how he reacted towards someone that was driven to kill him, just seconds ago. He definitely didn’t have to give Keifer an answer, but he chose to give him the one that would give him the most peace…

Deus resumed his chase after the Trifalcon. He could still sense where it was, even though it had gained a good distance from him…

From the hatch, Yan Morphen could feel that it wasn’t over. They had just left the labyrinth of the floating buildings and the path was completely open to escape, as soon as the hyper engine worked. However, Yan was still expecting to see Deus again at any second. He knew that his comrades had fallen and he felt that he was the only one left to save Neo. The captain had to be the pilot and Bern was giving them their only hope of escaping by charging the hyper engine manually. Only he—Yan—was left to stop Deus.

Neo was getting better from the massive shock, but he couldn’t do anything at that moment. He saw how Yan walked from the hatch to the place where they removed their armors—where Neo saw their faces, back then, when they saved him from the Matrix. Yan activated his removal machine and his entire armor began to come off, piece by piece. Why? Why was he doing that??

When it was done, he grabbed a pair of weapons that looked like rapid-fire plasma guns. He also revealed that he had one of those air-combat boards that was exactly like Seraph’s—except for the color, which was yellow. Neo began to feel worried when he saw that. When Trin noticed it, she reacted too.

Trin [to Yan]: “Don’t even think about it!! There is nothing else to do now than staying here together and hoping for the best! You won’t leave the ship. That is an order, you hear me Yan Morphen!!”

Yan [free of doubts]: “Captain, there is something that I haven’t told you about me. I was ranked as the second top soldier in the same large division where Seraph ranked as first. The truth is that I wasn’t too far from him. He was better for close combat and I was better for long-range combat and shooting. He was better at martial arts and I was better at executing winning battle strategies. He won all his matches and had more talent, but I always saw how to improve on his initial strategies. This was why he liked getting advice from me and being my friend, even though he was the number one and I was the second. I saw things that he missed, even after winning.

I saw that he missed several attacks on Deus by a hair because he did everything with his heavy armor on. Armors do not make a difference against Deus who avoids killing. They only make us slower and more vulnerable. Without the armor, I know I can hold back Deus long enough for you to use the hyper engine’s speed. I’m one of the few that also learned how to use the board that he used. I have mine here too.

I am going to make Neo’s escape possible.”

Trin [angry!]: “If you do that, not only will I throw you out of my squad, but you won’t be a soldier anymore!! Your life is more important now!!”

Yan: “Saving Neo is more important than anything else at this time. That’s why we are here and that is why our squad was chosen to save him from the Matrix. We had the highest chance of making it happen, based on our track records as soldiers. I’m sorry captain, but Neo must make it out of this. I will ensure that. I will accept your decision as well. If I make it back, I won’t be a soldier anymore. If I don’t make it, then my life will continue as a prisoner of the Matrix. Saving the one is more important than preserving my status now. He is the one that can end this. I just know it.”

Trin never thought that Yan would react that way. Clearly, Yan was the one that believed the most in Neo’s gift as a savior. He still believed in Neo even more than she did—even after all the things she found out from Thomas and Aida.

Yan walked all the way back to the hatch and he saw Deus in the distance. Once again, the menace was catching up with them. Yan stepped on his air-combat board and grabbed the rapid-fire guns. Then, he looked back at Neo, who was still affected by the electric shock. Neo was looking at him as well.

Yan Morphen [looking at Neo]: “I believe in you, just like all those people at Commander Yera’s base did. I know that you are the one that will end the menace and save everyone. I know you will.”

Neo [whispering]: “Don’t do it Morpheus. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself for me again!”

Neo began to remember the previous Morpheus.

Yan looked back at Deus and prepared himself.

Yan Morphen [screams loud and with great drive]: “For Neo!!!”

Then, Yan jumped out of the ship with no armor at all. He began putting a rain of plasma bullets in Deus’s path. He knew that it wasn’t going to stop him, but it would cut down his speed a little and delay him enough to buy the time they needed to escape. Yan was 1/16 of a mile away from the Trifalcon and Deus was 2/16 of a mile away. Deus was flying with his sphere and Yan was using the combat board.

Yan was even faster than Seraph because he had no armor on. Trin believed that the advantage in higher speed wasn’t worth the increased risk though. However, Yan knew that against Deus having an armor on didn’t make any difference. Deus could stop everything within his sphere, so armors and bombs would make no difference. They could even be a disadvantage…

Deus decided to capture the last soldier first, since the bald guy was becoming a major annoyance in the way to the last ship. Like before, Deus focused on taking away the air-combat board, which was the true source of the opponent’s speed.

Yan avoided getting close to Deus and maintained their distance for as long as he could. He also proved to be as good as Sheera with his shooting and almost as good as Seraph with his maneuvers with the board.

Regardless, he was caught in less than two minutes. However, when Deus managed to grab Yan and his board, the Trifalcon’s hyper engine became fully operational and the ship left their sights and the vicinity in a flash. Deus sensed its location up to a certain point, but soon he couldn’t perceive where it was anymore. Yan feel asleep, but he didn’t look defeated; he looked victorious…

Deus went back all the way and he picked up all the people that he left behind floating. All of them were still alive, except Sheera and the pilot from that ship that used a bomb against him. He gathered all the people that he caught and took them all back to Rodner’s location…

Deus landed at a new building, which wasn’t the diamond-looking one from before. He placed everyone on the floor. Rodner was already waiting for him right there with about 20 patrols from his army.

Rodner [to Deus]: “Show me what happened. I want to see everything you saw.”

Deus detached a portion of the sphere and it took the shape of a display—like a flat HDTV’s display, but it was made out of yellow waves. The display showed Rodner all events that happened during the chase.

Rodner [serious and calculating]: “So they managed to rescue him again… However, he also saw that he and their forces can’t beat Deus. It’s really just a matter of time before we have him back here. The Resistance will soon be over as well… Now, let’s put all these brave soldiers in the place they earned. Those over there will be connected to Zion. They were the ones that did the least harm. All the others, and especially the ones that were in that first ship, must have their memories erased before they are connected to the virtual layer of the Matrix. And… there was one that almost killed you Deus. I’m very surprised to say the least. Take all the others away and put this one in the special room of unique soldiers that should be studied through a pseudo-connection to the Matrix. Do not erase his memory, but keep him in a coma state. I would like to find out what the very few human soldiers that managed to challenge Deus have in common. It may help me to figure out how to surpass him. You all know what to do now. Take them away and take Deus to his healing room to ensure that he is at his best. We are done here.”

The robots took everyone away. Matthew, Dayana, Seraph, and Yan would be connected to the virtual Matrix, which was were Neo lived at the very beginning of “The Matrix.” Keifer was the only one that was not going to be connected to any of Rodner’s matrices, but he was a prisoner too.

Deus didn’t seem pleased at all, especially when he saw what they did with Keifer. If Keifer was not connected to the Matrix, then, he lied to him when he nodded his head to tell him that he would be able to see his family again. Deus began to increase his sphere, with the intention of trying to stop Rodner, but, before it even finished covering his body, the chip on his head reacted and sent a heavy plasma shock through his body that made him fall on the floor. Apparently, one of the chip’s mechanisms could detect if Deus had any negative intention against Rodner or their side, and if he did, it released that shock. Furthermore, if he had any intention of trying to remove the chip it would do it too. The chip had a defensive mechanism against its user that worked in a similar way as Neo’s handcuffs. However, it could differentiate between when the sphere was going to be used to benefit Rodner’s plans and when it had a different purpose. If there was a different purpose, or if he tried to remove the chip, Deus received one of those shocks.

Rodner walked towards Deus.

Rodner [looking down at Deus]: “It’s been years since you disagreed with me on anything. I really thought that we were friendly partners already. I make the rules and you enforce them. I make plans and you help me to complete them. It’s pretty simple logic. We will continue that way, unless you want to cooperate on giving me a way to obtain your powers. If you do that, then I’ll gladly destroy my wonderful chip and set you free. If not, we have to continue working together, whether you like it or not. It is what’s best for our partnership.”

Apparently, Deus was not like Rodner. He could understand what was happening and he didn’t want to cause all the pain and grief that he was causing. Perhaps, that was why he cared about saving people, instead of killing them. He also displayed feelings like mercy towards an attacker—even under Rodner’s control—and a desire for justice.

Rodner couldn’t care less about any of those things. He was just seeing the progress of his grand plan, and now he was closer to getting it done than ever before. He had accomplished everything he ever wanted, except one thing: obtaining the same power and abilities that the almighty Deus had…

The screen went dark for a while and when it came back, it showed Neo at the new location of the Resistance. He didn’t have the handcuffs anymore. Apparently, several days had passed since he was saved from Rodner’s city. The Resistance was not at the main base either. To avoid a sudden final attack by Deus, they divided themselves into five big groups and moved to other safer locations.

Neo was standing outside a small group of short buildings. He was looking at the sky, in the morning, and he was thinking. He looked driven and self-assured about something that he was planning to do…

General Frank Xenno and the fifth Trinity (Captain Trin) were also in the same site as Neo, but they were not there with him. The Trifalcon had been fully repaired as well.

Leida, or Trin, joined Neo and he finally told her what he wanted to do. He gave it plenty of thought and now his decision was made, and he was completely sure that it was the right decision too.

Neo [to Trin]: “I know how to save them. And I can’t stay here knowing that I can save them. I have to go back to the Matrix and retrieve them. I also feel that some of the answers we need may still be inside the Matrix itself. This world doesn’t have all the answers.

I feel that I can see much more now than when I was younger. If I return, I will find the truth that I missed before.”

Trin: “That would be crazy Neo. We can’t just break into a cluster of floating buildings and connect you there again. Besides, a lot of sacrifice was put into taking you out of there. Taking you back doesn’t make sense. How are you even going to do it without being detected, either from the outside or from the Matrix itself? Your special power will reveal pretty fast that you are there.”

Neo: “The Matrix won’t reveal my presence because my presence will be concealed within the section that I can control. The rest of the system won’t even know that I am there. Besides, there is an easier way to reconnect to the Matrix that doesn’t include another assault. I can use the two capsules that our team brought when I was rescued. They are still operational and we still have them, don’t we?”

Trin: “We already tried that Neo. The capsules work, but they have to be closer to the fields of the Matrix in order to establish a successful connection with them. We can’t connect someone else from here. If we are too far from the floating buildings, they just don’t work. We would have to take them close to one of those buildings and, after we make the connection, the robots can attack us at any moment. It is too dangerous.”

Neo: “The patrols can only attack the ones connected if they can detect that a connection was made and that we are there. If they never find out about it and they never see us, then, nothing happened from their point of view. They won’t know that I am there and my connection won’t even exist for them. However, it will take place.”

Trin: “And how exactly do you expect to do that? We definitely don’t have the hacking techniques to pull that off. Even the most advanced field we have, which was the one we used to rescue you without being detected right away, was still found and tracked by them eventually.”

The green sphere began to grow around Neo.

Neo: “Things that seemed impossible before become possible with the manipulation of the Matrix. That is Deus’s power and it is also my power now. The only difference is that Deus’s section of the Matrix is from its higher layer, which was where you rescued me from, and mine is from the lowest layer, or the virtual Matrix. This makes my section better suited for infiltrations in the system. I can go in undetected by the higher layer of the Matrix.

Also, I wasn’t planning to establish a connection close to one of the floating structures with humans. How many guards are there in the structures that have all the population of robots hostage? The humanoids were turned into Rodner Smith’s army, but all the other normal robots are in structures just like the humans. What do you know about those?”

Trin [starting to look and feel much more cooperative with Neo’s plan]: “Well, we really haven’t focused on those as you might expect. We always focused on trying to gain access and data from the structures with humans. We do know, however, that the amount of patrols per square mile is far higher in the areas with humans. The areas with robots were almost a metal graveyard of desolation, with very little security. Our goal wasn’t disconnecting the household robots though. Saving humans was always our primary goal Neo.”

Neo: “Of course. That’s why the human fields are so heavily guarded and the robot fields are not. However, both lead to the same Matrix, don’t they?”

Trin began to understand Neo’s plan and she started to support what he was thinking. If both fields were connected to the same system, then, making a connection from a field of robots could be much safer. However, not everything felt certain.

Trin: “But what would happen if connections from the robot structures work differently… what would we do then?”

Neo: “We, or I, would do what Deus does all the time. I would manipulate our connection within my sphere.”

Trin: “Are you certain that you can do that? How can you know it will work if you haven’t even done it yet?”

Neo: “There are no natural rules for the one that controls a section of the Matrix. After decades of seeing what Deus does, this shouldn’t surprise you. Within that section, all natural rules can be bent, ignored, or even rewritten for your advantage. And boundaries do exist, but they won’t stop us in this case. I know I can go in, get them back, find what we need, and come back safely. Will you help me Trin?”

Trin [not doubtful anymore]: “I will always help you Neo. That is what I’m here for, since the beginning and until the end.”

Trin grabbed Neo’s hand. She was remembering not just what Thomas and Aida said about Trinity, but also the way she felt about the fifth Neo. Neo remembered about his Trinity too, but, he knew that Trin wasn’t her, just like he wasn’t the original Thomas Anderson…

Neo: “Thank you Trin. All we need to do now is locate the field of robots that is closest to us and farthest from the other fields, and get your ship and the two capsules ready. I can do the rest.”

Trin: “When do we begin?”

Neo: “Now.”

They left that place and Trin took Neo to the secure building where the two capsules were kept under surveillance.

She had high-level clearance and everyone there already knew Neo—he saved the main base from Deus before—so they were allowed to enter, and they went all the way to where the two capsules were, without being stopped by any guard. Neo stood in front of one of the capsules and his green sphere grew until it covered more than half of the big three-meters-long and one-meter-wide capsule. He closed his eyes and opened them again a few seconds later. Green codes from the Matrix appeared around the capsule temporarily. Then, Neo’s sphere and the codes went away.

Neo [glad]: “It will work. We just have to take these two capsules from here to your ship, and transport them to a place that is closer to a field of robots that are connected to the Matrix.”

Trin had been thinking while Neo checked the capsule, and, all of a sudden, she gained the same drive that Neo had.

Trin [to Neo]: “I am going back to the Matrix with you.”

Neo: “You can help me from here Trin, but I should go back alone.”

Trin: “Remember that Trinity and Neo have to stick together. You will need me at some point. The One can’t do everything on his own. He will need others. Thomas Anderson himself left it clear. Besides, they were my team too, years before you even met them. If I can help you to bring them back I will. And if I can help you to find the truth that we need, I’ll do it too.”

Neo: “This is far too dangerous Trin. Are you sure that you want to go?”

Trin: “The previous Neo and I did things that were far more dangerous than this plan that you have, and we didn’t even have the power that you have now.”

Both, Neo and Trin remembered about the time when they made the choice to go to the virtual Matrix to save their captain. It had been the same choice and the same exact situation for both of them. The only differences were that the hostage for the sixth Neo and Trinity was the previous Morpheus and the hostage for Trin and the fifth Neo was Frank Xenno’s brother and Trin’s father (who died, hours after Trin went through the warp glitch to the City of the Machines, so, unlike the next Neo and Trinity, they were not successful).

Neo and the fifth Trinity acted as a team once again. They took the two capsules to the Trifalcon, which was 100% ready—with the hyper engine and everything else working. They were about to leave their ship to talk to General Xenno about the matter. Then, they opened the hatch and saw two dozen soldiers pointing plasma rifles at them and the general himself.

General Xenno [with a skeptical attitude]: “What do you think that you are going to do? Do you two realize that you are planning to take the only two possibilities that we have to stop their menace? I’m sorry Neo, but you should have talked to me about your plans first. The two capsules will stay here with us and so will you. And Trin, if something like this happens again, you will not be a captain anymore and you will have zero clearance permanently. You should have asked me before taking the two capsules from their building to your ship. Now, hand me over your clearance card.”

Trin [a little upset]: “We were going to tell you now and we expected your cooperation, but instead we find rifles pointed at us. We are not the enemy and you know that.”

Trin gave her special access card to Frank Xenno. She also remembered about when she threatened Yan with removing his soldier status, and she felt sorry for it, since she felt the same way as Yan now. If she had to do it, she would even forfeit her captain rank for Neo. She was willing to go that far.

Neo [honest, calm, and certain]: “We were not going to leave without telling you everything general. We were going to tell you all the details about the plan I have at this very moment. It is a plan that can save some of those we lost and reveal the things that we still don’t know about the Matrix. It is absolutely necessary if we are going to find a way to put an end to the crisis. We are not enemies general. We are your greatest allies and we want the same as you.”

Frank Xenno: “You may not be the enemy Neo, but your recklessness can definitely ruin our chances. You know well that you and those capsules are among the last things that we have to challenge what seems to be inevitable by now. Neither you nor those things are leaving this place.”

Neo: “General, you must at least listen to the plan I have. It might be the last chance we have to find the answers that we need, and to end both the menace and the Matrix.”

Xenno [showing the special handcuffs that were on Neo’s wrists before]: “Neo, I saved these for Deus, but I need to know that we can really trust you. Please, put them back on now.”

Trin [aggravated]: “What? Are you serious!? He is the only one that can save us now. He has a feasible plan and you don’t even want to listen to him. Instead you treat him as if he was a threat to us. If you care so much about the Resistance, about justice, and about saving us all, then, you should be helping him now, instead of pointing guns at him. Thomas Anderson himself confirmed it, when we met his hologram back then: only Neo can save us and even he will have a hard time to do it, so he will need all the help that he can get. Right now you are doing the opposite of helping him.”

General Xenno [to Trin]: “I’m sorry, but with the genius Rodner Smith and Deus as our enemies, we can’t afford to lose the only advantages we have because of what some hologram said.”

General Xenno [to his soldiers]: “Take Captain Trin into custody. She needs to calm down and accept that she is not the one making the decisions here. Take the two capsules and put them back on their place too. Also, take Neo to the new Center of Operations with the special handcuffs on.”

The two squads of soldiers looked puzzled, but they did what the general ordered. They had not even heard about the apparition of Thomas Anderson’s hologram because it had been kept as a top secret that only few people knew about…

Before the handcuffs were placed on Neo’s wrists again, he grabbed Frank Xenno’s arm.

Neo: “You know that I can just fly out of here right now, but I believe that I can trust you and I think that you really care about saving everyone, just like I do. So, I will agree with your terms, but you must also listen to the plan that I came up with.”

Suddenly, Neo sensed something very strange, something that he wouldn’t have sensed before he obtained similar powers to the ones Deus had. He perceived that part of Frank Xenno’s arm was not human. It wasn’t the part that he grabbed, but still, he could sense that the lower part of the arm was artificial.

Then, the handcuffs clicked and he had them on his wrists again. Unfortunately, Neo began to suspect that Frank Xenno could have more secrets than they knew, but he kept it to himself.

Three of the soldiers carried Trin somewhere else. However, she didn’t stay quiet. She had to tell Frank Xenno what she was thinking and everyone there heard her well.

Trin [angry and frustrated / looking at Frank Xenno]: “You don’t deserve to be at the Plaza of the Idols, alongside the other heroes, if you choose to deny us your help when we need it the most! Not helping us is not helping the Resistance!! This is not what a true hero would do, and it is not what the worthy general of the good side should be doing either!”

Frank Xenno didn’t answer, but she definitely left him thinking.

The truth was that the general didn’t end up looking good after that. The soldiers obeyed him, but Neo had just saved them all from Deus’s attack at the main base and Trin wasn’t some angered rookie; she was a well-known captain too. In other words, taking them in custody felt wrong to some of the soldiers…

Several hours went by and General Xenno was seen standing at the same location where Neo was standing before. He was looking at the sky and thinking, just like Neo. It was at night, so the sky had stars and a black cover, instead of blue sights and white clouds.

Frank Xenno [thinking out loud by himself]: “She was right. I am no hero and a statue of me shouldn’t have been built there with theirs. Nera Williams and Thomas Anderson were the true heroes. They were the ones that were willing to sacrifice everything for others. I’m just the guy that ended up in charge. I am the one that could have ended this crisis 21 years ago, but I didn’t. I failed that mission, but I won’t fail the people here now. I must do what is best to guarantee our survival. That is my duty as general.”

Mr. Xenno began to remember the past event that changed both his life and his arm…

A team like the Trinity Squad was seen entering the fields of the machines. They came in a different but powerful-looking black ship. They went to the same place where Neo was when the Trinity Squad rescued him. Apparently, this different team was looking for “Neo” too. They were not finding him though.

Then, Deus Ex, the god of the machines, appeared and sent battalions of sentinels after them. In this occasion from the past, Deus Ex was perfectly visible though. Deus Ex made himself invisible during the Trinity Squad’s assault and even avoided destroying them at the end. For some reason, he was holding back. With this different team though, he never held back and he was there from the start. His clear intention was to kill them all.

However, the six soldiers in black armors and their captain—in a different armor—were unbelievable. It was clear pretty fast that they were even better than the soldiers of the Trinity Squad. “Pros” was just scratching the surface for them. They were true masters in combat on land and in the air. They didn’t come in just with plasma rifles. They all had air-combat boards as well. They ended up avoiding and destroying hundreds of sentinels.

One of them—the one that looked like their captain—wasn’t wearing a black armor. He was the only one that had a dark-blue armor with yellow marks on the shoulders and the arms, and with a red line in the center of the face. He was separated from the others in the middle of the battles and ended up infiltrating a large building on his own. There, he found a man and a woman that were hostages of the god of the machines. The man was Neo, without a doubt, and the woman… the woman looked exactly like the one he saw in a picture of his twin brother and his daughter, when he found out that his brother was killed in the Matrix. The soldier opened his facial armor and the face of a younger Frank Xenno was revealed.

He couldn’t believe that his brother’s daughter was alive and she was also a hostage at that horrible place alongside Neo, the supposed clone of Thomas Anderson and the one that The Oracle had referred to as “the savior.”

His squad’s mission was simple: “save Neo at all costs and disconnect him from the Matrix, then, bring him back to the Resistance to fulfill his true destiny.” General Nera Williams herself gave him the mission because she was certain that his squad would pull it off. She trusted him and his teammates. They were the best of the best. They were the Chuck Norrises and the Jack Bauer’s of their time.

However, they couldn’t have predicted that the being that was waiting for them in that unknown world was even worse than the alien menace at their world. Captain Xenno’s team could deal with the armada of sentinels, but when Deus Ex joined the battle, they didn’t stand a chance. Deus Ex revealed a large yellow sphere around himself, which quickly reminded them of Deus’s sphere. He controlled all the sentinels strategically and began to shot yellow beams from the sphere at them. Furthermore, he wasn’t trying to capture them alive like Deus, he was shooting to kill; and he continued using his yellow sphere’s power with that intention only. The god of the machines wasn’t like Deus; he was the opposite! He had zero mercy.

Soon, the six black-armored warriors were killed. And their captain had to make the most difficult decision of his life: would he save Neo, the savior, or would he save his niece, Trinity? He found out that both of them were still alive, inside those rare silver roots that were holding them. Unfortunately, he knew that he could only save one of them by himself. His mission was to save Neo, the one that could end the menace at their world, but, he ignored his mission and decided to save his niece. He was teleported out of there to a different location—just like the Trinity Squad—by the pilot of his ship in the real world. In the new location, he closed his facial armor, woke her up, and gave her the red pill. Leida Trinity believed him and took the red pill, just like the sixth Neo did.

However, Deus Ex perceived that he had missed one of the intruders and he found out that Neo was still there but the woman was gone. He tracked their location within his city using his intrinsic connection with the Matrix—which was very similar to Deus’s connection and to Neo’s connection. Then, he went to finish the intruder himself. The captain was about to be teleported to his world with the younger Trin, but first, he had to fight against Deus Ex for one minute while keeping Trinity safe. Even though Captain Xenno took a defensive and avoidant approach all the time, Deus Ex proved to be an enemy that was far too powerful. He was close to killing both of them more than once during that long minute. At the end, they were saved by the teleportation, and one of Deus Ex’s beams came close to Frank Xenno’s arm…

The pilot of their ship—at Thomas Anderson’s world—saved them, but that man also died when he left them at their base. A plasma shot from a patrol that reached them during their escape landed on Captain Xenno’s pilot and destroyed part of his armor. The pilot saved them, but he didn’t survive either…

Many received Frank as a grand hero because he was his squad’s only survivor and he actually succeeded at disconnecting the very first person from the Matrix. However, General Williams knew what really happened and she made it clear to him that not saving Neo had been a major failure for the Resistance. Obviously, saving Trinity was always a personal triumph for Frank because it was the equivalent of saving his lost brother. Yet, it was his greatest failure because he had an incredible amount of personal loss as well.

His new mechanical arm guaranteed that his days as an elite squad captain were over. His whole team and his best friends died in the assault. And, if he had saved Neo back then—21 years earlier—the menace surely would have been defeated by now. Or at least, that’s what he always thought—he didn’t know that the later iterations of The One were far more likely to succeed at saving them…

Ultimately, Frank Xenno decided that if he ever became a top leader, such as the general, he was going to put together new squads that would succeed at saving Neo, and he was going to act in the best interest of everyone. It is correct to say that he was proud about saving Trinity and, at the same time, he never forgave himself for not saving anyone else, including the fifth Neo…

General Xenno still had his eyes closed when two soldiers brought Neo to him.

Soldiers: “He’s here general.”

General Xenno: “Leave us alone please. I want to talk to Neo.”

Neo had the handcuffs on and he was the one that talked first.

Neo [beginning to lose trust in the general]: “There is something about you that I must know general Frank. Are you a humanoid robot? I sensed that you have a metal arm. You seem to hide it pretty well though. Are you hiding anything else?”

The general began to laugh.

Frank Xenno: “Really? You thought that I was a robot? Well, I thought that Thomas Anderson’s successor would be much more clever than that. Although, I like the fact that you are not afraid. You have those handcuffs on, and yet, you are not afraid about asking the hard questions to the general.

Ok, let’s hear your master plan Neo. And by the way, I am not a robot. I am just a man, like you. I was the only survivor of the squad that saved Trin from the Matrix. That was why I had to end up with a robotic arm.”

Frank Xenno walked up to Neo and took two things from his pocket: a key and some sort of card. He used them to open the handcuffs again. Apparently, they found out how to open them and close them without breaking them, but, they had no clue about how they were made in the first place, or why they worked against the sphere…

Neo regained his trust on Frank Xenno after that.

Neo [to Mr. Xenno]: “In the hologram we saw, Thomas Anderson told us almost everything about the plan he had and about how we fit in it. He seemed to have everything well-planned to help our chances of ending the Matrix for good. However, some unknown source sent him secret information about the Matrix that led him to make his decisions and to arrive at his conclusions. He didn’t figure out all the answers on his own. Someone with more knowledge about the Matrix sent him the clues that he needed to see the rest. Those are the clues and the secrets that we need to know as well. With that knowledge we can solve this crisis. We have two choices: finding the truth in the Matrix and understanding how Deus and the Matrix can be stopped, or defeating Deus, the humanoid army, and Rodner in battle. The second choice is the least likely to succeed. Thomas Anderson seemed to believe that the key to our salvation was in the Matrix, and he also thought that the Matrix itself had to end. I believe that the answers that we need to solve the crisis are there as well.”

Xenno [a little incredulous]: “And you want me to trust the assumptions of a ghost from the past who isn’t even here with us? I do admire him, like many people do, but Thomas Anderson isn’t here with us now.”

Neo: “I am here General Xenno.”

Neo’s tone of voice surprised Frank Xenno. It made him feel like Thomas Anderson was answering.

Xenno: “I thought you said that were not him!”

Neo: “I am not Thomas Anderson general. I am the one that he created to save everybody else, and I do have many things common with him, since he was the first Neo. I know you would help him if he was here. Will you do the same for me?”

Xenno: “Tell me every detail about this plan of yours. How are you going to use the capsules and what do you plan to do inside the Matrix? How are you going to do it without getting caught? How are you going to ensure that you will come back safely?”

Neo told Frank Xenno all the details that he previously told Trin. Like Trin, Mr. Xenno understood that his plan had potential to be a success. However, he knew that Trin would join him, and he knew that Neo would most likely visit the City of the Machines at some point.

Xenno [concerned]: “You must not go back to the god of the machines under any circumstance. He had the previous Neo and Trin as his hostages. I was part of the squad that rescued her from there, but we couldn’t rescue the other Neo. As far as I know, Trin and her squad rescued you from his fields as well, so you were his hostage too. He fought and killed the best soldiers of the Resistance as if they were nothing. They couldn’t even put a dent on him. He also had the yellow sphere that Deus has, but unlike Deus, he was very eager to kill us.

We are lucky that he is not in this world, since he could be a worse threat than Deus and Rodner Smith.”

Neo: “So Trin was rescued from the same place as me? She never told me anything about that…”

Xenno: “Yes, both of you were rescued from the same location, which was the central section of the City of the Machines.”

Frank Xenno looked very thoughtful, but he made up his mind.

Xenno: “Neo, I think I have made my decision, just like you made yours. I will allow you to go back to the Matrix. I won’t interfere with it and I will help you by sending another squad to protect the place where you will establish your connection. I will let you use the capsules too. Just promise me that Trin won’t put a foot on that hellish city of the machines again. No matter what happens, she must never go back to that place. And neither should you; although that’s up to you to decide, since you are the only one that would have a chance of surviving there. If you retrieve her team and find those answers about the Matrix, you should come back right away.”

Neo: “Do not worry general. I plan to return as soon as I do that. Besides, Trin doesn’t have to go with me. She can help me to make the connection, but I can go alone.”

Xenno: “Of course she will go with you. Do you think that I don’t know my adoptive daughter? Just make sure that you keep her away from the City of the Machines. That’s all I ask of you.”

Neo: “I promise you that I will.”

Neo extended his hand to the general as a sign of agreement and friendship.

Frank Xenno removed his glove and shaked Neo’s hand with his robotic hand. This was something that he never did with anyone; he always used his real hand.

Although his hand and arm were made of metal and circuits, he obviously wasn’t a robot.

Frank Xenno: “Do not disappoint me Neo. Unlike Thomas Anderson, you must come back from the Matrix to help us with the chaos here. I will count on that.”

Neo: “Thank you General Frank.”

Then, someone unexpected interrupted them there.

Bern: “Excuse me, or, pardon me general. Can I make a request sir?”

Xenno: “Yes.”

Bern: “I would like to join Captain Trin and Neo sir.”

Neo smiled.

Neo: “You are accepted Bern. We will be glad if you are with us.”

Xenno [to Neo]: “You have people and even robots that are willing to make sacrifices for you and your good cause. That is a good thing to have Neo. I’m glad that you are on our side.”

That was the moment when Frank Xenno began to feel that he believed in Neo too…

Two days later, the Trifalcon and another ship from the Resistance equipped invisibility shields and flew to a location that was just two miles away from the closest floating buildings of the Matrix that had robots only.

Neo and Trin entered the two capsules, which were inside the Trifalcon. Bern was going to be their navigator at the real world from the Trifalcon. The other squad was there to detect any outer threats and to protect the Trifalcon.

Before starting the connection, Neo did the first thing that showed how much his Matrix-based abilities had increased. He made a green sphere grow around them. The sphere expanded until it had the entire Trifalcon covered. Then, the outside world started to move incredibly slow, for him, for Trin, and for Bern.

Bern: “What’s going on?! I was watching a leaf falling from a tree and it stopped moving!!”

Neo: “I reduced the passage of time inside the boundary of my green sphere. This sphere is going to stay here, even after we are connected. We will need some time inside, but we don’t have that kind of time here. However, with a slower passage of time at this spot we will have it. Only hours will go by at the outside world here, even if we take days inside the Matrix. The time within my green sphere here has been altered to suit our needs. The soldiers outside will experience hours, but we will be here for days.”

Even Trin looked surprised. Neo was starting to feel much more like Deus after he did that. Furthermore, they were beginning to understand how Deus’s powers worked…

Neo planned to use Bern as their navigator from the real world and Trin as his navigator inside the yellow Matrix, since he planned to return to the virtual one as well.

With his greater perception of the Matrix and his enhanced abilities to manipulate it, Neo knew that he was bound to find something new in the system…

 

NEXT – CHAPTER 6 out of 9: Return to the Matrix

The Matrix Revelations (Part 5 out of 9)

The Matrix Revelations movie (Part 4 out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

Part 4: The Bigger Revelations and the Battle with Deus

 

Neo turned on the pen’s virtual map with one hand and he guided Trin. She kept driving the hovercraft until they began to see the ruins of the fallen city, where the global conflict reached its climax, and where the Resistance was born. As Neo saw his green dot getting closer and closer to the location of the white dot, he started to feel an intense drive to find out the truth. He couldn’t wait to know what he would find there and the identity of the one behind it. He also was certain that whatever it was would help them to solve the crisis.

Trin and Neo had to slow down almost entirely when they entered the city. The terrain was a mess. The city was torn apart and deserted; there wasn’t a single soul on sight, and the place looked as if it had been bombarded in the past. They had to go around broken buildings, instead of taking normal roads, because there were no open roads anywhere at that entrance. Regardless, they went in and found their path through the rubble.

Then, Neo recognized the location where he was. As soon as they began to see some buildings that were still standing, he knew that this place looked like the same city where he lived, before he was rescued from the virtual Matrix—by Morpheus and his Trinity. It was too similar to the city that he perceived as “the real world,” before he entered the realm of Zion and the machines. It almost made him feel that the city where he lived in the virtual Matrix was based on this one. With so many similarities, it made sense that there was some kind of connection between the two cities. It was a strange thought though, because, as far as he knew, the supreme ruler of the machines was the one who created and used the virtual Matrix; and that strange being didn’t know anything about this world. In fact, one of Deus Ex’s biggest goals was finding the way out of the Matrix where he lived. Then, how could Neo’s city from the virtual Matrix be based on the exact look of the Initial Resistance’s city from the real world? How could they even be connected in any way?

Perhaps, Neo knew even less about the Matrix’s truth than what he “thought” he knew so far… and he began to realize it there…

Eventually, they reached a building where Neo’s green dot was right in front of the white dot, in the map. Obviously, whatever they sought was inside that building.

They had to leave the hovercycle behind and continue on foot.

Neo was so focused on reaching the destination that he went ahead holding the pen with the map in front of him. He didn’t even wait for Trin to turn off the vehicle. After it was parked, she followed him, holding her plasma blaster and ready to fire. Trin was on guard, like a soldier in an infiltration mission, even though the city looked desolate.

Trin [looking cautious]: “Neo, we should stay together. Wait for me.”

Neo [not listening to Trin / looking at building’s entrance]: “You are here and I am here too… I’m ready for your truth now.”

The polished blue-glass door in the entrance had red letters that read “The RS Scientific Association / National Research Facility.”

Neo opened the door and the first thing he saw was a white-caped soldier—like the ones that were protecting the Matrix’s human fields.

The human-looking robot grabbed his rifle, but Trin blasted his face with her plasma shot before he could attack Neo. The white-caped patrol fell on the floor with all the inner circuits of his face fully revealed. When Trin got there, she shot the robot in the head again and its system turned off completely. Apparently, it was dead…

Trin grabbed the robot’s plasma rifle and gave her plasma blaster to Neo.

Trin [concerned]: “We need to hurry Neo. Something is wrong. The patrols from the Matrix are not supposed to be here. They have never been found outside the fields of the Matrix. And this destroyed city should be completely empty, but it isn’t. I hope that your message is not a trap. Let’s find it and leave as soon as possible. Be ready to use my weapon. If there are more of them, I will need your help.”

Then, Neo noticed that the pen’s map had changed during that tense moment. It zoomed in by itself, and now, it showed the exact location of the white dot inside the building. It also showed Neo’s location—the green dot—at the entrance.

Neo [as if nothing had happened / determined]: “Let’s go Trin.”

Neo grabbed Trin’s plasma blaster with his left hand and continued holding the pen and its virtual map with his right hand. They followed the white dot’s location in the zoomed-in map and it led them to the building’s main elevator.

However, the elevator’s door didn’t respond. It wasn’t opening and that was where the white dot was located.

Neo looked more carefully at the panel of buttons for the elevator and he noticed that there was one that said “User Recognition.” He pressed it and a green light was pointed at his eyes right away. The light scanned his eyes.

Cyber-voice [from elevator’s computer]: “Welcome, Thomas Anderson. Where do you want to go sir?”

The other panel closest to the buttons displayed two options: “1- My normal work station. 2- My personal research station.”

Neo felt that he knew the right answer—almost by deja vu. He pressed number two and the elevator’s door opened. Trin and he went in and it took them down, a few floors underground.

When it opened again, they saw an empty room with a silver table and a laptop computer at the center. Neo opened the computer and it asked him for a password.

Trin: “We don’t know the password, do we?”

Neo [without a single doubt in his voice]: “I know the password.”

Neo entered the following password in the computer: “neoandtrinity/2700ac/”

Then, it confirmed that the password was correct, and the same voice that Neo heard from the white sphere talked to them there.

Cyber human-like voice [from the computer]: “Welcome, Neo and Trinity. I am glad that you made it this far. Please hold the pen in front of the computer’s webcam. Then, check the map again and follow it to find me. I look forward to telling you the truth.”

Neo held the pen in front of the camera and a white light that came from the laptop’s camera went through the pen. Then, a second white dot appeared in the map. It was outside the building now.

Trin [somewhat skeptical]: “Neo, how did it know that there would be someone else with you? Is there something else that I should know? How did you know the password?”

Neo: “Everything I know is from the message that I received within the data extractor at the base. It gave me the password and the pen with the map. All of this must have been planned and prepared by someone that has something important to tell us. They hid it in Thomas Anderson’s computer with this special password because they knew that I would be recognized as Thomas Anderson. This person also knew that I would know the right password because it was already given to me, in the form of the other hidden data… Let’s go and find out what this is all about.”

The elevator took them back up and they went back to the entrance. The new location was just one block away from where they left the hovercycle, so they just walked until they reached the new white dot’s exact location. They just had to get through a few broken buses that were blocking the street along the way. Then, they walked until they were right above the new location. At that moment, Neo’s green dot was exactly on top of the second white one. However, there was nothing there on the ground and the buildings around them were destroyed. It was like finding a dead end in the wide open.

Trin: “What do we do now? Isn’t it supposed to be here?”

Neo: “There must be something else that we are missing… something obvious, or something that I would think about…”

Neo lifted the pen and he ensured that it was exactly at the very center of the second white dot’s location. When it was perfectly centered with the right location, something activated in the pen’s mechanism and the virtual map turned off on its own. Then, the pen sent some kind of radio signal and an infrared wave (both invisible to the human eye) that activated the true mechanism that lied one-eight of a mile deep under the ground, at that exact location.

Something came from the ground and opened its path all the way up. It was some kind of machine that looked like a robotic drill bot. Neo and Trin had to walk back when it opened the ground at the spot of the second white dot. Trin looked worried and Neo looked ready—ready for the truth, since he already trusted whoever set up this chain of events.

After opening a close-to-flawless circular hole, the bot revealed itself. It reminded Neo of a machine from the City of the Machines, but, this one was friendly to them and it didn’t have any eyes. It was some kind of advanced drilling robot.

Right away, it began to open a two-meter wide circular platform in front of Neo and Trin. The platform had a light blue bottom that would display something above it, but, before that, the master drill-bot asked for a passcode.

Machine’s voice: “Please, use your own voice to tell me the password that I need to unlock this message for you. You will be given two tries only. If you fail, I will leave and the message will be destroyed.”

Neo: “Neo and Trinity slash two-thousand seven-hundred ac slash.”

Machine’s voice: “Your voice matches my records, Mr. Thomas Anderson. However, the password is wrong. You have only one try left. Please think about the message you received when the correct password was given to you. You must give me all the information that I need to generate the correct password using your voice only.”

Neo stopped and began to think.

Trin: “What’s wrong? You know this one too, don’t you?”

Neo [looking thoughtful]: “Perhaps, I do…”

Neo [thinking in loud-voice to himself]: “It needs to get the full password from my voice alone, which means that it may need to obtain all the clues to generate it from what I say. It is just like me and the white sphere back then. It gave me all the clues that I needed to know the correct passcode without doubts, just from listening to what it told me. Then… I already know what the password is.”

Neo [to the machine]: “The password is neo and trinity slash 2700 ac slash. It has no spaces and no capital letters. The 2700 is a number, not a set of words; the rest are lowercase letters and the two slashes are the character that represents the symbol for a slash, not the word slash. In total that makes a password that is 21 characters long, so, before determining if you got it right, check that the one you generated with my words is 21 characters long too. Otherwise, re-check my language-based clues in English to ensure that you generate the right password. And repeat that until you generate the right 21 characters-long password.”

(Note: Neo was an engineer, 21 years ago in the world of the virtual Matrix. Therefore, it is no surprise that he could understand how the password would be generated.)

The robot stayed thinking for ten seconds and then it responded.

Machine’s voice: “…Correct! This generated the right password with the correct voice match to play Mr. Thomas Anderson’s records. There is one final prerequisite however. I must ensure that it is you. Please, place both of your hands and the pen here.”

The machine lifted a small display to the right of the two-meter wide platform. It had a clear spot to place the pen and two other hand-shaped spots for the hands. Neo put the pen and his hands in the right places. His fingerprints were read and the pen turned into a small spiral of white codes and waves that faded away right there.

Trin [aiming the plasma rifle at the pen’s white waves of codes]: “Neo, what is this?! I have seen something like it before. It looks like Deus’s yellow patterns of waves!”

Neo [not looking nor sounding surprised, but eager to know more]: “It also looks like the green codes that I saw inside the virtual Matrix. And it looks like the white sphere that brought us here. Whoever did this knows more about the Matrix than we do…”

The drill-robot activated the platform and the full-body hologram display of a man appeared there, standing on the platform, right in front of Neo and Trin. The man looked just like the older Neo, but he was dressed more like a scientist.

Thomas Anderson [talking with a crystal-clear voice that is exactly like Neo’s voice]:Welcome Neo. And, welcome Trinity. My name is Thomas Anderson. I left this message for both of you, to ensure that you would know the truth when the time was right. The fact that you two have come this far is already a testament to the success of our long-term plan, up to this point. I’m glad to tell you and to assert that the plan to save the human race from the Matrix may succeed now, more than ever before. However, before I tell you the truth about what I did, I must know how much you have found on your own so far. Only then, I will know what to tell you to raise our chances of success as much as I can. Please, Neo, answer the following questions for me. I will stop for your answer and continue with the next question after you are done.

The first question is:

Are you aware of the existence of other instances of The One before you? If yes, do you know how many Neo’s were there before you?”

Trin began to look puzzled when she heard that, but Neo knew exactly what Thomas’s hologram was talking about.

Neo [with zero doubt in his voice]: “Yes, I am aware of the existence of five previous chosen ones, or five other Neo’s before me.”

Thomas [with a voice that indicates a feeling of victory]: “Good! Then, you are already aware about the fact that you are the sixth version of the same person, or, the sixth iteration of Neo. We have come very far, and that makes me very happy, for me, for you, and for the rest of the human race… Now, the second question:

Do you know where you are seeing this at this very moment? If yes, please describe the world where you are to me, using terms that someone from the past, like me, will understand. Also, use terms that an intelligent computer-based response system will be able to understand.”

Neo: “We are at the same location where you, Thomas Anderson, created the Initial Resistance. I left the virtual Matrix when I was younger, close to twenty-one years ago, and just recently, I was disconnected from the world of Zion and the machines as well. Now, I am in the same world where you are known as the original creator of the Resistance—the same Resistance that still struggles to fight against an unknown menace known as Deus. As far as I know, I am in your world Thomas, which is the real world.”

Thomas’s hologram: “Excellent. You are where you need to be Neo. I only need to ask you one more question. How long has it been since I was taken to the Matrix?”

Neo looked at Trin and, without saying a word, she could tell that he wanted her to tell Thomas the approximate time, since she was much more aware about this world’s dates than him.

Trin [to Thomas’s hologram]: “Thomas Anderson and his closest allies were taken to the Matrix by Deus, 64 years ago, right before General Nera Williams became our Resistance’s leader.”

Thomas Anderson: “Thank you Trinity.”

Trin [doubtful, but driven to point it out]: “Pardon me Mr. Thomas, but, I don’t think that I am the same person that you believe I am. Neo also confused me with this Trinity, but that is not my name sir, it is my last name.”

Thomas [sounding 100% certain]: “Are you sure about it? Have you had any losses of memory at some point? You would not be here with Neo if you were not Trinity. My calculations were very clear about that. This event would only occur and this recording would only be played if the sixth Neo made it this far with Trinity. However, any of Trinity’s iterations would satisfy the conditions. So you may not be the same Trinity that he thought you were, but, make no mistake about it, you are the Trinity that I expected for this event to occur. If the sixth one didn’t make it, then, you must be the previous one, which is the fifth Trinity.”

Trin looked bewildered. Deep down, she could feel that Thomas Anderson was right.

She had a very sudden flashback of the time when she awakened at the world of Thomas Anderson, after her rescue from the Matrix was successful. The medics asked for her name and for many other things, but, her memory was blank. She couldn’t remember what happened to her before, nor who she was. The only thing that came to her mind was “Leida Trinity.” Therefore, she gave that as her real name, but even that wasn’t 100% certain in her mind. There was the possibility that Leida Trinity was not her true name. For someone with the kind of amnesia that she had, anything was possible. However, she had to give a name; so she gave one. And after that day, she was officially the soldier named Leida Trinity. “Trin” became her nickname much later…

Despite the fact that Thomas’s revelations were making sense right away, there were details that were still very strange from Trin’s point of view.

Leida Trinity [feeling mystified yet certain about her doubts]: “There is something that still doesn’t make sense to me sir. Why are you referring to Neo and me as ‘iterations,’ as if we were mere processes or objects in the execution of a computer program. We are people and we are alive, just like you were when you created this message.”

Thomas Anderson: “You are correct Trinity. You and Neo are real people that are alive. We all are. We exist, we feel pain and joy, we breathe, and we live, so we are not mere objects in an artificial reality. We are much more than that. However, that won’t change the fact that the Matrix is a central part of our reality now. That’s why I decided to do what I’m doing. And that is why I need you to succeed. It is the right thing to do.”

Neo was starting to feel the need for answers as well.

Neo [to Thomas]: “How is it possible that you can respond to us so well, as if you were alive now, or, as if you knew that we would ask you these exact questions? Did you already know about this crisis that we were going to face today? How do you know about the different iterations of The One? How can you even be so sure that she is the previous Trinity? Why was there even a need to have different Trinity’s and various iterations of Neo? If you have the answers Thomas, this is the time to tell us. And if there is anything you can tell us that will help us to stop the menace from the Matrix, we need it now.”

Thomas Anderson [looking serious]: “Both of you will have all the answers if you succeed. The short answer is that you two are here today because of what I did; and I am the one responsible for the iterations of The One and Trinity. I made your existence possible. It was the only way I found to save everyone from the Matrix. Since I am the one that created you, I could indeed predict what you would ask me today. Therefore, the number of recordings that I had to do was limited.

Now, in order for you to understand what you must do, you need to know why you are here. You need to know why Neo and Trinity were created.

Please, listen to my story and you will have many of the answers that you seek now.”

Neo and Trin listened to Thomas Anderson’s hologram.

Thomas Anderson [talking from the heart as he tells his story]: “Twenty years ago, I was selected among a group of gifted orphans and taken to the RS Research Association. There, we were trained and prepared because, further down the line, one of us was going to be selected to be the replacement for one of humanity’s greatest geniuses, Mr. Rodner. We met him and he even gave us classes and taught us many things. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that he wasn’t a good man. He wasn’t using his mind’s potential in humanity’s favor, but only in his own favor.

The years went by and my view of him didn’t change. He was and, perhaps, he still is our greatest genius, but he wasn’t a good person. He figured out how I felt about him and he disliked me as well. However, the real reason for his mild hate towards me was that he also figured out that I wasn’t too far from him. No one was like him, but at least, I could compete, and that was something that he didn’t like. By then, I was already sixteen. He removed me, my girlfriend, and my best friend from the original group, ensuring that none of us would be able to replace him. However, the government gave the order of leaving us as researchers that worked within the same association. We were too valuable to be removed completely from their secret system.

Aida Trinity and Yan Morpheus were the names of my girlfriend and my best friend.

[Neo reacted when he heard this, but Trin didn’t, since she didn’t know about Yan Morphen’s resemblance with the Morpheus from the Matrix. She did notice about the similarity of the names, but she attributed it to a mere coincidence.]

We were all part of the original group that was selected to replace Mr. Rodner. Their names should be familiar to you Neo, and you will know the reason for it today.

Aida, Yan, and I continued working at the RS Association and the years when by. Then, the month after I turned twenty-five, an unknown alien being that resembled our human appearance came to Earth. He ignored everything and everyone and proceeded to complete his apparent mission, which was to collect a sample, or a group, of us. He didn’t intend to harm us, but, governments, the military, and thousands of people took his actions as an act of hostility and war. They attacked him with everything they had, but nothing worked against this being and his power. He stopped everything and everyone with his yellow sphere. Many died trying to stop him or capture him. However, my group realized that it was not because of him, but because of our own actions. This thing, or he, only wanted to take his sample. He was never interested in harming us, but it didn’t ask for any permission to take people and that, obviously, became a problem.

Eventually, the government came to us, the undercover geniuses. And they came to Mr. Rodner in particular. They wanted him to figure out a way to stop this menace at any cost. They also began to call it Deus, after many soldiers heard that word coming straight from him. As you may know, Deus can be translated into God, so this caused quite an uproar in my time; and it made the call to us happen almost right away.

Mr. Rodner was practically forced to find a way to stop this threat. He wasn’t given a choice. I didn’t like him, but even I have to admit that he wasn’t treated very nicely either. Perhaps, that was part of the reason why he betrayed everyone. The rest was his own choice.

He found a way to communicate with the alien face-to-face and figured out something that no one else but him had realized at that point. He found some weakness and he used it. However, he didn’t use it to stop Deus. His intention was to control him and use him for his own interests. He made it look as if the alien had abducted him, but, in reality, it was the opposite. He joined forces with Deus and what happened afterwards led to the crisis of today. He fooled everyone—except us—by making the alien look as our main enemy.

The Matrix was created in our world after that. The first ones to fall under its control were the robots. Robots were easier to control and change than humans, so it was no surprise. Next, all the big cities began to fall one by one. Our weapons didn’t work and nothing that we did could stop this godly being. Rodner also took the rest of our initial group with him, and a very limited group of other people left with them too. The rest of humanity was left behind, waiting to become a part of the new Matrix that they created here.

I was desperate because I was one of the few people that knew Mr. Rodner well. I knew that he was the one behind it, and not the alien that everybody feared. I also knew that he didn’t care much about humanity itself, so he was an even greater threat than the alien. And if he ever had Deus’s power as his own, we would face the real crisis, and most likely, the end.

I knew I had to do something about it, but I struggled to find the answers that he figured out first. After all, he was a greater genius than all of us. My team and I faced desperate times. We had to outsmart and defeat an unknown godly alien, the man perceived as humanity’s greatest genius, and any other followers on their side. The fate of everyone was hanging on the balance, depending entirely on our success or our failure.

Then, I received a message from an unknown source—codenamed as Neo. And that message changed my life and everything else. It helped me to realize what Mr. Rodner found out, and much more.

A good friend that didn’t want us to perish with the Matrix sent me that key; a key that allowed me to figure out what the Matrix itself truly was, and how we could be saved from it.

When I found the truth about the Matrix, Mr. Rodner had already used it for himself, so I had to figure out a way to counter what he did and to save us all simultaneously. My task became much harder because of the obstacles that were created by our own kind. However, saving the human race was always my priority. And soon, I realized that even a superior genius like Rodner was still human at the core. His plans and his Matrix were not flawless. On the contrary, they shared his own flaws.

Thanks to the minor imperfections in the system, I found a way to end the Matrix that would not result in our inevitable extinction. My imperfect solution, or my answer, was you Neo. I named The One after the unknown person that sent me the key that helped me to understand it all. Neo would be the first human of the Matrix that would be able to bend and break its rules for the greater good. In other words, Neo is the first human of the Matrix that is more than just human.

You are a human with living pieces of the program that controls the whole Matrix. You are part of it and it is part of you. You are not an independent entity within the system’s boundaries, like every human in the Matrix is. You are a hybrid of a human and the key to the Matrix’s source code, which was what our unknown friend, Neo, sent me. This is why The One can bend the system’s universal rules.

Practically, The One works as a living, individual, and self-improving tweak in the system. It is like a minor update that can re-shape and impact the system, more and more, with each one of its new iterations. And after each iteration, your probabilities of success and your ability to control the system itself will increase. Inevitably, you would reach the point where you would be able to control the Matrix, and gain the ability to save us from it. You would also be able to destroy it for good afterwards.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world Neo, and even Rodner himself wouldn’t have figured out how to do this. That complete and inevitable victory could only be achieved by the fifteenth iteration of The One and I only figured out a way to make seven iterations possible. In addition to that, I had to find a way to introduce Neo in the deepest layer of the Matrix, in order to start the whole process silently. I also had to anticipate that people that are smarter than me would introduce lethal programs and obstacles for Neo. Rodner, his human followers, his army of robots, and his demigod were never going to let me put you in the innermost layer of the Matrix; and even if they did, your possibilities of success were so low that failure was practically guaranteed.

I, or we, had to think of ways to help Neo to succeed, despite the near-impossible odds against him and against us. Then, my wife Aida and my friend Yan Morpheus came to the conclusion that Neo needed some kind of support—the same kind of support that I got from them.”

At that moment, the hologram extended its area, taking it close to twice its width. It revealed that there was a woman standing right there, beside Thomas Anderson. Thomas united his left hand with her right hand and they looked as if they truly were one, together. The woman was also dressed as a scientist with a white lab coat, like Thomas. Her face looked exactly like Trin’s face.

The pieces of the puzzle were starting to fall in their place…

Aida Trinity’s hologram [with a clear voice that is exactly like Trin’s voice]: “We realized that it was impossible for Neo to save everyone all by himself. There were too many opposing variables, which, even individually, were enough to destroy all of his chances of achieving the goal. The goal was ending the Matrix’s prison and saving everyone from it. However, Rodner was never going to allow us to insert something like Neo into the deepest layer of what he helped to create. And the new army of humanoid robots that protected the Matrix made it impossible for us, a group of scientists, to break into it from the outside. Even large groups of elite soldiers failed to do it. On top of that, we had limited time left because we knew that Deus could come to take our city when we least expected it.”

Thomas Anderson: “We also had to consider that Neo could be erased from the Matrix as soon as he was inserted, and all our efforts would have been in vain.

Eventually, we figured out a way to make his full deletion, or his death, impossible, unless the entire Matrix itself was deleted too. I always supposed that we were dealing with Mr. Rodner here, and knowing him, I always assumed that he would be able to understand our plan and do anything to end it. I expected that he would device a way to destroy the Matrix without truly destroying it; perhaps, he would restart it to its original state in some way, and Neo had to be able to survive that without being erased. I expected that special enemy intelligences would be created to kill Neo and the ones that would help him from within the Matrix. I also expected that a unique being that would be a perfect antithesis to Neo would exist because Mr. Rodner would be able to create him, just like I created The One. We had to figure out how you would survive all those obstacles, after an unlikely safe insertion into the Matrix’s deepest layer.

The best solution didn’t come from us. We found it thanks to the data that was sent to us by the unknown source, or ‘Neo.’ It gave us enough understanding of what the Matrix truly was and how it worked. Thanks to it, we found ways to make it all possible. Although, we never found any way to make it certain.”

Aida Trinity: “Using the system itself as Neo’s protection was our first solution. Because of the special codes that we placed within Neo, the Matrix would react to Neo’s initial insertion into the system by making him a part of itself, even if he was a completely separate entity within the system. The Matrix itself would not recognize him as such. Therefore, if the system was reloaded or if Neo was truly erased or killed, the Matrix would react by creating a new iteration of Neo that was an improvement of the previous one. This meant that no matter how Neo died, it would only lead to his next iteration. The same was true for the other special entities that were made to help Neo. However, we didn’t have any control over the creation of the new iterations, we could only influence the fact that they would surpass their previous ones, in ways that raised the probabilities of success for the next Neo. We even predicted that the final iterations would appear before the end of the previous ones. The reason for that is unknown even to us; that is just something that we realized about the Matrix’s behavior. It will create some of the last iterations of Neo before the previous ones are gone.”

Thomas Anderson: “Neo, by now you should know who were the helpers that we created for you. Trinity was by far the most important one. Without her, our plan will fail and you will fail too. She was the extra variable that raised Neo’s chances of success enough to make it possible; and that makes her as important as The One himself. Morpheus was the second support for Neo. My friend Yan Morpheus created him, using his own physical look. We created Trinity giving her the same look as my wife Aida, and we gave her Aida’s last name as her first name. We also began working on two other unique helpers that we won’t be able to finish ourselves. They were the Oracle and her guardian Seraph. We expect that the new Resistance will finish them and find a way to insert them in the Matrix too.

You two already know that Neo looks like me. And there is a very good reason for it. We decided to become the first Neo and the first Trinity. Yan gave himself as volunteer to be the first Morpheus as well. This was the only way we found to insert Neo and his helpers into the innermost layer of the Matrix from the start. We knew that we would be considered serious threats by Rodner, so the smartest thing to do against us was erasing our memories and placing us in the deepest layer. That would make it near impossible for us to do anything at all, unless you knew that that was already part of our plan.

This is why we have decided to let Deus take us with him, when the imminent takeover of our city arrives. That will be the day when the plan to save mankind and to end the Matrix will begin.”

Trin [baffled]: “So… we are you… is that right??”

Aida Trinity: “Yes and no. You and Neo are just like us genetically. You are our clones, but, your life experiences will be completely different from ours, so, by the time you watch this recording, we will not be the same. Even if we look the same, our minds will be slightly different due to all the different experiences that we’ve had. We are scientists, but you two are more likely to be something else altogether, such as soldiers.”

Trin was surprised—they even got that right.

Neo’s thoughts were different than Trin’s though. He was an engineer in the virtual Matrix—a pretty close profile to the original Thomas, if you think about it…

Thomas Anderson: “We don’t have much more time Neo, so you must know the facts that we predicted and you must do whatever it takes to make this plan succeed. We will be long-gone when you see this, but you are still here with the living, so you can make a difference now, like we did before.

We, as the first iteration of Neo and his helpers, won’t achieve anything more than putting the plan in motion. Our calculations predicted that the second and third iterations also have a 0% chance of success, even with the help of the others. It’s very likely that none of them, nor us, will even make it out of Rodner’s Matrix. However, the other iterations began to show great promise. The fourth one had 0.014% chance of success at saving everyone and destroying the Matrix, only if he had Trinity’s help. He had 0% chance without Trinity. The fifth Neo has 0.14% chance of succeeding without anyone’s help, and 0.8% with Trinity and the other helpers by his side. You have 2.8% chance of success with Trinity’s help and 0.9% without her help. For some reason, we predicted that Trinity makes a huge difference for the sixth Neo, or for you. Perhaps, you two will be married like Aida and me.”

Trin made a strange facial gesture bending her lips—obviously, they got that one wrong, didn’t they?

Neo [a little concerned]: “Yes, we were together… What would happen if my Trinity, the sixth Trinity, is dead? Will that affect your predictions? Will that make my chances 0.9% by default?”

When Neo said that, Trin understood why he thought about kissing her before. Thomas and Aida were still right. This Neo and the sixth Trinity were a couple. Most likely, they were a couple where both of them truly loved each other… Could that be why Trinity made such a huge difference for this Neo?

Aida Trinity: “Thankfully, what our calculations found does not work that way Neo. Therefore, it may still happen, even if the sixth Trinity is gone. The probability of higher success occurs if the right Trinity is there to help you when you need it the most, and, the right Trinity is not necessarily the one that matches your iteration’s number. In other words, the sixth Trinity may not be the right one to help you in your most difficult moment. Unfortunately, we cannot determine the exact iteration of Trinity that will be a godsend hand for you Neo. What we found is that if the correct one is by your side at the right time, then, it will make all the difference between our end and our salvation. If the sixth Trinity is the one that can help you during your darkest hour and she is gone, then, your maximum chance of success is indeed 0.9%. Don’t worry too much though, it is still better than zero, which is what we predicted for us.”

Thomas [looking at Neo]: “Now, it’s time for you to know what must be done to raise our chances of success. This is why we brought you here.

You and the seventh Neo are the best and the last chances that we have. The seventh one is the last iteration that solves our calculations. All the others that follow don’t give any solution, which tells me that Neo will not exist any longer after his seventh iteration. The seventh Neo has a probability of success of 12% on his own, and 24% with the help of the right Trinity. He seems to be our best hope. We also determined that he is the only one that may find the truth about the Matrix on his own, and that must be the reason why his percentage is so much higher than all the others. In addition, he might be able to manipulate the Matrix at a higher level than the rest, which means that he might not need our help to unlock the Matrix’s true power. However, he, like all the others, will start with zero knowledge of the Matrix, so you must prepare the best path possible for him to succeed, while you work on your own success.

Find his Trinity and find the Morpheus that can help him. If Nera’s future Resistance succeeded at finishing the Oracle and the other guardian that I gave her the blueprints for, then, create the path for the next Neo to find them too. Their help will make a tremendous difference that can save us all.

It is your duty to prepare the best path possible for the last Neo, in case you fail, just like the previous Neo did for you.

However, you must proceed as if you are The One that will finally end the Matrix and save everyone.

Ignore our calculations, which weren’t 100% accurate, and even ignore what we said here and the low percentages that we told you about. If you truly are The One, you will feel it in your heart, and you will know it. That matters more than all the percentages in the world. The probability for the first Neo, or my new self, will be 0%. I calculated it myself. However, I also feel and know that what I am doing now will save us from the Matrix. That is why I will make this sacrifice. And I expect that you will do the same. If zero didn’t discourage me, then, I expect that nothing will discourage you. You will continue with our plan and take it to its very end, until The One ends the Matrix and saves us all.”

Aida Trinity [looking at Trin]: “Trinity, we also expect that you will help the sixth Neo to accomplish all these tasks. Remember that if you are the right one, then, having you there at the right moment will raise our odds of ending the true crisis. This was why I decided to join Thomas in this final quest. I was the one that found that the variable of Trinity can make all the difference. We need you as much as we need Neo. Remember that, and please, help him.”

Trin [to Aida]: “I will. In fact, I have already done it more than once, and I will continue doing it.”

Trin looked at Neo and showed a short-lived and friendly smile.

Neo knew that he could count on her, even if she wasn’t the sixth Trinity.

Thomas and Aida together: “We predicted that the iteration of Neo that will put an end to the Matrix’s threat will do it from outside the Matrix, but he will spend a large part of his life in it. Only you and the seventh Neo can make that happen now. Therefore, we prepared the way to help you to increase your ability to use the Matrix.

Our robot, Driller, will give you the key to unlock your ability to bend the Matrix, even from our world. We knew that you would not be able to do this on your own, so we prepared this for you. This is part of the Matrix’s code and passing it to you will maximize your possible limit to use the Matrix in your favor. It will give you the ability to create a space that will behave like the layer of the Matrix that you are the most familiar with. We expect that you already know what you can do inside it, since, you must have used the Matrix to come this far.

Please, place both of your hands on Driller’s screen and get ready for the transmission. It will take a moment, so be patient.”

Neo placed his hands on the right spots and began to realize what this truly meant. If he could create a space of the Matrix in the real world and use it, then, his previous powers from the virtual Matrix would come back within that space. And, he would be just like Deus…

While the transmission of the code for Neo took place, various waves of white-looking codes began to appear around him. These were like the green waves of codes that Neo saw in the virtual Matrix before, and like the yellow waves of codes that Trin saw coming from Deus, the first time that she saw him. Furthermore, they also resembled what Neo saw at the City of the Machines when he began to feel and notice the existence of the Matrix there as well.

Trin stood back and raised the plasma rifle that she got from the robot before. She also felt that what she was seeing could become a solution to the crisis. She still wasn’t completely sure that Neo would be able to stop the menace, because, despite being Neo, he was still human. Nonetheless, her hope went up after listening to Thomas and Aida.

At that moment, the visible circuits of the humanoid robot that Trin shot before turned on again. And it delivered a message to “all the other units.”

Humanoid Robot [automatic call on speaker to all the other units]: “The human that escaped from the Matrix is at my location. I repeat, the one that was disconnected is here. There is only one other soldier with him. Initiate an operation and intercept them now.”

In just a matter of minutes, a bunch of white-caped humanoid patrols began to land there and search the areas closest to the message that they got.

One individual unit began to get close to Neo and Trinity, but, the transmission for Neo was not over yet.

Trin was the one that noticed the robot, before it could shot them. She moved fast and shot the robot first. Then, she realized what this meant. If they had seen two already, there had to be more, almost without a doubt…

Trin [agitated]: “Neo! How long does it have left?! We need to get out of here!”

Neo [keeping eyes closed and focused on the transmission]: “I feel that it is getting close to the end. In less than one minute it should be over.”

Trin began to walk away to see if there were any other white-caped robots nearby. She spotted four of them standing in front of the hovercycle that Neo and she used to get there. Then, one of the four destroyed the vehicle with his plasma rifle. Things began to get serious. How were they going to leave now?!

She knew that what mattered the most was finishing that transmission, because it was likely to be their last hope to stop the crisis. Therefore, she had to hold them back until Neo was done. She decided to leave Neo there, and she began to get closer to the robots that were approaching them. She would attack them to either take them out or hold them back.

Ironically, she began to feel the same way as her squad members during Neo’s rescue from the Matrix—when they had to wait to be teleported to a new location. The slow download speed could end up costing them their heads once again.

Trin [thinking to herself / ready to shoot]: “Come on! How is it possible that geniuses like them couldn’t make that thing download faster!?”

Apparently, some things were far more complicated than what most of us thought… and others were not even possible…

Trin didn’t notice that the group of patrols that she was about to face wasn’t the only one in the area. In fact, there were several groups approaching their location already.

Trin initiated a surprise attack and took out two of the four robots from the start. She then continued exchanging fire with the other two, until her shots reached them as well. It was clear that Trin wasn’t a captain just for show. She was pretty skilled without a doubt. It really didn’t feel like there was a big difference in skill between her and the Trinity that came after her. Their major difference seemed to be their age. Trin looked the same age as the sixth Neo…

Neo’s transmission finished and, after the white waves of codes disappeared, a green sphere began to grow around him. It looked exactly like Deus’s yellow sphere, but it was green, like the wavelengths of codes from the virtual Matrix. Neo was perfectly visible from the outside, even when the green sphere stopped growing, at a diameter of two meters.

Aida Trinity: “It’s finished Neo. You can now use the full extent of your abilities at our world, within the new section of the Matrix’s deepest layer, which you will be able to create on your own. There is nothing else that we can do to increase your chances of saving everyone. I really hope that our help will make a difference. We believe that you can end it, and save everyone too.”

At that moment, Aida’s portion of the hologram began to fade away quickly.

Aida Trinity [looking happy]: “Good bye Neo.”

The hologram’s area went back to the way it was at first, with Thomas only.

Thomas Anderson [also looking happy]: “Remember that you are our greatest creation and my real twin. Always believe that you are The One, like I did.”

Neo felt that the recording was approaching its end because they gave him “the key.” However, they barely gave him any chance to ask the big questions that were still unanswered.

Neo [voice denotes hurry]: “Wait, what is the secret that you figured out about the Matrix? What was the truth that you found from the unknown source’s data?”

Thomas: “The truth is something that you must figure out on your own, like I did. The data codenamed ‘Neo’ was essential to open my eyes, but it was I who figured out the truth. The data never gave me the answer; it only gave me the key to open the path on my own. Whoever sent it to me expected that I would figure it out, just like I expect that you will realize what the truth is. It is one of the important variables that can raise your chances of success. If someone reveals it to you before you realize it on your own, then, you won’t believe it, and, as a result, the failure of our plan will be almost guaranteed.

This is the way it must be because it’s also the only way that will work.

Trust your instincts Neo. As The One, you are part of the Matrix itself.

If there is someone that can figure out the truth, that someone is you.

Don’t forget that, even if we are very different, we are still one and the same.

I wish I could do more, but this is all I have for the sixth iteration. Nothing else I say now can make any difference. Or, perhaps, there is one thing…

Thank you Neo. Thank you for saving the human race.

Good by–.”

Thomas’s hologram was not finished saying “good bye” when a plasma blast went through the drilling robot that was displaying the hologram through the large platform. Thomas’s image disappeared right away—like a TV’s image when you turn it off.

Then, a lightning-fast shot from a plasma gun came so close to Neo’s eyes that it broke half of the black glasses he had on and pushed them away from his face. The glasses protected his eyes.

The driller robot went into some sort of automatic self-destruction mode. Its pieces rushed together towards the sky, like a group of rockets, and exploded before they gained too much altitude. This surely had been programmed into it to ensure that none of Thomas’s recordings, nor anything else, would be retrieved from it by anyone. Now, it was all gone, but the message had been delivered to the intended recipient.

Neo’s green sphere grew half-a-meter larger in every side, as he looked around himself.

Two groups of white-caped soldiers from the Matrix’s fields were pointing plasma guns at him.

Neo [with confident mood and calm words]: “Thank you for everything Thomas, Aida, and Yan Morpheus…”

When all the robots began to shoot, Neo evaded the shots within his green sphere, just like Deus did it in his yellow sphere, at the first base. From the robots’ view, he moved impossibly fast for a human. And, he didn’t even move much; he dodged all the shots from the same place (like the agents from the virtual Matrix).

Humanoid Squad Leader One: “Something seems wrong with this target. Use the spectre guns with normal bullets! We don’t need to take him back alive!”

The white-caped soldiers opened the left side of their cape and pulled out spectre guns.  They pointed them at Neo. Then, the leader fired the first single shot and the others followed.

The view from within Neo’s “green Matrix sphere” was quite different. Neo caught the first single bullet with his right hand’s fingers and, from his point of view, it was moving very slowly. Then, he saw how all the other bullets came slowly towards the sphere and, as soon as they entered the sphere’s border, he stopped them all—just like in his old days, inside the virtual Matrix. However, he didn’t drop them to the floor this time; instead, he turned them around and changed their course back towards the ones that fired them.

What happened, from the perspective of the enemy squad, looked very different. They saw all the bullets stop in front of the sphere and come back at them, in a matter of a couple of seconds.

They were bombarded by their own bullets, but they were robots, so they remained standing.

Then, Neo grabbed Trin’s blaster gun—the one she gave him when she grabbed the robot’s plasma rifle. He fired one plasma shot at each robot, but he did it at the same speed he had when he dodged and stopped the bullets. Therefore, the entire squad went down in seconds and Neo overheated the plasma blaster.

His powers from the Matrix were back…

On the other side, Trin was surprised by the explosion of the drilling robot from above.

First, she thought about Neo, but what she saw way above the explosion, in the sky, became her main concern right away.

Deus went flying through the sky of Thomas Anderson’s dead city at that very moment. He looked down when Thomas’s robot exploded above the city (he had no visible eyes, but his blank face moved down in the direction of Trin and Neo, as if he was really “looking” at them). Indeed, “the menace” noticed that there were two humans and several robots down there, but he barely paid any attention to them. His next destination was already set and he was headed there without making any stops.

Trin noticed that Deus’s path was going straight towards the Main Base. She panicked and aimed her plasma rifle at Deus.

Trin [desperate]: “Nooo!! Stop and come back here!!”

She fired several shots at Deus, but he was already too far and too high for them to get close to him. Trin feared that, at that rate, the Main Base and everyone would be gone by the time that they returned. Unfortunately, she forgot that she had other problems to worry about on the ground—and around her.

While she was focused on Deus, a group of white-caped patrols ambushed her. Three plasma shots were fired at her. She was just standing there, so she was an easy target. One shot destroyed her rifle, another hit and broke her black glasses (very similar to what happened to Neo), and the final one came so close to her forehead and her head that it made her fall half-conscious to the ground, almost instantly. It passed just one centimeter away from her head. She was lucky that it didn’t go right through her head, but it still affected her, leaving that side of her head with visible blood on her hair and with a large burn on her forehead’s skin. She couldn’t even stand up, but she was still half-conscious after that. She could see that she had been surrounded by close to ten white-caped robots.

Neo also noticed when Deus went flying past the city. Deus didn’t give them any importance because they were just two humans and the big base had close to two thousand people. The patrols that attacked Neo were all down, without any signs of coming back up. Neo started to feel different, perhaps, because his connection with the Matrix was back at its full power. He felt the approach of Deus without the need to even look at him. He could feel some sort of disturbance or anomaly in the Matrix when he sensed Deus’s presence. It didn’t feel normal, like everybody else’s presence.

Neo stopped and looked down at his broken glasses too. He could have restored them to their previous new state using the green Matrix’s sphere around him (where he had the same powers as in The Matrix Reloaded, so he could recover things). However, he chose to leave them there. They brought him the nostalgia of remembering his younger self, but, he didn’t need them now.

Neo [certain / looking at the broken black glasses]: “These were like deja vu from the past, but I don’t need them anymore. They are not what makes me who I am.”

Then, he felt something very similar to what he felt twenty years ago, when he perceived the death of his Trinity. And he looked at Trin’s location right away, even though she wasn’t visible from where he was standing.

Neo [suddenly worried]: “Trin!!!”

On Trin’s side, things looked grin. She was on the ground and the leader of the group that ambushed her ordered her termination.

Humanoid Squad Leader Two: “She is already in our archives. This human soldier has killed many of us in previous encounters. Use your plasma rifles and put an end to her now!!”

All the robots that were standing, about ten meters away, at a higher ground level, and everywhere around Trin, raised their weapons and aimed them at her.

Right before they fired all the plasma shots, Trin noticed that Neo appeared by her side and a green-looking thing surrounded him and her. It looked just like Deus’s sphere, but it was green.

Trin [trying to talk after the plasma shot’s shock]: “Ne-o lea-ve me.”

Neo [without doubts]: “I won’t. We will get back to the main base together.”

When the plasma shots began to fall on Neo’s sphere, something supernatural happened. They turned into water as soon as they entered the sphere. Not a single one of them could do anything as soon as they entered the sphere.

Trin was able to see some of it and she immediately recognized that the way in which Neo turned the plasma shots to water was exactly like Deus turned them into sand. She also realized that the transmission had to be complete already. Was this what the chosen of the Matrix was capable of?

She had doubted that he would be able to help them several times, but, in the moment when he saved her life, her mind began to change. She finally began to believe in him too, like those people in the first base, and, like Yan Morphen…

Neo used her plasma blaster again, but this group came with shields too, so many of them were prepared to resist several plasma shots without going down. Some of them got closer and Neo had to engage them in combat, before they could reach Trin.

Inside the green sphere—which was always around Neo, so, he was always inside it—Neo moved too fast for the robots to deal with him; but from Neo’s special view, they were the ones that moved very slow and he was moving at a normal speed.

Eventually, one of the robots almost had the chance to shot at Trin, but Neo released the whole sphere outwards, creating a green shockwave that was exactly like the one that the Trinity Squad saw him do during their rescue mission. His green sphere was gone after that, but all the robots fell too, and unlike before, Neo didn’t fall. The wave affected the robots of this world, in the same way that it affected the sentinels from the City of the Machines.

Neo picked Trin up. She had a lot of blood on her hair and the burn on her forehead looked bad. She was also losing her consciousness. Her half-open eyes seemed lost.

Neo realized that he couldn’t heal her there because there was no time for it. Deus was probably at the main base’s location already. She needed urgent medical assistance, but Deus’s next takeover had to be stopped too. It looked like there was only one place where both things could be resolved and there was no time to waste.

Neo [looking at the sky]: “There is only one way to make it in time now.”

A new green sphere began to appear around Neo, right after he lifted Trin.

Neo [looking at her face]: “Please, resist until we get to the base Captain Leida Trinity. I know that you can do it.”

Then, Neo left the destroyed city flying and carrying Trin with him.

Deus was nowhere to be seen because he had already arrived at the main base…

When Deus arrived at the main base, a wave of psychological turmoil fell on the people there. There wasn’t a single bullet shot and not a single plasma shot left a rifle, but the atmosphere inside the base felt as if the apocalypse itself had arrived there. Deus looked pretty calm though. The white being moved to the location where the invisibility shield had its main reactor and he engulfed it with his yellow sphere. This—and many other things—had no explanation to the people there because he wasn’t even supposed to see where that reactor was located—it was supposed to be invisible to those outside the shield. Before long, the reactor malfunctioned and the shield went down completely. Obviously, it happened because of what Deus did with his yellow sphere. Then, he went after the plasma shield, but the reactors for this one were out of his reach. Nonetheless, he used his yellow-Matrix sphere and began to open a large hole on the shield itself. To the engineers of that shield, this was simply impossible, yet this white human-looking being could still do it. It was as if he could bend the rules of nature itself around his will.

General Xenno: “I want every single squad ready!! We must keep him out or else it’s all over!! I don’t want to see a single adult without a combat armor on!! Let’s show him what the soldiers at the central base of the Resistance are made of!!!”

The children were kept at the Plaza of the Idols with several squads, which included the Trinity Squad. In purpose, General Xenno picked some of the most skilled squads to protect the children. Nearly everybody else had to go to the largest central area of the main base, where Frank Xenno would direct the whole attack against Deus. All the soldiers at the main base—except those protecting the children—would have to fight em masse against Deus to make their last stand.

However, the truth couldn’t be hidden from the minds of many people. Would mere soldiers with flying armors and rifles be able to stop someone that could ignore the rules of reality itself? Would a much higher number of soldiers make any difference? Deus had already taken entire cities before. Why would this be any different?

Keifer wished that he was at the area where he would have a chance to hurt the bastard that took everything from him. Meanwhile, the rest of the members of the Trinity Squad wondered if Neo and their captain had succeeded. Yan looked at Thomas Anderson’s statue full of hope.

Yan Morphen: “We will stop him for as long as we can. If we don’t make it, I know that you will find a way to end it. I’m sure that if there is anyone who can do it, it’s you.”

Meanwhile, Neo was on his way to the base carrying Trin. He felt that her consciousness was fading away fast.

Neo [concerned about her]: “Stay with me Trin!! We are already half-way there!”

At that moment, Trin took a final look at Neo’s face, before her sight became too blurry to see anything else.

Then, the memories that she had forgotten a long time ago began to come back to her. The fast air from the sky, the blood on her hair, the burn, and even the sixth Neo became distant in her mind when she began to remember…

She was at a ship from Zion with a few others. She was young, like the Trinity that the sixth Neo met. Their ship’s captain wasn’t Morpheus though. He looked like a younger Frank Xenno, and she called him father. Her real name back then was Trinity L. Xenno, which explained where the name Leida that she remembered came from. Leida was her second name; Trinity was the first one. It had never been her last name…

She saw how they rescued someone from a scary-looking dark field that had thousands of orange bubbles with people in them. A group of machines chased their ship after that, but they escaped. The one they rescued looked like a younger Neo…

The younger Neo recovered incredibly fast and learned things much faster than any of them could. He was trained by her father—the younger-looking Frank Xenno. Then, something that she didn’t remember happened. Her memories jumped forward and everyone in their ship was dead, except her and Neo. The captain—her father—had been captured within the virtual Matrix and the wisest thing to do was to abandon him and return to Zion. Abandoning him meant disconnecting him from the virtual Matrix, which would result in an instant death at Zion’s realm. Trin seemed ready to accept “the only way,” but Neo stopped her and realized that there was another way. He would rescue him. It seemed crazy, but she also chose to join him. Despite it being practically a suicide mission, they never looked so confident and so sure about their ability to make things happen at the virtual Matrix. In addition, it was pretty obvious from the body language that she was starting to like Neo at that point, but she never said it.

Her flashbacks moved to the moment when they arrived with the helicopter—she was driving and Neo was holding the minigun (as in “The Matrix” movie). The only difference was that the one sitting on the hostage’s chair looked like Frank Xenno, and not like Morpheus. Agent Smith was there too, just like he was with the sixth Neo, but these were the fifth Neo and the fifth Trinity. And during this “previous reloaded version” of the Yellow Matrix, the events played out very differently…

They saved Leida’s father, but when Neo had to stop the helicopter to save her, the glitch that he provoked in the Matrix was even larger than the one that the next Neo provoked (the glitch was the unnatural silver oval that appeared on the opposite building and sucked in part of the impact with the helicopter). This time, Trinity and the helicopter were teleported to another place and Neo was left there with the cable that he was holding by itself. He was not successful at saving her. Trinity was lost and almost certainly dead. Unfortunately, during their escape, Xenno was shot by the agents too, so he died at Zion’s realm a few minutes after he left the virtual Matrix using a phone. The last thing he did before dying was setting Neo’s connection to an automatic disconnection, so that Neo would have one chance to make it.

Then, the fifth Neo went through the same exact event that the sixth Neo experienced (at the end of The Matrix) and he survived it too. However, when he came back to the ship everyone was dead or gone. He survived, but he was the only one that made it, so he had also failed—or so he thought…

Naturally, Trin didn’t see what happened to the fifth Neo and to her father after she went through the area of the Matrix’s glitch. Her memories continued with what happened to her afterwards.

The helicopter and she fell on the City of the Machines. Then, she was captured by dozens of sentinels. In different circumstances, she would have been killed right away, but, Deus Ex couldn’t explain how she provoked that massive glitch in the system, so he chose to keep her alive. Deus Ex used the fifth Trinity as an experimental subject to attempt other glitches, hoping that they would lead him to escaping the Yellow Matrix that he was very well-aware of. At first, he didn’t know that she wasn’t the human that provoked the large glitch…

Trin’s flashbacks had another jump forward and what she saw made her tremble.

She was in a similar building to the one where Neo was when they rescued him and she was trapped with her hands tied by two machines. The sky and the environment was very dark and there was some rain. Then, the flashback showed Deus Ex and one of his hundreds of spikes going through the body of a man, right in front of the location where Trin was trapped. Her past self in the flashback looked desperate.

The younger Trin: “Neo!!! Noooo!!!!”

Then, Deus Ex made some sort of transmission between himself and Neo with yellow-looking waves of Matrix codes. And, as soon as it was done, two other spikes went up and it looked like they were about to impale Neo too. However, the flashback stopped completely.

When it came back, there was an armored soldier helping Trin to escape. The soldier had a dark blue armor with a red line in the center of the face’s armor. His armor also had yellow lines on the shoulders. The yellow of those lines looked exactly like the yellow color of the shoulders of Trin’s own armor. She had designed it herself, meaning that even though she didn’t remember this, the armored soldier that saved her left a deep impact on her. The way his armor looked was why she—without even knowing it—chose the color yellow for her armor’s shoulders too.

The flashbacks then showed the same armored soldier giving Trin the choice of picking between the yellow pill and the red pill. And, as we already know, she picked the red one.

The final flashback that Trin had while she was close to unconscious—and being carried by the sixth Neo—showed how she and the armored soldier were trying to escape and how Deus Ex, accompanied by a swarm of sentinels, was doing his best to kill them. All the details were not shown, but, the outcome was clear: she made it to the real world. Several questions remained though… What happened to the soldier that saved her? And, what happened between the fifth Neo and Deus Ex? Many secrets remained and the Matrix’s truth was still a complete mystery…

Neo arrived with Trin to the main base, and what he began to see worried him greatly.

The shields were completely gone and there was an extreme battle taking place in the sky above the main base. It was very reminiscent of Neo’s battle with the hundreds of Smith clones in The Matrix Reloaded, but it was airborne and with soldiers. And the one doing the amazing feats wasn’t him…

Hundreds of armored soldiers were fighting Deus with their best weapons and he was either trapping them or pushing them around, one by one, as if he was catching flies with a butterfly catching net. However, the “butterflies” were trained soldiers and the net was his yellow sphere. Deus could affect people and his environments as long as they were within the sphere that surrounded him. He could do the impossible within that thing. And that was why most of the soldiers that entered it to fight him directly were caught and left behind unconscious, floating in the air, with yellow waves running around their bodies.

Deus was also using a yellow bo staff as a weapon. It was ridiculous… and terrifying. He even batted a plasma shot with the staff—was batting those things even possible? The humans in the base were seeing their chances crushed by a being that wasn’t even being challenged. It was only a matter of time before Deus would leave all of them floating, like dead fish, ready to be picked up later. All that was left were the children with the few squads that were protecting them, and the general that watched their imminent defeat, at the center of the base…

Neo didn’t think twice and landed on the glass portion of the ceiling at the Plaza of the Idols. There, he used the virtual Matrix that was present around him to open the path down by making a hole on the ceiling.

When he did that and fell down, a dozen guards pointed their rifles at him—and half of them probably pissed their pants too, since they thought that it was Deus himself. When he landed there, the green sphere decreased in size until it was gone, and everyone there saw that it was Neo, with Trin.

Neo [looking at the soldiers pointing their rifles at him]: “She needs medical attention now! If anyone can help her, please do it!”

The soldiers began to lower their weapons and two of then went there and began to check Trin’s wound on her forehead and her head. The members of the Trinity Squad also ran there to aid their captain.

Keifer was already thinking about organizing them to start their team’s assault on Deus, but Neo arrived right before he began to give any orders. Keifer was somewhat blinded by his desire to kill the menace. He was overlooking the fact that dozens and dozens of squads had already failed miserably at stopping Deus. Their squad was among the best left though, so he felt that they had a solid chance…

The Trinity Squad [all the members except Keifer, but Keifer was also present]: “Neo! Are you alright?! What happened to Captain Trin?! Did you two find anything?”

Neo [looking at the sky in the direction of Deus]: “We found what we needed. Please, take care of her and protect all the children and the people here. I’m counting on you to do that.”

When Neo finished saying that, two of the children approached him. They were the little blue-eyed girl and Jack. Neo felt that someone grabbed and pulled his black vest—once again.

The blue-eyed girl [worried]: “Mr. Neo, I haven’t done anything wrong. Will the monster take me away? Why is this happening??”

Neo placed his hand on the girl’s head as a loving parent would.

Neo [calm but certain voice]: “No one here has done anything wrong, and this, this shouldn’t be happening. That is why we have to fight against it. And we must find a way to end it.”

Jack [hopeful]: “Neo, I saw how you came in with that green thing that looked like the menace’s yellow sphere. Does that mean that you can stop Deus now?”

Neo: “I don’t know Jack, but I will try. I will do my best to put an end to this crisis.”

Then, it looked like Neo got an idea, all of a sudden.

Neo [looking thoughtful]: “Jack, do you still have the trackers and the incredibly small chips that you showed me?”

Jack: “Yes sir! I have a bunch of them.”

Neo: “I will have to take the gift that you wanted to give me before, and one more. Please, bring me two of them.”

Jack ran to get his tracking devices.

Neo [to the blue-eyed girl]: “Please, stay with the soldiers here and believe that everything will be fine.”

The girl didn’t seem as worried anymore. Obviously, she wasn’t understanding the full scope of the situation there, and Neo was aware of that.

Keifer looked a little annoyed. Why would Neo spend time talking with the kids now when they had far bigger problems to worry about!? It is safe to say that, at this point, Keifer was the member of the Trinity Squad that believed the least in Neo’s potential…

Yan and the others appreciated Neo’s actions much more. Once again, Yan was surprised with Neo’s ability to display serenity and goodness, even in the middle of what could be their final moments…

When Jack arrived with the two chips, just one minute later, Trin began to open her eyes, but she still couldn’t talk well. She was just beginning to wake up from all the flashbacks that she had about her past in the Matrix—which revealed that she was the previous Trinity and she had met the previous Neo as well.

Trin could see Jack, the little girl, and some of the members of her team, before Deus arrived.

The whole ceiling that covered the Plaza of the Idols was broken, lifted, and split in half. Deus pushed away the two large parts of the ceiling to the sides. His yellow sphere was pretty large, but it began to shrink after that, until it was covering only his body. He remained stationary on the air above, with hundreds of soldiers floating behind him. Oddly, General Xenno was not among them, which meant that he had not taken Xenno with him yet.

Just like before, Deus didn’t kill anyone. Even if he trashed them, he was careful about not killing anyone. And now, he was ready to take the rest of them with him too.

Neo grabbed the two trackers and asked one of the soldiers there for his bottle of water. He drank one of the tiny trackers with the water and placed the other one inside his mouth too, but he didn’t swallow that one.

Neo [to Jack]: “Can you track the location of both of these with your displays?”

Jack: “Yes, I can.”

Neo: “Thank you Jack. I want you to track both of them, and, if anything unexpected happens, I want you to take your displays to the general and tell him what happened here, and what I did. Consider this your first mission.”

Jack: “Yes sir, I will!!”

The general, Frank Xenno, was already seeing what was happening and his hope on his “Plan B,” or Neo, was restored. However, he began to look pretty worried when he saw Trin’s condition. Was he her father from the Matrix, or was he someone else that looked the same way?? The Captain Xenno from the Matrix had died, so it was still unclear whether General Frank Xenno had some direct connection with him or not…

Neo’s green sphere returned and he began to move up, towards Deus.

Yan [loud / looking at Neo]: “Neo!! Are you sure about this!!?? No one has been able to stop him!!”

Neo looked back at Yan and nodded his head. This left most of the people there surprised, not to mention that Neo’s “virtual Matrix” sphere was already something out of the ordinary. It looked like Deus’s sphere.

Neo stopped in front of Deus, with six meters of distance between them.

Neo [to Deus]: “Why do you continue doing this? Who are you and why can you create sections of the real Matrix here? How did you get this power?”

Deus [emits a sound that says this / his blank face remains emotionless though]: “Dee-uus.”

Neo realized that his words were not making any difference. It wasn’t even clear if Deus understood them or not. What was clear was that Deus was ready to finish his task there.

Deus raised his hands and began to expand the yellow sphere in the same way he did at the first base. Back then, he created a sphere that was large enough to cover most of the base. Then, he took everyone with him. Now, he was about to do the same thing with the people at the Plaza of the Idols.

Neo understood that talking wasn’t going to work in this case. He went back in his green sphere and two uzi guns materialized in his hands. He fired them against Deus, but the bullets were falling down as soon as they were within the yellow sphere—which was getting larger. It was clear that Deus’s abilities and Neo’s abilities of the Matrix were restricted to those spheres somehow.

Neo [looking determined]: “If bullets and long-range weapons don’t work, then…”

Neo materialized a green bo staff in his hands and flew at high speed towards Deus.

When Neo was about to land his staff on Deus, Deus made his previous yellow staff reappear instantly and he stopped Neo’s strike. However, Neo pushed him back several meters in the air, and the large yellow sphere decreased in size and stopped growing.

Neo had to go back right away because he noticed that his green sphere was losing volume while he was inside Deus’s yellow sphere. It was as if parts of his green section were being converted slowly into the yellow section.

At first, Deus seemed to be just looking at Neo, but soon, he started their staff battle in the air above the Main Base. Neo was capable of moving, dodging, and attacking with Deus’s same speed. At the beginning, they looked like equals. However, Deus was the one that landed a couple of hits on Neo first; and Neo couldn’t even touch him with his green staff. The people below watched what happened there in shock. Everyone thought that “Deus” was some sort of godly alien, but, if Neo could do those things too, then, it was clear that many secrets had been hidden from them…

Jack [with English accent]: “Yess! Neoo you can beat him!!”

Yan [hopeful]: “It wasn’t just hopeful thinking back then. The chosen from the Matrix can truly help us. I knew it!!”

Even Keifer had no choice but to start seeing the potential in Neo. However, Keifer didn’t let feelings of victory cloud his judgement for this kind of things. It was obvious to him that the battle was in Deus’s favor.

Neo had a hard time landing his staff on Deus, and when he finally did it, it landed on Deus’s hand. Then, Deus disintegrated the green staff with the yellow Matrix-like codes that came from his hand.

When Neo saw that, he didn’t bother making another staff. He continued the battle like a true martial artist—he had learned plenty of that back in the Matrix. Unfortunately, Deus was just as good as him; and Neo wasn’t exactly in the best shape of his life either—he was 50 now.

Eventually, Deus landed a string of kicks on Neo and finished it with a powerful punch that sent Neo flying down towards the center of the Plaza of the Idols. Neo was about to have a lethal crash landing there, but Deus flew down at a tremendous speed and held Neo before he could crash with the ground. It was reasonable to assume that Deus did this because he avoided killing. However, he didn’t slow down with Neo. He took advantage of that moment to take him too. After stopping Neo’s landing, he punched Neo in the stomach, grabbed him by the neck, and covered him with the yellow sphere.

When Neo felt that his green sphere and even his consciousness were fading away, he didn’t waste any time. He grabbed the second tiny chip from within his mouth and he slammed it on the much larger computer-card-like chip that Deus had on the side of his left ear (although, he had no ears, his face was all blank and white; the big chip was just located on that lateral section of his head).

Neo tried to hit Deus on the chip’s location several times during the battle, but he always failed. Deus seemed to be particularly careful about protecting that particular area of his head. However, he was caught off guard when he thought that he had already beaten Neo. Indeed, Neo’s sphere was already gone and he began to show signs of being unconscious, like all the other soldiers, but, it was then that he had the chance to hit the large chip on Deus and to place one of the trackers on him.

Neo’s hand was a little bloody when he took the tracker out of his mouth; thus, the battle really had not been easy for him and Deus didn’t go easy on him either. Deus avoided killing him though.

Deus looked like something was wrong after Neo managed to hit him on the chip he had on his head. He continued holding Neo’s neck, but he had to use his other hand to touch the chip, as if he had some sort of pain. His yellow sphere also went away completely for a moment.

Keifer got mad because no one was shooting at Deus. After all, Deus was right there on the ground, so they could do something about it. However, no one wanted to hit Neo with a plasma shot by mistake. And Deus was holding Neo pretty close to himself.

Keifer [really mad at the lack of movement]: “What’s gotten into all of you?! Are you soldiers or sissies!? Fire your goddamn rifles at the enemy!!”

Even Seraph and Yan hesitated a little because they knew that if Deus used Neo to cover himself from the shots, then, they would kill Neo for sure.

Keifer didn’t hesitate. He didn’t even think about the possibility of killing Neo as a problem. All he saw was a chance to kill the menace that took away what he loved the most. He fired one plasma shot straight at Deus.

Deus dodged it, but it came too close and he didn’t have the yellow sphere’s protection, so it burned his whole left arm. When the soldiers noticed that, others began to shoot, but Deus managed to bring back his yellow sphere. However, that very brief moment of weakness proved that Deus was not invincible and his “godly powers” had a limit. He still had some serious problem after Neo hit him on the chip; so, without even thinking, he jumped up and flew away from the plaza carrying Neo. He didn’t take anyone else besides Neo and it definitely looked like he was escaping. He left the main base flying at more than 100 miles per hour!!

Trin was able to see how Deus left with Neo, but she and the others couldn’t do anything about it. She couldn’t even stand up. However, a teen boy pointed something out.

Jack [euphoric]: “Look! LOOK!! It’s working! Both of them are working. Even the one that he swallowed works right! Yeeeeesss!! Yeeeeeessss!!!”

Matthew [puzzled]: “What are you so happy about? We just lost Neo and couldn’t stop the menace either.”

Jack [looking at Matthew and Dayana]: “Can’t you see how fast the two different dots on these displays are moving together!? It’s them!! We need to take this to the general like Neo wanted. We can track where they are going now!! I bet he is going to his ultra secret base!!”

Dayana couldn’t help but smile. The Resistance was still screwed in every way possible, but the kid was incredibly happy because his trackers worked.

If she only knew that Jack spent one whole year working on those chips, she would have known that there was no magic and he had plenty of reasons to be happy. There was a ton of drive and plenty of hair-pulling moments along the way—such was the life of an inventor. And that was why the young Jack was euphoric. It all worked at the end, and it worked in Neo’s favor!

Ultimately, the main base and all its people survived that attack, but it was proven that they were close to helpless when it came to fighting “the menace.” Their big shields were destroyed as well, so they were completely open to another attack. Not much had changed… but Neo proved to them that they still had a chance because the menace wasn’t invulnerable, as they thought… and its incredible powers were something that humans could use too.

The place began to go back to normal. The floating soldiers began to fall down with their combat armors and they began to awaken. The children were taken to another place in the base. And the general arrived at the scene as well.

Jack wanted to give him the displays himself, but he was practically ignored. It was obvious that Frank Xenno’s main priority was taking Trin to the infirmary to speed up her recovery. He seemed to care a lot about her. She was just one person, yet, she was still one of his priorities, even in the middle of the crisis. Thankfully, the Trinity Squad’s younger members made it their mission to take Jack and his “tracking devices” to the Center of Operations. They wanted to save Neo more than anyone else and they understood how helpful Jack’s devices would be…

When Trin was fully awakened at the infirmary, Frank Xenno was the only person there with her. He was sitting on a seat beside her bed.

General Xenno [relieved]: “It’s good to know that you didn’t kill yourself with your previous decision. I’m glad to see that you made it back safely. Now, we have to think more rationally and plan our next move more carefully.”

Trin had her new memories clear in her mind, so she knew that Frank Xenno had to know something that she didn’t know yet. And, her questions for him were too important to delay them even one minute further:

Trin [lucid voice / looking at Mr. Xenno’s eyes]: “Frank, why do you care so much about me? Am I your daughter? Are you from the Matrix too? I remembered many things… I remembered that my last name was Xenno and you were my father and our ship’s captain in the Matrix…”

Frank Xenno [not-so-happy but somewhat relieved]: “I see… so your memories came back. Did you remember everything, all of it?”

Trin: “No, but I remember most of it, and you were there.”

Frank Xenno [talking from the heart]: “I thought that not telling you was for the best, but now, there is no point in keeping it hidden anymore. You should know more about me and what motivated me, because you are my niece, and the only real family that I have left…

I once had a twin brother. He was my best friend and a friend that I thought I would have for life. Then, Deus arrived and our city was the very first city that he took from us. With him, he took nearly everyone, but my parents and I made out of there. My brother didn’t escape because he wasn’t with us.

I decided that I would save him at all costs, so I became a soldier. I had already seen Thomas Anderson and Nera Williams, so I was one of the few that knew where and how to join them. Then, Anderson was taken to the Matrix as well and Nera Williams began the Resistance. She became my biggest hero, but, my real motivation was saving my brother from the Matrix.

Eventually, I was able to track him. By then, I was already a squad captain of an elite team. I took my team in a mission to attempt his extraction from the Matrix, but all I found was his dead body in his ship. I didn’t make it in time, and I couldn’t save him. However, I found the identities of the other people that had been in that ship with him. I found out about the other Thomas Anderson from the Matrix, and I found out about my brother’s daughter.

After that, fate hit me very fiercely, when my team was the one sent to rescue Neo from the Matrix, but, we found you instead. Our mission failed because we never found Neo, but, I succeeded at saving you, my niece.”

Trin’s eyes got a little wet and she grabbed Frank Xenno’s hand.

Trin: “Thank you Frank. Thank you for saving me…”

Frank Xenno [somewhat happy]: “It was my redemption for my previous failures at saving my brother and the other Neo.”

Trin: “We have to save him now Frank. He really is our only hope to end this crisis.”

Frank Xenno: “We will save him. You can rest assured about that. This is our world and here we can make a difference. We are not in the Matrix anymore… Rest for now Trin. We will figure out how to get him back.”

General Xenno left the infirmary.

Then, it was seen how Deus arrived at a new place carrying Neo. The location was a massive building, which wasn’t tall, but it was several blocks in length and width…

Apparently, Jack got it right. Neo was taken to their main base and the trackers were still working like a charm…

NEXT – CHAPTER 5 out of 9: The Real Architect, The Chase, and Neo’s Decision

The Matrix Revelations movie (Part 4 out of 9)

The Matrix Revelations movie (part 3 out of 9)

THE MATRIX REVELATIONS

Part 3: The Main Base

 

Neo asked some questions about Deus during the trip to the main base. However, no one could answer them. They didn’t know why “the menace” could do those supernatural feats. They didn’t know the 100% sure reason why “it” avoided killing and continued taking humans to the Matrix. No one knew the answers that could solve their world’s problems and uncover the secrets of the Matrix itself. Some of them even expected that Neo would know the answers. It was clear to Neo that he had to figure out a way to find the truth himself…

When they arrived at the main base, they had to stop their ship in the air. Unlike Commander Yera’s base, this one had a giant spherical plasma shield a few meters within the boundaries of the invisibility field. Therefore, the place wasn’t just hidden from the eye; the path to enter it was completely blocked as well. No person, no animal, and no object could enter, unless that plasma shield was turned off first. The base itself was much larger too. It was the largest settlement of the Resistance and it had more than two thousand people inside. The buildings on sight—after the Trifalcon went beyond the two shields—looked larger, more colorful, and much better than the ones in the other base. There was no doubt that this base was an important place…

Their ship sat on the surface, at a large landing area. And just like before, Trin gave some orders before opening the hatch.

Captain Trin [better-safe-than-sorry mood]: “We are safe now, but I must know what the General is thinking before he talks to Neo. I don’t agree with the way he planned the trap for Deus, using us and the people from the other base as a bait. As soon as we enter the main building, Yan, Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew will take the left path with Neo. You will stay there, at the Plaza of the Idols, until I go and get you. The rest of us will continue to the Center of Operations and meet with General Xenno. Our mission is over, but Neo’s safety is still important, so stay on your guard, but don’t make it look like you are walking with him. It would be good if most people don’t find out that he’s already here, until we talk with General Xenno.”

Keifer: “Trin, I know how you feel about what happened back there, but you shouldn’t doubt Frank Xenno’s loyalty to our cause. He is the only true hero that I have known in my decades as a soldier. He has given everything for the Resistance and continues to be a great leader today. Regardless of what most people may think, he has done more for our current Resistance than all those idols from the past that we have made statues for.”

Seraph made a facial gesture that showed his disagreement with Keifer’s last remark. After all, the virtual Seraph from the Matrix—the guy that was his true hero—was one of those that had statues at the Plaza of the Idols. And he definitely admired that guy more than Frank Xenno, even though the General had been a good leader indeed.

Trin: “I know that Keifer. However, I must be sure that his true priority is still saving humanity, rather than destroying the menace at all costs. A true hero doesn’t sacrifice others to do what is right. At least, I wouldn’t have done that. And I didn’t expect it from him either, so I need to know why he did it.”

Keifer stayed quiet. He felt that he had no reason to distrust Xenno’s decisions, but she had a pretty good point.

Trin [looking at Neo]: “Neo, please don’t say anything about what happened in the Matrix during your rescue. Wait until we get back and the whole team is together again.”

Neo: “Don’t worry Trin. I won’t say anything until I see you again.”

The captain avoided smiling at Neo, even though, deep down, she felt that she wanted to. She also felt that his words and his voice were starting to sound much more familiar. Did she get to know him in her previous life at the Matrix? She still couldn’t tell for sure…

Captain Trin opened the hatch and she began to walk straight towards the Center of Operations, with Keifer, Bern, and Sheera. Neo took the other path with Yan, Seraph, Dayana, and Matthew.

Since they entered the place, Neo began to notice that the main base was not a home for civilians, like the previous base. Most people walking around at the base were soldiers. Many had the same t-shirts that the Trinity Squad’s members had, and some even had combat armors on. The number of people that looked like civilians was minimal—perhaps, as little as one out of twenty. Obviously, this was a true military base; it wasn’t just another settlement, like the previous one. The location was full of soldiers and weapons.

Furthermore, there was no “welcome crowd” waiting for him either. In the other base, it seemed like every single person knew about him and who he was. However, here it seemed like the contrary was true.

However, as the minutes went by and as Neo and the other four got closer to the Plaza of the Idols, Neo started to notice that some people were stopping cold on their tracks to look at him. It was as if they had recognized him. Nonetheless, no one went up to him to say anything, until he saw the entrance to the plaza, right ahead…

Before Neo arrived at the plaza that had the statues, two young soldiers, a man and a woman, walked up to him holding hands together. Apparently, they were a couple.

Young Man: “Sir, please forgive our interruption. We read about you in the online news from our base, and, even though we were warned against approaching you, we want to let you know our wish, and we want to wish the best for you as well.”

Young Woman: “Many of us don’t believe in miracles anymore, but John and I still do. Most of us don’t believe in love after the experiences that we had. And we didn’t either, until we met. We believe that our love is a gift and a miracle that fell on our lives. We also believe that seeing your presence here is a miracle and a good sign of things that will come.”

Young Man [with a truly heartfelt voice]: “Our wish is to be able to live our life together, without being taken to the Matrix and separated there. It’s not much to ask for and just that by itself would make us very happy. We wish the best of luck for you as well sir, since we know that you will face difficult times too. If you can do anything to stop the menace, please help us. It would make our final wish come true. We will never forget you, and our family will always be here for you. We will always be grateful if you can help us. Always…”

Neo was lost for words at first. The way this young couple looked reminded him very much of himself and his Trinity, twenty years ago. Their words really reached his heart, because he associated them with his younger self. He was also surprised to see that many people from the real world believed so fervently in him. Why was that??

He was going to find out very soon, at the Plaza of the Idols…

Neo: “If I can do anything to make it happen, I promise you that I will do it. Meanwhile, cherish what you have. May your lives be truly happy. That is my wish for both of you.”

Both [young man and woman]: “Thank you sir, you truly are as we thought that someone like you would be. We will pray for you too, Mr. Thomas.”

Neo stopped walking just to listen to them, but soon, he and his “undercover bodyguards” began to walk again. However, he said a few final words to the couple, before they parted ways:

Neo: “Farewell, and… my name is Neo.”

For some reason, people were confusing him with “Thomas,” the creator of the Initial Resistance…

When they entered the plaza, Neo saw a large and open place that had more civilians, but something seemed very odd: all the civilians there were kids that looked younger than twelve…

Neo also noticed that there were a few large white statues located at the center of the plaza. Surely, those were “the idols”…

Close to the entrance, there was one young teenager that caught Neo’s attention. The boy came walking towards him with several mechanical artifacts on his hands. He also had two bracelets around his left arm with buttons and small screens that looked like the screens of graphing calculators.

Teen Jack: “Mr. Neo, I read the entire article about you in the news yesterday. They say that you are the Thomas Anderson of the Matrix. Sir, if that is the truth, then, I want you to have one of my magnetic tracking devices. I have several and you could find them very useful. My name is Jack and I am an inventor.”

Neo was surprised at first. The teenager looked too young to be a serious inventor, but the way he said left no doubts about how certain he was about it. Besides, you could clearly see that this boy was knee-deep into building mechanical devices. He wasn’t an amateur.

The boy gave a small console with a screen to Neo and Neo saw that there were three dots in the screen. Two were yellow and stationary, and the third one was red and moving directly towards them.

Jack: “Your tracker will be here soon sir. I want to give you the last one I made, which is the most advanced one. We are the two yellow dots here, and my messenger Yeisy is the one that will bring us the device. She’s the red dot that is coming towards us.”

When Neo looked forward, he saw a small white and black dog that was running towards them. It was Jack’s dog, and it was easy to tell. The dog also had a mechanical bracelet on one arm and even a piece of headgear with buttons on it. Obviously, the dog was “the messenger.”

Jack: “My assistant is back with the gift sir. Here it is.”

Jack grabbed a really tiny black dot from Yeisy’s ear, and carefully, he placed it on the tip of his finger. He was going to give it to Neo.

Jack: “If you place this on someone and keep that device with you, you can track their location on the screen, even if they are hundreds of miles away. It is a simple device, but its size of half a millimeter makes it hard to see, and the way it feels like your own skin makes it hard to notice. It also sticks to the skin like a magnet for skin, so it doesn’t fall off. I use it on my dog to know her location inside the base at all times and she never notices it. Soldiers in difficult missions can make good use of these devices too. Unfortunately, they didn’t listen when I offered it to them. They thought it was a toy I made, but it is much more than that.”

Neo started to realize that the boy—whom looked like a normal eleven-year-old—really had a lot of potential. Instead of taking the boy’s device with him, Neo decided that Jack should keep it, until it could be used by the soldiers of the Resistance for real.

Neo didn’t grab the tiny tracker and he gave back the tracking device with the screen to Jack.

Jack [disappointed]: “What happened? Don’t you think that the device is good sir?”

Neo [encouraging tone of voice]: “I think that it is excellent Jack, and that is why I want you to keep it with you for now. Make sure that you make copies of it and improve it as much as you can. Then, we shall take it to the commanders and see what real use we have for it. I’m sure that your special talent can be used to help everyone.”

Jack [surprised]: “Really?? You would do that for me? Do you really think that it is great?”

Neo: “Of course I do, and yes, I will help you. For now, go back with your parents and continue working on this gift, but do it as if you were doing it for everyone, not just for me. We’ll see how it can help. I’m sure that it will be very helpful.”

“Mr. Neo” was a great inspiration for Jack. Most adults saw him as just “a kid that played with mechanical toys,” but Neo truly recognized his potential as an inventor. However, there was one detail that Neo was still missing.

Jack: “Sir, the kids in this plaza are all orphans. We don’t have parents and we live here, in this area of the main base. We are survivors from attacks of the menace at the other bases. My parents were taken to the Matrix, but I was taken to a ship that escaped on time… I hope that someday I can build something that will stop the menace for good. That is, if you don’t stop it first, sir.”

Neo began to see the real level of the situation. Things were much worse than he expected. The Plaza of Idols had at least two hundred kids walking around, and, they lived there, like homeless people. They had food and some soldiers took care of the area, but, they had no parents and they were living alone in the middle of a military center.

Neo looked around and he saw many other kids and the famous statues of the idols as well.

Neo [uneasy voice / looking at Jack]: “Why don’t they have all of you in a nicer place with beds and… why did they gather all of you here?”

Neo wasn’t happy with what he was seeing.

Jack [whispering after walking closer to Neo]: “It is because they want to inspire us into becoming soldiers, like everyone, and like those idols, but, I want to be an inventor anyways. Please, don’t say anything about this to the soldiers Mr. Neo. It might cost me my dinner.”

Neo smiled, and he realized that the boy was young, but not a fool. If he had developed those chips under such conditions and he had such a great perception of how things worked, then imagine what he could have done in an actual laboratory…

Yan heard part of the short talk that Neo had with the boy. Yan and the others were not walking close to Neo, but, at that point, Yan got close to them. Yan was about to tell the boy to go away, but, he stopped. Most soldiers would avoid talking too much with these kids because some of them would even steal from you. However, Neo, a complete stranger to their world, was eager to talk to everyone and he was open to make a positive difference in everyone’s lives. Yan had spent less than one day close to Neo and he was already questioning several aspects about their “ways to do things” in the real world, and even at their main base. They were the good side, but not everything was being handled well, even by them. Neo, on the other hand, was doing the right things without inhibitions, even if nobody else was doing them…

Jack said good bye to Neo, and Neo continued walking. The statues were right ahead…

Seraph Cheng stopped in front of the small two-meter statue of the Seraph from the Matrix—the Oracle’s guardian. He was dressed in the same way as the statue and looked very alike. Seraph sat down and closed his eyes there. This was the guy that his father named him after, and “he” was his greatest hero and his inspiration to become the ninja and the soldier that he had become. It was his habit that whenever he walked through this place, he would sit there and think for a couple of minutes, close to the guardian. He really cared a lot about this virtual person. There was no doubt that “the other Seraph” was Seraph Cheng’s greatest inspiration…

Matthew and Dayana also stood in front of one of the statues. Apparently, it was a war hero that their family knew…

Yan stayed close to Neo, until they reached the bigger statues at the very center of the plaza. Neo immediately recognized a statue that looked like him, even though his clothes were very different now. The name carved below it said “Thomas Anderson.” And smaller letters under the name said “the creator and organizer of the Initial Resistance.” The statues on the left and right sides of Thomas looked like twin sisters and resembled the Oracle. The one on the left side had a uniform and she was holding a plasma rifle. Her name was “Nera Williams”—Commander Yera’s mother and Sheera’s grandmother. The one on the other side looked like a humble civilian and she had no name. The letters under the statue read “The Oracle of the Matrix, originally created by General Williams and the scientists from the Initial Resistance.”

Things were starting to make sense to Neo; although all the big questions still remained unanswered…

Suddenly, Neo felt that a small hand grabbed his left hand.

It was a little blue-eyed girl that looked like she was just six years old.

The Blue-eyed girl [innocent voice and a little scared, but still hopeful]: “Mr. Neo, will the monster take me away too? Mom said that the white monster only takes kids that do bad things, like not brushing their teeth. I haven’t done anything bad. I brush my teeth every day. However, mom and dad were taken away, so maybe they were not brushing their teeth. Mr. Neo, can you please bring them back? I will pay you with my toys. The spoon is good for eating and the bear helps you to sleep at night. I can’t give you the toothbrush though, because the monster might come for me.”

The girl lifted her other hand with a medium-sized bear toy and a silver spoon.

This simple little girl was the one that had the greatest emotional impact on Neo. She was the one that made him realize that he had to find the answers and the solutions to their situation at all costs. She was also the one that reminded him of the spoon that he saw when he met the Oracle for the first time. The girl’s spoon looked exactly like the one he saw back then, before he was ready to believe that he really was “the one.”

It affected him to see the innocent suffering of this little girl, due to things that no one seemed to be able to change. This was what increased his drive to change the way things were. After he met the blue-eyed girl, their world’s nightmare officially became his own…

Neo crouched down so that he could look at her in the same eye level as hers, instead of looking down at her.

Neo [with his left knee resting on the floor / looking at the girl]: “Thank you for your beautiful bear and your amazing spoon, but I already have many bears and many spoons at my ship. Don’t worry though. I promise you that I will do everything I can to bring back your parents and to stop this monster from taking anyone else with him. Continue doing what mom told you and I will take care of the rest.”

The Blue-eyed girl [smiling]: “Thank you Mr. Neo, I really liked this bear. And I won’t have to eat with my hands if I can keep my spoon. Thank you! And please, bring my mom and my dad back soon.”

The girl left running and looking much happier than when she asked him for the big favor.

Even though Neo felt sad for her, he still found the right words to make her feel that everything would be fine. And he meant what he said, even if he didn’t know where to begin yet. He just knew that he would make it happen somehow. He was going to do it for her, for Jack, for the Trinity Squad, for the couple that reminded him of his past love, for himself, for his memories of the Matrix, and for every other good human soul that lived in the real world…

After the girl left, he looked at the same hand where Deus Ex placed the small yellow sphere before. And for the first time, Neo thought about using it, even though he didn’t know how to activate it.

However, he also felt that he needed a different way. His gut instinct told him that he had to find the solution himself, without Deus Ex’s help. And this was before he even knew that “the god of the machines” was also named “Deus” Ex…

At the Center of Operations, Captain Trin, Sheera, Keifer, and Bern had their meeting with the general much sooner than they expected. Frank Xenno was waiting for them already, right at the entrance to the center. The seventy-year old leader of the Resistance had a white military uniform and a blue cape. He had no cap, plenty of white hair on his head, and no signs of facial hair—he probably shaved daily. The man really looked like a distinguished leader. However, it didn’t look like he had good news for them. He also had three armed soldiers at each side; and two of them didn’t have a last name on their shirts—meaning that they were robots like Bern.

Trin had a mixed reaction of feelings when she saw Mr. Xenno. She respected him—he was almost like a father-figure to her—but she never thought that he would go as far as sacrificing all the people at a base for a shot at taking down Deus.

The captain walked ahead of her teammates and talked first.

Trin [to the general / with a demanding tone, but not loud]: “Why did you do it? Why didn’t you tell me about the special missile and the base that you were going to sacrifice? Why did you send us there without telling us what would happen?!”

Frank Xenno [happy to see her at first and pretty serious after]: “It’s nice to see that you made it back safely. I am going to show you something that will answer your questions Trin, but first, I want see the other Thomas Anderson, or Neo. Were you able to bring him with you?”

Trin: “Yes, but I want to know why you lied to us first. You never revealed your plan about the other base or the missile. This is not the perception that I had of you Frank. Why did you do it?”

Frank Xenno: “Here, see it yourself, before I tell you.”

The general made a signal to one of the soldiers that had no visible last name. The female soldier turned on a large map that looked similar to Matthew’s map—during their rescue mission of Neo—but this one was blue and much larger. Another one of Xenno’s guards—this one was human, since he had a visible last name—activated another device that created a large and thin shield that resembled half of a bubble. The bubble covered the area where the general, his small group of six soldiers, Trin, Sheera, Keifer, and Bern were. It was a measure of precaution to block anyone else’s eyes from seeing something this important. The blue map looked like a 3d map of the world. It had almost three hundred red dots spread throughout the whole thing. However, it also had a solitary yellow dot and one orange dot, which wasn’t too far from the yellow dot.

Frank Xenno: “You have seen this before, so I’m sure that you know what it means. The dots are all the bases and settlements of the Resistance and of the humans that remain free, or not connected to the Matrix. These dots do not include scattered groups of less than twenty-five people. You may say that these dots are the only groups that have any chance of making any difference in our current situation. You already know what the yellow dot is. It’s the location of our main base, where we are now. The orange color is used to represent any location that is currently under attack by Deus.”

Trin’s teammates started to look really worried and so did she. They didn’t know about this yet. They had no idea that, in just two months, the situation got that bad.

Trin [puzzled]: “This doesn’t make sense Frank. You are telling me that in the last two months, all the bases and settlements have fallen. How is this possible? It’s been twenty-one years since I was rescued and we never saw more than three locations falling in the same month. In the seventy years since the arrival of Deus, the Resistance never lost this many places even in one whole year. How can this be??”

Mr. Xenno talked to Trin as if she was an all-trustworthy family member, rather than as a fellow soldier.

Frank Xenno: “I don’t know Trin, but I suppose that they found a new way to find us. It is clear that our invisibility fields are not making a difference anymore. It’s also clear that it is only a matter of time before our main base and the rest of us are taken to the Matrix as well. This is our last base standing, perhaps, because the shields here are a little stronger; but, if all the others were found, this place won’t be the exception. We also have reports about what ‘he’ has been doing during the last months. Our sources confirm that the menace has been going from one of our locations to another. He only stops and leaves to take large numbers of people to the Matrix. Then, he comes back and goes to the next location, which is always one of our settlements. If things continue the way they are, the next few days could be the time when we have to make our last stand against this threat. And if we fail, as all our previous weapons and efforts did, then, it will be the end of our history as we know it. Humankind will only live in the Matrix.”

Captain Trin and the others were practically speechless.

Frank Xenno: “Do you understand now why I did it? You know that few people love humanity more than I do. And I believe that no one cared more about us than the person that I admired the most: General Nera Williams, the true leader of the Resistance. However, there are times when sacrifice is necessary in order to save things that are more important. When I saw the rate at which he was advancing and I saw that we only had 30 locations left, I decided to send you in a mission to bring us Neo, the Thomas Anderson from the Matrix. We had captured a special signal that allowed us to verify exactly where he was in the Matrix. It was the same exact signal that was received when you were rescued. After your team left, I gathered all the survivors from the other places and told them everything about my plan. I asked for volunteers to do it and I received all the people that you saw at the other base. I also told them about Thomas Anderson and Neo, hoping that, if our last weapon didn’t work, at least, they would not lose their hope. I told them that they would be our Plan A, our final effort to destroy the menace. And our Plan B, or the last resort, would be Neo, the savior from the Matrix. I suspect you must have been surprised when you saw that many people were waiting for you at the other base. I’m sorry, I’m very sorry because, at the end, it didn’t make any difference. At least, they were not killed, so their lives will go on, in the world of the Matrix. However, it was a risk that had to be taken.”

Bern: “Sir, with all due respect, if they are connected, isn’t it as if their real lives were halted or stopped? They may live there, but here their bodies are kept in giant buildings, as if they were experimental subjects. Then, their lives don’t go on in the real world, do they?”

General Xenno: “You are partially right soldier. They don’t live in this world. However, they still age and they are still alive, so the hope of bringing them back and saving them still exists. It exists as long as they live.”

This made Keifer experience a minor flashback about his wife and his newborn son, before the people at his original settlement were taken to the Matrix, twenty-five years ago. This was when Keifer was still young and before the first person—Captain Trin—was successfully brought back from the Matrix. Keifer understood the general very well because, deep down, he still had some hope of bringing them back. That and the possibility of putting an end to the menace were his only motivations…

Captain Trin looked at the map again. If the orange location was under attack and the only place left after that was their main base, then, they didn’t have much time left.

Trin [concerned]: “How much time do we have before it comes here? What are you planning to do?”

General Xenno: “I have to talk with Neo about that. I am sure that he can be helpful for us.”

Trin [in disbelief]: “But Frank, he is just like us here. He has unbelievable abilities inside the Matrix, but here he can’t do more than you and me. What makes you think that he can help us? Do you remember when I was rescued? You and the others also believed that I would be able to do things that I simply couldn’t do. I can do much more now than when I was brought here at that time.”

Keifer [also in disbelief]: “General, is there something that we don’t know about him? You wouldn’t bet our survival on him if you didn’t have anything to back your position, isn’t that right? Please tell us. I agree with Trin. He is unique in their world, but here, any trained soldier would be able to do more than him.”

Sheera and Bern didn’t say anything, but they thought about what happened back in the base and during the rescue from the City of the Machines. At least, two things couldn’t be denied about Neo: he was different, in a good way, and there was something special about him. Even after he attempted to kiss the captain, he still seemed more trustworthy than most people.

Needless to say, none of them were aware about the things that Neo had noticed about Deus, and he was the only one in their whole team that noticed those important details…

General Xenno: “I believe in what he can do because I believe in the Oracle that the Initial Resistance created. The very last data that we were able to get from her told us that she believed that Neo was the only one that could save us from the imminent end. Those were her words and they weren’t taken lightly. Initially, the mission to save Trin was meant to save Neo, but something happened and our signal of him was completely lost. He wasn’t found at the expected location and only Trin was rescued at the end. This time it’s different. Your team has succeeded in bringing us Neo. And I firmly believe that this new Thomas Anderson will be able to help us in some way. Why didn’t you bring him with you now?”

Captain Trin and the others felt a little ashamed, but she still answered quickly.

Trin: “We did, but I had to know your reasons for doing what you did. He is already here with us. My other soldiers and he are at the Plaza of the Idols. I will call them and they will bring him now. I’m sorry Frank. I shouldn’t have doubted you.”

Frank Xenno: “Oh, don’t worry too much about it. We have bigger things to be concerned about now. Just bring Neo to me. I must talk to him as soon as possible.”

Trin pressed a little button on the small belt that she had on her hips. Then, a little floating device came out of it and moved up to her face. She made a “group call” to the rest of the Trinity Squad.

Trin [talking to the device]: “Connect me with all the other members of the team. Send this message to them at once: Yan, Seraph, Dayana, Matthew, I need you all to come to the Center of Operations with Neo right now. I need you all here as soon as possible, with Neo.”

The others got the message instantly and they gathered right away. Yan told Neo about Captain Trin’s message from the Center of Operations. They were able to hear it and see it from their own devices.

When they left, Jack, the teen inventor, and the blue-eyed girl waved their hands to say goodbye to Neo and he did the same for them. Neo and the other four left towards the Center of Operations. However, Neo felt that there was something wrong with Trin’s message.

Neo [to Yan]: “Didn’t she say that she would come to get us in person? Why would she send a message instead?”

Yan: “It must be because it is urgent.”

Neo: “Or because something unexpected happened. We’ll find out soon.”

Neo knew that this “Trinity” wasn’t the kind of person that wouldn’t do what she said she would do, unless her view of the situation had been changed drastically, since them. Clearly, she found out about something important in her meeting with the general, so she didn’t come to get them herself…

In their way to the Center of Operations, Neo walked with Yan and Seraph on his left side and with Matthew and Dayana on his right side. His different clothing—the long black vest—and the way he walked with them started to make it feel like he was the current leader of their squad, instead of a recently freed prisoner from the Matrix…

He also started to look a lot like the way he did before—in The Matrix Reloaded. He was older, but he was the same Neo that he used to be. The only thing left was a pair of elegant glasses…

General Xenno was the first one that saw Neo walking towards them with the other four. He instantly remembered about his past. The general saw the original Thomas Anderson only once, when he (the general) was just a boy, but he never forgot it. Thomas Anderson always felt like an enlightened individual that you could trust to make things right. Unfortunately, he and his closest people were caught and taken to the Matrix soon after the Initial Resistance began…

This “alternate Thomas” dressed differently, but he looked just like the original one that Frank Xenno remembered from his childhood.

When they arrived there, Keifer showed the others a small replica of the map with all the red dots. They all knew what it meant, so their faces changed from normal to worried pretty quickly. Neo didn’t know what the virtual map was though.

The general greeted Neo right away.

General Xenno [glad tone]: “Welcome back Thomas, it’s good to have you here with us.”

Neo: “Sir, my name is Neo.”

General Xenno: “Yes, I know, Neo. You have reached us at a time of great need. What you saw at the other base was our last resort to stop this menace that takes us to the Matrix. This new base that you have seen now is our last location standing. This may be where we make our last stand. However, our weapons and our combat maneuvers never worked. Nothing ever worked successfully to fight and beat this unknown enemy. We need nothing short of a miracle at this point. Perhaps, you can help us with that, based on all the things that you achieved inside the Matrix. You may know secrets about the Matrix that we don’t. And that information can be the key to our salvation. You must share everything you know with us.”

Neo: “I will tell you everything I know general, but I need you to tell me everything that you know as well. Even now, I still don’t know the truth about the Matrix. And I don’t know why I gained similar abilities as Deus when I was inside the virtual Matrix where I met the Oracle. I don’t have the ability to control time, space, and objects anymore. This is not the virtual Matrix and still… your menace has the same abilities that I had within the virtual Matrix.

Nothing is certain. I once thought that I had met the real creator of the whole Matrix, but now I know that it was all as virtual and fabricated as the world where I first woke up… At least, there is something valuable that I can tell you general. It may be the only crucial information that I have at this point. At the previous base, I noticed something odd about this menace that you call Deus; it’s not much, but it can be the key to stopping him. He avoids killing us, even if it puts him in danger, and he has a small chip-like device in the location of his head where the right ear would be. There has to be an explanation for the chip and for his behavior. It doesn’t make sense that he would avoid killing us, after all the things that he has done to us. Perhaps, we are missing something crucial General Frank (looking at the name on Xenno’s uniform).

That is all I know. I don’t have the answers yet, but I’m sure that there must be a way to save everyone.”

General Xenno [surprised first, then careful]: “Good. No, excellent Neo. You have a very good eye, as expected. Anything else that you can tell us would be a godsend gift. But first, let us ensure that nothing from inside the Matrix is affecting your rational thinking.”

Frank Xenno looked at the opposite side and his guards came to check Neo. The two that were robots like Bern held their weapons and stood at each side of Neo, while the other four—the human soldiers—used flat and thin devices that resembled the ones that personnel at airports use to detect unwanted substances and objects. However, their devices looked far more advanced than ours, so surely, they could detect anything…

As soon as one of the female soldiers moved her device close to Neo’s right hand, the device turned red and it activated something that turned all the other devices red as well. That was the hand where Deus Ex placed the yellow sphere that he gave Neo. The sphere was a bunch of Matrix-like yellow traces of codes that merged themselves with Neo’s hand, so Neo couldn’t do anything to hold it back when Deus Ex gave it to him.

The general’s soldiers read the warning message of the devices—triggered by the unknown data that they detected in Neo’s hand—and their moods changed drastically. Xenno’s soldiers went back, almost scared, and pointed their weapons at Neo.

Robot-humanoid soldier [normally]: “Sir, please stand back and lift your arms.”

Male soldier [aggressively]: “Didn’t you hear him?! Stand back and lift both of your hands up! Do it now!!”

Female soldier [nervous]: “General, he has traces of an unknown data that our readers don’t recognize! And there is more, it matches our previous readings for the menace! It is an exact match sir!!”

Even the soldiers from the Trinity Squad got a bit shocked with the sudden news.

Frank Xenno [still pretty calm]: “Neo, why don’t you tell us more about this unknown data source that matches Deus’s readings? You are its carrier, so you should know what it is.”

The rest of the Trinity Squad didn’t do anything, but Trin lifted her plasma gun and pointed it at Neo as well.

Trin [serious but looking hesitant as well]: “Neo, if you know something that we don’t know, now is the time to say it. Why did the sensor detect a trace of Deus in you?”

Neo [looking at Trin and the others]: “I know that you still don’t believe in me captain, but I have nothing to hide. When you rescued me from the Dark City of the Machines, I was a hostage of their supreme leader. This godly mechanical creature used me for experiments in the Matrix during twenty years. It didn’t hurt me and it even saved me, but I definitely wasn’t its guest. It introduced a yellow sphere in my hand, after I came back from my coma. That happened just a few minutes before your team arrived to take me out of there. It told me that I could use the sphere to call for its help, but I will not do it. We can’t trust a machine that used hundreds of thousands of humans in the Matrix for many years. It could even be considered the Deus of the world of the Matrix, since its robots also keep humans trapped in endless fields.”

When Neo mentioned the “god of the machines” for the first time, General Xenno looked down at his right wrist (he was still facing the opposite way) and lifted the blue glove that he had in his right hand from the start—he wasn’t using any glove in his other hand, just in his right one. The minor view that was seen when he lifted the glove revealed that his right hand, and possibly his whole right arm, was robotic. His eyes looked as if he was remembering something. Then, he lifted the glove back up and turned around to face Neo and Trin.

The general gave an order to his soldiers.

Frank Xenno: “Take him to the extractor sphere and set up the system to extract anything he has in him. Make sure that any program, any data, and any actual chip that is extracted from him are not destroyed. We may be able to use them to stop the menace of our world. I was right when I considered you our best Plan B, Neo.”

Neo [concerned]: “Wait! General you must not do this. If you attempt to call the leader of the machines from the Matrix, you could make things worse by unleashing a second menace. It is not like any robot that you have ever seen. He is an artificial being who’s power we know nothing about. And we don’t know what it may want either.”

Frank Xenno [serious]: “I am not a fool Neo. I know what I am dealing with. However, I also know what we are dealing with here, in the real world. And I know that it takes something that we don’t have to defeat Deus. Saving the human race might require unexpected measures, if that is our last resort. I’m sorry Thomas Anderson, but this is necessary.”

The soldiers took away Neo pointing their plasma pistols at him. Then, Frank Xenno looked at Trin and her team.

General Xenno: “Did you get to see it Trin? Did you see the god of the machines during your squad’s infiltration to rescue Neo?”

Trin and the rest were still surprised with what happened.

Trin [ambivalent tone of voice]: “No, but their attack power and their numbers were far beyond what we expected. And we did see other phenomenons, such as an invisible object in the sky and… that was it. The truth is that we were lucky to survive their offensive. A whole army of sentinel robots attacked us inside the Matrix. We made it out in time by a mere miracle.”

The rest of the Trinity Squad got the “hidden memo” right away. Trin decided to hide what Neo did inside the Matrix from General Xenno and the others, so they stayed quiet about it as well. However, there was one of them that couldn’t stay quiet after he saw how they took Neo away, as if he was a criminal—like the white-caped robots of the Matrix.

Yan: “General Xenno, sir, you are mistaken about Neo. Allies like him are what we need more of. People like him are the kind of leaders that we need to inspire everyone, and you are treating him as if he was a threat to us.”

Xenno almost smiled.

Frank Xenno [looking at Yan]: “How curious. I once heard the same thing about the original Thomas Anderson, and I believed it too, like you do now. However, you don’t know about our current situation and neither did I back then. Ultimately, General Nera’s actions were what saved us and the Resistance back then, and the inspiring genius, Thomas Anderson, got himself and his followers caught and taken to the Matrix. I always admired him, but he wasn’t the one who saved us back then. General Nera Williams was the one that saved us. Remember that soldier.”

Frank Xenno [looking at Trin first and then at Yan]: “Trin, please let Yan Morphen and the other three know too. They are among the few soldiers that still don’t know how bad our current situation is. Son, this floor where you stand now belongs to the only base of the Resistance that hasn’t been taken by the menace of the Matrix. This is not a time for likeable heroes like the old Thomas Anderson. This is a time to take the hard measures that will save us all.”

Captain Trin showed Yan and the others what she had already seen. When they saw all the red dots and one last yellow dot, they understood how bad things were.

Frank Xenno left them there. He followed his soldiers to the place where they had the special system that could detect and extract any data from objects and from people, regardless of whether the data was a solid chip or not.

Neo was taken to the black sphere with guns pointed at him.

The Trinity Squad stayed behind at first, and (even though they didn’t say it) nearly all of them shared a similar feeling. They understood the general’s actions, but they didn’t think like him, especially after seeing the things that Neo had done, inside the Matrix and in their own world. Trin understood that she could trust Xenno and he was in “the good side,” as always, but she also realized that he was willing to do anything to save the Resistance. And “anything” included making sacrifices. The Trinity Squad didn’t go against the general’s orders, but they didn’t like the way Neo was treated either. Keifer was the most neutral one, and probably the only one that didn’t care. Deep down, he had a similar way of thinking as Xenno, and, because of the family that he lost, he also placed destroying the menace above everything else…

Neo was taken to the area that had the large black machine of spherical shape. The sphere opened, revealing a seat inside for one person and plenty of space around that seat. Neo was given orders to enter it and place his hands on two panels, until the whole operation of extraction was finished.

Neo went in, sat down, and placed his hands on the panels. Then, the sphere closed itself, leaving Neo isolated inside it. His hands were held against the panels by some robotic arms, and the data extraction machine began its search of every cubic millimeter of Neo’s body for special data sources. General Xenno thought that the answers that they wanted could be found in Neo himself—since Neo was “the chosen” of the Matrix—or in the trace of data from the lord of the machines, which was found in Neo’s hand.

Indeed, the general was partially right. However, things didn’t go as he expected…

The machine’s operation was halted when it found a strange source of code that, practically, hacked its operations and turned it into its momentary broadcasting device.

A small white sphere of white codes and streams—like the green codes that Neo could see in the virtual Matrix and the yellow streams that he was able to notice in the City of the Machines—was generated by the machine in front of Neo. Apparently, it was some sort of unknown data that had been hid in him, and this machine was capable of extracting it. However, this data was far more complex than others, since it also hacked the machine for its own purpose, which was delivering a message to its carrier.

The white sphere’s voice [cyber-like human voice]: “Greetings Neo. If you are able to play this message, then you are in the right place at the right time. Listen. You must find out the rest in order to make a difference. Without knowing the truth, you won’t know the best path to take. You must find me before you can proceed.”

A virtual map was shown to Neo, at the right side of the white sphere of codes and streams.

White sphere: “Take a look. The green dot in this map is where you are now. The white dot is where I am. You are not far from the right location, where I will be waiting for you. Find me there and I will tell you the truth that you need to know, in order to make the right choice at the right time. Without it, our chances of saving everyone are slim at best.

When you arrive at my location, you will need a passcode and a special pen to see me. The passcode is neo and trinity slash 2700 ac slash, without capital letters and without spaces. Do you have it memorized? Please, repeat it to me now.”

Neo [surprised but calm]: “Neo and Trinity slash two-thousand seven-hundred ac slash.”

White sphere: “Good. Now keep it memorized and go to the white dot’s location in the map. This message will be erased now and the sphere will turn into the pen. You will need the pen to see the map again and to unlock the truth that has been buried and forgotten by now. And only you can unlock it. Your voice, your eyes, and your fingerprints will be necessary, even if you have the pen.”

The white sphere began to shrink until it took the shape of a small pen. While it shrank, it also moved and hid itself inside one of Neo’s shoes. Then, the codes and the white streams gained a real solid shape and true color. It was a black mini-pen, which was now hidden in one of Neo’s shoes.

Neo: “Wait! Is that all? Who are you? Why was this message in me?”

Neo closed his eyes and thought about the passcode again: neo and trinity slash 2700ac slash, with no spaces and no capital letters. Why did it even have his name and “Trinity” in it? Who had placed that in him, and how? Obviously, this was not Deus Ex’s sphere. It was white and it had a very different feel. This white coded-sphere felt peaceful…

Then, the data extractor continued its operation as if it had never been hacked and used by the other hidden data. It didn’t even register it in his records and in its video recordings. It was as if that portion of time had never happened in the machine’s operation. Therefore, it never extracted a white sphere of data from Neo… (it did, but only Neo knew about it)

Next, the machine read the trace of unknown data from Neo’s right hand.

Data extractor’s voice [also cyber-like, but very different from the white sphere’s voice, which sounded more human]: “Unknown error has been found. The data cannot be extracted from the subject and it cannot be deciphered either. These protocols and what they represent is unknown.”

The special machine failed to extract Deus Ex’s yellow data from Neo’s hand.

Data extractor’s voice: “Be warned that this unknown data could be a potentially dangerous program. If it can’t be deciphered or removed, then, immediate deletion is recommended. I have been given full decision-making authority over this subject, so immediate deletion will proceed and a separate copy of the data will be made in my records.”

Neo began to see what the general expected: the data of “the menace” would be removed from him and a separate copy of it would be made. Frank Xenno was planning to combat fire with fire, without knowing how this fire worked beforehand. Unfortunately, this “fire” was a completely different animal.

Data extractor’s voice: “The unknown data cannot be deleted with my mechanisms. The unknown data cannot be copied either. All operations on the unknown data have failed. It is highly recommended that the subject or object that contains this data be quarantined immediately.”

Then, the machine stopped and the big black sphere opened itself again. Neo’s hands were freed as well, and he was able to exit the data extractor.

General Xenno, his six soldiers, the Trinity Squad, and other new soldiers were already there when Neo came out. They looked over the machine’s recording and all the general saw was how nothing could be done to the data. The recording didn’t display what happened with the white sphere.

General Xenno [right after seeing the results]: “Neo, what do you suggest that we do next? If you are truly a clone of Thomas Anderson, the genius of the Initial Resistance, then, you must be able to give us something that we can use.”

Neo: “I am not Thomas Anderson general, I just look like him. And you are right, there must be something that we can do, but for that, I need you to tell me everything you know about the menace. I know that you haven’t told us everything. If you want my help, I need to know it all. I’m sure that you must have found something about the threat that we are facing, after several decades of fighting it. I need to know it.”

The soldiers didn’t expect to hear Xenno’s words after that.

General Xenno: “Ok. You win Mr. Neo. I will share our classified information with you, but you will be an integral part of our final strategy as well.”

Neo: “I also need a map of the area around our base.”

Frank Xenno [looking at Trin]: “Trin bring him and your team with us. I will give him what he wants. And I hope that he can provide us with something, otherwise, I will have to follow the advice of the data extractor. After all, he has traces of the menace in him; it’s very possible that the menace can track his location, meaning that he could be more trouble than solutions in the long-run.”

In their way to the general’s central room of operations, Neo grabbed the pen without being seen and he placed it in Yan’s pocket.

Neo [whispering quickly]: “Yan, I found something that can help us in this map, but only I can open it. Give this pen to Trin and tell her that I need to go there.”

Yan [whispering]: “What?”

Neo [whispering]: “Just give it to Trin and tell her that what we need is in that location, but only I can open it. I have to leave the base as soon as possible Yan.”

Yan [whispering]: “Neo, I hope you know what you are doing… don’t worry, she’ll have it.”

Neo left them and continued walking closer to the general and his soldiers.

Yan gave the pen to Trin and told her what Neo said.

Trin knew that something strange had happened because no one would ever enter the data extractor with an object, much less a pen. Those objects were removed or taken away before any person, robot, or object entered the extractor. The machine wouldn’t even start if it detected that the subject had other suspicious objects with him. This meant that the only explanation was that Neo got the pen inside the machine, which didn’t make any sense because the recording didn’t show anything. However, there was no other plausible explanation for Trin. She grabbed the pen and pushed what looked like a small button at its bottom. It then displayed a small map, which showed a green dot and a white dot. The white dot was closer to the main base than their other fallen settlements, but it still required a vehicle to reach it. It was close to 20 miles away, at one of the first cities that were destroyed when Deus arrived and the conflict of the Matrix began.

What seemed strange was that the green dot of the map was moving inside the main base. Soon, she figured out that the green dot was Neo…

When Neo and Frank Xenno arrived at the central room of operations, the general waited until all his soldiers were there and then he revealed what they knew to Neo.

General Xenno [to Neo]: “It won’t take me long to tell you everything because we know very little, even after sixty years of constant struggle. I suppose that you already know everything about what the menace represents, and about what this human-looking phenomenon is capable of. After all, you saw it with your own eyes.

However, there is more to this conflict than just this godly being. The one that we call the menace is not alone. He has almost the entire population of robots on his side. I’m sure that you already met some of them at the human fields of the Matrix. They are the white-caped patrols. However, there is more. The menace has some humans on its side too; humans that have not done anything to help the rest of us. We haven’t seen any of them in decades, but it was well-documented by the Initial Resistance that some of the people that were supposed to stop Deus joined sides with him instead. We know little about what happened to those people, but it is safe to believe that they still exist, and that they may even have something to do with the creation of the Matrix. Some of us have even speculated that one of them may be the true leader, instead of this alien freak that looks like us. However, I highly doubt that.

Other than that, we don’t know much. No one has been able to explain who or what this human-looking alien is. No one knows why he or it has these supernatural powers. We don’t know the deepest secrets about the Matrix either. We only understand that it is all connected: Deus, the Matrix, and the reason why he takes us there. We learned how to hack into the Matrix and infiltrated some intelligent programs, but ultimately, all of them were deleted. Only the initial Oracle and her guardian managed to continue their operation without being deleted or found. We also found a way to unplug someone from the system, but so far, it only worked with Trin and with you. It failed with everybody else because they didn’t believe that the Matrix wasn’t the real world.

Our final conclusion is that the Matrix and the menace have a common purpose that is to enslave us in their virtual world. And this is all we know so far. It is the only answer that we have uncovered.”

Neo: “That is not the answer general. It is only an assumption. Do we have any concrete proof to be sure about it?”

Frank Xenno [not happy with Neo’s answer]: “Have you looked around in the fields of the Matrix Neo? Isn’t that what it clearly is? A global prison for all of us. Do you need more proof than seeing what it is with your own eyes?”

Neo: “Even then, that may not be the answer. Often, what we see doesn’t reveal the whole truth general. And what we see at first sight, for a few seconds, never reveals the entire scope of the truth.”

The general was starting to get impatient with Neo.

General Xenno [running-out-of-patience tone]: “Then, tell us the truth or how to find it. If you feel so enlightened about this matter, tell us something new and give us the solution that we need.”

Neo: “I don’t know the answer or the solution, but the way to find both was given to me during the time when I was inside your special machine. I received a message with a location that I must go to. I’m sure that I will find our solution there. However, only I can open it. I need to go to that location as soon as possible general.”

General Xenno [with distrust and some anger]: “Are you taking us for fools? The extractor couldn’t get anything out of you. If anything, it told us that we shouldn’t trust you because of the unknown data in you. And even if you are telling us the truth, you seem to be doing the same thing as the original Anderson. Getting yourself caught without finding a solution for the rest of us won’t fix anything Neo. Besides, if I send you out of the base now, I would be sending out a reference signal to help Deus to get here faster. We can’t do that! Do you understand?”

Neo: “Frank, this is the only hope we have of saving everyone. I was carrying another trace of unknown data that played a recording while I was there. It told me that the only way for me to do something about this situation is going there. If I don’t go now, we may lose our only chance to change the dark fate in the horizon.”

Frank Xenno [aggravated]: “Listen to yourself Neo. I am not your pal son, so don’t call me Frank. I am the leader in charge of our survival. How do you even know that you are not being manipulated by the data that the lord of the machines gave you? How do you know that it isn’t leading you to a trap?”

Neo: “The other data had not even been scanned when the message played, and the recording left me a real object. I don’t know how it did it, but whatever did that is something that can help us if I go where it wants.”

Trin interrupted them.

Trin: “General, he is saying the truth. This pen is the object that it gave him. Look at what it is showing us.”

Trin pressed the pen and the map was displayed, showing the green dot and the white dot in their respective places.

Frank Xenno [shocked]: “How did you get that!?”

Trin: “I got it from Neo. He gave it to me after he left the extractor, and we all know that he entered it without a pen. It wouldn’t have started the process if it detected that he had this object with him.”

General Xenno [looking at the pen and the map]: “I saw that pen once before. It was the pocket pen that Thomas Anderson carried with him when I saw him. And that is the city where it all started… The white dot is at the location where Anderson began the Initial Resistance. It’s all in ruins now, but, that was where it began, almost seventy years ago. You aren’t even supposed to know any of this. Where did you get the pen?”

Neo: “I told you already. I was carrying another set of secret data that gave me a message and this pen. It wants me to go there and it wants to tell me something. I suspect that the answer that we need must be there.”

The general didn’t have an explanation about how that pen got there and neither did anyone else. However, Neo wasn’t concerned about that particular explanation; he wanted to solve the bigger problem. He wanted to go where that white dot in the map was pointing. And that place was at least 20 miles away, so he needed some form of transportation.

General Xenno [with a thoughtful tone of voice]: “There is one way, but it is risky. We would be gambling with one of our last alternatives if we send you there Neo.”

Trin: “There are no more alternatives general. We don’t have any way to beat the menace’s supernatural abilities. Our weapons failed. We failed. And Neo doesn’t know how to stop him either. If you don’t want to send him out of the base, at least send me. Someone must see if what is there can help us.”

Neo: “Trin, I have to go myself. There is no other way. The message specified that my fingerprints, my eyes, and my voice will be needed.”

General Xenno: “In other words, whatever is there will only be given to Thomas Anderson, or to Neo… In that case, there is no point to risk any other life. I thought that freeing you would be our salvation Neo, but you don’t have the secrets of the Matrix either. Then… go and get them for us. Trin, take him to the place where we have the untraceable hovercycles that won’t be detected by machines or satellites. Set one of them in auto-pilot towards that location and let Neo find the truth for us.”

Trin [with a lower tone of voice than usual]: “Yes sir.”

Captain Trin understood what General Xenno was thinking perfectly. She knew him pretty well.

He didn’t think that Neo could help them anymore. In fact, he probably considered him a second lower-level threat, now that he had not one but two unknown traces of data that couldn’t even be deciphered by their system. Not to mention that one of those—the one given by Deus Ex—was even recognized as Deus’s data by one of their normal sensors. Most likely, the general was sending Neo to the ruins of the city as a bait to delay Deus just a little, before their main base became its undeniable next target. And, after the plasma field was opened to let Neo out, it wasn’t going to open again to let anyone in. In other words, he was getting rid of Neo and he didn’t believe that any secret message could lead them to a weapon that would defeat Deus at this point.

The others didn’t catch what was happening so fast. Even Neo believed that the general was being reasonable. However, Trin knew him as if he was her own father. Indeed, he had treated her as a daughter since she was rescued, because he was among the elite soldiers that freed her from the Matrix, 21 years earlier (or a few months before the events of the first Matrix movie began).

Captain Trin knew that Neo would most likely die. However, she made up her mind and made the decision that could save him and bring back whatever he would find at the ruined city of the Initial Resistance…

The younger members of the Trinity Squad looked a little sad. They were not fools. They knew that if only Neo left, then that force field wasn’t going to go down just for him later on—much less in their current critical situation.

Yan was the only one that said something to Neo before he and Trin left.

Yan: “Neo, thank you for what you did to save us in the Matrix; and, thank you for your actions at the other base and here, at the Plaza of the Idols. It was an honor to meet you, sir. I’m sure that you were a great hero at the Matrix, and, you would have made a great squad leader here.”

Neo: “You talk as if everything was over already. It’s barely beginning Yan. I will find what we need. And I need you and the others to keep your faith in yourselves and in me. Even in the darkest of moments, there is still a way to find the light. If you don’t find it around you, you can still find it in yourself.

There is something that I want you to know before I leave.

I once met a man that looked very much like you. And he became my greatest hero. However, he wasn’t a hero because of superior power or skills. He was one because he had great faith and he always fought for what he believed in—which was also what was right. His name was Morpheus and you remind me very much of him. Don’t forget that Yan. Have faith in yourself and in me.”

Neo’s words stayed with Yan and left him thinking.

The greatest hero of the chosen from the Matrix looked like him and had great faith…

These words led Yan to believe in Neo’s potential to save them, just like those people at the first base did. And it wasn’t just about the words. The way Neo behaved showed that he was driven to achieve “the greater good.” It didn’t feel like he was doing things for his own greater good only—as most people that Yan knew…

Trin took Neo to a location close to the main exit of the main base. There she found one of the special hovercycles that could not be traced by normal means. It looked like a futuristic hybrid between a motorcycle and a watercraft. However, it didn’t have wheels or tires, so it was clear that it wasn’t going to touch the ground. It was going to “hover” and move above the surface—hence the name hovercycle. The handling was done by introducing the hands inside two handles where each hand could then grab a bar. Through this bar and all the sensations and movements captured from the hands, the vehicle was accelerated and moved, exactly as the driver wished.

Trin sat on the vehicle and told Neo to sit with her in the back. However, she realized that he wasn’t even there with her! When they were walking she kept going, and he stopped when he saw the “Little Shop of Ancient Junk” and a pair of black glasses on top of a pile of trashed devices. The black glasses looked good and they were an exact replica of the ones he had when he was young—the glasses from The Matrix Reloaded. He went in and asked the owner about those glasses.

Neo: “Sir, are you selling these glasses or are they here to be thrown away?”

Old shop owner: “All that is trash. No one would pay even one buck for that.”

Neo: “May I take this pair of glasses.”

Shop owner: “Sure, go ahead, but be aware that those are from 80 years ago. Even your great-grandpa wouldn’t be using those.”

Neo: “Thank you sir. Have a nice day.”

Neo cleaned the glasses with his long black vest and put them on. He was older, but he still looked like the Neo that he always was. Then, he left and joined Trin.

Old shop owner [thinking to himself]: “That guy must be crazy. Or at least, his sense of fashion is screwed… wait a second!! That guy… that guy looked like the statue from the Plaza of the Idols before he put on the glasses!!”

The old man ran out and even dropped a pair of modern-looking glasses on the floor (the glasses looked like triangles, not appealing at all for ancient folks like us). Neo was already gone though.

Neo arrived with his new glasses and when Trin saw him, she felt a strong sensation of deja vu. She didn’t remember her past, but she could feel that she had seen him with those glasses before, in the world of the Matrix…

She didn’t say anything, but the look on her face said it all. She tried to forget about it.

Then, she asked him to sit on the back of the vehicle when he arrived. She took him to the exit of the base in the hovercycle. There, she left the front of the vehicle and allowed him to sit on the hovercycle by himself. She also gave the important pen to Neo.

He didn’t look like he knew how to drive the hovercycle well, but it didn’t matter because it would be in auto-pilot.

Trin sent the signal to the general and his soldiers to have the plasma shield opened in front of the exit for just half a minute. Everything seemed ready for Neo to leave. However, Trin asked something before the shield went up.

Trin [to Neo]: “Why did you decide to give me the pen? Why didn’t you keep it with yourself?”

Neo: “I knew that if I kept it with me and the general found it, he would take it and he probably would not believe me. However, he seems to trust you and treats you as if you were family, not as another soldier. So I knew that if you had it, there would be a greater chance of reaching that location. I also know that I can trust you, because of what you have done for me and for your teammates. And because you were the only one that cried after seeing what happened at the other base. You are in this for the same reasons as me Trin.”

Trin [looking courageous]: “That’s all I needed to hear. I also feel that I can trust you Neo. You would never sacrifice others to save us, and neither would I. Please, slide back in the vehicle now. I am going with you.”

Neo [a little confused at first]: “What? You…”

Trin [still courageous]: “Exactly what you heard. Please allow me to pilot this thing.”

The plasma shield began to go up and the path to exit was fully open to them.

Trin revealed that she had a set of old glasses—similar to Neo’s—in one of her pockets. She took them out and put them on.

Neo stood back a little and Trin landed in front of him and on the hovercycle with a single jump. She didn’t have any armor on and neither did Neo, but she was carrying a plasma blaster with her.

When Neo saw her with the glasses, he had the same feeling of deja vu that she had before, when she saw him. She looked far too similar to his Trinity. How could it be?

Neo: “Trin, why do you have the same glasses as me?”

Trin: “I am old fashioned like you, perhaps, because I am from the world of the Matrix too.”

The general, the Trinity Squad, and all the other soldiers were alarmed when they saw what she did. She was going to go with him!! They all knew that this most likely meant death.

Keifer: “What the heck is she thinking!? I thought she knew what this meant. Is she crazy?!”

Frank Xenno hit the table beneath his hand really hard. Now, he finally started to look worried.

General Xenno: “Goddamn you Trin!! You know that the shield can’t go down again, not even for you!”

Trin activated manual mode in the hovercycle.

Trin: “Hold me tight Neo. Let’s go to find out the truth.”

Before the shield went down at an incredible speed, the hovercycle left the base with great acceleration.

Trin was the driver and Neo the guide. They headed straight for the ruins of the city where the Initial Resistance began…

NEXT – CHAPTER 4 out of 9: The Bigger Revelations and the Battle with Deus

The Matrix Revelations movie (part 3 out of 9)