(The Matrix Revelations, Volume 2)
The End of the Matrix
(Sequel for “The Matrix Revelations” and a fifth and final movie for the whole saga.)
Episode 4: The Test Subjects and the Decision
Deus Neo walked closer to Neo’s white platform and moved his face closer to him. Then, he whispered some words to Neo.
Deus Neo: “We are about to start the tests. You will have to show us the supernatural abilities that you had inside the Matrix. A simulation of the Matrix will be created here and you will be able to do everything that you could do there. Whatever is asked of you, make sure that you do it to the best of your ability Neo. Saving the ancient human civilization at the time of the Matrix’s end might depend on how well you perform here. Whatever you do, don’t fail.”
Deus Neo began to move back.
Neo: “Wait! Can’t you tell me more about what I will be facing!?”
Deus Neo: “You won’t be facing anything that you haven’t faced before; so, you will be able to handle it just like you did back then. Remember about that time if you have any doubts Neo.”
Neo started to look worried. He had faced a lot: the cyber-agents, agent Smith’s clones, the virtual architect, the robots of the City of the Machines, an ego-maniac tyrant that was also a genius, the humanoid army that protected the real fields of the Virtual Matrix, a powerful deus, a cyber version of the previous Neo, and even the almighty deusian anomaly. However… he didn’t feel at his best now. He was older and it was starting to show. But now—now that he finally knew most of the truth—he wasn’t going to fail. He could not fail no matter what…
Dillion landed his floating ball closer to the two platforms and walked out of it to get closer to the two test subjects.
Dillion: “I allowed Deus Neo to design most of the test for the ancient human anomaly that his ancient counterpart created. However, I decided to do most of the test for Mr. Rodner, granted that he was one of the recognized geniuses from that ancient generation. I expect the human anomaly to break the barriers of what was possible, in the physical world; but, to be convinced, I must also see that a top genius from back then could have the vision to break the mental barriers and to see further beyond what his brain was ready for, meaning that, he could still be useful to us, even now. Mr. Rodner will take an advanced intelligence test that is given to visionaries from our time. He must do at least as well as the average ones from today to consider it something that we can’t ignore. Deus T has also communicated to me, just now, that he wants to ask one extra question to each of the test subjects, after their test is over. And… I will also consider their answers to his question to reach a final verdict about this case.”
Deus T crossed his arms and smiled from his floating ball, while he kept his stare fixed at Rodner Smith. What sort of special question could he have in storage for each of them? Would it be something that they could answer? After all, he was one of the deuses that had pushed the Council to end the Matrix and everything that lived in it.
Deus Neo walked back, behind the platforms, and Deus Dillion walked back in the opposite direction, in front of the platforms. Everybody else observed as half of a white sphere of Matrix-like codes began to appear above Neo’s platform and above Rodner’s as well. These codes looked exactly as the white codes that were seen before, at Thomas Anderson’s Earth. They looked like the ones from the Green Virtual Matrix, but they were white. Both Rodner and Neo had seen them before, but this time, they didn’t know what to expect. Would the Matrix work in their favor, or would it be against them?
A chair appeared below Rodner Smith and a small robot that looked like one of the octopus-like sentinels from the Virtual Matrix held his arms and feet against the chair.
Non-human Deusian robot: “Pay no attention to me and focus on answering your questions. Do not try to escape from this chair or I will have to paralyze you and wake you up again to continue the test.”
Immediately, Neo noticed the striking familiarity between the deusian robot that held Smith and the robots from the City of the Machines—which had been created, as far as Neo knew, by Rodner Smith, using the power of a deusian entity, such as Maxio. Now, Neo wasn’t so sure about that anymore. Had Rodner Smith been the true creator behind everything at Zion and the City of the Machines—including the Green Virtual Matrix, where everything started for Neo—or was he just another tool that helped to build it? Had someone else been the true architect of the Virtual Matrices? Clearly, that was the only way to explain how a deusian robot from their future time would look so similar to the ones in the Virtual Matrix, at the ancient past. Somehow, someone from their time had to be involved with the creation of the Virtual Matrices…
At that moment, Neo stopped seeing the deuses at the chamber and he saw himself at an empty field, as if he was back at planet Earth—but this was a simulated Earth, rather than the real one inside the Deusian Matrix.
He could feel the air moving on his face and the dust moving on the ground, but he knew that even if it felt real, he was still at the deusian chamber, on that white platform. This was exactly how the virtual matrices worked and how they felt, except that now, he was aware of it, so even the realistic world in front of his eyes was not enough to fool him.
The same happened to Rodner Smith. He appeared at a very similar place by himself. He, like Neo, knew the truth, but, regardless of whether it was a simulation or not, he knew he had to perform well to survive. In his case, he wasn’t motivated by saving the ancient civilization though—as Neo was. Smith was motivated by saving his own skin.
For both of them, a countdown timer of ten minutes appeared on the grey sky. Then, Rodner started to get deep questions that he had to answer in a detailed manner and as quickly as possible. He soon realized that questions were marked incorrectly if he didn’t answer them very well; and he received a message stating that he needed more than 30 correct questions to pass the procedure. There was no time to think!! He had to go with the first answers that appeared on his mind and hope for the best. The questions were sent to him telepathically—by the robot that he wasn’t seeing, since he was in a simulated Earth. They were mostly about futuristic science, or discoveries that would happen after Rodner’s lifetime, or other philosophical questions that had been answered by science already—during the era of the deuses. If someone like Rodner could answer them correctly, despite being from the ancient past, it would obviously show the great potential that the ancient ones had…
Unfortunately, Rodner couldn’t make it to 30 correct questions, despite his best efforts. He had 29 correct questions at the end of the ten minutes mark, and many incorrect attempts at other questions. He was breathing heavily as he saw his last results… It was definitely a grand strike to his ego.
On the other side, Neo’s test was very different. At a similar location as Rodner’s, he saw how many soldiers that looked like smaller human-sized deuses began to appear. They formed a large circle around him and were carrying old plasma rifles, like the ones at Thomas Anderson’s world. They pointed their weapons at him and informed him that he had to pass every single test in order to pass at the end. And, for him, passing wasn’t about answering questions correctly, it was about surviving, using any means necessary.
Clearly, Neo’s test was designed to ensure that no normal human or deus would pass it. Only someone who could break the rules of reality—someone who was an anomaly in the Matrix—would be able to pass it.
After Neo was informed about the requirements to pass, all the deuses pointed the plasma rifles at him and began to shoot. He jumped up and stayed airborne, so none of the first wave of shoots touched him.
At the Chamber of the Council, everyone was watching how Rodner was answering questions and how Neo was moving and avoiding attacks. While it was obvious that some of them could beat Rodner’s performance, it was clear that none of them were capable of doing what the ancient anomaly was doing inside the Matrix-like environment.
Everything was happening on top of the platforms and inside the half-spheres that covered the two test subjects. They never left those spaces, but, the virtual simulation that encapsulated their minds made them think and feel as if they were at that vast and empty place that looked like a location from their Earth.
Not surprisingly, the virtual deuses from the simulation had been enhanced in terms of their abilities to do more than what was possible—just like Deus Maxio, when he was at Thomas Anderson’s world. They also went airborne and stayed still in the middle of the air, like Neo. Then, they resumed their shooting from there. However, Neo didn’t avoid the shoots that second time. He stayed in the same place and turned the shoots of plasma into pounds of sand that kept falling down, around him. When the enemies stopped shooting, they could see that Neo had a sphere of white codes around himself. He was capable of producing the same codes of the simulation, effectively creating a nested simulation of his own in that little space where he was. In other words, he could manipulate reality and how things turned out around him because he could manipulate his location in the simulated world and the rules that governed him there.
The group of deuses dropped their plasma weapons and Neo received a new message from a telepathic voice.
Deusian voice: “Survive in close-range combat during a reasonable amount of time.”
Then, the enemies went flying towards him and, one by one, they began to attack him using various combinations of martial arts in the air.
This time, Neo couldn’t avoid getting hit by some of them and he didn’t feel that he would be able to last for too long. They were powerful indeed. However… they still had limitations, even after various virtual enhancements—such as flying—and Neo could still ignore all limitations, as long as he was in perfect sync with the simulation. That’s why he managed to survive against them, just like he survived against Deus Ex’s clones—which were even worse than these guys. He modified what he was capable of in the simulation, once again. Thus, he began to move faster and to hit harder than them. Why? Because he was an anomaly in the simulation.
Soon, the whole group of deuses disappeared and only one of them stayed there with Neo.
That one went back to the ground and showed Neo that there was an active nuclear device there. And it was about to explode.
Unknown Deus: “For this next test, survive a major nuclear blast without leaving this location. Under normal circumstances, no living being would be able to survive this. If you find a way to do it as you are now, it may be enough to prove your case.”
Then, that deus disappeared as well and only the device was left behind.
Neo began to sweat, while he looked at the device.
Neo: “Think!! It has to be done without getting away from here… It’s not the first time I have done it… I saw Deus Maxio do something similar back then. He was able to survive this sort of thing. Even I… even I did it once, and I did not die…”
As he finished his words, the device exploded and a massive nuclear cataclysm occurred at that location.
Minutes later, a solid white sphere, full of codes everywhere, was seen there.
Everything within the sphere was unharmed. In fact, no cataclysm had ever occurred inside it. The reality inside the sphere of codes had been edited by the anomaly’s will power, which could change the whole simulation to make it allow that sort of error there. Essentially, the reality at Neo’s sphere had stayed as if no explosion had taken place in the area, even if the surrounding area was a whole different story.
Not a single voice could be heard at the Chamber of the Deuses, since, they were starting to see things that even they were not capable of doing. This “anomaly” was starting to look like some sort of mortal god, rather than as an “ancient human.” This didn’t just reinforce Deus Neo’s case, it increased all their worries about the unknown group of hackers that had been doing many hidden experiments inside the Matrix. If the ancient counterpart of Deus Neo could create a guy like this, then, what could they expect from other unknown deusian scientists of their own time? What else could have been created in the endless AND real test fields of the Matrix?
It was visible that many of the deuses at the chamber were concerned about what they had seen. However, Deus Neo’s group, Deus T’s group, and Chancellor Dillion didn’t look even a bit surprised. It felt like they were the only ones that already knew that this was possible and that this had been achieved already. It wasn’t news for them; but it was news—perhaps, terrible news—for all the others.
Neo’s test wasn’t over though…
Neo saw how everything around his field of vision began to get erased by the simulation and a new world began to appear around him. It was a different world that wasn’t Earth, but it was also empty.
The same unknown deus from before appeared there and asked Neo to get closer to him, on the ground.
Unknown Deusian Soldier: “Well done. Now, there’s one final test, which will determine the final result. This is one of the current deusian planets. Most of us call it the ‘Desert Planet’ because many of its regions do look quite empty like this. It’s about four times as large as the ancient planet Earth and it has twice as much land as well. The final challenge is a speed race around the equator of this planet. Whoever flies around the whole globe and gets back here first wins. We are already standing on the equator and along this line is the west hemisphere. I hope you are ready.”
A new piece of equipment that looked like a futuristic and light-weight jetpack device appeared on the back of the deusian competitor. He quickly jumped up with the device and flew to the west with an alarming speed! He didn’t even say that their race had started!
Neo: “Hey!! What the hell?! This is cheating!! He didn’t even say on your marks!!”
Neo got quite alarmed just from thinking how much further ahead could the deusian guy be. He had no idea!!
Neo formed the white sphere around himself once again.
He suspected that he was still in the Matrix-like simulation, even if they had taken him to another planet, so all his abilities could still be used there. And indeed, he could fly west at the same alarming speed, but he was still behind, and he wasn’t aware of what portion of the globe had been covered because it wasn’t the Earth.
Eventually, he reached the deusian competitor.
Unknown Deusian Soldier: “I waited for you, just to tell you that you can’t win, unless you can do the impossible. I can increase this device’s speed even more and it will protect my body from any harm. You will only get there faster than me if you go close to lightspeed, which is a speed that no living being can withstand. So, ancient anomaly, show me the impossible once again, or fail the last trial. I will reach the initial location in less than the time it took me to tell you these words. I’ll be waiting for you there.”
And the deusian soldier speed up and went forward like a bullet!! Neo was going pretty fast and even he lost sight of him.
Part of him began to feel desperate, but, another part reminded him of Deus Neo’s words:
Deus Neo: “You won’t be facing anything that you haven’t faced before; so, you will be able to handle it just like you did back then. Remember about that time if you have any doubts Neo.”
Neo: “It’s not the first time!! When did I face this before!? When was I forced to surpass this speed!?”
And then, Neo remembered about Trinity. At the time when he had to save her by reviving her, he first had to influence the simulation to let him go over the limit of speed. He remembered that moment and he remembered about her, and somehow, he understood that there was even more at risk now. Back then, it was Trinity’s life, and now, it was every single life—everyone at Thomas Anderson’s world, every person that he had ever met and that he could have met.
They all depended on what would happen in the next few seconds. It was everything or nothing.
He remembered the ones that helped him to find the power to defeat the deusian anomaly back then, and he focused that same power on speeding up the white sphere of codes without placing any limit on the speed.
The deusian soldier reached their initial location and he was about to go down to land on their original spot when a white thing went past him several times. The speed was so powerful that he was pushed back violently, by the force of the air that was travelling alongside the object. Then, the white thing stopped below at their initial spot and the soldier could barely believe it. It could not be possible!!
The deus landed there and recognized that the white thing was the sphere of codes and the one inside it was the ancient human—better know as “the anomaly.” The anomaly went around the planet several times and still landed first; and all that was done in the time it took the deus to go down and land on the ground.
After the shock, the deusian soldier ended the test.
Unknown deusian soldier: “I don’t know how you did it, but you have passed all the trials, including the impossible one. I hope that our rulers make the right choice about you and the others. You are a remarkable being, indeed.”
The soldier disappeared and Neo’s test was over.
The simulated world around him began to disappear and this time it didn’t reappear. Neo was back at the chamber and standing on top of the white platform.
The chamber wasn’t quiet anymore. Most of the deuses present were impressed AND worried about what they had seen. If an ancient anomaly was capable of such things, then, what would happen if one of them had the power of an anomaly? What would happen if a deusian anomaly existed? Little did they know that such a thing had already happened in the Matrix…
The top representatives of the Deusianoid Faction and Deus Neo’s team were the only ones that knew about the deusian anomaly, which had been deleted inside the Matrix, before it could find its way out…
Deus Dillion seemed ready to give his verdict, but he was interrupted by Deus T:
Deus T: “Grand Chancellor, may I ask my two questions now? I would like to start with the anomaly.”
Deus T made his sphere land on the floor and he walked towards Neo’s platform.
Deus T: “Listen well, and answer me with yes or no only.”
Deus T pressed the border of the platform and some form of small square device came out of it and landed on his hand.
Deus T: “Is there anyone else at your world that is capable of surpassing you in any way or form?”
This question was a visible surprise for Deus Neo and all the members of his group. Did Deus T know about the “different iterations of their ancient counterparts”? Did he know that the later iterations could do more and the last iteration was by far the most capable one? If he knew those things, it could only mean one fact: he was among the unknown hackers that created the Virtual Matrices, and, he could have the knowledge to create a deusian anomaly as well…
Neo answered, looking sure, even if he knew that the final Neo was surely capable of more than him.
Sixth Neo: “No. There is no one in my world that can replicate what I did here, much less surpass it. I am the only one.”
Deus T: “You mean to say that you are the only human anomaly. Is that correct?”
Sixth Neo: “Yes.”
Deus T checked the device that came from the platform and read a message there, after he selected a few options.
Sentences on Device: “Answer 1—The specimen’s neural signals show, with 98% certainty, that he was lying. Answer 2—The specimen’s neural signals show, with 100% certainty, that he was lying.”
Deus T smiled briefly and he erased the information that he saw and returned the device to the platform.
Deus T: “That’s all I had to ask you, ancient anomaly. You have done well.”
He walked towards Rodner Smith and looked at him with the same deathly stare, this time, much closer to him.
Deus T: “I have one final question that may allow you to reach 30 right questions, if you answer it correctly. Think and tell me, what is your connection with us? Or, what do you and I have in common?”
Rodner Smith was feeling as if his end had arrived, but even if that was the case, he didn’t reveal his fear this time and he answered while looking at Deus T.
Rodner Smith: “Despite our differences in size and other aspects, it feels as if we came from the same family tree. So, I would say that you and the homo sapiens are second or third cousins. You may not be homo sapiens anymore. You may be homo deuses, but we are still related.”
Deus T smiled again, like he did with Neo, and the giant devious smile almost broke Rodner’s confidence, like the first deathly stare had done.
Deus T: “Not bad for an ancient bearded thing. I will count that as the 30th right question. So, he also passes. They are remarkable specimens without a doubt.”
He walked towards the many members of the Council, instead of returning to his sphere.
Deus T: “Now, we shall vote on Deus Neo’s case at last. Let’s not forget the threat that the Matrix represents. If anything is clear after today, it is that these ancient ones and the existence of the Matrix can indeed cause us many troubles, far more than what we can count, and perhaps, even more than what we can handle. We must act accordingly. We must end it.”
Dillion was not one to lose his temper, ever, but he still talked to Deus T as if he was giving an order.
Grand Chancellor Dillion: “Deus T, go back to your seat and wait until the votes are casted. We can all voice our opinions about the matter after that is done. Now, we must make decisions based on the facts. And the main fact is that Deus Neo has shown us that he was right about this. The ancient ones and their potential must not be ignored or underestimated. Like he said, they are indeed capable of giving us something. They can be very valuable for us. Not to mention that if we ever need access to the ancient DNA again, we would have them here with us. There would be no need to create another Matrix if they are here too. And with that in mind, we must finally decide, if we must make a place for them here, after the Matrix is gone.”
Dillion started a voting session with all the members of the Council.
Deus Neo picked up Neo from the platform, and Xenor went to pick up Rodner—who displayed a pretty bad mood, since he was treated as a prisoner by Xenor—the guy that behaved like a deusian General Xenno.
Dillion: “First, let’s vote on whether we must end and erase the Matrix. This is not the first time that we have talked about this matter and we are all clear about its dangers and its advantages. So now, let’s cast our final vote: do we keep the Matrix alive or should we end it?”
All the members present voted on the matter and the result was revealed to be 96% in favor of ending the Matrix. Those who voted against it had purely scientific reasons. Everybody else was more worried about the dangers of the Matrix.
Dillion: “Good. So, it is decided. We will end the Matrix soon, but, should we also end everything that lives in it? The second vote will be to decide Deus Neo’s case at last. The Matrix will end, but should we save our ancient ancestors from this miniaturized past? Should the ancient humans be extracted and saved from the Matrix? Should we make a small home for them at our current world? Initially, the past was recreated in the Matrix to be able to get access to them and our ancient and original DNA codes, which had been lost. They were the key to curing the lethal DNA virus that killed most of our past generations. They were also the key to understanding our true past, which had been forgotten as well. Would it be wise to keep them, even after the grand project of the Matrix reaches its end? Let’s have a final vote on this important matter at last.”
Everyone voted and to everyone’s surprise the outcome was 50% in favor of saving them and 50% against it. This was a worrisome outcome for Deus Neo and his group, and for the sixth Neo and Rodner. In such a situation, it was the Council’s standard to make a final decision against it, since 50% had voted against it.
However, one of the mage-like soldiers standing on a border removed the cloak from his face and walked towards the Grand Chancellor. It was the same deusian soldier that Neo had to compete against in the last test.
Unknow deusian soldier: “My father is not present at the Council today. He is the only member that couldn’t be here, but I asked him about his choice and he sent me his decision here. He is in favor of saving them.”
The deus showed the small screen that appeared on his hand to Chancellor Dillion. Indeed, it showed a video message of his father stating his choice. This meant that more than 50% were in favor of saving the ancient ones, so the final decision had been reached.
Dillion: “Considering this last addition, I, as the Grand Chancellor, declare that we shall end the Matrix and save the ancient humans from it, before we end it.”
The mage-like soldier went back to his position near the wall, and, before he put back the cloak on his face, he looked at the sixth Neo with an expression that showed that he was glad about what he did for them.
The sixth Neo began to realize that, despite the physical differences, the changes, and the unknown time that went by, the core of the human spirit had not changed.
Among the deuses, there were still heroes and villains, justice-makers and havoc-starters, noble ones and selfish ones, leaders that wanted the greater good and leaders that only wanted their own good.
Beyond all their layers, they were still human, like the ancient ones…
NEXT— Episode 5: “He’s not The One!!”