* * *
Agent Smith studied the file in front of him. He tilted his head to look at the Strategic Unit next to him and tapped the screen. "The Mainframe thinks this will work?"
Agent Brown looked at his Command Unit carefully. If it was possible, Agent Smith had become even more unstable after his recompilation. The Strategic Unit was not sure how good it was that Agent Smith was interested in the Exciter Virus. "The Mainframe knows that this will disrupt a rebel's code so that he cannot interact with the Matrix. The reason that the Mainframe has not used this virus on Neo is that it does not know how to insert the Exciter into his code."
Agent Brown watched a smile spread across his superior's face with something resembling dread.
"I know how to do this," Agent Smith said.
* * *
Agent Brown watched the restaurant across the street quietly. "The human could not be foolish enough to show up for this," he murmurred to Agent Jones.
"Humans are often very foolish," Agent Jones said quietly, looking up the street.
Agent Brown sighed. "How has that rebel been able to destroy so many Agents and yet be so dense?"
"He is only human," Agent Jones murmurred. "Come, we have our orders."
Agent Brown nodded. A few seconds later, two confused young men stood across the street from an expensive restaurant.
* * *
Agent Smith watched the humans around him.
He had enjoyed being around humans once. He had enjoyed debating with the intelligent ones and gently mocking the stupid ones. Hunting down the rebels had been a sacred duty, then, not a mission of vengeance.
The disturbance in the Matrix that the human called Neo created roused him from his thoughts. "Mr. Anderson," he said in greeting.
The human slipped into a chair across from him. "My name is Neo, Agent Smith."
He nodded. Most rebels were extraordinarily fond of the names they chose after being unplugged. For all Mr. Anderson's ability, it was still just a rebel.
"You know, I thought I destroyed you pretty thoroughly," the human said casually.
"As that is not what we are here to discuss, Mr. Anderson, it does not matter."
The human twitched at the use of its real name, but remained focussed on the task at hand. "Just what are we here to discuss, Agent Smith? You never mentioned that in your message."
The waitress poured a red wine into their glasses and moved on her way.
"Have a drink, Mr. Anderson. Our dinner will be here soon." To allay the human's probable suspicions, he drank some of the wine. The descriptive tags informed him that it was "cool", "smooth", and "sweet." His experience told him that comments on the wine would alienate the human.
The human carefully took a sip from the glass, all the while watching him. Agent Smith noted the dark hair and eyes, the pale skin, and the fine features with annoyance. If it had been female, it would look remarkably like Trinity.
"So, Smith, why are we here?" Mr. Anderson asked again.
Agent Smith chose not to directly answer the question. He had a feeling that 'So we can infect you with a virus that will disrupt your code's interaction with the Matrix to the point that you will be unable to affect it or leave it, thus rendering you harmless' would not go over well.
Instead, he said, "We are aware that you are highly attached to the rebel called Trinity."
The human's head snapped up in a painfully quick manner. "If you hurt her in any way-"
"Mr. Anderson," he interrupted. "I would never dream of hurting my Trinity."
"Your Trinity?" the human asked quietly. Perhaps a bit too quietly, but that was the intended reaction.
"Did Trinity ever tell you about her life before she was unplugged?"
A wary expression settled over the human's face. "She said that it was fairly normal for our kind of people. She worked for one of the mega-corps, Microsoft, I think, by day. She hacked by night. You do know the drill."
Ignoring the jibe, Smith focussed on the important part. "Did she ever tell you her real name, Mr. Anderson?"
"Catherine Chardonay was one of the most brilliant programmers that Microsoft was ever blessed with. She was also one of the most brilliant hackers that we were cursed with." He looked at the human across from him with hard eyes. "Did Trinity ever tell you that she and I were... involved before she was unplugged?"
The waitress set their steak dinners on the table and went on her way.
Mr. Anderson was looking at him as if he had gone completely random. "Trinity would never do something like that."
"Trinity only existed on the Internet at that point in time, Mr. Anderson. Catherine Chardonay, on the other hand, was a part of the Matrix and she did do that."
He could see that the human did not believe him. Well, that didn't matter. The incubation period was almost up. Pushing his dinner aside, he removed his sunglasses and leaned across the table. "Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what kind of woman is it that shoots a man she was planning to marry?"
The human snarled at him, "I don't know where you got these fantasies from, Agent Smith, but-"
Agent Smith watched with interest as the human's arms sank into the table. That didn't really seem to terrify Mr. Anderson so much as the way the human was rapidly fading in and out of visibility. The Exciter Virus seemed to be taking an unusually long time to finish disrupting its code.
"Mr. Anderson, do you know what the Exciter Virus is?" He decided that the human was in no way capable of retrieving that knowledge at the moment. "The Exciter Virus is just that. A virus that will disrupt or 'excite' its victim's code to the point that victim cannot interact with the Matrix in any way. The victim cannot see, cannot hear, cannot leave."
He smiled at the terrified expression on the human's face. He leaned close to the human, determined that his face be the last thing it ever saw and that his words be the last thing it ever heard.
"For daring to love my Trin, Mr. Anderson, fall to your knees and repent, if you please."
* * *
Agent Brown looked up as Agent Smith entered the room.
"It is done," Agent Smith announced. "The Virus worked as expected."
Agent Brown nodded. Of course it worked. There was simply no other possibility.
"That human was too trusting," he said quietly. "But the others are not. Why did they let him come?"
Agent Smith sneered. Whether at him or the rebels, Agent Brown was unsure.
"What does it matter why? They did and now they've lost their precious 'One'," Agent Smith growled.
Agent Brown looked helplessly at Agent Jones. They should not have let Agent Smith handle this alone. They especially should not have given in to Agent Smith's demand for all communications going into that section of the Matrix to be cut. Agent Smith was far too energetic to have merely done his job.
* * *
"I can't believe it," Tank murmurred.
Trinity didn't look at Tank. Her eyes were on the man jacked into the Matrix. In front of her, Neo's body continued to breathe, his heart continued to beat, and his brain wave monitor continued to show that he was dead.
"Tank, what's wrong with him?" Hemera asked. She sounded hysterical, Trinity noted.
Tank shook his head in disbelief. "They got an Exciter Virus into him."
"I thought the AIs no longer used them! I thought we developed defenses against them!" Hemera still sounded hysterical, Trinity noted. Something would have to be done about that.
She heard Tank explain to Hemera that yes, they had developed defenses against the Exciter Virus and the only reason the AI had gotten Neo with it was by designing a fiendishly clever trap. The AI would never be allowed the chance to do something like that again. The scientists in Zion would immediately set to work on discovering the cure. All hope was not lost.
Trinity stroked Neo's hair slowly. "Tank," she said. "Where is the virus that Mouse was working on?"
Tank looked up sharply. "You can't-"
"Tank, where is the virus that Mouse was working on?" she asked again.
"Look, Trinity, I know you're upset but you cannot use that virus." Tank seemed very determined not to give her access to the virus, she noted.
She just looked at him in response. He would give her the virus sooner or later. It would be better for all involved if it was sooner, though.
* * *
Trinity stood in the middle of the darkened building and waited for the Agent that she knew was coming. He would not allow her to escape if he could prevent it and as she didn't want to escape, he would catch her.
He strode through the fire like a dark angel, anger and pride making the lines of his face even harsher. "Trinity."
She simply looked at him.
"Why are you still here, Trinity?" Agent Smith asked, looking at the ringing phone. "I never took you for a fool."
She stepped forward, deftly side-stepped his raised gun, and kissed him. It was a deep kiss, reminding of much and promising more still.
He pushed her away. "It is a bit late to apologize, Trinity."
She might have smiled then. "I know."
Then she stepped forward again and pressed her body against his. She pulled him down for another kiss.
When she was done, she whispered into his mouth and leaned against him. He was not as warm as Neo was, she noted, but then body heat wasn't something AIs were supposed to have in the first place.
He stiffened when he felt the Matrix being torn away from him and if he had been able to, he would have clung to her when she stepped away. Soon the Agent called Smith vanished from sight with the rebel called Trinity following shortly afterwards.
* * *
Tank stared at the monitor, horror replaying that vision over and over in his mind. Oh, God, why did you let this happen? Trinity and Neo deserved so much more than this.
Hemera looked at the readouts over Trinity's body. "Tank, what did she do? She's just like Neo was, but I didn't see any way that the Agent could have infected her with the Exciter Virus and have it act that quickly."
Tank sighed. "Mouse was working on a project he called Chill before he died. It was a virus that acted similarily to the Exciter Virus. Never understood how he got the name. Anyway, the virus had to be communicated via 'physical' contact in the Matrix and it destroyed the carrier as well as the target. He managed to find a way to attach it to large chunks of code, such as animals and people, before he was killed, but he never found a way to attach it via small pieces of code."
"She kamikazed," Hemera said flatly.
He nodded. Morpheus was not going to be pleased at all. Why had Zion demanded that he remain behind on this mission? What possible need could they have for him to repeat their story over and over? If Morpheus had been here, none of this would have happened. He had a way of making people listen to reason that Tank had never mastered.
Hemera looked up suddenly, causing her blonde hair to be displaced. "Tank, what was that last thing she said? I didn't really catch it."
He shuddered. "She said: Fire and powder, which as they kiss, consume."
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
* * *
A/N: For those of you wanted a happy ending/Smith and Trinity to get back together/Smith and Neo to get together/etc., time has shown that there isn't going to be one. I long ago lost my inspiration for this series, though I do offer two different 'what happens from here' fics.