“Remember, Neo. The more silence you maintain during this mission, that much less violence there will be. We do not want to attract any attention”. “Relax, Morpheus. I will be in and out before anyone realizes”, said Neo. “It is not going to be that easy”, Trinity interrupted. “You gained too much attention after you destroyed Smith. There are many agents who are dying to get to you. So, be as discreet as possible”. With a little nod, Neo sat in his chair and leaned back. “Link, are you ready?”, Morpheus shouted. “Yes, boss”, Link replied. Morpheus pushed the connector into Neo’s head.
Everything went blank.
(Pixabay image by Natan Vance)
He was standing in the corner of a street of Mega City when Neo opened his eyes. The city had still not recovered from the sand storm that hit it two days back. The area looked completely deserted. He checked his watch. 10 AM. “You are genius, Morpheus”, he murmured as he started to walk. He took the phone out of his pocket. “Link. Where to go?”, he asked. “Spark Technologies. Two blocks to the South”, Link responded. “I don’t have a compass, Link. You have to tell me which way is South”, Neo said. “Turn back and keep walking”, said Link. Morpheus and Trinity chuckled.
Neo hid behind a pillar next to him when he spotted the headquarters of Spark Technologies. He could see some armed guards at different levels in the building. The phone rang. Neo answered, “Yes”. Morpheus said, “Ok. Let us go through the plan one more time. There is a lab in Level 46 of that building. In that, the company has been developing a technology that generates electricity from sun rays. This technology is different from a regular solar panel in the way that this device is specifically designed to be used during total solar eclipses. The additional luminosity that earth receives during an eclipse is the key to this technology. This device generates electricity from that and stores it in a large capacitor which is in the same lab. Once the capacitor is at its full capacity, it can light up Mega City for three complete years.”
Neo was listening carefully. Morpheus continued, “Fortunately, the total solar eclipse passes through Mega City today. It is now 10.10 AM. The eclipse starts in 20 minutes. As we speak, Spark Technology scientists are setting up the instrument on their terrace to capture the energy. The corona is visible at 12 noon. So, Neo, you have one hour to be in the lab at the capacitor. Once the capacitor starts to receive the energy, you have to absorb it. But, you won’t get affected by it as we will extract it simultaneously here from your body”. Neo asked, “So, are you sure there is no other way to boost up Nebuchadnezzar?”. “No Neo. This is the only way. You heard it from Oracle yourself. Do not worry. We will be tracking you from here”. Neo did not feel comfortable at all. Trinity said,” We are on stand by. If something happens, we will be there before you even say your own name. And most important. Ensure that no one sees you. You know what happens when they do”. “Yes. The scars from bullet wounds are still fresh on my abdomen area.”, replied Neo.
“Link, I need binoculars”, Neo asked. “Coming up”, answered Link. After a couple a seconds, Link said, “Look to your right”. Neo picked up the binoculars on the table to his right and looked to the Spark Technologies building across the street. He was in a deserted office building. He scouted the entrance and made up a plan. He picked the phone and said, “Link. I need a white lab coat and pair of spectacles.” He had them immediately. He put them on and started walking. He reached the entrance of Spark Technologies and stopped at the security. “Hello. I am Dr. Anderson. I am here to join Dr. Cooper and team and help them with today’s experiment”, he said to the guard there. The guard checked his database of expected visitors for that day. No one was expected. He turned to Neo and said, “Sir. My apologies that I cannot let you in. Your name is not here”. Neo smiled and said, “Oh. How forgetful Dr. Cooper was. This was not his first time. Fine. Let me call him”. He took his phone out. He pretended to be speaking to Dr. Cooper. The security guard asked his colleague next to him, “Who is Dr. Cooper?”
“Hello. Dr. Cooper. Anderson here. I just found that you forgot to let your security know about my arrival”. Link said, “Alright, I am sorry. I should have thought this through. Coming up”. Neo continued, “Haha. No problem, Dr. Cooper. Thank you very much”. He pushed the phone back into his pocket and told the guard, “Please check you database again”. The guard checked and looked convinced. He pressed a button next to him and door in front of Neo opened. “Welcome to Spark Technologies, Dr. Anderson”. Neo gave a little smile and entered the building. Somewhere someone received a faint signal in the device plugged to his ear.
Neo cleared the scanning area without any problem this time. He decided not to bring guns to this mission. “Ok. One hurdle crossed. Level 46”, said to himself. He entered the elevator. He reached level 46, stepped out of the elevator and started inspecting the area. He grabbed his phone again and said, “Link. Where to?”. “Walk a little further. You should see a door to your right.”, responded Link. Neo found the door. As he was about to open it he heard a loud shout. “Stop”. Neo turned and saw a security guard walking briskly with a gun in his hand pointing at him. “Excuse me, Sir. You called Dr. Cooper and asked him to grant you access to enter the building”. Neo sensed some odd tone. “Yes”, he replied. “Well. There is no Dr. Cooper here”. Neo understoodd where this was going. “So, who are you?”. The guard placed his finger on the trigger. Neo checked the time. 11.30 AM. The eclipse must have started already. He needed to get inside immediately. So, he chose the fastest way to deal with the situation. He raised his right fist and punched the guard in the stomach. The guard flew couple of meters back before hitting the ground. He pressed the emergency button on his uniform before becoming unconscious.
Neo heard the approaching sound of footsteps. “Guys. Can I ask for little help here?”. “They are already on their way”, Link responded. One guard appeared before him. As he prepared to take position, the guard fell on the floor, transformed and stood up again. “Agents”, murmured Link. Neo said to himself, “Here we go again”. He ran and started to fight the agent. Then he saw some more agents running towards him in the hallway. As they made their way, they heard the sound of the elevator. They stopped and looked back. Morpheus and Trinity entered and started to fight the agents. Morpheus found his way to Neo and said, “Trinity and I will take care of this. You go inside”.
Neo entered the lab and looked around. He found the capacitor rather quickly. He approached it and observed the reading on it. The electricity started to come in for storage. He called Link and asked, “So, what now”. Link said, “At the right end of the capacitor, there is a small vertical rod. There should be a caution saying Extremely Dangerous. Do not touch”. “Found it”, said Neo. “First lose your watch and phone. Then touch it and hold it. You will be electrocuted”, said Link. “Really. Do you think it is that easy?”. “Hey. Do not blame me. It is the order from the boss”, said Link. Neo thought for a moment and said, “If I become the super villain Electro, the first person I am coming after is you”. He cut the call and took position in front of the rod. After long hesitation, he held it. For one second, he felt the severe shock. Then it was normal. He understood. Link was taking the charge out his body in Nebuchadnezzar. But, he was feeling little dizzy.
Morpheus and Trinity entered the room. They saw Neo absorbing the charge. Morpheus said, with a sense of pride, “I knew it. HE IS THE ONE”. They approached him. Trinty picked up the phone which Neo threw aside earlier. Then they observed something. The charge coming into the capacitor stopped. Morpheus said, “I will go and check what is going on on the terrace. You stay here and help Neo”. Trinity nodded. Morpheus took the staircase and ran up. He reached the terrace and saw two scientists working on a device. He approached and asked them, “What happened?”. They saw Morpheus. Frightened, they asked, “Who are you? How did you get in?”. One scientist took the walkie talkie from his pocket and shouted, “Guards”. Morpheus took his gun out and asked pointing at them, “What happened? Why is your device not generating electricity”. The scientists looked at each other’s faces and replied, “It looked like the generated electricity was drained out. We don’t know how”. The door to the terrace opened behind them and agents started running towards Morpheus. Morpheus looked at them and said to the scientists, “If you don’t fix this soon, I will shoot you”. He started to fight the agents.
After a while, Neo felt the shock. The electricity is flowing through again. Trinity checked the time. 11.50 AM. 10 minutes to the full eclipse. She called Link and asked, “How much longer?”. Link said, “About 10 minutes”. Then two agents came inside the room. Trinity started to fight them. On the terrace, Morpheus observed the fading light. The eclipse is about to be at its maximum. It took him little more than five minutes to fight the agents. He called Link. “Link, what is the status?”. “Almost there boss”. Morpheus saw no point in waiting there. He gave one look at the scientists and ran to the elevator. He called Trinity. When Trinity answered he could hear the disturbance. Trinity said, “Morpheus. I am in the middle of something here. What is it?”. Morpheus said, “The flow of electricity stops at 12 noon. Be sure Neo holds on till then”. When he reached the ground and ran outside the facility on to the street, the whole place went dark. He put his shades on and looked up. The spectacular sight of Corona appeared before him.
Neo fell to the ground unconscious. Trinity, who finished off the agents, came and held Neo. He was not breathing. Tears started to roll down her eyes. She called Link. “I am not getting any heart beat reading”, said Link. Trinity started to cry harder. “What about Morpheus?”. “He is back”, replied Link. Trinity held Neo for a while. She brought her face close to his. As she was about to get them, she felt a strong hand on her shoulder. Neo stopped her and said, “Not now. Let us go back first”. Back in Nebuchadnezzar, Link and Morpheus shouted in excitement. Neo and Trinity reached the street and found the phone booth, Link directed them to. Trinity went first, Neo followed her. They did not observe the man standing at a distance. That man said, “Good bye, Mr. Anderson. We shall meet soon. It is time to give you the gift”.
Neo opened his eyes and saw the crew of Nebuchadnezzar staring at him. He asked, “Did we get enough power?”. Link said, “Oh ya. We got more than required. Thanks to you”. Neo felt happy. Morpheus felt proud. Trinity felt uncomfortable. That night for the first time, Neo had a dream about Trinity getting killed.
(Continued on Matrix: Reloaded)
This is a piece of fiction piece written for D. Wallace Peach’s monthly Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt.