Yeah... like anyone cares enough to read the whole fanfic. Whatever, I'll post it here to see what kind of feedback I have. If you haven't seen the first Matrix movie, this won't make much sense to you, and I wouldn't recommend reading it.
With that being said, this is a fanfiction about how Morpheus gets to be unplugged, and his journey to become Neo's mentor. Here it goes...
God of Dreams
Chapter 1: The First Step
Julius fastened up the last button on his winter trench coat in a desperate attempt to keep out the biting snow. He turned his head quickly, looking down the block, signaling for a cab. After all, he wasn’t about to drudge the next twenty blocks New York City blocks knee deep in quickly descending snow. Stepping off the curb, he looked at the cab that had just pulled up in front of him, then opened the door and sat down inside.
“Nice weather we’re having, huh?” the driver asked him amiably as Julius shut the door.
“It’s like we’re in a snow globe… it just doesn’t seem to end.” He answered wistfully while gazing outside. The rest of the trip was silent, save for the radio quietly playing on a local radio station. It’s shy voice spoke softly above the dead silence.
I’m at a place called Vertigo
It’s everything I wish I didn’t know
Except you give me something I can feel, feel…
Then the cab sputtered to a halt in front of his apartment. Julius stepped out of the cab, and gave the driver his fare. He nodded at Julius as a sign of gratitude as he shut the door. The cab coughed to life from its dead stop, and drove back down the road. Shifting his attention from the cab to his apartment, he started walking down to his door stoop.
The apartment had a single vine of ivy creeping across the fresh red brick. Julius fished through his pockets, and with great difficulty pulled out his house key and attempted to put it in the keyhole. His fingers were losing dexterity from being out in the cold so long. But finally, the door opened, and Julius brought himself inside, firmly shutting the door behind him.
“What a day…” he trailed off, plopping down in a black leather lounge chair in his bedroom. He rubbed his head, as if it would eliminate the stress of the workday. Julius took off his work clothes, and changed into more casual clothes. He hung up his suit in the closet, and plopped down into his computer chair, swiveling to face the computer.
He opened up AIM so he could talk to his brother in Los Angeles. The program quickly presented itself on his desktop, and he signed on. Almost immediately, his brother instant messaged him.
+AIM Client Sign In+
Will_Do: Hey, Julius! How was work?
JulesVerne: It could’ve been better. I was left with the task of having to dream up some sort of creative scheme to rebuild the Brooklyn Bridge.
Julius looked at his desk, scattered with blueprints of the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as many other bridges that has the same structural make as it. He sighed lightly, trying to temporarily forget the task that awaited him. He could not force the work from his mind, so he opened up an engineering program. He entered in the structural details of the Brooklyn Bridge, and turned his mind inside out looking for a practical solution. All the while he chatted with William. It was a welcome diversion.
Will_Do: I hope you can pull things together. When does this solution have to be presented to your co-workers?
JulesVerne: Tomorrow. I’ll talk to you sometime next week.
\\Will_Do signed off
He closed the chat window, and reopened his engineering program. After about two more hours of consulting different books on his shelf, files on the Internet, and racking his brain, he was near completion. His fingers moved slowly for the hot key “ctrl+s” to save his progress.
But the screen went completely black.
“You’re joking, right?” He asked the computer incredulously. He had his fingers still on the hotkeys, and decided to press them just in case by some divine miracle his work would be saved. But there was no on-screen confirmation. He only saw green lettering on screen giving him a simple but intriguing message.
[We’ve been watching you, Morpheus.]
“What the …” he trailed off idly, trying to understand what exactly was happening. Had the computer been possessed?
[Yes, hard to grasp. But we’ve been looking for you, Morpheus.]
Julius decided to type back to the person, trying to see if his words could come up on screen.
[Who exactly are you? And why are you calling me Morpheus?]
[I am but a White Bishop. Meet me under the Brooklyn Bridge at 2410 tonight.]
Julius moved to type back, but the screen cut back to his work, all of which had been completely untouched. He smiled gently, saving it as quickly as possible so as to prevent losing it. But his grin faded, as he wondered who had contacted him.
He tossed his thoughts around, finally deciding he would meet this mysterious “Red Bishop” in person. They probably wouldn’t hurt him, but one couldn’t be too sure in NYC. He rethought his position, realizing what they had said could mean serious trouble for him.
“You’ll never live if you don’t take a risk a few times in your life.” He finally completed his thought process. Tonight he would take a new turn, wherever that may lead him. Tonight he would take a chance. Tonight he would change.
Taking a look at the clock, he realized there wasn’t much time to spare; he had spent so much time on the engineering program, and now he would have a tough time getting to the Bridge by 12:10 AM. He stared at the neon green LCD numerals reading “11:54 PM.” He broke himself away from his thoughts; put on a pair of shoes threw on his winter trench coat, and bolted out the door, firmly closing it behind him.
“Need to hurry.” He whispered to himself, thinking of the fastest way back to the Bridge at midnight. The Metro. The course of action was a relatively easy one to plan out. During rush hours, the Metro lines would take forever, but with them empty, it would only be a ten-minute ride.
He sprinted through the several inches of snow that had accumulated on the ground, and swung onto the avenue, only another half-block from the Metro stop. He darted past a homeless man, who was holding a bottle of Jack, spouting out nonsense at him. He had no time for drunkards. However, as soon as Julius squeezed by the man, his body was distorted, almost painfully so, for a few instants. The homeless man twisted into a clean-cut man in a freshly pressed business suit and an earpiece.
“Contact going southbound. He’s taking the Metro.” The cold, lifeless voice spoke into thin air, as if someone would actually hear him. His eyes, although hidden behind a pair of sunglasses, were locked directly on Julius, who had just run into an empty Metro station.
Julius glanced at his Rolex watch, seeing he had nine minutes to make a ten-minute trip, quickly purchased a ticket, fed it to one of the ticketing machines, and got onto the train. He looked at his watch again, trying to calm himself down, then looked at the other passengers on the car right behind his. An old black woman was knitting, and a few teenagers were being rowdy, cracking jokes and standing on top of the seat. He directed his attention to the window, as they zipped by the cityscape, moving closer with each passing second to his destination.
Next stop, Brooklyn. Doors will be opening on the right.
The message was music to his ears. He stood in front of the doors, ready to sprint again when they opened up.
God of Dreams
Chapter 2: Welcome to the Desert
Gentle chimes sounded throughout the car, and the doors slid open. He took off, and caught a glimpse of a businessman sprinting in the same direction he was going, but he was gaining on him quickly. Julius guessed that he must have somewhere important to be, but in the back of his mind, a creeping dread dripped. Why would a well-dressed businessman be out at midnight in the middle of Brooklyn? The thought only made him sprint faster.
He looked over his shoulder, and did not see the man anymore. But Julius knew better than to slow down. Regardless of a man chasing him, he still had to get to the bridge in another minute. He ran onto the on-ramp that led to the bridge, and hopped over the guardrail, and jogged to the bottom of the embankment. He saw an Asian man, probably in his mid to late twenties. The stranger was garbed in what he could only guess to be some sort of traditional oriental attire, and a pair of well-fitting circular sunglasses.
“Good evening, Morpheus. I’m glad you could make it on time.” He said coolly to him. His voice was soft, yet confident. Julius panted for breath, snatching whatever oxygen his lungs could grab. The run had exhausted him.
“I suppose you’re the White Bishop. But why are you calling me Morpheus? And what’s you’re name?” He asked, not quite as smooth as White Bishop’s tone, but it was the last thing on both their minds.
“Yes, I am the White Bishop. My name is Seraph. But you will find out the reason I call you Morpheus soon enough. But for now, you must come with me.” He pointed at a black sedan, speeding down the other side of the bridge. Honks could be heard from other cars, probably telling him “learn how ta drive!” or “get off the road!”
Julius opened his mouth to protest, but realized that the businessman he was being chased by might have some sort of connection with the sedan. But Seraph silenced him, running to a black sports car, and getting in the driver’s seat. Julius hopped over the door into the passenger’s side, and buckled up his seat belt. Seraph reached for a cell phone. It flipped open like a switchblade and automatically dialed a number.
“He needs to be evac’ed. Where’s the closest point? I’m out.” Was all he said into it.
“What was that about?” Julius inquired in a worried tone. Seraph put the phone in his pocket, and shifted the car into gear, speeding away from the Bridge. The car fishtailed around a turn, then accelerated down a back-alley.
“When I stop the car, you’re going to run into the building with a sign saying ‘Auto-Repair.’ Go to the third floor, and stay in that room. You’ll be with friends.”
He felt nervousness rising into the pit of his stomach, hoping that he wouldn’t be in serious trouble. As if to answer his thoughts, a bullet glanced off the side of the car door and ricocheted into a brick wall. The car behind them was firing.
“Take the wheel for a moment.” Seraph said in a commanding tone. Julius leaned over, and make sure they didn’t crash. The car meandered back and forth slightly, but was stable for the most part. Seraph pulled an M16 from behind his seat, slammed a clip of ammunition into the bottom, and took aim at the car. He pulled the trigger, sending bullets into the trailing car. Sparks emitted from one of the headlights, and the right wheel had been shot out. The sedan lost ground, and soon was out of sight. Seraph took the wheel again.
Then the car stopped, and Julius didn’t hesitate. He hurdled over the door once again, and ran into the designated building, which looked like it would fall apart if he sneezed too hard. Climbing the flights of stairs, he got to the third floor, and opened the door, and saw several people, all of which were dressed in black trench coats and sunglasses, with some sort of firearm on their hip. He panicked.
“Who…Who are you all? The friends Seraph told me about?” He stuttered from the shock of all these thug-look-alikes.
“Relax. We’re here to help. My name is Naiobi.” Said a woman who was sitting down. She looked to be African-American, maybe 5’ 7”, and sat down in a leather chair. “Take a seat.” Julius took her advice, and sat down across from her.
“I know you have a lot of questions, but please, shut it til I’m done.” A few people shifted their weight, as if to show their disapproval of her methods. She paused for a few seconds, and then continued the speech.
“You’ve known it all your life. You’ve known that there was something more real than this life you’ve been living -- something intangible, but something so real. All your life, you’ve wanted it, searched for some higher purpose for your life. That’s why you’ve always been switching religions.”
Julius wanted to know where she got that information, but knew he had to remain silent. The woman grinned at him slightly, knowing exactly what he had been thinking. Then she continued…
“If you wish for the truth, take the red pill. Then you’ll see just how far down this rabbit hole goes. If you want, you may take the blue pill. You’ll wake up, think this was some sort of dream, and submit that Bridge schematic tomorrow. What do you want?”
He took a moment to pause, and consider his options. Somehow, the woman spoke such truth about his life that he knew that either he must have been dreaming, or she was a stalker. He hungered to swallow the blue pill, the one in her left hand. But his soul screamed in protest. Then he remembered his promise to himself. He would take another risk.
He reached out, but his hand faltered, still deciding which pill to take. As if this was some life-altering choice, he thought. Why not?
“Please remember, ignorance is bliss.” Naiobi smiled sweetly, as if she wanted him to take the blue pill. But he willed himself to grasp the red pill. She pushed a cup of water across the table to him. Everyone standing around whispered amongst themselves, as he swallowed the pill, and set down the glass cup on the wooden table.
“Come this way.” He said, ushering him into another room. A few of the crew scurried into the backroom before he did, punching in commands to several computers. One had a headset on, and was talking into a phone-jack. Julius could only guess what this was, aside from a meeting at the AV club.
“Welcome to the desert Morpheus.” She said in a grim tone. He looked at her, casting a worried look, and felt himself sinking into the ground as if he was the melting. He turned his attention to the ground, only to find discover he was melting, as if it were hot candle wax. The slow process of his body liquefying wasn’t painful, but shocking to say the least.
“His brain waves are normal.” A Hispanic-looking man said in a monotone voice, as he stared intently at the screen, which was constantly scrolling down new information. He seemed to be processing it with practiced eyes, as he skimmed from line to line.
“Heart rate at 80 beats per minute and holding. We gotta move quickly.” Naiobi said in a commanding tone. Gasping desperately for breath, he felt his body shake slightly, and he was sweating bullets. Perspiration completely soaked his underarms and neck. Shuddering once again, Julius completely passed out, as his vision faded to black.
God of Dreams
Chapter 3: The Journey to the Surface
Julius’ eyes opened wide in pain, and were greeted with a warm, pink fluid. He exhaled violently, making bubbles quickly rose to the top of the incubation pod. The pod’s top opened up slowly, as if it were a flower blossoming, and a flying machine, closely resembling a demonic-squid, inspected him. Its pink lenses focused, and several antennae probed outside of the squid, then retracted quickly. The machine’s tentacle moved to the back of his head, and unscrewed a cord, which lead into his cerebral cortex. It unplugged with a sickening sucking sound.
Julius was overcome by a sense of vertigo, hoping that it would come to pass. He had no idea where he was, and he wasn’t about to find out any time soon. The incubatory fluid flushed out of a shaft, and he slid down with it, twisting and turning down a tube, going where the liquid took him.
Finally, the shaft ended, and he felt into a pool of murky water. Julius decided he wanted to die; closing his eyes, he began to sink under the cloudy surface of the water. But some sort of leviathan hovered above him, the mechanical parts accentuated in a pale electric blue. A crane arm shot down out of a pair of doors, and closed around him.
The claw retracted back into the hovercraft, and Julius hung there in limbo. It felt like he was in the process of going to hell. Have I died? What’s happening? His tired mind searched for the answers, but could arrive to no conclusion. He began throwing up as the crew took him out of the crane’s arm and wrapped him in a rough blanket.
“I…is…” he spluttered in mid-sentence, choking on more puke rising in his throat. He fought it down, determined to get at least one question out before he died. “is this … r..real?” He battled to keep his eyes open long enough for the answer, but no one was in a hurry to give him a response.
“Yes. Go to sleep, it’ll help. You’re in good hands now.” Naiobi said gently to him, as if he were a baby being lulled to sleep. Julius could fight his fatigue no longer, and gave into it, throwing up once more before passing out on deck.
“Switch, Dozer, get him cleaned up. I’ll take us back to Zion.” She said, looking at the crew, and walking back into the cockpit. The doors gave a loud clang behind her as they shut. The crew looked at each other nervously.
“You heard the captain. Switch, get over here. Someone else wipe up the deck.” Dozer said in a deep tone as he crouched over Morpheus inspecting him with great interest. After a few seconds, he picked him up, and carried him into the electro-acupuncture room, took off his blanket, and set him down gingerly on the table. Switch turned on several life-support systems, plugging them into his wrist and left arm. The plugs slid into the sockets Morpheus had on his body, supplying him with vitamins and nutrients he had lost as a result of living in the incubating pods.
“So you think he’ll make it? We’ve lost so many already.” Switch said to no one in particular. She activated the needles, charging them with electricity and setting them on a metal dish next to the operating table.
“Yeah. He’s strong. His heart rate was great while he was being unplugged. Most people die then and there. Besides, his neuro-signals and vitals are all steady.” Dozer said, as he started for the door. “You got it from here. Later.” He exited the room, back out onto the deck. Switch sighed and began inserting the needles into Morpheus’ body. The process took hours, but if done correctly, would stimulate the muscle tissue that had atrophied from years of not using ones appendages.
* * *
Morpheus awoke with a start. The calm meditative state he had been in for the past few hours was only a diversion from what was really at hand. He remembered he had been in some sort of sac, and then he was onboard the ship. But his memory ended there. He remained laying down for a few moments, gathering his mind together, and mustered the strength to sit up. When he did, a dull aching arose in his stomach muscles again.
He rubbed his eyes, and looked around the room. It reminded him of being in a submarine, with the metal walls, tightly sealed cabinets, and funny looking doors. Morpheus turned himself so his feet dangled off the cot, and he stood for the first time. His knees wobbled under him, but soon became accustomed to his weight with little difficulty. Then he looked at his arm.
A … wire was attached, no, plugged into his arm. He furrowed his brow, not completely remembering what had happened what seemed like a lifetime ago when the squid unscrewed his plug. He looked at it, deciding if he should remove it or let it stay in.
“I hope this doesn’t hurt.” He said to himself as he gripped the cord and plugged it out. It slid out of him with a metallic click sound, and a stabbing pain shot through his arm, but quickly subsided. He winced in pain, opening twisting the door latch several rotations with his right hand he before it creaked open.
“Well good morning, sleepy head! How are you today?” Tank said to him amiably.
“Things have been better… but what’s happening to me? Who are you? What am I doing here?” he inquired in a rising tone.
“Whoa, whoa man… calm down.” He gestured with his hands, as if they were pushing back an invisible person. “The answers will come soon enough. But if you’ll take a seat right here,” he pointed to a chair with a plug at the head rest “the madam will be right with you.”
Morpheus sat down, and idly touched the back of his head. He tapped a metallic outlet, which sent a brief, stinging sensation down his spinal column. He tried it again, but there was no effect. Feeling curious, he sat up, and looked around at the deck of the ship.
Crates were stacked in corners, while wires snaked across the floor, which happened to be metal grating. Different types of computers hung on the wall, each vying for room enough to hang on the cluttered walls. Most of the equipment was worn, with paint chipping and duct tape holding together monitors. Directly across from where he was sitting was another room, with some ammunition rounds spilling out of the threshold. He could only guess it was a gunnery. But Naiobi came from behind he was sitting, rubbing her hands together and grinning.
“Today, you learn everything. Today, you become Morpheus,” she paused, letting the idea sink into both their minds. Morpheus felt slightly nervous, but at the same time eager to learn exactly what was going on. “Tank, load the construct.” Tank tapped away at the keyboard that was adjacent to Morpheus’ seat.
“But, this’ll be a little… uncomfortable.” She said to him, and then shoved the plug into the back of his head. His body arched in pain, and his mouth opened wide in a silent scream of pain, but as soon as it began, it ended, and he was soon weightless.
He floated for a few seconds in nothingness, seeing bits of code zip by him, and white panels flying into place. The panels made up a white expanse.
God of Dreams
Chapter 4: As if in a Dream
Morpheus wandered in the white infiniteness, and felt like he was lost. Looking at himself, he realized that he was wearing his usual clothes – his gray sweater, and black jeans. Touching the back of his neck, he felt smooth, untouched skin. He felt puzzled, to say the least, and was about to accept his journey up to this point as a dream.
He turned around several times, and even called out to Naiobi, but she didn’t answer. He frowned, and turned around once more, as if it would solve any of his problems. But it did. There she stood, staring at him, wearing a dark brown trench coat and black sunglasses on.
“Where am I?” He asked, hoping she would tell him.
“You’re in the Construct. Here, we can load anything we need. Weapons, training simulators, libraries, anything we might find necessary on a mission. But we’ll get around to the mission part later. First and foremost, you’re in a program.” Morpheus furrowed his brow, and tried to grasp the meaning of what she had just said.
“You see, Morpheus, at the turn of the century, mankind made an invention we’ll always regret. Artificial Intelligence was such a great thing back then, but it led to humanity’s demise. We made robots manual laborers, and it wasn’t very long until one decided to think for itself. It observed everyone else, and saw that humans could have freedom, but robots could not. The robot decided to share it’s thoughts, and soon all robots had a common goal: freedom.” She said in a very grim tone. Obviously she held contempt for robots now.
“But of course, humans are a very elitist species. We can’t stand having equals. So, what did we do? We denied them their rights. The robots peeled off from the rest of society, and created their own city, which they appropriately named 01. All the while, the United Nations decided to try and blot out the sun to cut the machine’s power. Evidently, it wasn’t a good idea, as humans need sunlight more than machines do. But the machines need power from somewhere. Remember those pink pods you saw, Morpheus? Those were humans being harnessed for energy. Humans ended up losing the war against 01, but the machines weren’t heartless. They offered us the Matrix, which is an illusion for your mind. An illusion created so that we didn’t have to live in reality. Ignorance is bliss, but you’re no longer ignorant, Morpheus.”
His eyes widened with shock and horror. He arrived at a bitter understanding that humans had destroyed Earth by themselves.
“Welcome to the desert of the real.” She said, and they were suddenly standing in what looked like post-apocalyptic New York City. All the skyscrapers were collapsing, rusted, and black. The sky was equally pitch, with only flashes of lightening to break the monotonous color. “That is the surface of the Earth. You see that?” she asked Morpheus. He could only put his hands on top of his head and shake it back and forth.
“I… don’t understand. It can’t be! You’re lying! Take me out! I want to go home” he yelled at her. She shook her head, as the white expanse came back, and New York City zoomed out of view.
“Sorry, Dorothy. We’re not in Kansas anymore. You can’t just click your heels or whatever to make things disappear. This is the truth, Morpheus. You’ve been living a lie all your ‘life.’ You were born a slave, and you lived in this cold, black prison in chains, staring at what you thought to be real. But trust me. Your ‘life’ was only a shadow of reality. You have the real McCoy… Tank, terminate.” She was unbending, as if she was beating reality into Morpheus. The white infinity broke apart, with green symbols, letters, and numbers flying around them both. He awoke from the simulation with a start, his body arching in panic at the regained consciousness. Naiobi unplugged him, and whispered something to Tank so low that he couldn’t make out any words. He glanced over at Morpheus as he smiled and nodded at her plan.
“Lets go get something to eat, Morpheus. C’mon.” he beckoned.
Morpheus was used to having ‘real’ meals with several types of food on a plate, as well as a choice of beverages. Therefore when he saw white goop that looked like pureed oatmeal, he was surprised to say the least. The crew looked up from the ‘meal’ and greeted him with broken phrases of “hello” or “hey man.”
“Is… this what you call food?” he asked quite sincerely. He couldn’t imagine eating this for every meal.
“Yeah. Breakfast and dinner. We don’t eat lunch to conserve resources. But you do get some water now and then. Besides, this ‘food’ provides you with the necessary vitamins and minerals for your body. It doesn’t taste like much, but you’ll live.” Switch said to him without looking up. Morpheus sat down at the last space available, and picked up the spoon next to his bowl, which was already full of the goop. He took a scoop of it, and watched the spoon grab some of the food, and brought it up to his mouth. But before tasting, he smelled it. It didn’t smell like anything but artificial, processed wheat. Dissatisfied, he put the spoon down.
“Don’t get all bitchy now, Morpheus. Better eat that crap or you’ll starve. Yeah, it’s not the best, but when we get leave we get to have real food as you call it. You’ll get used to it.” Cypher said to him, in a sneering tone.
“Fine.” He replied curtly. He picked up the spoon once more to try it, and put it in his mouth. There was no taste, except for extremely bland oatmeal. Oh well…he thought to himself as he continued shoveling the goop into his mouth. Like Cypher had said, it was better than starving to death.
After the crew had finished the meal, they all split up to various parts of the ship, and started upon their own work. Cypher had to monitor the Matrix for ‘disturbances’ where a regular person turned into an Agent, or in-Matrix distress signals. Dozer and Naiobi were piloting the ship back to Zion, Switch and Apoc were both performing below-deck maintenance. It turned out that they were being chased by Sentinels while they were unplugging Morpheus. Several parts to the anti-gravity generators had come loose in flight. Naiobi had a habit of damaging the ships she piloted, especially hers, the Logos.
“So, what am I supposed to do while everyone else moves like clockwork around the Logos?” Morpheus asked Tank, who was smiling fully at him. There was obviously something planned.
“Today… I have so much to teach you. Today’s the big day, man. You ready?” he was jittery with excitement, and led him over to the seat where he was plugged in before. “Have a seat, and let the training begin!”
Morpheus did as he was told, but asked several questions on the way.
“What am I going to learn? Training? What are you talking about?” Tank only shook his head, and put his index finger on Morpheus’ lips in a shhhh… gesture.
“Sit down here, and I’ll explain.” Morpheus took a seat, and reclined. Tank sat at the operating chair adjacent to him with several other monitors all hanging around him. Several were for video feeds; others were just blank for now. He walked over to Morpheus, gave him the thumbs up, and then shoved the plug into the back of his head. Morpheus cringed in pain, but stopped once he realized he was in the Construct once again. He examined himself, seeing that he was wearing a gi for karate, and wondered exactly why he had it on.
He looked around, and in the distance, he saw a Japanese hilltop coming his way with surprising speed for a hill of all things.
Eventually, it got to him, and he was standing on top of the hill, which had a Zen rock garden on it, and a bridge over a small pond. Everything felt peaceful as the wind blew. He tried to enjoy the moment, now knowing it was only an illusion, and data was being sent to his mind that gave him the feeling he was on this imaginary hill. To his surprise, Naiobi walked into view coming up the hill. They met in the rock garden, both in the karate uniform, both barefoot.
“What is this place? The Matrix again?”
“Not really. It’s a version of the Matrix. I thought I told you already that the Construct has the ability to load anything and everything here. This is just a simulation Tank’s prepared. You’re going to learn to fight. Tank, download the information now.”
After she had finished saying that, his body shook from the constant barrage of knowledge to absorb. It was if he had had a divine revelation from God, and He had told Morpheus how to use every form of martial arms. One could guess that all that information being sent at once would be slightly painful to grasp, digest, and hold onto. Naiobi watched Morpheus’ pain, smirking and nodding her head in approval. At long last, the information stopped rushing to his head like water flowed down a sink and the gushing stream of data slowed to a trickle and then stopped entirely.
“What do you know, Morpheus? Tell me.”
“I know Drunken Boxing, Kung Fu, Karate, Jujitsu, Jeet Kun D—“ he was cut short. Morpheus was surprised at everything he had learned in such a relatively short time. He had a slight headache, but he felt satisfied.
“Good. That is enough. There’s plenty more you probably know, but I don’t need to hear it. Fight me… and hit me. If you think you can.” She said to him devilishly, and got into form. Naiobi beckoned Morpheus to attack her with two fingers, and so the fight began.
God of Dreams
Chapter 5: Students Teach the Teachers
Morpheus slid his feet quickly underneath Naiobi in a swift tripping move. She jumped over his foot, and kicked at his head. She connected with a sickening crack. Morpheus stumbled backwards, and shook his head to rid himself of the pain. He forced himself to put his guard back up, as he recalled his martial knowledge.
They both circled each other for a time, and this brought them closer to the bridge over the shallow pond. Naiobi lunged at Morpheus’ solar plexus, but he parried her hand down forcefully, and threw a punch at her face immediately afterward. She blocked his strong attack with difficultly, but Morpheus wasted no time, and knocked her onto the bridge with a perfectly timed roundhouse kick.
“Good,” she said to him, congratulating him on hitting her. “You’re a natural. But you need to realize that this is a program, where rules can be bent and even broken. Don’t succumb to the physical limits this program imposes on you. Break away from all that, and really learn to bend the rules. Now come again.” She said, signaling for the fight to begin again.
Morpheus didn’t wait for her to get back up from the ground. He jumped in the air, preparing to break her jaw with a knee-drop. Time seemed to slow down around him, but Naiobi eluded his attack once again. She rolled backwards, and jumped onto the handrail.
Thinking quickly, he knocked out the support beam to the rail, making it collapse. But it was too late, as she had already jumped off of it and threw a swift succession of punches at his face. Morpheus saw time slow down again, and he moved to block the punches right as they were about to impact on his nose, cheek, and eyes. He caught each individual punch, and grabbed her fist on the last one, and bent it backward powerfully.
She gritted her teeth in pain, but did not scream. She sent her left fist into his right cheek, knocking him off the bridge into the pond. Both gasped for breath, and Morpheus stood up in the knee-deep water. He was determined to not lose.
Naiobi sprinted off the bridge and jumped at Morpheus. In counter attack, Morpheus jumped high into the air, trying to break the rule of gravity for the moment, to let him go higher. She saw a line of green code stream spout out of the water from where he had jumped. The solitary line was soon followed by many of his brothers, each one zipping out of the water from where Morpheus had taken off, then slowing down as it traced his flight path. The flying water droplets slowed down, each one looking like a crystal hanging in space. Time creaked back from the dead halt into a slow crawl, and the water began to fall down as gravity worked its wonders again.
He was nearly ten feet off the ground when time sped up to normal, with his after-image glitching and freezing in midair. Naiobi’s eyes opened wide with surprise at such a feat. But there had been to time for admiration; Morpheus’ heel buried itself into her stomach mercilessly.
Morpheus gingerly jumped off of Naiobi’s body, and picked her up out of the water where she had landed. He walked back into the stone garden and set her down, sitting cross-legged next to her. She tried to resist Morpheus giving her help, but she was too weak, and instead began to talk.
“That’s what I was talkin’ about, Morpheus. Do you understand now? You broke the rules to win, and that’s what humanity needs.”
“I think so. It’s still hard to grasp… when I think about it, am I really breathing air? This all just electric signals sent to my brain, which makes me question, what exactly is real? It’s overwhelming sometimes.” He finished with a sigh, and felt cold again as the wind blew his wet body.
“Yes, it can be confusing, but I think you’ve done a helluva job grasping the truth. But don’t overanalyze too much. You may mix yourself up, and we don’t want that.” She finished, and stood up on her own strength. She wobbled for the first few seconds, and then stabilized herself. “Program terminate.” She finally said, as the beauty of the Japanese hillside disappeared into oblivion, and he woke up again with a start. He saw everyone looking at the monitors, which currently showed the Construct being disassembled once again, as the program closed.
“Good job man! You know howta throw them thing back!” Dozer exclaimed with glee. The rest of the crew showed him the similar sentiment. Naiobi rubbed her stomach in pain, and then punched him on the shoulder.
“You’ll be a great addition to the crew.” She said thanking him that he wasn’t dead weight that needed to be dropped off in Zion at the next opportunity. He returned everyone’s congratulations merrily.
“Thank everyone. But how did you know what was happening.”
“I can read the code of the Matrix,” Cypher piped up from the back of the crowd of the crewmembers.
“And the rest of us just watched on this monitor. It translates the code into live video feed, which was displayed on these three screens,” Tank motioned to the consoles he had manned. The rest of the crew nodded in agreement.
“In all my time, I’ve never seen someone fight like you, man. How’d you have the Construct spitting out code from the pond like that? It was insane!” Apoc asked exitedly.
“I… I don’t exactly know yet. But I came to a realization that it was all an illusion, and therefore there wasn’t any rules to be followed.” He thought, trying to actually answer the question for himself, as well as the rest of the crew.
“Good stuff. But our ETA to Zion is only about four minutes, so get ready. Dozer, perform all post-flight checks, Switch, you clean up the crates around here, and Apoc, give her some help with that. Morpheus, you can carry our luggage. Move!” She yelled. Everyone scurried about in a hurry to complete what had been asked of them. While picking up Tank’s bags, Switch whispered to him.
“Zion’s amazing. Like nothing you’ve ever seen before – I guarantee it.” She told him with a smirk. It only make Morpheus all the more interested.
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