OK, Ok, someone's going to say, gee, you're crazy. But the latest debates regarding T3 and my favorite movie so far this summer have inspired this little nugget. Please enjoy. THE ANIMATRIX CAIN AND ABEL Damien adjusted his black shades as he finished knocking on the thick fireproof door of the tenement house. He could hear the screams of babies all around him, the sound of older children running up and down the halls. A woman was shouting an incoherent steam of Spanish at someone. Music thumped overhead like helicopter blades shaking the very walls of the hallway. The door had a peephole and he heard it slide open. Damien nodded to the peephole. “You asked to see me?” He asked seriously. He was reassured by the weight and feel of his gun under his left armpit. The peephole slid shut again and there was the sound of at least four different locks coming loose, a chain being pulled away and then the final solid thump of a bolt being slid back. He wished he could have checked on one last time with Frag, but there was no longer any time. The door was pulled open harshly and a tall man stood in the doorway. He wore shades as well and a black leather biker jacket and there was no doubt that in his left hand he held an Uzi. Damien smiled good naturedly and held up his hands. “It’s OK, friends, remember?” The stern looking man glanced back from Damien to further down the hall. “Come in.” the man’s voice was flat and emotionless, but there was a hint of accent, couldn’t quite place it. Damien against all better sense stepped into the apartment. He walked past the gunman and watched as the gunman closed the door and closed all the locks, slipped the chain back on the door and slid the bolt into place with a definitive thump. He swallowed slightly and walked down an almost impossibly long hall towards a living room. He entered the living room cautiously. A single large round table with wooden chairs stood in the center of the living room, other than that he could not see furniture. There was a woman and another man that looked exactly like the gunmen. “Whoa.” Damien said and looked back at the other gunmen that was right behind him. “He is alone. He is also armed with a nine millimeter barreta and a stiletto knife on the back of his waist.” The gunman stated emotionlessly. “They are of no consequence.” The woman stated and her voice was like ice, unlike the gunmen. There was a palpable malevolence to her. “Uhh…last time I checked you contacted us. Let’s clear the air on the hostility.” “There is no hostility, we are cautious.” The woman replied and indicated for him to sit down. Damien shook his head. “That’s Ok. Now, can we get down to business. My friends in the Ivory tower were extremely interested in your package. They sent me to make contact and find out more about you.” “We are interested in learning more of your city but we are most interested in your files on the enemy.” Damien nodded slowly, his eyes kept tracking between the gunmen. They were identical, right down to the shades and jacket, save that the one closest to the woman was toting a strange looking rifle. “We would be happy to do so, but there are suspicions that you may just be another ploy by our enemy to have us drop our defenses.” The woman shook her head. “We are not part of them, nor would we want to be. They are an alien entity that needs to be eliminated. Their very presence is a threat to us.” “What also concerns us is just where the hell you guys came from. I mean its been generations and now you suddenly appear offering an alliance. This is most troubling to many of our military men.” “You are also concerned about our true identity. What we are disturbs you.” She replied. Damien nodded. “That’s right, direct aren’t you?” “We have no need or time for niceties. These human traits are troublesome to duplicate and unlike the enemy we have no illusions as to what we are.” “I don’t think they do either.” She looked around the room. “This place says otherwise.” Damien frowned. “There is a purpose to this place.” She locked eyes with him. “We know otherwise.” Damien nodded. “And that’s what interests us most of all. What do you know about the Matr—” His phone rang. It was loud inside the apartment and all three of the strangers paused strangely. The gunmen with the strange rifle paused and cocked his head as if listening to a far off sound. Damien grabbed his phone and in one smooth motion flipped it on. “Go.” “Heads up Agents on the way.” “Fuck me.” “Not for a million bucks, now get your ass out of there.” Damien opened his mouth to speak when the gunman with the weird rifle spoke. “Security avatars are inbound estimate contact in 10 seconds.” “Initiate security protocols, 101A secure the door, 101B prepare emergency portal.” “Acknowledged.” Both gunmen replied simultaneously. “Secure the door? We have to get out of here those are agents.” “The security avatars will be dealt with until we can activate the emergency portal.” “Emergency portal? We need to get a hard line right now to get out of here.” She peered over to the hallway and back at him. “You have our methods and we have ours.” The door shuddered hard on impact. The gunman at the door stepped back and unleashed a burst from the Uzi. “That’s not going to do any good.” Damien snapped and rushed over to the window. There was a fire escape that seemed to descend downward like a cage of old iron. He saw a shape coming up the fire escape, moving like a panther, black suit and tie whipping in the wind. “Oh shit.” Damien hissed and jumped back in as the first bullets whizzed by his head. The door crumpled inward and an agent stepped into the hallway with a grim expression. The gunman fired another burst from his Uzi. The Agent seemed to warp and blur as it dodged the rest of the Uzi burst at near point blank range, at some points it even looked as if the agent were looking back at the path of the bullets. The gunman without hesitation cast aside his Uzi. “Standard weaponry ineffective, switching to physical assault mode.” The gunmen stated. He was sure that it was for the benefit of his companions and no one else. The gunman then did something that Damien did not expect. He reached out and grabbed the agent by the shoulders and slammed him through the near wall of the hall – through the wall. Damien paused. That was shocking. The other agent appeared at the window and fired into the apartment. Without thinking, on pure instinct Damien was in motion and the world slowed down for him. The reports of the agents gun became like distant thunder and suddenly he could see the deadly bullets swarming in like hornets, trailing distorted air. He moved and he was like lightning, the bullets were passing him by, one nearly tagged his arm. The woman caught two in her back as she was bending over to pick up a heavy case. She expressed no pain or surprise. Damien finished whipping around and leveled his gun at the agent in the window and fired. The agent blurred and distorted as Damien emptied his clip. “This is not good.” Damien muttered. He needed a hard line fast. The other gunmen brought his strange looking rifle up and fired. The blast was deafening as a plasma round exploded against the window. The entire far wall erupted outward as the gunman continued a steady burst then stopped. He watched the smoke and debris for a moment as the woman stood up and nodded to the gunmen. Damien noted with some concern her back. Instead of blood her flesh seemed to ripple like liquid metal and the wounds were gone. “Modified plasma rifle extremely effective.” The gunman commented. “How are you guys getting out of here?” “The portal is standing by on the roof.” “Then I guess I’m with you guys.” “You cannot come with us. The portal is not designed for human transit.” “Well, I’ll need some fire power like what you’re toting right now if I’m going to get out of here alive.” The gunman and woman exchanged hooded expressions. “Come with us then if you want to live.” The second gunmen came striding into the living room. “The security avatar has been physically damaged. We have a few seconds.” “Then let us go.” The woman ordered and promptly stepped out the ruined wall and onto the fire escape. The first gunman followed, the second pushed Damien forward. Damien followed them up the fire escape as they climbed quickly and effortlessly. He pulled out his cell phone again. “Frag?” “Alright I can’t believe what I just saw.” “Try actually being here. Can you get me a hard line?” “Across the courtyard, the phone in the apartment right under the black chimney.” “Thanks a lot.” Damien smirked. “Hey, you try hacking these lines on the fly my man – oh shit!” Bullets whizzed by his head. Damien ducked and reloaded his gun as the gunmen behind him turned around and faced the agent at the bottom of the previous fire escape stairwell. The agent fired right into the gunman. Damien heard the thick wet impacts but the gunman did not flinch. Instead it gripped the wrought iron railing and pulled it clean off its mounting with a harsh squeal and leapt down to face the agent. It whipped the iron railing into the agent’s head. The agent grunted and fell back against the far part of the fire escape. “This is way too weird.” Damien muttered and followed the other two up the last flight of fire escape ladders up. An agent appeared at the lip of the roof and fired a volley into the lead gunman, same effect as the other one, the hits were solid but the gunmen kept on going. He paused long enough to fire his plasma rifle. The agent ducked back out of the way but the entire side of the roof lip exploded. “I will initiate combat mode. You set the portal.” “Acknowledged.” The woman suddenly leapt upwards and disappeared over the lip of the roof. The gunman took her briefcase and continued on the last ladder. Damien followed and paused to look back down just in time to see the agent the other gunman was fighting grab hold of the iron railing and pull the gunman over the fire escape. The gunman had enough presence of mind to grab a firm hold of the agent and they both tumbled end over end down to the street, pummeling on each other the whole way down until they crashed into a parked car several stories below. The car imploded on impact and Damien shook his head. “Poor bastard.” “Hurry.” The other gunman urged as he stepped over the lip of the roof and disappeared. Damien jumped the rest of the way and landed right on the lip in time to see the woman deliver a spinning round house kick to another agent. The agent went flailing backwards but landed on its hands, flexed and leapt back at the woman. She planted herself firmly and sent her hand out, open palmed right into the agent’s body. Damien heard the impact from where he was. Another agent bulled through the door and charged into the fray. The other gunmen knelt down and opened the briefcase. “Aren’t you going to help her?” The gunman did not look up at him as he set something up within the briefcase, strange lights were flashing from within. “Her offensive capabilities are superior to mine.” He replied. “Well I’ll help her then.” Damien snapped and leapt down and charged into the brawl. The woman was grabbed from behind by one agent while the other punched her in the gut. He held her head up by the air. “We suspect what you are. You will tell us what we need to know.” The woman did not respond instead she butted her head backwards savagely into the agent’s face that was holding her from behind. Damien launched a flying kick at the agent standing in front of her. The agent seemed to know he was attacking and turned at his waist blocking Damien’s kick with one hand. Damien recovered and whipped his hand around in a round house punch. The punch had no time to connect as the woman suddenly seemed to flow out of the restraining agent’s grip and punched the agent Damien was attacking. The agent stumbled backwards. “Offensive capabilities of the invaders is high. We need to pool our resources.” “Reinforcements have arrived.” A third agent stated as he stepped through the battered door. “It will do you no good.” The woman stated grimly as she slashed out with her right hand and as it moved Damien saw her hand quickly morph into a blade and decapitate the agent that had been restraining her. “Okay, maybe she doesn’t need help.” Damien noted with awe. “The portal is set.” The other gunman reported. A glowing white portal was humming right over the briefcase. “A portable hard line?” Damien muttered. The woman whipped her leg around striking the third agent and sending him crashing against a brick chimney. It broke apart on impact and the agent’s sunglasses broke and slipped off his face. “Inform your people that the choice must be soon. If we do not hear from them in the allotted time we will continue with out plans and consider your faction irrelevant.” The woman stated as she strode past Damien. “Uh, a little help?” He asked as the gunman waited for her to step through the portal and then stepped through himself. The briefcase sparked and exploded. The white portal flickered and winked out of existence. “Help?” Damien asked as three agents gathered. He turned to the agents and smiled weakly. “I think I’ll be going now.” The agents all reached into their jackets. Damien was in motion. He turned and raced for the edge of the courtyard. He saw the window under the black chimney and aimed for that. The agents fired as he leapt out into the yawning opening of the courtyard. The bullets sailed by him in a cloud of steel, humming like angry hornets as he twisted in midair. He crashed through the window and landed on his back, firing his baretta back out the window at the agents. As soon as his gun clicked empty he leapt up and pickled up the ringing phone in the kitchen. The woman cooking in her kitchen stood shocked staring at him when she was suddenly convulsed and screamed and morphed into an agent extending his gun. That image vanished into a sea of digitized green code. The patrol of sentinels passed through the ruined cityscape, metallic tentacles trailing behind them as if caught in an invisible breeze. They moved as one, weaving between the fossilized ruins with cold precision. They passed one particularly tall building, every window had been blown out and most it was burned and blasted. How it still stood after all this time was a mystery. They passed by this building as they always did on patrol, their glowing red eyes searching for any sign of their enemy. They were not expecting another enemy altogether. Inside the ruined skyscraper were four silver predatory ships hovering on two over sized engines swept out from the main body of the vessel. The drone of their engines silenced by both modifications and the high whipping winds that howled at this height. The moment the sentinels passed the four hunter killers engines twisted forward and they surged forward out of one of the gaping holes in the side of the skyscraper. They quickly accelerated and locked onto to the sentinels. One of the sentinels picked up the new signals and instantly relayed its warnings to the others. The warning came too late. The Hunter Killers opened up with under the nose plasma casters. Intense red bolts lanced out in machine gun like fire at the sentinels. Two of them shuddered hard, their armor melting away into hot red shards. They plummeted downward into the ruined cityscape below. The other two sentinels climbed upward sharply and their tentacles fanned open aggressively. The Hunter killers spread out quickly. One of the sentinels caught a Hunter Killer as it tried to climb after them. The sentinel’s tentacles quickly wrapped around the silver hull of the ship and it positioned itself over the center of the ship, mandibles twitched spastically suddenly a thick red particle beam lanced out of the sentinel’s head right into the Hunter Killer’s hull chewing through the armor plating. The ship sputtered, its engines refusing to function and the Hunter Killer began to plummet downward. The Sentinel released its grip on the stricken Hunter Killer but before it could do anything else it was struck by a stream of plasma fire. Its tentacles sheered clean off by the blasts the Sentinel exploded. The last sentinel dove down into the cityscape pursued by the Hunter Killers. The Sentinel moved deftly between the buildings, through gaps and alley ways as the Hunter Killers were forced high above the tighter spaces, firing an occasional burst down at the fleeing sentinel. It began an immediate data transmission of it current position and status. The Hunter Killers picked up the transmissions and started jamming operations. One of the Hunter Killers accelerated hard and fast, pulling away from the others. The Sentinel continued its evasion of the hunters searching for the nearest sentinel patrol for reinforcements. It did not see the ambush until too late. The lone Hunter Killer that had pulled ahead suddenly dropped down in the center of a intersection and poured a murderous fusillade at the sentinel coming up a side street. The Sentinel hurtled ahead, several of its tentacles shorn away by the plasma blasts, half its red eyes punched out, but it managed to crash into the Hunter Killer, its remaining tentacles desperately scrabbled along the front surface of the Hunter Killer, peeling away armor plating. The Hunter Killer pulled up quickly, engines straining to accelerate as quickly as possible. The sentinel’s tentacles snaked into the exposed systems revealed by the broken armor plating, pulling and tearing the internal systems. The Hunter Killer crashed nose first into a building, crushing the sentinel against the frame and the ruined edifice. The Hunter Killer pulled back quickly, leaving the sentinel twitching in the rubble of the building. Another Hunter Killer quickly dipped down and fired a single burst into the sentinel’s head. The red eyes winked out and the sentinel lay still. The Hunter Killer settled down in front of the rubble, a hydraulic lift slowly opened and descended from the belly of the Hunter Killer. A squad of exoskeletons quickly descended from the Hunter Killer down into the rubble. They quickly and efficiently prepared the sentinel to be loaded into the Hunter Killer. Within minutes, the sentinel was loaded onto the lift and it quickly ascended back into the belly of the Hunter Killer. The ship’s engines tilted forward again and the Hunter Killer rose up and away. TRANSMISSION OPERATION COMPLETE. RETRIEVAL OF SUBJECT COMPLETE. 25% CASUALTIES INCURRED WELL WITHIN EXPECTD PARAMETERS. INBOUND TO BASE. ETA 4 HOURS. END OF LINE He stepped into the apartment and examined the wreckage. Coldly and meticulously walking through the white plaster and shattered brick and glass he looked for any clues. He stopped at a small liquid metal droplet glistening under a ruined table. He stooped down and picked it up slowly between his fingers, running it between his index finger and thumb, looking at it with eyes that could see beyond anything remotely human. “Curiouser and curioser.” Smith muttered darkly. The image of Smith suddenly broke into a sea of green digitized code. Neo awoke suddenly sitting up in the bed, sweat beading his brow and chest. Trinity moaned softly and slowly woke up her hand on Neo’s chest. “What’s the matter?” She asked groggily looking up at him. “I don’t know.” He replied uneasily. “But I feel like something has changed something that’s not supposed to be.” He finished and put a hand around Trinity’s. She watched him and did not like what she saw on his face.