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a child of the light

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"I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole." –Jung



Some days are better than others.

“You’re going in too hot -- Trin-Trinity!” Morpheus yells as she grips tighter at the SUV’s wheel and slams into a wall of guards. After the horrible impact, they spin out of control on the asphalt. She bites her lip so hard it bleeds, and she can taste the iron in the mirrored-self sense of real lips, real teeth, real blood.

“They can’t shoot us if they’re dead,” she says quietly and gains total control of the vehicle. What’s left of the enemy are rising to their feet, shell shocked but aiming their firearms in one singular direction.

“We’re going to have a long talk about this,” he replies as she hits the gas.

She’s grounded for weeks after that, stuck on mechanic duty and medic duty and keeping-Tank-entertained duty. It’s an easy effort, of course, and she carries out her duties with a distracted autonomy; mind and thought zeroing in on what she desires.

The need needles her like a canker, and it’s the sweet succulent calling of the chair and the jack and the false reality where the power is intoxicating.

“Toxic,” she later says to Ghost but he knows her better than that.

Lying in her cabin, shivering under blankets and sweaters, she runs her fingers along the surface of the wall. There’s scars on her hands, bruises here and there on her skin, and her muscles ache. Hard labor in the real world takes a toll.

When they find the One, she thinks, when it’s all over, this, this, this will be it. The weight of gravity and the smell of stale air and of metal and of sweat. Freedom locked between so many steel walls. And no need for a hacker turned soldier.

And of course--and how could she forget-- “and that man, that man will be--” she thinks and her heart rebels.

Morpheus’ latest candidate dies in the chair and Trinity sighs out with relief.

Zion greets them with its usual disinterest in the navy that protects them and in Morpheus’ mission to save humanity. Trinity shrugs it off while Apoc mutters dark things under his breath.

Trinity wouldn’t call herself a believer, because believing means-- means---

Everything makes sense when she runs into Ghost at her favorite bar, and he rolls his eyes when she makes a comment about their respective captains shacking up again. “You just don’t know what love is, Trin,” he says.

“Oh, I know,” and she’s thinking of the jump program and the way it feels to fly through fabricated air.

After so many shots of violas, they lean heavily against each other; not quite laughing or crying, or maybe a bit of both.

“Why am I like this?” she says, slurring her words and hoping he understands her meaning.

He closes his eyes. “How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow?”

“Don’t quote Jung at me,” she says and something in her, some part of her thinks about taking him, her best friend, to bed. It would be a terrible decision but he looks good tonight, looks good enough to--

But it’s all forgotten the moment she begins heaving into the trash can.

In dreams, she bleeds a dark kind of ichor filled with little black sparks.

She bleeds as she battles herself, a perfect echo of flesh and form; equally matched.

The hits keep coming, but she is relentless to bring this to a close, to end this, to smash her face into the pavement with a punishing blow.

But her mirror smiles through it, staring at her behind bruised eyelids. “Maybe you just have bad blood,” she says before you silence her.

That morning, there’s a sharp banging on her door. And it’s Morpheus, looking alive again. “We’re going back in. Find us a new one,” he says.

A crystal blue sky reigns supreme over the Matrix.

Trinity breathes in the air, filling her lungs till they can’t take anymore. Breathes in the false smell of clean linens and sunshine. She rolls her head to the side and the world is dimmed with the silver grey of her shades.

I’m home, she thinks, and she clenches her fists.

There’s an agent on her tail which means she got sloppy. Her lips curl up into a rare smile because this also means she gets to bend reality as far as it will go as she flees.

Tank’s yelling directions and orders in her ear, and she’s running so fast that her actual heart begins to race. It’s exhilarating, to lose control just a little, just enough. She loves the momentum of a rising speed and aches to just lift her fist in the air to fly away into the skies.

And when she sees the phone, vibrating wildly as it rings, there is something like disappointment that rushes through her veins. This escape means leaving, means a return, means reality.

As she lifts the phone to her ear, she sees the agent arrive, looking only slightly harried. “Trinity,” she hears him say before she disappears. Opens her true eyes.

Switch is always good for a quick fuck; brief, satisfying.

Switch lets her push her down against the mattress, and Trinity holds her still as she fucks in hard and sharp till Switch is struggling for air. Watching her writhe beneath her, Trinity breathes normally; in and out and in and something dark curls up in the coldest reaches of her heart.

Switch says between gasps: “You’re so fucked up right now. You think we don’t notice it, but we do.” Words could tumble out of her mouth; sharp ones, sad ones, true ones. But Trinity keeps her lips tight together and doesn’t relent the movement of her hand until Switch cries out, and the walls of her sex flutter against Trinity’s fingers.

Switch gets to her feet and pulls her pants back up. “Do you want?--” she starts and Trinity shakes her head. Not an inch of her wants to be vulnerable right now.

Switch stares at her, a lingering kind of stare that makes Trinity look away first. And she feels it, feels her absence long after Switch leaves.

With razor sharp accuracy, she shoots a guard right between the eyes. She can see the little coloring of red at his forehead before he falls over, the nasty sort of collapse of the dead. He might have had a lover, she thinks, and children. A dog maybe. All alone now without him in their fabricated lives.

And another body in the machines’ field is dumped into the wastes, a power source no longer.

It’s part of the job, it’s about survival. And still, there is a sick sort of relief that he’s no longer a threat, no longer in her way; that she’s untouchable.

And that high pushes her to shoot another, and another, and another, and another--

Sipping moonshine, Trinity makes notes about a couple of candidates. Her head is spinning and her heart just aches. Neither of these men make her feel anything, anything at all.

If I’m going to love someone, it has to be so much, such a big love that I’d burn the whole matrix down for him. Kill for him. Die for him, she thinks.

“And what sucker would ever love me back?” she says out loud in an empty room.

“His name is Thomas Anderson,” Morpheus says. “And I want you to watch him closely.”

Trinity looks at the code and for a moment, all she sees is a blinding white light and its brightness burns out the cobwebs in the darkest corners of her heart.

“I’m on it,” she says and her fingers reach for the keyboard.