The Matrix – Seraphim’s Suitor
‘The Matrix’ by the Wachowski Brothers
“Seraphim’s Suitor” by Yumi Mitora Kusakurin
Beta: Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
DISCLAIMER: I own the DVDs and the extra ‘Animatrix’… sadly, that’s all.
Warnings: Death, Language
Characters: Azrael, Cain, Abel, Seth, Claire, Zero, Zeke, Trip,
Theme Songs: Axe Army [Tobias Enhus], Rise [Origa], 新聞女皇 [張柏芝/Celicia Cheung]
Pairings: None thus far.
Not posted elsewhere, please tell me if it is. Arigatou!
Thank yous go to my beta and online sister, Ryuuzaki Kusakurin, for editing and helping me revise this (and sending me music)! As I go along, she will continue to help me, hopefully. n_n
I apologize for any lateness/shortness in regards to chapters and whatever else I’m writing. College takes a lot of my time nowadays, and thus I work my arse off for about 8 hours with my classes, do homework and study for another 6 or so, and have about 2 hours a day for writing and gaming. Sadly, I don’t know how to stay awake indefinitely. If you find out how to, please share.
“Oi! Cap, we’ve got a ‘lil problem with th’ EMP! Get down here, will ya?” She sighed and shook her head, brushing her sweaty hair out of her face and stepping into the hole in the floor, completely forgoing the ladder and falling two floors before landing in a neat split, distributing her weight evenly throughout her wiry frame.
“Dammit, Cain, we’ve had these ‘little problems’ with the whole airship for the past week! I want them fixed, preferably before the next swarm of Sentinels get over here! Move your asses!”
“You heard the lady,” the main engineer’s twin Abel called. “Get moving!” He looked to the captain apologetically, shrugging before turning back to his work in the engine room. It looked like an entire coolant pipe was all but destroyed from the last attack – they had sustained heavy damage to about every system a little over a week ago and lost a few good people. In return, though, came the promise of new futures; they had been able to pull a young girl named Claire out of the Matrix before the system had to be shot down with the EMP.
Claire had been a surprisingly fast learner – as a fifteen-year-old, she had already downloaded almost all the combat programs into her brain. She held a hatred for the Matrix like no other, having been one of the very few that had known something was wrong in her world without actually either going insane or being terminated by the Agent programs. Her initial shock had turned into a burning desire for revenge, and teenager though she might be, she was already beginning to prove herself.
“Azra?” That was her; the almost-silent footfalls proved it, even though they were on deck plating of metal where a single misstep could tell Sentinels from miles away exactly where you were. Of course, it was a learned talent in the making – she was still getting used to her ‘real’ legs rather than the ones she had been accustomed to in the world of the Matrix.
“Did you need anything?” The commander of the vessel turned her smoldering gaze on the girl, perhaps more harshly than she should have, but that meant nothing here, in the world that she was now a part of.
“Je… not really… Is there any way that I can take a few minutes off?” The only problem with the girl was her lack of endurance and her inability to speak consice English all of the time, but her strength would build up over time, and everyone knew that, but right now was when they needed every hand that they could get. “I helped for an hour or so,” she continued, a blush faintly coloring her entire face and even some of her bare scalp.
“Yeah. Go ahead, I’ll cover for you,” Azra sighed. “You need to make sure you don’t kill yourself in here.”
“Thank you, Azra,” the girl replied, softly padding down the hallway and attempting to wrench the door to the private areas open with a loud grunt. Groaning inwardly, the commander walked over and with no visible amount of effort pulled the offending door open and then shut it after the girl.
“Damn door,” she muttered, aiming a light kick at it in frustration. The entire ship was falling apart, and nothing they could do would get rid of the wear-and-tear of age and use. “Nevermind the door. Damn ship.”
Then again, when did anything work as planned?
“At least we have th’ EMP back on line,” Zeke commented loudly, sitting comfortably in the co-pilot’s seat and brushing his reddish spikes out of his eyes, pulling his old pilot’s goggles off of his eyes.
“But not engines. And we still need to do a jump back into the Matrix to meet with the others,” Azrael reminded him with a harsh bark of laughter. “Zero, Abel, Claire, and Seth should stay behind this time. We only need four people in at a time. Tell ’em to get ready to go. And make sure Trip is ready to man the operating station.”
“Alright, I’ll get ’em in a minute.”
“A’rite! A’rite! I’m goin’! Can’t ya see sleep deprivation when ya see it, woman?” Flashing a toothy grin at her as he left, the captain of the Seraphim wondered good-naturedly whether to toss him to the Sentinels or let him die a slow death with the rest of the crew. It was bound to happen eventually – one day, they wouldn’t be able to run anymore and would be defeated. Hopefully they would take out whatever happened to hate them that day, but who knew? Not even the Oracle herself could predict that one.
It was unfortunate, but inevitably, casualties would happen, like they had a week ago.
Her cell phone rang for the first time in hours.
“Damn,” she swore under her breath, grabbing the girl by the hand and leading her towards safety. The agents had found them about thirty minutes ago, and they had been on the run since.
“Azra?” The girl finally spoke, and it was with thickly accented English that she did. “Where are we going?”
“We’re getting you the hell out of here,” she replied, leaping over a gap in two buildings with the French girl in tow. “There’s no time to explain. You found out too much, kid.” Nearly wrenching the girl’s arm out of its socket once more as she leapt across another gap, Azrael finally paused when she was sure that no Agents were following them. When she watched the French girl blink at her, brushing her pants off, she noticed something odd… Part of the girl’s body was appearing in wireframed code. She was beginning to disconnect from the Matrix.
If only we had managed to complete the transfer before those damn Agents broke in…
Her cell phone rang again. Swearing loudly this time, she finally flipped it open and answered it while kicking in a door to what was probably someone’s apartment. She didn’t care what it was though, she just knew that it had a phone and Trip was able to tap into it to create the pirate signal that would bring them back.
“Azra here. Yes, yes, I know already! We’re almost there. Open up a portal here ASAP. The girl’s already disconnected – she’s fazing in and out. Find her and get her out, now.” She sighed, rolling her eyes as she stared at the phone. “Yes, there’s a phone right in front of me. Cool your jets, Trip. I know we’re short on time. Just open the damn line already, will you?!” Slamming the phone shut, Azrael watched the phone anxiously until it started ringing. Picking up the phone, she handed it to her new comrade and watched as the girl pressed the reciever to her ear and promptly disappeared. Hanging up the black phone quickly, Azra surveyed the area and stepped back into the small room just in time for the phone to start ringing again. With a loud, overly-dramatic sigh, the long-haired commander picked up the phone and waited patiently until she too returned to her ship.
No more than ten minutes after returning and rescuing the girl, who had said her name was Claire before passing out, Sentinels had cut into the ship despite their best efforts – the EMP charge was offline and because of that one overlooked technical difficulty, five people had died. They were operating on as close to a skeleton crew as they could now, even resorting to training Claire how to man the main and secondary weapons. That being said, she was quite good at it, and excelled in marksmanship more and more every day.
It was days after Claire had woken up that she had requested to dive back into the Matrix, this time for training rather than running for her life.
Then and only then was Azra at ease.
They might survive after all, was her thought. Maybe the Seraphim’s brush with death was only the close of one chapter and the opening of another, grim as it sounded. Or at least she hoped that’s what it was. She would gladly give her life and her ship to protect Zion, but Claire was just a child – she didn’t belong here inside a war that she had nothing to do with. It must have showed on her face, she reflected, because after returning to the real world, she had seemed exhausted but full of a new kind of energy; when Azra had insisted that she live in Zion as one of the many orphans, she had shaken her head, saying that she would rather live and fight than live and watch other people die for her.
And how could any of them disagree?