September > Old Friends

Old Friends

They danced. It was simple movement, a parry between friends, one short and black, the other tall and white. They flowed together like water, easy and relaxed. They both were smiling lightly. Arms and legs moved in synchronicity as the two waltzed across the beige training room, Oriental styled to reflect their fighting technique. It was Eastern poetry in motion.

Ducking under Trinity's flying kick, Niobe flipped backwards, already prepared to block against a flurry of punches. She attempted to hook her fingers into Trinity's white cotton bottoms, but was pushed away. Niobe easily recovered, cartwheeling past Trinity's out-stretched leg which had tried to trip her. Trinity backsprung out of the way of Niobe's leaping hammer-fist, and they ceased in simultaneous agreement. Trinity opened her mouth, but Niobe held her hand up.

"Allow me," she said. Trinity flashed a small smile in thanks. "Operator, exit!" Niobe instructed.

It was not the Core of any ship that they awoke to. The sickening sound of the spike being removed was, for once, drowned out by the humdrum of life in Zion. The room they were in was just like the Core of the Nebuchadnezzar or the Logos, but much larger, and filled with ten times as many stations. There was an operator for every seven jack-in points, where anyone who had the plugs could load up into the Construct to do anything that they so chose, whether it be Tae Kwon Do training or a simple walk in the park. Nodding to their stand-in operator, Trinity and Niobe left the sleepy calm of the Dreaming -- as the establishment was treated more like a pub or nightclub than like the Core of a ship -- and filtered into the thrumming crowd of Zion.

"That was good sparring," Trinity complimented, dodging a pair of children as they tore down the street as fast as they could. She noticed almost distractedly that only one of them had no plugs. Niobe nodded, but said nothing. The two remained in comfortable silence until they reached the city park. It wasn't a park in the traditional sense which the Matrix-borns were used to; it was a large dirt square, fenced in, with a monument in the centre and seven or eight rough-hewn benches placed at random points throughout. There were no water features because water was a precious resource not to be wasted on such trivialties, there were no trees or plants because they simply weren't to be found in Zion, but the park was quiet and restful. It served its purpose.

The gate squealed noisily as it was opened, but most things were metallic in Zion, and therefore prone to screeching. The residents learnt to ignore it, so their entry to the park was, for the most part, ignored entirely. They settled themselves by the monument -- a tribute to Zion and its founder, the One -- with Niobe seated on the plinth and Trinity on the floor, and stared at nothing in particular. People stamped past, their feet creating the reverberating beat of life against the stone floor. Across the way a content couple watched as their children frolicked in the artificial light. The gate squeaked again as a group of fresh Matrix-borns clattered through, both in awe of the city and utterly wrapped up in themselves and each other. It was these youths who caught Trinity and Niobe's attention.

"Do you remember the old days when we were first freed?" Niobe asked. Trinity's lips quirked as she cast her mind back.

"Yeah. It was just the two of us at the time though," she answered. Niobe nodded even though Trinity couldn't see her.

"We had some good times on the Tempest. Especially when Ghost and Sway were unplugged," Niobe continued. She thought she heard Trinity's quiet chuckle, and smiled slightly in response; Trinity and Niobe had known each other for as long as they had been out, so despite their don't-mess-with-me statuses, they tended to relax around each other.

"When we came back here for shore leave," Trinity said. Niobe didn't bother to disguise her amused snicker. She, Trinity, Ghost and Sway had been very close on their first ship, and inseperable when they docked in Zion. It had been fun, back then, to go on the town and experience Zion's nightlife while they still had time. Niobe sighed, and it was clear the half-spoken conversation was over. It didn't really matter; she and Trinity had grown apart over the years due to other commitments, but they could still understand each other well enough without words.

"Speaking of Ghost," Niobe ventured after a minute of quiet. She could almost feel Trinity tense up slightly, as she was aware of where this was going. "He's transferring to my ship."

"A change of scenery will be good for him," Trinity replied with slight irony.

"He's going to be my second in command," Niobe said, undaunted. Trinity tilted her head in acknowledgment of all that that statement left unsaid.

"He deserves the promotion. I'm sorry about Aspen though; it was a bad way to die."

"Aspen knew the risks, as does Ghost," Niobe answered sharply. Trinity turned to look at Niobe properly.

"I know you'll take good care of my brother," she said. Niobe's eyes narrowed marginally.

"Is that all you see him as?"

"Yes," was Trinity's immediate reply.

"His feelings for you haven't changed during his time on the Gemini. There is still the option for more, if you want it," Niobe said in the tone of a concerned friend. Trinity's smile was full of sadness.

"I can't love Ghost as he wants me to love him. He's too dear a friend for me to change things like that. I just... couldn't." Trinity turned back to watching the children play on the hard earth, well aware that Niobe was staring at her with a shrewd expression and not really minding it.

"Very well," she said at last, conveying that she would accept Trinity's judgement on this. They were silent, returning their attention to the passing world.

"Niobe!" a deep male voice called. The woman in question looked around curiously until her eyes fell on the imposing figure of the newly instated Commander Locke. Trinity followed her gaze as she pulled at the frayed sleeves of her shirt.

"Why him?" she asked simply. Niobe gave her an almost scathing look as she stood up.

"Jason isn't off searching for something that isn't there." Niobe missed the pained look that briefly slipped over Trinity's face before being carefully hidden away again.

"If you say so," she answered.

"Thanks for the spar!" Niobe called over her shoulder as she jogged over to Locke. Trinity watched them embrace, watched him check her over for injuries and her rebuff him for the effort, and her heart gave a painful twang. She knew Niobe was just angry at Morpheus for being too preoccupied with the prophecy to be concerned with her, that in all honesty she didn't know one way or the other if the One existed, but her parting comment had stung Trinity. She wanted to find that kind of love for herself, and she only hoped that Niobe was wrong.

"Trinity!" someone shouted. She stood, knowing that Tank had come to escort her to the Nebuchadnezzar like the gentleman he was. They hadn't been docked all that long, but Morpheus was famous for his unrelenting pursuit of the One. She smiled at him, gratefully accepting her bag that he had considerately brought down from her room. "Ready to continue the search?" he asked with true enthusiasm. She gave him a wry look.

"Whatever you say, Operator," she answered. He just laughed.

End of Transmission

Simulations > Author

Simulations > Title

Simulations > Random

Click a title to continue.

Simulations > Category

Click a category to continue.