Monday, May 30, 2005

A Moment - Matrix Standard Date 5/28/05

The jack retracts from the back of Heyward's skull, and her eyes move back into focus. Carefully, she levers herself up into a sitting position and slides off the chair -- she has been fighting Corrupted and Exiles for most of the day and even in the Real, it seems as though every muscle in her body is sore.

But she has other things to think about.

She looks around the room, at the bodies of others still jacked in and the empty chairs of crew otherwise occupied, and then leaves, heading back down the passageways of the Nothingness to her own room.

She reaches it, opens the door, enters, and closes the door firmly behind her. Both of her hands remain on the latch.

"Salamander. Was he telling the truth?"

Salamander's voice comes over the speakers set into the room's walls.

"Who? The boss? 'Bout that Sentinel thing?"

There is a pause, as though Salamander is considering a moment.

"Well, seeing as how he's already told ya, can't see the harm -- yeah, kid. Veneer: one; Sentinel: zero. Go, team!"

Heyward stands very still for a moment, her hands still on the latch, her back to the room.

"What's the matter, princess? Boss got you scared?"

Heyward turns slightly and looks up at the speakers in their places near the ceiling. She says one word, quiet and clear, with no hesitation.

"Yes."

Her hands move on the latch, locking it firmly.

She moves away from the door, looks at it for a moment, and then turns to the monitor on a shelf in the corner of the room. She sits before it, seems to hesitate for a moment, and then calls up Darwin's The Origin of Species and begins to read.

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