My brother — rock on, bro! — wrote this one after reading Eon, the Matrix fanfic that I wrote about Agent Smith. Smith is taken to meet the Oracle, and he’s not happy about it.
Smith, Neo and Morpheus walked into the living room at the Oracle’s apartment. Half a dozen children sat in a circle on the floor. One levitated a handful of block. Two were holding spoons and bending them into strange shapes. One made a finger painting without touching the canvas. Smith couldn’t see what the other two were doing.
Smith covered his mouth. He made a gagging sound. The place smelled like cigarettes, snickerdoodles, and children who’d spent too much time indoors. He couldn’t wait until he was more accustomed to smells. Morpheus chuckled. Smith wanted to give him the finger but decided not to give him the satisfaction.
He uncovered his mouth. “What’s with the spoons?” he asked.
Morpheus said, “They’re called potentials. We believed they could be the One, before Neo.”
“So what does that make them? The Other Ones?”
Neo said, “They’ve begun to realize that the Matrix isn’t real, and they can bend it to their will. They’re under the Oracle’s protection and they’re learning from her.”
Morpheus added, “Just think of what the Agents would do to them if they knew.”
Agents. Funny. Ha ha. “And the reason you got Mr. Paleface here unplugged, but didn’t unplug these kids, is what, exactly? No kids allowed in Zion?”
Neo bristled at that. “We trust the Oracle. And now you’ll go to see her.”
“Listen, Styrofoam, the Oracle’s just a program, like I used to be. Do you really think she’s going to tell me anything I don’t already know?”
“She’s nothing like you, Agent.”
Some of the children began to stop playing. Smith felt like he was surrounded by Neo and six smaller Neo’s. He didn’t want to have his code ripped apart again, but Neo had ticked him off. “Uh-huh. Let me ask you something. The first time you met her, she made you drop a vase, and said you caused it to happen, didn’t she?”
Morpheus looked at Neo. Wondering how he knew, was he?
“Then she offered you cookies, right?”
“She said a few other things first, Smith.”
“Pardon me. I forgot the obscure mum-bo jum-bo about how you weren’t actually the One, how that was going to get the Cue Ball Zen Master here killed, and then she said that was okay because deep down you believed in yourself. Then the cookies. Right?”
“What’s your point?” Morpheus asked.
“You, Cream Cheese, these kids—”
Neo stepped towards him. “My. Name. Is. Neo!”
Smith felt a tremor rumble through his body. He felt muscles in face twitch. Damned emotions. He took a breath. “All right, fine. Neo. All of you, me included, we’re toys, and right now we’re in her sandbox. She gives you help, but first she wants to mess with your head a little, make you jump through hoops. She weirds you out with meaningless crap like the vase and the cookies. She protects these kids, she gets to watch them do some cute tricks, but they’re sedated. Look at them. Have you ever seen kids this age act like new age Yoda zombies?”
Morpheus said, “They’re too young to be unplugged. They wouldn’t survive!”
“I’m surviving! And I’m sick of programs like the Oracle telling me which way is up!”
The room darkened. Morpheus looked around, but Neo kept looking right at Smith. He knew what was about to happen. There really was a rumbling sound in the room. It started to rain. Indoors.
The kids went running. Smith sighed. “Oh, this should be good.”
The door to the kitchen opened. The kind face of the Oracle leaned out just far enough not to get caught in the rain. She said, “Mr. Smith, your thoughts form reality, especially here. You’re making it rain and upsetting the children.” She smiled warmly. “Come in. Some fresh cookies will warm you right up.”
The photo is of an exhibit called “Rain Room” that was held at the Barbican Centre in London. Used without permission.