Notes: This story takes place about a year after Smith has been set free, 18 months after the end of the film and really doesn’t have relevant plot, I just thought Tank deserved a little more attention and at the same time took the opportunity to introduce a new character.
A black room. It’s cold. Dark and just a bit damp. It’s familiar, but she still can’t quite figure out why. Outside it’s raining, she can’t see out the window, but she can recognise the sound of water slamming against the corrugated roof. She is standing in the open door, and as she steps into the dirty room she is confronted by a stifling smell of rotting flesh. She winces and tries not to inhale too much of the stink. On the other side of the room there is a bed. She is drawn to it instinctively and on it there is a body. A dead one. A very dead one. She struggles to keep from vomiting as she realises that this rotting corpse is where the smell is coming from. The body is of a woman, but it is only by the exposed genitals that she can tell. The body is so badly decomposed that the facial features are only barely recognisable, the skin is shrivelled and black and a few maggots are working their way in and out of the hands and feet. She looks at the face. The woman looks like she is sleeping. She seems so familiar. She looks at the remains of the face and feels so drawn to her. She feels hypnotised and it feels like is standing there for an eternity, but she isn’t scared, even though there is a sense of doom hanging on the air. She suddenly stiffens. Her mind freezes. She realises she has begun to shake, and now sees why. The corpses eyes are opening. Ever so slowly, as if it is trying to drag out the feeling of fear and disgust. She is still just standing there, can’t move, can’t scream. Can only watch. Watch as the eyelids uncover a pair of dazzling ice blue eyes, fixed on the ceiling above her. Then they begin to roll to one side, then the other, before they fix on her. Staring. Cold. She stares back. Until she comes to a horrible realisation. The eyes are hers.
Yzzy woke up with a scream, drenched in cold sweat and shaking like mad. She looked around and was disorientated for just long enough for her to start panicking. She lurched as the heavy steel door to her chamber swung open and a concerned face peered in. She sighed in relief. It was Tank.
“Shit, what the hell happened, I heard you scream?!?”
“Oh it’s ok, I was just having a bad dream”, she used the last bit of air in her lungs to disguise her concern and shortness of breath. Tank wasn’t convinced. Always so bloody curious, just her luck she had to be placed in the quarters right next-door to the Nebuchadnezzar’s agony aunt number one.
“Look Yzzy, it’s the third time this week, don’t you think you should talk to someone about whatever’s troubling you?”
He gave a little knowing smirk.
Yzzy shot a nasty glare at him, but she quickly turned her glance to the ground; even she couldn’t hate that way his eyebrows shot up- and outwards when he smiled. But that didn’t mean she was going to let him see it.
“Well if you’re so smart, Tank, then maybe you can tell me what it is that could be bothering me, ’cause I sure as hell don’t know what you’re talking about.” She gathered the courage to look back up into his eyes, which were now a bit colder, and gave him a nastily sarcastic smile. Tank just turned around on his heel, shaking his head.
He paused in the door with his back still turned and it looked almost as if he was going to look back at her. “You know, Yzzy, no one hates you here.”
But he looked at the ground and made sure not to wake the others as he shut her door behind him.
As hard as she tried, she couldn’t quite suppress the well known feeling of a knot forming in her stomach.
She half woke up around 5 hours later, she could hear commotion in the op room and she felt heavy as she dragged herself onto the floor. Shit. Was she feeling guilty now?
“Come on”, she thought, “get a grip. Don’t let them get to you.”
But she made a mental note to be nicer to Tank from now on. In the door on her way out she nearly let out a little cry as she walked slam into Weasel. “Shit man don’t do that!” she said with a hint of annoyance on her voice. On purpose. She knew that Weasel was a perceptive person and she could always count on him to be the first (sometimes only) one to pick up on subtle signals.
“Hey sorry”, he snorted back. “Just thought you should come up on the main deck, ok? Just being friendly.”
He sized her down with his eyes to let her know he still had the mental upper hand between them before hurrying back up the ladder. Yzzy was getting sick of these people, their fucking moral values, always such thoroughly altogether good human beings. Human goddamn beings. She had another moment of secret astonishment at her current predicament as she struggled up the ladder and into the small crowd that had gathered around one of the monitors. She preferred to spend an extra minute figuring out to herself what was going on than having to put on a curious and polite face and ask someone. She stared at the coding rushing down the screen and tried hard to look focused as she could feel a pair of eyes staring her down. She realised she was giving in and put up her shield; peered slightly to the right and caught Tank’s unnerving gaze red-handed. Tank, not being one easily pushed around himself locked her eyes for a moment before turning his full concentration back to the monitor.
It was nothing special, just Smith having a go in the Matrix on his own. Not very interesting. So Yzzy walked off to get breakfast ready. Tank saw her and he gave Neo his headphones. Neo looked questioningly at Tank, then glanced over his shoulder and saw Yzzy lurking off, and he nodded to him and took over.
In the mess hall, Yzzy was getting out bowls and cups out, Tank could see she was frustrated.
“Look, Yzzy, I.” he began.
“What?” she retorted as she slammed a cup into the table, still not looking him in the eye, yet obviously keeping an eye on his every move. He moved closer and leaned against the wall next to her.
“I know you know I only want to help you adjust”.
“Adjust?!?! What the hell are you talking about? Do you think I’m goddamn blind? Don’t you think I see the looks you guys send each other when we’re in the same room? I’m not stupid.”
“I know you’re not stupid, Yzzy. You’re special, in more ways than one.” He reached out to touch her shoulder but she flung herself away from his whole body.
“Don’t you fucking touch me!” she yelled. “Fuck you! Fuck all of you!!!”
Her yelling became a scream and the rest of the crew could hear her going over the top.
“FUCK ALL OF YOU GODDAMN PRICKS. YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT, YOU ASSHOLES!!!”
By now Tank had to physically restrain her from trashing the whole room, and Neo and Dink had responded immediately to his calls for help. They, along with the crew had always had a feeling something was going to give way with Yzzy. And now it did; she was going totally insane. And they knew this could mean trouble, she was a strong woman, and now she was proving to be a lot stronger than anticipated. Her rage gave her unbelievable force and she flung Tank halfway across the mess hall, backing further into a corner.
“Just GO AWAY, ALL OF YOU, LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Her voice was already giving in, she wasn’t use to using it to this degree and her body was doing the same.
“Take it easy, Yzzy”, Neo coaxed as he slowly advanced. Dink, a considerably larger man than Neo was trying to close in on her from the side, as was Tank, who had a bit of a split lip.
“YOU take it FUCKING EASY!!!” she used her last strength to yell in his face. She was still backing herself into a corner and Neo saw his chance and lunged forward trying to pin her arms down, but Yzzy herself was a quick thinker, and as she saw humanity’s most valuable body lurch at her, she shot out her hand and grabbed hold of a fairly large knife lying on the table and swung out her arm, coming within alarming distance of his stomach. Trinity gasped, not loud but obviously only suppressing a scream. By now the rest of the ship’s occupants had gathered and were watching from the confines of the doorway.
“STAY AWAY!” she screamed frantically. Neo was in shock along with everyone else as they suddenly could see the wild fury in Yzzy’s eyes. She had grabbed hold of the blade in her panicked rush and blood was now dripping from her clenched fist.
“Stay away” she said, now beginning to fall to her knees, giving up with a look of pure pain and hate, until she was fully squatting on her knees, shaking violently as Tank, Neo and Dink, forcing themselves out of their shock, began to creep in on her. “Stay away.” she whimpered.
She looked up at them with tears in her desperate eyes. And lifted the knife above her head. She shrieked and she used her last energy to plunge it into her stomach, and it was too late for the three strong men to stop her.
“NO!” Tank screamed. “NO NO NO!!!”
He lunged forward to her side and Neo helped him pry the knife out of her hand, as she whispered “Stay away.”
Glitch hurried over to help carry her to the small and poorly equipped infirmary where she found a syringe to sedate the violently shaking woman, and as she calmed down, she instructed Tank to hold pressure to her knife wound. She was bleeding heavily.
“It doesn’t look too deep” Glitch assured a panicked Tank. She gave her sleeping face a genuinely concerned look. “She’ll be fine. For now. I think maybe you should go to your quarters. And send in Morpheus.”
Tank nodded and dragged himself out of the room. Everyone else was waiting outside, their leader if front. Tank just made a small motion with his head and Morpheus understood. He sighed at him as he walked through the crowd which opened up a path for him, his head lowered. Trinity stopped him.
“Tank, will she be ok?”
“Yeah, she’ll be fine” he sighed as he tore himself away from her.
“What do think happened to her. I mean, something must have snapped to make go explode like that. And what will we do with her, we can’t have some suicidal maniac running around while.”
“Calm down Trin”, Neo cut in. “I don’t know what we can do but give her the support she needs”.
“What the hell are you talking about? She tried to kill you Neo, don’t you think she needs a bit more than support?!”
“But she didn’t kill me. And I don’t think she was going to.”
Trinity shook her head.
“Perhaps you’re right, I just.I was so scared there Neo.”
“It’s ok now.”
He stood up from the bed and embraced her. For a while they just stood there in each other’s arms.
“I should gotalk to Tank.”
“Yeah.” He gave her a kiss and smiled.
“You do that.”
“Well? What do we do?” she asked him. He looked down on Yzzy with a worrying frown.
“First we have to find out what caused all this. She’s been secluded and bitter ever since she got here. I think maybe her mind couldn’t handle her situation.”
“You mean she popped? Come on, Morpheus, she’s been here for five months!”
“It’s happened before. It happened to one of our late crew members, but I don’t think it’s ever made the individual violent. But guessing from the way she’s been closed and secretive, I’d say she’s been repressing something. Whether it was being freed or something else, Glitch, we have to keep a very close watch over her. I’m talking 24/7, alright? I’ll help take a few shifts.”
“I understand. But I still don’t agree with you about the reason for all this.”
He didn’t answer, he just looked at her knowingly and walked out of the infirmary. Outside Dink, Weasel and Icarus were waiting to be filled in.
“Well..?” Icarus coaxed. “What was going on? What happened?”
“Don’t worry. She’ll survive. But I want you guys to go easy on her. I know she can be a bit nasty to you, but don’t let it get to you. Be nice to her, she’s having a hard time.”
“Sure.” he replied as Morpheus walked to Smith’s console to help him out of the Matrix simulation. Weasel looked down.
As he gasped into consciousness he looked around and immediately registered the worried looks of the others.
“What?” he asked. “What’s wrong?”
“Yzzy” Weasel said. “She lost it totally. She tried to kill herself and came damn close to taking Neo with her in the process. I’m talking totally psycho.”
“Oh.”. Smith didn’t seem too shocked, but no one took too much notice of his unusual reaction, as Glitch came out of the infirmary and inquired for help to carry the unconscious Yzzy to her chamber. Dink hurried to help her and they got her onto her bed. Glitch shook her head as she sat down beside her on a stool.
“Tank?” Trinity peered in his door. “Can I come in?” He didn’t answer, but he didn’t say no, so she tiptoed in and quietly shut the door. He was lying on his side facing the wall, a sight that scared her. She had never seen him this weak, so vulnerable. Tank was the rock here. The one who could always be counted on to keep you going, encouraging you to never give up, and there he was, this strong man everyone knew they could count on to cheer them up curled up like a little boy. And so Trinity’s feeling of obligation to help him was strongly reinforced.
She sat down on the side of his bed and touched his shoulder.
“Why did she do it?” His voice startled her, only once had she heard his voice this soft and sad, and that was in one his darkest moments, about to sacrifice the most loved person in his life to save Zion.
“I only wanted to help her.”
“It’s not your fault, Tank, it had to happen some time, you of all people should know that. You’ve seen her, you knew something was really wrong with her.”
“Yeah but I set it off didn’t I? The sight of ME made her try to goddamn kill herself, Trin. How can I not feel it’s my fault?”
“You can start by pulling yourself together and using your brain. You know it had nothing to do with you, that it was something deeper.”
He turned onto his back and looked Trinity in the eye.
“You should understand, Trin. I love her. Like you love Neo. I can’t just watch indifferent as she tries to kill herself.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. Look, you just stay here for a while, I’ll tell the others to give you some privacy.”
She gave him a big hug before she stood up and smiled at him. She was halfway out the door when Tank called out.
“Yes?” She turned halfway around and cocked her head slightly to one side.
He smiled his stunning smile that made his whole face light up. “You’re going to be a great mother.”
She let out a little chuckle and shook her head. Tank lay down again and she left the room thoroughly reassured.
“Morpheus?” He didn’t look up from his work at the monitor.
“Hmm, what is it Smith?”
Smith sat down next to him.
“What’s this I hear about Yzzy? Is she ok?”
“Oh yes she’s fine. Well, as far as her body goes anyway. She snapped in the mess hall and tried to kill herself. I’m really concerned, she could be a threat in her state. She nearly slashed Neo’s stomach open.” Morpheus looked at him. “I don’t know what to do with her.”
“You’re not concerned about her feelings though are you?”
Morpheus was startled at this show of genuine human compassion. And the worst thing was he didn’t know how to answer the question without making it look like a cover-up. Finally he took a deep breath and smiled at him.
“You just intimidated me, you know that Smith?”
“You still get a kick out of it?”
Then unexpectedly Smith began to chuckle. Morpheus stared in disbelief, then he too broke out in laughter. And for the first time Smith really felt human, and Morpheus realised he was.
The moment quickly passed though and Smith regained his solemn face.
“I think I know what’s wrong with Yzzy.”
Morpheus raised an eyebrow.
“I’ve sensed a certain resentment from her, like she’s really got something against us.” He looked at his leader.
“You think she has a reason to?”
“Well no, I don’t see how she’s been treated any different from anyone else. But then again she was lurched pretty suddenly from her life in the Matrix. And it wouldn’t surprise me if she unconsciously holds that against us, even if she doesn’t want to. And don’t forget she’s got a past, Morpheus, seeing your parents getting shot is bound to leave some nasty scars.”
He seemed a bit a bit embarrassed as he said it, since it was his own kind, or ex-kind, that had done the deed. He couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt. He got up, leaving the thoughtful man to consider his theory.
A few hours later, Tank woke up to the metallic clank of his door opening. He must have fallen asleep. He felt a whoosh in his gut when he saw who it was.
“Yzzy. What are you doing here, shouldn’t you be in bed?!”
“You mean locked away under observation.”
He looked down, embarrassed.
“Yes, I suppose I should be. I snuck out of the infirmary when Icarus fell asleep. I needed to talk to you.”
“No you don’t, Yzzy. I shouldn’t mess myself up in your personal affairs. It has nothing to do with me and I think it should stay that way.”
“I know you want to help me, Tank. And I want you to. I want you to know me, to trust me.”
He looked up at her and saw she had tears in her eyes.
“Will you let me confide in you?”
He patted the bed next to him.
She sat down, but still at a safe distance.
“I.I don’t know where to start. I hated you. All of you aboard this ship, I couldn’t stand you. I’m not even sure why. You, you wouldn’t understand me and I blamed you for it. But you couldn’t possibly. You couldn’t possibly understand what I went through when they set me free. And they didn’t care what it did to me. I just couldn’t handle it and I blamed it on you guys instead of facing it my problems. I blamed it all on you. And that’s a lot of hate, I’m a hateful person. Do you know what happened?”
Every fibre in his body was attentive. He shook his head.
“I’d been snooping around and I made the mistake of trying to know what the Matrix was. And they knew I was dangerous. And so they set out to eliminate the danger. I got away, but they killed my parents. Right in front of me, Tank, I saw my parents’ desperate eyes as they were shot and all I could do was run away.I.” She muffled a sob.<
“Shhh”. He never realised how she could have felt.
She leaned herself onto his shoulder and he sighed with relief. He embraced her and she accepted his heartfelt comfort, and there she was crying in the arms of a man who she could have killed just a few hours ago. And she realised how much she needed this comfort.
“Thank you for telling me.”
She looked up at him.
“Thanks for letting me.”
Icarus flew out of his chair and out to find Yzzy. He met Dink on the way.
“No time, Yzzy’s gone!” he panted as he rushed past him.
They checked everyone’s quarters, all empty, until they came to Tank’s closed door. They flung it open in panic not quite knowing what to expect. They were beyond surprised when they saw the two asleep, Tank with his arms around her waist holding her hands.
“Oh my god.” Dink whispered.
They backed out slowly, leaving the door open as they ran to the op room.
“Everyone come here! Now!”
Glitch saw Icarus and looked pretty pissed off.
“What the hell are you doing out of Yzzy’s room?!?! You were told to.”
“Just wait” he interrupted, “just come with me!”
They all reluctantly got up and followed in procession to Tank’s doorway, where they all stopped dead in their tracks when they saw the two sleeping like babies.
“Holy shit” Neo managed to say. Trinity looked lovingly at him and took his hand.
“Leave them.” Morpheus said and they all obeyed. As the door softly clanked shut, Yzzy allowed herself a small smile. And lying behind her, Tank did the same.