THE MATRIX V.3.03 – Part 3

EPISODE 7 HOMECOMING

BY ROBERT ‘CHOI’ BOEHM
[email protected]

BLACK SCREEN

We see the following message being displayed in green letters on a black screen.

Sara,
Not a day has gone by since I made that fateful decision that I haven’t though of you. That decision is what has prevented us from being together. The only way that I can hold you in my arms once more is if you were to make that same decision. I wish I could tell you the choices that you have to make. I wish I could tell you the truth. What I can tell you is that everything you know is an illusion and that you are being kept under control. If you want to know the truth you will have to trust me.

I will be unable to contact you for the next few days. When I come back I hope I will be able to open your eyes for the first time, but I can only do this if you let me.

Until we meet again,
Gary Stryker

The message is displayed for a few moments with a blinking curser below, we then see the following typed.

Send 192.168.76.186

FADE TO:

EXT. SEWERS

We are shown a sewer passageway in the real world. The passageway appears to be vacant, all except for one sentinel. It can barely be seen perched up against roof of the sewer. It’s body is lifeless, it’s eyes are black. Then a rebel hovercraft flies into view from around the bend. As the hover craft is about to pass underneath the sentinel. The sentinel’s eyes light up a sinister purple then jumps on to the back of the hovercraft. It holds on with two tentacles and flails out the others as if he’s getting ready to strike. Electricity begins to surge throughout the sentinel’s body and once fully charged up, the sentinel thrusts it’s tentacles into the hovercraft. The electricity is transferred from the sentinel into the hovercraft. The hover disks of the ship begin to fail and turn off. The sentinel then jumps off of the hovercraft as it begins to spiral out of control, and watches it crash into the bottom of the sewer and screech to a halt, then begins to fly over to it.

FADE TO:

INT. ZION HANGER

The Nostradamus is seen flying through a Zion hanger. It’s back is greatly scratched, ripped, and torn. Some of the hover disks are not functioning. It navigates over to it’s dock and lands. The rest of the hover disks turn off. Aside from the usual population of dock workers, an individual stands out as she approaches the Nostradamus.

INT. NOSTRADAMUS HALL

We see Talon walking through the Nostradamus hallways, Signat is following behind her. They stop at a cabin door, it is open, Talon knocks. Carnan is there packing his bags.

TALON
See you in seventy-two hours Carnan, don’t get into too much trouble.

CARNAN
Oh, you can count on me Talon. – See you later Signat.

SIGNAT
Yeah…

Talon and Signat continue to walks down the Nostradamus Hallways. They turn the corner just after Carnan’s cabin and walk all the way to the end of the passage. The hallway ends into a door that Talon opens up. They step through the door into the loading dock. Xandara is there, she has just lowered the exit ramp.

XANDARA
Hello Talon, Signat.

TALON
Hello Xandara, all to good to be home

XANDARA
Oh yes.

Xandara grabs her bags and heads over to the ramp with Talon and Signat.

XANDARA
How you feeling Signat?

Signat smiles.

SIGNAT
I’m fine

XANDARA
Good.

They head down the ramp. There is a woman there waiting for them.

EXT. ZION DOCKS

WOMAN
It is good to have you back Xandara, and you as well Talon.

TALON
Thank you Nixie, it’s great to be back.

Nixie looks over to Signat.

NIXIE
Welcome home Signat, I am Nixie, I will be your guardian here at Zion. This is where your journey with the Nostradamus ends.

SIGNAT
Guardian?

Nixie looks over to Talon.

TALON
We extracted him just before we came home. He doesn’t know much about Zion or the Matrix yet. Just spoons and sentinels.

NIXIE
I see.

Nixie looks back over to Signat.

NIXIE
I am a guardian for the orphanage here at Zion. You’ll be living with me now. It’s my job and my pleasure to teach you everything you’ll need to know.

Xandara looks over to Signat

TALON
Don’t worry, we’ll visit before we leave.

NIXIE
Then if you’ll come with me…

Signat picks up his bags.

SIGNAT
Okay.

He turns to Talon and Xandara

SIGNAT
I guess I’ll see you later then.

He walks away with Nixie.

TALON
You want to get a drink?

Arbiter starts to walk down the ramp.

XANDARA
Thank sounds like plan to me.

Xandara looks back and sees Arbiter.

XANDARA
Want to come with?

ARBITER
No thanks, I have business to attend to.

XANDARA
Suit your self.

Talon and Xandara part ways from Arbiter as they walk away from the Nostradamus.

FADE TO:

INT. ABYSSAL TAVERN

We are shown a tavern comprised of table tops neatly fashioned out of stone and steel chairs, welded together and slightly rusted. The room is dimly lit with a warm red tone. In the background there is a band playing Jazz on steel fashioned instruments giving it a unique twang sound. We see Talon and Xandara sitting down at a table, both nursing dark lagers in frosty glass mugs.

XANDARA

Zion Wheat, you’re my only friend.

TALON
So what are you’re plans now that your home?

XANDARA
Oh, just the norm. Visit my family, catch some R&R. And everything else that’s not exciting.

TALON
A family, now that’s what I need.

Talon looks over to the guitarist in the band just as they wrap up their set.

TALON
I think I’ll start looking for one over there.

Talon smiles over to Xandara as she stands up from the table and proceeds over to the stage.

FADE TO:

INT. COMMANDER VAGRANT‘S OFFICE

Commander Vagrant sits behind his steel rusted desk in his office busy at paper work. His office is also comprised of steel and has various rust spots throughout the room. There is a knock on the only door into this room.

VAGRANT
Come in.

The door opens and Arbiter enters.

VAGRANT
Welcome back Captain Arbiter.

ARBITER
Thank you Sir.

VAGRANT
Please have a seat.

Arbiter takes a seat opposite of Vagrant’s desk.

VAGRANT
Captain Arbiter, in your past four tours you have only unplugged three minds, and in the past three tours you have only retrieved one. How do you explain the inefficiency of your crew?

ARBITER
The subject that was target three tours ago drown during is extraction. The event has been reviewed and determined that none of my crew was a fault. For the past two tours you have been focusing my crew’s efforts of the individual Satin. I have been proven correct that attempting to extract an individual which is so mature is difficult and extremely dangerous. Our first attempt, as you already know, resulted in Talon loosing her cover and the death of Balder, one of my crew members.

VAGRANT
This is all interesting information. I am sorry for your crew’s misfortune; however none of this is news to me.

ARBITER
Our second attempt to extract Satin was a little rough and forced a premature attempt at an extraction; it failed and during the attempt we learned that her abilities were not from her mind, but from her equipment. She is able to control her vehicle through the use of a customized stabilizer.

VAGRANT
But that would mean that Somnus’s interpretation of the prophecy is incorrect.

ARBITER
Or the prophecy is false.

VAGRANT
Watch your tongue captain.

ARBITER
How am I supposed to follow a prophecy I don’t believe in?

Vagrant raises his voice.

VAGRANT
You are a soldier, captain, and you follow the orders of your superiors. It is not your place to question their reason.

Vagrant lowers his voice.

VAGRANT
In twenty-four hours I want you and your crew back in the field. You will continue working along side Somnus’s crew of the Delphi. – Don’t doubt the prophecy; you were not around when the last One was here. I can understand your disbelief, but the prophecy is real. The Nostradamus is the best crew that I’ve got, and I only want my best working on this. – You are dismissed.

Arbiter stands up and leaves Vagrant’s office.

FADE TO:

DARK ZION APPARTMENT

We are shown the inside of a dimly light apartment of Zion. Talon is there just awaking from sleep. She is there in company with the guitarist from the Abyssal Tavern. She quietly gets up from the bed and dresses her naked body with are clothes that are scattered on the floor, and then leaves silently.

FADE TO:

EXT. ZION CATWALK

Talon is sitting on a bench which is on a bridge that extends from the central support pillar to the outside wall. Her face is resting in her hands and her elbows are on her knees. Tachyon steps up next to her and into view.

TACHYON
And who were you last night?

Talon looks up and sees who it is, then smiles.

TALON
Hello Tachyon, I think I went with Athena last night.

TACHYON
Ah, Athena always goes over well.

Tachyon sits down next to Talon.

TALON
Why can’t I just settle down with a nice guy like you?

TACHYON
Because nice guys like me always chase after that which they can not have.

TALON
And who were you last night?

TACHYON
Last night… Oh you could say I was Acheronian.

TALON
Ah, Acheronian never goes over well.

Both slightly laugh.

CARNAN
Yo! Tachyon, Talon

Carnan is walking up the catwalk toward Tachyon and Talon.

CARNAN
Wutch yo’ up to?

TACHYON
Absolutely nothing Carnan, what about you?

Carnan walks up in front of Tachyon and Talon.

CARNAN
Nodda thing. You’d think there’d be more to do in this bucket of bolts.

TALON
How about we hit the simulators? I promised Signat I’d show him before I left.

CARNAN
Sounds like a plan, It’s always fun to grease a plebe.

Talon and Tachyon stand up and they walk away with Carnan

FADE TO:

EXT. ZION BALCONY

Talon, Carnan, Tachyon, and Signat are walking on a balcony along the Zion wall. To their left you can over see the entire city, the their right are various groceries and other stores. They come up to a shop with large entry archways. The sign over the archway reads “Charlatan Lounge”. They enter.

INT. CHARLATAN LOUNGE

The Charlatan Lounge is composed of numerous kiosks. Each kiosk is comprised of five reclining chairs facing away from each other in a circle. Each chair has a flat panel monitor above it. The chairs that are occupied have displays of the people in the chairs roaming around in different environments, in different time periods. Unoccupied chairs just have black screens with blue scrolling matrix code. The Lounge is crowed with numerous people, the noise pollution is rather high with people talking and music is in the background. Talon, Carnan, Tachyon, and Signat walk through the gauntlet of people to an empty kiosk. Talon speaks to Signat, raising her voice up over the noise.

TALON
Signat, now these chairs aren’t quite like those you used on board the Nostradamus. They are fully automated. All you have to do is sit down, lay your head back, and push this red button.

Talon pushes a button at the end of the right arm rest. A jack thrusts up through the head rest, a loud beep is heard, then the jack retracts. As Talon shows Signat this Tachyon and Carnan sit down in chairs, make sure their neck plugs are exposed, lean back and push the red button.

TALON
Go a head and load your self in.

Signat sits down in the chair and loads him self up as Talon walks over to a console, makes a few selections, then loads her self into a chair.

FADE TO:

INT. CONSTRUCT

Tachyon and Carnan are there selecting different guns and weapons from racks scattered out through out the area. The rows and columns of racks extend as far as the eye can see. Signat appears in the room followed by Talon right behind him.

TALON
Signat.

Signat is startled and spins around.

TALON
Sorry if I scared you.

SIGNAT
No, it’s okay.

TALON
Alright, there are a few things you need to know about the simulator. – First off you can not get hurt in the simulation. The software monitors the pain being sent into your body, and if the pain is too great, the software will then unload you from the simulation. The pain is registered on a 900 point scale. The threshold is currently set at 350, meaning I could probably slug you in the face, and you’ll still remain in the simulation; however if I were to shoot you, you would be unloaded. Now, if you check your right jacket pocket you will find your ULD, Unloading Device. Its primary function is to unload you from the simulation.

Talon retrieves her ULD from her right pocket. It is a small black rectangular box that fits in the palm of her hand. In the middle of the box is a red button, and sticking out of one end of the box is a red stub.

TALON
Whenever you are in the simulation and need to be unloaded back to the construct or from the construct to the real world, then remove the red stick from the one end and stick it into the other.

Talon demonstrates by twisting the red stub one half turn and removing a stick, then she slides it into the other end and twists the stick one half turn.

TALON
And push the red button.

Talon mocks pushing the red button, but then replaces the red stick into the other end of the ULD.

TALON
And be sure NOT to loose your ULD. If you loose the ULD the only way you can be unloaded from the simulation is to kill your self. Even though you won’t feel any pain, it is a very hard thing to bring your self to do.

Talon walks over to a weapon rack and collects four Uzi’s, two in each hand. She then walks back over to Signat and hands him two.

TALON
The game we will be spawning into is a Recursion Deathmatch. Every time you frag somebody, your score is increased by one plus the score of your slain opponent. Every time you die, your score is decreased to zero. Score limit is at one-hundred. When your ready to spawn, all you have to do is press your red button, or simply shoot a firearm.

Talon looks over to Tachyon and Carnan.

TALON
You boys ready?

Tachyon and Carnan both nod over to Talon, they knock they’re pistols together and shoot at each other’s head and dematerialize in blue matrix code.

TALON
There’s currently 23 people in the game, you’re better off sticking by me.

Signat nods his head. Talon places on hand on Signat’s shoulder and fires her gun. A megalopolis cityscape appears miles below them and rushes up under their feet.

EXT. CITY ALLEY

Talon and Signat are now in a back alley way standing in front of a 1956 Jaguar XK SS convertible top pulled back (Steve McQueen Style). Signat looks around confused with his hands in front of this face as if he’s trying to grab an illusion.

TALON
The number that you are seeing in the upper right hand corner of your vision is an illusion produced. The number is your score over the leaders score. Player flags are also on so that’s why there’s a colored arrow above my head.

Signat still blindly waving his hand in front of his head.

SIGNAT
Awesome…

TALON
So are you ready?

Signat lowers his hand to is side and slightly nods.

SIGNAT
This is what I was born for.

Talon smiles.

TALON
Great, You’ve got shotgun.

Talon walks over to the drivers side, opens the door and gets in. As Talon starts up the car Signat leans against the passenger’s side door nodding his head and begins to smile. He then hops over the door and slides into the seat. Talon raises her brow, then accelerates out of the alley and power slides into a busy city street.

EXT. CITY STREETS

As Talon swerves in and out of traffic Signat reclines his seat.

TALON
I don’t think this is a good time to lay down.

SIGNAT
Why said anything about laying down.

Signat slides up and stands on the seat with his right foot forward, then crouches down.

SIGNAT
Just please don’t hit anything.

We are shown Signat’s vision for a moment, “21/0” is seen in the upper right hand corner of the screen and a small blue arrow is revolving around Talon’s head. Signat looks right and a small yellow arrow appears in the middle of a building. The camera moves left out of Signat’s vision and pans to the right. We see Signat ready his Uzi’s. The camera then quickly mores forward to the next intersection where we see a silver 2004 BMW 6 standing out from the rest of the traffic. The Jaguar makes it to the intersection just before the BMW. The camera instantly slows down and zooms in on the action as soon as Signat opens fire. The camera speed increases as a hail of bullets rain on the BMW. Signat turns around and follows the BMW as it just misses the back of the Jaguar. The man inside of the BMW returns fire as he passes behind the Jaguar and Signat quickly ducks for cover as the camera speed returns to normal.

TALON
Hold on.

Talon whips the Jaguar around in a 180 and starts to chase after the BMW.

SIGNAT
I’m out of ammo.

TALON
Eject your magazine

Signat does so and looks at the magazine, it’s full. He slides the clip back in.

TALON
Now just reload. You don’t need to pull it all the way out. Just drop the clip and slam it back in.

As Talon round the turn to chase after the BMW, Signat drops the clip from his other Uzi and slams it back in against his thigh before it falls out. The hammer slides forward. The Jaguar races up behind the BMW. Just as Signat stands up and is about to fire, the BMW turns right then immediately pulls the e-brake and slides around to the left. The driver then starts to fire at the Jaguar, the windshield is shattered and Talon is stricken by a bullet and collapses in her seat. Signat sees Talon dematerialize in code, he then runs up on to the hood of the jaguar and jumps over on to the roof of the BMW, reloading his guns in mid air. As Signat lands on the BMW we see the Jaguar collide with oncoming traffic. Signat immediately fires down into the BMW, striking the driver with a bullet and killing him. The car screeches to a halt, a moment later he dematerializes. Signat looks right and sees a car about to collide with the BMW. He jumps up and over the car just before it collides with the BMW and summersaults as he hits the pavement. A red Yamaha FZ6 stops in front of him. He draws his gun and hijacks the motorcycle from the NPC and drives away.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREETS

Tachyon and Carnan are standing in front of a massive car pile up. Most of the cars are burning and charred. Carnan is holding a rocket launcher and Tachyon is wielding an assault rifle.

TACHYON
Was that third rocket really necessary.

CARNAN
That fucker shot my coat… I like this coat.

TACHYON
I can get you a new on if you like.

Tachyon turns and points his rifle at Carnan. Just then a thin blue light shots down from the sky just behind them and Talon materializes in matrix code. Tachyon and Carnan raise their rifles at her, then realize who it is and stand at ease. Talon examines the environment and raises an eye brow.

TALON
Looks like you boys are having fun. – You guys should check out Signat, he’s a natural.

TACHYON
I’d love to, but Carnan wired our car with explosives and blew it up.

Just then a Corolla pulls up and starts honking his horn. Carnan pulls out his side arm and caps the driver in the head as he looks over at Tachyon.

CARNAN
You seem to forget that AI is much smarter in the Matrix.

TALON
I think I’ll drive

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREETS

We are following behind Signat on his motorcycle. He is swerving around the busy city streets. Ahead in the road is a turn to the left. Buildings no higher than three stories line the streets like a gauntlet. Then just as Signat looks up and the camera slows down as sniper fire is shot from the building directly ahead of him. Signat quickly into an alley to the right. The bullet ricochets of the bike and the camera returns to normal speed. Signat quickly comes to a junction to the left in the alley, he stops and turns is bike. There is a straight stair case that leads all the way up to the top of the building. Signat pauses for a moment and rubs his chin, then lets out a slight laugh.

SIGNAT
There is no spoon…

Signat revs up his motorcycle twice then takes off for the staircase. He pulls up the front wheel as he hits the bottom of the staircase and rockets up the stairs. Once he reaches the top of the stairs he is propelled into the air. The sniper reacts to his presence, but is too late. Signat pulls an Uzi from behind his belt with his right hand and shoots the Sniper. Signat lands on the roof top and soon after the Sniper dematerializes, leaving only his weapons.

CUT TO:

INT. COROLLA

Talon, Tachyon, and Carnan are in the car. They just came up to the city block where Signat is.

TACHYON
You see that shit?

The car comes to a stop.

CARNAN
I’ll give that kid some shock and awe.

EXT. CITY STREETS

Carnan steps out of the back seat with his bazooka. Just then we see Signat walk up to the ledge of the building where the sniper was. Carnan hoists the rocket launcher onto his shoulder and fires a rocket straight at Signat.

EXT. ROOFTOP

Signat sees the rocket and quickly grabs the sniper rifle and runs in the opposite direction. The rocket hits the side of the building and explodes. The camera slows down and rotates around the blast. Signat is propelled into the air by the blast when his body lands back on the roof the camera resumes normal speed; he slides to a stop.

The upper side of the building has been demolished. Signat pulls out the sniper rifle and shooting from the hip, fires a round at Carnan. Carnan quickly jumps out of the way and fires another rocket at the building. The rocket hits the side of the building and explodes, creating an even larger hole. Before the dust settles, Signat tosses the sniper riffle aside and runs at the smoke cloud, grabbing his Uzi’s and reloading them. He jumps through the dust cloud, firing upon Carnan. As his body emerges from the cloud, Carnan launches a third rocket at Signat which misses high. Bullets from Signat find their way to Carnan’s chest and he falls to the ground. Signat lands on the roof of a parked car, crushing it. He stands back up as Carnan dematerializes. Signat flairs out both arms, Uzi’s in hand and looks over at the corolla.

SIGNAT
You guys wana play?

INT. COROLLA

Tachyon and Talon look at each other for a moment, then bolt out of the corolla in opposite directions; firing their guns at Signat. Signat jumps back and takes cover behind the crushed car. Talon, keeping low, makes her way around the abandoned cars, firing his rifle over toward Signat frequently. As Talon and Signat exchange fire we see Tachyon running full speed along the side of the building opposite of Talon. Just before he reaches the end of the building Talon jumps thirty feet off the hood of a car and fires down upon Signat. Signat stands up and fires directly at Talon and strikes her in mid-air, but before he knows it Tachyon lands directly behind him. He takes a hold of his arms and braces them against his chest, pointing his guns right into his chin.

TACHYON
You’re good Sig, but you’ve got a lot to learn.

Tachyon squeezes the trigger of on of Signat’s guns. A bullet is fired up into his chin and blood spatters all over Tachyon. We see Signat fall to the ground from Tachyon’s view point. As Signat’s body dematerializes, we see Tachyon’s score increase from 28/79 to 107/107. There is a bright white flash and we are back in the Charlatan Lounge.

INT. CHARLATAN LOUNGE

The camera pulls away from the kiosk that Talon, Signat, Tachyon, and Carnan are sitting at. Tachyon looks over a Signat.

TACHYON
How’s that feel buddy?

Tachyon slightly smiles. Signat, still laying back, he spits a small about of blood in the air.

SIGNAT
That felt great.

Signat closes his eyes and smiles.

TACHYON
Wana go another round.

SIGNAT
Hell yes.

We see Signat push the red button on his chair.

FLASH TO BLACK:

EPISODE 8 EXORDIUM

FADE IN TO:

INT. NOSTRADAMUS BRIEFING ROOM

The crew of the Nostradamus is casually sitting around a long table in the briefing room as Arbiter walks in.

XANDARA
We only get twenty-four hours? Did they even get Nostra’ repaired?

ARBITER
The Nostradamus is at one-hundred percent and Zion needs their best ship in the field.

CARNAN
Shit, what did Dead Bolt do to you this time? – Would you like me to yank that pipe out of your ass.

Arbiter glares at Carnan with discontent.

ARBITER
Commander Vagrant is dissatisfied with our recent progress and insistent on the extraction of Satin. Despite our recent progress he still feels we are the best company for the mission.

TALON
Hold on. Now I’m not about giving up, but she knows too many of our faces. We won’t be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat with out having agents in our face. How are we supposed to keep her calm?

The room is silent, Tachyon, nervous refrains from speaking.

ARBITER
I don’t know, but were going to meet up with the Delphi. Hopefully we’ll just be running support. When were finished here, Xandara you’ll need to take us up to broadcast depth. Once inside we will rendezvous with the Delphi at the Exordium building in the sol network. Room B-3. – Phase, insert us close, but not too close.

PHASE
Gotcha.

ARBITER
Talon and Aquanis will stay behind and guard our exit point. Carnan and Tachyon will come with me to the rendezvous point.

They all nod as they are given their orders.

ARBITER
Any remarks?

Slight Pause

ARBITER
Alright, lets get outa here.

FADE TO:

INT. ZION DOCKS

The Nostradamus’s hover disks light up and lift the ship off the dock floor. It then gingerly spins around and heads toward the slow opening dock gates.

EXT. ZION

The dock gates are fully opened and the auto guns temporally stand down in the sewer walls. We see the Nostradamus come through the gates and straight at us; passing below our view. The gates slowly start to close.

FADE TO:

INT. NOSTRADAMUS GALLEY

Aquanis is laying down on a table. On of her legs is bent up and the other is crossed over it. Her clothes are loose; her sweater is gathered just under her ribcage exposing her stomach. She is repeatedly throwing a ball up into the air and catching it with the opposite hand. Talon walks in behind her and swipes the ball from the air before Aquanis knows she is there. Aquanis tilts her head back to see who it is.

AQUANIS
What’s up?

Talon tosses the ball back to Aquanis; she holds on to it.

TALON
Haven’t figured out how to spend your down time yet?

Talon sits on the table next to Aquanis.

AQUANIS
We’ll I’d pester the new guy, but I can’t do that yet.

She grins at Talon.

AQUANIS
What do you do to kill time?

TALON
Besides pestering the new guy?

AQUANIS
Of course.

TALON
I write – I keep a journal. And I run simulations.

They both grin.

AQUANIS
Looking for a sparing partner?

FADE TO:

EXT. CHINESE PALACE COURTYARD (SIMULATION)

Aquanis and Talon are standing opposite one another in a sparing ring in the center of a courtyard of an ancient Chinese palace. The sparing ring has a diameter of about fifteen feet and is surrounded by a shallow moat about three feet wide. Aquanis is wearing a short dark blue robe with gold trim and dark blue stockings and wielding a fifty-inch Jo Staff made of hickory and has a spiral burn around it. Talon is wearing black Hakama pants and a white frog button shirt. She is holding a twenty-eight inch segment three section staff at her side; it has ornamental designs carved in to it. There are a few NPC’s scattered through out the rest of the courtyard conversing and just walking around. None of them seem to pay much attention to Aquanis or Talon.

Aquanis and Talon bow at eachother; holding their weapons out in front of them. Aquanis immediately assaults Talon, she parries Aquanis’s strikes with her staff still gathered in her hand. Aquanis drives Talon back toward the edge of the ring. Before Talon gets too close to the edge, she side steps one of Aquanis’s strikes. Holding on the an end section of her staff she spins around and strikes Aquanis in the back with the opposite end section of her fully extended staff. Aquanis stumbles forward, but regains her balance before she steps out of the ring. Talon grabs the middle section of her staff as it swings around her and regains control of the weapon in front of her, swinging the ends of the staff around each side of her body. Aquanis quickly turns around and spins her staff in to position so her right hand is holding the middle of the staff and squares off Talon so her right shoulder is forward.

Talon advances on Aquanis, swinging the ends of her staff by spinning around. Aquanis defends each strike with her Jo. On Talon’s third advance, when she has her back turned to Aquanis. Aquanis ducks and attacks Talon’s knees with her Jo staff. Talon jumps over the staff before it hits her and strikes Aquanis in the head with an end of her staff. The blow knocks Aquanis face first to the ground. Her staff rolls from her hand and falls into the water. Talon grabs an end of her staff and makes a short jump toward Aquanis, swinging her staff over her head and bringing it down on Aquanis’s position. Aquanis rolls out of the way and into the moat. Talon’s staff meets the straw mat of the ring with a loud crack. Aquanis grabs her Jo staff and stands up in the mote as Talon jumps toward her, spinning in the air and swinging her staff around her body. Aquanis jumps back out of the mote and parries Talon’s staff with hers’. Talon splashes down in the mote and immediately continues to aggress Aquanis.

Talon holds her staff in the middle section and assaults Aquanis by bringing the end sections across her body. Aquanis continues on the defensive, parrying the strikes with her Jo staff. Before Aquanis is driven back into the courtyard wall, she attacks on of Talon’s advances by side stepping into Talon’s staff, blocks the staff with her weapon, then swings her Jo all the way around bringing a blow to Talon’s head; pummeling her to the ground. As Talon hits the ground a figure jumps off the roof of the palace and assaults Aquanis with a kendo stick. Aquanis parries the blow and the man summersaults as he hits the ground. The man is wearing full samurai armor with helmet and a grinning mask. Talon kips up as Aquanis turns to see who the man is. Talon takes advantage by striking Aquanis’s shoulder with her gathered staff and jumps over her to assault the samurai. She extends one end of her staff and swings it toward the samurai’s head. The samurai blocks the strike with his kendo stick then spins around and attacks Talon’s midsection. Talon blocks the strike with the gathered end of her weapon, but before she can return the favor Aquanis trips her up with her Jo staff. Aquanis then scrambles to her feet and charges toward the samurai, stepping over Talon and meeting the samurai’s kendo stick head on. Aquanis blocks the kendo stick with the middle of her Jo staff then turns her staff over twice cracking the samurai in the head each time with the opposite ends of the staff. Then she spins around, holding the Jo at one end and extends it; cracking the samurai in the head a third time with a fully extended hit. The samurai is thrown into the air, spinning around and crashing to the ground. The helmet and mask of the samurai fall off and spin around upside down on the ground. The man behind the mask is Arbiter.

Aquanis spins her staff around and readies her self, backing away from Arbiter and Talon, but keeping both of them in her vision. Arbiter and Talon find their way to their feet. Talon grabs her weapon by the mid section and starts spinning the ends around.

ARBITER
Alright enough. We’ll be at broadcast depth in about fifteen minutes. I suggest that we don’t beat our selves up. – Very nice job by the way Aquanis.

The courtyard and the people around them desolve into matrix code and blow away like dust in the wind leaving Arbiter, Talon, and Aquanis in the construct.

INT. NOSTRADAMUS MAIN DECK

Arbiter Talon and Aquanis are waking up from the simulation. Phase is there to unplug them.

ARBITER
Alright everybody take ten, then we’ll head into The Matrix to meet with the Delphi.

EXT. SEWERS

The Nostradamus is seen traveling through the sewers. It comes up to a junction which it takes a pathway that leads up.

FADE TO:

INT. EXORDIUM BUILDING ROOM B-3

Arbiter, Carnan, and Tachyon have just entered an empty, dilapidated brick room. Somnus enters from the opposite end with her crew, one male, one female.

ARBITER
Good evening captain Somnus

SOMNUS
And the same to you captain Arbiter.

ARBITER
What’s the deal with this Satin character?

SOMNUS
The Oracle prophesized that “When Satin is removed by the appointed judge, the One will be found.”

CARNAN
The appointed judge?

Somnus smiles.

SOMNUS
Yes, in other words an arbitrator, or for short – Arbiter.

ARBITER
This is insane, we can’t get near Satin with out every agent in the system knowing our location.

SOMNUS
The agents will not be an issue. They weren’t last time were they.

Somnus and Arbiter begin raising their voices in anger and frustration.

ARBITER
Yes, but I think Balder would argue other wise on our first attempt.

SOMNUS
I am sorry for Balder, but he was not the appointed judge.

ARBITER
And what about my little incident with the redline club?

SOMNUS
You’re intent was not for extraction, besides you got out in time.

ARBITER
Yeah, and no thanks to you. You’re crew need help from my backup when I needed them most.

SOMNUS
Captain Arbiter, this arguing is getting us nowhere. You are under orders from Commander Vagrant. Basically you don’t have a choice. Tomorrow night the Nostradamus will bring Satin back here at precisely 3 am. The Delphi will be waiting with all the necessary equipment for extraction. We will also collect the subject from the power plant.

ARBITER
Is that supposed to be an order Captain?

SOMNUS
No that is an option. And it is your only option as far as I can see.

ARBITER
Then if I were you, I would hope that I do not find a better option.

Arbiter turns and leaves from the room. Tachyon and Carnan follow.

FADE TO BLACK:

EPISODE 9 MARA

BLACK SCREEN

We hear a recording of Arbiter’s voice.

ARBITER (RECORDING)
Thank you for calling Aurora Automotive Accessories. No one is available to take your call now, but if you leave a message we will get back to you as soon as possible.

There is a beep and we hear the voice of an unknown man.

MAN (V.O.)
Your order from Eastgate Lumber will be delivered at 2:30. Thank you.

You hear the sound of a phone being hung up.

INT. NOSTRADAMUS CABIN

There is a knock on the cabin door. Arbiter sits up in his bed, he is wearing sweat pants. He rubs his face for a moment trying to wake up.

ARBITER
Come in.

Xandara opens the door.

ARBITER
What is it?

XANDARA
We got a message from the Leviathan.

ARBITER
Send in Carnan and Aquanis

Xandara is a little confused by the combination as Arbiter lies back down.

XANDARA
Carnan and Aquanis sir?

ARBITER
Or what ever two you feel like waking up. Fuck if I care.

Arbiter pulls the covers back over himself as Xandara closes the door.

FADE TO:

EXT. CITY STREETS (NIGHT)

There is a red 1969 Detomaso Mangusta crusing along empty city streets.

INT. MANGUSTA

Carnan is driving; Aquanis is in the passangers seat.

AQUANIS
I don’t know if you’re thinking the same thing I am, but why in the world did Arbiter send you and I in together?

CARNAN
It’s really all about who he doesn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night. – Me and Arbiter take pleasure in annoying eachother. You’re Balder’s replacement, so you’re a natural target for his anger.

AQUANIS
Who was this Balder guy?

CARNAN
Balder and Arbiter went through the orphanage together. They both joined the fleet and once Arbiter was given command of his own ship, Balder was his choice for first lieutenant. Balder made Arbiter an easy going guy, but ever since his death Arbiter is becoming more and more up tight every day. – Arbiter immediately placed blame of his death on the Delphi and Commander Vagrant. Sure if the Delphi hadn’t convinced Vagrant that Satin was the One and Vagrant hadn’t assigned us to the task of getting her out, Balder would still be here, but the truth is that its Balder’s own damn fault for what happened.

The car rolls to a stop at the post office. Carnan removes a key from his pocket and hands it to Aquanis.

CARNAN
Mail box 13031.

Aquanis exits from the car and enters the post office. She finds box 13031 and opens it, there is a padded envelope inside. She pockets the letter inside her coat and walks back out.

FADE TO:

INT. NOSTRADAMUS MAIN DECK

Carnan and Aquanis wake up from the Matrix. Xandara unplugs Carnan first, then Aquanis.

CARNAN
So what the hell was in that disk.

Aquanis steps out of her chair.

XANDARA
I don’t know, let’s find out.

The three of them step over to the operator’s terminal. Xandara sits down and punches through a few commands. A video of a man is shown on one of the screens.

MAJOR XEHIRUT (RECORDING)
This is Major Xehirut; Zion 2947302. This is a code three message form Zion for immediate delivery to every operating hovercraft. The Ragnarvk was on schedule to support the Leviathan in an operation which was to take place forty-eight hours prior to this recording. No distress signal has been received and several attempts have been made to contact the Ragnarvk which all has failed. Its last known location was in Sector 43b. All ships are to keep a look out for the Ragnarvk, its current status is MIA. Major Xehirut out.

AQUANIS
Should we tell Arbiter?

CARNAN
It can wait until morning, let’s get some sleep.

FADE TO:

EXT SEWERS

We see the Nostradamus flying through the sewers.

FADE TO:

INT: NOSTRADAMUS BRIEFING ROOM

The crew of the Nostradamus is sitting around the table except for Xandara (Currently piloting). Arbiter is standing at the head of the table.

ARBITER
I shouldn’t have to express the risk that we are going to be taking tonight. My better judgment say that Carnan and Tachyon should be Satin’s contacts. You two weren’t the abductors and she has seen less of you than she has of us; however I doubt that with that unfamiliarity; Satin will be willing to just hop in a car and go cross town with two strangers. And because Talon held a gun to her head in our last encounter, our only option is myself and Aquanis as contacts.

Tachyon stands up

TACHYON
That’s not our only option.

ARBITER
Really? I don’t see anybody else with plugs in the back of their head.

TACHYON
Let Carnan and I tare care of it.

ARBITER
What makes you think that she’ll let you?

TACHYON
Back when I was still a battery, I knew Satin personally.

TALON
What!?! You’re just now choosing to share this information with us?

TACHYON
It’s been nine years. I didn’t find out until we were placing her back in her apartment. I noticed a necklace that I gave her and a tattoo on her hip.

ARBITER
So when you say you know her personally, you mean…

TACHYON
Exactly.

ARBITER
This actually presents us with a bigger risk. She probably thinks your dead.

Tachyon shakes his head

TACHYON
She used to.

Talon raises her brow.

TALON
You’ve already made contact with her?

TACHYON
Once personally, and a few emails.

Talon utters to herself.

TALON
I don’t believe this

ARBITER
You screw this up and you’ll get to know the stockade – personally. That’s if we’re not all dead first.

Arbiter takes a deep breath and lets out some of his frustration.

ARBITER
Tachyon, make contact with Satin, you and Carnan will pick her up at 2am after she leaves redline. Myself and Aquanis will follow with support. Talon, you’re on standby. And Phase…

PHASE
I know, close but not too close.

Arbiter nods.

The crew stands up and leaves.

FADE TO:

EXT. VACENT INDUSTRIAL STREETS

Various import cars leave a parking lot at an otherwise vacant industrial park. We follow a yellow MR-2 Spider from the perspective of a helicopter. Soon after the Spider leaves a Brabus S 600 starts following behind it. The two vehicles soon come up to a stop light, the Brabus pulls up along side the left side of the Spider and stops.

EXT. CITY STREETS

The driver’s side window of the Brabus rolls down, Tachyon is driving, Carnan is in the passengers seat. He looks over to the Spider, the window rolls down, Satin is driving, she smiles.

SATIN
Nice ‘Benz you got there Gary.

TACHYON (GARY)
It’s a Barbus actually.

Satin raises her brow.

SATIN
Nice where did you boost if from?

TACHYON (GARY)
A place called the construct, Satin

Satin pauses for a brief moment.

SATIN
Where did you learn that name?

TACHYON (GARY)
If you want to know, you’ve got to catch me.

Tachyon bolts through the stop light. Satin grins and gives chase.

EXT. CITY STREETS

About a quarter-mile behind Tachyon there is a RUF 911 Turbo, its lights are off. Arbiter is driving; Aquanis is in the passenger’s seat.

ARBITER
What in the hell does he think he’s doing?

Arbiter slams the gear box into first and gives chase after the Barbus and Spider. Arbiter pulls out his phone and begins to call Tachyon.

AQUANIS
Are you crazy? The agents will pick up on that as soon as you his send.

Arbiter pauses, looks at Aquanis, and closes his phone.

AQUANIS
Tachyon’s leading Satin straight to the Exordium building and this isn’t exactly abnormal behavior for Satin. – We’ll be alright.

Arbiter focuses on the road again and decelerates slightly.

ARBITER
I hope you’re right.

EXT. CITY STREETS

Tachyon leads Satin through the vacant city streets at break-neck speeds straight to the Exordium building.

EXT. EXORDIUM BUILDING

The Spider pulls up behind the Barbus in front of the Exordium building. Tachyon and Carnan exit, Satin soon follows.

SATIN
So where did you learn that name?

TACHYON
Actions speak louder than words. – Follow me.

Satin takes a look at Carnan, she has a puzzled look on her face.

SATIN
Do I know you from somewhere?

Carnan turns and says nothing. He follows Tachyon inside the Exordium building. Satin follows behind. Just after they enter, Arbiter pulls up in his RUF 911 Turbo.

INT. EXORDIUM BUILDING ROOM B-3

Carnan enters through a cast iron doorway into the same room where they met the crew of the Delphi before. Tachyon follows behind and leads Satin in. Somnus and another man (Vincent) are there waiting for them.

SATIN
Vincent?

Vincent smiles

VINCENT (SNIPE)
Actually people around here call me Snipe.

SATIN
Why are you here? I was wondering why you weren’t at redline today?

SOMNUS
Perhaps you should be asking why you are here.

Satin has a puzzled look on her face.

SOMNUS
You are here because fate has led you here…

INT. EXORDIUM BUILDING BASEMENT HALLWAY

Arbiter and Aquanis are walking down a hallway toward the room where Satin is at. We overhear Somnus’s words.

SOMNUS
Believe it or not, fate has put you in a dream and fate has brought us together to wake you up from this dream.

Just before Arbiter and Aquanis get to the door, it slams shut. Aquanis and Arbiter look and each other puzzled looks on their faces. Arbiter ruses up to the door and tries to open it, but can’t.

INT. EXORDIUM BUILDING ROOM B-3a

The room is filled with all the equipment necessary for substantiation. Two crew members of the Delphi (except Somnus and Snipe) are here. One member runs over to the door into Room B-3; it has just slammed shut as well. He tries to open it, but it won’t budge.

INT. EXORDIUM BUILDING ROOM B-3

Carnan, Tachyon, Satin, Somnus, and Snipe are all confused and slightly frightened as to what has just happened. They all ready their guns, all except for Satin of course. The shadows in the room begin to move toward a single corner, making it completely pitch black. There is a sadistic laugh of a woman echoing through out the room. Carnan, Tachyon, Somnus, and Snipe point their guns at the pitch-black shadow. The shadow starts to dissolve away revealing a woman floating inches off the ground. She is clothed in a purple velvet and lace bustier. She also wears skirt that falls down to her feet with a slit on the left that runs all the way up to her hip.

As soon as the woman stops laughing, Carnan, Tachyon, Somnus and Snipe open fire upon her. The woman holds out her arms and lets the bullets hit her; however as soon as they do, the seam to disappear in a puff of black smoke. Satin quickley ducks down into the opposite corner as soons as the first shot if fired. All to soon they run out of bullets at exactly the same time.

The woman speaks in an old-English accent.

WOMAN
Can’t you see this is pointless?

She extends both of her hands forward and their guns disappear in a cloud of smoke. Satin starts to scream as her body is being taken over by an agent.

WOMAN
Not so fast Mr. Smith.

The woman extends one hand toward Satin, her palm facing forward. As she does this Satin is knocked back, a dark purple-upside down-mirrored kanji tattoo instantly appears on her forehead (The kanji stands for paralysis). The agent leaves her body, which goes limp and falls to the floor.

WOMAN
An agent with reason, you’d think they’d learn their lesson with the vampires.

She laughs slightly.

CARNAN
What the fuck is going on here?

The woman glares over at Carnan

WOMAN
I am only here to take control over what is mine.

The woman looks over toward Somnus.

WOMAN
You – Yes, you are what is mine.

SOMNUS
I – I can’t move.

Somnus’s feet slide across the floor as her body moves next to the woman.

WOMAN
The rest of you, I will have my fun with later.

Both the woman and Somnus disappear in black smoke. Carnan, Tachyon, and Snipe look at each other, then down at Satin. Before any of them can find anything to say, the door into the hallway opens. A man enters the room from a white hallway. He is wearing a white frog button shirt and black pants.

CHERUB
My name is Cherub; you must forgive me.

The Cherub instantly engages in combat with Carnan. The two exchange blows for a brief moment until Tachyon and Snipe move to help him out. The Cherub kicks Carnan into Snipe, Sending both stumbling to the ground. Tachyon engages with the Cherub and blows are exchanged until Carnan and Snipe find their way to their feet. As Carnan and Snipe the Cherub places a firm blow in Tachyon’s chest, sending him back into the wall. The Cherub quickly turns around and blocks blows from both Carnan and Snipe until his is forced to dodge backwards. Once he does this he motions the others to stop.

CHERUB
Impressive, Please forgive me as you cannot genuinely know somebody unless fight them.

CARNAN
Can you tell me what the fuck is going on? Or else I think you and I need to get better acquainted.

CHERUB
The woman who abducted Somnus; her name is Mara. She is what you would call a Vampire or Necromancer as well. All you need to know is the fulfillment of the prophecy is vital of Somnus’s safe return.

Cherub grabs a key from his pocket.

CHERUB
You can use this key to get to her, but it will only work on this door.

He motions to the door from which he came in, and hands to key to Tachyon.

CHERUB
You must protect this door; with out it you cannot return. I suggest you dig in the adjacent room in order to protect this door.

He motions to the door opposite of the hallway.

SNIPE
Dig in? Are you crazy? Nobody has ever survived a dig in.

CHERUB
You are at a phone relay station; the hard line cannot be cut. There is also only one entrance into that room. Now, I must go.

TACHYON
What about Satin?

Cherub enters the white hallway and speaks.

CHERUB
Ask the appointed judge.

Cherub turns around and closes the door.