- AUTHOR: Blake
- TITLE: Plugs
- CATEGORY: Drama
- RATING: PG-13
- SUMMARY: “Bad dreams aren’t the only things that keep me awake.” Neo muses on the nature of his own private reality.
Bad dreams aren’t the only things that keep me awake. It’s the thinking that drives me insane. Often it’s trivial things that plague me, like trying to remember what the nametag had read on some nameless cop’s uniform. Other times I consider more serious questions, trying to unravel the mysteries left to me that others choose to ignore. And on nights like that I’ll lie there with my eyes shut, trying to pretend I’m asleep, while she lies unknowing and peaceful against me. The worst part of that is when some sound will make me open my eyes, I think I see phosphorescence trailing in code along the lines of her neck and arm. I dream in code.
And that makes me worry. If, even in the real world, I see these signatures of the AI highlighting the form of the woman who saved me from them, what kind of power does the Matrix have over me? The feel of being in there is addictive, all the better for being dangerous, and so I wonder how much I have come to depend on it to stay sane.
How human am I? We’re both of us covered in scars, not only those white slashes of cuts and ripples of burns, but the uniform pattern of metal that is a constant reminder of what I especially can’t forget. And on those nights when she’s not sleeping either, I trace from one ring to the next, over her shoulder, and down, down her spine. She smiles at my expression, and says it makes me look younger.
I guess that works. Little kids are in awe of everything. Especially the simple wonder of being alive.
The sum of her skin and mine along with these cold scars astounds me. How is it that there is so much that is bad, so much that must be changed, yet even with the evidence of this marring something otherwise flawless the both of us can love as we do?
Her blood scares me. It’s easier to pretend she’s not human in there, that she’s an efficient machine, slick as an oil spill, utterly invincible.
But then a blade will slash through the PVC and expose skin, and I see the blood that shines white in green code and all I can think is – another scar. Another scar, because I didn’t prevent it, because I don’t know how I’m meant to save her.
Because I keep failing.
I suppose, in a way, that proves how human I am. As a species, we’re renowned for screwing up time and again.
I just hope I can get things right when it matters most.