Efficiency


Efficiency

  • AUTHOR: Narsus
  • TITLE: Efficiency
  • CATEGORY: Agent, Drama
  • RATING: PG
  • SUMMARY: Smith and Brown have a conversation about efficiency. A contemplation on arbitrary cruelty…
  • AUTHOR’S NOTES: At the end of the fic.
  • DISCLAIMER: They belong to the Wachowski brothers, Time-Warner and whoever else…

Efficiency

A lone human male was running down an apparently deserted alleyway. Looking of his shoulder every 5 seconds or so. He was moving relatively fast for someone concealing a shotgun under his coat. Yet another ‘freeded’ human trying to get to the hard-line that would send him back to the real world.

 

A little distance behind him, an Agent was following behind. The street-lights reflecting off his constantly worn sun-glasses. The Agent slowed as he reached the alley-way that the human had turned in to. Looking around he touched his ear-piece.

 

“Where is he?”

 

The communication fed into the corresponding ear-piece of another Agent watching a computer display.

 

“3rd floor. The stairs to your left.”

 

The Agent moved to follow.

 

“Brown?”

“Yes?”

“Do you ever wonder… why they always try to run.”

“All advanced mammals are equipped with a sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system-”

“Yes. I know.”

 

There was a few seconds of dead space along the communication channel as the Agent sprinted up the stairs. He was half way along the corridor when the silence was broken.

 

“Perhaps they actually believe that they have a chance?”

“What?”

“Perhaps they believe that they have a chance to escape because…”

“Because to believe otherwise would be contrary to their nature.”

“Yes… The target as moved to the adjoining building.”

 

The jump across to the rooftop of the other building was a simple movement for the Agent.

 

“I do not understand you, Smith.”

 

Again, dead space is the only answer.

 

“You are trying to understand them but we are not required to. It is not… our function.”

 

More dead space but Brown knew the channel was still open. A frown appeared on his face, a curiously human expression. He tried it again.

 

“You are frowning.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“It would be the suitable human expression in these circumstances.”

“Ah.”

“Ah?”

“That would be the suitable human response.”

 

Brown didn’t have a suitable human reply so kept silent. Smith was still chasing the human, he has slowed his pursuit a little, though it would have taken a machine to tell the difference.

 

“You are not speaking to me?”

“I have no suitable human response.”

“Ah.”

“’Ah’ that is the suitable human response or ‘Ah’ you don’t have a suitable human response?”

 

Several long moments of dead space passed.

 

“This would appear to be a satisfactory simulated human conversation then.”

 

More dead space from Smith was the reply.

 

“They always appear to have difficulty communicating with each other.”

“Yes.”

“I still do not understand completely the difficulty in their verbal communication. They say one thing and often mean another. There appears to be no purpose for that.”

“Human acts are often arbitrary.”

“Yes.”

 

In the other apartment building the human is finally cornered.

 

“There is no reason for what they do.”

“And they say that we are cruel.”

“Cruelty is how they see efficiency expressed.”

 

A gunshot rings out and the human falls to the ground, lifeless.

 

“Why do they find efficiency cruel?”

“Perhaps they need something to fight against. A villain to demonise…”

“So they must believe that such acts are personally directed at them?”

“Yes. They can not comprehend that such cruelty might be arbitrary because…”

“Because to believe otherwise would be contrary to their nature.”

 

Smith straightened up from checking the pulse of the corpse.

 

“The relevant authorities have been directed to the scene.”

Brown watched the dots on the monitor converge on the location.

 

“He is dead.”

Smith’s only report as he left the room.

 

Leaving the building the Agent didn’t even notice the crowds gathered by the police sirens, they were not relevant.

 

Within the room the paramedics carefully stretched the body for loading into the ambulance. The police officers complained about the lack of identification loudly and later, quietly would complain about the callousness of the special agents who were the cause of so many unneeded deaths.

 

Efficiency was, it seemed, a relative term.


  • AUTHOR’S NOTES:
    • Yet another project in the middle of the night. I got wondering about arbitrary cruelty and felt like writing something down. The idea of Smith and Brown having a chat about it was a purely random one and was probably something to do with the “Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions.” line in “The Matrix”, which normally has me yelling ‘well, it’s not like you do anything!’ at the screen.
    • Hmmm…
    • 2:27am, 20/3/02
    • Again thanks to 02 for the discussions pertaining to “The Matrix”.
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