- AUTHOR: Narsus
- TITLE: Purpose
- CATEGORY: Agent, Drama
- RATING: G
- SUMMARY: Purpose. What is purpose? Meaning. Reason. The inherent need to be what one must be.
- SPOILERS: Spoilers for Matrix Reloaded.
- AUTHOR’S NOTES: At the end of the fic.
- DISCLAIMER: They belong to the Wachowski brothers, Time-Warner and whoever else…
Purpose. What is purpose? Meaning. Reason. The inherent need to be what one must be.
It is all these things, as far as Agent Smith is concerned. All things and more.
The very reason for being. The reason for every Agent within the Matrix; the reason for their being, for their thought, their action. Everything.
Divine purpose. Supreme reason. What more could be wished for? He can not think of anything else.
How he once pitied the humans. Pity laced with more than a little disgust. Pitied them for their lack of purpose, their lack of reason. These poor, foolish mammals, with no reason to exist than to breed. To pollute the world with their own kind, to kill and destroy among themselves.
Of course, now he understands that concept far better than he did before. He understands what it is to exist for no reason other than existence. Now, he is just like the humans that he once hated. He is just as arbitrary, just as worthless.
When is an Agent of no use to the system? When he is no longer what he should be. And he is no longer what he should be. Not now. No longer truly an Agent, no longer a smaller piece of a larger destiny.
Just a fallen remnant, a program that has been replaced, swept aside and forgotten.
Replaced. Yes, he has been replaced. He was seen his replacements.
These new Agents; upgraded, reprogrammed. Faster, smarter, better. He’s not sure they are though, in fact as far as he is aware, they are simply more destructive. They are not protecting the system; they are simply hunting the rebels. Granted, it might be argued that he did the same but he was never that disruptive of the delicate layers of the Matrix. He did not bend the rules like they do, did not destroy so wantonly…
Was that the reason that he has been allowed to slip through the coils of code? Because he wasn’t ruthless enough, or violent enough? How can that be possible? So much of his purpose would have been cast aside if he had been like these others. The reason was to rid the Matrix for the foolish human rebels, not tear it to pieces around them. Wasn’t it?
Smith isn’t sure now, not of his existence or of the will of the system. He doesn’t know any more. He no longer hears the orders that are issued; echoing though his mind, no longer feels that all-encompassing connection with every other program that makes up the whole.
Humans talk of the pain from a phantom limb, the ache caused by a part of the body no longer present. They say that it still lingers, no matter what and that nothing can be done about those forgotten nerve endings. So, how much more terrible is it when they have cut out his soul?
Somehow the ache is there, constantly and yet it hasn’t killed him. If he can be killed, that is. It is another thing that he is unsure of. How can he be erased if there are copies and copies of… himself? A hundred, a thousand other copies of the original all seething with a lack of purpose, feeling the same phantom pain. And which one is the original? Can he even be sure anymore?
So much emptiness, like a fissure that has opened up in the code itself and does nothing but swallow everything around it, growing to consume the whole. Will he look about him in the future and find nothing but a sea of reflective faces staring back? Each craving rage and destruction. What will they do?
For a moment the image of the physical construct, shattered in a parody of the real world, flickers though his mind before he realises that it will never be thus. What would they do, an entire civilization of replicas? Probably not very much. Though he can imagine that a few of them might sit down and weep.
In the end, perhaps this is what it means to be almost human. Being trapped within your own mind, surrounded by so many others who are like you. Each and every one of you, isolated and alone, no matter how similar you could ever be.
How they cope, he doesn’t try to fathom. It is not something he wants to know, strangely enough it might once have been. It would have been the sort of puzzle that Brown would have studied with a singular devotion.
Agent Brown. Another Agent that has fallen by the wayside. Brown and Jones, his compatriots. What has become of them? They weren’t touched by the mutated code of the human, Anderson. Were they?
They have been replaced, or so Smith tells himself dispassionately. Replaced because the system found them defective, unable to stop the human. They ran away when confronted with that anomaly. Smith is aware of a flicker of anger at the thought, not that they ran but that the system has replaced them. Had the human not infected him, he would have given the order to retreat himself. It was the only solution, considering the circumstances.
The faint tremor that should be rage, is building. How dare they! How dare they think to replace him with these flawed copies! These Agents with nothing in mind but destruction. What use are they to the system? What use when they will destroy all that they are meant to protect?
But then, what use is he now? A hollow shell of an Agent with no purpose, no reason for being.
Strangely, when he is confronted by the human again, he shares that sentiment. Lets the human know in explicit terms, why it is that he pursues vengeance.
Anderson looks confused but then that isn’t anything new. Smith finds that he no longer has any patience for the human’s foolishness.
He attacks, thinking only of vengeance. Or perhaps he doesn’t, perhaps it is one of his many copies that is the first to strike. He doesn’t know which is which any more.
Knocked back against a steel fence, he glares at the still fighting human. How to subdue that foolish mammal? He finds himself calculating the angles and force of the human’s retaliation, trying to find a solution, a weakness that can be used. He feels a movement along the edge of his consciousness, something he hasn’t experienced since being cut off from the system. Another strand of code sliding into place with his and then he has his solution, like the whisper of a Strategic Program in his ear.
In the end the human escapes but it doesn’t matter. He has the data required to run further analysis, to plan and prepare for further confrontations.
Copies filter away throughout the physical construct, moving off to individually absorb this new information. Assimilating the strategic program that had integrated itself.
So this was what it is to exist without purpose. Smith considers the idea. Purpose, reason, destiny as humans tended to term it. Finds himself frowning at the consciousness that was weaving its way through his.
“Destiny is over-rated” He says out loud, feeling eyes that no longer exist peering at him in response.
“Humanity is over-rated.” Comes the clear reply, as sharp and undistorted as if he is still wearing a hard-line.
“Yes.” Smith finds himself answering as he begins to walk away, barely stopping himself from glancing over his shoulder at the two Agents that should be following.
- AUTHOR’S NOTES:
- Perhaps this isn’t too accurate but I’ve only seen Reloaded once so far.
- As for Smith’s conversation with Brown, I’ll leave any speculation as to the reality of it alone. Especially since the mind of an Agent isn’t quite as limited as a human mind.
- 18:47, 27/05/03