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FIC: "Cassandra" EXCERPTS - "Degrees of Separation" -- A "Matrix" RPG

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July 20th, 2010


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crowdog66
08:05 pm - FIC: "Cassandra" EXCERPTS
For those just joining the program, already in progress...

Set in the "Degrees of Separation" Matrix!verse, details here. Long story short: It's a new iteration of the Matrix. Neo and Smith have been codebound to each other, creating a telepathic/empathic link and preventing them from destroying each other. Morpheus and the crew of the Neb have fled Zion in order to keep Neo alive, and work with the Neo/Smith team in the Matrix as free agents. This particular story is set about three months after the codebonding took place, and the Justice League (as the press has dubbed Morpheus and his associates, including the One and the Opposite) has been hired by a prominent bluepill industrialist to get his daughter, Cassandra, back from a mobster who's kidnapped her in order to influence her father.

TITLE: "DegSep: Cassandra" EXCERPTS, IN PROGRESS, FIRST DRAFT
AUTHOR: prairiecrow
SERIES: Degrees of Separation (Matrix AU)
RATING: PG-13 so far
GENRE: Adventure/slash
PAIRING/S: Neo and Smith
WORD COUNT: ~850 so far
SUMMARY: This particular story is set about three months after the codebonding took place, and the Justice League (as the press has dubbed Morpheus and his associates, including the One and the Opposite) has been hired by a prominent bluepill industrialist to get his daughter, Cassandra, back from a mobster who's kidnapped her in order to influence her father.
WARNINGS: Neo and Smith are lovers, but that's not really mentioned.

********************************************

[So, the One and the Opposite walk into a bar... or more accurately, a nightclub owned by a Russian mobster. They get into the fourth-level area, overlooking the club, reserved for Orzo and his associates, and are cheerfully greeted by their host...]

“The infamous Neo and Smith.” His smile was wide and warm. “To what does my humble club owe such —”

Smith interrupted him in a cold flat voice. “Don’t waste our time, Mister Orzo. We’ve come for the girl.”

“The girl? WHICH girl? Elysium is full of girls, both beautiful and otherwise. You’ll have to be more specific than that.”

Behind his angular glasses Smith’s ice-blue eyes narrowed fractionally. It was Neo who answered this time: “Cassandra Petrovich. We’ll only ask once.”

Orzo continued to smile beautifically. “Gentlemen, please... people come to me begging, but they never come demanding.” The men on either side of the small space suddenly sported an assortment of guns, and two took it upon themselves to hold their handguns to the temples of the unexpected visitors. “Perhaps you’d like to change your tone?”

Neo didn’t even bother to look to the side. “You’re kidding, right?”

“No, Mister Anderson.” Smith’s eyes slide to his right and his left arm moved, ever so slightly. “I don’t believe they are.”

Everyone around them was a bluepill, so they’d never seen an Agent’s speed before. One pass of the twin blades that had suddenly appeared in Smith's left fist, delivering a powerful overhand blow, cut through the gun’s barrel in a flash of white sparks; the return pass sliced off most of the gunman’s face in a spray of hot blood. By the time the henchman fell back, too stunned to scream, Smith was already moving toward Orzo, deploying another set of blades out of the right sleeve of his jacket. He lunged across the table, both haladies slashing through the neon air in a pattern of imminent death.

Gunfire ripped toward him, and through him. A corpse sprawled across the table into Orzo’s overfed lap, but it didn’t belong to Smith. Not any more.

Orzo gaped down at the bloody body of a homeless man in absolute disbelief, his mouth fixed in a large “O”, the expression of a child presented with a large and unpleasant surprise. He almost missed the sudden action of Neo’s body, attacking the henchmen on his side in graceful patterns like the flow of a wave on the ocean. When he regained his voice about three seconds later, it was to scream in Russian: “KILL HER!”

One of the gunmen on Smith’s side of the room had the presence of mind to ask a very pertinent question: “Where did he GO?” But even he was turning toward the corner where the kidnapped girl was being held, gun leveled and bullets ready to fly.

They faced an empty bench. Well, empty if you counted only living people as present. One of Cassandra’s guards was slumped on the floor, bleeding from a forehead wound that was clearly fatal, the type of wound that might have been the result of eight inches of razor-sharp steel being suddenly embedded in his skull. The girl was gone, and so was the other guard...

But the form disappearing into the back hallway, dragging a struggling schoolgirl behind him as if she weighed nothing at all, was clearly the missing ex-Agent. And he was moving like he had many other places to be, none of them here.

[The henchmen give chase, gathering forces as they go, and Smith, to escape the gunfire which could kill the girl who's the whole point of the exercise, orders her to cover her head and pulls her into his arms, then takes a running leap through a window, only to discover that he could have picked a better exit point...]

Looking down as they started to fall, he immediately realized that while he could shift into a new body when this one was mutilated by the sharp steel below, Cassandra Petrovich certainly would not.

//MISTER ANDERSON.//

The telepathic summons flashed across the noise and glamour of the nightclub and went off in Neo’s head like a flare. Instantly he abandoned his fight with Orzo’s forces, kicking off into the air and arrowing down the levels of the building at top speed, sparing only enough thought for the men he left behind to set up a code-field to deflect the useless bullets they sent winging after him. He traversed the vast club in less than a heartbeat, leaving a sonic boom behind him that overwhelmed even the pulse of ear-splitting music and left hundreds of clubgoers staring upward, not knowing what they’d half-seen. He arrived just before Smith and Cassandra’s falling bodies were due to encounter the first points of deadly metal, in time to catch Smith in his arms, and with him the industrialist’s daughter.

##Got you!##

//Obviously,// Smith drawled. In his hard embrace, Cassandra shivered and said nothing. Neo wasn’t even sure if she was conscious.

Upward at high speed, a force-shield of pure thought in front of them as they burst out through one of the skylights and into the foggy darkness of a fall night in the Matrix.

[Soon, on top of a building...]

“I, ohhhhh...” She half-opened her eyes and looked up, then recoiled when the first thing she saw was Smith.

Neo sighed under his breath. Smith had that effect on a lot of people. “It’s all right, Cassandra. You’re safe now.”

“He —” Her gaze shifted to him, and her eyes went wide. “Neo? THE Neo?”

Smith looked like he was about to say something supremely cutting, so Neo jumped right in: “That’s me. Are you all right? Did they hurt you?”

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