Yay, I'm finally updating! Amazing, isn't it? And I'm sorry it's short, but there needed to be some explanation . . . ;)

"I've noticed that you don't like Bane very much," Morpheus said.

I sighed. Here we go . . .

"Do you believe in reincarnation?"

He thought a moment. "Yes, I suppose I do."

"I don't have to believe, Morpheus. I've seen it. Do you know how many times the Matrix has been rebooted? Six times, Morpheus. Six times, by the Mainframe! And this–this is the seventh time. Every time, Fate adds something, and it is repeated in the next cycle. In the last cycle I became a rogue program, however, and I hope that their own slavish repetition ends the cycle.

"The Oracle is wise, and indeed has some power to tell the future. But she gets more of her knowledge from her memory–for she, too, is a program. And, unlike most of us, mental blocks are never put on her to make her forget. I only remembered when . . . when Neo and I combined again, six months ago. And it was only when he died that I realized that the cycles could end–that they could be broken, if you will. Because the One has never died that way before–never by sheer force of numbers–and that changes things. For one thing, it gives us time. And time is something we've never had. It's always two hundred years, not a day out of line, but now they'll have to scramble and search for the codes, and that could take months."

Morpheus looked stunned, but he still managed to ask the right question. "What codes?"

"The One's codes. The One contains the reboot coding of the Matrix. And, due to the strange way the human mind works, the Matrix must reboot once every two hundred years. The reboot codes are now fragmented, so we have a time window to cause the system a lot of trouble–especially if we can get the Exiles on our side."

Morpheus smiled. "We're in talks with them now, you know."

"Oh? Good, good. That might turn the tide yet." I sighed. And as for your original question–I met Bane last time. It was . . . unpleasant for both of us."

The Next Day

"We have allied with the Exiles," Link announced.

Everyone cheered–everyone but Bane. He glowered, glowered in a way that made me remember who he'd been last time.

"I don't trust those things!" he said.

I began to laugh bitterly. "You've told them of the cycles, yes?"

Morpheus nodded.

I turned to Bane. "Do you know who you were last time?"

"What does it matter?"

I laughed again, with greater bitterness than ever. "What if I told you that last time–that last time, you were me?"


"I am Virus now, and the name is an honest one. I was a virus last time, as well, but then I thought I could be my own side–I thought that if everybody was alike, there would be no more fighting. I was wrong. You were the only redpill I changed, Bane, but I changed every coppertop and program in the entire Matrix into me. And then . . . I made it rain. I made the world cry for me, as no mere individual had ever bothered to do."

And I returned to my room.