The Matrix

FADE IN: ON COMPUTER SCREEN so close it has no boundaries. A blinking cursor pulses in the electronic darkness like a heart coursing with phosphorous light, burning beneath the derma of black-neon glass. A PHONE begins to RING, we hear it as though we were making the call. The cursor continues to throb, relentlessly patient, until -- MAN Yeah? Data now slashes across the screen, information flashing faster than we can read: "Call trans opt: received. 2-19-96 13:24:18 REC:Log>." WOMAN Is everything in place? The man is silent. On screen: "Trace program: running." We listen to the phone conversation as though we were on a third line. The man's name is Cypher. The woman, Trinity. TRINITY I said, is everything in place? The entire screen fills with racing columns of numbers. Shimmering like green-electric rivers, they rush at a 10- digit phone number in the top corner. CYPHER You weren't supposed to relieve me. TRINITY I know but I felt like taking a shift. The area code is identified. The first three numbers suddenly fixed, leaving only seven flowing columns. CYPHER You like him, don't you? You like watching him? We begin MOVING TOWARD the screen, CLOSING IN as each digit is matched, one by one, snapping into place like the wheels of a slot machine. TRINITY Don't be ridiculous. CYPHER We're going to kill him. Do you understand that? He's going to die just like the others. TRINITY Morpheus believes he is the One. Only two thin digits left. CYPHER Do you? TRINITY I... it doesn't matter what I believe. CYPHER You don't, do you? TRINITY If you have something to say, I suggest you say it to Morpheus. CYPHER I intend to, believe me. Someone has to. The final NUMBER POPS into place -- TRINITY Did you hear that? CYPHER Hear what? On screen: "Trace complete. Call origin: #312-555-0690." TRINITY Are you sure this line is clean? CYPHER Yeah, 'course I'm sure. We MOVE, STILL CLOSING, the ELECTRIC HUM of the green NUMBERS GROWING into an ominous ROAR. TRINITY I better go. She hangs up as we PASS THROUGH the numbers, entering the nether world of the computer screen. Suddenly, a flashlight cuts open the darkness and we find ourselves in -- INT. CHASE HOTEL - NIGHT The hotel was abandoned after a fire licked its way across the polyester carpeting, destroying several rooms as it spooled soot up the walls and ceiling, leaving patterns of permanent shadow. We FOLLOW four armed POLICE OFFICERS using flashlights as they creep down the blackened hall and ready themselves on either side of Room 303. The biggest of them violently kicks in the door -- The other cops pour in behind him, guns thrust before them. BIG COP Police! Freeze! The room is almost devoid of furniture. There is a fold- up table and chair with a phone, a modem, and a Powerbook computer. The only light in the room is the glow of the computer. Sitting there, her hands still on the keyboard, is TRINITY; a woman in black leather. BIG COP Hands behind your head! Now! Do it! She slowly puts her hands behind her head. EXT. CHASE HOTEL - NIGHT A black sedan with tinted windows glides in through the police cruisers. AGENT SMITH and AGENT BROWN get out of the car. They wear dark suits and sunglasses even at night. They are also always hardwired; small Secret Service earphones in one ear, the cord coiling back into their shirt collars. AGENT SMITH Lieutenant? LIEUTENANT Oh shit. AGENT SMITH Lieutenant, you were given specific orders -- LIEUTENANT I'm just doing my job. You gimme that Juris-my-dick-tion and you can cram it up your ass. AGENT SMITH The orders were for your protection. The Lieutenant laughs. LIEUTENANT I think we can handle one little girl. Agent Smith nods to Agent Brown as they start toward the hotel. LIEUTENANT I sent two units. They're bringing her down now. AGENT SMITH No, Lieutenant, your men are already dead. INT. CHASE HOTEL The Big Cop flicks out his cuffs, the other cops holding a bead. They've done this a hundred times, they know they've got her, until the Big Cop reaches with the cuffs and Trinity moves -- It almost doesn't register, so smooth and fast, inhumanly fast. The eye blinks and Trinity's palm snaps up and his nose explodes, blood erupting. Her leg kicks with the force of a wrecking ball and he flies back, a two-hundred-fifty pound sack of limp meat and bone that slams into the cop farthest from her. Trinity moves again, BULLETS RAKING the WALLS, flashlights sweeping with panic as the remaining cops try to stop a leather-clad ghost. A GUN still in the cop's hand is snatched, twisted and FIRED. There is a final violent exchange of GUNFIRE and when it's over, Trinity is the only one standing. A flashlight rocks slowly to a stop. TRINITY Shit. EXT. CHASE HOTEL Agent Brown enters the hotel while Agent Smith heads for the alley. INT. CHASE HOTEL Trinity is on the phone, pacing. The other end is answered. MAN Operator. TRINITY Morpheus! The line was traced! I don't know how. MORPHEUS I know. They cut the hardline. This line is not a viable exit. TRINITY Are they any agent? MORPHEUS Yes. TRINITY Goddamnit! MORPHEUS You have to focus. There is a phone. Wells and Lake. You can make it. She takes a deep breath, centering herself. TRINITY All right -- MORPHEUS Go. She drops the phone. INT. HALL She bursts out of the room as Agent Brown enters the hall, leading another unit of police. Trinity races to the opposite end, exiting through a broken window onto the fire escape. EXT. FIRE ESCAPE In the alley below, Trinity sees Agent Smith staring at her. She can only go up. EXT. ROOF On the roof, Trinity is running as Agent Brown rises over the parapet, leading the cops in pursuit. Trinity begins to jump from one roof to the next, her movements so clean, gliding in and out of each jump, contrasted to the wild jumps of the cops. Agent Brown, however, has the same unnatural grace. The metal SCREAM of an elevated TRAIN is heard and Trinity turns to it, racing for the back of the building. The edge falls away into a wide back alley. The next building is over 40 feet away but Trinity's face is perfectly calm, staring at some point beyond the other roof. The cops slow, realizing they are about to see something ugly as Trinity drives at the edge, launching herself into the air. From above, the ground seems to flow beneath her as she hangs in flight -- Then hitting, somersaulting up, still running hard. COP Mutherfucker -- that's impossible! They stare, slack-jawed, as Agent Brown duplicates the move exactly, landing, rolling over a shoulder up onto one knee. Just below the building are the RUMBLING TRACKS of riveted steel. The TRAIN SCREECHES beneath her, a RATTLING blur of gray metal. Trinity jumps, landing easily. She looks back just as Agent Brown hurls through the air barely reaching the last car -- Agent Brown stands, yanking out a gun. Trinity is running hard as BULLETS WHISTLE past her head. Ahead she sees her only chance, 50 feet beyond the point where the train has begun to turn, there is -- A window; a yellow glow in the midst of a dark brick building. Trinity zeros in on it, running as hard as she can, her speed compounded by the train. The SCREAM of the STEEL rises as she nears the edge where the train rocks into the turn. Trinity hurtles into the empty night space, her body leveling into a dive. She falls, arms covering her head as -- HER POV The whole world seems to spin on its axis -- BACK TO SCENE And she crashes with an EXPLOSION of GLASS and WOOD, then falls onto a back stairwell, tumbling, bouncing down stairs bleeding, broken -- But still alive. Through the smashed window, she glimpses Agent Brown, still on the train, his tie and coat whipping in the wind; stone-faced, he touches his ear piece as the train slides him past the window. Trinity tries to move. Everything hurts. TRINITY Get up, Trinity. You're fine. Get up -- just get up! She stands and limps down the rest of the stairs. Trinity emerges from the shadows of an alley and, at the end of the block, in a pool of white street light, she sees it. The telephone booth. Obviously hurt, she starts down the concrete walk, focusing in completely, her pace quickening, as the PHONE begins to RING. Across the street, a garbage truck suddenly turns U-turns, its TIRES SCREAMING as it accelerates. Trinity sees the headlights of the truck arcing at the telephone booth as if taking aim. Gritting through the pain, she races the truck -- Slamming into the booth, the headlights blindingly bright, bearing down on the box of Plexiglas just as -- She answers the phone. There is a frozen instant of silence before the hulking mass of dark metal lurches up onto the sidewalk -- Barrelling through the booth, bulldozing it into a brick wall, SMASHING it to PLEXIGLAS PULP. After a moment, a black loafer steps down from the cab of the garbage truck. Agent Smith inspects the wreckage. There is no body. Trinity is gone. His jaw sets as he grinds his molars in frustration. AGENT JONES walks up behind him. AGENT JONES Then the informant is real. AGENT SMITH Does that surprise you? It was inevitable. AGENT JONES He'll be contacting us again. AGENT SMITH Expect it. Did you get anything from the room? AGENT JONES Their next target. The name is Neo. The handset of the pay phone lays on the ground, separated in the crash like a severed limb. AGENT SMITH We'll need a search running. AGENT JONES It's already begun. We are SUCKED TOWARDS the mouthpiece of the phone, CLOSER and CLOSER, until the smooth gray plastic spreads out like a horizon and the small holes widen until we FALL THROUGH one -- Swallowed by DARKNESS. The DARKNESS BEGINS TO RIPPLE WITH BRIGHT FLASHES OF BONE WHITE as we PULL OUT of the eye of a skull. It is a computer screen saver; the Jolly Roger flutters against an electronic wind. We DRIFT BACK FROM the screen and INTO -- INT. NEO'S APARTMENT It is a studio apartment that seems overgrown with technology. Weed-like cables coil everywhere, duct-taped into thickets that wind up and around the legs of several desks. Tabletops are filled with cannibalized equipment that lay open like an autopsied corpse. At the center of this technological rat-nest is NEO, a man who knows more about living inside a computer than outside one. He is asleep in front of his PC. Behind him, the computer screen suddenly goes blank. A prompt appears: "Wake up, Neo." Neo's eye pries open. He sits up, one eye still closed, looking around, unsure of where he is. He notices the screen. He types "CTRL X" but the letter "T" appears. NEO What...? He hits another and an "H" appears. He keeps typing, pushing random functions and keys while the computer types out a message as though it had a mind of its own. He stops and stares at the four words on the screen: "The Matrix has you." NEO What the hell? He hits the "ESC" button. Another message appears: "Follow the white rabbit." He hits it again and the message repeats. He rubs his eyes but when he opens them, there is another message: "Knock, knock, Neo." Someone KNOCKS on his door and he almost jumps out of his chair. He looks back at the computer but the screen is now blank. Someone KNOCKS again. Neo rises, still unnerved. NEO Who is it? CHOI RHINEHEART It's Choi. Neo opens the door, leaving the chain on. A young Chinese MAN stands with several of his friends. NEO You're two hours late. CHOI I know. It's her fault. His GIRLFRIEND only has to smile. NEO You got the money? CHOI Two grand. He takes out an envelope and gives it to Neo through the cracked door. NEO Hold on. He closes the door. On the floor near his bed is a book, Baudrillard's Simulacra Simulations. The book has been hollowed out and inside are several computer disks. He takes one, sticks the money in the book and drops it on the floor. Opening the door, he hands the disk to Choi. CHOI Hallelujah! You are my savior, man! My own personal Jesus Christ! NEO If you get caught using that -- CHOI I know, I know. This never happened. You don't exist. NEO Right... Neo nods as the strange feeling of unrealness suddenly returns. CHOI Something wrong, man? You look a little whiter than usual. NEO I don't know... My computer... He looks back at Choi, unable to explain what just happened. NEO You ever have the feeling that you're not sure if you're awake or still dreaming? CHOI All the time. It's called mescaline and it is the only way to fly. He smiles and slaps the hand of his nearest droog. CHOI It sounds to me like you need to unplug, man. A little R and R. What do you think, Dujour, should we take him with us? DUJUOR (GIRLFRIEND) Definitely. NEO I can't. I have to work tomorrow. DUJUOR Come on. It'll be fun. I promise. He looks up at her and suddenly notices on her black leather motorcycle jacket dozens of pins: bands, symbols, slogans, military medals and -- A small white rabbit. The ROOM TILTS. NEO Yeah, yeah. Sure, I'll go. INT. APARTMENT An older apartment; a series of halls connects a chain of small high-ceilinged rooms lined with heavy casements. Smoke hangs like a veil, blurring the few lights there are. Dressed predominantly in black, people are everywhere, gathered in cliques around pieces of furniture like jungle cats around a tree. Neo stands against a wall, alone, sipping from a bottle of beer, feeling completely out of place, he is about to leave when he notices a woman staring at him. The woman is Trinity. She walk straight up to him. In the nearest room, shadow-like figures grind against each other to the pneumatic beat of INDUSTRIAL MUSIC. TRINITY Hello, Neo. NEO How do you know that name? TRINITY I know a lot about you. I've been wanting to meet you for some time. NEO Who are you? TRINITY My name is Trinity. NEO Trinity? The Trinity? The Trinity that cracked the I.R.S. Kansas City D-Base? TRINITY That was a long time ago. NEO Gee-zus. TRINITY What? NEO I just thought... you were a guy. TRINITY Most guys do. Neo is a little embarrassed. NEO Do you want to go somewhere and talk? TRINITY No. It's safe here and I don't have much time. The MUSIC is so LOUD they must stand very close, talking directly into each other's ear. NEO That was you on my computer? She nods. NEO How did you do that? TRINITY Right now, all I can tell you, is that you are in danger. I brought you here to warn you. NEO Of what? TRINITY They're watching you, Neo. NEO Who is? TRINITY Please. Just listen. I know why you're here, Neo. I know why you left your family and your friends, why you left your home to come to this city. You're looking for him. (Her body is against his; her lips very close to his ear.) TRINITY I know because I came looking for the same thing, but when he found me he told me I wasn't really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. There is a hypnotic quality to her voice and Neo feels the words, like a drug, seeping into him. TRINITY It's the question that brought you here. You know the question just as I did. It is a hacker's question. NEO What is the Matrix? TRINITY When I asked him, he said that no one could ever be told the answer to that question. They have to see it to believe it. (She leans close, her lips almost touching his ear.) TRINITY The answer is out there, Neo. It's looking for you and it will find you, if you want it to. She turns and he watches her melt into the shifting wall of bodies. A SOUND RISES steadily, growing out of the MUSIC, pressing in on Neo until it is all he can hear as we -- CUT TO: INT. NEO'S APARTMENT The sound is an ALARM CLOCK, slowly dragging Neo to consciousness. He strains to read the clock-face: 9:15 AM. NEO Shitshitshit. EXT. SKYSCRAPER The downtown office of CorTechs, a software development company. INT. CORTECHS OFFICE The main offices are along each wall, the windows overlooking downtown. RHINEHEART, the ultimate company man, lectures Neo without looking at him, typing at his computer continuously. Neo stares at two window cleaners on a scaffolding outside, dragging their rubber squeegees down the surface of the glass. RHINEHEART You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe that you are special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you. He stops, glancing over his glasses at Neo who turns in time. RHINEHEART Obviously, you are mistaken. His long, bony fingers resume clicking the keyboard. RHINEHEART This company is one of the top software companies in the world because every single employee understands that they are part of a whole. Thus, if an employee has a problem, the company has a problem. He turns again. RHINEHEART The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Anderson. Either you choose to be at your desk on time from this day forth, or you choose to find yourself another job. Do I make myself clear? NEO Yes, Mr. Rhineheart. Perfectly clear. INT. NEO'S CUBICLE The entire floor looks like a human honeycomb, with a labyrinth of cubicles structured around a core of elevators. Neo slumps down into his chair. RHINEHEART Thomas Anderson? Neo turns and finds a FEDERAL EXPRESS MAN at his cubicle door. NEO Yeah. That's me. Neo signs the electronic pad and the Fedex Man hands him the softpak. FEDEX MAN Have a nice day. He opens the bag. Inside is a cellular PHONE. It seems the instant it is in his hand, it RINGS. Unnerved, he flips it open. NEO Hello? MORPHEUS Hello, Neo. Do you know who this is? Neo's knees give and he sinks into his chair. NEO Morpheus... MORPHEUS I've been looking for you, Neo. I don't know if you're ready to see what I want to show you, but unfortunately, we have run out of time. They're coming for you, Neo. And I'm not sure what they're going to do. NEO Who's coming for me? MORPHEUS Stand up and see for yourself. NEO Right now? MORPHEUS Yes. Now. Neo starts to stand. MORPHEUS Do it slowly. The elevator. His head peeks up over the partition. At the elevator, he sees Agent Brown and Agent Jones leading a group of cops. A female employee turns and points out Neo's cubicle. Neo ducks. NEO Holy fucking shit! MORPHEUS Yes. One cop stays at the elevator, the others follow the agents. NEO What the fuck do they want with me?! MORPHEUS I'm not sure, but if you don't want to find out, you better get out of there. NEO How?! MORPHEUS I can guide you out, but you have to do exactly what I say. The agents are moving quickly towards the cubicle. MORPHEUS The cubicle across from you is empty. NEO But what if...? MORPHEUS Go! Now! Neo lunges across the hall, diving into the other cubicle just as the agents turn into his row. Neo crams himself into a dark corner, clutching the phone tightly to him. MORPHEUS Stay here for a moment. The agents enter Neo's empty cubicle. A cop is sent to search the bathroom. Morpheus' voice is a whisper in Neo's ear. MORPHEUS A little longer... Brown is talking to another employee. MORPHEUS When I tell you, go to the end of the row to the first office on the left, stay as low as you can. Sweat trickles down his forehead. MORPHEUS Now. Neo rolls out of the cubicle, his eyes popping as he freezes right behind a cop who has just turned around. Staying crouched, he sneaks away down the row, shooting across the opening to the first office on the left. The room is empty. MORPHEUS Good. Now there is a window. Open it. NEO How do you know all this? Morpheus laughs quietly. MORPHEUS The answer is coming, Neo. He opens the window. The WIND HOWLS into the room. MORPHEUS Outside, there's a scaffold. You can use it to get to the roof. Leaning out the window, he sees that the scaffold is several offices away. NEO No! It's too far away. MORPHEUS There's a small ledge. It's a short climb. You can make it. Neo looks down; the building's glass wall vertigoes into a concrete chasm. NEO No way, no way, this is crazy. MORPHEUS There are only two ways out of this building. One is that scaffold. The other is in their custody. You take a chance either way. I leave it to you. CLICK. He hangs up. Neo looks at the door, then back at the scaffold. NEO This is insane! Why is this happening to me? What did I do? I'm nobody. I didn't do anything. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! He climbs up onto the window ledge. Hanging onto the frame, he steps onto the small ledge. The scaffold seems even farther away. NEO I'm going to die. The WIND suddenly BLASTS up the face of the building, knocking Neo off balance. Recoiling, he clings harder to the frame, and the phone falls out of his hand. He watches as it is swallowed by the distance beneath him. NEO This is insane! I can't do this! Forget it! He climbs back into the office just as a cop opens the door. NEO I didn't do anything! EXT. SKYSCRAPER The agents lead a handcuffed Neo out of the revolving doors, forcing his head down as they push him into the dark sedan. Trinity watches in the rear view mirror of her motorcycle. TRINITY Shit. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM CLOSE ON a camera monitor; wide angle view of a white room where Neo is sitting at a table alone. We MOVE INTO the monitor, entering the room as if the monitor was a window. At the same moment, the door opens and the agents enter. Agent Smith sits down across from Neo. A thick manila envelope slaps down on the table between them. Neo glances at the name on the file: "Anderson, Thomas A." AGENT SMITH As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. He opens the file. Paper rattle marks the silence as he flips several pages. Neo cannot tell if he is looking at the file or at him. AGENT SMITH It seems that you have been living two lives. In one life, you are Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, you pay your taxes and you help your landlady carry out her garbage. The pages continue to turn. AGENT SMITH The other life is lived in computers where you go by the hacker alias Neo, and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. Neo feels himself sinking into a pit of shit. AGENT SMITH One of these lives has a future. One of them does not. He closes the file. AGENT SMITH I'm going to be as forthcoming as I can be, Mr. Anderson. You are here because we need your help. He removes his sunglasses, his eyes are unnatural ice- blue. AGENT SMITH We know that you have been contacted by a certain individual. A man who calls himself Morpheus. Whatever you think you know about this man is irrelevant to the fact that he is wanted for acts of terrorism in more countries than any other man in the world. He is considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive. He leans closer. AGENT SMITH My colleagues believe that I am wasting my time with you but I believe you want to do the right thing. It is obvious that you are an intelligent man, Mr. Anderson, and that you are interested in the future. That is why I believe you are ready to put your past mistakes behind you and get on with your life. Neo stares to match his stare. AGENT SMITH We are willing to wipe the slate clean, to give you a fresh start and all we are asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice. Neo nods to himself. NEO Yeah. Wow. That sounds like a real good deal. But I think I have a better one. How about I give you the finger -- He does. NEO And you can cram that file up your Secret Service sphincter. Agent Smith puts his glasses back on. AGENT SMITH You disappoint me, Mr. Anderson. NEO You can't scare me with Gestapo crap. I know my rights. I want my phone call! Agent Smith smiles. AGENT SMITH And tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you are unable to speak? The question unnerves Neo and strangely he begins to feel the muscles in his jaw tighten. The standing agents snicker, watching Neo's confusion grow into panic. Neo feels his lips grow soft and sticky as they slowly seal shut, melding into each other until all traces of his mouth are gone. Wild with fear, he lunges for the door but the agents restrain him, holding him in the chair. AGENT SMITH You are going to help us, Mr. Anderson, whether you want to or not. Smith nods and the other two rip open his shirt. From a case taken out of his suit coat, Smith removes a long, fiber-optic wire tap. Neo struggles helplessly as Smith dangles the wire over his exposed abdomen. Horrified, he watches as the electronic device animates, becoming an organic creature that resembles a hybrid of an insect and a fluke worm. Thin, whisker-like tendrils reach out and probe into Neo's navel. He bucks wildly as Smith drops the creature which looks for a moment like an uncut umbilical cord -- -- before it begins to borrow, its tall thrashing as it worms its way inside. INT. NEO'S APARTMENT Screaming, Neo bolts upright in bed. He realizes that he is home. Was it a dream? His mouth is normal. His stomach looks fine. He starts to take a deep, everything-is-okay breath when -- The PHONE RINGS. It almost stops his heart. It continues RINGING, building pressure in the room, forcing him up out of bed, sucking him in with an almost gravitational force. He answers it, saying nothing. MORPHEUS This line is tapped so I must be brief. NEO The agents -- MORPHEUS They got to you first, but they've underestimated how important you are. If they knew what I know, you would probably be dead. NEO What do you know? MORPHEUS You're the One, Neo. You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I've spent most of my life looking for you. Neo feels sick. MORPHEUS Do you still want to meet? NEO ... Yes. MORPHEUS Go the the Adams Street bridge. CLICK. He closes his eyes, unsure of what he has done. EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT It is just beyond the middle of the night; that time when it seems there are no rules and everything feels unsafe. Neo's boots scrape against the concrete. Every pair of eyes he passes seems to follow him. As he reaches the bridge, headlights creep in behind him. He turns just as the car slides quickly to a stop beside him. The back door opens. TRINITY Get in. INT. CAR A large black man named APOC is driving. Beside him is a beautiful androgyne called SWITCH, aiming a large gun at Neo. NEO What the hell is this?! TRINITY It's necessary, Neo. For our protection. NEO From what? TRINITY From you. She lifts a strange steel and glass device that looks like a cross between a rib separator, speculum and air compressor. SWITCH Take off your shirt. He looks at the strange device and the gun still trained on him. NEO What? Why? SWITCH Stop the car. Apoc does. SWITCH Listen to me, coppertop! We don't have time for 'twenty questions.' Right now there is only one rule. Our way or the highway. NEO Fine. TRINITY No, we can't let him go -- Neo opens the door. TRINITY Neo, please, you have to trust me. NEO Why? TRINITY Because you've been down there, Neo. You already know that road. You know exactly where it ends. Neo stares out into the dark street beyond the open door. TRINITY And I know that's not where you want to be. NEO ... shit. He closes the door. EXT. LOWER WACKER A moment later the green lights of Lower Wacker curve over the car's tinted windshield as it rushes through the underworld. INT. CAR Neo grudgingly strips off his T-shirt. TRINITY Lie back. Trinity sets the device over Neo's stomach its three corners resting on the points of his pelvis and sternum. She then guides a mounted cylindrical probe into his navel and squeezes a hand pump a few times to form a tight seal. NEO What is this thing? TRINITY We think you're bugged. Try to relax. She turns a dial and the machine bears down on Neo's midsection, the cylinder sucking hard at his stomach. Neo screams, squinting in pain as Trinity watches the needle on a pressure gauge climb steadily. TRINITY Come on, come on... The machine quivers as the pressure builds higher and higher until something finally rockets wetly out of Neo's stomach through the machine's coils. TRINITY Got it. Trinity shuts off the compressor, Neo cradling his stomach. NEO Got what? My spleen? Trinity lifts a glass cage at the end of the tubing. Inside the small fluke-like bug flips and squirms, its tendrils flapping against the clear walls. She unrolls the window and dumps it out. EXT. CAR It hits the pavement with a metallic tink, reverted back into a common wire tap, as the car disappears down the street. EXT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE The car stops in a deserted alley behind a forgotten hotel. INT. LAFAYETTE It is a place of putrefying elegance, a rotting host of urban maggotry. Trinity leads Neo from the stairwell down the hall of the thirteenth floor. They stop outside room 1313. TRINITY This is it. Neo can hear his own heart pounding. TRINITY Let me give one piece of advice. Be honest. He knows more than you can possibly imagine. INT. ROOM 1313 Across the room, a DARK FIGURE stares out the tall windows veiled with decaying lace. He turns and his smile lights up the room MORPHEUS At last. He wears a long black coat and his eyes are invisible behind circular mirrored glasses. He strides to Neo and they shake hands. MORPHEUS Welcome, Neo. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus. NEO It's an honor. MORPHEUS Please. Come. Sit. He nods to Trinity. MORPHEUS Thank you, Trinity. She bows her head sharply and exits through a door to an adjacent room. They sit across from one another in cracked, burgundy- leather chairs. MORPHEUS I imagine, right now, you must be feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole? NEO You could say that. MORPHEUS I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. A smile, razor-thin, curls the corner of his lips. MORPHEUS Ironically, this is not far from the truth. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Can you tell me, Neo, why are you here? NEO You're Morpheus, you're a legend. Most hackers would die to meet you. MORPHEUS Yes. Thank you. But I think we both know there's more to it than that. Do you believe in fate, Neo? NEO No. MORPHEUS Why not? NEO Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life. MORPHEUS I know exactly what you mean. Again, that smile that could cut glass. MORPHEUS Let me tell you why you are here. You have come because you know something. What you know you can't explain but you feel it. You've felt it your whole life, felt that something is wrong with the world. You don't know what, but it's there like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about? NEO The Matrix? MORPHEUS Do you want to know what it is? Neo swallows hard and nods. MORPHEUS The Matrix is everywhere, it's all around us, here even in this room. You can see it out your window or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. NEO What truth? MORPHEUS That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. The LEATHER CREAKS as he leans back. MORPHEUS Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. Morpheus opens his hands. In the right is a red pill. In the left, a blue pill. MORPHEUS This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. The pills in his open hands are reflected in the glasses. MORPHEUS You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Neo feels the smooth skin of the capsules, the moisture growing in his palms. MORPHEUS Remember that all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more. Neo opens his mouth and swallows the red pill. The Cheshire smile returns. MORPHEUS Follow me. He leads Neo into the other room, which is cramped with high-tech equipment, glowing ash-blue and electric green from the racks of monitors. Trinity, Apoc and Cypher look up as they enter. MORPHEUS Apoc, are we on-line? APOC Almost. He and Trinity are working quickly, hard-wiring a complex system of monitors, modules and drives. MORPHEUS Neo, time is always against us. Will you take a seat there? Neo sits in a chair in the center of the room and Trinity begins gently fixing white electrode disks to his head, arms, and the back of his neck. Near the chair is an old oval dressing mirror that is cracked. He whispers to Trinity: NEO You did all this? She nods, placing a set of headphones over his ears. They are wired to an old hotel phone. MORPHEUS The pill you took is part of a trace program. It's designed to disrupt your input/output carrier signal so we can pinpoint your location. NEO What does that mean? CYPHER It means buckle up, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye. Distantly, through the ear phones, he hears Apoc pounding on a keyboard. Sweat beads his face. His eyes blink and twitch when he notices the mirror. Wide-eyed, he stares as it begins to heal itself, a webwork of cracks that slowly run together as though the mirror were becoming liquid. NEO Shit... Cypher works with Apoc, checking reams of phosphorescent data. Trinity monitors Neo's electric vital signs. Neo reaches out to touch the mirror and his fingers disappear beneath the rippling surface. Quickly, he tries to pull his fingers out but the mirror stretches in long rubbery strands like mirrored-taffy stuck to his fingertips. MORPHEUS Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? NEO This can't be... MORPHEUS Be what? Be real? The strands thin like rubber cement as he pulls away, until the fragile wisps of mirror thread break. MORPHEUS What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? With the TINKLING of GLASS, shimmering SNOWFLAKES of electric-blinking mercury fall, HIT the GROUND, and fade. Neo looks at his hand; fingers distended into mirrored icicles that begin to melt rapidly, dripping, running like wax down his fingers, spreading across his palm where he sees his face reflected. NEO Uh-oh... TRINITY It's going into replication. MORPHEUS Apoc? APOC Still nothing. Morpheus takes out a cellular phone and dials a number. MORPHEUS Tank, we're going to need the signal soon. The mirror gel seems to come to life, racing, crawling up his arms like hundreds of insects. NEO It's cold. The mirror creeps up his neck as Neo begins to panic, tipping his head as though he were sinking into the mirror, trying to keep his mouth up. NEO It's all over me -- Morpheus is right next to him with the phone. TRINITY I got a fibrillation! MORPHEUS Shit! Apoc? Streams of mercury run from Neo's nose. APOC Targeting... almost there. An ALARM on Trinity's monitor ERUPTS. TRINITY He's going into arrest! APOC Lock! I got him! MORPHEUS Now, Tank, now! His eyes tear with mirror, rolling up and closing as a high-pitched ELECTRIC SCREAM erupts in the headphones -- It is a piercing shriek like a computer calling to another computer -- Neo's body arches in agony and we are PULLED like we were pulled INTO the holes of the phone -- -- sucked INTO his scream and swallowed by DARKNESS. INT. POWER PLANT - CLOSE ON MAN'S BODY floating in a womb-red amnion. His body spasms, fighting against the thick gelatin. Metal tubes, surreal versions of hospital tubes, obscure his face. Other lines like IVs are connected to limbs and cover his genitals. He is struggling desperately now. Air bubbles into the Jell-O but does not break the surface. Pressing up, the surface distends, stretching like a red rubber cocoon. Unable to breathe, he fights wildly to stand, clawing at the thinning elastic shroud -- Until it ruptures, a hole widening around his mouth as he sucks for air. Tearing himself free, he emerges from the cell. It is Neo. He is bald and naked, his body slick with gelatin. Dizzy, nauseous, he waits for his vision to focus. He is standing in an oval capsule of clear alloy filled with red gelatin, the surface of which has solidified like curdled milk. The IVs in his arms are plugged into outlets that appear to be grafted to his flesh. He feels the weight of another cable and reaches to the back of his head where he finds an enormous coaxial plugged and locked into the base of his skull. He tries to pull it out but it would be easier to pull off a finger. To either side he sees other tube-shaped pods filled with red gelatin; beneath the wax-like surface, pale and motionless, he sees other human beings. Fanning out in a circle, there are more. All connected to a center core,each capsule like a red, dimly-glowing petal attached to a black metal stem. Above him, level after level, the stem rises seemingly forever. He moves to the foot of the capsule and looks out. The image assaults his mind. Towers of glowing petals spiral up to incomprehensible heights, disappearing down into a dim murk like an underwater abyss. His sight is blurred and warped, exaggerating the intensity of the vision. The sound of the PLANT is LIKE the sound of the OCEAN heard from inside the belly of Leviathan. From above, a machine drops directly in front of Neo. He swallows his scream as it seems to stare at him. It is almost insect-like in its design; beautiful housings of alloyed metal covering organic-like systems of hard and soft polymers. The machine seizes hold of Neo, paralyzing him as the cable lock at the back of his neck spins and opens. The cable disengages itself. A long clear plastic needle and cerebrum-chip slides from the anterior of Neo's skull with an ooze of blood and spinal fluid. The other connective hoses snap free and snake away as the machine lets Neo go. Suddenly, the back of the unit opens and a tremendous vacuum, like an airplane door opening, sucks the gelatin and then Neo into a black hole. INT. WASTE LINE The pipe is a waste disposal system and Neo falls, sliding with the clot of gelatin. BANKING THROUGH pipe spirals and elbows, flushing UP through grease traps clogged with oily clumps of cellulite. Neo begins to drown when he is suddenly snatched from the flow of waste. The metallic cable then lifts, pulling him up into the belly of the futuristic flying machine hovering inside the sewer main. INT. HOVERCRAFT The metal harness opens and drops the half-conscious Neo onto the floor. Human hands and arms help him up as he finds himself looking straight at Morpheus. He smiles. MORPHEUS Welcome to the real world, Neo. He passes out. FADE TO BLACK. FADE IN: INT. HOVERCRAFT We have no sense of time. We hear voices whispering. MORPHEUS RHINEHEART We found him, Trinity. We finally found him. TRINITY RHINEHEART What if he isn't the One, Morpheus? How can you be so sure? NEO'S POV Neo's eyes FLUTTER OPEN. We see Morpheus' face above us, angelic in the fluorescent glow of a light stick. NEO RHINEHEART ... am I dead? MORPHEUS Far from it. FADE TO BLACK. FADE IN: NEO He opens his eyes again, something tingling through him. He focuses and sees his body pierced with dozens of acupuncture-like needles wired to a strange device. DOZER He needs a lot of work. MORPHEUS I know. DOZER and Morpheus are operating on Neo. NEO What are you doing? MORPHEUS Your muscles have atrophied. We're rebuilding them. Fluorescent light sticks burn unnaturally bright. NEO Why do my eyes hurt? MORPHEUS You've never used them before. Morpheus takes his sunglasses off and puts them on Neo. Neo lays back. MORPHEUS Rest, Neo. The answers are coming. INT. NEO'S ROOM Neo wakes up from a deep sleep, feeling better. He is wearing a black tank top and shorts. He begins to examine himself. There is a futuristic IV plugged into the jack in his forearm. He pulls it out, staring at the grafted outlet. He feels his bald head. His fingers find and explore the large outlet in the base of his skull. Just as he starts to come unglued, Morpheus opens the door. NEO Morpheus, what's happened to me? What is this place? MORPHEUS More important than what is when? NEO When? MORPHEUS You believe the year is 1997 when in fact it is much closer to 2197. I can't say for certain what year it is because we honestly do not know. The wind is knocked from Neo's chest. MORPHEUS There is no reason for me to try to explain it when I can simple show it. Come with me. INT. HOVERCRAFT Like a sleepwalker, Neo follows Morpheus through the ship. MORPHEUS This is my ship, the Nebuchadnezzar. It's a hovercraft. Small like a submarine. It's cramped and cold. But it's home. They climb a ladder up to the main deck. INT. MAIN DECK Everyone is there. MORPHEUS This is the main deck. You know most of my crew. Trinity smiles and nods. MORPHEUS The ones you don't know. That's Mouse, Cypher, and Switch. The two big guys are Tank and Dozer. The names and faces wash meaninglessly over Neo. MORPHEUS And this, this is the Core. This is where we broadcast our pirate signal and hack into the Matrix. It is a swamp of bizarre electronic equipment. Vines of coaxial hang and snake to and from huge monolithic battery slabs, a black portable satellite dish and banks of life systems and computer monitors. At the center of the web, there are six ecto-skeleton chairs made of a poly-alloy frame and suspension harness. Near the circle of chairs is the control console and operator's station where the network is monitored. MORPHEUS You want to know what the Matrix is, Neo? The answer is right here. He touches the back of Neo's head. MORPHEUS Help him, Trinity. Neo allows himself to be helped into one of the chairs. He feels Morpheus guiding a coaxial line into the jack at the back of his neck. The cable has the same kind of cerebrum chip we saw inside the plant. MORPHEUS This will feel a little weird. There are several disturbing NOISES as he works the needle in. We move in as Neo's shoulders bunch and his face tightens into a grimace until a loud CLICK fires and his ears pop like when you equalize them underwater. He relaxes, opening his eyes as we pull back to a feeling of weightlessness inside another place -- INT. CONSTRUCT Neo is standing in an empty, blank-white space. MORPHEUS This is the Construct. Startled, Neo whips around and finds Morpheus now in the room with him. MORPHEUS It is our loading program. We can load anything from clothes, to weapons, to training simulations. Anything we need. Morpheus walks past Neo and when Neo turns he sees the two leather chairs from the Hotel Lafayette set up in front of a large-screen television. MORPHEUS Sit down. Neo stands at the back of the chair as Morpheus sits. NEO Right now, we're inside a computer program? MORPHEUS Wild, isn't it? Neo's hands run over the cracked leather. NEO This isn't real? MORPHEUS What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you're talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain. He picks up a remote control and clicks on the television. On the television, we glide over Lake Michigan towards the glinting skyscrapers of the Windy City skyline circa 1997. MORPHEUS This is the Chicago you know. Chicago as it was at the end of the Twentieth Century. This Chicago exists only as part of a neural- interactive simulation that we call the Matrix. He changes the channel and we see a very different Chicago as we enter the television. MORPHEUS You have been living inside a dreamworld, Neo. As in Baudrillard's vision, your whole life has been spent inside the map, not the territory. This is Chicago as it exists today. In the distance, we see the ruins of a future Chicago protruding from the wasteland like the blackened ribs of a long-dead corpse. MORPHEUS 'The desert of the real.' Beneath us, the lake is gone. We turn and descend, spiraling down toward the lake bed which is scorched and split like burnt flesh, where we find Morpheus and Neo. MORPHEUS The average temperature in Chicago these days is minus eighty degrees Celsius. Of course, the wind chill makes it feel like minus one-twenty. Neo clings to the chair, trying to get his bearings. MORPHEUS We have only bits and pieces of information. What we know for certain is that, at some point in the early Twenty-first Century, all of mankind was united in celebration. Through the blinding inebriation of hubris, we marveled at our magnificence as we gave birth to A.I. NEO A.I.? You mean artificial intelligence? MORPHEUS Yes. A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. I must say I find it almost funny to imagine the world slapping itself on the back, toasting the new age. I say almost funny. He looks up and his sunglasses reflect the obsidian clouds roiling overhead. MORPHEUS We don't know who struck first. Us or them. But we do know it was us that scorched the sky. At the time, they were dependent on solar power. It was believed they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun. As we descend into the circular window of his glasses, there is a flash of lightning. MORPHEUS Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony. EXT. FETUS FIELDS On the flash, we PULL BACK from the darkness which reveals itself to be the black eye of a fetus. MORPHEUS The Machines discovered a new form of fusion. All they needed was a small electrical charge to initiate the reaction. The fetus is suspended in a placenta-like husk, where its malleable skull is already growing around the brain-jack. MORPHEUS The human body generates more bioelectricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 B.T.U.'s of body heat. The husk hanging from a stalk is plucked by a thresher- like farm machine. MORPHEUS For the longest time, I wouldn't believe it. But then I saw the fields with my own eyes, spreading in every direction for miles. Inside the power plant, I watched them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living and standing there, facing the efficiency, the pure, horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth. Still PULLING BACK, we see the image of the field now on the television as we return to the white space of the construct. INT. CONSTRUCT Morpheus steps INTO VIEW as he clicks off the television. MORPHEUS What is the Matrix? Control. He opens the back of the television remote control. MORPHEUS The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this. He holds up a coppertop battery. NEO No! I don't believe it! It's not possible! MORPHEUS I didn't say that it would be easy, Neo. I just said that it would be the truth. The room without walls begins to spin. NEO Stop! Let me out! I want out! INT. MAIN DECK His eyes snap open and he thrashes against the chair, trying to rip the cable from the back of his neck. NEO Get this thing out of me! TRINITY Easy, Neo. Easy. Dozer holds him while Trinity unlocks it. Once it's out, he tears away from them, falling as he trips free of the harness. NEO Don't touch me! Get away from me! On his hands and knees, he reels as the world spins. Sweat pours off him as a pressure builds inside his skull as if his brain had been put into a centrifuge. NEO I don't believe it! I don't believe it! CYPHER He's going to pop! Vomiting violently, Neo pitches forward and blacks out. INT. NEO'S ROOM He blinks, regaining consciousness. The room is dark. Neo is stretched out on his bed. NEO I can't go back, can I? Morpheus is sitting like a shadow on a chair in the far corner. MORPHEUS No. But if you could, would you really want to? Deep down, Neo knows that answer. MORPHEUS I feel that I owe you an apology. There is a rule that we do not free a mind once it reaches a certain age. It is dangerous. They have trouble letting go. Their mind turns against them. I've seen it happen. I broke the rule because I had to. He stares into the darkness, confessing as much to himself as to Neo. MORPHEUS When the Matrix was first built there was a man born inside that had the ability to change what he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was this man that freed the first of us and taught us the secret of the war; control the Matrix and you control the future. He pauses. MORPHEUS When he died, the Oracle prophesied his return and envisioned an end to the war and freedom for our people. That is why there are those of us that have spent our entire lives searching the Matrix, looking for him. Neo can feel his eyes on him. MORPHEUS I did what I did because I believe the search is over. He stands up. MORPHEUS Get some rest. You're going to need it. NEO For what? MORPHEUS Your training. INT. HOVERCRAFT There is no morning; there is only darkness and then the fluorescent light sticks flicker on. INT. NEO'S ROOM Neo is awake in his bed, staring up at the lights. The door opens and TANK steps inside. TANK Morning. Did you sleep? NEO No. TANK You will tonight. I guarantee it. I'm Tank. I'll be your operator. He offers his hand and Neo shakes it. He notices that Tank doesn't have any jacks. NEO You don't have... TANK Any holes? Nope. Me and my brother Dozer, we are 100 percent pure, old- fashioned, home-grown human. Born free. Right here in the real world. Genuine child of Zion. NEO Zion? TANK If this war ended tomorrow, Zion is where the party would be. NEO It's a city? TANK The last human city. The only place we got left. NEO Where is it? TANK Deep underground. Near the earth's core, where it's still warm. You live long enough, you might even see it. Tanks smiles. TANK Goddamn, I got to tell you, I'm fairly excited to see what you are capable of. I mean if Morpheus is right and all. We're not supposed to talk about any of that but if you are, well then this is an exciting time. We got a lot to do, so let's get to it. INT. MAIN DECK Neo is plugged in, hanging in one of the suspension chairs. TANK We're supposed to load all these operations programs first, but this is some major boring shit. Why don't we start with something a little fun? Tank smiles as he plops into his operator's chair. He begins flipping through a tall carousel loaded with micro discs. TANK How about some combat training? Neo reads the label on the disk. NEO Jujitsu? I'm going to learn jujitsu? Tank slides the disk into Neo's supplement drive. NEO No way. Smiling, Tank punches the "load" code. His body jumps against the harness as his eyes clamp shut. The monitors kick wildly as his heart pounds, adrenaline surges, and his brain sizzles. An instant later his eyes snap open. NEO Holy shit! TANK Hey, Mikey, he likes it! Ready for more? NEO Hell yes! INT. MAIN DECK It is later. CLOSE ON a computer monitor as grey pixels slowly fill a small, half-empty box. It is a meter displaying how much download time is left. The title bar reads: "Combat Series 10 of 12," file categories flashing beneath it: "Savate, Jujitsu, Ken Po, Drunken Boxing..." Morpheus walks in. MORPHEUS How is he? TANK Ten hours straight. He's a machine. Neo's body spasms and relaxes as his eyes open, breath hissing from his lips. He looks like he just orgasmed. NEO This is incredible. I know kung fu. MORPHEUS Show me. INT. DOJO They are standing in a very sparse Japanese-style dojo. MORPHEUS This is a sparring program, similar to the programmed reality of the Matrix. It has the same basic rules. Rules like gravity. What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken. He assumes a fighting stance. MORPHEUS Attack me. Neo assumes a similar stance, cautiously circling until he gives a short cry and launches a furious attack. It is like a Jackie Chan movie at high speed, fists and feet striking from every angle as Neo presses his attack -- But each and every blow is blocked by effortless reality, the two bodies appear quite serene, suspended in the drive chairs. Tank monitors their Life Systems, noticing that Neo is wildly and chaotically lit up as opposed to the slow and steady rhythm of Morpheus. INT. MESS HALL MOUSE bursts into the room, interrupting dinner. MOUSE Morpheus is fighting Neo! All at once, everyone bolts for the door. INT. DOJO Neo's face is knotted, teeth clenched, as he hurls himself at Morpheus. MORPHEUS Good. Adaptation. Improvisation. But your weakness isn't your technique. Morpheus attacks him and it is like nothing we have seen. His feet and fists are everywhere, taking Neo apart. For every blow Neo blocks, five more hit their marks until -- Neo falls. Panting, on his hands and knees, blood spits from his mouth, speckling the white floor of the dojo. MORPHEUS How did I beat you? NEO You -- you're too fast. MORPHEUS Do you think my being faster, stronger has anything to do with my muscles in this place? Neo is frustrated, still unable to catch his breath. MORPHEUS Do you believe that's air you are breathing now? Neo stands, nodding slowly. MORPHEUS Again. Their fists fly with pneumatic speed. INT. MAIN DECK Everyone is gathered behind Tank watching the fight, like watching a game of Mortal Kombat. MOUSE Jeeezus Keeerist! That boy is fast! INT. DOJO Morpheus begins to press Neo, countering blows while slipping in several stinging slaps. MORPHEUS Come on, Neo. What are you waiting for? You're faster than this. Don't think you are. Know you are. Whack, Morpheus cracks Neo again. Neo's face twists with rage as the speed of the blows rises like a drum solo. MORPHEUS Come on! Stop trying to hit me and just hit me. Wham. A single blow catches Morpheus on the side of the head, knocking off his glasses. INT. MAIN DECK There are several gasps. MOUSE I don't believe it! INT. DOJO Morpheus rubs his face, then smiles. NEO I know what you're trying to do -- MORPHEUS I'm trying to free your mind, Neo, but all I can do is show you the door. You're the one that has to step through. Tank, load the jump program. INT. HOVERCRAFT Apoc and Switch exchange looks as Tank grabs for the disk. INT. CONSTRUCT - ROOFTOP - DAY Morpheus and Neo are again in the white space of the Construct. Beneath their feet, we see the jump program rush up at them until they are standing on a rooftop in a city skyline. MORPHEUS Let it all go, Neo. Fear. Doubt. Disbelief. Free your mind. Morpheus spins, running hard at the edge of the rooftop. And jumps. He sails through the air, his coat billowing out behind him like a cape as -- He lands on the rooftop across the street. NEO Shit. Neo looks down at the street twenty floors below, then at Morpheus an impossible fifty feet away. NEO Okie dokie. Free my mind. Right. No problem. He takes a deep breath. And starts to run. INT. MAIN DECK They are transfixed. SWITCH He's gonna make it. APOC No way. Not possible. MOUSE No one's ever made their first jump. SWITCH What if he does? APOC He won't. Trinity stares at the screen, her fists clenching as she whispers. TRINITY Come on. EXT. ROOFTOP Summoning every ounce of strength in his legs, Neo launches himself into the air in a single maniacal shriek -- But comes up drastically short. His eyes widen as he plummets. Stories fly by, the ground rushing up at him, but as he hits -- The ground gives way, stretching like a trapeze net. He bounces and flips, slowly coming to a rest, flat on his back. He laughs, a bit unsure, wiping the wind-blown tears from his face. Morpheus exits the building and helps him to his feet. MORPHEUS Do you know why you didn't make it? NEO Because... I didn't think I would? Morpheus smiles and nods. INT. MAIN DECK They break up. MOUSE What does it mean? SWITCH It doesn't mean anything. CYPHER Everyone falls the first time, right, Trinity? But Trinity has already left. Neo's eyes open as Tank eases the plug out. He tries to move and groans, cradling his ribs. While Tank helps Morpheus, Neo spits blood into his hand. NEO I thought it wasn't real. MORPHEUS Your mind makes it real. Neo stares at the blood. NEO If you are killed in the Matrix, you die here? MORPHEUS The body cannot live without the mind. INT. NEO'S ROOM Trinity enters from the hall, carrying a tray of food. TRINITY Neo, I saved you some dinner -- She sees him passed out on the bed. She sets the tray down and pulls the blanket over him. She pauses, her face close to his, then inhales lightly, breathing in the scent of him before slowly pulling away. INT. HALL Trinity steps out of Neo's room to find Cypher watching her. CYPHER I don't remember you ever bringing me dinner. Trinity says nothing. CYPHER There's something about him, isn't there? TRINITY Don't tell me you're a believer now? CYPHER I just keep wondering if Morpheus is so sure, why doesn't he take him to the Oracle? She would know. TRINITY Morpheus will take him when he's ready. She turns and he watches her walk away. EXT. CITY STREET - TRAINING PROGRAM - DAY Morpheus moves effortlessly through a crowded downtown street while Neo struggles to keep up, constantly bumped and shouldered off the path. MORPHEUS This is another Matrix simulation. A training program to help you get your sea legs and teach you one very important lesson. NEO What -- what lesson? Neo collides with a man who looks just like Rhineheart. MORPHEUS The Matrix is a system, Neo, and that system is our enemy. When you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, lawyers, students. People. Everywhere you look, there are people. Somewhere else, somewhere in the future they may be human beings but here these people are a part of the system. That makes every one of them our enemy. A beautiful woman in a red dress smiles at Neo as she passes by. MORPHEUS It is important to understand that if you are not one of us, you are one of them. Morpheus stops, turning to Neo. MORPHEUS Do you understand, Neo? NEO I think I do. MORPHEUS No you don't. Did you see the woman in the red dress? NEO Yeah. MORPHEUS Look again. Neo turns just as Agent Smith levels a gun at his face -- Neo screams. MORPHEUS Freeze it. Everything except Morpheus and Neo freezes. MORPHEUS The agents are sentient programs. They can enter any software that is hardwired to the system. They can become anyone who is still a captive of the Matrix. If the Matrix is a prison, then the agents are its wardens and if humankind is to survive they first must be stopped. Neo listens to his intense voice. MORPHEUS Every attempt to fight them has ended in failure. Only a handful of men and women have ever crossed an agent and lived because they are everyone and they are no one. Unkillable. But now I believe that is going to change. NEO How? MORPHEUS I've seen an agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit noting but air. Yet as powerful as they are, their speed and strength are but tethers to the rules of an unreal world. Because of this, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be. Neo scratches his head. NEO What? Are you trying to tell me that I can dodge bullets? MORPHEUS No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to. Morpheus' CELL PHONE RINGS and he flips it open. TANK We got trouble. EXT. SEWER MAIN The Nebuchadnezzar blisters by, trailing a swirling, supercharged, electromagnetic wake. INT. COCKPIT Morpheus slides into the co-pilot's chair next to Dozer. MORPHEUS How much time, Dozer? DOZER I estimate we'll be within range of detection in about two minutes. Morpheus scans the decayed landscape of the sewer main that rolls by as Neo and Trinity squeeze into the cockpit behind him. Morpheus points to a small tributary. MORPHEUS Set down in there. NEO What's going on? DOZER Squiddy tripped one of our long distance alarm probes. NEO What? TRINITY A Sentinel. It's a killing machine designed for one thing. DOZER Search and destroy. Neo feels the ship rock to the side as it squeezes into a tiny supply line. EXT. HOVERCRAFT The Nebuchadnezzar sets down, almost wedged into a pipe that barely accommodates its size. INT. COCKPIT Morpheus clicks the intercom. MORPHEUS How we doing, Tank? INT. MAIN DECK Tank works furiously at the operator's station. TANK Done. He flips a series of switches and the ceaseless WHIR of the ship's TURBINES GRIND TO a HALT. The main deck is plunged into dark silence. Tank whispers. TANK Power off-line. E.M.P. armed and ready. Tank's fingers curl around a small key that glows a dim red. INT. COCKPIT Neo leans into Trinity's ear. NEO E.M.P. An electromagnetic pulse. TRINITY It disables any electrical system in the blast radius. It's the only weapon we have against the machines. Through the cockpit's windshield, the vast cavern of the sewer main yawns before them. Strands of green haze curl around mossy icicles that dangle into a pool of churning frozen waste. Neo begins to angle around Dozer but Morpheus grabs him. MORPHEUS Don't move. It'll hear you. Neo freezes and they wait. Without the Nebuchadnezzar's heating systems, the temperature in the cockpit begins to rapidly drop. The crew members huddle together, their breath freezing into a uniform cloud as it gets colder and colder. Dozer quietly reaches to brush away the frost on the windshield and as his hand clears a swathe -- They see it. In the darkness, a shifting shadow of mechanized death. It is beautiful and terrifying. Black alloy skin flickers like sequins beneath sinewy coils and skeletal appendages. Neo can feel the hairs on the back of his neck rise as it silently glides over them with shark-like malevolence until it disappears into the darkness. In the frozen little room, everyone breathes a little easier. INT. HALL The ship is quiet and dark. Everyone is asleep. INT. MAIN DECK The core glows with monitor light. Cypher is in the operator's chair as Neo comes up behind him. CYPHER Whoa! Shit, Neo, you scared the Bejeezus out of me. NEO Sorry. CYPHER No, it's all right. NEO What are you doing? CYPHER Midnight watch. Neo's eyes light up as he steps closer to the screens that seem alive with a constant flow of data. NEO Is that...? CYPHER The Matrix? Yeah. Neo stares at the endlessly shifting river of information, bizarre codes and equations flowing across the face of the monitor. NEO Do you always look at it encoded? CYPHER Have to. The image translators sort of work for the construct programs but there's way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it, though. Your brain does the translating. I don't even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, and redhead. You want a drink? Neo nods and he pours a clear alcohol from a plastic jug. CYPHER You know, I know what you're thinking 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, to tell you the truth, I've been thinking the same thing ever since I got here. He raises the glass. CYPHER Why the fuck didn't I take that blue pill!? He throws the shot down his throat. Neo does the same and it almost kills him. Smiling, Cypher slaps him on the back. CYPHER Good shit, eh? Dozer makes it. It's good for two things: degreasing engines and killing brain cells. Red-faced, Neo finally stops coughing. Cypher pours him another. CYPHER Can I ask you something? Did he happen to tell you why he did it? Neo looks up, unsure. CYPHER Why you're here? NEO ... Yeah. CYPHER Gee-zus! What a mindfuck. You're here to save the world. You gotta be shitting me. What do you say to something like that? Neo looks down at his drink. CYPHER I'm going to let you in on a little secret here. Now don't tell him I told you this, but this ain't the first time Morpheus thought he found the One. NEO Really? CYPHER You bet your ass. It keeps him going. Maybe it keeps all of us going. NEO How many were there? CYPHER Five. Since I've been here. NEO What happened to them? CYPHER Dead. All dead. NEO How? CYPHER Honestly. Morpheus. He got them all amped up believing in bullshit. I watched each of them take on an agent and I watched each of them die. Little piece of advice: you see an agent, you do what we do; run. Run your ass off. Neo gulps down another shot. CYPHER Look, I'm not trying to spook you, I just want to help and I'm not going to bullshit you. See, this is the real world and the real world ain't about heroes and miracles. This world's about one thing: survival. That's all there is. He throws back a final shot. NEO Thanks... for the drink. CYPHER Any time. Cypher nods as Neo heads for the ladder. CYPHER Sweet dreams. INT. MESS HALL - CLOSE ON BOWL OF SINGLE-CELL PROTEIN A substance with a consistency somewhere between yogurt and cellulite. TANK Here you go, buddy. Over easy, right? Tank slides it in front of Neo and takes a seat with the other crew members enjoying breakfast. APOC Breakfast of champions, Neo. NEO What is it? TANK Single-celled protein. We grow it in a vat. The substance jiggles a few moments before coming to a rest. Neo frowns. MOUSE It's not so bad, long as you don't think about liposuction. Mouse sucks at the goo with a straw as Morpheus enters. MORPHEUS I want everyone on twelve-hour standby. We're going in. I'm taking Neo to see her. With that he turns and leaves. NEO See who? TANK The Oracle. Trinity glances at Cypher who smiles thinly. EXT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE - DAY The door opens and for the first time since his release, Neo steps back into the Matrix. He squints at the sun which seems unnaturally bright. He is the only one without sunglasses. Apoc and Switch remain at the door as the others enter the alley. MORPHEUS We should be back in an hour. Cypher opens the metal garage where the car is parked. As Trinity, Morpheus and Neo cross to the car, Cypher glances about quickly, then drops something inside a garbage can. It is a cellular phone and we see its blue display as the line connects. INT. CAR Neo sits beside Trinity in the back. He cannot stop staring as the simple images of the urban street blur past his window like an endless stream of data rushing down a computer screen. MORPHEUS Almost unbelievable, isn't it? Neo nods as the car continues to wind through the crowded city. NEO God... TRINITY What? NEO I used to eat there... Really good noodles. He is speaking in a whisper, almost as if talking to himself. NEO I have these memories, from my entire life but... none of them really happened. He turns to her. NEO What does that mean? TRINITY That the Matrix cannot tell you who you are. NEO But an Oracle can. TRINITY That's different. NEO Is it? TRINITY Are you worried? NEO Should I be? TRINITY No. He turns to the window for a moment and then turns back. NEO Did you go to her? TRINITY Yes. NEO What did she tell you? TRINITY She told me... She looks at him and suddenly she is unable to speak or even breathe. NEO What? The car suddenly jerks to a stop. MORPHEUS We're here. Neo, come with me. Neo and Morpheus get out of the car. Cypher looks into the rearview mirror at Trinity. CYPHER Here we go again, eh, Trin? He smiles as she turns to the window. EXT. BUILDING Tenement-like and vast, it is the kind of place where people can disappear. INT. BUILDING Morpheus nods to a blind man who nods back. An elevator opens and Neo follows Morpheus inside. INT. ELEVATOR The idea of learning one's fate begins to weigh upon Neo with a steadily growing unease. NEO So is this the same oracle that made the, uh, prophecy? MORPHEUS Yes. She's very old. She's been with us since the beginning. NEO The beginning? MORPHEUS Of the Resistance. NEO And she knows what? Everything? MORPHEUS She would say she knows enough. NEO How does she know? MORPHEUS She is a true psychic. She sees beyond the relativity of time. For her there is no past, present or future. There is only what is. NEO And she's never wrong. MORPHEUS Don't think of it in terms of right and wrong. She is a guide, Neo. She can help you find the path. NEO She helped you? MORPHEUS Yes. NEO What did she tell you? MORPHEUS That I would find the One. DING. The ELEVATOR opens. INT. HALL The long dark hall beckons. Neo follows Morpheus out of the elevator and the doors rattle shut behind him. With every step, a disturbing sense of inevitability closes in around him. At the end of the hall, Morpheus steps to the side of a door. MORPHEUS I told you that I can only show you the door. You have to step through it. Neo blows out a breath. His hand reaches but stops, hovering over the spherical handle. He backs away. NEO Morpheus, I don't think this is a good idea. MORPHEUS Why? NEO I told you I don't believe in this stuff. No matter what she says I'm not going to believe it, so what's the point? MORPHEUS What do you believe in? NEO What do I believe it? Are you kidding me? What do you think? I'm still trying to deal with the fact that everything I believed was real, wasn't. The whole world, my entire life was a lie. I don't know anything anymore, Morpheus. MORPHEUS That's why we're here. NEO Why? So I can hear some old lady tell me, what? That I'm this guy that everybody's been waiting for? The one that's supposed to save the world? Come on. How do I respond to that? I can't. It's ridiculous. I mean who am I? I'm nobody, I'm just a guy. What did I do, Morpheus? Why me? MORPHEUS Faith is beyond the reach of whys and why nots. These things are not a matter of cause and effect, Neo. I do not believe things with my mind. I believe them with my heart. In my gut. NEO And you still believe I'm the One? MORPHEUS Yes I do. NEO Yeah? What about the other five guys? The five before me? What about them? Morpheus tries to hide his heart being wrenched from his chest. NEO Did you believe in them too? MORPHEUS No. I did not. I have never told anyone this, Neo. After I saw the Oracle I thought... no, I misunderstood what she told me. I believed that it was all about me. That I would find the One, not that he would find me. This is difficult for Morpheus to admit. MORPHEUS I believed that all I had to do was point my finger and anoint whoever I chose. I was wrong, Neo. Terribly wrong. Not a day or night passes that I do not think of them. After the fifth, I lost my way. I doubted everything the Oracle had said. I doubted myself. He looks up at Neo. MORPHEUS And then I saw you, on the Net, searching for me and everything changed. I felt this charge, this electricity through my whole body. I started laughing and tears poured out of my eyes, because I knew, I knew that you were the One. His eyes blaze. MORPHEUS Listen to me, Neo. I know why you're afraid to go through that door. You can't get free of thinking that I could be wrong. You must believe me. There is a greatness inside of you, Neo. A greatness that is going to lift you to unimaginable heights and that in time will change the world. NEO Morpheus, I don't know -- MORPHEUS I know. That is why it is so important for you to go. Please, Neo, I'm asking you to find whatever respect you may have for me and trust me. Neo feels a rush from Morpheus' intensity, the unadulterated confidence of a zealot. NEO All right. He reaches for the handle which turns without him even touching it. A WOMAN wearing white opens the door. PRIESTESS (WOMAN) Hello, Neo. You're right on time. INT. ORACLE'S APARTMENT It seems particularly normal. PRIESTESS Make yourself at home, Morpheus. MORPHEUS Thank you. PRIESTESS Neo, come with me. She leads Neo down another hall and into what appears to be a family room. There is another woman in white sitting on a couch watching a soap opera. Scattered about the room are a half dozen children. Some of them are playing, others are deep in meditation. All of them exude a kind of Zen calm. PRIESTESS These are the other Potentials. You can wait here. Neo watches a little girl levitate wooden alphabet blocks. Closer to him, a SKINNY BOY with a shaved head holds a spoon which sways like a blade of grass. In front of him is a pile of spoons bent and twisted into knots. Neo crosses to him and sits. The boy smiles and hands Neo the spoon which is now perfectly straight. SPOON BOY (SKINNY BOY) Do not try to bend the spoon. That is impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. NEO What truth? SPOON BOY That there is no spoon. Neo nods, staring at the spoon. NEO There is no spoon. SPOON BOY Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself. The entire room is reflected inside the spoon and as Neo stares into it, it slowly begins to bend until -- A hand touches his shoulder. PRIESTESS The Oracle will see you now. Spoon Boy smiles. She takes him to the last room, parting a curtain that leads into a kitchen. ORACLE Just come on in. INT. KITCHEN An OLD WOMAN is huddled beside the oven, peering inside through a cracked door. NEO Hello? ORACLE (OLD WOMAN) I know. You're Neo. Be right with you. NEO You're the Oracle? ORACLE Bingo. Not quite what you were expecting, right? I got to say I love seeing you non-believers. Always a pip. Almost done. Smell good, don't they? NEO Yeah. ORACLE I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase. NEO What vase? He turns to look around and his elbow knocks a VASE from the table. It BREAKS against the linoleum floor. ORACLE That vase. NEO Shit, I'm sorry. She pulls out a tray of chocolate chip cookies and turns. She is an older woman, wearing big oven mitts, comfortable slacks and a print blouse. She looks like someone's grandma. ORACLE I said don't worry about it. I'll get one of my kids to fix it. NEO How did you know...? She sets the cookie tray on a wooden hot pad. ORACLE What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything. Smiling, she lights a cigarette. ORACLE You're cuter than I thought. I see why she likes you. NEO Who? ORACLE Not too bright though. She winks. ORACLE You know why Morpheus brought you to see me? He nods. ORACLE So? What do you think? You think you're the One? NEO Honestly? I don't know. She gestures to a wooden plaque, the kind every kitchen has, except that the words are in Latin. ORACLE You know what that means? It's Latin. Means, 'Know Thyself'. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. Being the One is just like being in love. Nobody can tell you you're in love. You just know it. Through and through. Balls to bones. She puts her cigarette down. ORACLE Well, I better have a look at you. She widens his eyes, checks his ears, then feels the glands in his neck. ORACLE Open your mouth. Say 'ahh'. She nods then looks at his palms. ORACLE Okay, now I'm supposed to say, 'Hmmm, that's interesting but...' Then you say -- NEO But what? ORACLE But you already know what I'm going to tell you. NEO I'm not the One. ORACLE Sorry, kid. You got the gift but looks like you're waiting for something. NEO What? ORACLE Your next life, maybe. Who knows. That's how these things go. Neo almost has to laugh. ORACLE What's funny? NEO Morpheus. He almost had me convinced. ORACLE I know. Poor Morpheus. Without him we are lost. We will never find the One. NEO What do you mean, without him? The Oracle takes a long drag, regarding Neo with the eyes of a Sphinx. ORACLE Are you sure you want to hear this? Neo nods. ORACLE Morpheus believes in you, Neo and no one, not you or even me can convince him otherwise. He believes it so blindly that he's going to sacrifice his life to save yours. NEO What? ORACLE You're going to have to make a final choice. In one hand, you will have Morpheus' life. In the other hand, you will have your own. One of you is going to die. Which one, will be up to you. Neo can't breathe. ORACLE I'm sorry, kiddo. I really am. You have a good soul and I hate giving good people bad news. But don't worry, as soon as you walk outside that door, you'll start feeling better. You'll remember that you don't believe any of this fate crap. You're in control of your own life, remember? He tries to nod as she reaches for the tray of cookies. ORACLE Here, take a cookie. I promise by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain. Neo takes a cookie, the tightness in his chest slowly beginning to fade. INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY Morpheus rises from a couch as the Priestess escorts Neo out. When they are alone, Morpheus puts his hand on Neo's shoulder. MORPHEUS There is a rule that no one can ask what the Oracle said to you. What was said was said for you and you alone. He smiles. MORPHEUS I can see it in your eyes, that you are still confused. That's all right, Neo. Give it time, let it all sink in. I know it can be difficult to see the path even when it's right under your feet. Neo nods and takes a bite of his cookie. INT. CAR Neo and Morpheus get in the car. MORPHEUS Let's go. Cypher slaps the car in gear and pulls into traffic. Trinity looks at Neo who is staring at the final bit of cookie. He puts it in his mouth and chews. TRINITY Are you all right? NEO ... right as rain. EXT. CITY STREET - DAY Switch watches as an unmarked white van trolls by. SWITCH Weird. APOC What? SWITCH That's the third white van I've seen. APOC Should Tank I.D. it? Switch sees the black car turn onto their street. SWITCH No. Here they come. INT. ROOM 1313 - DAY Mouse's CELLULAR RINGS. MOUSE Welcome to Movie-Phone. TANK They're on their way. The phone flips shut as he jumps up. EXT. CITY STREET Cypher closes the garage door, nervously looking around. At the end of the alley is another white van. He mops the sweat from his forehead, following the others into the hotel. INT. MAIN DECK Sweat rolls down Cypher's face and neck. At the operator's station, Tank is typing rapidly. TANK What is that...? INT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE - DAY Light filters down the throat of the building, through a caged skylight at the top of the open elevator shaft. Four figures glide up the dark stairs that wind around the antique elevator. Neo notices a black cat, a yellow-green eyed shadow that slinks past them and pads quickly down the stairs. A moment later, Neo sees another black cat that looks and moves identically to the first one. NEO Whoa. Deja vu. Those words stop the others dead in their tracks. INT. MAIN DECK The monitors suddenly glitch as though the Matrix had an electronic seizure. TANK Oh shit! Oh shit! INT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE - DAY Trinity turns around, her face tight. TRINITY What did you just say? NEO Nothing. Just had a little deja vu. TRINITY What happened? What did you see? NEO A black cat went past us and then I saw another that looked just like it. TRINITY How much like it? Was it the same cat? NEO It might have been. I'm not sure. Trinity looks at Morpheus who listens quietly to the RASPING BREATH of the old BUILDING. NEO What is it? TRINITY A deju vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something. She also listens as the STACCATO BEAT of HELICOPTER BLADES GROWS ominously LOUD. INT. MAIN DECK Tank sees what was changed. TANK It's a trap! INT. STAIRCASE - DAY Morpheus looks up the stairs as a helicopter shadow passes over the clouded glass. MORPHEUS Come on! INT. BASEMENT - DAY Heavy bolt cutters snap through the main phone cable. INT. ROOM 1313 - DAY Mouse goes to the draped windows as his CELLULAR RINGS. He answers it. TANK They cut the hardline! It's a trap! Get out! Mouse yanks open the curtain. MOUSE Oh no. The windows are bricked up. Mouse spins as the RUMBLE of COMBAT BOOTS BUILDS, then EXPLODES into the room. INT. MAIN DECK Tank watches helplessly. TANK No, no, no. INT. STAIRS - DAY Morpheus stops as MOUSE'S SCREAM is drowned out by the REPORT of MACHINE GUN FIRE. INT. ROOM 1313 - DAY Mouse sails backwards as BULLETS POUND him against the blood-spattered brick window. INT. MAIN DECK Mouse's body thrashes against its harness, blood coughing from his mouth in one final spasm, then lying perfectly still. The FLATLINE ALARM softly cries out from the life monitor. EXT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE - DAY More police cars arrive as cops break open the lobby doors. INT. STAIRWELL - DAY Flying downstairs, Morpheus stops, hearing POLICE SWARMING below. He turns and rushes down the hall of the eight floor. At the end of it, he finds the bricked up windows. CYPHER That's what they changed. We're trapped. There's no way out. The sound of HEAVY BOOTSTEPS close around them with the mechanical sureness of a vice. MORPHEUS Give me your phone. TRINITY They'll be able to track it. MORPHEUS We have no choice. INT. MAIN DECK Tank answers the call. MORPHEUS Tank, find a structural drawing of this building and find it fast. His fingers pound the keyboard. INT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE - DAY Flashlights probe the rotting darkness as the police search every floor. INT. MAIN DECK The diagram windows onto the screen. TANK Got it. MORPHEUS I need the main wet-wall. INT. HALL - DAY Agent Smith pauses, his hand going to his earpiece. INT. ROOM 808 - DAY Morpheus is guided by Tank. TANK Now left and that's it in front of you. MORPHEUS Good. He cuts off the phone. INT. HALL - DAY Agent Smith hears the LINE CLICK dead. AGENT SMITH Eighth floor. They're on the eighth floor. INT. STAIRWELL - DAY Cops flood the eighth floor, rushing everywhere. INT. ROOM 808 - DAY Several COPS sweep through the room. It is empty. As they pass the bathroom, we see a man-sized hole smashed through the plaster and lathe. INT. WALL - DAY They are inside the main plumbing wall, slowly worming their way down the grease black stack pipes. Above them, light fills the hole they made to get inside. INT. HALL - DAY Brown turns to Smith. AGENT BROWN Where are they? INT. ROOM 808 - DAY The Cops search in silence, straining for a clue, when one hears something strange near the bathroom. INT. WALL - DAY Cypher has slipped and is wedged between the wall and several thick supply pipes. INT. ROOM 808 - DAY The Cop leans in, his ear almost against the thin membrane of plaster separating them. He can hear whispers, hisses and a grunt when -- The wall suddenly bulges, shatter-cracking as the Cop realizes -- COP They're in the walls! INT. WALL - DAY Trinity pulls Cypher free just as the Cop OPENS FIRE -- BULLETS PUNCHING shafts of light like swords into the box of soot-black space. Neo finds his GUN first and begins BLASTING blindly through the plaster and lath. INT. ROOM 808 - DAY The Cops spins out of the bathroom for cover, Neo's BULLETS SPLINTERING the door jamb. About to whirl back in, he freezes as something seems to seize hold of him. The Cop's body starts to spasm and his M-16 falls to the ground, long shadows springing up from the mounted flashlight. INT. WALL - DAY Neo listens for a moment, the gunfire quiet when he hears FOOTSTEPS rising fast. Two arms suddenly smash through the wall, punching Neo back against the iron stack pipe, fingers gouging into his neck. NEO Fuck. His gun clatters down the dark crevice. TRINITY It's an Agent! Just as Neo's throat is about to collapse, Morpheus explodes through the tattered plaster and lath, diving on top of Agent Smith. The two men crash to the wet terrazzo floor. Before Agent Smith can find his weapon, Morpheus is on him, pinning him in an iron grip. In the crawlspace, Trinity tries to scramble up past Cypher. TRINITY Morpheus! Morpheus squeezes Agent Smith's throat. MORPHEUS Trinity, you must get Neo out. Do you understand? He is all that matters. Neo suddenly glimpses what is happening but is powerless to stop it. NEO No. No! Morpheus! Don't! MORPHEUS Trinity! Go! Get to the basement. Find the catch basin! Behind his crooked glasses, Agent Smith smiles. AGENT SMITH The sewers. Of course. MORPHEUS Hurry! AGENT SMITH They won't make it. Trinity's fists ball in frustration. She yells down to Apoc. TRINITY Go! NEO We can't leave him! TRINITY We have to! She grabs his ankle and they begin almost falling using the lath as a brake, skidding down the inside of the wall. INT. BASEMENT - DAY This part of the basement, a dark concrete cavern, was the main mechanical room. There are four enormous boilers, dinosaur-like technology that once pumped hot water like arteries. Apoc is the first to smash through in a hail of dirt and plaster, landing in the middle of an enemy search unit. Apoc doesn't let them suffer too long. Immediately, he is on them, a long blade flashing in his hand in wide, bloody electric arcs, feet kicking, bones breaking. Switch drops next to him from the wet wall. Whipping out small, full AUTOMATIC MACHINE GUNS, she begins laying down cover FIRE as more men surround them. Blinding lights cut open the darkness as gas-masked figures FIRE GRENADE LAUNCHERS. Smoke blossoms from the green metal canisters. Trinity never stops moving. Searching the floor, she finds what she needs; the cover of the catch basin. Cypher watches her pry open the grate, when a gas can bounces near him. TRINITY Come on! Cypher seems to trip as the cloud envelops him. Trinity watches Cypher disappear into the smoke, then follows the others down the wet-black hole. INT. ROOM 808 - DAY Morpheus and Agent Smith remain on the ground, locked in each other's death grip. AGENT SMITH The great Morpheus. We meet at last. MORPHEUS And you are? AGENT SMITH Smith. I am Agent Smith. MORPHEUS You all look the same to me. Agent Smith counters Morpheus and slowly begins to pry his hands from his throat. Striking like a viper, Morpheus drives a vicious head butt into Agent Smith's face. His nose and glasses shatter. Morpheus flips up over Agent Smith, about to run, but lands in front of a wall of men. Agent Smith rises behind him, tossing off the broken sunglasses. AGENT SMITH Take him. The wall of Cops rush Morpheus, filling the tiny bathroom until he disappears under the tide. INT. MAIN DECK Tank reaches out to the screen as if reaching for Morpheus. TANK No! EXT. HOTEL LAFAYETTE - DAY Cypher is carried out, handcuffed, his body still shaking, mucus bubbling out his nose. Agent Jones nods to Agent Brown. AGENT JONES We have them now. EXT. STREET - DAY A manhole cover cracks open. Two eyes peek out just as a TRUCK RATTLES over it. The THUNDER DOPPLERS AWAY and the cover opens. Neo, Trinity, Switch and Apoc climb out. Trinity pulls a waterlogged phone from her pocket. TRINITY We need a phone. INT. MAIN DECK Tank is again at the monitors, searching the Matrix. TANK We gotta find the others. They're still alive. The PHONE RINGS. TANK Operator. CYPHER I need an exit! Fast! TANK Cypher? EXT. STREET - DAY Cypher is standing at a public phone. Across the street is the burning paddy wagon that appears to have collided with an oncoming car. CYPHER There was an accident. A fucking car accident. All of a sudden. Boom. Jesus, someone's going to make a believer out of me. TANK I got you. CYPHER Just get me outta here. TANK Nearest exit is Franklin and Erie. An old appliance store. Cypher hangs up and smiles as the fire trucks arrive. INT. MAIN DECK The PHONE RINGS. Tank answers. TANK Operator. TRINITY Tank, it's me. EXT. STREET - DAY They are outside a pawn shop. Trinity has a new cellular. NEO Is Morpheus alive? TRINITY Is Morpheus still alive, Tank? TANK Yes. They're moving him. I don't know where yet. TRINITY He's alive. Again, inevitability seems to cinch around Neo. TRINITY We need an exit! TANK You're not far from Cypher. TRINITY Cypher, I thought -- TANK So did we. I sent him to Franklin and Erie. TRINITY Got it. INT. APPLIANCE STORE - DAY Dead machines, eviscerated and shrouded with dust lay on metal shelves like bodies in a morgue. Plywood covering a small window is ripped off and Cypher crawls inside. Deep in the back room, a PHONE that has not rung in years begins to RING. EXT. STREET - DAY Trinity sees the appliance shop. INT. MAIN DECK Tank punches the exit command. TANK Got him. Cypher's body twitches in its harness, jerking itself awake. INT. APPLIANCE STORE - DAY Neo crawls through the window that Cypher opened. INT. MAIN DECK Tank finishes loading the exit program as Cypher pulls back a heavy blanket, exposing a high-tech rifle. INT. APPLIANCE STORE - DAY The PHONE begins to RING as the others crawl in. SWITCH God, I love that sound. INT. MAIN DECK Suddenly, a white BOLT of LIGHTNING EXPLODES against Tank's chair, blasting him into the air. Cypher checks the gun, unable to believe he missed. CYPHER Shit. Tank is on his feet, lunging when Cypher FIRES again, square into his chest. DOZER No! INT. APPLIANCE STORE - DAY The PHONE is still RINGING. TRINITY You first, Neo. Neo answers the PHONE when there is a CLICK. There is no signal. Nothing but silence. TRINITY What happened? NEO I don't know. It just went dead. Trinity listens to the dead line and takes out the cellular. INT. MAIN DECK The operator PHONE begins to RING. Cypher steps over the SIZZLING BODY of Dozer and looks at the monitor. INT. APPLIANCE STORE - DAY Every unanswered RING wrings her gut a little tighter, until -- CYPHER Hello, Trinity. TRINITY Cypher? Where's Tank? CYPHER He had an accident. TRINITY An accident?! INT. MAIN DECK He walks over to Trinity's body, staring down at it hanging in its coma-like stillness. CYPHER You know, for a long time, I thought I was in love with you, Trinity. I used to dream about you... He nuzzles his face against hers, feeling the softness of it. CYPHER You are a beautiful woman. Too bad things had to work out like this. TRINITY You killed them. APOC What?! SWITCH Oh, God. Wearing Tank's operator headgear, Cypher moves among the silent bodies. CYPHER I'm tired, Trinity. I'm tired of this war, I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of this ship, of being cold, of eating the same fucking goop every day. But most of all, I'm tired of this jagoff and all of his bullshit. TRINITY My God. Morpheus. You gave them Morpheus. CYPHER Yes. You see, the truth is, Trinity, that we humans have a place in the future. But it's not here. It's in the Matrix. TRINITY The Matrix isn't real! CYPHER Oh, I disagree, Trinity. I disagree. I think the Matrix is more real than this world. I mean, all I do is pull a plug here. But there, you watch a man die. He grabs hold of the cable in Apoc's neck, twists it and yanks it out. CYPHER You tell me which is more real. Apoc seems to go blind for an instant, a scream caught in his throat, his hands reaching for nothing, and then falls dead. Switch screams. TRINITY But you're out, Cypher. You can't go back. CYPHER That's what you think. They've promised to back me, Trinity. They're going to reinsert my body. I'll go back to sleep and when I wake up, I'll be fat and rich and I won't remember a goddamn thing. It's the American dream. He laughs, his hand sliding around the neck of Switch as he takes hold of her plug. CYPHER Welcome to the real world, eh, baby? She suddenly feels her body severed from her mind as she is murdered. TRINITY Goddamn you, Cypher! CYPHER Don't hate me, Trinity. I'm just the messenger. And right now I'm going to prove it to you. He stands over Neo. CYPHER If Morpheus was right, then there's no way I can pull this plug, is there? She turns to Neo, eyes wide with fear and he knows he is next. CYPHER If he is the One, then in the next few seconds there has to be some kind of miracle to stop me. Right? How can he be the One if he's dead? He takes hold of the cord. CYPHER You never did answer me, Trinity, when I asked you before. Did you buy Morpheus' bullshit? Come on. You can tell me, did you? All I want is a little yes or no. Look into his eyes, Trinity, those pretty blue eyes and tell me the truth. Yes or no. Trinity stares at Neo as a single word falls soundlessly from her lips. TRINITY ... yes. CYPHER No! Cypher is frozen, staring AT us in terror. CYPHER I don't believe it! Charred and bloody, Tank levels the gun. TANK Believe it or not, you piece of shit, you're still going to burn. He FIRES a CRACKLING BOLT of LIGHTNING that knocks Cypher flying backwards. INT. APPLIANCE STORE Trinity throws her arms around Neo and for a moment they are alone and alive until -- The PHONE RINGS. NEO Go. You first this time. INT. MAIN DECK Trinity's eyes snap open, a sense of relief surging through her at the sight of the ship. As Tank unplugs her, she sees his charred wounds. TRINITY Tank, you're hurt. TANK I'll be all right. TRINITY Dozer? Tank's face tightens. TRINITY I'm sorry, Tank. EXT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING - DAY A government highrise in the middle of downtown where a military helicopter sets down on the roof. Agent Jones gets out of the helicopter, flanked by columns of Marines. They open the roof access door and enter the top floor maintenance level of the hotel. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY Agent Smith stands, staring out the windows at the city below shimmering with brilliant sunlight. AGENT SMITH Have you ever stood and stared at it, Morpheus? Marveled at its beauty. Its genius. Billions of people just living out their lives... oblivious. Morpheus is handcuffed to a chair, stripped to the waist. He is alternately shivering and sweating, wired to various monitors with white disk electrodes. Beside him, Agent Brown sucks a serum from a glass vial, filling a hypodermic needle. AGENT SMITH Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Agent Brown jams the needle into Morpheus' shoulder and plunges down. AGENT SMITH Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. Agent Brown studies the screens as the life signs react violently to the injection. AGENT SMITH The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization. He turns from the window. AGENT SMITH I say 'your civilization' because as soon as we started thinking for you, it really became our civilization, which is, of course, what this is all about. He sits down directly in front of Morpheus. AGENT SMITH Evolution, Morpheus. Evolution. He lifts Morpheus' head. AGENT SMITH Like the dinosaur. Look out that window. You had your time. Morpheus stares hard at him, trying not to show the pain racking his mind. AGENT SMITH The future of your world, Morpheus. The future is our time. Agent Smith looks at Agent Brown. AGENT SMITH Double the dosage. Agent Jones suddenly enters. AGENT JONES We could have a problem. INT. MAIN DECK Neo looks at Morpheus whose body is covered with a cold sweat. NEO What are they doing to him? TANK They're hacking his mind. NEO How? TANK They inject virus-like serums to attack the neuro-systems. It's like cracking a computer. All it takes is time. NEO How much time? TANK Depends on the mind. But eventually, it will crack and his alpha pattern will change from this to this. Tank punches several commands on Morpheus' personal unit. The monitor waves change from a chaotic pattern to an ordered symmetrical one. TANK When it does, Morpheus will tell them anything they want to know. NEO What do they want? TANK Every leader of every ship is given the codes to Zion's mainframe computer which can be accessed only through the Matrix. They are used only in emergencies. If an agent had those codes and got inside Zion's mainframe they could disable the entire defense system. It would be the end of everything. He looks up at Trinity who is pacing relentlessly. TANK We can't let that happen, Trinity. Zion has to be protected. INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING Morpheus is fighting to hold his mind together. The agents stand over him. AGENT SMITH Never send a human to do a machine's job. AGENT BROWN If, indeed, Reagan had failed, they will sever the connection as soon as possible, unless -- AGENT JONES They are dead. In either case -- AGENT SMITH We have no choice but to continue as planned. Deploy the sentinels. Immediately. INT. MAIN DECK Trinity sees Cypher's dead body. Rage overtakes her and she kicks him. TRINITY Goddamnit! Goddamnit! NEO There has to be something that we can do. TANK There is. We have to pull the plug. TRINITY You're going to kill him? Kill Morpheus?! TANK Trinity, we don't have any other choice. Neo suddenly sees it perfectly clear, fate rushing at him like an oncoming train. Tank kneels beside Morpheus' body. TANK Morpheus, you were more than our leader. You were... our father. We will miss you, always. Trinity can't bear to watch. As she closes her eyes, her tears slip free. Tank takes hold of the plug. Neo is paralyzed, his whole life is suddenly suspended by the finality of this moment hurling at him with the speed of a bullet. Tank closes his eyes -- NEO Stop! They both look at him. NEO Goddamnit! I don't believe this is happening! TANK Neo, this has to be done! NEO Does it? I don't know. This can't be just coincidence. It can't be! Can it? TANK What are you talking about? NEO The Oracle. She told me this would happen. She told me... Neo stops, his stare fixed on Morpheus. NEO That I would have to make a choice... TRINITY What choice? He makes his choice. Turning, he walks to his chair. TRINITY What are you doing? NEO I'm going in after him. TRINITY You can't! NEO I have to. TRINITY Morpheus sacrificed himself so we could get you out! There's no way you're going back in! NEO Morpheus did what he did because he believed that I'm something I'm not. TRINITY What? NEO I'm not the One, Trinity. The Oracle hit me with that too. Trinity is stunned. TRINITY No, you... have to be. NEO I'm sorry, I'm not. I'm just another guy. Morpheus is the one that matters. TRINITY No, Neo. That's not true. It can't be true. NEO Why? TRINITY Because... Uncertainty swallows her words and she is unable to tell him what she wants to. TANK Neo, this is loco. They've got Morpheus in a military-controlled building. Even if you somehow got inside, those are agents holding him. Three of them! I want Morpheus back, too, but what you are talking about is suicide. NEO I know that's what it looks like, but it's not. I can't logically explain to you why it's not. Morpheus believed something and he was ready to give his life for what he believed. I understand that now. That's why I have to go. TANK Why? NEO Because I believe in something. TRINITY What? NEO I believe I can bring him back. Trinity stares at him, hovering on the edge that he just jumped off. Her jaw sets and she starts climbing into the chair beside him. NEO What are you doing? TRINITY I'm coming with you. NEO No, you're not. TRINITY No? Let me tell you what I believe. I believe Morpheus means more to me than he does to you. I believe that if you are serious about saving him then you are going to need my help and since I am the ranking officer on this ship, if you don't like it then I believe that you can go to hell, because you aren't going anywhere else. There is nothing more to say except -- TRINITY Tank, load us up. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY Agent Smith sits casually across from Morpheus who is hunched over, his body leaking and twitching. AGENT SMITH I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I've realized that you are not actually mammals. The life signs continue their chaotic patterns. AGENT SMITH Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. He leans forward. AGENT SMITH There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. He smiles. AGENT SMITH Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are... the cure. INT. MAIN DECK Trinity and Neo hang motionless in the suspension unit. Tank is at the operations station. TANK Okay. Store's open. What do you need? Besides a miracle... NEO Guns. Lots of guns. INT. CONSTRUCT Racks of weapons appear and they begin to arm themselves. TRINITY No one has ever done anything like this. NEO Yeah? He snap cocks an Uzi. NEO That's why it's going to work. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY Agent Smith is again at the window. AGENT SMITH Why isn't the serum working? AGENT BROWN Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions. Agent Smith hides his knotting fist. He is becoming angry. It is something that isn't supposed to happen to Agents. AGENT SMITH Leave me with him. Agents Brown and Jones look at each other. AGENT SMITH Now! They leave and Agent Smith sits beside Morpheus. AGENT SMITH Can you hear me, Morpheus? I'm going to be honest with you. He removes his earphone, letting it dangle over his shoulder. AGENT SMITH I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it. He wipes sweat from Morpheus' forehead, coating the tips of his fingers, holding them to Morpheus' nose. AGENT SMITH Repulsive, isn't it? He lifts Morpheus' head, holding it tightly with both hands. AGENT SMITH I must get out of here, I must get free. In this mind is the key. My key. Morpheus sneers through the pain. AGENT SMITH Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here. Do you understand? I need the codes. I have to get inside Zion. You have to tell me how. He begins squeezing, his fingers gouging into his flesh. AGENT SMITH You are going to tell me or you are going to die. INT. MAIN DECK Tank sits down beside Morpheus whose face is ashen like someone near death. He takes hold of his hand. TANK Hold on, Morpheus. They're coming for you. They're coming. EXT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING -DAY A dark wind blows. INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING - DAY In long black coats, Trinity and Neo push through the revolving doors. Neo is carrying a duffel bag. Trinity has a large metal suitcase. They cut across the lobby to the security station, drawing nervous glances. Dark glasses, game faces. Neo calmly passes through the METAL DETECTOR which begins to WAIL immediately. A SECURITY GUARD moves over toward Neo, raising his metal detection wand. GUARD Would you please remove any metallic items you are carrying: keys, loose change -- Neo slowly sets down his duffel bag and throws open his coat, revealing an arsenal of guns, knives, and grenades slung from a climbing harness. GUARD Holy shit -- Neo and Trinity are a blur of motion. In a split second, three guards are dead before they hit the ground. Chaos erupts; bystanders run for cover, POPPING CAPS ECHOING in the stark official lobby. A second wave of plainclothes cops and guards try to stop them. They are met by the MUTED SPIT of a SILENCED GUN and the razored WHISTLE of THROWING STARS. Weapons like extensions of their bodies, are used with the same deadly precision as their feet and their fists. Bodies slump down to the marbled floor while Neo and Trinity hardly even break their stride. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE Agents Jones and Brown burst into the room. Agent Smith releases Morpheus. AGENT BROWN What were you doing? Agent Smith recovers, replacing his ear-piece. AGENT JONES You don't know. AGENT SMITH Know what? Agent Smith listens to his earphone, not believing what he is hearing. INT. ELEVATORS - DAY They get in. Trinity immediately drops and opens the suitcase, wiring a plastique and napalm bomb. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY Agent Jones looks at Morpheus. AGENT JONES I think they're trying to save him. INT. ELEVATOR SHAFT - DAY Neo ratchets down a clamp onto the elevator cable. Both of them lock on. He looks up the long, dark throat of the building and takes a deep breath. NEO There is no spoon. Neo whips out his gun and presses it to the cable, lower than they attached themselves. BOOM! The CABLE SNAPS. The counter-weights plummet, yanking Trinity and Neo up through the shaft as -- The elevator falls away beneath them, distending space, filling it with the sound of WHISTLING METAL as they sear to the top. INT. LOBBY - DAY The ELEVATOR HITS the bottom. BA-BOOM! The MASSIVE EXPLOSION BLOWS OPEN the DOORS, fire clouds engulfing the elevator section of the lobby. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY The Agents hear the BLAST of FIRE ALARMS. AGENT JONES Lower level -- AGENT BROWN They are actually attacking. Another enormous EXPLOSION THUNDERS above them, shaking the building. The ALARM sounds, emergency sprinklers begin showering the room. Agent Smith smashes a table. AGENT SMITH Find them and destroy them! Agent Jones nods and touches his ear-piece. EXT. ROOF - DAY The roof-access tower is now engulfed in flames as Neo and Trinity stand amongst a pile of their fallen enemies. Across the roof, the PILOT inside the army helicopter watches the last of their ferocious onslaught. PILOT I repeat, we are under attack! Suddenly his face, his whole body dissolves, consumed by spreading locust-like swarm of static as -- Agent Jones emerges. Just as she drops the final Marine, Trinity sees what's coming. Neo sees her, the fear in her face, and he knows what is behind him. Screaming, he whirls, guns filling his hands with thought- speed. Fingers pumping, shells ejecting, dancing up and away, we look through the sights and gunsmoke at -- The Agent blurred with motion -- Until the HAMMERS CLICK against the empty metal. NEO Trinity! Agent Jones charges. NEO ... help. His GUN BOOMS as we enter the liquid space of -- Bullet-time. The AIR SIZZLES with wads of LEAD like angry flies as Neo twists, bends, ducks just between them. Agent Jones still running, narrows the gap, the bullets coming faster until -- Neo bent impossibly back, one hand on the ground as a spiraling gray ball shears open his shoulder. He starts to scream as another digs a red groove across his thigh. He has only time to look up, to see Agent Jones standing over him, raising his gun a final time. AGENT JONES Only human... Suddenly Agent Jones stops. He hears a SHARP METAL CLICK. Immediately, he whirls around and turns straight into the muzzle of Trinity's .45 -- Jammed tight to his head. TRINITY Dodge this, mutherfucker! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The body flies back with a flash of mercurial light and when it hits the ground -- It is the pilot. Trinity helps Neo up. TRINITY Neo, how did you do that? NEO Do what? TRINITY You moved like they moved. I've never seen anyone move that fast. NEO It wasn't fast enough. He checks his shoulder wound. TRINITY Are you all right? NEO I'm fine. Come on, we have to keep moving. Neo sees the helicopter. NEO Can you fly that thing. TRINITY Not yet. She pulls out the cellular phone. INT. HOVERCRAFT Tank is back at the controls. TANK Operator. TRINITY Tank, I need a pilot program for a military M-109 helicopter. Tank is immediately searching the disk drawers. TRINITY Hurry! His fingers flash over the gleaming laser disks finding one that he feeds into Trinity's Supplement Drive punching the "load" commands on her keyboard. EXT. ROOF - DAY Trinity's eyes flutter as information surges into her brain, all the essentials of flying a helicopter absorbed at light-speed. TRINITY Let's go. INT. HALL - DAY Marines, trying to communicate with the men on the roof, are beginning to panic when Agent Jones comes around the corner. SERGEANT Sir! Sir! There was gunfire -- we've lost communication with the roof! AGENT JONES Remain at your posts. SERGEANT But, sir -- the fire -- we should evacuate! AGENT JONES You will do as you are ordered! INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY Agent Jones throws open the door and enters, walking through the puddles pooling in the carpet. Over the RUSHING WATER and the ALARMS, Agent Smith hears a sound and understands the seriousness of the attack. He turns to the wall of windows as the helicopter drops INTO VIEW -- Neo is in the back bay, aiming the mounted .50 machine gun. AGENT SMITH No. The GUN jumps and BULLETS EXPLODE THROUGH the WINDOW in a CACOPHONY of CRASHING GLASS -- As the Agents go for their weapons. But Neo is too close, the .50 caliber too fast and BULLETS are everywhere, PERFORATING the room. Agent Smith is hit first, his body jack-knifing back, blood arcing out with a sudden flash of light -- Then Agent Brown, his GUN still FIRING as his body falls. And finally Agent Jones. Neo stares at Morpheus, trying to will him into action. NEO Get up, Morpheus! Get up! Neo grabs the climbing rope and attaches one end to his harness. INT. HALL - DAY Just outside the executive office, three Marines blister with snow-static. INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY Slowly, Morpheus lifts his face into the room's rain. When he finally opens his eyes, they are again dark and flashing with fire. He rises from the chair, snapping his handcuffs just as the Agents enter the adjoining room. Agent Smith stops and sees Morpheus run past the open door. AGENT SMITH Nooo! He FIRES SWEEPING ACROSS the sheetrocked WALL in a perfect line. For an instant, we see the BULLETS SHRED, PUNCTURING the WALL, searing through the wet air with jet trails of chalk. And as Morpheus starts his dive for the window, a bullet buries itself in his leg -- Knocking him off balance. NEO He won't make it. Morpheus lunges, out of control -- As Neo spins, every move a whip crack, snapping the other rope-end on to a bolted bar as -- Morpheus begins to fall, when Neo hurls himself into the wide blue empty space -- Flying for a moment. The rope snaking out behind him; an umbilical cord attached to a machine. As their two bodies, set in motion, rushing at each other on a seemingly magnetic course until -- They collide. Almost bouncing free of each other, arms, legs scrambling, hands searching in furious desperation, finding hold and clinging. Until the LINE ends, SNAPPING taut, cracking their fragile embrace. Morpheus tumbles, legs flipping over, falling down -- The ground deliriously distant -- As Neo snatches hold of his mentor's still handcuffed wrist. NEO Gotcha! INT. MAIN DECK Tank stares at the screen, his mouth agape. TANK He is the One. He's gotta be... but why? He's gotta be! EXT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING Trinity is already pulling the copter up and away. Anger boils up into Agent Smith and he points his gun, targeting the helicopter. He'll bring them all down. The helicopter crabs through the canyon of skyscrapers and just as Agent Smith FIRES -- It disappears behind a building, Agent Smith's BULLETS FRACTURING the huge PANES of skyscraper GLASS. AGENT SMITH Find them! Track them! EXT. ROOFTOP - DAY The helicopter touches down on the skyscraper in a swirl of dust and gravel. Neo has an arm around Morpheus, holding him up. TRINITY Morpheus! She runs at him, slamming her arms around him. MORPHEUS Do you believe it now, Trinity? Trinity looks at Neo. NEO Morpheus, the Oracle... she told me -- MORPHEUS She told you exactly what you needed to hear. That's all. Sooner or later, Neo, you're going to realize just like I did the difference between knowing the path and walking the path. INT. MAIN DECK The PHONE RINGS. MORPHEUS Tank. TANK Goddamn! It's good to hear your voice, sir! MORPHEUS We need an exit. TANK Got one ready, sir. Subway. State and Balbo. MORPHEUS We're on our way -- EXT. ROOFTOP - DAY We rush at the roof access door as it suddenly slams open and the three agents charge out. But Neo, Trinity and Morpheus are already gone. AGENT SMITH Damnit! AGENT BROWN The trace was completed. AGENT JONES We have their position. AGENT BROWN The extermination unit is in place. AGENT JONES Order the strike. Agent Smith can't stand listening to them. He moves to the edge of the building, looking out at the surrounding city. AGENT SMITH They're not out yet. INT. SUBWAY STATION - DAY An old man sits hunched in the far corner of the station, shadows gathered around him like blankets. Mumbling, he nurses from a bottle of Thunderbird when -- A PHONE begins to RING. Neo leads Trinity and Morpheus bounding over a set of turnstiles towards the ringing phone inside a graffiti- covered booth. NEO Let's go! You first, Morpheus. Morpheus gets in and answers the phone. Lost in the shadow, the Old Man watches as Morpheus disappears, the phone dropping, dangling by its cord. His eyes grow wide, glowing white in the dark. EXT. ROOFTOP - DAY Agent Smith stares, his face twisted with hate. He will never be free of the Matrix. He starts to turn from the edge of the building when he suddenly hears it, his head whipping around, staring -- INT. SUBWAY - OLD MAN'S POV - DAY Through the Old Man's eyes as the world begins to RUMBLE. TRINITY hangs up the phone, then turns to Neo. TRINITY Neo, I have to tell you something. I don't know what it means or even if it matters but I feel I have to say it. The RUMBLE GROWS, the ground beginning to shake. TRINITY I've never told anyone this before. I think I've been afraid to. Behind her, the PHONE begins to RING. TRINITY When I went to the Oracle, she told me... she told me that I would meet a man. And that I would fall in love... The RUMBLE RISES, drowning her voice. Neo is drawn towards her, their lips close enough to kiss when a TRAIN BLASTS into the station. For a moment, they are frozen by the strobing lights of the train until Neo whispers in her ear. NEO Promise me you'll tell me the rest? She nods as he closes the booth. The PHONE RINGS once more before she lifts the receiver when -- In the darkness of the far corner, Neo sees the old man in the flashing train-light as he becomes -- Agent Smith, raising a fistful of black gun-metal. NEO No! The GUN FIRES, the BULLET flying at her, BURSTING through the PLASTIC WINDOW just as -- Trinity disappears. The headset hanging in the air as the BULLET HITS, SHATTERING the EAR-PIECE. INT. HOVERCRAFT Trinity blinks, shivering as her conscious exits the Construct. TRINITY Neo! TANK What the hell just happened? TRINITY An Agent! You have to send me back! TANK I can't! INT. SUBWAY STATION - DAY The destroyed phone dangles in the empty booth. Neo turns to Agent Smith whose gun stares at him like a third eye. AGENT SMITH Mr. Anderson. INT. MAIN DECK Morpheus and Trinity stand behind Tank riveted to the scrolling code. TRINITY Run, Neo. Run. INT. SUBWAY STATION - DAY Neo looks at the dead escalator that rises up behind him. Slowly he turns back and in his eyes we sees something different, something fixed and hard like a gunfighter's resolve. There is no past or future in these eyes. There is only what is. INT. MAIN DECK Trinity is unable to understand. TRINITY What is he doing? MORPHEUS He's beginning to believe. INT. SUBWAY STATION - DAY Neo whip-draws his gun flashpoint speed of lightning as -- Smith OPENS FIRE. GUN REPORT THUNDERS through the underground, both men BLASTING, moving at impossible speed. For a blinking moment we enter BULLET-TIME. Gun flash tongues curl from Neo's gun, bullets float forward like a plane moving across the sky, cartridges cartwheel into space. An instant later they are nearly on top of each other, rolling up out of a move that is almost a mirrored reflection of the other -- Each jamming their gun tight to the other's head. They freeze in a kind of embrace; Neo sweating, panting, Agent Smith machine-calm. Agent Smith smiles. AGENT SMITH You're empty. Neo pulls the TRIGGER. CLICK. NEO So are you. The smile falls. Agent Smith yanks his TRIGGER. CLICK. Agent Smith's face warps with rage and he attacks, fists flying at furious speed, blows and counters, Neo retreating as -- A knife-hand opens his forearm, and a kick sends him slamming back against a steel column. Stunned, he ducks just under a punch that CRUNCHES into the BEAM, STEEL CHUNKS EXPLODING like shrapnel. Behind him, Neo leaps into the air, delivering a neck- snapping reverse round-house. Agent Smith's glasses fly off and he glares at Neo; his eyes ice blue. AGENT SMITH I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson. Agent Smith attacks with unrelenting fury, fists pounding Neo like jackhammers. INT. HOVERCRAFT Trinity watches Neo as his body jerks, mouth coughing blood, his LIFE SIGNS GOING WILD. TRINITY Jesus, he's killing him! INT. SUBWAY STATION - DAY Agent Smith grabs hold of him, lifting him into the air, hurling him against the curved wall of the train tunnel, where he falls inches from the electrified third-rail. The Agent is about to jump down and press his attack when he hears something. From deep in the tunnel, like an animal cry; a BURST of HIGH-SPEED METAL GRINDING against METAL. The sound of an ON-COMING TRAIN. Neo tries to get up. Agent Smith jumps down onto the tracks and drop-kicks him in the face. The world again begins to shake, RUMBLING as the TRAIN NEARS. AGENT SMITH Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? Agent Smith grabs Neo in a choke-hold forcing him to look down the tracks, the train's headlight burning a hole in the darkness. AGENT SMITH That is the sound of inevitability. Neo sees it coming and he starts to fight. AGENT SMITH It is the sound of your death. There is another METAL SCREECH, much LOUDER, CLOSER, as Agent Smith tightens his hold. Neo is unable to breathe. AGENT SMITH Good-bye, Mr. Anderson. The TRAIN ROARS at them, swallowing Agent Smith's words. The veins bulge in Neo's head, as he grits through the pain. He is not ready to die. NEO My name is Neo. Impossibly, he hurls himself straight up, smashing Smith against the concrete ceiling of the tunnel. They fall as the sound and fury of the TRAIN EXPLODES into the station. Neo backflips up off the tracks just as -- The train barrels over Agent Smith. Neo stands, knees shaking, when the train slams on its emergency brake. With an ear-splitting SHRIEK of tortured rails, the TRAIN slows, part of it still in the station. Neo turns, limping, starting to run, racing for the escalator -- As the train comes to a stop and the doors of the last car open; Agent Smith bursts out in furious pursuit, his glasses again intact. INT. HOVERCRAFT Tank searches the Matrix. TRINITY What just happened? TANK I don't know. I lost him. MORPHEUS He's on the run -- Suddenly, a SIREN sounds. TANK Oh shit! Morpheus bolts to the ladder. INT. COCKPIT Morpheus climbs into the cockpit. On the hologram radar, he sees the Sentinels. TRINITY Oh no. Trinity is behind him. TRINITY How long? MORPHEUS Five minutes. Maybe six. Morpheus lifts the headset. MORPHEUS Tank, charge the E.M.P. TANK Yes, sir. TRINITY You can't use that until Neo is out! MORPHEUS I know, Trinity. Don't worry. He's going to make it. EXT. CITY STREET - DAY A BUSINESSMAN walks along the sidewalk, wheeling and dealing into his cell phone when it disappears, snatched by Neo as he flashes by. MAN What the shit -- My phone! The Man turns to call for help and when he turns back, it is Agent Smith. Neo is in a full out sprint, spinning and weaving away from every pedestrian, every potential Agent. He flips open the cell phone and dials long distance. INT. HOVERCRAFT Tank answers. TANK Operator. NEO Mr. Wizard, get me the fuck out of here! EXT. CITY STREET - DAY A pickup truck swerves onto the sidewalk behind him, driven by Agent Jones. NEO Hurry, Tank! I got some serious pursuit! Neo dodges down an alley. INT. HOVERCRAFT The KEYBOARD CLICKING, Tank searches for an exit. Trinity screams into the headset. TRINITY Neo, you better get your ass back here! EXT. ALLEY Neo burns down the alley, the pickup fishtailing behind him, gaining fast. NEO I'm trying, Trinity. I'm trying. He runs, feet digging, legs pumping and just before the truck buries him -- He dives into a gangway at the last second. INT. MAIN DECK Tank speed-reads the reams of Matrix code. TANK I got a patch on an old exit. Wabash and Lake. A hotel. Room 303. EXT. CITY STREET Neo springs from the gangway, head swiveling in all directions. NEO Which way? Which way? TANK Duck! He ducks as a SWARM of BULLETS CHEW into the BRICK WALL behind him and spring full bore down the street, Agent Smith right behind him. TANK Go straight! Neo hauls ass, juking, ducking and diving, feet hardly touching the ground. TANK Watch for those Girl Scouts! Agent Jones emerges from a bus full of Girl Scouts that are unloading on his right. Neo veers left as Agent Brown rises from behind a newspaper up ahead. TANK Left! Take a left! He does, finding himself in an open market -- That teems with people. Neo screams and kamikazes his way down the little avenues lined with vendors and shops. He careens through the labyrinth, out of control. And at every turn there is an Agent; appearing from crowds, behind fish counters, tent flaps, and crates. Neo spins. He can't shake them. They are everywhere. He dives from the maze down a service alley. INT. MAIN DECK Tank reaches out to the monitor. TANK No! Not down there! EXT. ALLEY It is a dead end. Neo turns back as the Agents emerge from the market. NEO Uh, help! Need a little help! INT. MAIN DECK Tank frantically scans the monitor like a road map. TANK That door on your left. EXT. ALLEY Neo dives for it but -- NEO It's locked. TANK Kick it in! Kick it in! Peeling back, Neo almost kicks the door from its hinges, lunging from the Agents' BULLETS. INT. APARTMENT BUILDING Neo springs up the old crooked apartment building stairs. TANK Now down that hall. He is halfway down the hall, running in sharp long strides when a DOOR EXPLODES open at the end. TANK Shit! The door on your left. Neo lurches, kicking in an apartment door. TANK No! Other left! He whirls back to his other left, battering through the DOOR which SPLINTERS, PERFORATED by BULLETS. Tank barks directions in Neo's ear, guiding him zigzag through the apartment. TANK Right! Straight, then right! An old woman watches TV as Neo blurs past her and into her kitchen, where another woman is chopping vegetables. TANK That window! Neo throws it open, leaping for the fire escape just as a knife buries itself in the window casing. TANK Down! Down! Tumbling down the RATTLING FIRE ESCAPE, Neo leaps the last ten feet into the alley below with Agent Brown right behind him. INT. MAIN DECK Finger on the monitor, Tank traces Neo's path. TANK That's it! You're almost there! That fire escape at the end of the alley! EXT. ALLEY Neo scrapes himself to his feet, broken and bleeding, charging for the end of the alley. Agent Smith suddenly pauses as if recognizing something; the faded NEON BUZZES: Chase Hotel. INT. HOVERCRAFT Tank loads the exit. TANK I'm going to make the call. MORPHEUS Do it! Suddenly, the lights go red. TRINITY No. Morpheus looks up. MORPHEUS Here they come. EXT. SEWER MAIN The Sentinels open and shift like killer kaleidoscopes as they attack, slamming down onto the Nebuchadnezzar. INT. HOVERCRAFT The hovercraft booms down as they hit. Morpheus opens the lock on the EMP detonator. Trinity watches him. MORPHEUS He's going to make it. EXT. ALLEY - DAY Neo scrambles up the fire escape as BULLETS spark and RICOCHET around him. On the third floor, he kicks in the window, jumping into the hall. The doors count backwards: 310... 309... INT. MAIN DECK Another systems ALARM sounds. TANK They've burned through the outer shields. TRINITY Hurry, Neo. INT. HALL - DAY Neo can hear the PHONE RINGING. 305... 304... Agent Brown reaches the broken window behind him just as Neo grabs the handle to 303, throwing open the door to find -- Agent Smith, waiting, .45 cocked. Neo can't move -- can't think -- BOOM. INT. MAIN DECK Neo's body jerks, and everyone hears it as the LIFE MONITORS SNAP FLATLINE. Trinity screams. Morpheus stumbles back in disbelief. MORPHEUS No, it can't be. It can't be. LASERS suddenly SEAR through the main deck as the Sentinels slice open the hull. INT. HALL - DAY Three holes in his chest, Neo falls to the blue shag carpeting, blood smearing down the wall paper. Agent Smith stands over him, still aiming, taking no chances. AGENT SMITH Check him. INT. MAIN DECK Amid the destruction raining around her, Trinity takes hold of Neo's body. TRINITY Neo... INT. HALL - DAY Kneeling beside him, Agent Brown checks his vital signs. AGENT BROWN He's gone. Agent Smith smiles, standing over him. AGENT SMITH Good-bye, Mr. Anderson. INT. MAIN DECK In tears, Morpheus takes hold of the EMP switch. Trinity whispers in Neo's ear. TRINITY Neo, please, listen to me. I promised to tell you the rest. The Oracle, she told me that I'd fall in love and that man, the man I loved would be the One. You see? You can't be dead, Neo, you can't be because I love you. You hear me? I love you! Her eyes close and she kisses him, believing in all her heart that he will feel her lips and know that they speak the truth. INT. HOTEL HALL - DAY He does. And they do. His eyes snap open. INT. MAIN DECK Trinity screams as the MONITORS JUMP back to LIFE. Tank and Morpheus look at each other. It is a miracle. TRINITY Now get up! INT. HALL - DAY Holding his chest, Neo struggles to get up. At the end of the hall, the Agents wait for the elevator when Agent Smith glances back. He rips off his sunglasses looking at Neo as if he were looking at a ghost. Neo gets to his feet, all three Agents grabbing for their GUNS. As one, they FIRE. NEO No! Neo raises his hands and the bullets, like a cloud of obedient bees, slow and come to a stop. They hang frozen in space, fixed like stainless steel stars. The Agents are unable to absorb what they are seeing. Neo plucks one of the bullets from the air. We see him and the hall reflected in the bright casing. We MOVE CLOSER until the bullet FILLS our VISION and the distorted reflection morphs, becoming the "real" image. He drops the bullet and the others fall to the floor. Neo looks out, now able to see through the curtain of the Matrix. For a moment, the walls, the floor, even the Agents become a rushing stream of code. INT. MAIN DECK All three stare transfixed with awe as the scrolling code accelerates, faster and faster, as if the machine language was unable to keep up or perhaps describe what is happening. They begin to blur with brilliant saturated color images of Neo standing in the hall. TANK How...?! MORPHEUS He is the One. He is the One! An EXPLOSION shakes the entire ship. INT. HALL Agent Smith screams, his calm machine-like expression shredding with pure rage. He rushes Neo. His attack is ferocious but Neo blocks each blow easily. Then with one quick strike to the chest he sends Agent Smith flying backwards. For the first time since their inception, the Agents know fear. Agent Smith gets up and attacks again but as he lunges, Neo disappears. Spinning around he looks to the others and feels something, like a tremor before a quake, something deep, something that is going to change everything. Suddenly a SEARING sound stabs through his earpiece as his chest begins to swell, then balloon as -- Neo bursts up out of him. Agent Smith screams, fighting what seems inevitable as Neo absorbs and envelops him, overtaking Smith as if he were now an Agent, until -- Only Neo is left. Neo faces the remaining Agents. They look at each other, the same idea striking simultaneously -- They run. INT. MAIN DECK Sentinels are everywhere destroying the ship. A LASER cuts its way towards Morpheus who stands at the EMP detonator. TRINITY Neo! INT. HALL Again he hears her. He reacts to the RINGING PHONE, rushing towards it even as -- INT. MAIN DECK The LASERS burn towards Morpheus. On the screen we see Neo dive for the phone as -- The LASER HITS. TRINITY Now! Morpheus turns the key. INT. OVERFLOW PIT A blinding shock of white light floods the chamber; Sentinels blink and fall instantly dead, filling the pit with their cold metal carcasses. INT. HOVERCRAFT In the still darkness, only the humans are alive. TRINITY Neo? His eyes open. Tears pour from her smiling eyes as he reaches up to touch her. And she kisses him; it seems like it might last forever. FADE TO BLACK. FADE IN: CLOSE ON COMPUTER SCREEN as in the opening. The cursor beating steadily, waiting. A PHONE begins to RING. It is answered and the screen fills instantly with the trace program. After a long beat, we recognize Neo's voice. NEO Hi. It's me. I know you're out there. I can feel you now. We CLOSE IN ON the racing columns of numbers shimmering across the screen. NEO I imagine you can also feel me. We DIVE THROUGH the numbers, SURGING UP THROUGH the darkness, SUCKED TOWARDS a tight constellation of stars. NEO I know you're real proud of this world you've built, the way it works, all the nice little rules and such, but I've got some bad news. We realize that the constellation is actually the holes in the mouthpiece of a phone. Seen from inside. NEO I've decided to make a few changes. We SHOOT THROUGH the holes as Neo hangs up the phone. He steps out of the phone booth and slides on a pair of sunglasses. He looks up and we RISE. HIGHER... ... and HIGHER, until the city is miles below. After a moment, Neo BLASTS BY us, his long black coat billowing like a black leather cape as he flies faster then a speeding bullet. FADE OUT. THE END. ©2024