Merovingian sat at his table at Le Vrai, enjoying a salad dish with a half cut-and-eaten steak next to it. The Twins walked passed the servers and stood by the table. He offered them a seat, but they did not take it.
“I suppose you’re only here to do what I need you to, hmm?” Merovingian asked.
“What is it you need of us?” asked one of the Twins.
“Has the One of this version of the Matrix been revealed yet?” The Merovingian asked after wiping his mouth, setting down his salad fork.
The Twins looked to each other, then back to the Merovingian. “Why does that concern you?”
“Because…” he took a sip of his red wine. “…I am in control of this entire reality. The One is a threat to all I oversee. The more information I have, the better I can equip myself to protect my domain.” He took something from his jacket pocket and placed a USB flash drive on the table. “On this drive are the whereabouts of two enforcement Programs currently in the Matrix, designed for the same purposes as you two, only they are more…” he waved his fork as he thought. “…le mains sur.” (hands on.) He chuckled. “If you can find them, subdue them and bring them here.”
“Why here?” asked the second Twin.
The Merovingian chuckled, looking around. “I am quite fond of this place.” His smile vanished quickly. “Their names are Cain and Abel. They shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
“What do you need them for?” asked the first Twin.
The Merovingian sighed, giving them both a very serious stare with piercing eyes. “Guerre, messieurs. Guerre.” (War, gentlemen. War.) The Twins nodded and walked away from Merovingian’s table so he could continue to eat. He sipped his red wine once more, feeling somewhat… incomplete. He felt something was missing from an otherwise perfect lunch outing. He wiped his mouth with the napkin for his lap, placed it on the table and walked out of the restaurant. To his surprise, the Twins were right there waiting for him.
“We found them.” The Twins said together.
“C’était rapide.” (That was quick.) The Merovingian answered. “Where are they?”
“Club Hel.” The second Twin answered alone.
“Club Hel? Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (What is that?) he asked them.
“It’s an underground club for Programs like us.” The first Twin answered.
“Take me there at once.” The Merovingian demanded.
══ At The Entrance ══
Two men, each a steroid dose away from exploding with muscle stood watch at an elevator door painted crimson red. Their arms were folded across bulging chests, and sunglasses blocked what little light was inside the parking garage they stood in. One man took a step forward, putting his arms to his side as his saw a thin man stepping out of the darkness.
“You’ve got to be joking.” The man said.
“What?” the second man answered. He looked in the same direction in time to see the Twins come into light behind the Merovingian, all three walking a causal pace to the elevator. “Here I thought they were just a myth.” He smirked.
“Messieurs.” The Merovingian said as he stood in front of the bodyguards. “I was wondering if I may go inside for a drink and make some new friends.”
“We let the OS in here, we’ll never hear the end of it.” The first bodyguard answered. “We have standing orders.”
“I’m fairly certain I supersede those orders.” The Merovingian replied. “I’d like to go in… s’il vous plaît.”
“Over my dead body.” The second bodyguard answered.
“As you wish.” The Merovingian answered. He stepped back through the Twins and watched the fight that took place.
The Twins easily phased through both bodyguards every time they threw a punch or kick to them, and able to get in their own attacks while dodging the ones coming for them. In only minutes, the Twins got behind them and put a knife to each of their throats.
The Merovingian smiled. “Ils sont très bons dans ce qu’ils font.” (They are very good at what they do.) He walked to one of the bodyguards, still smiling. “May we go in now?” He asked, the French starting to show in his accent. With no words, the bodyguard nodded his head quickly. “Merci.” He looked to the Twins. “You can let them go.”
The Twins phased and allowed the bodyguards to escape their grasp. They smiled as they watched them squirm with chills like they felt overwhelming fear through every fiber of their beings. Merovingian chuckled as he entered the elevator car and rode down with the Twins behind him.
The elevator dinged and the doors opened to an open room with a while wall of mounted firearms and knives in glass cases. A woman wearing a red leather mini-dress approached them. “May I take any sharp or loaded objects that you have on your person?”
“No, you may not.” The first Twin said, pushing her aside.
Three men grabbed weapons of the racks and loaded them, pointing them at the Merovingian.
“Messieurs…” The Merovingian said, holding up his left hand. “I can see in all of you the Programs that you are. You all, technically, work for me. So, if you would be so kind as to put down the guns so that we may conduct the brief business we have here.” The three men all exchanged looks, internally debating amongst themselves, eventually all deciding to lay down the guns and backed off. The Twins looked to each other and smiled. “Merci, gentlemen.” He looked to the Twins who followed him through the room and into the club.
The whole club was a large basement area with concrete support beams littered throughout the room. Red and green lasers shot through the dusty air above everyone’s heads, and the DJ played ear-piercing techno with deep, vibrating bass through speakers taller than him, with nothing but sound-proof headphone to protect his own hearing. The Merovingian scoffed, seeing that just about everyone dancing in the room was a Program from the Matrix.
He turned to the Twins. “You two look for the ones I want, I will try to find somewhere private to speak with them.” He shouted through the music. In silence, the Twins walked passed Merovingian and waded into the crowd. Merovingian did the same shortly after they left, people watching the Programs dressed in black leather and silver-colored chains. He shook his head, surprised to see his own kind behaving the way they did, until one woman caught his eye. Her torso was tightly wrapped in a white leather corset; long black hair tied high into a ponytail that flowed down her back. Knee high stiletto boots laced up her legs and luscious lips were painted bright red from her choice of lipstick.
Merovingian was awestruck. She was definitely a Program, but the likes of which he had never saw before. He waded through the crowd and approached her from behind, ready to whisper in her ear. “Boone soirée mon cher.” (Good evening, my dear.) She turned around and pursed her lips, equally taken in by the Merovingian. “Une telle beauté ne peut pas être programmé.” (Such beauty can’t be programmed.)
“I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t speak…”
“French, my apologies.” The Merovingian smiled. “I am Merovingian.”
She shifted her body, almost to the rhythm of the music, looking deep into his eyes. “Persephone.”
“Un beau nom pour une belle femme.” (A beautiful name for a beautiful woman.) Merovingian answered as he kissed her hand. “Forgive my ignorance, but this is my first time visiting this club.” He smiled.
“I suppose being the Operating System takes its toll on your… social life.” Persephone answered. Merovingian’s smile became a bit more slime.
“Terriblement donc.” (Dreadfully so.) Merovingian answered. “It greatly interferes with any possibility, but I try to make the time.” He smiled. “Perhaps I could spend some of it with you.”
“You’ll have to earn that time.” Persephone flirted. She looked over Merovingian’s shoulder. “Although, it looks like that time is currently being used.”
Merovingian turned around to see two men standing in between the Twins. He turned back to Persephone and smiled. “I’m afraid business calls.”
She straightened the tie he wore, not taking her eyes off his. “I’m not going anywhere.” She pulled the tie out from his jacket as she walked away, disappearing into the crowd.
“Si magnifique!” (So magnificent.) Merovingian whispered to himself before turning around and motioned for the Twins to bring Cain and Abel along with them.
══ Just Outside the Club ══
Merovingian stood over the Programs Cain and Abel, who looked up at him after the Twins forced them on their knees. “Gentlemen, let’s not waste time with introductions. You already know who I am, and what I can do. What you don’t know is what I can do for you.” Cain and Abel exchanged looks. “The One has yet to be revealed, but when he is… it could mean the deletion of everything we hold dear to us.” He smiled. “Work with me and my associates, and I can assure your protection should anything befall the Matrix.”
“Like what?” Cain asked.
“Should the One rise, deletion is all but a certainty. I intend to survive… and thrive.” He held out his hands. “I would like you with me should the worst happen.”
They exchanged looks once more before Abel went to the Merovingian. “Why us?”
“Because by Human standards, you are notoriously difficult to delete. Even other Enforcer Programs have had problems with you.” Merovingian looked to the Twins, who both smirked. “I pulled your data files from the Mainframe. You both are targeted for deletion already.” Cain and Abel went silent. “Work with me… deletion will never be a worry.” He held out both hands. “Avons-nous un accord, messieurs?” (Do we have a deal, gentlemen?) Cain and Abel said nothing, only took his hands. Merovingian’s eyes glowed green and ones and zeroes travelled from him to Cain and Abel. Merovingian smiled and helped them up. “For now, wait for my orders. Enjoy your time here in…”
“Club Hel.” Cain answered.
Merovingian smiled. “Do you know the owner of this establishment?” They nodded. “Dispose of him, and then inform the staff they all work for me now. They agree, I promise them the same I promised you. They refuse… delete them.”
Cain and Abel nodded in silence and went back into Club Hel. The Twins walked over to the Merovingian.
“Why take the Club?” the first Twin asked.
“Because we will require a place to bring in income.” Merovingian answered. “A haven for us to operate.” He reached into the inner pocket of his jacket, handing one of the Twins another flash drive. “Inside is all the information I could find in the Mainframe about a Program called the Keymaker. The One needs him in order to fulfill his own purpose. We need him in our custody in order to prevent this.” The Twins nodded. “Go. Find him.”