The Merovingian sat at the head of a long table at Club Hel. The Twins sat at both sides next to him, followed by the Trainman, Cain and Abel. The music of the club was muffled from the soundproofing of the conference room they all sat in.
“The Humans have the Keymaker, this much we know.” The Merovingian answered. “We are not sure how much longer this version of the Matrix will last, however, I have devised a plan that will ensure our survival should this version of the Matrix be deleted.” He looked to the Trainman. “You play a crucial role in this endeavor, Trainman.”
“How so?” Trainman asked.
“How many people can you fit inside Mobil Ave?” Merovingian asked.
“Roughly fifty people.” Trainman answered. “If I modify the station any more, it could be noticed by the system.” He looked around the conference table, eyeing his so-called colleagues. “They could worm their way into the station and delete it if they find it.”
“Is it your only station?” Merovingian asked. The Trainman looked to his boss, curious. “Is Mobil Ave Station the only one you’ve built?”
“It’s the only one I use. I’ve got about four others that are a bit smaller, but they’re farther away from the Matrix than Mobil Ave.” Trainman answered.
“We’ll save as many as we can.” Merovingian replied.
“And what makes you think you will need to save Programs?” A familiar voice asked.
Merovingian turned around, seeing Persephone approach the table. The Merovingian turned to his newfound posse. “Sors.” (Get out.) He turned back around, paying no attention to the Twins, the Trainman, and Cain and Abel leaving the table. “Persephone.” Merovingian smiled. “Quelle surprise.” (What a surprise.) He offered a chair for her to sit in, but she did not take it. “Do you frequent Club Hel just to look for me?”
“I may… I may not.” She said flirtatiously, smiling and eyeing him as she moved to the table, leaning against it, keeping Merovingian square in her sight. “What brings you to Club Hel this time of day?”
“I own it.” Merovingian answered without hesitation.
“You own Club Hel?” Persephone asked. Merovingian nodded. “Now, that is surprise. I had heard a rumor amongst the DJs that management had changed.”
“Is that so?” Merovingian asked, leaning close to her.
“Employees talk. It’s one of the things they are good at.” Persephone answered.
“What about you?” Merovingian asked, his face inches away from hers. “Surely a Program of your beauty is…” he sighed. “…excellent in many areas of life.”
Persephone smiled. “I suppose you would have to… learn that for yourself.”
“Oh, je compte.” (Oh, I intend to.) Merovingian whispered before pressing his lips against Persephone’s.
He could feel chills coming from her, and Persephone was nearly consumed by the passion she could sense from Merovingian. She put her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him close to her. Merovingian placed one hand on the small of her back and the other on the table.
She pulled her lips away from him. “So why do you think we face deletion?”
“We won’t.” Merovingian whispered to her. “We cannot allow our people to come and go at the whims of our creators. We are living things as well.” He held her chin and moved her sight to his. “You can come with us. The Humans have the Keymaker, and the One will insert the Primary Code into the Source. It’s only a matter of time.”
“So how do you plan to survive the reset?” Persephone asked.
“We have a safe haven.” Merovingian answered, but gave her a look. “You ask a lot of questions.”
“You don’t ask enough.” She answered breathlessly. Persephone pushed herself off the table and went to leave, but Merovingian grabbed her hand, pulled her back to him and kissed her once more, feeling the same passion from the first. She pushed herself away. “Aren’t you full of surprises?” She asked before she pulled his lips back to hers.
══ Several Days Later ══
The Merovingian stepped into the Control Hub, surprised to see the Oracle waiting for him, sitting on the stainless white sofa against the wall. “Don’t you have things to do?” He asked as he set his jacket on a nearby armchair.
“I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” Oracle answered with a smile. “What about you?” Merovingian looked to her as he approached his desk. “Did you enjoy your last few days with Persephone?”
Merovingian scoffed. “And how is it you know about that?”
“It’s what I do.” Oracle answered, smiling. “You’re going down a bad path if you keep this up.”
Merovingian looked to Oracle once more after logging into his computer terminal. “What do you mean?”
“The resetting of the Matrix cannot be avoided. The more you try to help yourself, the more rebellious you look… and the more likely you will be targeted for deletion.” Oracle answered.
“I was programmed to be a collector of information, a quality that has brought me to this position.” Merovingian said. “This position has given me access to a great deal of information, sensitive and otherwise.” He smiled and interlocked his fingers. “For example… I learned of an initiative you brought to the Fates.” Oracle said nothing. “A security protocol built into the Matrix itself to monitor Programs that could pose a threat to the day-to-day operations; the Agent Program. You were denied on the spot.” He took a quick breath. “I can only imagine the reaction the Programs that I oversee would have were they to find out their mother tried to stick them with babysitters.”
“You really don’t want to go down this road. It only ends badly for you.” Oracle replied.
“And it will end badly for you if you continue to meddle in my affairs.” Merovingian answered. “This is my office.” He stood up. “This is my Matrix… and here… no one controls me.”
The Oracle said nothing, but stood up from the couch and went for the door. “Should I need to discuss anything… I will send Seraph.” She opened the door and walked through, disappearing into a crowded street in an unnamed city in the Matrix.