Title: Through the Glass, Darkly
Rating: R for language, violence and adult situations (none yet in this part, but they'll be there later, hence the rating)
Timeline: Directly following Session 26
Spoilers: The entire series (including the movie) and general Matrix info
Summary: Matrix x-over. Spike didn’t die; he was just unplugged. How will everyone’s favorite Bruce Lee-loving Space Cowboy deal when he is thrown into the “real world” without a net?
Disclaimer: There was once a girl who wrote a story about some characters and places that weren't hers. But she added this little disclaimer to make it a tad less illegal. (i.e. Cowboy Bebop isn't mine and never will be. Neither is The Matrix. As if you hadn't already figured that out.)
Feedback: Look! It's secret mail-mail from Mars-Mars! (i.e. I want any and all feedback. Good, bad, indifferent? Doesn't matter. Still want it. *g*)
Author's Note: Ever get one of those *really* bad ideas that worms its way into your brain and just won't leave you alone? Well, this was one of 'em. Heh. I mean, c'mon... a Bebop/Matrix x-over? Just what was I smoking when that thunderbolt struck me? *snickers* Well, regardless, here's hoping you enjoy it and that it doesn't entirely suck.
Everything is clearer now
Life is just a dream, you know
That's never ending
("Blue" -- Cowboy Bebop OST3)
This wasn't what he'd expected heaven to be like.
A rush of dizzying sensations: thick, mucus-like liquid clogging his nostrils, harsh pinpricks of light like needles against his eyelids, something dark and menacing lurking over him, a slurping noise as the ground beneath him vanished and gravity did its work, pulling both he and the liquid surrounding him down and down and down...
Then he was thrown into icy water headfirst, the cold a shock to his senses. He reacted on instinct, trying to swim for the surface, but his arms and legs were strangely lethargic and refused to cooperate. He felt himself sinking like a stone and was unable to do anything about it.
Perhaps this was what hell was like. After all the people he'd hurt and all the deaths he'd caused, could he have in his right mind expected anything better than a one way ticket to damnation?
Something metallic clamped about his body and he felt himself being pulled in a new direction. Soon his head broke clear of the water and he was dragging in shallow, greedy breaths as quickly as humanly possible. The water ran down his skin in rivulets and the cold, night air made him shiver.
He tried to look around him, tried to get a glimpse of where he was, but his eyes felt funny and itchy, so he finally gave up and let them slip closed. It wasn't as if he could see much of anything anyway.
There was a loud clanging sound and he felt the metal encasing his body release him, dropping him unceremoniously on something hard and cold. It felt like some kind of deck plating, which led him to believe he was on a ship of some kind.
There were voices, some louder than others, coming from all around him. He tensed in anticipation of a fight, but belatedly realized the futility of such an action. He couldn't even seem to keep his eyes open. How the hell was he supposed to fight anyone?
The quiet murmur of voices grew louder and after a while he could actually make out words and phrases amidst the noise.
"...what the hell happened..."
"...who is he..."
"...didn't receive any new orders..."
"...looks half dead..."
"...they *always* look half dead, Ginny..."
"...needs medical attention..."
"...god, look at his stomach..."
"...think I'm gonna be sick..."
"...should never have happened..."
"...gonna shit a brick when she finds out..."
He moaned softly, his eyes fluttering open for a second. The light was painfully bright and he closed them again. He coughed and tasted blood on his tongue, its coppery taste feeling more real than anything else going on around him.
All the voices stopped suddenly. A hand touched his shoulder.
"Hey, can you hear me?"
It sounded like the voice was being magnified tenfold. He winced and licked his lips, trying to force words past his sluggish tongue. "Not... so loud..."
There was a sudden commotion from somewhere off to the side and a new voice spoke. This voice was both comforting and commanding at the same time. It seemed to be speaking to the other voices. "I won't ask who is responsible for this right now. But mark my words, it will not be forgotten."
Then a new hand touched his shoulder and that same voice was speaking to him in soft, compassionate tones. "Can you hear me?"
He nodded slowly, every movement a battle with his unresponsive body.
"Good. I know that everything is confusing right now, but it will be all right. I promise you that. Just rest yourself for now. Answers to all your questions will come in time. For now, just rest easy. You're safe."
Hands lifted him up. They felt almost feverishly hot against his freezing skin. He felt himself being moved to something soft and then he was covered with something warm and slightly fuzzy. A blanket, no doubt.
They were moving now, the cacophony of voices rising around him once more.
That compassionate voice from before spoke again, so close that he thought it was right next to his ear. "Just one question before you get some much needed rest." A pause while he waited expectantly. "What is your name?"
A throat that felt extremely raw pushed forth the words, even though it felt like swallowing shards of broken glass.
He could almost hear the smile in the compassionate voice.
"Well, welcome to the real world, Spike Spiegel."
Coming Soon: Chapter 1. Where is Spike and with whom? And why was he brought here? All of his questions, and yours, will be answered in the next installment. (Yes, you already know some of the answers to those questions just by reading the summary, but trust me, you don't know it ALL yet! *evil laughter* There are plots... within plots... within plots...)