The Matrix




NC-17ish. Rish.

「17歳以下は禁止(No One 17 And Under Admittedの略。かつての「X指定」と同等。)」っぽくもあり、「制限あり(Ristrictedの略。17歳以下は、親か成人の保護者の同伴が必要。)」っぽくもあります。

would be ever so lovely. The address this was sent from is -not- my usual address, but one I use only for posting, so any comments should be directed to


They're not mine. They're not even real, and I am. Unless it's the other way around, I always forget. If you don't want the movie spoiled you probably shouldn't read this. This one is, with thanks for the patience and help, for Squid. And thanks times forever to Jake.

スミスやネオは私の創作物ではありません。彼らは実在の人物ではありませんが、私は実在の人物です。逆のケースでない限り、私は一生気が付かないでしょう(注:原作のように現実はひょっとして逆かもしれないというジョーク)。もし映画のネタばれをお望みでない場合は、多分この作品をお読みにならないほうが、よろしいでしょう。根気強くサポートし続けてくれたことへの感謝をこめて、この作品をスクゥイッド(知人のあだ名。意味は「イカ」)に捧げます。そして言い尽くせないほどの(timesもforeverもmany timesを意味する)感謝をジェイクに捧げます。

この作品はRareSlash MLに投稿された直後、作者に翻訳許可を取ったものです。そのため、作者および他のSlash系アーカイブサイトには収録されていない可能性があります。ご了承ください。

Down To This

(このタイトルは後述するソウル・コフィングの歌の一節、"You've come down to this"から来ている。"come down"は「貧する、要約する、下に降りる」などの意味があるが、歌詞は「高いところから墜落する」イメージを歌っている(本人達のインタビューより)ので、「奈落に墜ちて(こんな目に遭って)」くらいが適当かと思われるが、作中では「(堕天使のごとく)人間に貶められて・下賎に堕ちて」といったニュアンスで使われている)

-part 1 of 2-

by MTC (

I have legalized robbery
and called it belief
I have run with the money
I have hid like a thief
Re-written history with my armies and my crooks
Invented memories
I did burn all the books
But I can still hear his laughter, I can still hear his song
The man's too big
The man's too strong.
- Dire Straits, ‘The Man's Too Strong’

You get the ankles and I'll get the wrists
You've come down to this.
- Soul Couging, ‘Down To This’
−ソウル・コフィング『Down To This』(注:"Soul Coughing"のミススペル。現在は既に解散してしまったニューヨーク出身の4人組ロック・バンド。作品タイトルの『Down To This』は、売れっ子プロデューサのチャド・ブレイクが94年に制作した、彼らのデビュー・アルバム『RUBY VROOM』の中の12曲目の同名タイトルに由来する。ファンク、ヒップホップ、ジャズなどが融合したような非常にエキセントリックなサウンドは映画『マトリックス』に結構合うかも)。

Neo had one shoe off when the knock came.

He was spending most of his time in the Matrix these days. There was a lot of work to be done, and until the time came for him to begin teaching others how to see as he saw, he was the only one who could do it. The War was far from over.

He knew that some of the others who were able to experience reality - those who had taken the challenge and been freed from their pod-prisons - often missed the comforts of the Matrix. Life on the inside of reality was rough. But Neo only ever longed to be unjacked and back in a solid place.

The universe is mostly made of nothing, of the spaces between, and this false universe especially was really just a howling void. Back on the ship he had come to think of as home, he didn't have to be aware of the gaping nothingness. But here, his perception had evolved so much that he had to make an effort to see past the code into what it described. Only other human beings consistently seemed solid to him - perhaps because the projected image of the self was connected to reality - which meant that there must be some independant existance of the self, something like a soul - but such thoughts only bogged down his mind, which he needed to keep clear and serene.
ほとんど宇宙は虚無から成り、単に物体の間に存在する空間にすぎない。ましてやこの偽りの世界は、実は途方もない(howling=とんでもない)虚無でしかなかったのだ。宇宙船に戻るとネオは、家にいる時のように、物思いに耽り始めた。パックリと口を開けた虚無についてネオの意識が煩わされることはなかった。だがここではネオの知覚は過度の進化を遂げていたので、ネオは単なるプログラムコードから、なんとかA.I.が意図した像が見えるよう(past=beyond)、自分を偽らなければならなかった。他の人間だけが首尾一貫した現実味のある(実質的な)ものとして、ネオには映った……おそらく自我の投影されたイメージが現実に結び付いているためなのだろうが……それは自我の、ある独立した存在が、魂にも似た何かが存在することを意味する……だが、そんな妄想は、常に淀みの無い、平静な状態に保つ必要がある自分の心をますます滅入らせるだけであった(bog down=そればかり考え込む)。

He was about to slip into bed - the lie about a bed, anyway - and was thinking these things over as he took off his shoes. He held one in his hand, the other still laced and on his foot, and thought: there is no shoe. The thought made him smile.

Then the knock came. For a moment Neo - supposed chosen savior of the human race, half-priest and half-warrior of technological spiritualism - was terribly confused, unable to decide between taking the other shoe off or putting the one in his hand back on. Then he shook his head, laughing at himself, shoved the unlaced shoe back on, and opened the door.

Immediately after which he slammed it back shut.

It was a reflex. The thing on the other side could walk through the door as easily as he could, but as the shoe incident proved, he was still human. And the last thing he'd been expecting to have to deal with that night was an Agent.
とっさに出た行動だった。反対側にいたその物体はネオと同じくらい易々とドアを通り抜けられたはずだった。だが、靴の事象が証明しているように、いまだにネオはただの人間だった(注:自分が救世主だと思われていることに対する皮肉)。そして、その晩、ネオが最も遭遇しそうにない(the last person/thing=最も期待しなかった〜)相手と言えば、それはあの「エージェント」だった。

They'd been keeping their distance, these sentient programs, since their masters started to realize he was not going to be easily taken out of the picture. Years of dealing with opponents they could overcome had made the machines a bit soft, he suspected. Now they were regrouping, designing more powerful tools than the Agents. He saw them, every now and then, moving through a crowd or inside a car. Sometimes he'd take them on, at random, keep them from interfering in someone's life. Mostly he let them be. They were just the body. It was the head he and the rest of the resistance had to go after.
連中は一定の距離を、知覚力を有するこのプログラムという形態を保っていた。やつらのマスターが、簡単にはネオを抹殺(take out of the picture=視界から消す)できないことに気づき始めてからは。ネオが思うに、やつらが長い年月、打ち負かそうと敵に挑んできた間に、”機械”はいつしか、多少なりとも柔軟性を獲得したのだろう。今ややつらは再編成され、単なるエージェント以上に強力なツールに再設計されようとしていた。ネオは時折見かけた。連中が人ごみを掻き分けて動き回り、車の内部へと侵入するのを。気まぐれにネオは、やつらとやり合う(take on=議論や喧嘩をする)ことがあった。連中が誰かの暮らしに干渉するのを阻止しようと。が、ネオはほとんどの場合、連中を野放しにした。連中は単なる”肉体の部分”にすぎなかったからだ。ネオと他のレジスタンス仲間が追うべき真の標的は、連中の”頭脳”の部分だったのだ。 

Now, as he leaned against the door, he realized that something had been odd about the Agents he'd seen - or rather, the one he had not seen. Before his change, he'd encountered three or four Agent composites - he had always assumed their different appearances signified slightly different programming, that Agents came in versions.
ドアに身を寄せながらネオはふと気づいた。自分がかつて見掛けたエージェントにしては何か妙な感じがすると……あるいは、むしろ、自分はまだこのエージェントに会ったことが無いのかもしれないと。ネオが変化する前、エージェントには数回遭遇したことがあった……その度にネオは思うようにしていた。エージェントの見かけが違ったとしても、それは単に、エージェントが様々なバージョンを演じる(come in=役割を持つ)よう、微妙に異なるプログラミングをされた結果にすぎないのだと。

But since the change, he had not seen a Smith - Agent Smith whose voice sounded like what a person who had heard about talking but had never really encountered it in process before might attempt, Agent Smith who had interrogated him, never hiding his disgust. The other Agents were determined but impartial, but Smith had seemed...well, driven.

Over the past few months, he had seen no Smiths. He was only realizing it now because one was standing on the other side of the door. As he puzzled this over, the knock - as quiet and polite as the first - came again.
この数ヶ月というもの、ネオはどのスミスとも出くわさなかった。今になってようやくネオはその事実に気づいた。1人のスミスがドアの反対側に立ちはだかったおかげで。この問題でネオが頭を悩ましていると(puzzle over〜=〜で頭をしぼる)、ノックの音が……最初の時と同じくらい静かで丁寧だったが……再び聞こえてきた。

It was this that let Neo allow his curiosity to take over for a moment. If there was trouble, he could handle it - but if Smith was after trouble, why was he /knocking/ when he could just walk right in?

A tiny, vague hope rose up - perhaps they've sent him to talk about a treaty, Neo thought. Stepping back a bit, readying himself, he opened the door.

Something was wrong. Aside from the fact that he was about to invite an Agent in to his apartment, that was. The creature standing in the doorway looked like Smith, but couldn't be him. It took Neo a moment to realize what was different, and when he did, he took an involuntary step backwards.

Agents were as transparent as buildings, to him - all he saw when he looked at them was the green stream of Matrix code. But Smith - or whoever this was - was as solid at first glance as any real human.

For a moment, Neo simply stood there, looking. Smith looked back, expressionless, his eyes hidden behind black sunglasses. Neo saw other differences, now - this man didn't hold himself as the Agent who had chased him once did. There was something missing in the bearing, not to mention the expression. This man's shoulders slumped, and his blank look had none of the same edge of arrogance and certainty.
しばしの間ネオは、呆然と眺めたまま、その場に突っ立っていた。スミスは無表情に見返してきた。黒いサングラスで瞳を隠すようにして。そして、他にも違いがあることに今のネオは気づいていた……かつてこの男が自分を追跡していた時に見せていた気丈さを今は失っていることに。表情はもちろん(not to mention=に加えて)、その挙動には何か欠けているところがあった。目の前の男の肩は落ち込み、その虚ろな表情からは尊大で自信に溢れたかつての面影はすっかり失われていた。

Perhaps we have won, he thought. But couldn't be sure.

Then, in one quiet motion, Smith raised a hand to his own face and slipped off the glasses, as he had done once in an anonymous room deep in the holds of an anonymous hell. Neo stepped forward again, holding a breath in the back of this throat. What he saw overwhelmed him for a moment - its significance was vast and almost sad.
やがてスミスは、しなやかな手つきで、顔からサングラスを外した。かつてスミスがどこか知らない地獄のような場所の奥まったところにある謎めいた部屋の中でそうしたように。固唾を飲むと(this=>hisのミススペル)(hold one's breath=息を止める)ネオは、再度一歩前進した。その瞬間、自分の目に映る光景にネオは気圧された……その威力は途方もなく、むしろ哀れなくらいだった。

The Agent's eyes were full of tears.

It was another moment before he could speak. He still didn't understand exactly what was happening, but he was no longer nervous. It could be a trick of some kind, but he'd found that the machines, while experts at subterfuge, were not adept at manipulating or even understanding human emotion. This seemed at once far too simple and complex to be a ruse of theirs.
途端にネオは言葉を失った。いまだに何が起こったのか正確に把握し切れてはいなかったが、ネオとしては戸惑ってばかりもいられなかった。これは何か罠かもしれないからだ。だが、ネオには分かっていた。この手のマシンが、人をたぶらかすことにかけてはプロであったとしても、人間の感情を操ることはもちろん、理解することすら、あまり得意(be adept at =〜に熟達して)ではないはずだと。彼らの策略にしては、これはあまりに単純過ぎると同時にあまりに複雑過ぎた。

Finally, he said, "Smith."

The Agent slipped his glasses back on, and his strange voice came out with a raw edge in it Neo had not heard before. "I was," he said, simply.
エージェントは再びサングラスを掛け直した。そして、いまだかつてネオが聞いたこともないような、震えるように(raw edge=感極まって)、奇妙な声を漏らした。

Neo let the door swing open all the way. "Maybe," he said, "you'd better come in and explain."

The Agent nodded once, and stepped through the doorway. Neo found himself remembering an old myth about vampires - don't invite them in, it said.

They can't come in unless you let them. But watching Smith as he walked, he was sure it was all right, somehow. The man moved as though unfamiliar with such things as legs and arms, like a colt on its first standing.

"May I...sit?" Smith asked.

Neo nodded, himself perching again on the edge of the bed. Smith took the chair, folding his hands neatly in his lap. "Mr. Anderson -" he began, then stopped. "But that is not - that is not your name, is it."

"No," Neo said. "It isn't."

"Names," the Agent said, "are important. I did not understand that before. I thought the connection between name and identity was a foolish human fancy - that identity itself was." He paused again, and leaned forward very slightly. "I was wrong."

"What have they done to you?" Neo asked, and realized he was almost whispering.

-part 2 of 2-

Smith was silent. Because his expression didn't change, it took Neo a moment to see that he was crying - his shoulders shook and tears rolled down his face, from behind his sunglasses. "I - apologize," he said finally. "I am not yet used to -" Again he stopped.
「私はまだ…… こういうことに慣れてないんだ……」

Neo waited. He was sitting cross-legged on the mattress, hands resting on his knees. The man in the chair was, or had been, his nemesis, he supposed.

He was surprised to find that his emotions were complicated about Smith. He was curious, and felt a vague, undefined pity - there was anger somewhere, but he couldn't find it. Certainly there wasn't anything to fear from the Agent anymore, but he felt the spidery, glassy touch of fear creeping over his skin regardless. Neo was aware that the Agent was a killer, and one whom had seemed to take far too much pleasure in his work. Yet here he was, not doing anything that resembled killing at the moment, or taking pleasure for that matter. He seemed twisted up, confused, caught between conflicting impulses. He seemed -

"They made you human," Neo said. It was just a guess - he had no idea if such a thing could even be done - but he knew as he said it that it was true. Terrible for Smith, but just, poetically so. After everything, how could he turn to me now, he thought. Then: who else does he have to turn to?
ネオは単に当て推量でそう言ったのだが……というのもネオはそんなことが本当に可能なのかどうか見当もつかなかったからだ……が、そう言いながらもネオには分かっていた。自分が言ったことは真実なのだと。スミスにとってはおぞましいことであろうと、要するに厭味なくらい相応しい報い(注:poetically=poetic justice=詩的正義:勧善懲悪・因果応報の思想)にすぎないのだ。自分たちの間にあれだけいろいろあった挙句、この男は今さらどの面下げて自分に泣きついてこれる(turn to=…に助力などを頼っていく)というのだろうか。そうネオは思った。もっとも:他に頼れるやつもいないのだろうが。

"They isolated my code," Smith said, "cut it off from the collective mind, and enhanced it with certain sensory and judgment capabilities - or incapabilities, as the case may be when one is attempting to emulate human thoughts and emotions." His voice was flat, though in a more hollow way than it had once been. "It is a punishment. You destroyed part of me, but they wished that I should suffer more and simply used a previously saved copy of my conciousness matrix."
「集合体意識から切り離し、ある種の感覚や判断に関する能力を強化したのだ……あるいは能力を低下させたというほうが正しいかな。人間の思考や感情をエミュレートするのが目的の場合は(as the case may be=事情次第で)……」
スミスの声には抑揚が無かった。以前に増して虚ろな(hollow voice=弱弱しく感情の乏しい声)調子だったとはいえ。

"So now you know how it feels," Neo said. He was aware that it was a somewhat petty thing to say, but the anger was becoming clearer now and he said it anyway. "To be helpless."

"Yes," Smith said, and nothing else for a moment. Neo stood and paced a line along the wall, waiting. Finally Smith went on, after seeming to struggle to find words. "I wish to say I am sorry."

"/What/?" Neo stopped, staring at the dark glasses that hid Smith's eyes.
何だと ?」

"Do not mistake me," Smith said. "I am not a - not a /good/ man. I believe in order over chaos, and I believe that human beings are weak. What I am sorry for is that we allowed you to happen. You are out of your place now, doing things no human should ever have to do. We are not just captors, Neo, but also protectors. We could find other sources of energy, and annihilate you all, like the virus you are. Instead we let you live in a happy dream and protect you from yourselves."
「私は − いわゆる善人という輩ではない。混乱よりは秩序を信じ、人間というものが儚い生き物だと信じている。私が残念に思っている(注:このsorryは前にスミスが言ったsorryの2番目のニュアンス)のは、我々がお前の勝手(=生還し、ルールを逸脱したこと)を許したという意味だ。お前は今、本来いるべき場所から逸脱してしまったのだ。そんなことをする人間が存在するなど、今まで誰一人として予想していなかった行為を犯して……。ただ捕まえるのが我々の目的ではないのだ、ネオ。我々は保護者でもあるのだよ。我々は別のエネルギー源を探すこともできたし、お前たちを全滅させることだってできたのだ。お前たち病原菌のように。そうする代わりに、我々はわざわざ幸福な夢の中でお前たちを生かし、お前たち自身からお前たちを守ってきたのだ」

Neo could only stare at him. A small part of him was amused to find that after everything, a confusing sense of unreality was still possible to feel.

"I know you very well, you know," Smth went on, seeming to watch him carefully. "In a way, you were the reason for my existance. All my efforts were centered on finding and destroying you, even before I knew who you were. We - I - knew you would be powerful. I don't think any of us understood /how/ powerful. It was assumed that you could be bested. And you could have been, by the rules as we knew them. But you broke the rules, and in doing so -" He carefully removed the glasses again, folding them and tucking them into the breast pocket of his black suit. "In doing so, you made the rules obsolete. For my - makers - that can be dealt with. For me -" He looked up at Neo, letting their eyes meet. "I am a creature of the rules, Neo. When they cease to matter -"
「ある意味(in a way=ある点では)、お前は私の存在理由だった。お前を探し出し、息の根を止めることに、私はひたすら努めてきた。お前という人物を知りもしないうちから。我々には……いや、私には分かっていた……お前は手強いだろうと。他の連中は、お前がどんなに手強いかをちゃんと理解していなかったのだろう。お前には当然勝てる(best=口語:負かす)ものだと思っていた。そしてお前は負けたのだ。あくまで我々のルールの中ではな。だが、お前はそのルール自体を破った。そうやって……」
「私はルールあっての生き物なのだ、ネオ。ルールそのものが無意味ということになれば(cease to=次第に〜しなくなる)(matter=重要である)……」 

"No," Neo said, suddenly, and the force in his own voice surprised him. "It's amazing how much I don't even want to hear it, Smith."

The Agent blinked, for the first time since Neo had encountered him, but Neo went on, feeling a little dizzy. "I've turned my whole life into nothing, given up everything for this war. I've become a soldier - I've trained and fought and /died/. I've had the whole world pulled out from under me, and watched my friends die, and - well, just don't. Don't tell me what big fucking heros you all are for stealing our free will, that you're sorry I have to break myself to get it back. Don't give me a song and dance about how it's so not fair that we're winning, that your slaves are finally taking their freedom for themselves. Because it's bullshit. You didn't strap me down and pull that nightmare bug out on me because you're a creature of the rules. You didn't attack and threaten and torture me because your cause was noble. You did it because you /liked/ doing it, you son of a bitch, so don't give me that poor me bullshit now."
「俺は自分の人生を捨てたんだ、この戦争のためにすべてを諦めて。俺は兵士になったのさ……訓練を受け、戦い、そして一度は死んだんだ。突然俺は孤立無援にされ(pull out from under=pull the carpet/rug (out) from under a person=人の頼みとしているものを急に取り去る)、仲間たちが死んでいくのを目の当たりにした……それだけでもう十分だろッ。俺たちから自由な意思を奪ったお前がいかに偉大な英雄なのかなんて、今さら説教されたくないぜ。自由を取り戻すために俺が命懸けで戦わなければなかったことを気の毒だった(注:このsorryはネオが自嘲気味に使っているにせよ、スミスがネオに同情している意味合いで使われている)なんて言うなッ。俺たちが勝利し、あんたらの奴隷がついに己の手で己の自由を取り戻したこと自体が大間違いだなんて、大げさに演じて見せるような真似はやめろッ。笑止千万だぜ。あんたがルールあっての生き物だからといって、俺を縛り上げたり、俺に悪夢のような虫を植え込んだりしたわけじゃあるまい。ご立派な大義のために、俺を攻撃したり、脅かしたり、拷問したりしたわけでもない。あんたがああしたのは、あんた自身がただ単にそうしかたかったからだろッ。悪党め。なら、これ以上惨めな俺をからかうのはやめにしたらどうだ」

Neo stopped, dizzy. Until he'd spoken, he hadn't really known that he thought these things. One breath at a time, he told himself. Just keep breathing. He didn't look at Smith again until a sudden noise startled him - a harsh, almost barking sound it took him a moment to realize was a laugh.

"Oh, you're right," Smith said. Neo turned to face him, keeping his hands still at his sides though they wanted to curl into fists. "You're absolutely right. I loved it, in fact. I loved watching you squirm and scream. I loved your anger, your helplessness. I wanted to go on hurting you and frightening you until you begged for mercy. All of that is very true." At once he was on his feet, moving with more grace now, until he stood very close to Neo, a breath away. Neo could only stand there, now beginning to understand the fear he still felt of Smith a little bit - it had nothing to do with any physical harm the Agent might do him, because that was barely possible. This fear was deeper, stranger, and he didn't understand it at all.
「全くお前の言う通りだ。実際、俺はえらく気に入ったよ。もだえ、泣き叫ぶお前の姿を見るのがたまらなく好きだった。怒りを感じてもどうすることもできない無力なお前を愛していたのさ。いつまでもお前を苛み、お前を脅かしていたかった。お前が慈悲を請う(beg for mercy=命乞いをする)まで。すべてお前の言う通りさ」
すっくと立ち上がるとスミスは、前にも増してしなやかに移動し、ネオの直ぐ側へ、あと一息(a breath=ほんの少し)のところにまで迫った。立ち尽くすことしかできないネオは、僅かとはいえ、いまだにスミスに対して感じていた恐怖の正体が何なのか、今になってようやく分かりかけてきた……それはエージェントがもたらす肉体的な苦痛などではない(have nothing to do with=〜と全然関係がない)。そんなことほとんど不可能だからだ。この恐怖はもっと深刻で、得体のしれない、ネオが全く理解できないような類のものだった。

Then Smith leaned even closer, bending his mouth to Neo's ear. Warm breath tickled over his skin, and he had a moment to be startled - and then Smith whispered.

"I know what you dreamed about me, Neo."

The anger returned, huge, a rage. Neo heard himself crying out with it, and shoved at Smith, confused with emotion and not using his real strength.

Like lightning Smith grabbed his wrists and slammed his body against the wall. Neo felt the Agent's body pressed against his, wrists pinned above his head to the wall, and in his mind's eye saw a series of images: the dream, the one he'd woken up from in sheets soaked with sweat and...other things, the one that had made him have to stand under a freezing cold shower with his clothes still on, eyes closed, until the shaking stopped.

The bitter disgust, shame, and aching filled him again, and he couldn't think - all he knew was Smith's breath on his neck, Smith's chest and hips and legs against his own - Smith, whose passion for whatever he sought was so cold it burned, in general, now seeming to seek Neo's body with his own.

"Get back," Neo hissed, weakly, as his head tilted back against the wall, cheek sliding against Smith's, lips parted as he tried, unnecessarily, to breathe.

"I know you very well," Smith repeated, a low rumble in his ear that made Neo shiver in deep, hollow, secret places. "Does anyone else? Even /her/?"
「そんなこと、他の誰にできるというんだ? あのにだってできはしまい?」

Then he released Neo, stepping back and sitting in the chair again as if nothing had happened, smoothing his jacket slightly.

And for that, Neo had no answer. He fought with himself to dismiss it, knowing it didn't /deserve/ an answer. But it was there, the question had been asked, and he sank slowly down against the wall until he sat on the floor, staring at his own hands.

"Perhaps," Smith said, after a long moment, "it is time we both carefully reevaluate our situations."

"Perhaps you should go fuck yourself," Neo said. It was listless, though, without his previous rage. Smith's words had knocked that away. Now he felt only a rising panic, and the odd edge of humor that colored his thoughts whenever he found himself particularly aroused.
「俺が思うに、サッサと退散したほうが身のためだぜ(Go fuck yourself!=Go to hell!, Get out of here!)……」
とネオは答えた。さも興味なさげに。とはいえ、さっきまで感じていたような憤りはもう失せていた。スミスの台詞に呆気に取られてしまったようだ。もはやネオは募る一方のパニックに翻弄され、特に性的な興奮を感じる時にはいつもそうなのだが、何でもないことが可笑しく感じるような(colored his thoughts=普段何でもないことが可笑しく感じる)奇妙な興奮に捉われた。

Smith stood again, unfolding from the chair, and walked to stand just in front of Neo, looking down at him. Neo's eyes were now on level with the waist of Smith's trousers. They were on level with that because if he had lowered them just slightly they would have been on level with a whole new set of complications. These were complications he now felt himself sliding further and further into, but he saw no reason to seal his doom by admitting they existed.
再びスミスは椅子から身を起こすように立ち上がると、ネオへと近づいた。そして、ちょうどネオの真正面辺りに来ると立ち止まり、ネオを見下ろした。ネオの瞳は今、スミスのズボンの腰と同じ高さにあった。ネオの瞳がその高さにいたのは、もしネオが目線をほんの僅か下げたなら、二人はまさに一連の厄介事に直面してしまう(=要するにスミスの股間の膨らみに吸い寄せられてしまうこと)からだった。それは実に厄介な問題であり、ネオは自分がどんどん深みにはまっていく(slide into=罪・悪癖などに陥る)のに気づいてはいたが、その問題が存在することを認め、みすみす災厄に巻き込まれる(seal fate/doom=運命を定める)のを見過ごすわけにはいかなかった。

Smith had other ideas. He stepped forward even further, until Neo was a breath away from a very complicated evening. Smith's hand moved down, into Neo's hair, stroking it in a slow, deliberate manner that was more sinister than affectionate.

"You didn't actually come here to say you were sorry, did you," was all Neo could say, and he had to say something, had to hold off this slide into the absolute center of fear and wanting. "You came here for - you want -"
そう答えるのがやっとだったが、ネオは何か言い返さなければならなかった。この恐れと欲望の渦中に引き込まれるのを、何としてでも阻まなければならなかった(hold off=阻止する)。

"I want what you want," Smith breathed, drawing Neo's head closer to his clothed groin. "I could not, before. Not really. But now - well. Living like a human is hellish, Neo, but it has its interesting points."

"You're not human," Neo gasped, trying to turn his face away from the hard, enticing evidence to the contrary before him. "You'll never be human."

"Thank you," Smith said, pressing harder against Neo's face, pressing his head to the wall. "But I fear you may be wrong. Just because I am bad, Neo, does not mean I am not human. The difference now is that I am aware of it. I like it. Only a human could like or dislike their own nature."

"I hate you," Neo whispered, even as he couldn't keep himself from running his mouth over the zipper of Smith's trousers. "I don't want this. I don't want to want this."
そう囁いたネオは一方で(even as=文語:ちょうど…の時に)自分からスミスのズボンのファスナーに唇を寄せていた。

Smith's hand tightened in his hair, pulling in a way that shouldn't have excited Neo but did. "You have wanted this," he said, "from the beginning. You're right, I did not come here to apologize. I came to finish what we started, and to begin what we both long for."

"This?" Neo gasped, harshly, pushing back at Smith now, rubbing his face against the former Agent's stiff cock through the fabric. He was crying, he was shaking. He hated this. He needed it. "Is this what you want?" He reached up, tearing at the cloth, ripping open buttons and zippers and reaching in, seeking with his lips and tongue. "Is this what you've come to, Agent Smith? Just a little messy fumbling and - "
「お前が望んだのはこんなこと(注:無敵のエージェントから単に欲望を満足させようとする浅ましい人間に身を堕としめること。表題の『Down to This』に引っ掛けていると思われる)なのか?」
「エージェント・スミス、これがお前が来た目的なのか? こんな、くっだらねえ、小汚ねえ、下手くそな手で弄くられることが……」 

Smith gave a raspy groan, thrusting forward, hands curling in Neo's hair.

"No, little human," he growled. "What I want is the reckoning. This is only a necessary step within it."

Much later - after Smith had gone, though not, Neo knew, for good - after the sheer thrill of finally giving in to what did, after all, feel so inevitably right, had faded into shame that burned Neo's body as he lay on the lie about a floor in a lie about a world with the taste of his enemy in his mouth and throat - after it was done, and he knew they'd seen everything, back on the ship, knew nothing would be the same now - Neo thought he understood what Smith had meant by that.
スミスが去ってしまって……かなり経ってから、もっともネオにはスミスがこれきり2度と現れない(for good=永久に)わけではないのだと分かってはいたが……あのような行い(性的な魅力を感じて行為に及んでしまうこと)に、結局は、ああするしかなかったのだと感じたのだが、とうとう屈してしまった(give in to=従う)結果、途方も無いスリルを感じた後、見せ掛けの床の上で、虚構の世界の中で、自分の口腔と喉に残る敵の味とともに横たわるうちに、やがてそれは身を焦がすかのような羞恥へと色褪せた……あの事があってから、ネオは悟った。二人はすべてを見たのだと。船に戻っても、今や以前と同じようには決していくまいと(注:自分とスミスの関係を知ったことなどで同僚との距離が変わるなどの理由から)悟ったのだ……自分は理解したのだとネオは思った。ああすることでスミスが自分に何を言いたかったのかを。

They had met, somehow, in an improbable world, and looking at it from outside the structure of their acquaintance, there was no sense to it. It was chaos, raw and meaningless. It was exactly what human beings had been fighting from day one. Smith believed they were in truth agents of the chaos they tried so hard to impose their wills upon, and for all Neo knew he was right. But even if so, in any life the only way to gain ground against the distintegration that was chaos was to battle meaninglessness.
どういうわけか二人は出会ってしまった。現実にはあり得ない世界で、そして互いが慣れ親しんだ枠組みから外れて、現実の世界を眺めてみると、そこには無意味しかなかった。それは混沌であり、未開のものであり、無意味であった。それはまさに人間が最初の一日目から挑み続けている相手だった。スミスは信じた。人類というものは実は、自分たちの思い通りにしよう(=混沌に秩序をもたらそうと)と必死に挑み続けているにもかかわらず、新たな混沌を再生産してしまうエージェントなのだと。そして恐らくはスミスが正しいのだろうとネオは思った(for all…know=よくは知らないが、おそらく)。だがそうであったとしても、いかなる人生においても、崩壊(disintegrationのミススペル)すなわち混沌に、逆らって前進する(gain ground=進撃して陣地を得る)ための唯一の方法は、この無意味さと戦うことなのだ。 

There was only one thing he and Smith could mean to each other, and it was cold: destruction, slow and careful. That could only be achieved through a total knowledge of each other, power exchanged back and forth in the old, bad ways that are the best humans know how to accomplish that.
ネオとスミスがお互いに有意義な存在でありうる(could mean to each other=お互いがお互いらしくいられる、本分・存在理由を満たすことができる)唯一の関係があるとしたら、それは冷ややかな関係:すなわち、緩慢で慎重な破壊でしかない。それは、お互いを熟知し、武力を交換し合い、人類がそれを成し遂げる術を最もよく熟知しているような古く、邪悪な方法(=戦争すること)でしか達成されえなかった。 

But it was what they had, and they had to persue it. They were both soldiers, after all. To let anything be just something that happened would be surrender. They were at a stalemate - Smith would return, and use his body again, and he'd fight it again and love it again - but Neo had Smith wrapped up as well. Their mutual need made it so. The game could go on as a tiny, twisted stand against chaos until both humans and machines were vaguely remembered legends and sentient ferns ruled the earth.

This, though, wasn't the whole reason he'd let it happen. Neo, laying on that floor and just beginning to wonder where his other shoe got to, had to admit that. He was starting to consider the benefits of total self-honesty, after all. There was something else, at least for him.

For a moment - as he fell into yet another rabbit hole -
As his enemy fucked his mouth and fucked his mind -
As they reached, together, brave new places of defiance and understanding -
For a moment, the whole false world felt real.
反抗と理解に満ちた素晴らしい新世界(注:brave new world=素晴らしい新世界。Shakespeareの『あらし』より)へと二人は共にたどり着く……


これらの対訳ページを作成するにあたって、快く翻訳の許可を下さった作者様、候補作の中から本作品を選んでいただき、英語表現・背景となった原作を解説してくださったKamen様に深く感謝いたします。そして私物のCDからソウル・コフィングの「ルビー・ヴルーム」(なんとレーベル名が「SLASH RECORDS」だった……)を聴かせてくれた家族にも。