According to the Wachowski's, the Red Pill allowed the Nebuchanezzer to find Neo's body in the real world:

"[The Red Pill] is like a computer virus that’s meant to disrupt Neo’s life signal so that they can pinpoint where Neo’s body is in the power plant..." (Source)

In "Kid's Story", the titular character escapes the Matrix by sheer belief that he won't die, but how did the crew in the real world manage to find his body?

  • 2
    Ship operators can see agents activity on their monitors (I think I remember Link seeing something strange and later concluding that it resembled agents presence). There may be a way to find the physical location of someone being chased by these agents.
    – Khaloymes
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 7:51
  • @Khaloymes except your theory, there's absolutely no other way. When they freed Neo, they were looking for him already. In the kid's case, they had no way of knowing that somebody was going to self-substantiate.
    – Stark07
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 10:02
  • @ash_k29 - Precisely this. I've added a bounty because I don't think the existing answer really focuses on this. "It's a coincidence" doesn't cut it for me.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 16:28
  • @ash_k29 - Trenin's answer is worthy of the bounty. They were looking for him. Neo calls him and tells him that he needs to bug out asap. They obviously had him pinpointed already and were going to red-pill him.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 15:24
  • @Django-Reinhardt - In light of Trenin's excellent answer, you might want to consider pressing the "accepted" button.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


They were watching the kid in much the same way that Morpheus and company watched Neo in the first movie. In the Kid's story, Neo calls him, and in an scene reminiscent to the movie, tells him to get out of the classroom now. The kid is chased by agents to the roof, and eventually jumps off.

The kid presumably "wakes up" from the matrix and is disposed of the same way Neo was.

Recall that in the first movie, the red pill tracer program was taken by Neo and then he is woken up less than 5 minutes later. So the ship had to have been close enough to Neo's location in the physical world to get to him relatively quickly. Perhaps the same was true for the kid. They knew something was going to go down (Neo called the kid to warn him) and when they saw him "self substantiate" (the first ever to do so) they reacted quickly and made it to the pools in time to recover him.

Maybe the kid even helped his own cause by treading water (difficult with unused muscles) or making it to the edge where he could hold on. Also, we don't know if all disposal pools are the same, so perhaps the one where the kid was dumped wasn't as deep and he didn't need to actively do anything to prevent drowning, giving the ship more time to find him.

Lastly, recall that now Morpheus and team have Neo on their side - someone who is able to intuitively interact with the machine world. Perhaps he was able to provide some insight as to where the kid was in time to rescue him.

  • This makes pretty good sense.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 19:08
  • @Richard - a re-watching reminded me that Neo indeed was in touch with the kid. That way the crew could easily have tracked him down. However exactly how they were able to zero in on the kid's real body still remains a bit unclear to me.
    – Stark07
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 5:37
  • 1
    I like this answer a lot. They were already in the vicinity of Neo and the pill helped them locate him. If the Kid was his own red pill, then that would explain totally how they got to him. +1 and kudos. The phone call was the missing piece of the puzzle for me.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 15:20

I've not seen Kid's Story, but I thought, while watching The Matrix, that the "disruption" to Neo's life signal was basically just him waking up in the real-world.

Morpheus says the pill-virus disrupts Neo's IO signal, which sounds like it could disconnect him from the Matrix, and the process that Neo goes through with the silver mirror ends with him waking up. I take it that the mirror effect is him being taken out of the Matrix. Perhaps it's him connecting with his real body for the first time.

People waking up can't be a very common occurrence, but the system will have to be able to handle it. A body that is to be removed from the power plant but that isn't dead is surely going to be relatively easy to trace as it will be flagged up for special disposal (at least, that's how I took it as he wasn't taken away to Resyk to be turned into food).

The awkward part of this is that they use equipment within the Matrix to trace Neo's location, and it seems that the equipment set up is not trivial, so they must have been looking for something when the Kid woke, which is an impressive coincidence, but probably less of a coincidence than them just stumbling across him floating about after being ejected.

  • Huh. So the red pill wakes him up, and the waking up allows him to be pin-pointed? Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 12:34
  • I went back and watched the scene again and I think my answer relies too much on a huge coincidence.
    – Alan
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 10:16
  • It seems more like it allowed them to pinpoint which sewer outflow Neo would be ejected from based upon his original location in the grid.
    – horatio
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 17:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.