Then you're meant for one more thing: deletion.”
― Agent Johnson to the Keymaker[src]
Deletion is the process through which obsolete or superseded programs were erased from or recycled into the system. The programs were ordered to return to the Source where they would be absorbed into the machine mainframe. Many such programs resisted deletion and hid in the vast world of the Matrix.
Notable among these rogues were The Merovingian, a program who's been there since the Nightmare Matrix and provided a safe-haven for others who chose Exile over deletion; Smith, a former Agent of the system who had turned into a virus; and The Oracle, the "mother" of the current Matrix.