Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: April 10, 2034

Click here for the 2015 table of contents.

When Mateo awoke, he found himself being carried by The Doctor and his father, Mario. They were whispering to each other, but he was too weak to speak up. “We have to hurry,” Mario said. “It’s almost midnight. We’re about to lose him.”
“I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m the doctor. I’m not supposed to be on any other kind of missions.”
“The powers that be are obviously all right with it,” Mario snapped. “Otherwise, they would have already snatched you up. Besides, it’s your job to get your patients out of danger. If we leave him in this basement, Reaver will know exactly where he is again and be able to exploit that. He’ll have an entire year to prepare for his arrival.”
“What happened?” Mateo managed to eke out.
“You blew up a house, son. I’m impressed. We’re trying to get you as far from it as possible.”
“Where is my family?”
“They’re probably not allowed past the barrier. Reaver Enterprises stepped in and took control of the situation. The two of us timeslipped in at the same time to get you out.” His watch began to beep urgently. “Damn it!”
“It’s too late. We have to break proximity,” the doctor said, gently laying Mateo’s shoulders on the ground. Mario was forced to do the same with his legs.
“Where am I going to end up next year?” He struggled to his feet. It still hurt a little, but he could also feel his wounds healing due to the doctor’s works.
“We have no idea,” Mario shook his head. “But it can’t be good. We didn’t get you far enough away.”

Mateo left them behind and made the jump to 2034. The scene changed dramatically, reminding him of the time he wound up centuries in the future. He was standing in a brightly lit hallway. He could see several doors down the hall, each a dull shade of green. He cautiously began to walk in one direction but quickly slipped through one of the doors after spotting a guard. He turned on the light to find that he was lucky enough to have stumbled upon a storage room. There were plenty of extra guard uniforms from which to choose. While he was changing out of his torn and wet clothes, he could hear footsteps from the hall. It was a ruckus. They must have detected his arrival. The uniform indicated that it belonged to Reaver Enterprise’s security division, which meant that the electronic security measures were likely sensitive to time travelers.
He heard some of the footsteps stop cold, and then a voice. “There’s a light on in here. What is this?”
“It’s just a storage room. No reason for anyone to be in there right now,” another voice replied. They sounded familiar.
Mateo closed his eyes from fatigue and pulled his hat on. When the door opened, he did his best to play a part. “I was just checking this room. Everything appears to be fine, though. We can go now.”
“It’s you,” one of the men said. Mateo reluctantly looked up. It was the two guards who had sent him to the police station after he jumped into the Reaver warehouse. That was six years ago, yet they still recognized him.
“My God, it is.” The other guard came in the room and closed the door. “You must be the one we’re all running around looking for.
Mateo looked around at the shelves for anything that he could use as a weapon, or better yet, a distraction.
Guard Number One turned to his partner. “This kid is what he wants. This is personal. He’s obsessed, and obviously unwell.”
“Well, what do we do?” Guard Number Two asked of him.
“I think it’s time we finally quit; like we’ve been saying.
“We’ll have to change our names.”
“Everyone knows that Reaver is one sick puppy. If he wants to capture a guy like this, we have no choice but to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
A voice boomed from the ceiling. “Mateo?” He began to stretch out his words for effect. “Mateeeeeeeeo. I know you’re iiiiin heeere. You were supposed to wake up in the basement. The entire bottom floor of this facility is a jail cell. What are you doing out of your cage, MONKEY!”
“See what I mean?” Guard Number One asked rhetorically.
His partner nodded his head overdramatically. “Yeah. We gotta get the hell out of here. The man’s nuts.”
Mateo thought it was best to keep his head down and mouth shut. He had no idea what other security equipment Reaver would have, so blending was the word of the day. They walked down the halls together, careful to look like they were doing exactly what they were supposed to. The lower floors had too many people, so they could only head towards the roof, even without a plan. They encountered another team on the stairwell, and Mateo was paranoid that they were suspicious of him, but they soon moved on to their own assignments.
Reaver’s voice returned. “That’s it! I’m calling in the cavalry. Boys, this is who we’re looking for!” Mateo’s face appeared on the wall. The three of them looked around. His face could be seen over and over again on the screens along the entire wall, a continuous pattern that was putting him in danger. “Bring him to me and I will literally write you a blank check!”
Mateo turned to his two new friends. “We’re not turning you in,” Number Two insisted.
“But now we run,” his partner said.
They ran through the maze of hallways, as far from the sounds of the team they had just passed as they could get. One of them tried to go one way, but the other pulled them in the opposite direction. “This way.”
Mateo pulled out his magic cell phone and called Leona with it. “Leona, are you safe? Did he get to you?”
I’m all right, she answered. They thought you were dead, but I knew you would survive. Where are you?
“I never made it out of the mansion.”
Mateo! That’s a Reaver building now.
“You’ll notice I’m out of breath from running!”
We were getting ready to do a bird’s eye survey of the surrounding area to find you, so we’re not too terribly far.
“South side of the southwest corner!” Number Two exclaimed.
“What!” Mateo yelled back.
“That’s where we’ll be.” He directed them into a room that turned out to be an armory.
“We’re not going to hurt anyone,” Number One argued.
“No, we’re not,” Number Two agreed. He went straight for a large weapon that looked like a cannon. “We’re breaking out. He grabbed the cannon and ran out. They followed him as Mateo relayed the rendezvous point to Leona.
A security team came out of nowhere and blocked their path. Number Two held the cannon up threateningly. “I don’t wanna hurt you.”
“What are you doing?” the team leader asked. “Why is Reaver so interested in him?”
“Stop us and you’ll never find out,” Number One answered.
The team leader crooked his head. “That sounds like the opposite of the truth.”
Before the argument could continue, Vearden appeared from one door while Saga came out of the door on the other side. They each pushed one of the enemy security guards forward and ushered them through the opposite door, like they had rehearsed it. The doors closed and no one tried to get back out of them.
“What the hell was that?” The leader opened the doors angrily and looked around for them, proving that Saga and Vearden had taken his team somewhere through time. He raised his weapon again and pointed it at Mateo’s leg.
“Excuse me?” came the voice of a man who only the leader could see. “Have you ever been to Stonehenge?”
The leader instinctively rerouted his attention towards the new threat. He disappeared around down the hallway. By the time Mateo looked around the corner, the portal was fading. He could see The Delegator resting his hand on the leader’s shoulder and smiling comfortingly.
“I don’t know what’s happening here,” Number One said, “but we have to go.”
“This way,” Number Two urged them.
They continued to follow him. Once he reached his destination, he lifted the cannon and blew a hole in the surprisingly thick wall. They could hear footsteps headed for them once more. A flying vehicle of some kind was heading for them.
“We have to jump!” Number Two yelled.
“They’re not here yet!”
Number Two looked back towards the sound of the oncoming horde of enemies. “I know. It’ll be tight, but I can estimate the timing.”
“Did you hear that?” Mateo called into the phone.
The horde was upon them, guns pointed to their backs. Reaver’s voice came on, “it’s over. Mateo. I have you. I finally found my loophole.”
“Would you shut up already!” Mateo yelled to the ceiling.
“Now!” Number Two yelled. They complied without hesitation. Mateo and Number One jumped out of the hole at the same time, but Number Two wasn’t so lucky. One of the enemies had gotten off one shot that hit him in the leg, causing him to lose his balance and miss his timing. After Mateo landed on the hood of the aircraft, he looked back up to see Number Two clinging to the edge. Leona flipped around quickly and began flying back to the hole, but Number Two lost his grip and started falling towards the ground.
“No!” Mateo cried.
While they were still too far away, the figure of Daria appeared long enough to grab him before he hit the ground and jump him away.
“Hold on!” he could hear Leona yell from inside what he could only describe as a flying car. He exchanged a look of both fear and relief with Number One as they rose up into the air and increased speed.
They stopped briefly on the ground a few miles from the building. Leona and Aura were using the front row, so the two stowaways scrunched in next to Samsonite. They took off after a moment and made the short trip back to Lebanon. Danica, Theo, and a young woman he did not bother to introduce himself to greeted them at the bottom of the elevator. They spent the rest of Mateo and Leona’s year in the safety of The Constant, doing as little as possible. Click here for the next installment...

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