Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: May 19, 2073

Click here for the 2016 table of contents.

Mateo and Leona decided to watch Transporter 3 for a third time after the jump. This was after they watched all other films in the Transporter franchise, some that had not been released when Mateo first started jumping through time.
“What scene do you think he’s going to have us recreate?” Leona asked.
“None of them really fits. The tribulations up to this point have been about normal people surviving some sort of traumatic event.”
“Except for The Martian.”
“Yes, but at least you were technically qualified to command a ship, to a degree. And for the most part, all I did was sit there. But this one would require skills we do not possess, unless we play two of the side characters.”
“Yeah,” she paused, “wait, what are you talking about? You’re a driver.”
“I was a driver’s ed instructor.”
And you have experience driving a taxi, and a bus, and you delivered food on a motorcycle, and you have a commercial driver’s licence, and you were thinking about moving out west to become a stunt driver.”
“I never breathed one word to you about my absolutely inane fantasy of being a Hollywood stunt driver.”
“Your parents and I had time to talk while you were gone for the year.”
Mateo was embarrassed she knew all this about him, but unmoved. “Well...it’s true that I was a driver, but that doesn’t make me Jason Statham. I’m no better at driving than anyone else with decent experience. I lived with my parents because I didn’t make any money.”
“There’s no shame in that. I think you’re underestimating your talent as a driver. Makarion isn’t going to pick anything we can’t conceivably handle. If we die, then his game is over.”
“Theoretically he has any number of other salmon to go after. In fact, he may be doing that during our yearly interims. I’m not sure we’re as inexpendable as you think.”
“You don’t know that we aren’t.”
“I don’t know why we’re talking about my driving skills. Those movies aren’t just about the driving. There are a lot of scenes of him just fighting. He was a...he was in the army, or something. I don’t remember, I wasn’t paying all that much attention to his backstory. I would have no clue how to handle those encounters.”
“I would,” Darko said from the door. He came into the room with Makarion in tow.
“It’s true,” Makarion concurred. “I’ve seen him in action. He’s some kind of Taylor Lautner beast.”
“Well,” Darko started to explain, “Taylor is known for karate. I did some of that too, but I’m more into taekwondo, kung fu, and Muay Thai. For some reason, it was important for me to gather skills from different countries?”
“Darko, we didn’t know that about you.”
“I always try to keep people guessing,” Darko said.
Makarion clapped his hands together. “Awesome! Darko has agreed to be part of your team so that he can complete the scenes you’re not qualified for.”
“How many scenes are we doing?” Mateo asked.
“All of them.”
“All of them?” Leona was surprised.
“Well, I mean, you’re just going to start with the scene where Frank gets into the car and begins his assignment, and go from there. You don’t have to worry about cutaways to other characters and such.”
“You employed bad guys to chase after us?” Mateo was worried. A not insignificant number of people died in the movie. Getting rid of the original Rogue is one thing, but a fight to the death with multiple assailants was not something he was comfortable with.
“That is none of your concern.”
“It’s mine,” Darko disagreed.
“Very well, it takes some of the fun out of it, but if you must know, they’re just androids. I’m not a monster.”
They weren’t sure this was true.
“Anyone have anything to say about that?”
Nope.
“Good. Now,” Makarion began, “manually driving, and recklessly so, isn’t something that’s really done anymore. If you don’t want the cops coming after you, then you might want to find a way to keep them off your back, because they’re not really in the movie all that much. It’s why I chose the one that takes place primarily in the countryside, rather than the city.”
“Too many variables,” Leona said understandingly.
“Yeah, you’re the smart one, so I’m confident you’ll be able to find a way to stay as true to the action as possible.”
Leona sighed. “I have some ideas.”
“Perfect!” Makarion took three metallic rings out of his bag. “Then I guess the only thing left to discuss is the matter of these death bracelets.”
“We were hoping you would forget those.”
“Nonsense,” Makarion spat. “Authenticity.”
“What are those?” Oh, that’s right, Darko didn’t watch the movies with them.
“You go too far from the car, and you blow-up,” Mateo told him.
“Nothing that messy,” Makarion corrected. “They’ll inject a neurotoxin, that’s all.”
“Oh, is that all?” Leona asked sarcastically.

Makarion apported all three of them to a warehouse where a car was waiting for them, not unlike the one from the film. The built-in GPS directed them to their first pit stop a few hours away. This gave Darko the time to watch the movie in the back of the car on his own. Leona spent that time on her computer, but did not say what she was doing. Mateo learned long ago that if she didn’t explain her actions, it was in their best interests to just let it go. She had some kind of plan. From what they could gather, the source material took place over the course of a couple days. They wouldn’t have that kind of time, and Makarion wasn’t capable of placing them in a time bubble like the first Rogue, so they were on some kind of truncated trip. They did begin, however, in France.
In the movie, Frank and some chick ended up going to the garage of one of his friends, hoping to have their death bracelets deactivated. This was, of course, not in the cards for the three of them, so they just drove into a warehouse to meet up with a gang of robot adversaries. Though this was Darko’s field of expertise, Mateo stayed in the action to help as much as he possibly could. Fortunately, these particular robots were not built like terminators, so they were just as breakable as any human. They didn’t follow the same choreography, but they got the job done, and were free to go on their way. If nothing else, these tribulations were tiring.
Once in town, Darko stepped out of the car so that Mateo could drive off without him. This was the part where the main character is replaced by a second driver, leaving him to be in danger of exploding once the vehicle got too far away from his death bracelet. Mateo started by slowly inching through the market, but then Makarion’s voice came through the speaker system, “your instinct is to let Darko keep up with the car so it doesn’t get away from him. But I have a specific route I want you to take, and as extra incentive for you to actually do this right, I’ve mashed another film franchise into the mission. You have ten seconds to start driving for real. After that, if the car goes under 30 miles per hour, the death bracelet will activate. Only Darko’s, though,” he amended after it wasn’t clear whether Mateo fully understood.
Crap. Mateo looked to his brother who was presently only casually jogging alongside them. “It’s okay,” Darko said through the window. “I can handle it.” The timer on the car’s interface counted down, and Mateo was soon forced to speed off. He weaved and bobbed through the marketplace as Leona rattled her fingers on her computer, hacking into the police system to ensure they would not be disturbed. Like in the movie, Darko would later tell them he did end up stealing a bicycle that was sitting conspicuously in his path as he raced to keep up with the car. Finally, the GPS told them the completely fabricated race was over, and they could stop and let Darko get back in.
Makarion clearly just wanted to see them survive the action scenes, so they didn’t waste time with all the little dumb conversations and distractions. They stopped for food with no complications and then drove off to wait for the only real car chase in the film. Their enemy car showed up before too long and gave Mateo a run for his money. It was true that he didn’t want to admit how good of a driver he was. Despite having a completely clean record, he knew some pretty dangerous vehicular maneuvers. He even managed to get the car to drive up on only two tires in order to fit between parallel semitrucks. Ridiculous. He zoomed down the highway, and turned into the forest roads when the GPS instructed him to. He probably could have excelled as a stunt driver.
Everything was going according to Makarion’s sick plan until something unexpected and unscripted happened. Mateo dodged trees and other obstacles through the woods while the other car continued their pursuit. They even shot guns at them, which must have been real, because it sounded like they were bouncing off the apparent bulletproof glass. Mateo successfully lured the other car into driving in front of them, and—despite his reservations of harming a free-thinking individual, robot or no—managed to force them off the cliff, just like in the movie. Unfortunately, he was not as good of a driver as Leona seemed to think, for he found himself flying off the cliff as well. Welp, they really were gonna die this time. There was no way out of this, unless the car also turned into an airplane. It didn’t. The car continued to fall until crashing into the rocks below, exploding in true action movie fashion. Click here for the next installment...

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