Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: 2121 – 2123

Just before hitting the water in 2121, the scene changed, and Mateo Matic found himself in the middle of a city. He was just standing there on the sidewalk, as if he had been there for the last few minutes. After a second, though, he realized that he wasn’t in a city as he remembered them. Before him stood a gargantuan structure, larger than anything he had ever seen in his life. It looked like something out of a science fiction movie, which made sense considering that this was the early 22nd century. While he was trying to admire the beauty in the architecture, he heard a faint scream. High up above, someone was falling towards their death, like Mateo had many times before. He watched along with the crowd, but then started to feel dry mouth. Suddenly, he was no longer on the ground, but in the air with the falling man. He instinctively took the man in an embrace and teleported back to safety on the ground. They were now standing a few kilometers away from the massive structure, in the middle of the woods. Only then could he see the structure’s true glory.
“How did you do that?” the man asked.
“I don’t know, I just work here.”
A dark-skinned woman teleported herself in, and immediately started clapping. “And a great job you did.” She directed her attention towards the man. “You may go now.” She waved her hand and apported him away.
Mateo outstretched his hand, but assumed this woman would already know who he was. “Hi, I’m Mateo Matic.”
“Nice to meet you, Mateo. My name is Sabra. Are you the newest Savior?”
“Oh. Um...I guess I am,” he answered.
“Great, well, you can call me by my name, but I also go by Memphis.”
“Are you from Tennessee?”
She laughed. “No. The other Memphis. I’m very old. In fact, I’m one of the first.” She seemed a little perturbed when Mateo didn’t ask for details. She was probably used to people asking just how old she really was.
Mateo was already over it.
She awkwardly moved on. “Okay. Do you understand what’s being asked of you? Do you know what a Savior does?”
“Not specifically, but as I understand it, we teleport around saving people’s lives.”
“Yes, but you are no superhero. You won’t be hanging around to flirt with the pretty girl, or tell everyone that it’s—” and she threw up airquotes for this— “all in a day’s work. Literally as soon as everyone is safe, you’ll move on to the next assignment. It will probably last a few seconds, and then you’ll move on to the next. And then the next. And so on and so on. Now, Saviors normally get breaks, but I’m afraid that you don’t have that luxury. We have to squeeze an entire year into the span of twenty-four hours.” She looked at her bare wrist. “We’ve already lost several minutes just talking about it.” She handed him something that kind of looked like a gun, but clearly wasn’t. “Inject yourself with these whenever you start feeling tired. The doses will keep you going for three days straight. You’ll crash and feel like shit afterwards, but apparently you chose this?”
“Well...” Mateo had bargained with Arcadia when the true Savior, Xearea was mortally wounded. He asked Arcadia to tear her out of time, which was the only way to save her life. A consequence of this was that others would have to take her place during those missing years. “I didn’t really have much of a choice.”
“It’s all a matter of perspective. We just need you to help get us through the Xearea years before The Last Savior is called upon.”
“Whoa, wait. The Last Savior? There’s an endgame to this?”
“Well, not really,” Memphis replied. “It’s just that a Savior won’t be necessary past the 22nd century. At that point, humans tend to be able to take care of themselves well enough.”
“I didn’t know that. I guess I thought you would always have one Savior at all times.”
“That doesn’t account for the interim periods between a Savior’s retirement, or death, and the activation of their successor. Nor has there always been only one at a time. You’ve just only been around when we started our little Buffy sequence.”
“Buffy sequence.”
“Ya know...’cause there can be only one? Never mind. You don’t really need to know the history. What I can tell you is that teleporting Saviors used to come in packs, because life used to be more dangerous. Each time someone comes up with something like antiseptics, seatbelts, or cellphones, we lose a little bit more of our relevance, and our numbers are decrease. The Last Savior will mark the end of that era.”
“I see. And who handles these interim periods?”
“Before, we would stagger their activations, but since we ended up with only one at a time, time travelers like your father are called to fill in those gaps.”
“Oh. The pieces are all coming together now.”
“I should hope so. Now that you have some perspective, you really must be going. Like I said, you’ll have to work through an entire year in only a day. You’ll be given an average of three minutes per day.” She eyed her wrist again, still intent on pretending there was a watch attached to it. “”
Before that last word left Memphis’ lips, Mateo teleported to a new location. He apported a nice couple lost on a nature hike back to safety. He rescued a child who had fallen in the ocean from her floating city. He pulled someone out of the street where someone else was recklessly driving one of those manual vehicles from the olden days that probably should have been outlawed by now, if they weren’t already. These were the easy jobs, likely just to get him familiar with the process. There was even a possibility that they were staged by Memphis, or maybe Arcadia, so that the dumb trainee wouldn’t screw something up for real. He ended up moving on to developing countries where technology was far more advanced than anything he saw in his original time period, but still more primitive than what could be found elsewhere. Things were more dangerous in these parts, but still not generally as bad as the early 21st century. There were a few really terrible things, though. A test of an earthquake management system resulted in a massive backfire. Hundreds of workers and bystanders were suddenly put in immense danger. Mateo was forced to teleport next to maybe two or three people at a time, huddle them together, and teleport them far enough away to keep them safe. Then he would have to go back and grab some more. Fortunately, even with the time constraints, he was successful in his mission, and no one was seriously injured.
There were still other human-driven complications that Mateo had to deal with. Weapons still existed, and they still often ended up being pointed in the direction of innocent people. Two countries that shall not be named even fired missiles towards each other, forcing Mateo to teleport onto each of them, and spirit them away to the middle of outerspace. How people who knew nothing of teleportation and time travel were explaining any of these things was neither something Mateo had time to worry about, nor the resources to answer.
He did all this over the course of three days. Eventually, the passage of time barely registered with him. He just kept going, really only stopping to inject himself with the fancy futuristic stamina drug. It was likely developed as part of a supersoldier program, but was deemed unsafe because of its awful side effect. A couple hours before midnight central, Memphis dropped by quite briefly to let him know that his, uhh...nine-tuple shift was over, and that he was free to rest. He really needed it too, because by the time he woke up back on the island, it was 2125, and he still felt like crap.

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