Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: December 3, 2271

Mateo Matic: Oh my God, it’s frickin’ freezing out here.
Leona Matic: Where are we?
Nerakali Preston: This is Peter Island. We’re about three hundred and fifty kilometers from mainland Antarctica, and a hundred and sixty from the prime location to see a partial solar eclipse.
Arcadia Preston: Why do we want to be here for that? It’s a partial eclipse; that doesn’t sound very impressive.
Nerakali: It’s not that big of a deal on its own—though, it is happening pretty close to midnight central, which is a little interesting. The reason we’re here is because this is the site of a hundemarke murder. In the next few minutes, after the eclipse begins, someone is going to be killed here, and someone is going to be doing the killing. It’s up to us to find exactly where that is, who that is, and get the hundemarke from them.
Mateo: We can’t just take it. If we try, a magical force field will throw us against a wall, and knock us out.
Leona: How do you know that? You act like you’ve tried before.
Mateo: No, I just...I must have heard it.
Nerakali: Well, you’re right. We can’t take it until it’s been used. We’ll have to let the murder play out.
Arcadia: That’s not entirely accurate. We can’t interfere as long as the hundemarke is active. While it’s operating, it’s maintaining a moment of fixed time, which cannot be altered. It doesn’t matter whether you kill someone during that moment, or not; it still can’t be changed.
Leona: How will we know when the user deactivates it?
Mateo: Is there a time limit, or a power threshold?
Arcadia: That I do not know, but it’s actually likely. I’ve never heard of a hundemarke event lasting more than a few minutes. What would the world look like if someone went back to prehistoric times, and just never turned it off? It would erase time travel.
Mateo: What would the world look like? Normal. You were born with the knowledge of nonlinear time, but most people have no idea that it’s real. They go about their days, thinking everything that happens—good or bad—is just the way it has to be from now on. If you used the hundemarke to erase time travel, the world would just look like that, but for everybody.
Arcadia: Are you sure about that? Just because people don’t know about time travel, doesn’t mean they aren’t impacted by it. You saved thousands of lives when you killed Hitler, which went on to affect millions more. Few are aware of your involvement, but billions are aware that it happened. Without time travel, would humanity have survived up to today? I’m not convinced.
Mateo: Wull...
Nerakali: No, don’t try to deny it, Mateo. Everyone knows you killed Hitler, then went back in time in someone else’s body, and killed him again. Old news.
Leona: We don’t have much time now. How are we going to find the site of the murder. Could it be anywhere on this island?
Nerakali: The coordinates aren’t precise, but I know it will be somewhere on this side.
Mateo: Is there a feature on these time power cuffs that would allow us to scan for life signs? I imagine there aren’t any other people here.
Nerakali: No one has so much as stayed at the resort since the 22nd century, but unfortunately, no. There is no way to seek the murder. We’re going to have to split up to cover more ground. When the time comes, I’ll initiate burst mode.
Leona: Won’t we all just teleport to the same place each time? That’s what the cuffs do.
Nerakali: I’ve programmed them to be almost as imprecise as the coordinates themselves. We technically will be teleporting to the same places, but instead of being a few meters close to each other, it’ll be measured in acres.
Arcadia: It’s almost time.
Nerakali: See something, say something. You all know how to use the intercom system. Let us know where you are, and we’ll come to you.
Arcadia: Okay. Break!
Mateo: Guys, I see it.
Nerakali [through the speaker]: Where are you?
Mateo: The screen says subduing.unpraised.soreness. What the hell does that mean?
Nerakali: Exactly what you would think: a coordinate system that designates three random and unique word combinations to each nine square meter tile on a map of the whole globe.
Mateo: Makes sense.
Leona: Who’s that?
Arcadia: Whose job was it to bring the binoculars?
Mateo: Will this thing work?
Leona: Where the hell did you get that thing?
Mateo: What’s the big deal? It’s just a spyglass.
Leona: It’s the Jayde Spyglass. I used it to bring you back from nonexistence.
Mateo: Oh, cool. Well, as long as I can see what’s going on over there...
Nerakali: No, don’t!
Stan Humphrey: What the hell just happened? How did you get here?
Arcadia: Dammit, Mateo. You can’t just start running around with temporal objects. You have to ask an adult first.
Stan: I mean it! Who the hell are you people?
Nerakali: You don’t get to talk. Arcadia, temporarily remove your cuff, and try to disarm this man for me.
Arcadia: Oh, you want us to be unlinked, so if the attempt kills me, I’m the only one who gets hurt?
Stan: Hey! Stop!
Nerakali: Exactly. See? You get it. She gets it. Leona, could you remove his future victim’s gag, so he can talk?
Leona: What is this all over you?
Vasanta Gadhavi: You need to wash your hands. He retched on me. He thinks it’s poetic justice.
Stan: It is! Give me my gun back!
Arcadia: Do you have to yell everything you say?
Stan: I do! It’s a medical condition called go screw yourself!
Arcadia: Oh, I have that. Yelling is not a symptom, faker.
Nerakali: Arcadia, please. Now. I don’t understand what’s happening here. This is meant to be a hundemarked moment, but you were able to take his gun.
Leona: Maybe it hasn’t been activated yet.
Mateo: Or this is part of the fixed moment. Maybe we were destined to come here and attempt to stop him.
Arcadia: Mateo...that..actually isn’t the dumbest thing you’ve ever said.
Leona: We need more information. Who are you, and why does this man want you dead?
Vasanta: My name is Vasanta Gadhavi. I’m a member of the rescue division of the salmon battalion. Stan here is all butthurt about a time when Saga and her then fiancée, Andromeda threatened his worldview by marrying each other? I don’t really understand his position. He’s basically a nazi, though. He’s just spent a decade of his life hunting the people who wronged him. Andromeda’s already dead, and Saga’s impossible to track down, but he found me.
Stan: It was eight years; don’t give yourself so much credit.
Vasanta: You’re the one who deserves all the credit. You walked through the haze on Durus, and got yourself transported to Ansutah. Then you traveled through time, so you could become a Comronian refugee, and be rescued by Gatewood. Then you made your way back to Earth, where you hunted me down throughout the timeline. That’s impressive. If you were a good person, you could have done great things with your skills. I could have used someone like you on my side. We could’ve even been partners.
Stan: I would never. I would sooner throw up on you again.
Vasanta: Oh no, I wasn’t offering. Vasanta Gadhavi is a good man, and you tried to kill him.
Leona: Why are you talking in the third person?
Vasanta: Am I?
Nerakali: I’m still confused. How have we interfered? This makes no sense. Arcadia, see if you can take the hundemarke from him. It’s probably inside of his shirt.
Stan: What are you talking about? Stop touching me! What the hell is a hoondamarka?
Arcadia: He doesn’t have it. How did you find out about this moment? We’re in the middle of nowhere, quite literally. People can get away with murder these days in a location this remote.
Nerakali: It was pinged. I don’t know what was meant to happen here, but it is a hundemarke moment. It has to be.
Vasanta: Oh, it is. You just frisked the wrong person.
Stan: Oh, shit! No, please! I’m sor—
Vasanta: Uh-uh-uh! Back up. If I shoot any one of you, the other two die. I only came here to kill him, and it’s done.
Arcadia: If you shoot me, you’ll die. My sister won’t stand for that.
Vasanta: I’m not worried. Mostly because I’m not going to shoot you. I would never. I was asked to get you to Mateo’s memorial services, and this is how I do that. You’re coming with me, Salvy.
Arcadia: What did you just call me?
Nerakali: Who are you?
Vasanta: I think you know. Goodbye!
Nerakali: Wait! Stop! [...] Oh my God.
Mateo: Where did they go? Can we track them?
Nerakali: Not a chance. He’s too smart for that. He won’t take her anywhere I would think to look.
Leona: It’s not a he, though, is it? That name, Salvy. What does it mean?
Nerakali: It’s short for Salvador, as in Salvado Dalí? Arcadia was the only one of us up in the Gallery dimension who legit loved art. Dalí was her favorite artist, and that makes sense, because he was a surrealist with a thing for clocks. Her whole thing is manipulating reality.
Leona: So, your mother always called her Salvy.
Mateo: I’m confused.
Leona: It’s an illusion. That wasn’t Vasanta Gadhavi. It was Savannah Preston in disguise.
Mateo: How’s that possible?
Leona: It’s like how Vito Bulgari can make things invisible, but instead of making it look like something isn’t there, she can make it look like someone else’s face is where her face actually is. The precision of such an endeavor, though; I can’t imagine how much concentration that requires. You didn’t know she had that ability?
Nerakali: No one does, throughout all of spacetime, as far as I know, except one person. He would have to be using some kind of temporal object that was imbued with Alyssa McIver’s power.
Mateo: Why do you keep calling her a he? I thought we concluded it wasn’t really Vasanta.
Nerakali: No, that wasn’t Vasanta, but you were wrong, Leona. Our mother never called her Salvy. We’ve been wrong this whole time. Savannah Preston probably has nothing to do with it. That was Erlendr Preston, our father. He’s the one behind all the hundemarke killings.

No comments :

Post a Comment