Sunday, June 19, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: April 16, 2398

It was annoying to spend a whole other day just sitting around, waiting to do anything to fix this problem. If even one of them had an identity in this reality, they could have gone to check on their friends, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Marie actually wasn’t sure if the authorities would ask for identification or anything, but they most likely would, so there was nothing they could do. They watched the news, which wasn’t reporting the incident. It was a minor infraction, all things considered, so they wouldn’t expect anything to be up there, but there was a small chance, so it was nice to see this was all being kept fairly quiet. The downside was they weren’t entirely certain where Heath and Angela were being held. Based on the location of the arrest, they could guess, but that wasn’t a sure thing either. It should all be resolved in the next couple of days, but they’re finding it hard to wait.
Marie is sitting at the kitchenette table, chin resting on the palm of her hand. “What do you think Olimpia is doing right now?” The two of them had a thing back when there was only one version of Angela. Mateo is unaware how serious it was, or if they had time to attempt to navigate the duplication that complicated matters. She has Heath now, but obviously still feels something.
“Hopefully she doesn’t exist,” Leona decides. “If Dalton accidentally created a shortlived pattern, then we were each delivered to our respective realities a year and a day apart. That would put Olimpia on April 9, 2398.”
“That was a week ago,” Marie laments.
“Yeah, but she should have only been alone for a day,” Leona figures. “We can try to retrieve her in 2399. That gives Ramses and me a lot of time to solve the issue. I think our main obstacle is a lack of accessible temporal energy. But we are still living in salmonverse, and salmoverse still has time travel. If somebody has a way of suppressing it, then they have to be using it for themselves.”
“What does that mean for us?” Mateo asks.
“It means that there is a source of temporal energy, be it a person, a special object, or even a location. If we find it, we can just take the energy we need for ourselves. We’ll have to rebuild the devices that Ramses got from the Parallel, but like I said, we have a year. We will probably want to try it on April 10, 2399.”
“How do we know that Olimpia isn’t on our same non-pattern, wherever she is?” Marie complains. “Maybe she’s been alone for as long as you’ve been here, or as long as I’ve been here.”
“We just can’t think like that,” Mateo tries to say in a comforting voice. “Let’s try to be positive.”
“Well, I’m A-negative,” Marie argues. She stands up, and tries to climb up the narrow steps, but Ramses happens to be coming back down.
When he gets to the bottom, he doesn’t realize right away that she’s trying to get past, so he just stands there for a moment, looking amongst the others to gauge the tone of the room.
“Please!” she says plainly in a raised—but not yelling—voice.
“Sorry.” He steps to the side, and watches her leave in a huff. “Is everything okay?”
“No,” Leona answers, “but...she just needs some time alone.”
“It is safe up there, right?” Mateo asks him.
“I didn’t see any activity. They chose this site well.”
Ramses sits down where Marie was, bored after his forest walk. “What are we gonna do now? We can’t even play RPS-101 Plus.”
“No,” Mateo agrees with a smirk, “but we can play regular RPS-101.” He pulls the wheel from his bag, unfolds it, and presents it to the two of them.
“Where did you get that?” Leona questions.
Mateo shrugs. “I had the industrial synthesizer print it out forever ago. That’s why it’s made of metal instead of paper.”
“How would one even go about playing?” Ramses asked.
“You search the wheel for the gesture you want. Then we pound and shoot just as we would for Rock, Paper, Scissors. Then we consult the outcome list to find out who won. It’s etched on the back.”
Leona stares at the wheel. “I can’t believe you’ve been lugging that thing around this whole time.”
“It’s made of graphene, so it’s light,” Mateo contends.
“That’s not metal.”
“Whatever. Do you wanna play a game?” Mateo offers.
She stares at it some more. “Whatever. Just be careful of choosing Sponge every time, like you usually do.”

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