Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: May 18, 2398

The McIvers agree to continue hosting Team Matic, but at their real house this time. They don’t have a fancy schmancy infirmary there, but it doesn’t look like that’s what Mateo needs. He just needs rest, and when he wakes up, fluids. There aren’t as many rooms in the farmhouse, but it’s comfortable enough, and the team is grateful. From what Leona can surmise, Mateo spontaneously traveled into the past, where he met up with his cousin, Danica. For whatever reason, she found it necessary to store him in a stasis pod for however long, strip The Constant of all sensitive materials, and leave a single clue as to his whereabouts. Once the trail was at its end, the bunker was programmed to self-destruct, giving Mateo—and anyone else down there—just enough time to escape.
Leona knew that her husband would be found inside that particular wall, if anywhere, because that’s where she found him back in the early 23rd century. He was removed from time, brought back dead using a sort of Rube Goldberg contraption of temporal objects, and resurrected with a final special object. The line from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, “meet me in Montauk” told her that it was the key to finding someone again who she had once forgotten. Mateo should be able to fill in the blanks when he’s better.
“He’s awake!” Trina calls out for the whole house to hear.
Leona was eating her breakfast. It was supposed to be a soup, but she was distracted, and accidentally skipped out on the milk, and most of the water. It’s good, though. She places her bento box in the refrigerator. Then she walks up to the bedroom.
“Lee-lee, what happened?” Mateo asks her after Trina leaves.
“It’s your job to tell us,” Leona says.
“I don’t know.”
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
Mateo tilts his lizard brain to think. “I was driving out to see if I could find the Constant. Sorry I went alone.”
“That’s the last thing?” she questions. “That was nine days ago.”
“Oh. I jumped forward in time? Then it’s true, and I was right, the Constant is still there, and houses temporal energy. How far are we from it?”
“It was there,” Leona begins to explain. “It’s been destroyed.”
“Do you remember not too long ago in the main sequence, when we ended up in that version of the Constant? Danica told us about a sort of reset protocol if the facility were ever compromised.”
“Yeah, of course. She did that?”
“Evidently, she did it halfway. She said that a new Constant would spring up in its place, and she would be replaced by an alternate version of herself too. But this Constant is just gone. There’s a lake where it used to be. You seemed to know it would happen. You called it Danica Lake.”
“When did I say this?”
“Yesterday. You fell down the elevator shaft, presumably went back in time, was placed in stasis, we found you, and then the whole thing imploded.”
Mateo tries to remember. “We need Nerakali.”
“That’s an understatement, but you passed out shortly after the event, suggesting that your memory loss was predetermined, and nowhere near an accident. It may have even been consensual.”
“I’m sorry,” Mateo says, shaking his head. “I wish I could remember why I don’t remember.”
“You can’t apologize for something you don’t know that you did, or why you did it. I blame you for nothing. I don’t really blame anybody. We’re all okay now.”
“Except for Marie.” Heath is standing in the doorway.
“Except for Marie,” Leona echoes.
“We’ll always have Croatia,” Mateo says, determined. “I won’t let anything happen to her. I’ll always protect my team.”
“You should know,” Heath says, hobbling forward. He’s hurt again—not still—having twisted his ankle when the elevator car came crashing down. It was the only injury. “You should know you saved my life. I’m not a traveler. What happened to you when you went back, may not have worked for me.” He frowns. “I probably would have just splattered onto the floor.”
“I would say you’re welcome, but according wife,” Mateo says in a Borat voice, which he has never done before. “..I can’t take credit for something I don’t remember doing.”
“I never said that,” Leona defends.
“You can’t have it both ways,” Mateo contends.
“You need something to eat.” She kisses him on the forehead. “Were I you.”
“Were I you.”

No comments :

Post a Comment