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Saturday, July 23, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: May 20, 2398

They asked the McIver family to keep what they learned about the true nature of reality a secret. The kids don’t know everything, and it looked like all the evidence was destroyed in the implosion that created an entire lake out of practically nowhere. It was going to be tough to explain to all the people who lived around there, and knew there was no such body of water, so they decided to go stay with their aunt and uncle in Utah for a bit until things cooled down. They always wanted to sell the land anyway. It’s not like they can manage to farm themselves, and they never really wanted to anyway.
Team Matic can’t be sure that they can trust these strangers, but when have they ever? At some point, concerning themselves with what might happen is just going to make living life even harder. If the government comes to E.T. all their asses, well...then they’ll deal with it then. For now, they’re going to stay at home, and try not to worry about anything at all. It’s a day of rest, and likely the last joint day off for a while. Leona postponed her return to work until next week, Ramses is newly unemployed, Mateo is still unemployed, Heath is already on sabbatical, and Marie and Angela are taking a personal day. They’re not just going to relax, though. They’re going to see the sites.
Moreso than the differences, it’s the similarities that this version of Kansas City shares with its main sequence counterpart that they find interesting, especially Angela. Marie felt the same way when she first arrived, but she’s grown used to it by now. The Fourth Quadrant was borne of the original, while the Parallel had a region that they called KC, but which did not resemble anything they had seen before. The Fifth Division seemed to not have anything on Earth at all, except for a small oasis in the middle of nowhere, at least part of which was holographic. It’s inexplicable and bizarre that this version should have the same World War I Museum and Memorial. It looks the exact same, and is in the same place, and this does not make any sense. WWI happened in the 1910s over there, but in the mid-19th century here; closer to the period of the United States Internal Conflict that the five aliens recall. Even just having the same city and state names is ridiculous. The countries, the oceans; none of it can be explained.
Something has to be driving these similarities, or let’s face it...someone. One or more of the Prestons are the most logical culprits, since they’re definitely capable of such things, but they’re not the only ones. Anyone they’ve met with such power has the potential to spawn alternate versions of themselves, if only through the help of others. Cassidy Long, the Repairman, or any one of the countless Jupiters, could also be behind this. They might be doing it for nefarious reasons, good reasons, or even with more of a neutral stance. Mateo realizes  now that he needs to make a special list of candidates. That doesn’t mean that it will help them get any answers, because it will be a shock to run into anyone they already know. Hell, even say, Vearden Haywood’s sister, Allison would be a noteworthy surprise. But it still makes sense to make a list.
Right now they’re standing in front of the Love Kansas City mural. “You didn’t tell us about this,” Leona almost accuses Marie.
“I didn’t know that the main sequence had one too. I died in 1816.”
“You’ve seen this before, though,” Mateo reminds her. “We came here.”
“I guess I forgot. What do we do with this information?”
Leona considers it for a long time. “What we do is all go on that trip together.”

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