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Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: May 25, 2398

It wasn’t easy, getting on a commercial flight to Bermuda at such short notice. It’s a popular destination, so lots of flights go out there, but this is the beginning of vacation season, so most of them were pretty full. Heath and Ramses deplane, and head for the exit. Ramses gets on the phone. “We’re here, where are you?”
“I’m about an hour and forty-five minutes away,” Leona replies.
“What?” Ramses questions. “You were meant to wait for us.”
I was worried I would lose the signal. I’m still worried. I need to come back and scoop you up, but what if he gets out of range. I already feel our psychic connection wearing off.
Heath takes the phone. “Leona, have you been going in the same direction the whole time?”
Yes,” she answers.
“Then we have a good idea where they’re headed by now,” Heath reasons. “Come back and get us. “You probably need to refuel anyway. We’ll leave as soon as we can, and get back on the trail.”
Okay,” Leona concedes. “I’m coming back.
Mateo is about 600 kilometers from Bermuda right now, traveling on the same bearing since departure. There’s nothing on the map out here, so either the men who took him are trying to get to Cuba, or they’re going to rendezvous with some other ocean vessel. All she knows is that they’re on a boat, and she’s on a plane. She can catch back up to him, even after flying all the way back to the island, but it’s going to break her heart if it turns out she can’t find that trail again.
Heath may be wrong. Mateo’s abductors could turn to a different direction at any moment. One thing that gives her comfort is that her husband feels okay right now. He was not doing well yesterday, but he seems to have recovered. He’s not happy, per se, but he’s not scared or sick anymore, so at least there’s that. Like she was saying, though, they might lose their empathic connection, either by moving too far away from each other, or just because the temporal energy that they’re working off of is used up. One good choice Leona made is to call up some help. She doesn’t know who they’re going to be up against, and she shouldn’t try to fight them on her own. Angela and Marie are still in Kansas City, moving forward with Operation Backup Twin, as one of them decided to start calling it.
As calculated, Leona lands back on the road within two hours. They take a little bit of time to replace the fuel cells, so they can be at optimal operational capacity. Leona never does lose the psychic link, but she can still feel Mateo getting farther away from her until the three rescuers get back in the air. Before they get too close to the enemy, they drop out of the sky, and transform into a boat. This is when they start putting on their tactical gear, and checking their weapons. “So, the reason we stopped flying is to be stealthy, correct?” Heath asks the group.
“Right,” Leona agrees.
“Why don’t we just go sub?”
Leona stops adjusting her thigh holster. “What? This is a sub?”
“Yeah, did I not tell you that?”
“Uhh, no.”
“Oh, yeah. This is a sub.”
“Put us down,” Leona demands.
Heath stops what he was doing, and engages the controls. They dive deeper until The Olimpia is fully submerged. Blast shutters slide down over the windows automatically, but Heath reverses them, under the assumption that they won’t be going very deep.
“No, put them back down,” Leona says. “I wanna kiss the bottom of the ocean. The closer we are, the more difficult it will be for the enemies to detect us, if they’re expecting anyone at all.”
“Very well,” Heath agrees. He does as he’s told, and sinks deeper and deeper and deeper, but then he stops.
“What’s going on?”
“This is as deep as we can go,” he warns. “It can only handle a couple hundred meters. That’s pretty good for a vessel this size in the 24th century.”
Leona sighs heavily. “Fine. Keep going.” She points towards the front. “That way.”
They maintain their pursuit, hoping that the boat doesn’t see them coming. Even if they do, though, what are they going to do about it? They probably don’t have torpedoes, or anything. The element of surprise would be great, but just being able to rise up to the bilge would be helpful on its own, as Ramses suggests. They don’t get that chance, which disappoints him a little.
Mateo gets on the radio, and makes contact. “Olimpia, Olimpia, come in.
“This is the Olimpia. Go ahead,” Leona prompts.
I wanna show you somethin’.
I’ll be with you in a second. I just need to get something from my cabin.” A minute later, Mateo teleports himself into the Olimpia. “I don’t have much time. I obviously didn’t tell them what I can do, so they can’t walk in to find me missing. Surface so we can talk in person. And put away those guns. I’ll explain everything.”

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