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Monday, August 22, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: June 19, 2398

The LIR Map, yeah, that sounds interesting, but Angela is going through something right now that she feels she can’t talk to anyone about. It was her idea to take Marie’s place at her job, but the situation has turned out to be a house of cards, and she’s worried about ruining the whole thing. At some point, when this all dies down, Marie is going to want to return to her life, and it’s Angela’s responsibility to make sure it still exists when that happens. She thought it was a great idea to use the artificial intelligence that Ramses took from The Constant, but it’s placed her in an awkward position. She thought she was being so clever, carefully utilizing the powerful tool in such a way to prevent others from noticing. Notice, they did. Apparently, her employer has been utilizing an AI of their own. To make sure the code that their programmers write is created by a human, and is not some kind of virus, they scan all submissions. No one is in trouble, but her superiors are very interested in how her code keeps failing the scan tests. They’re just too perfect.
She finishes the video call with the Prime Executive of the company. It’s a pretty big deal. This guy doesn’t normally talk to people like her. She keeps downplaying her work, indicating that she simply spent a lot of time bulking up her library of repeaters, which would explain why her new programs are so sophisticated and bug-free, but he’s not buying it. He can’t force her to do anything, and he’s being really nice and patient about it, but this is why Marie’s life could all just fall apart.
A knock on the door. Heath is on the other side. When did he get home? “Is everything okay?”
“It’s fine, why?” Angela replies.
“I couldn’t help but hear part of the conversation. Evidently, you’re doing quite well at Marie’s job?”
As far as she knows, the people on this team don’t lie to each other. Of course, she may just be ignorant about it, and it’s certainly no good reason to lie to them herself, but in this case, she probably has no choice. They have enough on their plates. This is her problem, and she has to fix it, no matter the cost. “Yeah, it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it.”
He’s giving her the same face the exec was when she was trying to lie to him. “It actually sounds like you’re too good at the job.”
“What are you saying, that I’m better than your wife?”
“What?”
“You want I should call her about that? Could I get a quote?”
“What are you talking about? How did this become hostile?”
“Are you accusing me of something?”
“No, of course not. What kind of accusation might that be?”
“Just...I need to be alone right now.”
“Okay, that’s fine, I just—”
She closes the door, and leans up against it, trying some breathing exercises. This isn’t going to work. She needs help, even if she gets in trouble for what she tried to do. He’s still standing there when she opens it up again, like he knew she would. “All right. Let me tell you the truth.”
“It’s okay. We’ll figure it out. I have an instinct to help people with your face.”

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