Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: July 13, 2398

Miller Dennard didn’t understand when Leona called the weapon that one of the other helicopters dropped down in the gulf an atom bomb. She didn’t even have any clue what that could mean, or make any connection between the term, and the sunboxes of lore. Apparently, the a in a-bomb stood for addle, for its function of spoiling life within the blast radius. She’s not a scientist, so she couldn’t detail how it worked, but she assured the team that international war laws prevented the military from using such weapons against humans. They’re only ever deployed to disrupt an enemy’s agricultural capacity. Taba, Egypt relies heavily on marine life in the gulf to support their economy, particularly in selling fishing licenses for tourists. This is going to severely damage their budget, but as she put it, they should have thought about that before they collectively decided against helping a small group of lost wanderers. Heath is shocked that she was able to secure approval for such a hostile act. The three time travelers are valuable, and he knows that, but now it seems that others are starting to agree. People are going to great lengths to both protect them, and get them on a certain side.
The transport helicopter and its escorts landed in Frankfurt, then got them into first class on a direct flight back to Kansas City. A driver came for the fake Amir, and then another came to deliver the rest to the condo, which is when they discovered that the other three members of their group were not there. Angela left a coded note, explaining that they were going off on a rescue mission. That was days ago, though, and they should have beat them back here with The Olimpia. Something else happened, and they needed to know what. They weren’t able to get ahold of them by phone, so they confronted Winona Honeycutt for answers. She claimed that they were aware of the rescue attempt by the Dead Sea, but lost track of the other half of the team after that. No one appeared to have detected them teleporting away, but that’s what the Honeycutts figured went down. She said that she had been searching for them ever since, and have come up with no leads. It’s hard to tell when she’s lying, but it could be true.
Finally, after days of stressing out about it, Leona received a call from an unfamiliar number late at night. Mateo wasn’t able to talk for very long; not long enough for Leona to arouse the others to listen in on the whole conversation, but he was able to report that the three of them were okay, and were making their way home. Communication was difficult, though, so she shouldn’t expect to hear from them frequently. No word on where they were, or what they were doing, but it was a relief just to make contact. Their communications may be compromised in more ways than one, so they’ll wait to debrief each other in person. They sure have a lot to divulge themselves.
“What else did he say?” Kivi asks, having only heard the tail end of the conversation.
Leona frowns, and stares into empty space. “They won’t be back for days, if that.”
“I’m sorry.” Marie and Heath only heard Mateo say goodbye, and then hang up.
Leona straightens herself out. “You’re in charge while I’m gone.”
“Where are you going?” Heath asks her.
“I’m going to wherever they are.” Amidst confused protests, Leona goes back to her room to get dressed, and gather a few essentials. She orders the others to remain here, and not follow her. Then she drives down to their lab.

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