Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: August 12, 2398

Angela is sitting in the welcome room. It has a conference table, multiple screens, a snack bar with refrigeration, couches, and comfortable chairs. This is where she’ll first meet clients. It’s a playground for them to explore what kind of software they might want to create without the limiting factors of a stuffy office. Completing this room was the final flourish. If she wanted to take a meeting today, she would be ready for them. Well, the building would be ready. Psycho-emotionally speaking, she may never be ready. She’s nervous already, and she hasn’t even opened the doors yet. Can she do this? Is she ready? Should she do it?
Kivi peeks her head into the room like a sideways prairie dog. “Hey.” She’s Angela’s researcher. Angela knows how to counsel people, and she knows how to code, which is a lot of work for one person. It will be Kivi’s responsibility to find people who might be interested in their services, but who might not be aware that it’s even a thing. Or they might not be aware that they can do it for free. This is a highly competitive field, but most companies charge for development. Angela isn’t even sure that she wants to call them clients, because once they go into business together—if it goes that far—they will be more like partners. They will work together to build something, and share in the profits, and if it fails, they will share in the loss. The point of this is to take on the financial burden, because her only partners will be people who both can’t do it on their own, and can’t afford to invest monetarily.
Angela takes a deep breath. “You found my secret hiding place.”
“You mean the biggest room on the floor besides the lobby? Yep.”
Angela nods, but doesn’t say anything.
Kivi walks over and sits down next to her. “What are you feeling?”
“Hesitation,” Kivi questions, “or cold feet?”
She shakes her head. Does it matter? The result is the same when this whole project is cancelled. They should never have even tried, and they wasted so much time, money, and effort getting to this point. They don’t need the money. The entire pursuit is all about her, inspired by the simple fact that Leona and Ramses only needed one floor for their lab. The business doesn’t do the team any good, and it doesn’t do the world much good either. It’s selfish. She feels so selfish, spending so much time on this.
It’s like Kivi can see all this detailed angst in Angela’s eyes. “You don’t have to feel bad about doing this, just because Leona is working on fusion, and Ramses, Mateo, and Alyssa are trying to get Trina back. They want this place to succeed. We all do.”
“It’s all so stupid compared to everything else going on.”
“It’s not, and you won’t feel that way when I show you the profile for your first partner.” She casts her tablet to the big screen. A group of teenagers are laughing for the camera. “The boy in the green shirt has been walking two miles to the nearest internet cafe everyday to research ways to help his community. The area is poverty-stricken, and the school’s population is dwindling as a cult promising riches recruits kids for what he realizes is actually a militia. He has some pretty cool ideas to put a stop to it, but not the resources to follow through. Upon your go-ahead, I’m prepared to reach out.”
Angela reads about him on the screen, and thinks. “Okay. Call him.”

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