Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: August 20, 2398

Heath moved out. He couldn’t handle Marie’s lying. There may still be things that she hasn’t told him, and he just can’t get over that, for now. The team tried to suggest he move into one of the now empty apartments, but that was too close to his wife. The point is to get away—away from her, and the team, and everything. They have yet to sell the condo at the Ponce de Leon, so he just went back there. Hopefully they can get themselves into some marriage counseling, and get this resolved. Most of them stopped seeing Magnus Sharpe for their therapy needs, but they have maintained their relationship with her, so she’ll be able to help, if Heath can come back to the table.
Mateo keeps deciding to go off and investigate the special temporal locations, but things keep getting in the way, and that has to stop. They have been to a lot of them, sure, but there is one particular spot that he’s been anxious to get to, plus one that’s too cold for this time of year. Something tells him that that second one is going to come with some real answers, expressly because it’s inaccessible in the winter months. Easter Island is not like that, though. It’s accessible right now, and in most cases, all you need is something called a Flyer’s Card. This reality has a credit card for everything. They stopped using paper and metal money a long time ago, but really went overboard with the plastic. Unlike loyalty cards, they don’t only work at specific businesses, but for specific types of purchases. One card is for groceries, another is for public city transport, and another for carpentry tools. There’s one that lets you buy electronics, but a subcard that lets you buy handheld devices, and you need it in addition to the more generalized one. They run them both at the same time, and split the cost across each. It’s stupid and insane, and means that people either carry full purses—which is not a gendered practice—or they leave what they don’t think they’ll need at home.
Mateo doesn’t have a Flyer’s Card, because they didn’t think that any of them would need it. He needs it now, or a third alternative. They can’t take The Olimpia without someone who knows how to fly it, but that was always just to allow travelers to exercise some independence. There are other ways to get around the world, so just because Mateo is alone, doesn’t mean he has to wait. New Flyer’s Cards take weeks to process. That’s what he’s doing at Winona’s office. “Can you get me there? It doesn’t have to be covert, and I can make some kind of donation. I just don’t have time to deal with trying to get a Flyer’s Card, or begging someone on my team to go with me. I’m the only one who has time.”
“All you ever have to do is ask, Mateo,” Winona says. “Of course I’ll get you to Easter Island. I only have one condition.”
He wants to roll his eyes, but the muscles necessary to make that work are presently holding his tail between his legs. “Okay.”
“I’m coming with you, and there won’t be any secrets between the two of us.”
“I suppose that’s fair. Can you fly, or is there, like, a link to the air force?”
“I know a guy.” She takes out her phone to make a call.
Mateo accompanies her to her apartment so she can grab a few things. He calls Leona on the way to keep her apprised of the situation. They make it to the military airbase, where their pilot is waiting for them. It’s the Captain from the rogue veterans team in the Bermuda Triangle, Tarboda Hobson.

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