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Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: August 24, 2398

As soon as Leona walks into the room, Senator Honeycutt’s face drops into a here we go again expression. His assistant has to apologize for letting her in yet again. He keeps telling her to stop trying, because it’s not worth it, and to definitely stop apologizing for it. If Leona wants to go somewhere, she’s going to go there, and he knows it. “Agent Matic, what can I do for you this time?”
“When was the last time you spoke with your daughter?” she asks.
“Let’s see, is it Monday?”
“Yes,” she replies.
“Then...never. I don’t have a daughter.”
“Is that some sort of sad internal family political thing, or are you saying that you literally don’t have a daughter?”
“I literally don’t have any kids. Never have.”
She squints at him. “Given your age, position of power, and marriage status, why would you have never had children? Isn’t it sort of expected of you by your peers?”
“Well, it just so happens...” He trails off, realizing that this is a very good question. Men like him are concerned with legacy. It wouldn’t make much sense for him to rely exclusively on his career to keep his name alive. Children are a guaranteed legacy, even if you never do anything else with your life. He rests his forehead on his hand, and his elbow on the desk. “Why didn’t I have children?”
“You did,” Leona explains. “You just can’t remember her.”
“Why? What could cause me to lose my memory?”
“Well, there are a number of possible causes. The direct approach would be someone coming to you directly to remove the memories from your mind. Tell you what, call someone who would be cognizant of your fathering status, and ask them if they remember her. But it can’t be someone too close to you, because a memory thief may have gotten to them too. Choose someone distant, remote, but still unlikely to not be aware of your basic family information.”
“How old is she?”
“Late 20s, I think. I actually don’t really know.”
He thinks about it for a bit, and then calls someone to ask. He hangs up. “She doesn’t remember her either. We haven’t seen each other in about fifteen years, but back then, she would have known this mysterious missing daughter.” He’s so distraught now.
“Okay, so the next logical conclusion is that something happened to her, and my husband, which has ripped them from our spacetime.”
“You have a husband?”
“Yes, and a pilot-slash-boat captain named Tarboda Hobson took them to Easter Island. Is any of this ringing a bell?”
“I remember approving a plane. I don’t remember who for, or for what purpose.”
“Well, my memory is ripple proof, because of all the experience I have traveling through time. Only me and part of my team are like that, so I’m going to need you to approve another airplane, but it has to be something that can be flown by an amateur.”
“We have a prototype AICraft.” He doesn’t know what he’s fighting for, but he believes Leona, and is fighting for his lost daughter anyway.

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