Monday, October 31, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: August 28, 2398

While the agency continues their search for Erlendr Preston, who is still in the body of Ramses Abdulrashid, Leona and Ramses continue their work on the timonite. It has gotten them just about nowhere. Since Mateo coughed it up in Lebanon, there is very little they have been able to learn about the thing. It doesn’t respond to temperature or pressure changes. It doesn’t refract light, or interact with immortality water. Despite its beautiful, and sometimes mesmerizing, appearance, and the unusual route they took to find it, it just appears to be a regular rock. It does feel a long lighter than they would expect, given its size, but perhaps that’s more about how important it is to them.
Mateo has come up to the lab to check on them? “Hey, wadya know?” 
They don’t know much. It’s technicolor, which implies a connection to the greater bulk. It’s impossible to cut, even using lasers, so that’s both an interesting fact, and why they have not been able to learn anything else. There must be some loophole. There must be a way to do something with it, because it can’t just be a really pretty paperweight.
“You cleaned it, right?” Mateo admires it, sitting on its little display stand.
“Since it was in your stomach? Yes, husband.”
“Whoa, I thought you were Ramses,” Mateo jokes. “Hold on...who did I sleep with last night?”
“Trying to lighten the mood,” Ramses presumes. Nice try. This is pretty depressing work.”
“Maybe it’s alive. Have you tried to feed it?” Mateo reaches out to poke it like a middle schooler at the museum of natural history. He doesn’t tap on it very hard, or it would fall off the pedestal, but it doesn’t matter, because it sticks to his finger like a magnet. He instinctively tries to flick it off with his other finger, but it only makes things worse.
“What the hell is happening?” Either Leona or Ramses questions.
What Mateo said before was a joke, but he’s not looking at them, so he genuinely can’t tell who said that. He’s too focused on getting the stone off of his fingers. He shakes it like you’re not supposed to shake a Polaroid picture, but it won’t come off. He tries to pull it off with his other hand, knowing that it’s not going to work, but desperate and not thinking clearly. The stone melts in his hands, and separates in half. The molten rock wraps itself completely around Mateo’s hand and fingers, and threatens to flow higher up on his arms. “Oh my God! It’s Venom! I’m Venom! Stay back, I’m gonna bite your head off!” But then it stops. “Oh, wait. Wait, I think I’m fine.” His hands are now technicolor and kind of sparkly, but otherwise, they just look like hands.
Leona and Ramses are staring at him in concern. “How do you feel?” she asks.
“I feel fine.”
“Does it...tingle, or hurt?” Ramses asks, ready to take notes, as always.
“It doesn’t feel like anything,” Mateo replies. “I can’t even tell that it’s there.” Without thinking, he leans back on the table beside him, and sets his hand down upon it. A pool of technicolor liquid comes out, and begins to overwhelm the desk, and everything on it. Once the entire top is covered, it all disappears, but it doesn’t manage to take any of the legs, so they just fall down, unsupported.
“Ramses, can you track that?” Leona questions.
Ramses grabs his tablet, and taps through the menus. “It’s off the charts.”
“What does that mean?” Mateo asks, making sure that he doesn’t touch anything else, including his own face, which of course, now itches quite a bit.
“Wherever you sent that stuff, it’s beyond the borders of our reality. I can’t track things that go to other realities, or...”
“Or what?” Mateo prompts.
“Or other universes,” Ramses finishes.
“You are wearing technicolor hands now,” Leona notes.
“Oh, yeah, just say it like it’s normal,” Mateo says sarcastically. He calms down a notch or two. “What was on that table?”
“Not much,” Leona explains. “Just some basic equipment, and a high-powered microscope.”
“That’s not all,” Ramses remembers.
“What?” Leona asks.
“My copy of your fusion work. That was on there too. That was all there. I didn’t think something like this would happen.”
They don’t know if that’s really bad, really good, or maybe doesn’t matter. If it landed at the bottom of the ocean, or an uninhabited world, or somewhere in the middle of outer space, it could be fine. It could also change the course of history for the entire population of some unsuspecting universe out there. They may never know. All they know right now is that Mateo can’t touch anything for the time being, not even his own clothes. Within minutes, he’s completely naked. This is gonna be a problem.

No comments :

Post a Comment