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Monday, November 21, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: September 18, 2398

It was Vearden who figured it out. Rather, he made a guess, and the team has taken a gamble on it. He realized that when Arcadia explained to them that they should assume Erlendr knows everything that Ramses knows, she missed one detail. They must also assume that he recognizes that Arcadia is smart enough to know that, and would tell the team. The theory is that Erlendr convinced Meredarchos to start a trail from Kansas City to Nashville, then double back. They should have been suspicious the whole time. He was nowhere to be found after the escape until he suddenly popped up on a convenience store security feed in St. Louis. The next day he made a second appearance, all the way in Tennessee. He wasn’t heading for Orlando. He was drawing them away from his real target, which is the man who helped break him out of the blacksite.
Arcadia wasn’t lying, she just failed to see the entire plan. Meredarchos is a psychic from another universe. Temporal energy has nothing to do with that. Telepathic powers have always been a separate thing from time manipulation. They just so happen to be present in the same world. Those who possess both do so via coincidence more than anything. He has no use for immortality water of any kind. Being transported to Birket would have been a great way to escape North America, but then he would be trapped in Birket, and even with the ability to push thoughts into people’s minds, it would have been too much work to escape. He would have been better off going in any random direction, and trying to blend in with the civilians there while he learned how to take back control of his powers. Erlendr knew that his cover was not going to last forever. As intelligent as he is, he’s not a particularly good actor. He can mimic the behavior of those he knows best, and that really only includes his so-called family. He may have access to Ramses’ memories, but he doesn’t understand his personality.
He needed a way out, and Meredarchos is that way. It’s the only thing that really makes sense when trying to explain why he made any attempt to break Meredarchos or Rothko free. No matter what he says, Erlendr doesn’t do anything unless it’s for Erlendr. He cares about no one, and he doesn’t help people out of the kindness of his heart. He’s a predator, and a user. The Fountain of Youth couldn’t be anything but a red herring. Even so, they can’t risk it being the answer, so the team is splitting off. Believing more firmly that Meredarchos would be coming to help Erlendr, Arcadia stays behind with Mateo, along with most of the restidents of The Lofts. Leona and Vearden, meanwhile, will take the SD6 operatives to Florida, and wait for him there. If he does show up, Mateo will teleport Arcadia to their location. Her own psychic prowess is still their best weapon they have against his psychic invasions. They’re holding Erlendr-slash-Ramses in the basement, inside of a cage that was designed to transport gorillas. Alyssa comes down to give Mateo and Arcadia some lemonade. “I had a thought.”
“Okay,” Mateo says in a welcoming tone.
Alyssa is watching Ramses’ face for any reaction to her words. “There are two Erlendrs in the world right now, right? There’s the one who ran off with Ramses’ body, and then the one we found in that other universe, evidently from our future.”
Mateo nods. “Right.”
“So...which one is this Meredarchos guy on his way to rescue?”
Mateo looks to Erlendr too, to see if he gives the truth away. Unclear. “Crap.”

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