Saturday, December 17, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: October 14, 2398

Marie is back in Kansas City. Arcadia, of all people, is driving her and Vearden from Chicago in a rental, since The Olimpia has finally been destroyed, and a copy of the AOC sank in the ocean. The hospital was stunned by her sudden and miraculous recovery. They couldn’t explain it, but they wanted to. They held her for the better part of three more days, under the guise of needing to keep her under observation. Instead, they were running as many tests as possible, worried that the word would get out to the public. It was Winona who finally freed her using her political wiles.
They’re pulling into the basement garage now to avoid being seen by the new employees on the first floor, who don’t know a single thing about any of this. They’ve been informed that Angela is dead. It seemed easier to put it that way, rather than making up some excuse for why she bolted without so much as a goodbye. Ramses has been on the premises the entire time, and Alyssa has made herself moderately available for questions. Syntyche and Derina haven’t asked for much, and honestly, it’s hard for the team to care all that much about it, given everything that they’re dealing with. Even Angela wouldn’t have wanted to sacrifice her friends’ safety for the sake of the company. Perhaps the chapter is prematurely over. It may be best for them to distance themselves from it, and from society in general.
“I want my ship back.”
“Are you talking about the Olimpia, or the AOC?”
“The AOC,” Marie clarifies. “I know it sank, but did it survive?”
Ramses sighs. “I’ve been thinking about that, if it had tipped over in the water, it probably would have floated. The only reason it sank is because of the reframe engine, which I did not include in my initial designs. It sort of sucked the rest of the vessel under, so I don’t think there was a leak. It should be able to withstand at least fifteen hundred bars, and at an estimated depth of 10,000 meters...” He trails off when Marie, Arcadia, and Vearden look at him funny. “Yes, it probably survived, but getting down there would be a challenge. You could even call it...a deep challenge?”
They don’t get the joke. “I would ask you kindly to do some research on the matter,” Marie requests. I know that the Olimpia could not dive that deep, but maybe there’s a submarine out there somewhere that can, and if the government has any access to it, I will probably ask them, even if it’s the last favor they ever owe me.”
“Hold on,” Vearden begins, “your spaceship is at the bottom of the ocean. Can you just swim up through the water, and then fly into the sky?”
“I won’t know until I get down there,” Ramses replies. “Under ideal conditions, yeah, it could do it. I didn’t design it for a subaqueous launch, but in a pinch, I believe that it could get airborne. I just need to get inside first.”
“Is that where you wanna live?” Vearden asks Marie. “Not here, or the condo?”
“That’s where Heath died,” Marie says. “I don’t ever wanna see that place again.”
“That’s okay,” Ramses tells her.
“I don’t want to live here either. Every corner reminds me of him.”
“We could find somewhere else,” Arcadia suggests. “Living inside of a small spacecraft is going to be conspicuous no matter where we put it.”
“I don’t just wanna live in the ship,” Marie contends. “I wanna live in space.”

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