Sunday, December 25, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: October 22, 2398

Kivi hangs up the phone, confused and frustrated, perhaps even more frustrated than before she made the call, but now for different reasons. The interrogation of Meredarchos is not going well. There are only a few people in the world who are immune to his psychic abilities, and half of them don’t work for the government, so they’re off doing their own things. The rest are left to stay at the black site, and keep watch over him in tiresome shifts. They grow weary of it, but until they figure out how his ability works, they are the only line of defense against him. Kivi was hoping to get Arcadia to immunize others, but she can’t come back, for reasons she didn’t get into. She did make one crazy claim, which is that generating mental barriers in other people’s heads is something that Kivi may be able to do herself.
What you’re doing when you say that you’ve picked up the scent of a target has nothing to do with smell,” Arcadia said. “The reason you can find people is because you’re tracking the unique psychic signal that everyone gives off, whether they want to or not. You too have psychic abilities; maybe not as strong as Meredarchos, or even me, but everyone has a little, and you’re definitely better than the average person.
Kivi is confounded by this. Obviously she knew it had nothing to do with smell. Catching a scent was just the easiest way to put it without having a degree in neurology. Still, psychic is a bit of a stretch. If she can read minds, shouldn’t she have done so accidentally by now? In the movies, if a character has a special ability, it will always surface at an opportune time, especially if we’re talking multiple abilities. Kivi has been interrogating this dark entity for days, and nothing like that has happened to her. Though maybe just knowing it’s a thing will make it work the next time. She’s certainly going to try that before she attempts to protect a new agent from Meredarchos’ intrusions. If she fails, it places someone in danger, but this only puts her at risk.
They’ve been living at a safehouse about a kilometer from the secret one-person prison, which was built into an abandoned mine shaft by another team while Kivi and her team were still looking for the enemy. She makes the drive back, and checks in at the gate. She takes the elevator down, and heads for Meredarchos. His two frontline guards have already moved him to the interrogation room, and placed a dark bag over his head. If this is going to work, he can’t be allowed to sense anything through her microexpressions. She sits down across from him, and starts to operate on instinct. If I were a real psychic, how would I read someone’s thoughts?
After a few minutes, Kivi starts to feel something. Her own mental wall is still there, but now she’s getting the sense that there are two walls. One of them belongs to Meredarchos and Erlendr. They apparently also have to protect themselves against intruders. She looks up to the top. She can see both of them there, on separate corners, scanning the horizon. They’re looking so far in the distance, they can’t even see that she’s right there in front of them. It’s one tall-ass wall, though. As a metaphor, it’s a pretty good one. There’s no way she’s scaling that, and making it to the other side.
She hears a whisper at the base of the wall. “Psst. Come here.” It’s a shadowy figure, holding onto an open door.
Who is that?” Kivi asks.
It’s me, come on.” The figure steps a little more into the light. It’s Cheyenne.

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