Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: October 4, 2398

It’s impossible to estimate how long Mateo has until he can no longer teleport, or how many times he can do it, or even how far he can travel altogether. Ramses ran every test he could come up with multiple times, and couldn’t come to a solid conclusion. Mateo is not losing the ability little by little. It’s fluctuating unpredictably, and will likely only become more unreliable with time. He may start to have trouble aiming at his destination, or lose a lot of time in a given attempt. Where he is when he’s not at Point A or Point B is unclear, but the answer could be incredibly dangerous, whether he knows what it is, or not.
“What about the timonite that’s stuck to my hands? Is that dripping off, or what?”
“I don’t know,” Ramses admits. “I don’t know enough to figure out how to detect it. I’ve scanned your hands, and it can’t tell whether there’s any timonite there at all. It can’t even detect the weird telekinetic outer layer that the god dude gave you.”
“I guess I’m more worried that I’m going to lose that, and go back to midasing everything I touch, dispatching it to an innocent, unsuspecting universe.”
“The guy who gave that to you was wildly powerful, based on Leona’s descriptions, and what I’ve witnessed for myself. I doubt that it has a time limit, and if it does, it’s surely based on the integrity of the timonite that it’s there to contain.”
“I sure hope you’re right,” Mateo says.
“I’m sorry that I can’t do anything about the other thing.”
That’s okay. Having that power back felt nice, but it’s not like he was used to it. He spent most of his life without the ability to teleport, or do anything like that. He was born to be a salmon—he’s not supposed to make his own choices—so anytime he has is gravy. “Don’t sweat it. We’ll get out of this reality, and go back to the way things were.”
“You’re mighty confident these days,” Ramses notes.
“I’m trying not to be so stressed out and worried. Everyone else is having a really hard time right now, and the best thing I can do is stay calm, and help where I can.”
“That’s a very mature thing for you to say.”
“Well, I am hundreds of years old, or thousands, or just a regular adult, depending on how you’re measuring time,” Mateo muses.
“I measure it with this.” He takes a wand from his cabinet, and waves it around.
“What is that?”
“It’s a temporal...a temponeural, umm...”
Mateo laughs “What? What are you trying to say, guy?”
“I’m not sure what to call it yet. A neurotemporal something something detector.”
“What exactly does it do?”
Ramses hovers it over Mateo’s forehead. It makes a noise. Once it’s finished, he inspects the readout. “Hmm. It says that your consciousness is a few seconds old.”
“So it needs work.”
Mateo thinks that he might possibly have a halfway decent idea, which he hopes won’t sound stupid. “Could you scale that up?”
“How big?” Ramses asks.
“Big enough to scan the whole world?”

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