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Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: September 30, 2398

Alyssa adds more shirts to the suitcase as Carlin stands there, watching her. He’s old enough to pack for himself, but he doesn’t want to go, so this is his way of being defiant. If she’s the one who wants this, then she’s going to be the one to make it happen, and he doesn’t have to help her with that. Young Moray has just finished packing his own bag, because while he doesn’t want to leave either, making people do things for him is not his style. Alyssa smiles sadly over at him. “Thank you, Mor.”
“Why do we have to go?” Carlin questions.
“Because it’s not safe here anymore.”
“It’s never really been safe,” he argues. “These people’s lives are dangerous, that’s what makes them so interesting.”
“It’s become more dangerous since we arrived,” Alyssa clarifies.
“Then why aren’t you coming with us?” Moray asks her.
She stops trying to close Carlin’s bag, and goes over to Moray. She gets on her knees, and holds him by the arms. “You understand that they’re time travelers, right?”
“Yeah,” Moray confirms, holding back tears.
“Well, they know things about the future. They know things about my future. I’m destined to work with them, they’ve already seen it.”
“What happens to us in the future?”
Alyssa looks at Carlin over her shoulder, and then back to Moray. “You’re safe, and it’s because today, you go to Palmeria.”
“You’re lying,” Carlin believes.
“I’m not,” Alyssa lies. “That is where you belong.” She stands back up. “And this...is where I belong. We’ll see each other again, I promise. Mateo can teleport me there whenever I need to. In the meantime, we’ll holo-chat, and text, okay?”
“Okay.” Moray is still holding back those tears, and doing a pretty good job of it.
“Okay,” she echoes. She leans over to kiss him on the forehead, then turns to face Carlin. “I need you to take care of him, because I’m not in a position to do it anymore.”
Carlin seethes just a little, but then grows determined. He punches the top of his suitcase, and holds his fist in place while his other hand zips it up. “I assume they have internet. I’m not done with the religion research.”
Relieved, Alyssa nods. “They do; Mateo confirmed. In fact, they don’t have dogma filters, so you won’t be limited to any given religion’s biased interpretation of competing faiths. You’ll have a better understanding of the history and culture for your thesis.”
“What’s a thesis?” Carlin asks.
“It’s kind of when you come to a conclusion before your research, and then you do the research to find out if it’s actually true.”
“Do they even need this anymore? I mean, if I’m leaving...”
“Part of the reason you’re leaving is so that you can continue safely, and without worrying about anything else,” Alyssa explains. “It’s still vitally important data; more so now, probably. We’re not just tryna get rid of ya, I promise.”
“I’m helping with it,” Moray interjects.
“I know,” Alyssa says to him proudly. “Now, come on. “We’re going to have one last group meal together before the big move.”

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