Monday, January 2, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: October 30, 2398

Vearden pulls up to the house, and turtles his head to look through the windshield. Arcadia fell asleep, even on this short drive. The internet says that it’s not necessarily a symptom of pregnancy, especially not this early. She’s probably just stressed, which is a symptom of pregnancy. “We’re here,” he whispers.
Arcadia opens her eyes. “Did I miss it?”
“No,” he laughs. “I think the agent is just pulling up behind us.”
As the SUV is parking behind them, Vearden gets out, and opens the door for his...his whatever—they’ve not come up with a word for it yet. “Hello, you must be Radha.” He offers his hand.
Radha shakes it. “And you’re...Varden?”
Vearden,” he corrects.
“Nice to meet you. And you...Leona Matic?”
“I’m not Leona,” Arcadia says. “I’m her twin sister, Arcadia.”
“Forgive me,” Radha says politely.
“I need a new body,” Arcadia says to Vearden out of the corner of her mouth as they’re heading for the doorway.”
“I don’t see how the baby would transfer,” Vearden replies in the same way.
Radha unlocks the door. “Four bedrooms, two and a half baths. The master suite has a jacuzzi, and a walk-in closet, plus this cute little reading nook that I think you’re going to adore. The kitchen has recently been remodeled, as the previous owners were both professional caterers. They’re moving because their business got too big for it, but it should be perfect for a growing family. I assume you’re not far along.”
“Do I already have a bump?” Arcadia questions.
“Oh, heavens, no,” Radha says apologetically. “Your husband asked me to look for a good school district.”
“Oh, we’re not married.”
“Forgive me,” she repeats. “I was under the impression that you were Kalialists.” That must be a religion that doesn’t allow extramarital sex, or maybe just not pregnancy.
Arcadia has already looked into this. “We are Berarians.” As far as she can tell, it’s the least involved religion of them all. It’s not atheism, but they don’t really care about the nature of the almighty, or what the meaning of life is. It respects the rule of law more than some faiths. It recommends its members try not to bother others.
“I see. Well, here’s the open concept living room, breakfast dining area, and the kitchen that I was telling you about. That door in the corner by the bookcases leads to what I believe the original owners intended to use as a panic room. But then they moved, and the caterers came in, who never had it finished either. You can use it as a storage space, I suppose.”
Or they could use it as a panic room. “Oh, I would like to see that,” Vearden says.
Radha continues to show them through the house. It’s a nice place. On the outside, it doesn’t really look like something they would want, but that panic room almost sounds like fate. They’re trying to stay out of trouble, but it seems to find them, and that would be a nice thing to fall back on since Arcadia doesn’t have any powers, and because of the baby. They’ll consider making an offer.

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