Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: October 31, 2398

They’re moving. They’re moving out of the lofts, and not just for their residential needs, but also for Ramses and Leona’s lab. This building was built to last, but it doesn’t belong to them anymore. They’re giving the whole thing to the new owners of Angela’s company to do with it what they will. Maybe they’ll expand, or rent out the upper floors. Or perhaps they’ll demolish the whole thing and replace it with a mini waterpark. Whatever they choose, it will have nothing to do with Team Matic. They should have known that something like this was going to happen. Their whole thing is an ephemeral, nomadic lifestyle. They don’t stay anywhere for too long. Best to not get attached.
A moving company is allowed to handle some of the generic equipment, like tables and beakers. The sensitive materials, however, must be done in house. Ramses is here today, directing Mateo and Alyssa on this task. They’re not in any sort of rush, though. The government-run lab where this will all be moving to is not quite ready for them. Well, the space itself is reportedly totally ready. Winona claims that they keep such future-use places primed in the event of an pandemic, or some other emergency need. That’s what’s holding up the opening process. They have to secure approval from about seven different departments to use one of them, because another emergency venue will have to be developed to replace it.
Mateo holds up a computer monitor stand. “This?”
“Green box, storage” Ramses responds.
“And this?”
“Also green box.”
“Should we really be trusting these people?” Alyssa questions. “I mean, consider everything that you did to make sure this place was yours, and not even the agency that gave it to you had access to it. All these lava lamps and security cameras. Now you’re just going to work in a place built by them, for them?”
“Yeah, I can see how strange that seems,” Ramses admits. “Past!Me probably wouldn’t understand, but things have changed. Our relationship with the government has changed.” They have already given them tons of data and technology so far that they never would have dreamed to do for any government in the main sequence. Trying to keep whatever’s left a secret seems futile at this point. A better facility is more important. “I would rather have unfettered access to an advanced mass spectrometer, and an MRI machine, than my own place. It’s time to grow the operation. I have a lot of things I want to do, and this new place gets me all that. Plus, I think it makes them happy, and we need to keep them on our side.”
Alyssa rubs a lava lamp like a genie might come out of it. “But I love these. I’ve grown accustomed to staring at them during my parking lot surveillance shifts.”
“Blue box,” Ramses says. “We’re taking them with us, not just for storage.”
“You will have some privacy, though, won’t you?” Mateo asks.
“Yes, that is the very first project on my list. They may think they’ll have free and full access to my work, but with the right resources, I can protect anything that we feel they don’t need to know about.”
“What resources will you need for that, and how will you be accomplishing it?”
“I need a submarine. We’re retrieving the AOC from the bottom of the ocean.”

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