Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: Year 132,398

Okay, now they really are back. Mateo and Danica were finally sent to the right version of the Constant in the right reality, though not at the right time. They’re 70,000 years late, for no apparent reason. A lot changed in that time, but not that much if you only look at the full duration, and don’t include time in stasis. The daughter of a different verion of Tamerlane Pryce, Abigail is here, having appeared in the time machine when they were expecting Mateo and Danica instead. Possession of the Omega Gyroscope automatically passed down to Bhulan, which probably doesn’t really affect Mateo, because he doesn’t know where it is, or how to use it, and everyone else seems to agree that he can’t be trusted anyway. No one on the dream team knows what they’re going to do about all this, so the four of them move off to have a private meeting. Meanwhile, Mateo is left with Cheyenne and Abigail.
“So...” he begins awkwardly. “How have you been?”
“Her, or me?” Cheyenne questions.
“We’ve never met,” she replies.
“Neither have we,” Abigail says for herself.
“ not to say anything, I guess. We’ll just sit here quietly.”
“Sit where?” Cheyenne asks.
“Right here. I don’t think the bigwigs want us to wander off alone.”
“No,” Cheyenne laughs. “I mean, where are we? What is this place? Who are you? How do I get home?”
“We’re in the Constant, on a pre-Earth planet called Theia. This facility was built to one day provide respite to time travelers. It was created so far back in the past, because that would make it harder for someone to prevent it from ever existing. I’m Mateo Matic. That is Abigail Siskin. Those people are my cousin, Danica Matic, her father, Asier Mendoza, Bhulan Cargill, and her father, Tamerlane Pryce.”
“He’s not my father,” Abigail contends.
“Right, he’s the father of someone who looks exactly like her, and Danica isn’t really my cousin, but she looks exactly like her too. How you get home is hopefully something they’re all discussing.”
“I understand Time Travel 101,” Cheyenne insists. You don’t have to baby me.”
“You misunderstand,” Mateo begins. “My explanation is not meant to condescend to you. It’s because I did not spend much time in your world, and I am not familiar with what you and your people know, and do not know.”
“I see.”
They return to the uncomfortable silence, Mateo musing at how comically common it is for random people to just show up. Yeah, they’re time travelers, but this is so ridiculous. Cheyenne’s origins were always mysterious, so it’s not totally surprising that she has something to do with this. Abigail is way out of left field, though. Or maybe not, since her father is here. Well, he’s her once-father, so still. Who else is coming?
While Mateo is listing the most likelies in his head, the braintrust returns to announce that Danica was reminded of how things were when Bhulan and Tamerlane first showed up, and how she had to treat them like normal guests. “You can all stay.”

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