Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: Year 212,398

Curtis is wandering down the corridors, checking all the doors to see if he’s allowed to go in. He’s not. He tried to teleport directly into a couple of the rooms, but they’re temporally locked as well. He’s made it to the main living area now. Cheyenne is already there. She’s staring at the open door to Mateo’s stasis chamber. “Hey. Is everything okay?” he asks, hoping not to frighten her.
“Huh? Oh, yeah. I just feel bad for the guy. It really sounds like Danica is screwing him over. He’s just trying to get back to his wife. Wait, is Danica here?”
“I didn’t see her,” Curtis says, “but these walls have ears. Literally.”
“Right.” She breathes deeply, and continues staring at the pods. “I should be more careful.”
“Hey, you’re trying to get home too, aren’t ya?”
“I’ve never been in any hurry my entire life. So yes, seems weird to be so earnest about it. Him, I get. His life span is so short. Everything here is so weird.”
“How long is your life span?”
She just looks at him with no intention to answer.
She’s totally right. This place is so weird. You can be gone for minutes, and miss out on so much. In fact, you could be in stasis for the same amount of time as civilization had existed up to the point that Curtis first left. Empires would rise and fall. Wars would be fought. “Come on, let’s stop being depressed.”
“It’s the last day of the year, did you know that?”
“I guess.”
“He was supposed to be awakened, but the hatch never opened.”
“Maybe we could try to open it.”
“I already did. It didn’t work. It requires an access code. These people are so distrustful. I’ve never understood that. Where I’m from, our ancestors fought wars so that one day, we could live free from conflict. I don’t think that war is good, but I’m having trouble fitting in here.” Wow, they’re both making a vague connection between the situation they’re in and war. Interesting. There’s something about this girl.
“Well, this isn’t my first time being put in this kind of situation. Maybe it’ll be easier if you don’t try to go through it alone. Let’s do something fun together.”
“Something like what?” she asks.
“Well, a lot of this facility is off limits, but there’s one area I know is open.”
“Let me guess, your bedroom.”
He laughs. “No. Come on, I’ll show you. It’s a doozy.”
Cheyenne follows him into the elevator, which she never thought to try, because everyone says that it just goes up to the surface, which doesn’t even have a breathable atmosphere. That turns out to be okay, because in the mostly empty room at the top are two vacuum suits, which a little robot helps them put on. As she explains to Curtis, she’s seen space from ships and space stations before, but never like this. It’s wild, hopping along this planet, kicking at the space rocks. Because she’s traveled back in time to a completely unrecognizable calendar, and she’s been in stasis a lot of the time, the date is irrelevant. But, if she adds up all the time she has spent outside of stasis since arriving, it’s been nineteen days. It’s her birthday, and this is the best gift she’s ever received.

No comments :

Post a Comment