Monday, February 27, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: Year 252,398

Curtis and Cheyenne have known each other for eight years now, which Mateo is finding surreal, because he’s awake even less than they are. Though, he shouldn’t think it’s that weird, since skipping time has been his life for awhile now. The two lovebirds met tens of thousands of years ago, but since they have so much time on their hands, they have spent some of it keeping track of actual time. In fact, that eight year figure doesn’t even account for the time that one of them was out of stasis without the other. A normal couple would count all the time they were geographically apart from each other, so all told, it’s longer than that. There aren’t a whole lot of options for partnerships here. Between relatives and external relationships, neither Curtis nor Cheyenne has a large pool to choose from. So they worked really hard to test their relationship with each other to make sure that it was real, and not just a last man on Earth type of situation. After all that, they have decided that they really do care for each other, and exclusively so, even if there were billions of others around. They want to get married, but the problem is that no one here is qualified to officiate the ceremony, or sign the papers.
“We don’t need a big ceremony, though,” Cheyenne says. “Are you sure that no one vested that power in you?”
“Certain,” Danica replies. “It’s the responsibility of someone else in our world.”
“Well...could you contact that person?” Curtis requests.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know how,” Danica apologizes.
“I know how.” Bhulan steps forward.
“You do?” Danica question.
“Not herme,” Bhulan says, confusingly. “This is Aquila.” Oh, right.
“Oh.” Danica nods. “You know how to contact The Officiant?”
“Yeah, I know a lot of things,” Aquila replies.
“I’m not sure that she can come to this reality,” Danica says, worried.
“She can go anywhere,” Aquila claims. At least that is the assumption. Perhaps they should come up with some way of knowing which one is talking. One of them could always be wearing sunglasses, or be holding the talking stick. “Trust me.”
“Okay. We have nothing else to do for the next 4,000 years, so let’s plan a wedding. And by let’s, I mean anyone else, because that is not my strong suit. Really, you don’t want me involved. I can set up chairs, or fold announcements, but...”
“We don’t need much,” Cheyenne says. “We can’t invite anyone else, and don’t really want to.”
Curtis is confused. “Wait, we talked about this,” he says to her in a hushed tone.
“Yeah, and I don’t think they’re gonna be able to swing it,” she replies in a more hushed tone.
They continue to argue softer and softer until no one else can here.
“Aquila, do you know if the Officiant would be able to transport people here, like her family?” Curtis asks.
“I doubt it, but you can ask. You can’t have the wedding today, she’ll want to meet you first, and then give you time.”
“Great. Call her.”
“I have to do it alone,” Aquila explains. “That includes you,” she says to her own shoulder, likely as a way of communicating with her brainmate, Bhulan. “I’ll go dormant, like we practiced,” she then says, suggesting that this is Bhulan speaking now. Yeah, a good talking stick would really help. “Just remember to wake me up.”
Aquila goes off to do whatever she needs to do to make contact with the Officiant. By the time she walks back into the room, the woman herself has arrived. A bookcase in the master sitting room disappears, and is replaced with the door to the Officiant’s office. She steps out. “Who are the lucky two?”
Curtis and Cheyenne step forward.
“Come with me so we can talk. This could be the first of many, or the last.” As they’re stepping up to the door, she looks at the rest of the group. “I need someone to join us as witness.”
Bhulan raises her hand.
“Only one witness, please,” the Officiant clarifies. “How about you, sir?”
“Me?” Mateo questions, looking behind him to see if she means it.
“Yes, you’ve gone through this before, you know what to expect. It could help.”
“We didn’t have a witness at mine and Leona’s meeting.”
The Officiant scowls. “I made a lot of concessions for that marriage. How is it going, by the way?”
“It’s been better,” Mateo replies. “I miss her.”
“Well, come on, then. Your friends need you.”
He wouldn’t feel comfortable calling either of them friends. Curtis is from a timeline that Mateo doesn’t remember, and he’s only ever met Future!Cheyenne. But still, if they need someone to be there, he can’t say no.
Once they’re all seated, she begins. “Why don’t I let you start and drive the conversation? What are your biggest concerns regarding this event?”
“Well,” Cheyenne says, looking over to make sure that Curtis doesn’t want to say something first. “Neither of us wants a big wedding, but I was hoping my family could be there. He thought it would be okay to ask if you could retrieve them for us.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” the Officiant replies. “Guest lists are beyond my purview. We in the business call it scope creep, and it’s caused some issues in past ceremonies. I can, however, perform the ceremony whenever, and wherever, you like. We can wait until you return to your family. Is that a possibility?”
“Not for a long time,” Curtis responds. “But we’re anxious to get to it.”
“Even if we did go back,” Cheyenne says, “people would hear about it, and ask a lot of questions. Who’s this guy? Where did he come from? Why wasn’t I invited? We don’t just want to keep it small, we don’t want excluded people to know about it.”
That’s an interesting take that Mateo and Leona might have tried in another life. There were some people at their wedding that they would not have chosen to invite. They didn’t get the chance to discuss before it was forced upon them. They probably would have split the difference, where all their loved ones could attend, but not the entire multiverse. Maybe they should consider a do-over. It’s certainly possible.
“Snap out of it,” the Officiant instructs with a literal snap of her fingers. “Today is about them. We can discuss your own situation at a later date.”
“Sorry, yes, of course,” Mateo says. He doesn’t remember her being psychic.
The Officiant nods. “Now. What else would you like to discuss?”
“The most important aspect of any wedding ceremony...flower arrangements,” Curtis jokes.

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