Monday, March 27, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: January 22, 2399

Alyssa is lying on the bed next to her real body. She didn’t spend much time looking at it after she transferred to Leona’s. It’s so weird, seeing herself from the outside. Many religions talk about having out-of-body experiences, but none of them has been proven. It’s sad, really, all those eager believers who wish they could do what she’s done. Now it’s time to go back, though. Being able to teleport was fun and all, but this—substrate, is what these people call it—doesn’t belong to her, even though the real owner can’t get back to it. “Will it hurt?”
“Did it hurt last time?” Ramses asks.
“Well, that was a pretty different situation.”
“I know. But no, it won’t hurt. You’ll close your eyes, and when you reopen, they will be a different pair of eyelids, and you’ll be over there.” He points to her body.
“We don’t need the Insulator of Life, right? I don’t want to run into Erlendr again. I don’t much care for him.”
“We don’t need it. This is a simple one-to-one transfer.”
“Great.” She leans all the way back, and starts to relax herself by counting the holes in the ceiling ties. When she’s ready, she gives him the thumbs up. Moments later, she wakes up, unhurt. “Was that the smoothest transfer you’ve ever seen, or what?”
Ramses stares into empty space. “You know what, I think it was. It was probably the best anyone has ever seen with this thing. Seems as though something always goes wrong.” He coils the Livewire up, and sticks it into the little pouch they bought for it.
Alyssa looks back over at Leona’s body, which is now an empty shell, imagining there to be a way to save her. An odd feeling washes over her. It’s like a stomach ache without the pain. Her eyes grow weighty, and drop down. She wakes up in the other bed. “What just happened?”
Ramses had turned his back to the both of them. “Leona?”
“No, it’s Alyssa,” she says using Leona’s lips.
Ramses is dumbfounded. “Not the smoothest transference in history.”
“I’m stuck here, aren’t I?”
“Not forever, I’m sure,” he replies.
“How do you know?”
“We’ve already met you in the future, remember?” Ramses reminds her. “You didn’t look like Leona, you looked like yourself.”
“Maybe that was just an illusion,” Alyssa puts forth.
“Can you use your illusion powers while you’re in this body?”
“No, but I’m not the only one with them, and maybe someone else ends up taking over my body, and decides to use them to make this body look like me.”
“Okay, so we don’t know for sure that we’re going to fix this. But we definitely don’t know that we won’t. Let’s try to be optimistic, okay? I’ll have to run some tests, and then I’ll have more answers. Something—or perhaps someone—doesn’t want you to go back to your original substrate.”
“Or maybe it’s that someone wants me in Leona’s substrate instead.”
“That is a possibility, I won’t dismiss it.”
Alyssa lies back down on the pillow and sighs. Here we go again.

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