Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: January 23, 2399

Mateo was missing his wife, so he’s teleported himself to Mangrove One, the floating platform off the coast of Balikpapan, Indonesia. He’s waiting in their quarters at the moment. When she gets off work, they’re gonna fight. She wants to come home, but she has to stay here and see this through. Aldona has asked her for help in completing the defensive capabilities of this reality’s version of Earth, and that’s what she’s going to do. She has some conditions, which she has spent the last couple of days researching. Her conditions would have been moot if the proverbial ship had already sailed.
First of all, they need to stop making ships. They can make a few more if they want, but they’re not the best way to go if the people running the show are being honest about their intentions. If they’re truly only doing it to protect the planet, then they should build a defensive orbital grid. The ships are great; they can be used for patrolling and transport. But they waste precious resources on mobility when all you really need is a wall. Aldona is fighting her on that point, but not because she doesn’t agree. She’s just spent so much time on this strategy. Leona has decided to let her cool off on that, and ask about something related. “Why didn’t you develop weapons for them?”
“I’m not here to help them kill people. I’m just here to protect people,” Aldona replies. “I wouldn’t have thought you would suggest such a thing.”
“I’m not suggesting it,” Leona says. “My biggest worry is why they didn’t demand you help them with offensive upgrades.”
Aldona chuckles and shrugs her shoulders. “They can demand in one hand, and shit in the other. I ain’t givin’ them jack.”
Leona narrows her eyes. “The U.S. has never asked us for weapons either. Why do you think that is?”
She shrugs again.
“You don’t find that suspicious?” Leona presses. “This world is famous for its wars, yet nobody has asked known time travelers for better ways to make that war?”
“You think they’re hiding something? Like what?” Aldona asks.
“Like a traveler that we don’t know about,” Leona hypothesizes.
Aldona goes back to plotting the locations of the next round of launching platforms. “I would think you would have found a way to find all the travelers by now.”
“We did. Well, we have, but we think there are two still left to check off our list.”
“Why do I feel like you’re about to ask me something?”
“You have a thousand of these ships, right? And you said that you’ve only been able to test one,” Leona begins.
“Mangrove Zero; launched from Panama, but Columbia was butthurt about it. It’s international waters from now on. Mangrove One is the only one this close to the coast.”
“But Mangrove Zero is still up there, correct? Doing what?”
“It was only proof of concept. It’s not doing anything. The small crew came back down in a drop ship. Why? Do you want it?”
“We lost our ship. We could use another. With a permanent orbital installment, I could confirm whether or not someone else is here, and where they are,” Leona explains.
Aldona considers the request. “Okay, I’ll send it up the chain. I can promise nothing, but my word should go a long way.”

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