Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: January 6, 2399

Kivi tries to sit down on the retaining wall, but it’s too high for her, and she doesn’t want to climb, or try to jump up awkwardly, so she moves down a meter. It too was an awkward move, but the job is done now. She takes in a deep breath, and pushes it out. Team Leader Alserda breaks from the group, and approaches her. “Are you feeling okay?”
“Not really.” Kivi looks up at her. “Oh, you mean physically? I’m fine.”
“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you think it’s possible that we’re done?”
“The bounty on Leona’s head was raised to fifty million dollars. Do you think we’re done?”
“Well, we haven’t found anyone in the last two days.”
“You mean I haven’t found anyone.” Kivi realized a while ago that her psychic ability to find people that fall under the criteria of needing to be rescued or stopped was only locating those who were seriously attempting to assassinate Leona Matic in order to receive the reward money. That’s what matters to her, so the team hasn’t been concerned with anything else since. But recently no one has appeared on her radar. No one is calling to her. She’s tried to force it, she’s tried to not force it. She’s tried to trigger it by following down leads that were uncovered using more traditional investigative methods. Nothing has worked. She’s not sure she has her power anymore.
“Well, you have been operating at a hundred percent for weeks. Perhaps you’re simply exhausted. You have nothing left in the tank.”
That’s true, she has been nonstop for who knows how long. She can’t remember. She can’t even remember how long she’s existed. That’s a bad sign, and probably indicates that her performance is about to suffer, if it hasn’t already without her noticing. Even if her power were still working, she could be placing the team in danger by continuing on like this. If it’s wearing her out, someone is going to get hurt. “I don’t know what to do about that.”
“I do, it’s called leave,” Alserda says.
“You want me to leave?”
“No, it’s leave time. It’s...a vacation.”
“Oh. We can’t just stop on my account.”
“The rest of the team could use some time off anyway.” Alserda looks back at the group, which does look a little aweary.
“What happens to all the people who haven’t been caught yet?”
“Other teams within SD6, and other agencies, are on the hunt for those people. Killing your friend would be a crime, and the planning and preparation of it is also a crime, so don’t you worry about what kind of resources are being devoted to this. There’s plenty of effort, and they’re all happy to do it, because most of the contenders have committed other crimes in the past anyway. The bounty has inspired legislators to pass new laws regarding how agencies are allowed to go after criminals. That’s the silver lining, I would say. Now come on, I know of a great place to eat in this town. Then you can call your friends, and tell them that you’re coming home.”

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