Monday, April 24, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: February 19, 2399

Generated by Canva text-to-image AI software
Ramses was given a new lab to work in on Mangrove One. There’s nothing wrong with the emergency pandemic facility back in Kansas City, but nearly everyone has moved here at this point, because this is where everything else is. Vearden and Arcadia are still in the hospital, but the former checks in via text, sometimes audio, and the occasional video to update the team on the latter’s progress, or lack thereof. She’s still in a coma, and her child is still growing rapidly in her body, but mama and baby are otherwise both very healthy and stable.
Leona enters the lab. “How is it going?”
“It’s not,” Vearden replies. “It can’t be done. There’s a reason that darkbursting and darklurking exist. If you’re invisible, then everything else is invisible to you.”
“Can you siphon the radiation to another dimension?” Leona suggests.
“Yeah, in the Parallel, maybe the main sequence. But we don’t have other dimensions in this reality. Our only advantage before was a lack of technological advancement on this culture’s part. That is quickly changing as Aldona provides them with something new each day to maintain her value on the global stage.”
Leona nods as she scans the room for no particular reason. “Then bring it online. If they attack again, we’ll respond again. We’ll remain vigilant, and update the defense software regularly. I’ll deploy a second satellite to watch for imminent threats if I have to. I’m going to find Alyssa, and I’m going to find the volcano where my husband died.”
“I’m sorry that I don’t know where it is,” Ramses apologizes again. “He navigated. And when I left, my subconscious just sent me to Egypt.”
“I know. We’ll figure it out, we always do.”
“What about the Nexus? I never really heard why you left, but that would be a great resource, right?”
“Um.” She scratches at her ear awkwardly. “I can do anything I want with the Nexus, and its computer. It will respond to any request I make for a task that it is capable of performing. I appear to have full administrative privileges.”
“That sounds like a good thing.”
“It’s too good,” she replies. “They didn’t want me there, I’m too powerful. My comrad in The Highest Order, Iris Blume made me leave.”
“Well, by your own admission, you probably could have let yourself stay by locking up the Nexus computer, or something.”
“These are our allies, not my subjects. The Nexus may help us return home one day, but I don’t see much use for it at this point. I would rather focus on relationships than technology.”
“Except for right now,” he muses. He’s hovering his hand over the execute button.
“Except for now. Do it.”
Ramses reawakens the satellite, and watches the data pour in. “All systems online, and operating at optimal efficiency. No hyperadvanced alien technology detected. Apparently Aldona’s tech doesn’t qualify under my parameters. I’ll tweak that so we always know what she’s up to as well. Let’s see, brain scanner operational, no errors yet. Temporal anomalies, zero. Temporal energy, zero, even though we all know it shouldn’t be.”
“Vanguard scope?” Leona asks.
“On the lookout for incoming vessels. We won’t have much warning; I couldn’t make it too big, or we wouldn’t have been able to launch. Oh, there. There’s an error. No, two actually.”
“São Paulo, Brasil. That’s in the top ten densest cities in the world by population.”
“Wait, how long before you can scan the Philippines?”
“Maybe a half hour, thought it may not find any errors until it gets straight overhead, which will be closer to forty minutes.”
She shakes her head as she’s staring at the map. “It has to be them. Other than Antarctica right now, the only travelers we’ve found have been loners. Roeland and his daughter,” she says with airquotes, “are the only pair we’ve met.” Their original plan was to hide out in a remote spot where no one would think to look, but that obviously backfired when Leona showed up. He probably believes that no one will find them in the new city, not with such a dense population for them to blend in with. He doesn’t know that the brain scanner ignores all those other people. He doesn’t even know about the scanner in the first place. He’s probably going to be so pissed when she shows up again, but she still doesn’t know who this other person he’s with is. If it’s not Alyssa, then she’ll leave them alone, but if it is, she’s going to bring her home. Then again, could it really be her? She would look like Leona herself, and he didn’t bat an eye when she answered the door at that quarantine hotel. It doesn’t matter, nothing is certain. She has no choice but to try to find them again, and this time, not let any bureaucratic bullshit get in her way.
“You think they moved?” Ramses assumes.
“I think Tarboda and I spooked them, so yeah, it would stand to reason.”
“We won’t have to wait that long to confirm. Let’s give it the full ninety minutes before you rush off to get answers.”
“I won’t be rushing off anywhere. Not without you, anyway. You’re the only one of us who can teleport, remember?”
“As long as that shipment of Existence water comes in,” he points out.
“I’ll go check on that now.”
Leona heads out, and goes straight to Winona, who is in charge of supplies. “Honeycutt, I have a question.”
“Let me guess, you’re a little thirsty,” she guesses suggestively.
“Is it on its way?”
“I just got off the phone with the Navy. There’s a major delay. Evidently the local governments have noticed that we’ve found something special in the Bermuda Triangle, and they would like to get in on the action.”
“It means nothing to them, it’s just water.”
“That’s not something that we can explain,” Winona reasons.
Leona sighs, annoyed. “Yeah, I know.” Her watch beeps. “Motherf—.”
“What is it?” Winona asks worriedly.
“They’re firing another goddamn missile.”
“What are ya gonna do, teleport it away again?”
Leona scowls, and considers her options. “No, they’ll just send another.” She thinks some more. “I’m gonna steal it, and drop it in their backyard. Let’s see how they like it.” She races out of the room.

No comments :

Post a Comment