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Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: February 6, 2399

When Mateo insisted Ramses teleport out of the magma chamber of the volcano to save himself, he just jumped without thinking about where he wanted to go. Home would be the obvious answer, but he’s not had a home in a very long time. He’s lived on ships, labs, lofts, flying cars, and other random places. His subconscious must have taken over the responsibility of navigation, because he ended up in Egypt. It’s where he was born, and where he spent his younger days, but he feels no strong sentiment towards it. This isn’t even the right version of Egypt. It’s a bastardization, and that’s the nicer way to put it.
Danica’s Omega Gyroscope is what explains why anything in this reality is even remotely similar to the way things are in the main sequence, but something went wrong when it was programming Egypt. This area is where civilization began, but it did not thrive here. Great unrest forced mass migration centuries ago, to the West in Africa, the North in Europe, and to the Southeast in Asia. What was left was a sad approximation of what a culture should look like. While his Egypt stood tall, especially in the latter century, this one was short and pathetic, literally speaking. Their tallest regular building is four stories high, and there’s only one like that. It’s the Port at Said, and it was partially built by Greece, which exports to the rest of the world through the Suez Canal. That’s the only reason this version of Egypt is still alive at all, because they’re in the way.
The Great Pyramid is here, which is surprising, but it’s the only ancient structure that the people still maintain, because they do get a few tourists. Plus, some ships are required to wait in the canal for customs approval, or because there’s a line, so sailors stay in Giza, which boasts the only moderately decent hotel. It’s also anonymous, which is perfect, because that is what Ramses needs right now. He’s not going back to Mangrove One, and there’s nothing left for him in Kansas City.
Angela and Marie are in space, Mateo is dead, and Alyssa is missing. Yes, he made a commitment to find her, but he would probably just mess it up. He’s not the only one who could. Leona can do it just as easily, and she will, because she cares about her just as much. They now have the world’s most powerful governments at their backs, with all of the resources they could need. They don’t need him. He can’t face Leona with what he’s done. He lived. He escaped when Mateo couldn’t, and he’ll have to live with that for the rest of his life, which could be a pretty long time if something eventually changes, and he gets his transhumanistic upgrades back.
Ramses is a genius, which is why it only took him a few minutes to write a little script that will allow him to leave Leona a voicemail without worrying about her answering any ringing. “Hey, it’s Ram. I’m sure you’ve been wondering where we are. I’m bouncing this signal all over the world, so you’ll never find me. You’ll never see me again. I’m sorry to rob you of your chance to confront me, but I... Mateo is dead. Constance!Five broke free, and he had to sacrifice himself. Now, I know I thought that last time, but I really don’t see any way out of this. He was in a volcano, and I programmed the Bridgette’s self-destruct to go off in seconds after activation. I got the alert on my device—he went through with it—it did blow up. I’m sorry I left him behind, I’m sorry I’m the one who lived instead, and I’m sorry for not coming back, but I have to protect you. I have to protect you all from me. I love you. Goodbye.”

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