Monday, May 15, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: March 12, 2399

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Aldona is getting a call. It’s Winona. She’s pretty busy right now, but the Honeycutts don’t like to be kept waiting, and both Winona and her father have been excellent advocates for the global defense program that she was working on. “Hi, Win.”
Winona appears as a hologram. “Leona got her powers back, did you know that? She didn’t give me any details, but she called me about something unrelated, and she looked like herself. I wasn’t sure if I should trust her, but she sounded legit.”
“We’ve kept in touch, so I knew that as well. I didn’t do as much due diligence to make sure she wasn’t an impostor, though.”
“Does that mean we’re back online too?”
“What do you mean?”
“The defense satellites. Can you continue working on them? I’m sorry, I’ve not had time to read any of these reports lately.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. We’ve been online this whole time.”
“But...that omega thing the others are always talking about. I thought that suppressed special abilities, and advanced alien technology.”
“It does, but that doesn’t affect my stuff.”
“Why not?”
“I’m from the future,” Winona. “I knew this was going to happen.”
“You didn’t warn anybody?”
Aldona rests her chin on the palm of her hand, and exhales as she’s gazing through the window to the launch tube. “This is necessary. Trust me, you want that gyroscope up and running for the next few weeks.”
“What does that mean?” Winona questions. “What are you not telling us?”
Aldona can’t help but chuckle. “There are so many things that I’m not telling you, but there’s nothing you don’t know that you ought to.”
“Do the Matics know everything that they ought to?”
“Goodbye, Miss Honeycutt.” Aldona reaches over to sever the link.
“Wait.” She takes a beat. “If we’re online, does that also mean we’re on track?”
“You’ll have your satellites up and running in plenty of time, as long as we don’t run into any unforeseen circumstances. Have a nice day.” She hangs up.
Alyssa steps forward, having stepped away to make sure that Winona didn’t see her in frame. “Unforeseen circumstances, like me?”
“No, Miss McIver, I saw you comin’ a mile away.”
“Is that true, what you told her, that the Omega Gyroscope is necessary?”
“For now, yes. But as soon as we clear the incursion, I’ll make you turn it off.”
“Oh? And how do you suppose you’ll do that?” Alyssa questions.
“If I told you that, it wouldn’t work.”
Alyssa just narrows her eyes at her, probably reconsidering helping her with this.
Aldona detects her apprehension. “We had a deal.”
“And you promise not to use any of these things?”
“I promise,” Aldona replies. “I couldn’t use them, even if I wanted to. They’ll stop working. I just want to get them out of the hands of the people who will use them. ”
Alyssa slides over to the special console by the viewport. “And you’re sure this thing can, like, read your database?”
“I could scribble the shopping list on the back of a receipt, and it will know what to find, where to find it, and how to bring it here. It will work.”
Alyssa nods. “Okay. What do I do, just stick it in this slot?”
“It’s that easy. I’ll activate it from here. You can do it at any time, I have to make sure we’re drawing the power that we need first.”
“The power that you need,” Alyssa contends. “This is your thing. You just asked me for help pulling it off.”
“Do you have a general love for mankind? Do you believe in the value of human and human-originating life?”
“Then you want this to happen too.”
“Very well then.”
Aldona gets back to preparing for the big event.
“Wait!” Alyssa shouts, even though she hasn’t inserted the Dilara Cane yet anyway. “They’re gonna get mad when they find out what you stole, won’t they?”
Aldona shrugs. “Sure, but what are they gonna do about it?”
“They might attack harder. They won’t have the best weapons anymore, but they won’t be helpless either, will they?”
“They won’t be able to track any of this back here, to either of us, or to that cane. That’s what black holes do; they destroy information.”
Alyssa is still wary of this whole thing, but she believes that Team Matic would want this, if they weren’t preoccupied with other—equally important—issues. She still wants to help them, she just can’t let them get in the way of her other objectives. She sets the cane into the slot on the floor and lets go. “Do your worst.”
“Plugging the surge protector into itself,” Aldona declares. She hits EXECUTE.
This is the first ship that Aldona started building when she came here. This was before she approached the Global Council about designing a defense system for them. If they had rejected their offer, she still would have done this part. It’s the most important mission she’ll go on, and if she dies after it, at least it will be complete. The semi-public operation is about protecting this Earth from the upcoming war. This is about preventing the war from getting as bloody as it did the first time around. Rather, there was no blood. They destroyed entire planets. The Fifth Division had tossed most of their stars into a black hole, effectively altering the physical properties of the individual particles. They owned the resulting mass, but not the original stars, so the people of the Parallel felt entitled to maintain control over them instead, and they had the armory to back up their claims. This is a heist. Aldona is stealing all of their weapons, at least all of the worst ones. Alyssa’s new Dilara Cane is bringing it all here. This process is being powered by the black hole, Gaia BH1. In turn, the mass that they steal is being dumped into BH1, which is kind of why it’s like plugging a surge protector into itself. Except that that wouldn’t work, and this is working. They’re gonna end the war before it starts.
“Is it doing what it’s supposed to do?” Alyssa asks.
Aldona smiles at the data. “Yeah. We better get to the escape pod.”
“What? What about the cane?”
“Sorry, love. That’s gotta be destroyed too.” Aldona pulls out a gun, and aims it at her. “Either you leave it where it is, or you stay here with it when the ship gets pulled in too. We’re 1500 light years from home. There’s nowhere to teleport.”

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