Sunday, May 21, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: March 18, 2399

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Mateo shoots up from the pillow and gasps. He would have guessed that it would wake up his wife, but she’s sleeping peacefully next to him. He nudges her, but nothing. He shakes her, and she groans, but still doesn’t open her eyes. “Leona. Leona—Lee-Lee!”
“What?” she finally says, keeping her eyes closed, and crunching her pillow up under her arms and head. “I’m sleeping.”
“What about Angela and Marie?”
“Alyssa promised that she would let them come back without disrupting the reframe engine that’s bringing them here, or the exterior inertial dampeners that will stop them from crashing into the planet.”
“No, I mean the immortality waters that Angela is meant to drink. We still haven’t gotten the remaining sources.”
She opens her eyes, and holds herself up with locked elbows. “We keep forgetting about that. Why do we keep forgetting about that?” That’s a really good question. Either they’re terrible people, or someone is doing this to them. They would like to think it’s the latter, because that problem can be solved, but at the same time, it may be rather difficult to find the culprit. They need to erase all distractions. Is it the building-slash-evacuation spaceship, and if so, is there something odd about the structure itself, or is it just so mysterious that they can’t think about anything else.
“We need to make a plan to procure what we need. First, I need you to remind me which ones she’s already taken. If I recall correctly, she had access to another.”
“Right.” She curls into a more comfortable position. “Lamp on,” she commands their smarthome receiver. “She’s had Catalyst, Longevity, and Time. Which is good, because those are the hardest to get, especially in a world where time and accelerated space travel are all but impossible. She also drank some of the hard-to-make Atacama desert water for Body. Now, the alternate version of Tamerlane Pryce reportedly gave her a bottle of Dead Sea water, so that takes care of Energy, but she’ll need to take Existence and Invulnerability first, so we will need to take trips to the Bermuda Triangle, and the North Pole. At this point, the latter will be easier than the former, because people apparently know that the Triangle is special, and are watching it.”
“The Fountain of Youth is the next one, right?”
“Yeah, the government is monitoring that. I don’t see it being a problem. Both Health and Death come from the Pools of Pamukkale in Türkiye, which is also politically complicated, but if I ask Winona, I think she can swing it. That just leaves Activator.”
“Where do you get that?”
She frowns at him. “The end of the world. It’s the opposite of Catalyst.”
“I don’t know when the world ends, but it’s not in a few weeks.”
“And if we can’t travel through time, it won’t matter when exactly it is anyway.”
“It’s right now,” came a voice from a dark corner.
“Who the hell is there?” Leona questions. “Lights to a hundred percent.”
The lights come on to reveal it to be their friend, and Mateo’s sort-of daughter. “Kivi,” Leona exclaims. “I forgot about you. You can’t exist, can you?”
“I don’t have long. Just know that the world is ending this year. Any water, from anywhere—as long as it’s injected with temporal energy at the right ratio—will work.”

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