Friday, May 12, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: March 9, 2399

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The locksmith, Evander Martinez told Mateo and Leona about a family who has just lost their home to money issues. They could use a place to stay, at least until they get back on their feet. They will not be able to pay, but they’re willing to keep the place clean, and help out around the building. They decide to take them up on that offer. What they really need is for someone to check every single unit, and every single other room, in The Superscraper. A flying drone could scan them, but it wouldn’t be able to open the doors, and that’s the bulk of the work. Plus, a drone doesn’t need and bed and a roof over its head. The family only requests that they be allowed to retain their citizenship in the United States, and to not vow any sort of fealty to Leona’s nation. Of course, that’s not something they would ever consider asking of anyone, so it won’t be a problem. As long as the U.S. doesn’t have a problem with people crossing the border, they don’t either. They might need to think about hiring some security, though. Once the world learns that they’re open to refugees, it could get chaotic, and they can’t expect the International Relations Bureau to protect them from all threats. It’s really not their job.
“Am I the only one getting the feeling that this is going to grow really quickly?”
“No, I’m feeling it too,” Leona agrees. “We’ve been here for three days, and we already have tenants.”
“I have zero problem helping them out, but we cannot manage this whole building by ourselves. Maybe we should call Heath and Tarboda.”
“Maybe. Maybe we need to start thinking about branching out beyond that...well beyond. I’m picturing welcoming people from all over the world, and Tarboda could be responsible for transport. Heath’s a teacher, he could make sure the kids are getting the resources that they need to keep their minds engaged. Like we said earlier, we’ll want our own form of security. The U.S. government is keeping people away from the border, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any risk from within. I mean, does Mexico not have their own border management system? What about food? The IRB has agreed to let people go back and forth, but what happens when that becomes more complicated? These things are called arcologies because they’re self-sustaining, but someone has to start the sustenance, which means that someone has to plant the seeds in the grow rooms. Do we know anyone who knows anything about that? What kind of technology does the Third Rail have in regards to that. We haven’t even begun to discuss—”
“Leona. You’re spiraling just a little bit. Look at yourself. I mean that literally. Look at your face in a mirror.”
Leona steps over to an aluminum encased support column. It’s not as reflective as a mirror, but it’s good enough. She looks like her sixth grade art teacher, who was—for some reason—responsible for the school’s community garden. He would have loved to see this place, and work on the plant life project. Mateo is right. What they’re talking about is a city, which is obviously what arcologies are designed for. They can’t start with looking for help. They need help finding the help. It’s a daunting task, and it feels like they’re forgetting an unrelated pressing matter. “I’m moving too fast. I’m missing something. Someone made this to keep us busy. It’s a distraction. But from what?”
“Right, from what?” Mateo echoes. “What do we need to do besides this?”
They frown, then look at each other at the same time. “The immortality waters.”

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