Friday, June 9, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: April 6, 2400

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Leona undoes her safety straps, and tries to stand up. She falls right to the floor, having not realized how dizzy she was until it was too late. Cedar struggles to get out of his own seat to help, but he’s no better off. “Everyone hold still for a few minutes,” Danica orders. “Just breathe in...breathe out. It wasn’t supposed to be that rough, but we were pressed for time, so I had to improvise.”
Leona rolls to her back, and pads her hips, looking for the communicator she used to reach out to Kyra, but she must have dropped it. “I need to get to Egypt.”
“I’ll transport you there once we’re back to a hundred percent,” Danica promises. “Constance, show me the outside.”
The walls and floor turn invisible, showing them what it looks like outside of the Constant. “Oh, crap,” Leona says. It just looks like she’s a dozen or so stories up in the air, and it’s making the dizziness worse.
“Constance, this house is glass.”
The floor returns, but is still very transparent, so they can still easily see what’s what out there. A car is parked in the middle of the field where the Constant landed, the occupants sizing up the building that appeared out of nowhere In the opposite direction, they can see Danica Lake. Danica aimed extremely well for it being such an emergency. More cars are coming. “The Dark Citadel has arrived, Leona muses, standing herself up.
“What does that mean?” Angela asks.
“It’s from a passage in the Word of Dalton,” Carlin explains. “Leona recited it earlier. I think it predicts our arrival.”
Leona watches as even more cars appear from over the horizon. “It’s over. This chapter in my life is ended. I don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore. Navigating what’s happened today, and how it may or may not alter the religious landscape on this planet, is no longer my problem.” She breathes in. “I have spoken.”
Angela steps up to Leona’s side, and takes her hand. “It’s okay to move on.”
Marie steps up to Leona’s other side, and takes her other hand. “As long as you don’t move on from us.” She smiles and holds up a little fob. She presses the button, and sends all three of them to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
They’re standing at the very top of it, which gives them an area smaller than a single-family home to walk around. Kyra, Ansel, and Allison are already here, admiring the view. Constance!Three left the roof when she generated the hologram of the exterior of the Constant, and Leona was focused on the ground, so she didn’t notice the sky before. It’s like the Auroras Borealis and Australis, but with technicolors. “Does it always look like this?” Leona asks.
“No, never,” Kyra replies. She nods at the beauty. “This is new.”
“Where are we exactly?” Leona asks her. “I mean, where is the Earth situated, in relation to other star systems and their orbitals?”
“We’re on the other side of the sun. “The Fourth Quadrant probably didn’t even notice us since they’re not all that advanced.”
“Kure, Japan, and Panama both have major astronomical monitoring equipment. It has not necessarily been long enough for them to notice yet, but it will be soon. Our arrival would have had a profound impact on the solar system. It’s not instantaneous, since gravity travels at the speed of light, but it’s fast. How are you station-keeping?”
“I’m not,” Kyra answers. “We’re orbiting a tiny bit farther from the sun than the Earth that belongs here does.”
“That’s Lagrange point three,” Leona notes. “That’s highly unstable. We’ll start drifting in a matter of weeks, depending on the orbit of Venus.” Leona was so preoccupied with the attack from the Parallelers that she couldn’t focus on anything but that. She didn’t stop to think about the fact that you can’t just move a new planet to a new solar system. The gravitational forces could destroy all celestial bodies, including the new one. Either Kyra doesn’t know that, or she knows something Leona doesn’t.
“Weeks is enough time. When the Reconvergence finishes, everything will be okay, at least in the celestial sense. Politically, it’s going to be a nightmare. But that’s not our problem to worry about. Our only job is to save lives.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“I am,” Kyra promises. “I’ve seen the Sixth Key.”
“No one who knows what the Sixth Key is like in the future seemed to know anything about this,” Leona points out.
Kyra only now turns her head to face Leona. “We did not tell you everything. We’ve still not.”
“What does that mean?”
“Go to the main sequence, Leona.”
“What? Why?”
“Go to the main sequence,” Kyra repeats.
“Hold on to my shoulders,” Leona says to Angela and Marie, now very worried about Mateo. She removes the tip from the center, and places it on the spoke for the Third Rail. Then she tries to turn it to the main sequence. Nothing happens. “Oh wait, we’re in the Fourth Quadrant now.” She removes the tip, then puts it on the Fourth Quadrant, and then turns it to the main sequence. “No, that didn’t work either. Maybe I need to...” She reverses everything she just did, and tries to start over, unsure how this device really works. They still don’t go anywhere. “No, it’ won’t do it.”
“What?” Kyra takes the device, and fiddles with it. There aren’t a whole lot of different things to try, so she runs into the same issue in that nothing happens at all. Her eyes glaze over, and she looks into the distance. “The time jump.”
“The what?”
“The time jump?” Kyra repeats. “It threw off the calibration.” She shakes the Helm of Reality demonstratively. “This is like an app, and the universe is a phone. We upgraded the OS, but now this app is no longer compatible with it.”
“What..time jump?” Leona repeats herself as well.
“We went into the future. It’s April 6, 2400.”
“Excuse me? You never said that you were going to do that,” Leona argues.
“It’s fine. Mateo is here too. Well, he’s not here; he’s still in the main sequence, but he jumped forward too. That’s not the issue. The issue is that this thing doesn’t work, and we’re gonna need it. We need all Helms on deck.”
Leona sighs, upset about being lied to. “What needs to be done to fix it?”
“You’ll have to go back to the now uninhabitable Third Rail, though I don’t know how. It would be like changing a setting on the app, which you can’t even open.”
“Enough with the metaphor.” Leona snatches the device back. “I’ll figure it out! Like always!” She and the Walton twins teleport away.

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