Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: March 29, 2399

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The first reality that Leona goes to with her new toy is the Fifth Division, where Winona and the violent Fifth Divisioner are. This version of Earth is mostly dead and barren. If there’s any water on it, it’s not being stored in vast surface oceans. Madagascar has become the summit of a mountain. There’s no civilization around here, and none of them has a communicator capable of reaching out to anyone they know. Trina told Leona not to use her gizmo to start a ferry service, but this has to be official Key business. She briefly transports Winona and the Fifth Divisioner to the Parallel, where they catch a taksi to the Kansas City area. Then just transitions them back, and leaves it at that...for now. She proceeds to travel to the other parallel realities to make sure that no one is in any immediate danger, and to explain to them what’s going on.
She’s in the main sequence now with her husband, but they’re not just spending time together. There’s work to do, and they need help to get it done. They sent a quantum message to the Jameela Jamil.
Can you get to the Earth Nexus?” Kestral asks through the quantum messenger.
“You can teleport again, right?” Leona asks Mateo.
“I can.”
“If we can get into the building,” Leona says through the radio, “we could be there in seconds. “If not, we’ll come back and make a new game plan.”
Roger that,” Kestral replies. “I’ll text you our term sequence.
Mateo teleports them to Antarctica. He wanted to jump straight into the Nexus building, but it’s evidently not possible. He tries to open the door manually, but nothing.
“Let me try.” The door slides open smoothly for Leona. “I’ve told you, these machines love me. I don’t know why.” They step in, and just to check, Mateo tries to open the door to the control room. It doesn’t work for him either, but it does for her.
She doesn’t cross the threshold, though. She pulls the door halfway closed again, and takes a step back towards the steps. “Hey, Opsocor?” she asks, on a lark.
Yes, Leona?
“Have you heard of a ship called the Jameela Jamil?”
I have. Would you like me to transport you to their Nexus?
“That would be lovely.”
“Who needs term sequences?” Leona asks her husband rhetorically.
They both step down into the machine, and let it whisk them away.
Kestral, Ishida, and Vendelin are there. The former two welcome them with big hugs, but the latter hangs back. Kestral looks back at him. “Oh, he’s fine now. It’s been years. He’s as much part of the crew as anyone else.”
Leona smiles, and goes over to give him a hug as well.
“Who else is on the crew then?” Mateo asks.
“Tons of people. Everyone is on mission right now,” Kestral says. “This is a hub for a whole organization dedicated to interplanetary aid.”
“We’re working on building out the Nexus network,” Ishida adds. “One day, we’ll be able to travel from one world to the next in seconds without transferring substrates.”
“I would hold off on that,” Leona warns. “The main sequence is...shifting.”
“What do you mean?”
The two of them start to get their friends up to speed with what they went through after disappearing from here a couple decades ago. They go over the Omega Gyroscope and hundemarke, and discuss the impending Reconvergence, and what that may mean for the interplanetary political climate of this reality. The Nexus network is special, and reaches beyond the confines of this universe. Making any changes to it in the middle of this crazy transitional period could cause some errors, like trying to move a file to a different folder on a PC that’s still open and locked. It’s really not a good idea to make any major moves in relation to time or time travel until after the dust settles.
“So, what do you need from us?” Vendelin asks.
“Right now?” Leona asks. “A body. Arcadia Preston’s body, to be specific.”
Ishida pulls out her tablet. “Character parameters?”
“Now, hold on, “Captain McBride slows her down. “Why does she need a body?”
“Her mind is in an alternate version of me at the moment. She has a part to play in the upcoming event, as does Vearden. I think it will help get them to separate if they understand that we now have the power to reunite them when it’s done.”
“I thought the baby was...missing,” Mateo says.
“She’ll be back,” Leona insists. Arcadia giving birth to a child is predestined. According to those who were already aware that this Reconvergence thing was coming, it’s going to happen soon, so if Arcadia and Vearden’s baby has to be born before that, it will be any day now. But that’s not going to make her job with Vearden easier. “When she returns, they’ll never want her to be out of their sight. They’ll need assurances.”
Ishida puts the tablet down, and thinks about it. “Ven, go search the inventory for something called the Triune Mirror, then retrieve it for us.”
“You have a warehouse of temporal objects, don’t you?” Leona guesses.
“More like a vault,” Kestral clarifies.
Ishida pulls up a hologram in the center of the table. She searches for what she’s looking for, then brings up an image of what looks like a tri-fold mirror. “Three way communication,” she begins to explain. She demonstrates how the mirror can be broken apart, each operable separately. “They’ll be able to converse with each other whenever they want, and see their kid too, assuming someone is available to babysit, and they want to keep it away from all the action. Otherwise, I would just give you the bi-fold.”
“Will this suffice?” Kestral asks. “We’ll build any substrate that you want, but based on what little I know of the Prestons, she’ll want one that comes with power, and I don’t feel comfortable authorizing such parameters without even meeting her.”
Leona thinks it over for a second, then she points at Mateo. “He can teleport. I’m asking you as a friend to design a clone of Arcadia Preston with all of the characteristic parameters that he has except for teleportation. Don’t worry about trying to include other powers, or whatever else you think she would ask for. Keep the file on hand, but don’t grow it yet. She’s giving birth in the body of a Leona, and she may develop a bond with her child that is so strong, she won’t want to transfer. Will that be okay?”
“That will be fine,” Kestral responds.
“Got it,” Vendelin announces as he’s coming back into the room. It’s not that big of an object; only about twice the size of a tablet when collapsed.
“Great, thank you,” Leona says, accepting the gift.
“Wonderful.” Kestral sighs. “Now we can move on. You’ll recall that our ship can traverse the galaxy in two days. Use us for something. What can we do to help?”

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