20.1 - Into the Mind of Mette [Joe's Tale]

So everyone kept leaning on Mette, y’know, to try and remember more things. And she keeps trying to tell them this isn’t like turning on the TV and flipping to the show you want – she’s not sure how the memory stuff gets triggered, and she was really worried it might prove to be too much.

And how did you feel about that?

Like she was being exploited by these guys, just, like, treated as an object.


And Alex is all, hey, don’t worry, debriefings are rough but cathartic, kind of like exorcisms but with fewer spinning heads, maybe.

Was that reassuring?

Yeah, not really.

I agree.

So she reviews what she does remember, with all of this going into her starship being launched to evacuate humans off of Earth because of something about robots and mind transfer and AI and stuff… And we’re marking it all up on the whiteboard, and it’s, like, Golem is part of this, betraying humanity because of being possessed or mind-zapped by Fluvis. And Gnega, Kiln’s old buddy, is somehow a corrupting influence in all of this, maybe because Fluvis had infect him already. And Aliud, from class, he’s supposed to turn into some sort of monster in all of this, but she’s not sure how.

Um …


Are you sure you should be telling me these things?

I thought everything I said was confidential.

Well, there are some legal aspects, if I think that a student is a danger to themselves or others.

Like …

Like Aliud.

Weeellll … this is all just unproven future memory stuff, right? I mean, Aliud hasn’t actually become a monster. Yet. And, like, that’s part of what we’re trying to prevent.

It’s a fine line. But … all right, continue.

So in this set of visions, Sgt SURGE is supposed to become some sort of martyr – more on that in a sec. And Tahi is somehow the architect of the solution that happens.

That all seems rather vague.

Yeah, exactly. So … anyway, lull in the conversation, and I ask Mette something flat out that’s been bugging me for a while, especially now that we’re talking this kinda stuff. Cause I’d seen her, a couple times, giving me a side-eye like she was scared – scared of me, or something I might do. So now I was wondering, did she have some vision for me?


Well, kinda-maybe. She … said she knew about me from the history books, or whatever they have in her future. And maybe they didn’t say very good things about me and my future.

Like what?

She didn’t really say, or know? Like, something involving a lot of property damage and excessive violence, but she didn’t think that was something I’d do.

Do you?

Like … something I might do any time. All the time. Especially if I lost control or something. I guess I sounded skeptical, 'cause she started getting really insistent that that wasn’t me, now or in the future. It was reassuring. And … really not reassuring. I mean, it made me smile, but … it’s the kinda thing that worries me at night. And, sometimes, during the day.


But she doesn’t think it of me, which is … really kinda awesome. And she also said that history can be changed. Like, with Sgt. SURGE. Remember I was telling you about that simulation he gave us, on the bridge? The one where I – like, property damage stuff?


Well, in the history she remembered about that, the whole thing endangered the kids in the bleachers. And because of that, SURGE got, like, kicked out, back to jail, and bad things came from that. Dunno why they punished him and not me, or maybe that’s something she just doesn’t remember yet.

But – that’s not what happened.

No, exactly. Mette stopped it, by her presence and her actions to stop everything falling apart and hurting the other students. So that means the past can be changed – her past, our future.

I – see.

Then Roddy and Gothwitch show up, and we start talking about if Fluvis is gonna take over SURGE and Aliud. Kiln doesn’t think Fluvis could, or didn’t used to be able to – he just took over, like, weaker stone things, and SURGE and Aliud arn’t weak. But Kiln’s not sure how Golem got taken, then. And Roddy starts getting really Othery about people not all flesh and blood, y’know? Aliud, SURGE, even Alex, 'cause they’re a cyborg, right? I call him out on it, and he kinda backs down. Course, Kiln points out, Fluvis is kind’ve a mystery, like, nobody ever met him and lived, so we don’t even know what we’re fighting. And Gothwitch says, like he could just be a virus, infecting these folk.


And I’m looking at Mette and – well, I’m trying to write a poem in my head about her, when there’s a knock and it’s Hellbinder, and I try to block the door from his view, but he just comes in and says we all have to leave, like, ASAP, like on a field trip, and take Gothwitch with us. And he doesn’t say it out loud, but it’s pretty clear it’s 'cause we’re gonna be arrested or something.

Ah. The penny drops.

Yeah, that’s why I’m phoning this one in, y’know, or however the comm systems on the Excelsior work. I mean, I didn’t want to miss our session on the calendar. Except –


Someone else wants the cone of silence, so I gotta cut this off. But I’ll catch up with you next time.

Wait. Where are you traveling to --?

Confidentiality, Doc. Thanks!