Chapter 6

Ætherglow #114


You take Zeta’s hand and release your electromagnets. Following its lead, you gently push yourself off the floor to drift slowly away from solid ground. The openness of this place is nothing like being in microgravity in a cramped spacecraft. Your brain wants to panic, as the sensation is identical to falling in every direction. But you’re a technopath, you suppress your fear through neurotransmitter manipulation through the neural interface as you were trained, and make yourself calm.

The only sound here is the fans constantly blowing to circulate air and make it safe to breathe here. Through the window, the crescent Moon drifts by. You regret that soon it will be sunrise and this twilight ambiance will be broken. And it appears, but not too obtrusively, shining a sunbeam that sweeps across the training room.

“This will work perfectly. Let go of all that binds you and think with clarity.” Zeta lets go of your hand. “Now close your eyes.”

Even pulling your hand back causes an involuntary rotation of your body. You try to set aside any uneasiness about that and close your eyes. Without sensory clues you don’t even feel your motion. It’s as close as you’ve come on the surface to how the æther feels, only in there it is not like floating, because gravity and momentum and attraction and irrelevant.

“Okay, open,” Zeta says.

You’re now surrounded by Zetas, six of them, on all sides of you. They’re identical visually in every way, and due to your uncontrolled rotation and the almost uniform appearance of the walls in this dark space, you can’t tell which one was really there when you closed your eyes.

“An echo,” you say.

“I’ve projected it onto your senses through the surface level of your mind,” Zeta says. But before you can assume it was the real one, another Zeta adds, “Sight, hearing, trivial things to override.”

“Just like Synth did to us earlier,” you say.

“Yes, like this,” a Zeta says, and then all of them vanish, completely invisible to your perception. Then even more of them than before appear.

“You’re good at ObTech, huh,” you say.

“Tricks like this came naturally to me when I started training,” one of them says, followed by another, “I’m kind of used to being invisible. Having five older siblings who all became accomplished technopaths before me is like that. Too much effort to be noticed, it was easier to just go the other way and devote my energy to not being seen. Then I don’t have to be compared to anyone, or mixed up for anyone, I can just be me.”

“That makes sense,” you say. “Do you get along with them at least?”

“Oh sure, my siblings are great, mostly, Delta is a close friend and mentor in navigating TLA, they just became certified last year. Alpha’s back home from service now, her advice has made me a much better technopath. Epsilon my twin is a little too competitive with me, has to one up me at everything, even being born first. Even went so far as going to a different school than me which it thought was more prestigious. I don’t see much of Gamma and Beta lately, their companies are at war with each other currently. My younger siblings are nice.”

The Zeta in currently in front of you speaks.

“How about you, do you have siblings?”

1) "Yes, I have an older sibling.": 0 (0.0%)
2) "Yes, I have a younger sibling.": 50 (50.0%)
3) "Yes, I have several.": 0 (0.0%)
4) "No, just me.": 50 (50.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2022-07-21 13:27:00)