Chapter 6

Ætherglow #117


You decide to place your trust in math, and let the core processor log guide you back to the first command in the chain. Then it’s a simple matter of tracing a path along the pattern through space and time. You find the first instance, and pinpoint it to the image most distant from the concentration of the pattern. With these two data points combined, you’re certain of it.

“That one!” You point to your choice.

“Hmm… wrong!” they all say, and every one of them vanishes before your eyes.

“What?!” you say.

“Hi Aydan!” you hear Zeta shout from below you. You see it standing on the floor, still rooted there by its magnets.

“How--but--the cycle--“

It pushes itself off the floor, faster than your slow drift, and catches up. It reaches out for a stabilizing hand, and you take its hand, balancing out your momentum to speed you up and slow it down.

“You’re thinking like a SySpec, Aydan, approaching the problem so mechanically, you didn’t consider that the motive of ObTech is deception and misdirection.”

“You never left the floor,” you say. “You were never there, you tricked me into thinking one of them must be you just by suggesting it.”


“But the command originated from one of the echoes, I traced it.”

“Echoes can be more than just sensory data. They’re not complex programs like æther constructs that can act and react on their own, but you can give them a script, and that can include passing commands to the processor.”

“But where was the command to create the first echo then?” you say.

“I did that when we got here. You came up here with it.”

“And at the same time you made yourself invisible to my eyes.”

“You didn’t look back that far in the log, you jumped on the most obvious solution like an EvoSpec,” it says.

“But I touched that echo, it felt real!” you say.

“That was the hardest part. It’s easy to trick the eyes and ears. Touch and pressure are delicate. If you’d tried to move your hand in an unexpected way you’d have seen right through it. I figured there was about a 50/50 chance I would actually pull that off.”

1) "Well that was a cheap trick! I couldn't have known.": 1 (33.33%)
2) "Wow, you're really good at ObTech! I'm impressed.": 2 (66.66%)
3) "Obfuscation is just not my specialty, I guess.": 0 (0.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-02-19 19:43:04)