Chapter 7

Ætherglow #128

There’s no time to waste. You pursue your lead through a gateway. The trail leads you through a series of unusual directories named with only a number. /531441, /177147, /59049, /19683.

You stop in directory /531441/177147/59049/19683/6561.

“Wait, this is--” you say.

“Powers of 3,” ÆON says. “Reducing.”

“It’s just powers of 3, it’s not some pointlessly complex mathematical puzzle,” you say.

“No less beautiful a sequence,” ÆON says.

“Then eventually it’s going to get to 3, even 1, we can get ahead of it!” You open a door to directory /531441/177147/59049/19683/6561/2187/729/243/81/27/9/3/1.

Just after you arrive, another door opens, and a bird flies out. Its body is made of bright blue light and its feathers reflect the distant glow like the surface of water. Bright points like stars line the leading edges of its wings, and spiral fractal patterns split off of them down the watery feathers as it spreads its arms wide. Before the construct can react, you direct your familiar and your exopath friend to surround it on 3 sides.

“Caught you.” You manifest a fragment of your mental shield and turn it inside out to surround the familiar in a barrier. It flies against the light, crashing into it repeatedly like an insect around a light.

“Yeah, I’d hate being caged too, but can’t have you run away on me again,” you say.

You feel something touch your avatar. It’s ÆON beside you.

Danger!” Æ says, and vanishes back up away from you before you can even process it.

A gate opens, and several avatars manifest. But it’s just 7 and 5, with 5 holding a smaller construct in her hands--bright green and shaped like an insect with four long wings. A different fractal pattern unfolds on this familiar’s wings.

“We caught one,” 7 says.

1) “Good job, 7.”: 0 (0.0%)
2) “Good job, 5.”: 0 (0.0%)
3) “So did we!”: 3 (100.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-03-07 19:04:33)