Chapter 7

Ætherglow #130

“The familiars themselves might hold a clue. You’re much more of a SySpec than me, what do you think?” you say.

7 picks up the insectoid construct out of 5’s hands. It doesn’t try to flee her. She reaches into its head and her hand passes through its body.

“Here,” she says, and you receive a file, the source code for the familiar. “As you can see, it is a very simple construct, programmed only to move through the server on a procedurally generated pathway. If it encounters anyone, it is programmed to flee.”

“Yeah, mine was real flighty, had to surround it to capture it,” you say.

“Let me see.”

You present your captured familiar, still trying to struggle against your shield bubble.


7’s familiar appears beside her.

“Lower your shield,” she says.

“It’ll run away if--”

“No cause for concern.”

You release the avian familiar, and as soon as it tries to take flight again, 5 reaches out to touch it. A black aura envelops it for a moment before it returns to its normal blue state, and the construct now sits in the palm of your hand, docile.


“5 is an adaptive construct able to learn new skills on her own. Recently she developed a strange new program. She seems to neutralize any nonhuman æthereal being she touches. They become calm, unresponsive, yet otherwise functional.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” you say.

“The effect of it seems to be getting stronger over time as well. The way it works is the interesting thing.” She reaches into the calmed familiar’s mind and sends you its source code to review. “The flight response is still here, you see. The routine hasn’t changed, but the processor no longer honors its commands. It’s as if that part of its personality is invisible.”

How do you respond?

1) “She’s a very impressive familiar!”: 0 (0.0%)
2) “Have you asked 5 how she does it?”: 2 (100.0%)
3) “It’s kind of terrifying, that kind of thing happening to something.”: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-03-09 21:18:02)