Chapter 1

Ætherglow #10

<< Return to Character Creation

You’re finally on your way to Translunar Academy. You’ve had your synthovaries implanted and you’re running on a nice hormone balance today. You feel better than you’ve felt in your life, especially much better than the last year or so. You’re learning how to feel things you never thought possible.

You walk down the snow-covered streets of Korolev City. The humidity control system is malfunctioning again. At this point the city makes more from tourism for its snowy nights than it spends on maintenance dealing with the repercussions. It’s a few hours before dawn, as cold as the city gets. You’re wrapped up in a thick coat, but you don’t let that stop you from wearing a pretty skirt. You’re done hiding who you are.

You have a new terminal in your pocket, printed the other day from a restricted file the Academy sent you. Unlike a normal terminal, it has no physical inputs. You’ve learned the basics of controlling it using your new neural interface, the collar you wear tight around your neck, which reads your brain activity and sends back sensory data directly to your mind. Learning to use a device like this is only your first step as a technopath.

You take the train to the spaceport just outside the main city complex. As you’re approaching, you see a shuttle descending. At its high altitude, sunlight lights up its exhaust plume. From here in the shadow, it’s a brilliant display, the most beautiful thing you can see in the Spaceside sky. Uncountable stars frame the image, wavering through the distortion of the thin water boundary that shields the train tunnel from radiation and keeps temperatures within survivable limits.

The spaceport itself is less romantic--busy crowds pushing through narrow hallways, Earthlings and colonials arriving and struggling to walk. You make your way up to your platform and look around at the other faces who will be boarding your shuttle. There are just a few, mostly kids you have never seen before, from other schools in the city. But one of them notices you, and you recognize him.

Viktor is a boy you know in passing from your last school. You’ve talked a few times, but you never really got close to anyone there. He was always alone, reading something or hyperfocusing on code. You remember he was also taking the technopath qualification exams, looks like he passed too. Viktor is a full 20cm taller than you, but so slender he probably doesn’t outmass you by much. His dark hair is starting to grow over his pale blue eyes, and he brushes it aside periodically with his hand. He looks like he wants to say something to you, but he’s stimming nervously, rocking back and forth.

Is now the time to deepen a friendship or is it better to get a fresh start?

1) I'll talk to him, it will be good to have a friend from my hometown: 100 (100.0%)
2) I'll keep to myself, I'll get to meet plenty of new people from interesting places later: 0 (0.0%)
3) I always found him interesting, now is my chance to get to know him: 0 (0.0%)
4) No point in talking to a boy like him, I will hope he doesn't approach: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-01-04 15:42:00)

NOTICE: this poll was conducted on Ætherglow's previous home site. After total loss of the server, we only had records of which results won, not exact vote totals.