Chapter 8

Ætherglow #155

2254-08-02 18:32:30 Aydan > sure, anything to get me through this. is it anything like ketamine or dextromethorphan?

2254-08-02 18:32:39 Électricité > nah it’s nowhere near that fun, and won’t get you ætherside

They fill up the shot glass half way and drink it. Their whole body shudders.

2254-08-02 18:33:02 Électricité > damn I heard this spaceside shit was strong but

They pour half a shot for you and hand it to you. You shrug and drink the liquid. It tastes like fire. You suppress pain.

“And now, a slight change to our schedule,” an announcer says through the speakers. “The next presentation will be a joint demonstration. Redshift Security™, one of Spaceside’s finest up and coming armed forces. They recently routed DeepSpaceOps in the belt to secure their client’s mining rights at Asteroid Ida. Their fleet is strong but their real strength is their technopaths! Cybernautics™ Corporation has been training technopaths for twenty years at one of the most prestigious academies in the Moon-Earth system, L2’s own Translunar Academy, and Cosmosaïque™ Inc is famously their greatest rival, having founded Cislunar Institute at L1 around the same time. This will be a demonstration of their technopath candidates!”

The crowd starts to gather at the stage. Electricity rolls her eyes and heads that way, and you go with her. You’re starting to feel the effects of the drug--you feel lightheaded and a little off balance. You think you can compensate with the interface’s body autobalancing function. The device halfway takes over for you as you walk.

2254-08-02 18:35:05 Électricité > well this should make it a little more fun at least

2254-08-02 18:35:14 Aydan > honestly Trisha I don’t think I have any kind of chance against a third year. a third year at my school overpowered me and two of my friends, one of them was a second year even

2254-08-02 18:35:23 Électricité > these things aren’t really competitions. those corpos would like us to think that way and see each other as rivals like they are. but for us it’s always techs against normies, you know?

2254-08-02 18:35:29 Aydan > right, who cares what corpo’s ego wins?

You step up onto the stage. The world feels like it’s moving around you. Your reflexes have you turn your head around looking for the spinward and antispinward directions as if you were back on TLA. Disoriented, you navigate the stage to where Yelena points you to stand.

You face the Electrical System, feeling very hot under the bright stage lights. The teal makeup around your opponent’s eyes glows under a UV light above you. The adults around you are talking.

“La Système Électrique de belle Arianeville is one of Cislunar Institute’s finest!” Lucien DeLune says. “Some of you may recognize them from the Interacademy Competition ten months ago. A frighteningly powerful Evocation specialist!” The crowd claps, way too loud, you turn your auditory input down.

Iruma speaks next, clearly much more intoxicated than you. “Aydan is one of Korolev City’s own daughters! She’ll be representing not only Redshift Security and Cybernautics Corporation’s legendary Translunar Academy but all of Mare Moscoviense, all of Spaceside even!”

The main monitor shows the stock value of the three corporations represented on stage.

2254-08-02 18:38:35 Électricité > in situations like these the logical thing to do is make both of us look good, put on a good show for them, raise our hiring value

2254-08-02 18:38:42 Aydan > right, makes sense

2254-08-02 18:38:49 Électricité > on the other hand, we have a great opportunity to ruin the normies’ night, don’t you think?

2254-08-02 18:38:59 Aydan > _

1) > let’s give them exactly what they want, a really boring display of technopathy they can’t even perceive: 0 (0.0%)
2) > they’re expecting something flashy I guess. I bet we could overload the...electrical system, easily enough, that would ruin their night real fast: 1 (16.66%)
3) > they want something theatrical I guess, we could make it egregiously homoerotic and make the cissies real uncomfortable?: 5 (83.33%)
4) > let’s get this over with as fast as possible, my parents will be real embarrassed when I lose this in record time, it’ll be funny: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-04-11 18:28:21)