Chapter 8

Ætherglow #156

2254-08-02 18:38:59 Aydan > they want something theatrical I guess, we could make it egregiously homoerotic and make the cissies real uncomfortable?

2254-08-02 18:39:07 Électricité > Aydan...

2254-08-02 18:39:10 Électricité > that’s a really good idea

Ælita comes up behind you. “Are you ready?”

“Ready,” you say.

“Est-ce que vous êtes prêtes ?” DeLune says.

“Oui,” Trisha says.

He and Ælita back away, leaving you two alone under the main lights.

Trisha takes a deep breath. You can see the ghost of her mental shield overlaid on your vision when you blink, a teal crystalline icosahedron. You shield your mind too.

“The duellists prepare themselves!” the announcer says. “We can see but a small fraction of what goes on in their minds, but the computer’s monitoring of the situation shows us a little. Here they verify the integrity of their psychological barriers.”

Trisha walks across the stage calmly, stopping right in front of you. You stand your ground as you feel the static interference of your near-æther space making contact. She reaches out her hand, piercing through your barrier on the surface, but ætherside it repels her avatar. The incongruity of it makes you disoriented. Or maybe it is the effects of the alcohol making the room unstable. Maybe she is taking advantage of that weakness to slip right through your defenses. You know reaction will be your downfall, you must keep focused. You fall back on your training and push her away forcefully.

She takes a long step back, now looking off-balance herself. You aren’t the only one affected by the substance, even if she’s older and more experienced with it. She’s surely far more adept n the æther. You consider your other options. Reaching out to the local network, you find the control program for the room lights. The whole room goes dark and the crowd stirs with surprise. Then the smaller light above you activate. You adjust their colors to a nice lavender and pale pink cast over both you and your opponent, and pale blue enveloping you.

“Not to worry, it’s just the technopaths up to something,” the announcer says. “A technopath considers not just how to disrupt their opponent mentally, but also how to disorient them physically using the environment like this.”

Now you step forward, reaching you with your physical hand as you push against her mental defenses. She seems to suddenly regain her balance as you detect her interface system responding. She presses her hand against yours to push back. She stares into your eyes as she interlocks her fingers around yours. The LEDs in her piercings turn to a pink color. She feels really soft.

Then you feel your shield falter. You can’t even track all the programs she’s running against you in this moment. You feel surrounded, enclosed, embraced. Your autobalancing program shuts down by an external command. The room is spinning around you as Trisha pulls on your hand, collapsing your body’s balance. She pulls you into her embrace, wrapping her other hand around your waist, and stares into your eyes with a gaze that drills holes in your remaining defenses.

A sensation spreads through your body like a mild electric current. You think it’s hallucinatory--your interface doesn’t indicate anything.

“They are, it seems they are trying to disorient each other, trying to get the upper hand. Right now the Cislunar candidate seems to have control of the situation!” the announcer says.

Your hand feels numbs as she releases it and reaches up to touch the side of your face. You feel a spark like a static discharge as she touches you. Something intangible coils around you. Looking into the near-æther you see a hallucination of thorny rubber vines, sprouting lily flowers with sharp metal contacts. They wrap around you both, pulling you closer together, and their ends spark with arc flashes you can even see with your eyes open.

She slides her fingers down, with a light touch, toward your interface collar. Instincts rush to your mind--protect your interface, protect your head, it’s all over if she reaches the back of your neck.

But the pink light over you glows brighter, and a UV light with it makes her makeup glow and sparkly. You see a pattern like bright plasma discharge grow across her dark skin whenever the spark of her touch disrupts your focus. You can’t push away, can’t move. Earth-like gravity roots you in place as she pulls you off balance, burying her fingers in your hair and pulling you over to touch your foreheads together. She won’t let your eyes look away from hers. You’re losing control.

“I--I’m not sure what kind of mind game is going on here, but it doesn’t look good for the Translunar candidate!”

2254-08-02 18:42:27 Électricité > hey Aydan ^^

2254-08-02 18:42:30 Électricité > wanna kiss?

1) > Yes, please yes: 2 (28.57%)
2) > No, this is far enough: 0 (0.0%)
3) Try and take her by surprise by kissing her first, and use that moment to try to gain the upper hand and protect your mind: 5 (71.42%)
4) Keep your focus and push her away in an Evocative surge: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-04-12 19:23:20)