Chapter 8

Ætherglow #158

2254-08-02 18:47:49 Aydan > maybe...there’s a girl I like. but then also there's... well, it's complicated

2254-08-02 18:47:55 Électricité > aww that’s nice, I hope

Putting that to words for the first time makes you feel something unusual--a kind of warmth that shields you from the cold of the glass-lined hallway--a brightness in you outshining the sparkling lights of downtown Korolev City below you. But also a vertigo that makes it feel like you're going to crash through the glass down to the distant pavement below, or escape the Moon's gravity well and drift far, far away. Maybe it's just the lingering effects of the alcohol.

2254-08-02 18:50:13 Électricité > it’s beautiful, your city

2254-08-02 18:50:18 Aydan > it’s alright I guess

2254-08-02 18:50:22 Électricité > we have no night in Ariane

2254-08-02 18:50:26 Aydan > sounds terrible

As you near the end of the hallway, the door behind you opens, and the sound of an angry crowd erupts into your quiet space.

Your moms both approach. “Aydan, we’re leaving,” Yelena says.

“Already?” you say.

“Anyone who stays longer into this squabble is going to be dragged into partisan lines,” Ælita says. “Redshift’s marketing depends on the appearance of neutrality in political conflicts. Otherwise we’d be cut off from half the Lunar customer base.”

“They gonna go to war?” you say.

“It’s just posturing,” Yelena says.

They walk past you, around the corner toward the elevator.

2254-08-02 18:52:32 Aydan > guess I gotta go

2254-08-02 18:52:36 Électricité > those your parents you mentioned?

2254-08-02 18:52:43 Aydan > yeah...

2254-08-02 18:52:47 Électricité > good luck!

2254-08-02 18:52:51 Aydan > thanks. might never see you& again but it was good to meet you&

2254-08-02 11:52:58 Électricité > oh, you never know, it’s a small Moon, only so many technopaths. I hope we meet again. and not in battle

2254-08-02 11:53:03 Aydan > same. have a nice stay in Korolev!

You wave goodbye to them. They step up to you and kiss you on the cheek, then pat you on the head again. “Мы видим вас внутри эфира,” she says in clumsy Lunar Russian.

“ voir tu...vous...dans la æther,” you try and reciprocate in broken Lunar French.

You catch up with your parents at the elevator. Neither of them looks at you as Ælita presses the button and the door closes. You stare down through the glass elevator at the approaching city streets as you descend.


Proceed to Chapter 9 >>

“Aydan. Was that really necessary?” Ælita says.

1) “I couldn’t possibly defeat a third year. I was powerless against her, so I took desperate measures in the name of Redshift.”: 2 (28.57%)
2) “If I don’t tell you how to do whatever board members do, you shouldn’t tell me how to do technopathy.”: 0 (0.0%)
3) “Was it necessary to make me come here and put me on display like a new weapon?”: 2 (28.57%)
4) “I did participate in the expo as asked, though, so how about my promised reward?”: 3 (42.85%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-04-14 19:46:38)