Chapter 9

Ætherglow #159

<< Return to Chapter 8


Floating in the æther, there is no up or down. You watch its current flow over you, under you, around you. Your hands are unreal, they cannot touch the stars. Your skin is false, it cannot feel the cold of the deep. Your body is meaningless, it exists only to satisfy the mind. Your mind is adrift beyond the sky, one with the glow, and one with all. Then what are you?


You pull yourself together. The Moon pulls you down. Your fingers touch the sheets you lay on. They grasp at the rails of the bed. They touch the paper dress wrapped around you. They touch the plastic collar around your neck. Beep, you hear the monitor. The white lights are too bright. What a neutral, sterile place this is.

“Are you with me, Aydan?” You feel Dr. Sukhareva poking around through your interface. She’s an older woman, one of the oldest technopaths you know, maybe even a first gen. Her electronic blue eyes glance down at you, expecting a response. You can’t find your voice. You nod.

“The readings look good. Did you reach the æther?” she says.

“Y...Yes,” you say.

“Good, your voice is back already. You’re adapting to the implant just fine. Keep doing that exercise. It should feel like a natural reflex within a few days.”


“And don’t forget to set your fail-safe code. I’ve seen too many kids get lost down there.”

“I’ll be careful.”

“And tell me if anything seems wrong, like the implant activating on its own, trouble resurfacing, or any pain or pressure in your head, strange artifacts in your vision, loss of equilibrium or vertigo, or dissociative amnesia. Okay?”


“Great. I’ll be back in about an hour to clear you for release as long as no immediate complications develop.”

You nod, still a little distant. Reassociating so rapidly will be an adjustment. Coming down from the medication was always a gentle drift back to the surface. And without your full-body interface, your sensory perception ætherside is mostly limited to sight and sound. And yet, stepping into the æther at will already feels so natural, so right, like you should have always been able to do it.

After she leaves, you’re alone again.

Your first day with a neurodissociative implant! Better go ahead and tell...

1) Zeta: 0 (0.0%)
2) Akiko: 0 (0.0%)
3) ÆON: 0 (0.0%)
4) 7: 0 (0.0%)
5) Synth: 3 (75.0%)
6) Vik: 0 (0.0%)
7) Électricité: 1 (25.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-04-17 15:36:06)