Chapter 9

Ætherglow #164

You glance at the Electrical System. Your eyes meet and then you both look away awkwardly. You wait to see if they say anything.

“Oh, uh, we met last week, at that corpo bullshit,” she says.

“Yeah, we met in battle, you could say. Well it was actually pretty ridiculous,” you say.

“So that ‘adorable femboy’ you made out with...” Synth says.

“Uh, yeah, that’s kind of, me,” you say.

“Small Moon, huh?” Lexi says.

“Well whatever, it’s convenient here that you know each other,” Synth says.

“Yeah, I was disappointed I might not get to come with Synth. But since you invited me anyway, Aydan...” Her spoken Lunar Russian has improved considerably since last week.

“Oh yeah, we can all go together,” you say.

“Hell yeah.” She reaches for her tall boots nearby and starts making herself ready.

Synth picks up a thick belt and wraps it on top of the one they already have, attaching magnetically. It has a few pouches attached, one with a medical cross symbol and one with an emblem of a wrench. Hanging from their right side is the much more prominent thing, a gun. From what you know of them, it’s a compact coilgun made by one of Redshift’s contractors, not unlike the one Yelena first taught you to shoot with as a child. They strap its hanging holster to their thigh.

“Expecting that kind of danger?” you say.

“In this place...I’m coming prepared for anything,” they say, while also strapping a large knife onto their belt. “So let’s get going.” Synth seemed much more laid back a moment ago. Now they’ve become as serious and decisive as the day you met, during the shuttle incident. They open the door.

“I guess we’ll probably be seeing a lot of you, zero two,” Lexi says.

“I’ll keep us safe,” Synth says.

You follow them out and back down the narrow corridor.

“Can you tell me more about this place we’re going?” you say.

“I’m taking you to my childhood,” Synth says, looking off to an unseen horizon. Lexi squeezes their hand, looking up at their distant eyes.

Up the stairs and out the door, the sunlight blinds you a moment as you step back outside. The heat hits you like opening a hot autokitchen module while it’s running.

Synth leads on, through the alleys of broken glass and rusted metal. The intact walls are mostly covered in graffiti:

Luna for Lunatics!

Traditional Earth Grave--an arrow points to this from the word Traddies

The ancient symbol of transgender people is also prominent on the walls.

“Now that I can read this stylized cyrillic better, this neighborhood is pretty heavily LuNat isn’t it?” Lexi says.

“Oh, they’re mostly done by the same little crew of the Lunarpunks around here. They’re friendly, real artistic,” Synth says as you pass an elaborate painting of the Earth being struck by a Ceres-sized body, liquefying its crust.

“Lots of LuNats in Ariane too,” Lexi says.

“What do you think of it, Aydan?” she says.

1) “I never knew much about politics. I guess my family expects me to be neutral, so I haven’t been exposed to it much.”: 2 (28.57%)
2) “I think the LuNats have some good points, the Moon would benefit from a unified state, a stronger cultural identity apart from Earth.”: 3 (42.85%)
3) “I can sympathize with Lunar Nationalism on some level, the Traddies would wipe us all out if they had the chance. But the LuNats also make me uncomfortable, I don’t really trust they have everyone’s best interests in mind...”: 2 (28.57%)
4) “Both sides of it are just reproducing all the problems of Old Earth when you get down to it. I don’t know what would be good for society, but it isn’t that.”: 0 (0.0%)
5) “I support Traditional Earth Values of course!”: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 1 years ago (2023-04-24 12:06:16)