Chapter 1

Ætherglow #20

This weird situation is the perfect opportunity to try out some transition goals while you’re still early in the process, you realize. Since you don’t really know how to put much purpose into your avatar, this works in your favor, and your form here in the æther appears like a more feminine version of yourself, as if you were a few years further along your path. Somehow this is an incredibly euphoric moment for you, more so than you’ve ever felt on the surface, even since activating your implants. It must be something about this state of metaconsciousness.

As you descend deeper through tunnel of false light, a space forms around you from the pathways between the stars. It gives you the impression of a bounded area with normal geometry, but the more you examine it, it’s clear there is no true space here. The distance to the walls is nonexistent. You feel very disoriented, not helped by your complete lack of proprioception.

There are others here with you. You’re not sure in what order you arrived, it seems to you that all of you have always been here. You try to wrap your head around a spacetime with no space and no time.

“We’re all here.” You don’t so much hear a voice with any actual sense but receive the impression of the concepts behind the words. But this impression also makes clear that the speaker was the enby in front of you. They have a similar hairstyle to Synth on the surface, but they are taller, more imposing, and their eyes glow with a pale purple light. Looking closer, their hair is made of a multitude of metallic fibers, and their skin is coated in a fine metallic dust that shimmers in the aethereal light. You see a label on their forehead, as if engraved in metal: Synthesis-02

“K, can you lead us to the hidden command log?” Synth says.

The technician K has taken an unusual form in the æther, a fully mechanical body with six arms, exposed metal rods as bones. Yet he doesn’t give the impression of intimidation like Synth does, more like that of an entity there to help. Maybe it is something to the round shape of his face, with its four pale blue glowing eyes.

“Yes. The architecture of this system is familiar enough.” He reaches out and opens up a door out of nothing in front of him. Inside looks like the vague silhouette of another space like this one. “Follow me.” He steps through the portal and vanishes, leaving it open behind him.

“Alright, let’s go,” Synth says. “You first years go through first, it’s dangerous if you get separated from the group.”

Already in this deep, you move toward the door to step through. But your vision glances above it to the far horizon of false space. The sky is aglow with faint color, shifting slowly. If you stare at it, it takes on shapes, you see patterns like fabric or metal, flashes of scenes of cities or places like forests. The more you look at it, the more it draws you in.

What do you do?

1) go on through the portal: 0 (0.0%)
2) stare at the light, mesmerized: 100 (100.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-01-15 18:20:00)

NOTICE: this poll was conducted on Ætherglow's previous home site. After total loss of the server, we only had records of which results won, not exact vote totals.