Chapter 1

Ætherglow #26

You glance over at Vik. “If we go up together.”

“I’ll be with you, Aydan,” Vik says.

[Vik liked that]

[Synth liked that]

“Okay,” Synth says. “Try to pull yourself together quickly, there’s no accounting for the flow of time here in the æther compared to the surface. Then get the hypospray out of my hand and neutralize both Ana and K. I’m confident at least one of you can do it.”

“Okay. I’m ready,” you say.

“Ready,” Vik says.

You feel a jolt like someone grabbed you by the back of the head. Then suddenly the world around you is gone, and your eyes see only static noise over black.

You open your eyes, your real, fleshy eyes. The faint glow of the panels in the central corridor hurts your eyes, real light is so much harsher than æthereal light. You suddenly have a body again, though your perception of its position is still hard to grasp. You feel cold. An intense vertigo makes it hard to keep your eyes open. You just want to fall back into the æther.

You feel the pressure of touch against your hand and open your eyes.

“Aydan, stay with me,” Vik says. You can’t actually feel his hand’s texture or temperature. Your whole body is just numb and relaxed. Staying still is too nice to want to move. A warmth spreads through your body, a euphoria like your first taste of estrogen.

You force your eyes to stay open and make your arms move. Looking over at Vik, he’s slipping away now too. You pull their arm to jolt them awake.

“Come on, we have to find Synth.” You look around the catatonic bodies floating in the corridor, but vision is not on your side. Everything is double, and the world still spins around wherever you focus.

“Found them!” Vik pries the hyposrpay device from Synth’s limp fingers.

You put together enough of the image around you to recognize some of the people. You’ve ended up right in between K and Ana, perfect.

“Over here!” you shout, holding out your hand.

“Catch!” Vik throws the device down the narrow corridor toward you, and you try to track its position with your unstable vision as it floats gently through the air, leaving a trail behind it in your vision.

You manage to catch it, only to immediately see a bigger problem:

ketamine - 1 charge remaining

There isn’t enough left in the device to hit them both. Figuring out how to operate the medical lab device in the state you're in seems out of the question.

Who will it be?

1) inject K: 100 (100.0%)
2) inject Ana: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-01-23 12:34:00)

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.