Chapter 10

Ætherglow #187


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“Oh, Akiko, this is 7 Star,” you sign. “I think we might be friends?” You turn back to 7 and speak, falling back into Amharic, the only language you have talked to her in. “This is my friend Akiko,” you say.

7 waves, keeping her hands close in a defensive posture.

“Have we met before?” Akiko signs.

7 looks down at the terminal on her right arm, then signs back in JSL, “I don’t think so...”

“No, I don’t think I know you, yet the texture of your aura is familiar,” Akiko signs. “Maybe I saw you in the æther once.”

“Must have been...” 7 signs.

2254-08-16 13:14:49 Aydan > she doesn’t like talking much

2254-08-16 13:14:55 明子 > ahh, that’s fine

7’s eyes suddenly widen and she turns around toward the corridor as the last passenger exits--a woman, perhaps, tall with a long black coat. You can’t see her eyes under her hood, but black hair hangs down, a meter long and woven into several complex braids that converge and then diverge again, ending in deep purple LED ornaments. Black tattoos tracing the patterns of constellations mark the sides of her face and neck, otherwise devoid of color--or maybe not, it almost seems to glow under the white spaceport lights, a synthetic fluorescent pigment? You recognize the pattern after a moment, it looks like the rigid orthogonal pathways of the constellations visible inside the TLA ætherspace.

She has every seeming of a strong technopath, yet in the near-æther she is completely invisible, not leaving the slightest trace. It’s unsettling, as if she was making no sound or casting no shadow in the light on the surface. To obscure herself so completely, this only tells you she must be even stronger than you thought. A chill passes through you as she walks by. She speaks a single word, “7.”

“Ah--I have to go...” 7 waves goodbye to you and hurries after this ghost of a person into the elevator.

Akiko looks awestruck, with flickering pale blue eyes staring at the elevator as its doors slide shut.

“You okay?” you sign.

“Was that Admin Vanitas?!” she signs, emphatically spelling her name. “It’s only the second time I’ve seen her, she’s even more of a recluse than the other two! I’m surprised she even allowed us to see her.


“Does your friend have some kind of connection to Admin Vanitas?”

1) “I don’t know, we’ve never talked about anything like that.”: 1 (14.28%)
2) “I’ve heard a rumor that she’s an admin’s daughter, and all this other weird stuff that sounded made up.”: 5 (71.42%)
3) “Maybe she works for her, like Synth does with Admin Crypta?”: 1 (14.28%)
Expired 11 months ago (2023-05-24 04:06:58)