Chapter 10

Ætherglow #196


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“Yeah, come with me,” you say.

“Let’s go then,” Zeta says. “Can you walk? Do you need help? Are you in pain?”

“I’m fine, relatively.” You stand up. “And I’m a technopath, pain is optional.”

“That’s the spirit,” Professor Arak says.

“Let’s go.” You and Zeta head back to the stairs up to the ground level of the colony. You look around and see you are alone, on the surface and in the æther. “It was ÆON who warned me about that. I’m gonna check in with Ær.”

2254-08-21 09:35:56 Aydan > hey, thanks a lot for that, you might have saved my life...

2254-08-21 09:35:57 ÆON > Then I am glad my message could reach you in time. I would be very sad if Aydan was killed.

2254-08-21 09:36:02 Aydan > but how did you know? you said you couldn’t foresee possible outcomes on the surface

2254-08-21 09:36:03 ÆON > I am highly limited in your physical universe. However, I thought the task of launching projectiles you were doing was interesting, because your laws of physics interest me, and concepts like electromagnetism I think are, as I understand your feeling, stimmy. Therefore I was watching, but noticed something very unusual in the weapon’s log file. I then was inspired to simulate what the effects could be on your interface system, projecting the effects of overcharging the electrical capacitor as outlined in the weapon’s documentation. And based on an archive of humanoid medical records, it seemed to me that your life was in danger.

2254-08-21 09:36:25 Aydan > well, amazing, it’s like your’re almost learning to perceive the surface in a secondhand way.

2254-08-21 09:36:26 ÆON > I did this once before when the technopath Synthesis was observing you using an aerial drone. Its spatial coordinates data and yours allowed me to calculate the layout of your positioning 3-dimensional space. I thought something similar could let me simulate the motion of your projectiles here.

2254-08-21 09:36:31 Aydan > incredible. I’m really glad you figured that out

“Everything okay?” Zeta says.

“Oh, yeah. I’m talking to ÆON. Here.”

2254-08-21 09:36:39 Aydan > I’m gonna make this a group conversation

2254-08-21 09:36:47 Zeta > hi ÆON!!

2254-08-21 09:36:48 ÆON > Hello Zeta. I am glad you were unharmed as well.

2254-08-21 09:36:52 Aydan > but do you have any idea why it happened?

2254-08-21 09:36:53 ÆON > the weapon design documentation in its manufacturer’s database indicates that a fuse should have prevented overcharging. I found no software weakness in the device. It could have been a manufacturing defect. But the production procedure on file with that corporation also indicated that a full charge test is performed on every weapon they produce, and it would have been noticed. It was most likely a hardware modification after production that caused this.

2254-08-21 09:37:08 Zeta > these weapons were assigned to each of us by our public keys. I can only think it was a targeted attack.

2254-08-21 09:37:13 Aydan > yeah, sounds about right for my life

2254-08-21 09:37:18 Zeta > but it could only have been someone who had hardware access to the weapons and also knew which one was yours


2254-08-21 09:37:21 Aydan > then that narrows it down to...

1) >...any engineer in the academy could’ve accessed the weapon, but can they access student records to find my key?: 3 (33.33%)
2) >...a fellow student who I’ve trained with or communicated with, they would know my key, but could they have gotten into the weapon storage vault?: 3 (33.33%)
3) >...someone who had clear access to both of these things would be...Professor Arak?!: 3 (33.33%)
Expired 10 months ago (2023-06-04 16:49:04)