Chapter 10

Ætherglow #200


2254-08-22 09:00:00

Your system alert dæmon tells you it’s time to wake up. But that’s not a problem for you, you don’t think you’ve managed to get any sleep at all. Even with the window shade closed to block out the constant passing of days, and your interface running a sensory routine of targeted noise that usually gets you to sleep in no time, you’ve been lying here in bed for hours. You even thought of dissociating yourself into the æther to let your body rest, but it would not have been restful at all for your mind, which is what matters here at TLA.

“We should set a trap of our own, make me appear vulnerable and lure them out of hiding.” Your words echo back to you. You must have felt very confident at the time, but you’ve been thinking all night on just how to best execute this risky plan. You’re sure it will be okay with your friends backing you. Tomorrow you’ll meet with ÆON Club to solidify this plan. But for now, it’s a new day, and your window for sleep has passed you by.

It’s time to get ready for your next class, Practical Arts. It will be good to learn some EvoTech at last and maybe be better prepared to defend yourself from the various threats on your life. But in a state like this, it’s going to be hard to concentrate on technopathy.

You get up, feeling fatigued and sore as the body stress from your pain suppression yesterday catches up with you. You check the bandage over your burn. It’s looking dirty. You peel off the top gauze layer and get a replacement from the pack Ana gave you. The semi-permeable polymer matrix layer underneath still clings to your skin, drawing out any toxins and pathogens from the healing site.

You pull on your interface leggings and sleeves, but you’ll have to work without your torso interface nodes today. Your interface shirt was specially calibrated to your sync rate, and it will take a few days to get a replacement for the damaged one. Luckily you were supplied with several uniform dresses in your size. You put one on that doesn’t have a hole burned in it. You strap on your tall magnetic boots and strap your terminal to the band on your sleeve, ready for whatever the day could bring.

You head out. But as you close your door, the one next to yours opens, and 7☆ emerges. She glances over at you and continues across the hall to the elevator. You follow her.

“Um, good morning Aydan...” she says, with a nervous stim. Maybe she’s in a rare talkative mood.

What will you say?

1) “Hi 7. Did you sleep well? I didn’t, whatsoever.”: 0 (0.0%)
2) “Good morning, I almost died yesterday, how are you?”: 3 (50.0%)
3) “Hey 7... Did you always live right next door to me?”: 1 (16.66%)
4) “Good morning, 7.” Leave it at that.: 2 (33.33%)
Expired 10 months ago (2023-06-09 11:50:25)