Chapter 10

Ætherglow #202


“Oh good. Then let’s train together again. This time it won’t be so one-sided, I guarantee,” you say.

[7 liked that]

“Good. A worthy opponent,” she says.

“And maybe it means we can spend more time together this semester.”

“Oh, sure, that’s what friends do, right?”

“I think so, yeah,” you say.

You cross the colony to the academic block, as 7 seems to run out of social energy. Just as well, you’re already mentally exhausted and the day has hardly begun.

You find your classroom in the Evocation School building. It’s a large open space, much like you’ve been in for other classes that involved a lot of hands on learning. The lights at the front of the room are too bright, and you have to turn down your input level a little.

Just before your terminal clock reached 10:00:00, you take two open seats near the middle of the room.

A woman enters. The bright lights catch her short, fiery orange hair and the bronze-colored skin below it that shines almost like metal. The LEDs in her eyes shine orange to match her hair, and flicker in a chaotic pattern. This tall imposing figure crosses the room, wearing a sleeveless silver robe that flows behind her. The twin-coiled shape of the circuit symbol of a transformer adorns both of her upper arms--tattoos in reflective metallic ink, or actual metal implants in her skin, you can’t tell.

She stands facing the class and lifts her hands to speak, and her fingernails light up bright red like hot metal, leaving tracers on your vision as she signs. “Welcome to my domain!” she signs, with rigid mechanical precision, in Iranian sign language. Following her class syllabus’s instructions, you already achieved a comfortable fluency in this language.

“I am Azar, head of the Evocation School at Translunar Academy. Here you will begin your mastery of the Practical Arts of technopathy--the most direct application of our craft. Let not the followers of the more subtle schools of thought deride this path. Underestimating the power of evocation could be the last mistake of your life.”

You know this well, from your encounters with the various Syntheses.

“Though their overconfidence in their illusions and mind games speaks otherwise, evocation is the crucial last line of defense for all technopaths when their arrogance fails them. To be an EvoSpec is to look at solid walls and know they can be shattered. Here in my class you will harness the full potential of your system. Heed my signs and you will leave this course without fear for whatever fate the æther holds for you!”

Perfect, just what you need at this point in your life. You feel excited to begin.

“Let us waste not our precious time. You will learn today how to efficiently focus your intent into raw offensive strength. Many technopaths find it helpful to visualize this intent as something they conceptually grasp as a symbol of power--a weapon. Visualize now your chosen symbol of strength--it matters not what, characteristics like range or accuracy are all illusionary. Whatever is meaningful to you and brings you confidence to hold, take that construct with you in the æthereal depths!”

Simple enough, visualize a weapon. What form will your æthereal weapon take?

1) A gun--a proper combat rifle: 1 (9.09%)
2) Something more subtle, a small handgun: 0 (0.0%)
3) I want a sword, the bigger the better!: 0 (0.0%)
4) An elegant rapier would suit me: 0 (0.0%)
5) I’m a polearm kind of enby at heart--a spear: 2 (18.18%)
6) A staff, perfectly balanced: 1 (9.09%)
7) A subtle knife, invisible until it strikes, and throwable: 1 (9.09%)
8) Some kind of chain whip with sharp spikes: 1 (9.09%)
9) My fists will do--wrapped in metal gauntlets: 0 (0.0%)
10) A bow, a timeless Old Earth classic: 1 (9.09%)
11) A kind of hammer, that’s what I’ll specify: 1 (9.09%)
12) A laser, the power of photons!: 3 (27.27%)
Expired 10 months ago (2023-06-11 12:05:16)