Chapter 10

Ætherglow #204


You know you can’t ignore your body’s needs for too long, as long as technopaths are still bound by the laws of flesh. You go back to your room to finally slip into a deep sunken sleep.

If only you could. Laying down accomplishes nothing. You can’t focus on anything, but your body won’t go to sleep either. Meanwhile, everyone you might normally talk to to pass the time has been busy all day. The start of a new semester is like that, with a lot of new classes and interesting new programs to try out.

But you have one friend who seems to always be available.

2254-08-22 16:12:23 Aydan > hey

2254-08-22 16:12:24 ÆON > Hello Aydan.

2254-08-22 16:12:29 Aydan > I can’t sleep

2254-08-22 16:12:30 ÆON > I have a theory. In your local timekeeping system it is currently one of the most consciously active times of your normal cycle. Perhaps you should try again to sleep in approximately six hours.

2254-08-22 16:12:37 Aydan > I know that, but I didn’t get any sleep last night so I’m too tired to do anything now

2254-08-22 16:12:38 ÆON > That is unusual. Perhaps you could stimulate your nervous system chemically.

2254-08-22 16:12:45 Aydan > that’s a good idea actually. but if I do that now I’ll definitely not get any sleep tonight, I think

2254-08-22 16:12:49 Aydan > hey, why are we talking like this anyway, want to meet in the æther?

2254-08-22 16:12:50 ÆON > You are always welcome in my domain, Aydan.

Maybe an ætherwalk is what you need to wear out your brain enough that it will have no choice but to crash and recharge. You lay back and activate your neurodissociative implant.

You feel the release of the colony’s spin as it gradually transitions to the motion of spiraling down into a vortex of color. You direct your descent not to the TLA server, but to the network of the primitive Old Earth machine lying on your desk. It materializes around you. This is a less cramped space than the other one was, though it’s still fairly small.

You’re standing on the curved wall of a spherical chamber. ÆON’s new root partition has at least a few adjoining rooms, with their doors branching off at odd angles from this highly curved spacetime. The walls seem like glass, with iridescent light flowing through them and obscuring whatever lies beyond them.

“ÆON?” you say to the small void around you.

Æ appears from one of the portals on the wall, in Ær typical avatar form, mirroring your own shape, with an aura of pale starlight and skin of a curved event horizon, shining with server-stars bent into distorted shaped like a gravitational lens. As Æ moves you can see that the images Ær body shows must be whatever lies outside this limited space--ÆON’s current connection ports to the broader æther.

“Hello Aydan. Welcome to my space,” Æ says.

What will you say?

1) “Wow, you’re really made it nice in here.”: 0 (0.0%)
2) “I don’t really understand what I’m looking at, but it sure is interesting.”: 0 (0.0%)
3) “I hope this larger storage device is a little more comfortable for you.”: 5 (100.0%)
Expired 10 months ago (2023-06-13 14:12:12)