Chapter 11

Ætherglow #213


“I had a terrible dream... I was pushed into an airlock and thrown out into space. I was fighting for breath and getting nothing. It was the most horrible sensation, and it all felt so completely real. The silence, the cold, the complete helplessness, hopelessness... And my murderer, who pushed me in there, it!”

“Me?! Fuck, Aydan, that’s horrible!” Zeta says.

“I felt so confused and betrayed that it overshadowed even the terror of asphyxiating, it was such a bad dream...” Holding the sides of your head, you rock nervously side to side on your back. “But looking back now I should have realized... The stuff you were saying didn’t fit together at all. Even the timestamps were kinda fucked up.”

“That’s a sure sign of dreaming,” it says.

“ÆON... I talked to Ær just before I woke up. Æ can confirm whether that was really all a dream...”

2254-08-23 13:55:34 Aydan > calling ÆON

2254-08-23 13:55:35 ÆON > Hello Aydan. I’m glad you got some sleep.

2254-08-23 13:55:53 Aydan > what happened last night? tell me what you remember

2254-08-23 13:55:54 ÆON > You contacted me, and we spoke while you were on the surface. Then you joined me and I showed you my ætherspace. You explained your insomnia, and I offered to try to help. We synchronized and I looked into your mind to search for an explanation, such as anxiety. There were plenty of sources of anxiety, but every potentiality where I list them only causes you more anxiety so I will not. But these were not the cause of your insomnia.

2254-08-23 13:56:13 Aydan > well, thanks for that I guess? but what do you mean by that?

2254-08-23 13:56:14 ÆON > A program was disrupting your sleep cycle. Once I realized this I tried to remove it. But dectivating it caused you to immediately enter a deep sleep. I’m sorry, Aydan, I could not finish what I started.

2254-08-23 13:56:29 Aydan > I mean you did what you set out to do, I did sleep, for a long time apparently. and I had a horrible nightmare that felt so real I was sure I was awake. but I wasn’t

2254-08-23 13:56:34 Aydan > I saw so many strange things, did you see? was it really just dreams?!

2254-08-23 13:56:35 ÆON > I can’t help you much with specifics. I was projected deep into your mind, not near the surface of it where I might have seen what you perceived. And since there is very little information available about synchronizations between humanoids and exopaths, I have little to estimate from. It is possible that through my connection to the deep æther, you were able to see the path of potential events which you would define as occuring in your past or your future, just as I have aided you in seeing at other times. It is also possible you merely hallucinated scenarios at random. And the nature of the program acting on you is a factor to consider as well.

2254-08-23 13:56:34 Aydan > what the hell was this program in my head??!

2254-08-23 13:56:35 ÆON > I didn’t fully understand it. Its documentation named its author as “the Sage of Sleep,” and it was uploaded to your system at timestamp 2254-08-21 09:30:07, during a moment when your guard was reduced.

You look back on the timestamps of your system logs.

2254-08-23 13:56:45 Aydan > that time...that’s right when my weapon exploded.

2254-08-23 13:56:49 Aydan > I’m gonna call ÆON Club together to discuss all this as planned, standby

“Okay...” you say. “There’s a lot to consider here. I want to bring everyone in on it.”

“Alright. Where do we want to meet?” Zeta says.

1) “The usual meeting spot on the Administration building roof.”: 0 (0.0%)
2) “The alternate usual meeting spot by the pond at the world’s edge.”: 3 (50.0%)
3) “Let’s meet right here in my room.”: 3 (50.0%)
Expired 9 months ago (2023-07-05 11:00:25)