Chapter 11

Ætherglow #214


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“Maybe have everyone meet here and then we’ll go to the garden together and meet there,” you say, feeling indecisive as ever.

“Okay, if that’s what you want,” Zeta says.

“Could you summon everyone? I’m still trying to pull my head together...”

“Sure,” it says.

You try to catch all the memory fragments you can gather of your dreams and æthereal visions and organize them a little. But a message interrupts you.

2254-08-23 14:00:34 Synthesis-02 > Aydan this is the worst plan since you decided to meet on the Admin rooftop, sure let’s all just be seen walking everywhere together like we’re going to a secret meeting or something

2254-08-23 14:00:46 Aydan > oh...right, my head’s all mixed up, sorry

2254-08-23 14:00:53 Synthesis-02 > meet in the garden. they stopped putting cameras or microphones near the pond after enough couples sabotaged them

2254-08-23 14:01:04 Aydan > oh. good to know

“Okay yeah let’s just meet at the pond then,” you say. “I just have to put on outside clothes and...actually I’m pretty hungry, I guess I dissociated and slept right through dinner and breakfast hours.”

“We’ll stop at the dorm autokitchen then.”

You find your interface leggings and pull them on, feeling their pressure-stimmy auto-tightening engage and the tingly sensation of contact nodes calibrating to the nerves under your skin. You pull the oversized shirt you were sleeping in over your head and pull your new, unburned interface shirt over half your torso.

As you glance over at Zeta, it quickly looks away from you, covering its mouth and flapping its other hand a little.

“Huh?” you say.

“Nothing, you’re just...you’re cute is all...” it says.

“Oh! Thanks! These have been putting in work, huh.” You activate the LEDs in your Estra-Dial™ tunable synthovaries, and two spots on your abdomen glow red through your skin. “I feel pretty amazing too.”

“I’ve been considering if maybe it’s time I try starting T,” Zeta says.

“Oh, you haven’t been on any hormones?” you say.

“No, I’ve had implants all year since my sponsor offered them and I could just turn them on when I’m ready...but I’ve only had them on Block mode.”

“Well there’s nothing wrong with waiting, block mode is perfectly safe for any amount of time, but, do you think you’d like testosterone?” you say.

“Maybe. I’d like to feel stronger, have more energy and stamina.”

“You’re already pretty athletic, it would probably work well for you.”

“But I don’t know if I want my voice to change though...” it says.

“Nothing a surgery can’t reverse,” you say. “But still, you know, try it when you’re ready, if you want, it’s not such a big deal to try a new hormone out for a while. It was months before I even noticed anything physical happening. Still I feel like I’ve barely even changed in five months...”

“What, but you already looked cute and feminine when you got here!” it says.

“I’ve always been cute, Zeta. It’s the femboy way.” You fasten the magnetic strip of your dress. You put on your tall magnetic boots. “Let’s go.”

You open your door. Zeta follows you out.

“Aydan...” it says.

“What is it?”


“You know I would never betray you and throw you out an airlock, right?”

1) “Of course, you’re like my best friend, if I can’t trust you, who can I?”: 1 (12.5%)
2) “It’s not like I think you would do that, but...I still can’t afford to let my guard down, even with you.”: 3 (37.5%)
3) Awkward silence.: 4 (50.0%)
Expired 9 months ago (2023-07-07 09:02:38)