Chapter 12

Ætherglow #235

You decide this warrants a more direct approach. While her shield is still attenuated to intercept visual data, you jump across to her limb of the tree and strike her with the simulated mass of your heavy weapon. Your blow pierces her barrier and connects right to the side of her head. As she slides further down the limb from your momentum, you immediately feel her pain manifest in your mind through the empathic link, emanating from the point of impact on your own head.

This unexpected sensation has you off balance. But Akiko recovers quickly and reforms her rod of coiled wire in her hand. The pain isn’t subsiding for you, it’s intensifying. Your body tightens up as if electrified. The intense sensation starts to synæsthetically drift into bright, blinding light in your eyes. Your vestibular sense is turning inside out. You can’t grasp a frame of reference on the concepts of up or down. You don’t know if you’re even standing on the tree at all.

“I told you you’d regret playing emotional games with a CommSpec.”

Between flashes of pain you see her strike at you. You feel her weapon impact your shield. You struggle to focus, and her rod pierces your barrier enough to split itself apart into its several lashing tentacles. They coil around your arms and your legs, restraining you.

You feel her probing around in your head, poking at your internal configs. The overwhelming light soon dominates your vision until it cuts off to black. The ambient sounds of the æther vanish as your auditory sense is severed.

????-??-?? ??:??:?? 明子 > you’re in my domain now.

All you can sense is the texture of the various plastic insulation patterns of the cables wound up tightly beneath you into the structure you’re laying on. That, and a touch on your hand, the soft touch of Akiko. She rearranges your fingers. Proprioception is about all the awareness you have left. You put together the pattern of kana she spells out with your own hand:


What will you do?

1) Try to sever the empathic link and regain control of my senses: 1 (8.33%)
2) Abandon my hearing and sight and try to contend with Akiko in the tactile world: 8 (66.66%)
3) Accept defeat: 3 (25.0%)
Expired 7 months ago (2023-08-27 08:08:04)