Chapter 12

Ætherglow #239

“Why are you doing this?! What do you want with ÆON?!” you say, stabilizing your shield.

“What do I want?” The æthercultist manifests twin rods in her hands. She strikes at the æther in front of her and an invisible disc glows with as she impacts it. Expanding from that point, a strong shockwave drives a wedge between you and Synth. Your shield protects you from the sonic vibration, but their distortion of æther space throws you apart from each other.

Your enemy strikes her æthereal drum hard again and again, focusing its shockwaves on you. Your shield holds out against it. You aim back at her with your laser. But you have difficulty finding your target as the pulse of her beat distorts the æther between you. Riding the sound waves she casts, she shifts positions between notes. She’s nearly upon you.

“What do I want? What does any girl want, Aydan?! Freedom!” she says. “Do you even realize what kind of power you’re holding? The potential of the entire æther focused in one divine soul! With ÆON’s power, whatever you wish for is possible, whatever you can imagine!”

Her next wave hits you hard. You feel the sound pressure on your shield of water and hear its distorted pitch breaking through. The force throws you back through false space until you crash through the thorny matrix of one of the large linear trees. The cultist moves in, pinning you against the trunk and in between the branches.

“I’m not a violent person Aydan!!” She releases the rods in her hands and presses her fingers down into the æther in front of her, vibrating against a row of panels of light. The soundscape enveloping you changes shape with her chords. Its distortion eclipses the garden below and the ætherglow above. Its waves bend the linear branches around you into an inescapable grid.

“All I ever wanted was to pursue my art! To control my own body’s development! The price I have to pay for that future is unconscionable, becoming a tool of war, an object owned and used. Yet the alternative was unacceptable, so here I am! We’re all trapped in this cycle, Aydan. ÆON can set us all free! No corpo or chamber could challenge technopaths’ power with ÆON behind us! That’s my only wish, Aydan!”

The branches tighten around you as the wave shape oscillates. You can only manage to raise your weapon, with your enemy directly in your sights.

“What do you want with The One, Messenger? You must keep it from us for some ambition of your own. What for? To give its power to your corporate master?! To keep us all chained and collared forever?! Surely you dream of something better! Whatever you wish for, we can accomplish it together!” she says.

What will you say?

1) “Controlling a sentient being against Ær will can’t be justified, even for that!”: 7 (63.63%)
2) “Even if that’s what you fight for, does the cult and the sages really share your ideals?”: 3 (27.27%)
3) “I don’t need a god to accomplish my ambitions! Technopaths don’t need to depend on a cult either!”: 0 (0.0%)
4) Let my laser do the talking.: 1 (9.09%)
Expired 8 months ago (2023-09-08 05:25:59)