Chapter 12

Ætherglow #247


You decide not to disturb it, lying here so peacefully. The ambient sunlight through a crack in the curtain lights up the reflective yellow nerve conduits on its full-body interface. It’s a little cold in here. You collect a blanket to lay over it from the mess of them scattered about the bed. Asleep, it grasps the edges of it and rolls over, wrapping itself up in it.

It’s just asleep and not fully unconscious, good. But you don’t want to leave it alone either. Tired and still a little in pain, you sit down on the floor, laying your head back against the bed.

2254-08-28 23:18:18 Aydan > it seems ok, just passed out from the exertion. I’m gonna stay with it

2254-08-28 23:18:24 明子 > that’s good. make sure you get some rest yourself.

2254-08-28 23:18:29 Aydan > okay, I’ll try to. what about our enemies, do you think they’ll come after us tonight?

2254-08-28 23:18:38 Synthesis-02 > no, they didn’t get off easy down there either, plus they know we have ÆON, they won’t approach lightly, or risk showing their hand too much or attracting the attention of the Admins

2254-08-28 23:18:45 Aydan > what happened with the archer girl?

2254-08-28 23:18:51 明子 > forced her to retreat with injuries, but no permanent damage probably. she won’t be a threat for a little while at least, she’ll have to recover from that.

2254-08-28 23:19:00 Synthesis-02 > we’ll rest and recover too, and plan our next move. I couldn’t get positive IDs on any of them due to the cult’s ObTech, but I think the encounter reasonably confirmed at least some of our suspicions, and showed us what they’re capable of

2254-08-28 23:19:15 Aydan > then I’ll keep my eyes on that Deianira...I’m pretty confident it’s her, I recognized her by her weapon

2254-08-28 23:19:21 明子 > and I’ll keep mine on Pulse, that was absolutely her, I think we can all say

2254-08-28 23:19:29 Synthesis-02 > I’ll use my administrative resources to look more into Vukaşin, but that’s who we have the least certain ID on. the wolf could still be any experienced SySpec...

2254-08-28 23:19:24 Synthesis-02 > don’t let your guard down for a second.

2254-08-28 23:19:29 明子 > right.

2254-08-28 23:19:30 Aydan > understood

You close out of the group conversation to rest your mind, but get one more private message:

2254-08-28 23:20:21 明子 > good night Aydan~ <3

2254-08-28 23:20:24 Aydan > good night Akiko! <3

Staring up at the ceiling by only a sliver of starlight through a gap in the curtain, you reflect on this long few hours. At 180 months old you’ve just experienced your first date, your second technopath duel, and a serious combat encounter against an enemy. You’ve proven yourself capable of at least surviving against opponents much stronger than you, and even executed some strange technopathy you barely understand. The weight of the colony’s spin on your body feels twice as heavy tonight. But turning your head to glance at Zeta you think for a moment that together with your friends, somehow it will be okay.

You close your eyes for a while.

You don’t know how much time passed or if you had any sleep, but you feel a hand touch your head. You open your eyes and see Zeta awake.

“Aydan?” it says.

“You’re awake. I didn’t want to disturb you.” you say. “I just came to make sure you were okay when you didn’t respond. And I guess stayed to make extra sure...”

“You were worried about me?”

[Zeta liked that]

“Well yeah, you took a beating down there. How do you feel?”

“Okay. Just sleepy. Pretty sore in the nerves. That was a hell of a strain.” It suddenly sits up with its eyes wide. “What happened after I left?!”

“After I covered your escape, Akiko injured the weaker girl and forced her to retreat. Then we withdrew ourselves shortly afterward. We’re all fine pretty much.”

“Good, good. If anything happened to you while I wasn’t there...” It falls back down onto its bed.

“You gotta rest, you took it worse than any of us,” you say. “I’ll go back and get some sleep too, since you’re okay.”

“Oh. You don’t have to, though...if you don’t want to walk all the way back up to your tower. I mean, I just mean, my room is yours too, Aydan.” It pulls its covers back up over itself and slides over to offer you space.

What will you do?

1) Spend the night here. Lay down and fall asleep. “Good night Zeta.”: 1 (7.69%)
2) Spend the night here. Talk to Zeta a little more. “Thanks for always looking after me. I’m sorry about last week, letting some cult mind game make me doubt you. If there’s anyone I can trust, I know I can trust you.”: 10 (76.92%)
3) Go back to my own room to sleep.: 2 (15.38%)
Expired 6 months ago (2023-09-27 07:00:03)