Chapter 2

Ætherglow #30


They all sound fascinating, but you are most of all interested in Linear Algebra and Applications of Primitive Devices.

Between required and desired classes you settle on your schedule for your first semester:

Applications of Primitive Devices

Introductory Cybersecurity

Network Architecture

Introductory Cybernetics Theory

Linear Algebra

Now you have the whole day ahead of you. You can’t just spend it all here in your room, you need to be adjusting to the full strength of gravity. So you leave your little cave and head for the elevator.

Descending an elevator on a space colony is surreal. Back on the Moon, descending made you feel lighter, and ascending heavier, at least while you’re moving. But here, what matters most is your distance from the wall, so going down brings you into higher gravity, tricking your brain into thinking you’re going up. After double checking the indicator lights to make sure you’re going the right direction, you reach the bottom.

And the bottom is hell. Here at the colony’s “surface,” spin-gravity is at about 0.3G, almost double the comfortable 0.16G in which you have lived your entire life. Your body suddenly weighs twice as much as it did when you left home. Ever since your acceptance to the Academy, you have gone through an intense physical training program just to try to prepare you for this, and among Lunatics your age and size you would probably be considered pretty strong now. Shortly after arriving you were injected with a neuromuscular stimulant to help your body adjust faster. Despite your best efforts, your little arms feel like they have bricks tied to them. You can walk around well enough at this point, but you are still easily fatigued.

The sudden absence of testosterone isn’t helping your stamina at all either, but you feel you would rather have to walk on Earth than ever feel that poison in your blood again. You lift up your heavy arm to look at your terminal display and check the readout from your implants.

E2 - 69.04 pg/mL

Your implants are currently running a program closely mimicking the hormonal patterns of a cis girl your age, but you can ultimately control the level yourself if you find it to be too much for your momentary gender. In control of your body, that is a great feeling, the best part of having synthovaries.

You exit the first year residential building into the night. From here you can see the whole colony stretched out before you, its habitable surface strip wrapping around the side of the cylinder, with glass in between. On the “horizon” you see the crescent Moon, drifting out of view as you spin. It’s so strange to see it this way, a thing in the sky and not the entire world around you.

Looking ahead, down the cylinder, you see the other half of the colony across and above you, in bright sunlight, and you can see the terminator line between night and day drift across the campus. The colony is arranged in two sections: the academic block and the residential block, on opposite ends of the cylinder, separated by a very impressive garden, with real Earth trees, taller than you’ve ever seen, and a field of flowers of many colors.

What should you do with yourself today?

1) walk around the residential block and hope to find interesting people to talk to: 0 (0.0%)
2) go to the garden and experience real nature: 100 (100.0%)
3) go to the observation lounge to get a better look at the stars and the Moon: 0 (0.0%)
4) see if the library has anything interesting: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-01-28 15:56:00)

NOTICE: this poll was conducted on Ætherglow's previous home site. After total loss of the server, we only had records of which results won, not exact vote totals.