Chapter 15

Ætherglow #293


“Okay, maybe we can do the blocked area around ‘grief,’” you say.

“Okay. I’m going to connect and focus entirely on that. You just need to keep your focus away from it. Don’t let your thoughts wander there, no matter what,” Counselor Xi says.

You lie back and start your breathing exercise--1, 2, 3, in--1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, out. You count by the corners of the triangles above you. Suppress your fear. Suppress anxiety. Suppress sadness. Suppress your self--there is no self but the self that we all are,--the only words floating in your headspace.

You’re far, far away. The spark of connection, so distant--the ripple of an air bubble drifting through a water barrier. No time, no space, no self. Only light, sound, touch, breath. What is the texture of the colors? Warm and cold. What is the sound of a sixty degree angle? The sound of the texture of sand. What word is a fractal? Pronouns, perhaps. Cold, sharp, dust, uncountable things--snow and regolith--Korolev City, night. No. No.


“Aydan, Aydan, you have to let me in,” Xi says.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know how, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!”

“I think I know,” she says. “You have a repressed memory here. A traumatic moment, something even you aren’t aware of. I know you aren’t blocking me on purpose, because you’re even blocking yourself. For us to make any progress, we’re first going to have to recover that memory.”

You slip your fingers up through your hair and shake your head rapidly. “What if it’s buried for a reason? Maybe I shouldn’t know.”

“Your brain covered this moment up for your protection. It’s a human reflex in the face of trauma. You’re more than a mere human, though. Being a technopath first means mastering your own mind, being in control of your memories and emotions, using these to defend yourself, rather than having weaknesses your enemies can exploit. You must confront your trauma and reconcile with it before I can psychologically clear you for certification.”

“So I have two more years to figure that out, then,” you say.

“Technically, yes. But if you don’t deal with this internal turmoil, it will only hinder your training, even put you in danger,” she says. “Let me help you, this is what I’m here for, Aydan. The Communication school has many tools for solving puzzles of the mind. Deep neural analytics, narcosynthesis, technopathic synchronization, even psychotherapy. One of these approaches would be best here, I think.”

“What do they entail?” you say.

“A neural analytical approach is usually too brute force for my comfort, but its results would be the most reliable and accurate. The computer core would run a powerful automated diagnostic on your system. This can have unpredictable effects on your personality. With narcosynthesis, we use hallucinogenic therapy to induce the recovery of repressed memories. It’s a solid, reliable technique with the knowledge of the brain we have today, but we still cannot absolutely guarantee the memories you recover this way were not altered or fabricated in a dream-like state.

“Synchronization is the temporary joining of separate minds into one. As a psychological technique, it would allow a more experienced technopath to help you access the depths of your mind. But this is usually not taught until the second year, it is a very difficult technique. For someone untrained in it, we would need to find a highly compatible sync partner, preferably a CommSpec too, so there is no guarantee such a technopath will be available. And psychotherapy would be the fully surface level approach, as practiced for four centuries. By far the safest option, but the slowest and least reliable.

“What do you think, Aydan?”

What do you think?

1) “I want to try the neural diagnostic.”: 1 (11.11%)
2) “Narcosynthesis sounds like the way to go.”: 2 (22.22%)
3) “I’d like to try technopathic synchronization.”: 5 (55.55%)
4) “Let’s approach this with psychotherapy.”: 1 (11.11%)
Expired 2 months ago (2024-03-08 08:52:44)