Chapter 15

Ætherglow #295


“Exhausting. Having my head scoured for subconscious anomalies,” you sign.

“Come here,” she signs. Holding you against her, she lays her hand on top of your head. Your system registers a connection attempt. You let her in, and immediately feel a deep tranquility. As she releases you, the empathic program’s intensity fades, but leaves you with a lingering calm.

“Amazing!” you sign. “Any technopath can suppress their own emotions, but we can also suppress others?”

“Suppression isn’t a healthy strategy, but it’s the best most specialties can manage. CommSpecs work by emotional manipulation, even injecting emotional states into other systems,” she signs.

“CommSpec...that’s right. Actually, about that...I might need your help with something.”

“What is it?”

“The counselor can’t get past some hard emotional memory barriers I subconsciously created. She wants to try using synchronization to get around it. It sounded more appealing than the other options, but I would need a compatible sync partner who’s a CommSpec, she said, and, other than ÆON there’s only one person I’ve successfully done that with, and on top of that, it was, would you sync with me again?”

Her eyes flicker between pink and green. “You want me to delve into your deepest, most guarded feelings and memories? And see the parts of you that you even hide from yourself?!”

“Yes, that. If you’re willing,” you sign.

Your empathic sense can feel her technopathy at work as she recomposes herself. “Yes. The bigger question is how you can choose me without making our feelings obvious. Xi might refuse if she catches onto that, and look for a more neutral partner. She’s a highly clinical, scientific-minded technopath who keeps her work in as controlled an environment as possible.”

“She said she’d be asking Professor Reina to help find a compatible CommSpec,” you sign.

“Oh, that’s easy, then. I’ll be the one she chooses, I’ll make sure of it,” she signs.

“Really? Thanks Akiko!” you half-sign, half-stim.

Her eyes glow pink. “You sign my name in such a cute way...”

“It’s...a stimmy sign,” you sign.

Closing the distance again, she pulls you back into her arms. You stare up close into the beautiful intricacy of her eyes, the layers of rings of LEDs too small to resolve, surrounded by shiny chrome. Her LEDs shut off, leaving only the metal surface--you see your distorted reflection. And she kisses you. Lost in the moment, you lose focus on your visual sense. Your hand finds her fingers and interlocks them with your own. This must be the maximum softness exertable by a technopath.

She drifts back away, and signs to you with her free hand, “I gotta get back to work, so, let’s do that again soon.”

“Anytime...” you sign, still mesmerized. Turning her wrist over, she slips her fingers out of your grasp and passes by you.

What are you going to do with yourself now?

What does the rest of today hold?

1) Go find Zeta, maybe study, maybe just relax: 6 (50.0%)
2) See if 7 wants to do something: 3 (25.0%)
3) Still mentally exhausted, go back to my dorm and sleep: 3 (25.0%)
Expired 2 months ago (2024-03-13 07:14:48)