Chapter 15

Ætherglow #305


You grasp your system for signs, but none feel sufficient. Instead you reach out to embrace her, pull her toward you and kiss her. Lost in the empathic feedback loop, you feel a rhythmic pattern in the back and forth resonance of your signals. You feel her heartbeat--a polyrhythm with the empathic cycle--through your fingertips touching the sides of her face and neck. At the edges of her interface collar, the induction field projected from your wrists picks up all the static of her interference, a stimmy sensation overlaid on the touch of her soft skin. This too resonates in a pattern.

Dissociated in a blissful moment, the colony’s spin startles you when you fall back to the surface. You open your eyes to rippling starlight reflected in the pond. You feel her hands gently slide through your hair, and your collar picks up the interference of the interface nodes implanted under her skin. You slide your hand down her arm to the end of her sleeve and feel the textured shape of the conduit web crossing the back of her hand. Her fingers reflexively slip into the spaces around your hand, a position where she can feel every subtle movement. Seeing her eyes inactive, you raise the hand she can feel and sign a simple JSL sign, “Thank you.”

The sound of the birds breaks your concentration. They fly up, startled by something. You hear movement in the trees and turn around to check. It’s Synth, and not far behind you pick up the signal of Zeta.

“Looks like it’s meeting time,” you sign to Akiko.

“How disappointing. But we have work to do,” she signs.

“Aydan!” Zeta says, walking up behind you and patting your head.

“Hi Zeta,” you say.

It and Synth sit down, forming a circle.

“Okay, ÆON Club,” you sign in the conlang created for ÆON Club meetings, Akiko-sign-4a.

“Wait,” Akiko signs back, “The other day, I think we were spotted using 4a. We should switch to Akiko-sign-4b.”

You make a quick dialectic adjustment in your system. “Understood.”

“So we have a few things to discuss today,” Synth signs in 4b.

“Wait, first of all...” Zeta reaches into its pockets and pulls out a little device in a small plastic case, and hands it to Synth. “Your AZ-7 module.”

“Your device for redirecting and modulating Pulse’s auditory attacks? Great,” Synth signs.

“And Akiko, you said you have no use for it, so I didn’t make a fourth one,” Zeta signs.

“Pulse’s technopathy can’t touch me. But I’m glad you all have an accommodation for your inability to avoid sounds now,” she signs.

“Good progress toward our objective of developing countermeasures for our known enemies,” Synth signs. “This past month we’ve all also been looking into æthereal leads on how to get more information about the Chosen of ÆON.”

What will you sign?

1) “Let’s all share what we’ve discovered.”: 3 (25.0%)
2) “Actually, before we get into that, I want to discuss something that happened to me the other night.”: 9 (75.0%)
Expired 1 months ago (2024-04-05 09:40:29)