Chapter 3

Ætherglow #62


“Why do you think ÆON is so dangerous?” you say.

Ana answers, ”The exopath is merely unpredictable, and very powerful in the æther, but it doesn’t naturally have any reason to be malicious. From what I know of ÆON, it mostly seemed curious, about the nature of organic minds and the surface world. It’s the cult that is dangerous. I became skeptical of them when I realized their communications were not all being shared collectively. Once I became the messenger I started being cut out of conversation.

“I think there was something like a schism in the ÆON cult. Those like me wanted to study and learn from ÆON, but another faction had their own ideas. They want to enthrone it as some kind of god, teach it to be an omnipotent ruler of the æther, with the cult backing its every decision. I don’t know what their actual plans for using such power are, or who could possibly be behind it, but history can tell us it’s nothing good.”

“This doesn’t add up, Ana, when I was messaging you from the æther you said you only found out about ÆON when the admins probed K’s mind, but apparently you were in on this all along?” you say.

“I’m sorry I lied to you, but you need to get used to that as a technopath. It isn’t safe to talk about this over an æther connection. There are too many unanswered questions. Did K know it was me who was the messenger? Was he part of the cult, trying to eliminate me? An outsider trying to eliminate the cult? Does the cult know my surface identity? I couldn’t risk revealing that, so I told a believable story that frames me as an outsider to all this,” Ana says.

“So what’s the real story?” you say.

“The truth is, I was already separating myself from the cult when K tried to kill us all. I was taking ÆON to TLA to seek the admins’ help, they’re powerful enough to protect me from the cult. Then K attacked. ÆON said it could save us, so in an act of desperation I released it from its containment into the shuttle computer, and I lost track of it. I handed K over to Admin Vanitas when I arrived. I was told that Admin Astra interrogated K, but they didn’t tell me much of the details.”

“Where the hell do I fit into this?” you say.

“You tell me,” it says. “I’ve laid my side out on the table.

“Now what do you know?”

1) "I first met ÆON in the shuttle computer, and it attached itself to my mind, where it resided until today...": 100 (100.0%)
2) "I first met ÆON today in the æther, just before the cult captured us...": 0 (0.0%)
3) refuse to answer: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-03-12 13:35:00)

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.