Chapter 3

Ætherglow #50

It’s too calming, too tranquil, too inviting to resist losing yourself in the ætherglow again. It comes with a strange warmth inside, almost nostalgic, like you’ve come home from a long journey. Your imagined sense of distance begins to break down. The far-off light now seems right in front of you, taking a spherical shape with a surface like a mirror. In the shimmering orb you see your own face, but your eyes are black as space, surrounded by glowing white rings.

You take a step back from this image. As if in response to your motion, the sphere changes shape, opening up into a flat ellipse against the surface of æther space, and its reflective sheen turns dark. Shadows soon start to reach out from the 2-dimensional surface, arms with many joints, bending in unnatural ways. Their ends branch off into a fractal pattern that reduces itself to infinity. These dark tendrils lash out faster than you can react and wrap themselves around your own arms. You try to call out, but no information escapes your mind. You are pulled into the darkness--an open gate--engulfed by the shadows too fast to pull away.

You’re pulled through a dark passage, as if falling into a gravity well, accelerating, until the tunnel opens up into a place beyond your imagining, a hall expanding in uncountable dimensions, a joining of a multitude of passageways—like a hall of mirrors reflecting each other endlessly, with no source image to reflect. You fly through this space and into another tunnel, pulled along by the inescapable attraction, until you finally emerge.

You’re floating in a dark place, with the distant æther stars shrouded in misty red clouds. The ætherglow beyond them all shifts toward red in color. And you are not alone. A group encircles you, human-seeming, with their avatars obscured by cloaks absorbing all light that touches them. The edges of their fabric break off into fractal shapes, writhing like a mass of insects crawling around the edges of the cloak. Their faces cannot be seen.

And in front of you, at the far edge of the black circle, is the only solid object in this space. It shines with white starlight, its surface smooth like polished metal, a massive seat to sit upon, a throne.

You look to your sides and find the arms grasping you have solidified with you as you emerged--they too belong to humanoid avatars shrouded in black.

“The vessel of the One is secure!” one of them says.

One across the circle responds, “The ascension of ÆON is upon us!”

How will you react?

1) "What the fuck is going on here?": 0 (0.0%)
2) Try to fall back to your entry point immediately: 0 (0.0%)
3) Shield your mind: 0 (0.0%)
4) Break yourself free of your restraint: 100 (100.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-02-26 17:00:00)

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.