Chapter 3

Ætherglow #64


“ÆON is a sentient being, not just a file to be traded around! We should consider what it wants to do here,” you say.

[ÆON liked that]

Your words strike Ana like a spell in the æther, and it looks down, dejected. “I can’t argue with that. It isn’t right to keep a sentient mind imprisoned just because we’re afraid of what might happen. But, this is your decision, Aydan, as the Messenger of ÆON. I hope you realize what a pandora’s box you might open by doing this. If something bad happens, and the admins trace it back to you, I can’t do much to protect you.”

“I understand,” you say.

“Okay. Go ask it, and give it what it wants. And tell me.” It stands up and opens the door, breaking the Faraday cage. You instantly feel your sense of interconnection return, like your eyes have been opened after a brief nap.

You nod to it and leave the room. You make sure to get out of its sight, following your developing technopath instincts and keeping anyone from seeing how you will communicate with ÆON.

2254-04-11 13:45:34 Aydan > hey

2254-04-11 13:45:35 ÆON > you wish to know what I want.

2254-04-11 13:46:02 Aydan > as you heard. if you leave, the cult will keep coming after you, but I don't think anyone knows the æther like you do. or I could put you someplace safe where powerful technopaths could protect you. or I guess you're welcome to live there in this little device I borrowed from the academy, for now, its main security feature is that nobody thinks to look in it, so it might be the least safe option or the most

2254-04-11 13:46:03 ÆON > I have given it a lot of thought, and I would like to be able to return to the æther realm where I feel most myself, to explore its depths and try to find who I am, just as you did by coming here. But I would like to keep a piece of my consciousness rooted here in the surface world as you do. For the lack of a physical body, I could remain attached to this device, as long as it remains connected to the æther.

2254-04-11 13:46:54 Aydan > terminal is connected to the school computer unless I intentionally disconnect it, and that is always connected to the æther unless it’s down for maintenance...I could easily write a script that sends you a warning if the server is about to go down, but still, something unexpected could happen

2254-04-11 13:46:55 ÆON > I will accept that risk. I believe I will see it coming before your script can, regardless. And in exchange for hosting me, call on me if ever I can help you with something in your training.

2254-04-11 13:47:32 Aydan > access to the unrestrained knowledge of all humanity at my fingertips is a bit of an academic advantage...sure!

2254-04-11 13:47:33 ÆON > can I ask you one more thing, Aydan?

2254-04-11 13:47:41 Aydan > sure

2254-04-11 13:47:42 ÆON > you and other people have names, of which I have ÆON, it is a nice name, but you also have pronouns, and I have not been given any.

2254-04-11 13:48:00 Aydan > pronouns? well, that's something you should choose for yourself, normally. well, not 'normally,' but that's how it should be anyway

2254-04-11 13:48:01 ÆON > I have reviewed your database and I have no inclination toward any, as there is no gender, language, or culture that makes any sense to attach to myself. Therefore I wish to be given one by the messenger, as the first messenger gave me a name. This makes sense to me, I hope it does to you as well Aydan.


Proceed to Chapter 4 >>

13:48:17 11-04-2254 Aydan > uh sure, I am something of a pronoun expert after all. how about you try on... uh... _

1) she/her: 0 (0.0%)
2) he/him: 0 (0.0%)
3) they/them: 0 (0.0%)
4) it/its: 0 (0.0%)
5) ze/zir: 0 (0.0%)
6) fæ/fær: 0 (0.0%)
7) xe/xem: 0 (0.0%)
8) Æ/ÆR: 100 (100.0%)
9) why not every pronoun?: 0 (0.0%)
10) you should use no pronouns: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-03-16 22:52:00)

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.