Chapter 3

Ætherglow #49

“I’ve been in the æther before, actually,” you say.

“You have? How?” Professor Kitov says.

“It was…when I was coming here to TLA, the incident on the shuttle, I thought you would have heard about it,” you say.

“I never heard any such thing,” he says.

“You didn’t? About that engineer K, and the sabotage? That nurse Ana said it was going to report everything to the Admins.”

“As your mind is relatively defenseless right now I can tell you aren’t lying, but, usually the Admins would have at least said something to us professors if something like this happened. Ana, you say?”

“That’s right, the same nurse who dissociated me just now.”

“Hmm, well I’ll ask it, but I have a feeling it will say the Admins classified this information, if it isn’t something I was told,” Kitov says. “Regardless, it seems your experience taught you a few things, you’re navigating and communicating well for a beginner.”

At this point in false-time you begin to see more and more of your classmates step into this entry node of the æther. Some appear amazed, some confused. Their avatars mostly resemble their own forms, with modifications like your own on most of your fellow trans classmates. Some grasp their position and motion better than others. Some remain in strange orientations, some seem distant and unreal.

As Professor Kitov drifts about to help everyone orient themselves, you look out into the rigid angular star pathways at the edge of space. In between is a void that glows with a familiar light, easy to lose yourself in. Staring deep into the ætherglow, your thoughts dissolve beyond language and you feel once again as a passive observer in the æthereal realm, watching the meaningless noise of data long past take shape and sound.

Will you resist the void’s comforting embrace?

1) stare into the ætherglow, nothing has ever been so beautiful, so peaceful: 100 (100.0%)
2) resist its call and try and focus your thoughts on something preoccupying: 0 (0.0%)
3) shield your mind and block out the æthereal noise: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-02-25 16:25:00)

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.