Chapter 3

Ætherglow #63


You decide to entrust Ana with the truth. “I first met ÆON in the shuttle computer, and it attached itself to my mind, where it resided until today.”

“Slow down Aydan, I need to hear more about that,” Ana says.

“Well, it started when I was spacing out staring at the ætherglow, I saw an image of a silhouette that took the shape of my avatar, and spoke to me in my voice. Then when Synth and K were accessing the filesystem that entity told me it was K behind the attack, and it showed me a vision of something it said was about to happen. But I alerted you and you stopped it.”

“How interesting. A scenario it constructed? But I never knew it to have much artistic or inspirational capacity,” Ana says.

“According to ÆON it was the true course of future events, which it claims to be able to see a short time ahead of us. I never was able to see it do this again.”

“Then what?”

“I didn’t see it again until--wait, I saw it a few times in between, in short glimpses in dreams, daydreams, one time when I lost consciousness. Then I dissociated into the æther for the network interface lesson, and I again became mesmerized by the glow. Some kind of strange technopathy appeared and showed a reflection of ÆON’s form within me. That was right before the cultists abducted me and extracted ÆON from my mind--or it emerged on its own, I’m not sure. They called me ‘the vessel.’ But ÆON helped me escape, it didn’t want to go with those people, whatever their aims are.”

“The last they heard from me was that I lost track of ÆON on the shuttle. They may have figured out that it attached itself to a host mind, if so they never told me that, I was already being cut out by then,” Ana says.

“So they’re hunting me because they think I ran off with their god?” you say.

“Something like that... So we have two important things to figure out here--how to keep you safe, and how to keep ÆON away from the cult. You’re currently the only one who knows the location of ÆON, which makes you like I was, the messenger. But as long as you’re the messenger of ÆON, the cult will hunt you, and it will never be safe for you to enter the æther. The first thing we should do is secure ÆON and separate it from you.

“Would you hand it back over to me?”

1) "You were the messenger before, so you probably know how to best keep it hidden, it would be best if you protected it.": 0 (0.0%)
2) "If the cult comes after me, ÆON's power is the most capable protection I could ask for. I'll be holding onto it for now.": 0 (0.0%)
3) "You already lost ÆON once, and you were a member of the cult. It would be better if it was protected by someone much stronger, like the TLA Admins.": 0 (0.0%)
4) "If ÆON remains here, it will only continue to invite attacks and endanger people at TLA. We should set it free into the æther, it's unlikely it will let itself be captured by these people.": 0 (0.0%)
5) "ÆON is a sentient being, not just a file to be traded around! We should consider what it wants to do here.": 100 (100.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-03-14 16:40:00)

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.