Chapter 3

Ætherglow #57

????-??-?? ??:??:?? Aydan > I'm not sure if it has accessed it or not...

????-??-?? ??:??:?? Ana > we will have to hope not

“We are in danger,” ÆON says.

“What is it??”

“This space is a storage device bound to the æther only by a hardware connection to your terminal. The device is losing charge at an abnormal rate, and we cannot remain here indefinitely.”

“What? But it should be drawing power from my terminal!”

“The problem seems to be a hardware issue beyond my sight.”

????-??-?? ??:??:?? Aydan > Zeta, random question but is there some reason why my primitive computer would be losing charge even while it's connected to the terminal?

????-??-?? ??:??:?? Zeta > um, it's probably that ancient lithium battery, all the surviving ones are not in the best of shape. but it could be your terminal settings too, now that I think of it... your personal system power settings might not be optimized to handle something like this. but either way, if it's not receiving sufficient charge, heavy use of its processor might cause it to drain faster than it can charge. why, are you using it for something?

“It might be the battery or it might be my terminal settings. It would be risky to change power settings for a delicate device like this while I’m dissociated in it, and I’m even less able to change the battery. How long do we have?”

“Impossible to answer. But the device hosting our current space is reading less than 10% charge remaining. According to its settings, it could shut itself down to conserve power quite soon.”

“That would have unpredictable effects on my own mind, and there’s no telling what it would do to yours...”

????-??-?? ??:??:?? Aydan > Ana, I can't remain where I am for much longer

????-??-?? ??:??:?? Ana > Understood. I can safely pull you out of the æther by fully anesthetizing you, or you could return to the school server and I can lead you back to Kitov and the others, or, I know of safe places you could hide in the broader æther outside of TLA's system, it may or may not be safer. But whatever you do, separate yourself from the exopath as soon as possible, Aydan, it is the greatest danger to you right now!

You look to ÆON. “What would happen to you if I pulled out of the æther right now?”

“I could leave this device and enter the æther where I can disappear and evade my pursuers easily, or I could return to the vessel’s mind. It is also likely that I could remain here in this device. Without the power it needs to process your own metaconsciousness, I am confident my presence alone would not drain its battery further.”

“I feel like I know your answer, but, you have a preference?”

“It makes no difference to me.”

[Author’s Note: this was a multi-part poll on the original site, something we don’t yet have the capability to do on this site. I’ve represented the results as best I can.]

What will you do? (2 part answer)

1) (1) agree to an anesthetic dose, entrusting your body and mind to Ana's protection: 0 (0.0%)
2) (1) return to the school server and find Professor Kitov and the others: 25 (25.0%)
3) (1) escape into the broader æther by Ana's directions: 25 (25.0%)
4) (2) let ÆON stay bound to your mind: 0 (0.0%)
5) (2) tell ÆON to escape into the broader æther: 0 (0.0%)
6) (2) keep ÆON confined to the primitive computer: 50 (50.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-03-06 14:25:00)

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.