Chapter 4

Ætherglow #73


You might as well see if it’s important, but there’s no hurry to reply.

2254-06-01 16:01:38 Vik > some kid I never talk to invited me to something they called a "convocation of the esoteric arts" on saturday? said to invite a "trusted friend"

You open your other message.

2254-06-01 16:01:52 Zeta > hey Aydan do you wanna go to some kind of weird secret gathering on saturday night?

Your concentration trying to comprehend these two messages is broken by an insect flying by your ear with a jarring buzz. It circles around your head before running headfirst into your face. Then, disoriented, it tries to regain its composure in front of you. It’s a furry little yellow and black thing that you see from time to time, a bee.

“Looks like you’ve made another friend,” Akiko signs to you.

“It acts like me when I’ve just surfaced from the æther and still full of dissociation juice,” you sign.

Professor Reina interjects, “I don’t think this colony is doing well. The bees, that is. It’s a recent arrival fresh from Earth. I don’t think they’re adjusting well to the short day/night cycle, or the weird air pressure.”

“A lot of trouble to go to to get an insect colony,” you say.

“Bees are important, Aydan! Plants need a thriving population of pollenating insects to reproduce. An important subroutine of the ecosystem,” she says.

“That’s terrible, how can we help them?” Akiko signs.

“Hmm, there is one thing you could do,” Reina says. “I was playing around with some genetic modifications that have worked well on other social insects to adapt better to life in a colony, but some of my test subjects escaped... If you could round them up for me it’d save me a lot of walking around the field all day scouring every flower.”

“So you’ll just pass it on to me instead,” Akiko signs.

“Well why else do I have a student assistant?” Reina signs.

“How am I even supposed to know which ones have been augmented?” Akiko signs.

“Easy, anytime I augment an organism I also give it a bioluminescent gene to color code it. Just wait ‘til nightfall and look for the bees that glow blue.”

“Right, the same color as the fireflies.”

“Not that blue, that’s kind of cyan, this is more of a...turquoise,” Reina signs.

“Professor...colors were meaningless to me until last year,” Akiko signs and points to her occular implants, their irises flashing orange for a second before returning to their neutral blue.

“Regardless, fireflies are not bees,” Reina signs.

“Okay, okay, anything for the bees...” Akiko signs.

“Here, I’ll get you an assistant-assistant. Aydan, if you’re not doing anything, go help Akiko. I’ll give you extra credit.”

Will you do it?

1) help Akiko collect mutant space bees: 100 (100.0%)
2) better see what those messages were about: 0 (0.0%)
3) enough socializing, go back to my room: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-04-09 02:24:00)

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.