A Cult is Born...
Jon Aegel wasn’t well, the gray wolf hadn’t been for ages. Hadn’t been since he started living in the glass house atop of the Xio Tower. Hadn’t been since he started his office job, floor manager for the Food Synthesis Program, Division B. Hadn’t been since stopped calling in on friends, calling in on colleagues. Calling in on his parents two blocks away.
Why was anyone’s guess. Why does someone load a magazine when he only needs a bullet and there isn’t a soul in sight to bear witness? Why does someone walk wires between skyscrapers, without a harness or safety line, but always looks down? Why does one let themselves turn inside out, fur bristling against bone as the muscles exposed take pound after pound of salt upon themselves.
And yet to Jon, it was all clear as day: it was time. It was his time.
Goddammit, this had to be his time. There was no other time for there to be, no other time for him to be. He had taken all the nonexistence he could take, living without being, breathing without feeling.
The gray wolf hooked the neurolink up to his temple, the helmet sat flush around his head, ears folded down to block out the world he had so come to hate. He had been trying to slip through the cracks for months now, trying to get to her.
The one whom he served everyday picking out the itinerary sheets, editing meals, doing all that godforsaken menial work that’d drive anyone to drink, let alone to the enlightenment he was pining for.
But he knew better. He knew so much better. He could’ve been a White Coat, that’s how sharp he was, and he was about to prove it to everyone. All those who doubted, all those who had said, “Aegel, you won’t make it in this world with an attitude like that,” or “Put up and deal, Aegel, life ain’t a movie,” or any number of insipid insulting variations on the same. This was his time to blow them out of the water, to prove his devotion to Her.
He was running the code now, His Code. Line after line of dense calculations, multi-language strands, the monitor by the window overlooking Her Kingdom of Glass and Wire as it furiously ran the program he had so brilliantly forged. He had given every nanosecond of his spare time to this. Every sleepless night, every day off, however few those were. Now it was all set to turn him loose.
“Welcome me in,” he prayed, the tip of his quivering claw hovering above the keyboard, the electric blue of the room washing over him.
It was unbecoming of him to cry, but he could feel Her filling him with a courage, a resolve, and dare he think it, a warmth, that of a mother cradling her child in her arms. It hurt like hell and felt fantastic all the same.
He wiped away the tears, making sure not a drop got anywhere on his rig. His body tensed up, claws protruding on every digit of hand and foot. He dropped the visor over his dried eyes. Now was the time. Now was his time, dammit!
The Enter key was pressed, and with a cry of “Acc Vult,” Jon Aegel was no more.