“We call it the XTC Protocol,” said Nahhigan, cradling the headset. It looked like a simple plastic headband, with dull metal electrodes around the inside.

James examined it, snapping a few pictures form various angles and taking a few notes to expand into the meat of his story. “What does XTC stand for?”

“Well, in the inital stages of the project, we were using the XML Telemetric and Command format. It’s a sort of telemetry used by satellites and spacecraft, certified by the Object Management Group international standards consortium.”

“I see,” said James, writing the information down while processing none of it. “And after the initial stages?”

“Well, the underlying architecture is the same, so the terminology is still applicable, and the consortium still approves of it, but…well, a lot has changed. You really have to try it for yourself.”

James shrugged. “I’m game.”

Nahhigan clipped the lightweight device, wireless and powered by its own small internal battery. Then, at the click of a mouse…ecstasy. Every receptor, every neuron, in his entire being was alight with pure information, interpretable as nothing less than towering, electric bliss. If any of them had felt one-tenth of what James was feeling, it was no wonder the Object Management Group approved of the XML Telemetric and Command protocol.

“OMG,,” James gasped. “XTC.”

Inspired by the song ‘XTC’ by Hiroki Kikuta, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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