Eye of the Beholder
By Marcia Borell
By Marcia Borell
I walk through the alien world recorder in hand. I am amazed at what I see. I have always loved plants and see them as living entities with their own energy and vibration. These plants are ancient with an eye that looks at me, studies me, and appears to be sentient.
I put out my hand to touch the closest one but it recoils folding its feathery petals inward protecting its eye. Inside my head I begin to hear a hum as once again it opens. Eye to eye I begin to understand its world. Its name is Lithyl. I am standing on a symbiotic world. All entities on this planet are alive including the rocks, water, and air.
I see visions of this world, the rise and fall of water, the splitting of rocks and growth of mountains, and the beginning of life.
Suddenly, I feel dizzy, my body begins to quiver, and my legs feel leaden. The peaceful hum has now become an erratic painful screech.
"Leave, leave, take nothing!" Lithyl's words echo in my head as she begins to twitch and push me away.
Eyes blinking I begin to move my frozen feet. The further away I get from the field the more control I have over my body. Vines are beginning to weave their way around my ship. Our time is limited.
One by one I locate and rouse my crew until I have all but one. Opal is missing. The day is ending and we have just minutes to dump all of our samples and prepare to send out one final scout ship to look for her. She has not answered our call.
I can feel a tug on my uniform as my co-pilot raises his hand and points into the rising fog. It is Opal, a very altered Opal. Vines circle her body blending into her skin. Her eyes are no longer warm and dancing but enlarged without any whites. Her hair twists and flows away from her head more like flower petals than hair. She opens her arms in welcome.
"Stay and join this world," she whispers. "I am living in peace."
There is a shuffling of feet and some agitation in my crew. I study them looking for any physical changes. Some seem repelled by her appearance two others seem to fall under her spell. I have no guide, no rules to govern this event. Does this fall under contagion, insubordination, or the beginning of a new existence for us all? I remember how I felt as I fell under or into the spell of this planet.
"Opal, we must leave and send our report. Will you be alright here? Do you have any messages for anyone at home?"
Opal shook her head and turned away. I could feel Tomas run past me. He followed Opal into the woods.
"Load up, initiate decontamination when we clear the atmosphere." I commanded.
I thought, Eve and Adam. . .Yes, I'll classify this planet as restricted.