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Through to the other side

Dr Stephen Tungsten's picture

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After arriving on the Isle of Meeroo origin, I hadn't had long to explore before I realized there was something very different going on here. First was the sudden plethora of collections of this and that that the Diurnal Meeroos were coming up with as they roamed the island. That put my thoughts in the direction of getting the Meeroo's that had traveled with me settled into their own spaces so I could observe what else they might find on this enchanted isle, and that's when I noticed that the Nocturnals that had arrived with us were nowhere to be seen.

After a moment of panic, I organized the landing crew from the ship to go out searching, the Diurnals in my company understood my distress and also deployed to go out and search. It was a tense hour or so of calling out and moving in rings further and further from the camp until finally I heard a whistle in the distance. A mad rush through the underbrush finally brought me to a small clearing just before a sort of .. archway anchored into a hill.

I wish I could come up with the words to describe what I saw. A .. doorway, gateway, portal, archway? None of the words I can bring to mind seem to quite capture what I was looking at, though each of them would be appropriate enough. All around the edges carvings decorated the stone and although I couldn't begin to unravel what they said, my mind too caught up in the discovery, I made note to go back and take rubbings to decipher some time. One thing I did recognize without much effort was a familiar etching of a Meeroo figure, but with a light lure arched back over its head. Seeing the image of the Nocturnal, my heart leaped into my throat, and with far less caution than I should have used, I pushed through the shifting stones and odd ripple of the entrance.

I couldn't have been ready for what awaited me. Before my eyes a mass cavern spilled out in several directions. Side passages and little rooms spread out from the center chamber, and the difference from above was as striking as if I'd walked into another world. Massive pillars of turning, dancing stone and crystals, light-giving foliage and fungi clinging to the walls in sporadic fountains of colors, and .. Nocturnals, moving around as if they'd been there their whole lives. I think some of them actually had been as there were far more than what arrived with me on my little voyage! It made me wonder how many other Diurnals were on the surface that I just hadn't seen yet, and what other species that the island must hold. I struggled for a long moment with my mind spinning on the possibilities before I could finally focus on really looking around me.

Not all of the plant varieties were completely new to my eyes. As I'd seen some sort of shorter, almost shrub-ish version of the Wild Berries that the Diurnals like to eat above, down here too I saw little clusters of the Florofruit pods along the walls. But what caught my eyes after I could adjust to seeing all the mystical moving pillars of stones and the glittering mica in the walls.. was the amounts of vines seeming to spill down from the ceiling of this central chamber.