The Mother Ship did not fit with current ideas, mine or anyone else’s, of how such craft should look. It had no lights, flashing or otherwise. It was bright green. It looked, for all the Universe, like an enormous bright green mushroom. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said, somewhat disillusioned. Then I blacked out—or everything else went black—and we were inside.
I awoke to discover myself warming my hands before a bright green coal, which lay underneath a convex lens or bubble; this coal emanated warmth and suffused a soft light, which by degrees increased. I was kneeling on something rather like Astroturf. The stranger from the New Stanley knelt beside me. When I withdrew my hands from the green coal, I perceived that it was liquid. I started to say “very nice” but something restrained me. Instead I asked: “Where are we going?”
“We’re going to meet everyone else,” the stranger said.
“Eventually here, you know—actually, it could be pretty soon—I’m going to begin having a hard time understanding what’s going on,” I confessed amiably.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” the stranger said and, for the first time that I could recall, he smiled.