Atmosphere: We Don't Orbit but Fall the Same

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Chapter 3

The Primalan vessel hung suspended in the absolute void while the crew composed in deep sleep ran on the fumes of awkward dreams. Phlox dreamt fiercely, his body sequestered, his mind swimming in lonely recycled visions.

Drinia V

Rotation 67/Revolution 9751

Green Kora walks tenderly. She is overwhelmed as the blades of grass caress the pads between her claws, and she is ecstatic as muddy ground cools her belly. It seems impossible, but here she stands, disconnected from her clan, the dream strands untied.

This solid and tactile ground cannot last: the sun is falling. What will happen when she sleeps again? Could she ever forget the scent of crushed grass or the sound of wind across her tympanic membrane?

Kora Green: Toral, I float once more.

Toral Blue: Strange, you chose to drift alone. Without dream talk, we are nothing.

Kora Green: Daymoon’s glow is real to me. Toral, I’ve walked the other side of Dream.

Violet Xal: What is this I hear?! Blasphemy! Kora your disease is grave, but your sin stings deeper than any illness.

Rotation 82/Revolution 9751

Kora Green: In waking, I have broken laws.

Kyryl Yellow: Only Quorum can judge you, Green.

Xal Violet: Her damaged dreams must not be allowed to roam.

Kora Green: Blue, blue toral, what happens in the sunshine below?

Toral Blue: We trust only the chemistry of ionosphere in darkness. We obey the laws of astronomy. Submit to psychic therapy.

Xal Violet: We’ll change your mind, override thoughts.

Chorus: Submit, forget, submit, forget, submit, forget.

Rotation 239/Revolution 9751

Kyryl Yellow: Kora resists psychic counsel. Quorum feels she cannot be healed.

Toral Blue: My visions vibrate at a higher rate: sunrise and new hopes.

Xal Violet: She thinks and dreams all by herself. She’s a leper of disbelief.

Rotation 29/Revolution 9752

Sunlight penetrates, and quivering atmosphere envelopes vast spectra: light waves, gamma rays, organic voltage, brain wave signatures.

Toral Blue: Stratosphere destabilizes. Whiteout and sunrise are imminent.

Kora Green: I will wake again.It happens daily.

Toral Blue: Can we travel in secret experiment? Kora, take me on your reverie bent.

Kora Green: Toral, wrap your thoughts close, entwined with mine. Hold tight when ionosphere flinches, keep focused as you onward drift, obsess in memories of mine, and I will grasp your voice in mind.

Kora Green: Verdant forms of water’s plenty…

Toral Blue: … dance in quiet luminescence.

And for the first time in his life, Toral Blue opens his eyes and walks the landscape he had only seen in distortion. He sees with his conscious mind the coursing river that had always twisted inside his dreams. He drinks from sweet water ponds and smells the tiny wallsip flowers.

Rotation 30/Revolution 9752

Toral Blue: Kora, Kora. My body is calm and perfectly still in a manner that the mind can never be.

Kora Green: We don’t orbit but fall the same. Move your body and see that our strange machines leave slight trails in sand.

Rotation 33/Revolution 9752

Toral Blue: Kora Green, are we truly organic factories?

Kora Green: No. Nutrients are not delivered but sought through violent actions. It turns out that for us there is no passive chlorophyll path, just the aggressive hunt and kill.

Toral Blue: But where is the science, the grace in this?

Kora Green: Toral Blue, we cannot just observe but must interact. Quorum becomes the shadow: to wake a brighter thing.

Rotation 41/Revolution 9752

Kora Green: I’ve come to believe that objects beg for names and that names don’t come from Quorum’s rule. Shimmered words are not original.

Toral Blue: Kora I must agree. My snout, I hold it in my claws, and I understand it differently, in fact, I grasp it better now.

Kora Green: And with eyes open, I feel alive. Blue, my Blue, were we all awake at one time?

Toral Blue: Stop. I feel Xal’s Dream ripple near.

Xal Violet: Even still she dreams insensible: selfish delusion bending back. She should know our lexicon is a priori. I choose to end her history. I request Quorum to send, Kora from Dreamscape to exile’s end.

Kyryl Yellow: She brings it upon herself. She cannot be cured and this new contagion cannot be tolerated.

Chorus: Sever ties to her personal frequency. Purge her link to atmosphere.

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