The mountain beamed in the distance. She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. She could hear the molgs cluck as they sailed the skies overhead.
She tightened her backpack and opened her eyes. With a hop, she set her heart on the peak. She ran forth to the mountain, its amber hue calling her. With each step the Kobcaps below her feat puffed a trail of blue spores marking her presence. She smiled at it all.
The grinfetches prowled in the far- six legs thumping along the mycelium blues prodding the fibers for food with their antennae.
As she approached the Kobcaps gave way to a deep wave of gifthorns. Their red stems clawed at the sky, reaching for what molgs flew in too close. Breathing heavily, she stopped to watch natural selection at its finest. In that moment, a bright blue beam of lightning connected a molg to a gifthorn. The creature, cooked instantaneously in the crack of electricity, found itself deep within the mouth of the gifthorn’s massive leaves.
Eventually she came to the cliff face. She clicked her heels together to activate her cleats and tapped at her wrists, making her gloves wrap around her hands. She pounced on the wall and started climbing. Grimlings crawled away from her as she came close, their green shells reminding her of a home she’d only heard of in storybooks.
Each reach was a difficult agony that brought her further from the ground. One hold slipped and she nearly fell. She hung for a moment by one glove and looked down. Shit, she thought, shit that would have been bad! Below her the gifthorns zapped and reached, and a sminther snagged a grimling in its snare. She turned back the wall and tugged and pulled until it did her bidding. After some time, she pulled herself over the ledge among a field of green flowers.
In them small bugs flew about collecting pollen in the fur of their patagiums and spreading it along the field. She climbed into the bed of flowers and turned around. The whole field was visible beyond the forest of gifthorns. The blue spores spread along the kobcaps and gave the field a purplish haze under the red sun.
She watched that sun’s rays until her eyes gleamed off the dome in the far distance. There the refuge of humanity, far too interested in profit to see the beauty of evolution. Life was out here, she thought, life was where things struggled day in and day out to meet only the most basic of necessities- not there. Not where sex, sights, food was at every turn and work was the only magic. No life was-
She felt a jolt pull her back down to the ground, down down deep into complete darkness. And then up it pushed into her eyes as she opened them. Her visor detached as the VR pod brought her into an upright sitting position. For a moment she sat their in her sensory suit, still feeling the breeze on her arms- still barely smelling the spore-filled air.
She stood up and left the room for the hallways. There she could see from the window that distant Amber peak, where Proxima shed its daylight. It still begged for her feet. It still begged to be used as a mountain should.
One day, she thought, one day- and she turned again back into the human side of life.
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