Monday, June 4, 2012
Timed Writing: 6/1/2012
Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: "... most of them lived in isolated circumstances without feeling..."
Source: 6 x 5 x 2 + 4 x 3 + 2 = 74 = The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
The aboriginal species of this planet demonstrate markedly less diversity than has been observed on other life-bearing worlds explored to date. This planet is remarkable, however, for the presence of at lest one possibly sentient life form. We have dubbed it hydra for reasons that must become apparent from the following description of their anatomy.
The portions of the hydral body that we have been able to observe consist of a squat trunk, roughly a meter in length and the same in diameter, topped by a crown of tentacular appendages, each of which appears identical to its neighbors, when in neutral form, but all of which possess a delightful capacity for transformation. The tip of each of these arms may at times shape itself into a radially-symmetrical hand-like tool with between two and twenty iron-hard claws, or may also take the form of a multi-lensed spheroid polyhedron -- most often either an icosahedron or a dodecahedron -- introduction of visual stimuli to which elicits responses from the organism as a whole.
We have counted some three thousand individuals, thus far, each inhabiting its own narrow cave in the face of a cliff or the side of a rocky hill. Most of them live in isolated circumstances, without feeling the impact of their fellows in any manner that we can identify. However, there must be some form of communication between them, for upon our initial visits to several of the more recently discovered specimens, they have commenced a rapid decoration of the rocky surfaces around their habitats with the very same human images and text inscriptions that we showed only to the first several hydrae that we encountered upon landing. Whether they comprehend the meanings of the symbols or not, they do seem to understand that these shapes and figures are associated with, and meaningful to us, their aliens.
(about my timed writing exercises)
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