The challenge is in choosing a room. Does a room filled with weapons lead to a world unsafe for travel? If the room contains vast treasure, does that foretell fellow explorers on the adjoining planet or unsavory thieves? What about boxes filled with alien stuffed animals? A hasty choice can turn out . . . unpleasant.
Several rooms still possessed their protective shield covering the doorway, signifying the dominant species of the corresponding planet had not yet developed to solving the simple math problem inside. Still, with hundreds, possibly thousands of rooms to the portal building, the choices seemed infinite.
Strolling along the hallway, one room finally caught his attention. It differed from the others in that it was empty. No boxes, crates or shiny objects. It was as if this species didn’t use the portal. A clear line of sight through the portal opening provided a view of sunlight and green, thigh-high grass. It seemed normal enough for a quick look-see.
Stepping through the portal, Clark covered his eyes until they adjusted to the brightness.
Huh. Just one sun. That’s familiar.
An open grass field surrounded him. He lifted his head and sniffed. The smell of pine trees and blackberries drifted in the air. Clark turned to look over his shoulder, momentarily forgetting that the portal was invisible from this side. Yards away rested a dense wooded area, stretching as far along the horizon as the eye could see.
Standing at the edge of the forest and vast grassland, Clark wondered at the beauty of the large green leafy canopy atop black-barked trees, mixed with the poison ivy-like vegetation that hid the wooded ground. Peculiarly, all of the vegetation displayed teal-colored streaks or spots. Even the pear-shaped fruit hanging from trees and white, heart-shaped flowers growing between the large leaves, were spotted with shades of teal.
He then turned and observed the light wind gusts blowing alternating “S” patterns in the tall grass. As Clark walked, he held his arms out by his sides feeling the top of the grass stems. Upon closer inspection, the thigh-high grass was also streaked with teal. He surveyed the landscape, searching for signs of danger. Seeing none Clark headed eastward, away from the woods. It didn’t take long to become comfortable in his surroundings and that made him feel strangely . . . uncomfortable.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was on Earth. There’s always differences, usually major ones, but here, other than the runaway tone of teal coloring, everything looks similar to home. The color of the sky, plants, trees, the height of trees, gravity; everything looks and feels very familiar. It even smells like home . . . kinda.
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