Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

THE MASTER OF MIMICRY – story flash

on 28/01/2015

Our captain took us on an away mission to this unusual planet we had never met with before. Our ship was slowly circling the orbit while slight repairs and maintenance were being made, so we practically made good use of the time. The planet had by then not been charted, so we scanned the surface for life forms, but, other than plant life, there was nothing noticeable to worry us at all. We packed up the necessary equipment and set out in our shuttle.

 Once on the surface, we checked our oxygen tanks, masks and protective suits. Everything was in perfect condition. Our special boots, adjustably magnetising for zero-gravity areas, were pulled on and we only had our microphones to test. Making sure they worked properly, we opened up the hatch and went outside. We could walk well, there was enough gravity, but we kept the masks on, because the air check had shown traces of sulphor. We didn’t dare scatter yet, till we made sure it was safe. We walked through a patch of desert-like surface into an oasis of plant life and the captain told us to start scanning the plants for components, ground, energy, etc. We each chose one of the big plants to examine. They weren’t exactly gigantic, but when you stood before one, it was about human-size. They were colourful and had thick leaves. As for the scent, we couldn’t really smell them normally, but the scanner showed a presence of a strong fragrance in each. Five minutes of scanning and something completely unusual happened…

 The plant before me started transforming, calmly, non-violently, changing into a human-like figure. Gradually it gained distinct features and it looked exactly – well, like me. It was like looking at myself in the mirror. I was almost paralysed with surprise at first, but then turned around to call out for my team-mates. Two amazing and scary things happened – all the plants were mimicking their explorers, and my plant repeated my exact words, in my exact tone of voice, and… moved exactly like me. When my team-mates tried to answer me, I became completely puzzled, because their plants mirrored their voices and movements. The mimicry was so rivettingly perfect that I could no longer tell who the real humans were, and who  the alien plants. They even replicated the equipment, so the scanner showed human life form when I turned it to myself, and human life forms as I turned it toward my mirror-plant and all other life forms around me. I quickly ran to one of the plants that hadn’t been scanned, and the process was repeated – there were now three of me running around, all with exactly the same DNA, voice, movements, equipment, everything. I could see my team-mates trying to do the same and getting the same results. Panick struck like lightning from a clear sky. We had come here to find new life forms, and lost our own selves.

 Suddenly we saw a giant reflective surface about a kilometre away, raising from the ground like an enormous wall. We all ran towards it, humans and mirror-plants (not quite sure which was which or who was who). It was like a huge, skyscraper-size mirror. As we stopped before it, it spoke…

image

Anita Kovacevic

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2 responses to “THE MASTER OF MIMICRY – story flash

  1. akaushiva says:

    Oh god! So spooky, imagine the confusion and fright to see three of your exact replicas in front of you!
    Very evocative and great style of writing!
    Curious – did the picture inspire the prose or vice versa…?
    Aditi

    Like

    • Glad you had fun. This was actually one of my teaching materials. I wanted my CAE students to write stories in different genres, but they found it difficult to get into the mood, so I wrote unfinished stories (crime, fantasy, SF, horror, adventure and comedy) and they had to finish them. They had no idea I wrote them though;) This pic came to me the other day and reminded me of this.

      Like

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