I awaken so swiftly, for a moment I don’t recognize my surroundings. There is a glow about the space which emits such a soft light that it barely permits shadows. aWhile I can’t discern the actual surface of a ceiling way above me, I can tell that I am within a shelter and not out in the open. I often think of Dar-el as I rest — the Caysas call it dreaming. Perhaps some part of my mental capacity replays my memories of her, but it seems more than that. It feels as though I am with her again — talking with her, eating with her, walking alongside of her as we used to do.
Usually, I awake when my system fully regains any lost strength. While I don’t think I am any stronger, I attribute my wakefulness to something else. Turning my head to look about the room at the other scouts and their status, I feel something brush up against my face. As I reach up to touch it, I see a big arm rising up toward me. My breathing increases as I hold up one arm and then the other and then glance at the rest of my body. Within me a pounding starts as I reach up and touch my face and the hair that seems to pour out of my head. While thinking of Dar-el, I have resumed my former shape of Blin. Is that what awakened me? I will be discovered. The other scouts … my kind will raise an alarm and turn me in. I glance about the room. All of the others are laying quietly on their bunks. No one knows … yet. I have time to return to my shape, if I can. The thoughts of Dar-el linger though, like a scent perfuming the air. I can’t let go … I don’t want to.
I realize that holding this shape makes me think … feel that she is near. This is what I looked like when I knew her and when she, and other Caysas, had shown that they cared for me. It is as though this form holds more possibilities for me than that of my own.
The skin of this form, this male … me … tingles. The muscles are real — something I earned while working in the fields, not contrived as when I first joined the Caysas. I move my tongue around in my mouth, rubbing it up against my teeth, remembering what it felt like to bite into fruit that exploded with flavor instead of slurping down our gloppy nutrient stuff. How much worse it will be for me to be discovered like this, than with the remnants of a cronac on my head. Yet, I am reluctant to let go.