MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 40
    There was still another two days to the mountains.  The Comkas were ornery critters who eat everything green, and as often as possible making progress slower than it could have been.  Yet, finally, and with great relief they made it.
    "That's amazing.  Again.  How deep is it?" Cree asked the guide.
    "Seven plus miles." the guide replied."
    Before them stood two peaks, one of bright blue, and the other pristine white.
    "That's incredible!  How come it's not full of water.  The ocean is right there." said MB.
    "Little beings with buckets empty it every night." the guide said with such a straight face that you thought he might believe some fairy tale or other.  Which of course brought a round of laughs.
    "It does seem as though the water would find its way in there." said Semma.
    "Many falls.  Must see." said the guide as he prompted his Comka to move on.
    The full height, and depth, of the Blue White Mountains became more apparent as they drew closer.  It took another day to reach an outcropping, which provided a spectacular view point.  Before them, between the two peaks, the view became a breath talking plunge.
    "From a transport this is nothing.  However, up close and personal, I feel light headed to the point I think I best sit for a moment." said MB.
    "Nobody would believe this even in a photograph." Emmer said.
    "This planet seems to have a lot of hard to believe places." said Cree.
    "Lots more." said the guide.
    For the rest of the day, they made their way down a trail lined on both sides with short bright green gasses.
    "These color contrast are amazing.  Everything I will ever see again is going to seem dull." Semma said.
    "To bad the sunset is in that direction." Hiret was looking to the right.
    "The water never hits bottom." the guide pointed out.
    Massive waterfalls ported through gaps in the top line of the blue peaks holding back the ocean.  The water plummeted downward, thinning out as it fell.  Finally, so much of them evaporated on the way, there was nothing left to make it to the button.  This created a cloud cover between the bases of the blue and white peaks.
    "Why doesn't it fill up?" asked Emmer.
    The guide pointed to the clouds in the distance.  "Water goes underground.  Heats up, and is steam over there."
    "Aw.  Theses a logical answer to everything.  Except my wife." Emmer said to the guide in a loud whispering like voice.
    "When did you learn so many big words?" Semma said laughing.
    "I just realized that we are still so far away we can't hear the falls." Hiret said.
    "My eyes just twitched.  That's a funny sensation.  How far away do you think we are?" asked Semma.
    "I'd say ten miles.  Maybe more.  The humidity in the air begins to mask details long before you look right at the mountains themselves.  They just look close because they are so high, and deep.  Optical illusion." said Hiret.
    "If you're going to go there, I'll stay here till you get back.  I'm just not up to an excursion like that." said Emmer.
    They decided to go on the Glass Caves instead of hiking the Blue White Mountains.
    Several days later, they were at the base of a large debris field of broken glass formed by volcanic forces.  Most of the glass was black, but here and there were other colors of blues, greens, ambers, and some reddish pink.  The sun glistened, and created billions of sparkles over the entire field.
    "Do not upset your Comka.  Falling off on to this stuff would be bad." said the guide.
    "No problem with that." said Cree, looking from side to side at glass shards of every shape and description.
    "Likewise." said Emmer.   
    They made their way to the mouth of one of the cave openings.  The caves were indeed appropriately named.  They were coated in glass several feet thick.  There were smooth ripples, waves, swirl ins, and swirl outs of many colors, but mostly clear.
    "Not safe to go in.  Stuff falls." ok, said Cree.  "I don't feel like getting cut to shreds to day."
    "Bad attitude there Cree." said MB with a chuckle.
    "Ya, are you sure you don't want to be sliced and diced?" said Hiret.
    "Sure." replied Cree.
    They listened to their echoes for while, and left for the north side of the Glass Caves to the Valley of Glass.
    "I like this place best." said the guide, as the trail opened onto the Valley of Glass.
    The view was so impressive, they were at a loss for words.  Before them stood glass ribbons, some more than a hundred feet high.  It was obvious they were part of the Glass Caves because they were comprised of the same material.
    On the upper parts of the ribbons, there was a layer of what appeared to be gems embedded in the glass.  The sun was setting, and transformed the bright white sparkles to a yellowish color.  The gems kept their colors of the rainbow, even as the sun shown only a soft yellow orange light.
    "Wow, and double it.  This is splendid.  In fact, I'm at a loss for words." said Semma.
    "I don't think there are words for this." Cree said.
    "In morning you really like." said the guide.
    The light from the moons was enough to allow some sparkling, but it was the glowing that was most memorable.  Within the ribbons were layers which glowed in green, yellow, and faint red like coloring.  Couple that with the wind playing the ribbon like an instrument, and you had the experience of a lifetime.