The twins stare intently at the lonely boy sitting crossed-legged at the edge of the savannah. He’s passing time by observing empty space. Air is aqueous. The boy will sit there, as he does every day, until darkness falls. His eyes are large. Gelatinous layers of mucous slide around on his corneas. His irises radiate an iridescent hue of violet. His heavy lidded, deep-set eyes have double rows of thick, long, rose-coloured lashes that curl upwards and away from his face. They keep water from condensing in his eyes and obscuring his vision. His skin is a pulpy, greenish, translucent nougat.
The twins telegraph their thoughts to each other.
> At this point in their timeline, a body on land needs gills to filter nitrogen from wet air. Based on their physiology, we assume that it is converted to an aqueous solution of nitric acid, which functions as battery acid for mitochondria.
<< Why are we interested in him? He is sitting there waiting for nothing to happen.
The twins pull back to mull things over.
> The boundaries for them are perceptual. They see, hear, touch and taste. These perceptions only serve to help them identify members of their own species in order to reproduce.
<< Beyond that, they’re oblivious to existence itself. They are not yet sentient.
> Does a mind need speech or language to have thoughts? They think in images, familiar ones. Therefore, to communicate with them, we must use familiar images in unfamiliar situations, highlighting the contrasts.
<< It’s a futile task, interfering with them. Just look at them stumbling around without purpose. They’ll become a vile and stubborn race, trusting only these limited perceptions. I am disinterested!
> Time is spherical from our perspective. So we can show the outcome of a course of action on a unique string of intent. Let a familiar image signal propositional intent. We need only show how their present actions will move them away from or toward a beneficial or detrimental outcome.
<< What about the Deluge caused by the fallout of this new asteroid’s explosion into orbit? These beings don’t know precipitation, nor have they seen their precious orb illuminated in the night sky. Perhaps you can encourage the boy to move to high ground. If he is receptive, he will survive to see the asteroid as it settles into its permanent space. If that happens, I will accept that our interference at key points in the newly created timeline will not be in vain.
> M’aal Arch, we have the perfect opportunity to test your ideas about them.
<< Agreed. We will interfere with the boy.