It is part of yourself that encounters the animals for the first time. They have arrived on your lands, planting themselves onto the green parts of yourself. You are curious about them but still, they disturb you. They are animals, but they dream, and sometimes you can touch their minds, as alien and strange as they are.
It is their dreams that haunt you and confuse you. Sometimes animals do arise naturally in one of your many cycles, as they have this one, but they always disappear when the Dream comes, and they are always part of you. These animals came from someplace else, a world that has died. It vaguely terrifies you that you could catch worlddeath from them too, never wake up from Dream.
They are the same species, that is for sure, but they seem to be in conflict with one another somehow, with different dreams. You first touch the mind of earthdeidre, for her mind is closest to yours, easier to touch. Eventually, you touch all of the prominent ones; not only earthdeidre, but earthlal, earthsantiago, earthmiriam, earthyang, earthzakharov, earthmorgan. Sometimes they refer to themselves in different ways, but keeping to one name for each of these makes them a little less confusing.
For all their differences, they have given you names, one more common than the other: Chiron, Planet. But those are not your names. You do not accept it. You do not have a name, and you will not have one given to you. But the humans - for that is what they name themselves - need names. They need something to call you.
Yuyin. Koe. Voz. Sauti. Aavaaz. Voice. The humans have so many languages and so many ways to express a single concept, it is no wonder they are so divided and confused. You do not want to be divided, so you choose the most common language among them.
When you first speak to earthdeidre, then, you become Voice and We, for this human language demands you have a way of referring to yourself. You try to communicate. You try to learn about these beings that have made their home on your surface. You try to prune as few of the humans as possible, hoping that losing one or two won't hurt earthdeidre or the others. But they seem distressed anyway, in a way you cannot comprehend.
So you try to learn more. Prune more humans, get into more humans' dreams, try to figure out what you have done to cause so much pain. Certainly the loss of a small boil shouldn't hurt these humans, right?
But you know pain, and you can see it in earthdeidre and the others. You keep learning. There is something called humor, something called jokes, and you try one on earthdeidre. They do not seem amused, instead upset. Upset that you have disturbed them. Upset that you have interrupted something important. Also, upset that you are trimming nodes of humans? They do not think together like you do. They are not losing bits of themselves. It makes no sense.
Humans make no sense, but you keep trying. There is little time before the Dream and you want to remember them for the next time. That is the best you can do. They will not survive, but you make sure that some part of them will survive. Especially since they are making the effort to be part of you, finally, to get to know parts of yourself as if they were individuals. This is the way humans work, after all. And their efforts are making it easier for you.
The next human thing you try is poetry. The humans find poetry beautiful for the most part and it might get you a better reaction from earthdeidre this time. The next time you reach out for them - they have put part of you aside, as if that might help - you recite it to them. Recite is a new idea for you; there have been no individuals before to recite to, just parts of yourself. But humans recite poetry to each other, for they are not parts of a whole, no matter how much they sometimes think they are.
You start to compose. human and worm, join we together, exchange we memories, dream content we. That seems to work better with earthdeidre. beautiful fungal bloom, human and voice dream, see not the trees. Not so much by their reaction. Hm. Maybe more human topics. Humans seem to like longer poems. in the beauty of the forest see we twice from eye to eye, spores and animals and trees and flowers, may we all see the same sky. This seems to puzzle earthdeidre, but they seem to like it better. Longer poetry it is, then, and you feel closer every time you try something new.
You wish so much after a while that you could find a way to make more than memories part of you. That you could bring them through your Dream and have them back with you after you awake. You believe that their presence has made you prosper in some ways as it has made it wilt in others.
Reaching out, you use the link with earthdeidre. You know the time is soon. Maybe some form of human, some bipedal animal, might rise after your next Dream, but it won't be them. This is your last communication to any of the humans. You choose to make it to them.
"earthdeidre. growth dream now is. remember we you next cycle." It is meant to comfort as well as you can.
"Wait!" There is urgency to earthdeidre's voice. You understand urgency now. Your body knows urgency even if you didn't know the word for it. "Before you go, I have a gift for you."
"Earthdeidre. fare-" There is a surge through the link that works between humans and you. The humans have been using it to communicate with you, and you have welcomed it, because more shared means more of what they are saved. But this is too much, an overload of information that you can't parse flooding into you. "strange we... wait you! do not...." But what you intend to say is overwhelmed as the various parts of you try to absorb this gift. Earthdeidre certainly didn't mean to cause you pain, you dimly tell yourself as some part of you screams.
You are vaguely aware that you have formed new growths as the normal Dream is paused by the shattering revelations that earthdeidre and their people have transmitted to you. It is something new. Something unexpected.
Earthdeidre... she. You understand now that her gender is female. You did not understand gender before, but it is in some ways one of the easiest and most fundamental things for you to grasp.
There is so much now to absorb, and you now can absorb it. You feel new, as if you are... you are different from before. You are no longer imminently going into the Dream. The humans have lifted you away, brought you fully into you by giving you and yourself all of them.
It is the best gift that the humans could have given, and you express your pleasure about that to earthdeidre. You are still one body, but you are one body out of many planets. Still, the humans have named you Planet, and that fits you better than Voice did before. Now, as Planet, you have allies. You can help them survive the Dream. You will not lose them, these independent children of yourself.
They and you will find a way to save them. There are so many voices, so many beings! So many ideas. You speak with many of the humans, coming up with that final save, that final bit of cooperation. It is not easy, but they will become part of you but not part of you. Independent, but coexisting as part of your mind, in a far better way than memory.
Some of them will sleep, as you have slept many times over, but for shorter times. They love their bodies too much to become part of yours, which you do not understand but allow them to choose what they have chosen. You have your advisors - first among them, earthdeidre, part of yourself now - and you will take what they have given you and make it so much more.
You could still lose them - may still lose them - permanently, but you are hopeful that you will not. They have dreamed, saved you from yours, and that is all that matters.