He stepped into the glass enclosure and seated himself in the chair at the center of the globe. While he knew he wouldn’t actually move, he nonetheless strapped himself in, which should keep him from wandering around the enclosure while immersed in the quantum reality. Not fun to bash your face on a wall or trip and fall. The low hum of the equipment reminded him of the buzz of yellow jacket wasps, made his skin crawl. His training kicked in, calmed his breathing, brought his focus inward. The hum increased in pitch and volume until there was a popping sensation and the room ceased to exist.
When he opened his eyes, it took a minute to adjust to the pink hues painted by the red sun. Shapes and textures he’d never seen before moved, morphed, challenging his senses. A long rectangular object bent in the middle, propelling the front half forward and lifted into the air. The front half split from the back end which remained on the ground and shifted into a sphere.
His time on the alien planet, the first for any human, was intentionally short in duration to limit the sensation of sensory overload, and yet knowing that did not prevent him from crying out when the session ended, abruptly shunting him back into the space of the enclosure.
Persistence of vision? The alien shapes continued to move around him, swimming and crawling without concern or impediment of the enclosure’s glass walls. With a few breaths, the images faded, but a sense of the aliens’ presence remained.
Are they here, watching us like we are there, watching them?