The small caterpillar looked up at the bright sunset sky and closed her eyes. Behind her eyelids a world of colour lived that could not be matched by the real world. Colours that didn't even seem to exist in the morning fog forest seemed to pulse in her mind with a life so vibrant they made her gasp in wonder.
Alandra, as the caterpillar had chosen to call herself, was nothing out of the ordinary. All star dancers where different, what did it matter that she enjoyed the colours of her mind more than the real world? What did it matter that she spend most of the day and night with her eyes closed? There were worse ways to spend them.
The orange caterpillar with her faded red-pink wings opened her eyes again and crawled down from her treebranch. Slightly saddened by having to leave her cherished world she crawled a bit slower than she might have been able too. In the real world she could only crawl, in her mind she could soar...


Hanging from that same tree branch, a faded red-pink pop, was hiding from the world. With no eyes to watch the outside world, Alandra was now fully exploring her inner world. The world of vivid colours and warm sensations that seemed so more true than anything she had felt before.
Soaring from colour to colour, merging herself with the vibrating, living entity that seemed to protect her, play with her, she hardly even noticed that she was changing. She was growing, she had grown from the day she had been born, but never as fast as this. Within a month's time she tripled in size and never even felt a change. Though, her quarters were getting rather cramped... Alandra knew instinctive that the time to break out was near. Maybe a day more and she would see the world again...


Alandra fell from her cocoon and looked at the world. After being submerged in colours for a month the world seemed greyer than when before, drab and gloomy. Flying around, Alandra sighed and neared the edges of the forest, where the Morning Fog River hurled itself from the cliffs of the mountains down to the valley. The colour of the water was clear white with splashes of grey-blue and clouds of fog rose from the base. Alandra knew that too most humans this sight was beautiful beyond imagining, but to her it felt like looking at a faded picture. She could just see the waterfall in her head, imagining how it could look better. 
When Alandra opened her eyes again, the vision stayed. Startled Alandra flew back a few paces and looked at swirling colours in every tint of green, blue, white and even flashes of purple raced for attention. Had she doen this? But how could she? She had never done it before. Looking around to find whoever had made her vision come through, she released her focus on the river and turned. Getting to the waterfall again the colours had reverted back to normal.
"I swear the river was different!" the voice of a young human male suddenly stated. Alandra fled to the trees and watched as the humans came closer to the river.
"How different?" a female voice asked.
"Like brighter and more... well do you remember that weird painter we had here a while ago, the one that painted more in dots and didn't quite put down what he saw?" the young boy asked.
"The impressionist?"
"Yeah, well it was like those paintings, Ela."
"Even if it was, that doesn't change the fact that you were here when you know you shouldn't scout around here, Mesgri." Ela said, "We've told you time after time that the river is dangerous."
"I won't jump into it." the boy said with a displeased look, "I'm not stupid."
"Neither am I, if the right star dancer comes along, you'll try to catch it wherever it is and if that's the river you'll likely fall into it."
"But don't you think what I saw was done by a star dancer?" Mesgri asked.
"I've never seen it before." Ela answered, "Maybe you fell asleep."
The boy broke loose from the woman's grasp: "I did not! And I know a star dancer did this. If I can just get Flame here..."
"If you want a star dancer's opinion, you can ask Sorceress." Ela said whistling to call her star dancer to the waterfall. Not much later a black-red star dancer appeared through the forest and landed on Ela's shoulder, looking calm and wise from her shoulder.
"Now Sorceress, is there a star dancer near who could have done this?"
Hidden on her perch, Alandra leaned forward to see who had taken the vision from her mind and made it real. But the older star dancer only seemed to have eyes for her. Slowly, a black arm lifted and Alandra felt almost frozen in the gaze the red star dancer gave her.
"So there's the one?" Ela mused.
"I told you it was a star dancer." Mesgri called out happily. "I'll get her!"
"How do you know she's female?" Ela asked.
"You wouldn't need to ask if you had seen those colours."
Alandra looked helplessly as the young boy approached. She didn't want to be caught! But even as the boy got closer and got between her and the gaze of Sorceress, she could not move. She was grasped from the branch and carefully brought down.
Racing, she cried out "Help!!!" to whoever might help her.
"Did you hear that?" Ela asked.
Mesgri turned and looked at Ela, "Why did you call for help?"
"That wasn't me. Ela said, looking intently at the star dancer in Mesgri's hand.
"Well it was close, shouldn't we go help or something?" Mesgri asked.
"Well you could open your hand if you wish to help the one in need." Ela said, "I'm pretty sure it came from her."
When the young catcher released his grip a bit, Alandra scrambled to squirm free. But the grip of the boy was still too strong, though he didn't hurt her. Grabbing her by the strongest parts of her wings, Mesgri lifted Alandra from his hand and asked: "Can you understand me?"
"Let me go!" Alandra pleaded, "I didn't mean too..."
"This one is definitely sentient." Ela said, "A rare find in the wild. What is your name?"
"Alandra." our star dancer reluctantly answered.
"Well Alandra, you have a few options now that we know you." Ela said.
"Aren't we going to take her back to get adopted?" Mesgri asked.
"Only if she wants to." Ela said, "She clearly can decide for herself what she wants."
"I can go?" Alandra asked hopeful.
"If you want that. But you can also come with us to impress a dragon."
"Stranger things have happened, Mesgri." Ela answered, "You've got to admit she's special. Even Sorceress doesn't speak for all her understanding and power. I never quite figured out if that was a choice or a limitation." Ela seemed to trail of in thought.
"What are these dragons?" Alandra asked.
"Oh they are big." Ela said, "Most bigger than humans by far. If you feel unsafe they could very well protect you. Of course no-one will take you now we know who you are."
"Are they colourful?" Alandra asked.
"I doubt anything will be colourful enough for you." Ela smiled, but maybe you can have your pretty trick set up to change them a bit.
Alandra's eyes widened. She hadn't stopped to fully think through what had just happened. But according to these humans she had been the one changing the waterfall. Carefully she looked at the setting sun and almost immediately the sky flared in an array of colours that could be seen halfway across the isle.
"Something tells me I'll miss that talent when you're gone." Ela grinned looking at the beautiful, yet unreal sunset.
"So you know what I'm going to choose."
"The Vella Crean awaits your presence."
Mesgri lifted an eyebrow, surprised that the star dancer would move off-world but Ela silenced his questions with a look. After all, all star dancers were to Gineyan people, was pets. They would never take Alandra serious.


Alandra was adopted at Gineya Isle
Alandra is a candidate at the Vella Crean
All background images found with google