My excursions to Mercury at first were vexing
and frustrating.  It was easy enough to get into
orbit over  the sun’s closest planet, but from
space it looked to me like a smooth white ball,
almost as if it were covered by a mother-of-
pearl like substance.  Every attempt to break
or see through this white coating failed; I was
simply repelled by it.  

Then one day I remembered my lesson from
Venus and asked my spiritual master to help
me.  He consented immediately and  
accompanied me to the first planet.  Once the
two of us arrived in orbit, the master advanced
on the white substance and proceeded to draw
Below, the view of the planetary surface
was somewhat of a shock.  The land
presented a desolate and polluted picture
as we flew over it.  I didn't spot any trees,  
meadows, or fields, just swampy, fallow
land with scraggly plant life.  I also didn't
hear any sounds of birds or other animals.
No homesteads or other signs of
human inhabitation were visible
either, except for what looked like
a well preserved Roman aqueduct
that led down from the mountains
in the distance.  It appeared to be
a functioning water delivery
system, which made me wonder
what was so bad about the
drinking water at the aqueduct's
We turned to follow the line of
stone arches and at length came
to a  fortress city.  It was
surrounded by buttressed walls
of brown stone, complete with
drawbridges and massive
watchtowers.  The whole place
projected a feeling of decay – of
a civilization that perhaps had
regressed to their equivalent of
the Middle Ages.
When I asked the master if the land and the cities were all like this, he explained that
some time ago the planet had experienced nuclear war and wholescale destruction.  
Subsequently, a force field had been established around the planet to quarantine it
until the time when it was cleansed of the fallout and others might visit it again.  

I didn’t ask who had installed the force field, assuming it was a galactic agency tasked
with preventing mass destruction from spilling over to other planets.  Having had
some small experiences with life and authorities outside our solar system, I didn't
regard this as too far fetched an assumption.
Learn more about the planets in "Warriors of the
Sound Current."
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a door- sized rectangle on it.  As I floated closer I noticed the rectangle was indeed a
door – a hole of blue light through the shimmering white shell.  We dropped through
the doorway towards the surface of the planet.  Looking up I could see the underside
of the coating – it streamed and swirled with white and pink colors just like the inside
of a sea shell.  I realized of course it wasn't a real shell, just a very dense energy field.
Sound Current Rider