Chergoa floated in front of Emiliana’s face. ‘Open your eyes wide for me,’ the reaper said.
Emiliana tried and encountered resistance. Her eyes had been more sensitive to light ever since her power manifested, and now she had to struggle through the discomfort of forcing them open so wide. She could feel them twitching even more than earlier.
‘Yeah,’ said Chergoa. ‘Whether you want them to or not, your eyes are about to mutate. Try to guide the mutation.’
Emiliana grimaced. Impulsively, she wanted to ask how the hell she was supposed to do that, but she already knew. They’d gone over this already.
There was really only one trick to it. She needed to imagine the desired change clearly in her mind. Simple.
The catch, of course, was that if she imagined something too ambitious, her power would go crazy in an attempt to compensate and do something random, instead. Random--and probably horrific, she figured.
So she had to concentrate. On her eyes, apparently. She hadn’t realized that such specific mutations could occur on their own, but now wasn’t the time to be worrying about it. Her thoughts went to her studies. The book she’d been reading earlier.
The temptation was to imagine something like an avian eye, perhaps to enhance her ciliary muscles for more versatile lens movement, but she had to keep her limitations in mind. At the moment, her mutation power only allowed her to manipulate the protein known as keratin; and unfortunately, keratin didn’t have much to do with vision, unless she intended to grow hair on her eyeballs.
And for a few terrible seconds, that’s what she thought she might have to do. There was no stopping this change. She had to do something.
And then she recalled a structure in the eye which humans didn’t have but that certain animals like cats and dogs did: the tapetum lucidum. It sat right behind the retina and reflected light back through it, which ultimately increased night vision and made it look like the animals had glowing eyes in low light conditions.
That, at least, seemed like a better plan than eyeball-fuzz. The only problem was whether or not she could construct a tapetum lucidum out of keratin alone. She had no idea how feasible that was.
She supposed she was about to find out.