I read the bird version some time ago, and was under distinct impression that it was main-list article since then.
I really really like River of Orchids world.
Am I understanding correctly that breakthrough events is no longer a hallucination, plants begin to grow for real? If that's the case, I like it. RoO is such a nice place it would be a little sad to make it only a hallucination. With breakthroughs, even while most of the time it just hallucinations, they are hallucinations of real place that could potentially enter our world.
Bird version is nice and makes internal sense as kind of defense mechanism, and I'd upvote it if you posted it right now.
Stone version needs a little more polishing, and have less internal justification, which is not necessary bad, as it means more mystery.
I think I like stone version more, but I'd upvote either one.