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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

My Photo
Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bingk the Goblin After Being Drafted

Red sky with a red sun and the dust of battle slowly settling over the fields of dead and dying. I leaned against my broken lance. I had no idea where or even a recollection of when I had been dismounted. I held a rolled up ball of cloth, from our banner, I think, against my upper thigh to keep the blood from pouring out. Still, the banner was soaked through. I couldn't tell if it was mine or others. I was bleeding behind my breastplate, something had punched a neat hole in it just above my collarbone. I could not raise the left arm at all, not that I wanted to, that was the arm wrapped around the lance and pressuring my leg/hip wound. In my other hand a large serrated blade arched out from my hand and speared the ground. It was lighter by far than the lance or sword I had started with, though it was longer by half again more than my original sword. It was also a mystery, I had taken it up after losing my own sword, broken on some large stone creature that was not natural to either of our peoples.
As the sun boiled away at the dust clouds on the horizon a group of hooded figures came from out of the darkness in the East and gracefully strode across the battle field. I could see that they were skeletal, but still had the movement of dancers and the cloaks swayed at the hips in an alluring fashion, arousing at least my interest, even in my current state. As they glided in near silence through the slaughter green motes sprang from the dead and some of the dying. The motes, square and the size and shape of the middle digit of a thumb, the color of a cat's eye reflecting the light of an open window in darkened room, drifted each to a hooded figure, and rode thereafter from the field on their shoulders, a ghostly running light. I ached to go with them myself, but the formation never broke stride and never varied from it's squared march through the plain and into the west. One figure did turn to me, but clearly I heard an invitation and a realization that it was not really my time. The figure's gaze moved by my, not withdrawing the invitation, but not collecting me either. A form a few feet away shuddered and a mote sprang from the back of its neck. Dizzy it rose into the dusty air and spiraled to the skeletal woman at the edge of her formation. They passed by and faded before reaching the edge of the field.
I rose unsteadily to my feet. The shoulder wound was beginning to ache, a dull throbbing. The leg and hip were numb, that was likely a blessing. I hobbled of the field of battle to the west following the path of the hooded formation until I came to a coastal village. The people initially came running out to help me, until they saw the strange sword I was carrying. Then they were not sure who I really was. I called out for a barber. That I spoke their language fluently seemed to break the ice. It was not my language, it seemed to come from the sword I held. I had no sheath for it, as it was far from what I had started the day with.
An old woman came out to help me, her daughter lending a hand when I stumbled outside their shop. The daughter, I noticed was not broad and knobby like the rest of the town's folk, her face was smooth and only slightly wider than a human face. I guessed that she was a half breed. She unlashed my armor and wrestled the metal clasps open to pull off the breastplate. The shrank back and swore and oath I didn't catch at the sight of my ruined shoulder. With the weight off, the blood began to flow and the pounding pain was soon joined by sharp grinding pain every time I moved. The mother came into the room with a bowl of boiling water held in her bare hands. There was a long forcep and a couple of silvery probes in the water.
"No silver." I said.
The daughter pointed to her own pointed ears then back at me.
Her mother seemed to hesitate, then took them and set them aside. She put the bowl down and pulled off my helmet. I could see myself in the mirror of the shop. I was a rather large fellow, the green skin of my face smoother and tighter than a normal Goblin. My snout was narrower as well. My ears were also furry and pointed. I too had lycanthrope blood coursing through my veins. I supposed that is the only reason I was still alive.
If I'd been furrier, and a few feet taller I might have been able to pass myself off as a Gnoll. But no, I was still just a goblin, though stronger than most because of my prewar profession.
"Bingk Glowerbug," I introduced myself. Glowerbug could be either a bioluminescent grub or a firefly. Neither one was a very powerful family name for a Goblin, but it was mine and I stubbornly held on to it. The Orcs chuckled at me. I laughed a bit then stopped when the shoulder pain made me swoon. The mother snapped up the forceps and lunged into my shoulder while the daughter held me down in the chair. I liked that part. The burning in my shoulder was soon gone, and the boiling water was cleansing the wound. I could feel the healing already start. The mother reached in a snapped a few rubbery things back into place. At least I hoped they were snapping back into place, this was my hammer arm. Mom rushed the daughter out for more boiling water, then pulled the wreckage of my leggings off my body.
"Did we win?"
"No one won." I honestly believed that. Both my Goblin "army" and the Fey who'd been raiding us were decimated. "But I don't think you'll have to worry about raiders for awhile, so maybe you won this time."
"Ung!" she grunted at me, but I could no longer understand her as I had finally lost my grip on the sword.
The following evening I was looking out over the ocean, I had finished repairing some of the barber tools and the rotating chair rotated again. The daughter was watching with me. I could see that my being a goblin, even though big for my race, was causing her some confusion as she was struggling to explain that she found me attractive but for no apparent reason. I knew exactly the reason, and although Goblin lycanthropes didn't change with the moon, I had no idea if Orc lycanthropes did or not.
The moon rose full in the east. She didn't change either. At least, neither of us changed on the outside, but she was right, there was a definite attraction there. We looked at one another then like a switch being thrown the feelings went away. Mom had arrived. The light from the moon almost made her attractive. The daughter loped back to the shop, perhaps there was some sort of lunar change after all.
The moonlight shot across the bay, illuminating an island in the mist. I forgot everything but the invitation I had been offered earlier. I felt the pull I could hear noises, chanting or singing. I stood looking out at the island. Mom looked out across the water, I could tell she knew the island was there, but couldn't see it. She asked if I could.
"Yes, and I hear them singing."
"You were invited?"
"And passed over."
"Oh, I think they may have made a bigger mistake than they know."
She went back into the shop. I walked down the short street across the main road and out onto the ramshackle dock. Orcs really didn't seem to be able to build anything with any sort of style I noticed. I was amazed that half of what they put together stayed together. No wonder they were always buying and trading stuff from us Goblins and raiding from others.
Mom was soon back with a wool sweater, very lumpy, but serviceable. She handed me a leather satchel with a couple of meals worth of food in it. The shoved me into her boat. "You know how to sail, don't you?"
"Um, no." Hell, I thought I was about to die from the rocking and shaking the boat was doing.
She could apparently see my discomfort, muttering something about cowardly goblins, she pointed out the rigging, "That one pulls it up, and the other puts it down. This was built by elves, so don't worry about it."
"How do I steer it?"
"Don't worry about it, I doubt that you'll be able to sail anywhere else tonight."
Sure enough she kicked the ropes free and the little sail filled and I shot across the bay directly for the Island.
She shouted something about "ground!" as I sped away, but already the wind and waves made it impossible to hear.
Elfin made. I settled lower into the boat, it suddenly seemed to move smoother. It was not long, just long enough to make me feel a bit queasy, when I arrived at the island. The wind died to nothing. I dropped the boom on myself. I didn't want to get out in the water, but soon saw no other way. The water was only a couple of feet deep. I started ashore, then turned back to grab the tie line of the boat to tow it ashore. Good thing I did. A swell flowed around me and I found myself off of my feet holding on to the rope to keep from drowning. Between swells I managed to pull the little sailboat ashore, then up the beach, past any sign of water. Now that I was here, I wanted to make sure I had a way back.
I was starting to think this was a bad idea when I came to a clearing in the middle of the dead tree forest. There was a huge pile of flesh in the middle with the glowing soul motes hovering around it. The hooded ones were in a circle around the pile of flesh. They were chanting their invitation. I had the feeling it was not for me or the souls they'd collected, and somehow, I knew there would be nothing good to follow if the summoning ritual was completed. The first mote of light leapt into the pile, and a strong Goblin warrior jumped out with a resounding shout. One of the hooded ones stepped forward, grabbed his hand and reached with the other to the blue orb glowing at the top of the now slightly diminished pile of used flesh. The flesh flowed onto the figure and the robes dropped revealing a very shapely goblin maid. The warrior whooped again and the two of them made their way into the forest. Soon the other motes and hooded ones were joining and gathering together away from the diminishing pile of flesh. As the pile neared the size of a few persons, two motes dove in at once. They emerged embraced and ran into the woods together. Fey bodies, to slender to tell if they were male or female or one of each. I knew that the pile of flesh would not be entirely consumed in the ritual, but could not figure out if that was a good or a bad thing.
The lunar part of me sensed something large arriving in the light streaming from the moon into the clearing. It was as dark a mote as the Goblin and Fey souls were light. I suddenly knew what was supposed to happen. The souls and flesh were supposed to unite to create the living avatar of the Necromantic deity. But there was now one less soul to help the hooded figures become flesh for the year. The sadness was overwhelming. I could feel the sense of loss, the despair. I stepped into the clearing and took the last robed figure by the very skeletal hand. Almost balked at that point.
"I get to go home after this, right?"
I had ascent from both the formless one and the hooded ones clenching my hand with an unnatural strength. I swung them around so they were touching the blue orb rather than me. I wanted to keep my current flesh. The flesh crawled up their fingers and down their arms into their robes. Again, I almost lost my nerve. But one held me firm. The flesh reached her bony hand and she let go. Robes dropped to reveal a vision of a Goblin-weres almost abundant where I liked and smiling curved sharp teeth that sent a ripple of delight through my being. I pulled out my satchel of dinner and offered each a leg of mutton. They greedily consumed my dinners as we made our way through the forest to the beach. Spotting my boat One poked me hard in the shoulder where I'd been shot.
"It's you!" we both said at once.
"You filled out nicely." I grinned
"For a year and a day. We're all yours, but the flesh must be returned here, or replaced."
I didn't even want to think of what that might entail, so offered to let them finish off the dinner, hoping the food would make them truly abundant where I liked. The blonde (unusual for a goblin girl) haired one finished the meal and then said "wait here."
I didn't, of course. I followed them back through the forest, she and the red haired goblin girl gathered up the two elves and dragged them back to the clearing where they had rounded up all the now flushed but fleshed souls into the center of the clearing. The souls began to glow green at the back of the necks a few of them cried out in surprise.
"Go to your final rewards in peace with my thanks." echoed through the two dozen newly fleshy throats of the hooded ones.
There were sighs and screams from the souls, I supposed depending on final dispositions, as their flesh was pulled into the blue orb and spat up into the moonlit night. A form was taking shape in the mist, serpentine, with many legs, and three pairs of dragon wings. Soon it was fully fleshed, if a little thin.
"I hunger," it moaned on the wind. The wings spread and beat once, the serpent bounced, a second beat and the clearing swirled with debris, hooded ones clutched at their robes to keep them from flying into the forest. The wings rippled again and the serpent launched into the air striking out to the open ocean in the west. I stood awed by the power that must have flowed through this spot. The hooded ones began to chatter amongst themselves as though it was a reunion. My two friends excitedly chatting with a large attentive group. While most were donning their robes there were still enough lovely goblin women to make me very anxious. The robes were much more shapely now. I couldn't help myself from stepping into the clearing.
"Can I bring you something?" I asked.
"And he's polite, too" said one of them.
"I may just stay a goblin a while longer," smirked another.
Suddenly I wasn't so sure I had the stamina for what I appeared to have gotten myself into.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Random Images and Scenes

Random Images and Scenes

In the Dream house, a Grey and White cat like Annie zoomed past my feet into the bathroom ahead of me, but then when I turned on the lights, she wasn't there.

Midge was in the reading room, staring into the left corner of the far right aisle of book shelves. She was silent and nearly unmoving. I could not see what held her attention so firmly.

I was wandering, not knowing who I was or what building I was supposed to be in, nor even exactly what time it was. I could tell I was on a college campus. I saw my reflection in a window of a classroom. My beard was mostly shaved with just a few patches of short hair and my mustache and sideburns were mostly intact. I felt the stubble, it was about 3 days worth. I couldn't tell if I'd tried to shave, or if I'd just had a bad time with the beard trimmer. I checked the pockets of my jacket. The beard trimmer was gone. I decided I'd better try to find the infirmary, if there was one.

Two Orange squares and a Green circle. Their positions and sizes kept changing against the dark blue star filled background. I think they were singing or chanting but I couldn't make out the words.

I was pumping up and down on a hand car handle, only instead of being on rails the hand car had bicycle tires and we were zooming along the roadway through the center of town. There were two flywheels spinning in opposite directions right below where I was standing. When I put on the brakes to stop the flywheels started spinning faster. I kept pumping even at the stop sign. Apparently the pumping only fueled the flywheel, and there was some sort of throttle/clutch on the hand pump handle that allowed me to accelerate away from the stop sign. Even though it was overcast and cool, I was sweating from the workout. I seemed to be able to make about 30 mph on the contraption as I was mostly able to keep up with the traffic in town, only falling behind about a third of the way between traffic signals. I would catch up again as we stopped at the next signal light. Even though I knew if I went just a bit slower I would be able to just keep moving, I felt the time stopped allowed me to charge up the flywheel a little more. I woke up from this thinking I'd like to build this contraption!

Leaning against a tree, sharp pains in my chest. T-Rex walked over and plopped down in my lap with a greeting chirp. As I sat with him the congestion and pain faded. It also got dark and I could no longer tell where I was, but somehow knew it wasn't in the back yard, which is where I thought I'd started.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Dream Job Interview, Ostrich Farm

3 interviewers,
Glass Staircase up to the testing Room.
Card game like Penrose tiles the object of which was to come up with a valid course and make it to the finish line. Draw up to 3 tiles and place 2 per turn was the basic game. It was not legal to place a tile that would make a dead end for a racer. They indicated that they were thinking of adding some rules so I suggested, in counter to their Laser sniper (one each) that cars get armor, one each, but it would slow the car down to one tile per turn. They liked that. One of them started a stopwatch. Later I thought of another marker that would allow you to switch places, and another that would allow you to switch the start and finish. I said you might have either limitations, or everyone had one poker chip for each item and could trade turns for chips, etc. They liked the idea of "vehicle modifications". I then played around with a large touch screen that I arrayed out like a two screen laptop, you could rotate the graphics, use virtual keyboard or writing entry spaces, etc. The device would have no keyboard just two touch pads folded in on each other. They asked if I'd ever used the large touchpad before. I hadn't but it worked a lot like The Gimp desktop with everything undockable and mobile, with the addition of text input modules. (Like having KWrite always open for notes, but being able to cut and paste the text as text as well as script or image.)
There was a miniatures set with pirate ships from plastic card stock. One of them had fallen over in the moss, making it look like Kali or Vishnu on the sail. "Thuggee pirates, the scourge of the Indian Ocean. Only we could have come up with strictly vegetarian pirates." I could tell they were impressed by that observation. They all nodded to one another. There was a line of RPG miniatures that was attractive. I told them I had been gaming a homebrew set of rules for a couple of decades, and as much as I like miniatures my group liked the using powerpoint with the maps on the background layer and markers for them in a top layer with me drawing the encounter areas and loading the bad guys as we went. I found that the more abstract the icons the better in many circumstances. "More imagination comes into play that way." The one with the stopwatch clicked the stopwatch and read out "20 minutes. The best yet." I must have looked confused.
"All we're looking for is one idea, hopefully good, or something we can springboard off of for each test question."
"You just gave us enough for half a year of development just on the dual clamshell and RPG support applications."
"That would be considered a good day's work around here."
"Hell, the computer thing's a whole week's work." Added the president, who up to this point hadn't said much.
I realized I would like it here.

Dreamed Midge and I moved to the country with our cats and two baby ostriches. Little John kept jumping the ostriches then leaping away before they could kick him. "you're going to regret this when they grow up." Later he got to meet a grownup Ostrich, it almost got him and then chased him around the yard for about 5 minutes before I was able to drop a laundry basket over him. I don't think he was going to bother the babies much any more.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

So Many Dreams, Can't hold them all

The Hero Voice
My siblings and I were in a conference room near the top of a skyscraper. DF was commenting that he couldn't understand how DM and I were able to do the things we did. We were trying to explain to him how we knew what we knew, and how we knew that he had many of the same abilities. DM and I could both fly, we could feel each other's presense, we knew how many people were around us. DF understood the last one, as a security officer he had used that ability himself, but hadn't yet realized it was anything super ordinary. Additionally DM could make herself appear as any age and nearly any size within 100 pounds or so of her real weight. I also had another power, but it was so destructive and uncontrollable I hardly though about it. (Perhaps that is why it was so uncontrollable, no practice.) What really irritated DF is that we were also able to read one another's unvoiced conversations, including his, but he couldn't seem to hear us. We also made him uncomfortable by telling him he had all the same common powers as us in addition something special of his own, something that we couldn't quite tell what it was as he'd not really used it yet.
We were meeting in this little used conference room because there had been something of a family crisis. Mom and Dad had been lost to some nefarious OUTSIDE power. DM and I were pretty sure we could track the OUTSIDER, but we both felt that we needed DF in order to do so. He was not convinced. Finally I managed to find an explanation that seemed to help him. When we were in a situation, there was a timber to our internal voice that showed us the safest or most effective line of thinking and action, DM, DF and I called it the same thing since we were small, the Hero Voice. Not only did we have the same description of it, but sometimes it told us the exact same things, like how we needed to be here in this room on this day. Even DF had to admit that is what he though he'd heard when DM called us.
I turned to the large windows. Listen, ask this question, what is going to be the safest exit from here in mere moments. He looked around, frozen in front of the floor to ceiling windows along the side of the conference room. DF blanched, and then shook it off. "You're creeping me out."
"Yes, me too, but I can tell you heard it, too." That's the only way we're getting out of here. I put my hand on his shoulder. "And it's gonna be soon, too."
DM shifted into an extremely thin 19 year old 103 pound, harmless looking form just as the conference room doors opened. The OUTSIDER wasn't expecting anyone to be here.
"Get away!" the Hero Voice shouted at DM and DF, I could tell they both heard it. DF took DM's hand, almost involuntarily, as I lifted the director's podium to throw it through the window.
"The window isn't breakable," gloated the OUTSIDER.
But I listened to the Hero Voice, and struck the window three resounding taps, the first two setting up a vibration and the third ripping the Lexan window to shards. DM jumped out of the window with DF in tow, Df only hesitating the tiniest amount. They flew off into the city.
The OUTSIDER roared and shifted form. The balding corporate suit shifting into a black dark dragon shape that caused the other suits to recoil in horror. The OUTSIDER shot past me as though I didn't exist so intent it was on my siblings. We had been right. DF had something the OUTSIDER was very afraid of. Too bad none of us could tell what that was.
The suits seemed to recover, I could see a small part of the outsider in each of them take control, and they weren't ignoring me. I stepped out onto a decorative ledge and the Hero Voice guided me along the decorations to a drain pipe, which I grabbed hold of and slid down a couple of floors until I was out of site of the conference room, then jumped to an adjacent building, only using enough power to land myself on the roof behind an HVAC unit.
DM and DF had looped around. They were waiting for me.

I took my brother by the shoulder and asked him to look into my eyes. We connected, I could tell he didn't want to, didn't want to believe, didn't want the responsibility, didn't want to burn, because that was the power that lurked in me. Not just a flame, it was the power that fueled the sun, Fusion, pure, fiery, bright, uncontrolled and suddenly, not uncontrollable. DF held something that was the key to controlling what I could do. In fact, he could quench it entirely if he chose. He almost did, but the Voice calmed him and he listened.
DF turned towards the beach. "Do you hear that?" he asked.
I didn't, neither did our sister, but we knew to listen to him as he ran to the western edge of the roof. He held out his arms as though he wanted to fly, but the thought of his children loomed large and emptied his courage. DM and I grabbed his arms and lifted him into the air. He avoided panic and we circled over the roof of the building for altitude before heading west. The wisps of the OUTSIDER from the suits tagged along behind us. Before we had climbed out, we were no longer supporting his weight, although the part of his brain locked into the family and everyday living refused to believe.

Over the Beach A Previously Unused Power.
We swept out of the city across some canyons to the beach. The OUTSIDER was causing a flock of sea birds to repeatedly dive on the beach goers. It was like watching a scene from the birds, but from on high. The OUTSIDER was killing a few birds and injuring dozens on each swoop. Paniced people seemed confused, and rather than running for cover, the bathrooms, towers, cars, they ran up and down the beach. Only a few seemed to escape the influence of the OUTSIDER, most just looked like ducks in a carnival gallery.
"There!" DF shouted, pulling his arm free of my grasp to point, "and the others are around us."
There was a silent moment as I felt him unlock my power, DM and he dropped below the ring of OUTSIDERs and I struggled to restrain my fission to a slender disk centered on myself. I released, the burn was total from toe to hair. It poured out of me in a sheet that took the wisps with such force they were ionized. The blast of heat ripped through the sky like a sonic boom. The OUTSIDER climbed away from the sheet of Fusing hydrogen and helium, but still was rocked by the blast of the heat wave. I clamped the power down. Even though the blast had been shorter than a flashbulb going off, I could feel the burned beach goers, the temporarily blinded gulls and those who'd been looking at the small patch of sky around me. I myself was toasty, but untouched. The OUTSIDER winged over along the water's surface and shot out to the mountainous islands across the bay.

Mesa of Madness
We follow it to the islands. DF has us put him down on a large mesa of Rock heavily undercut by the waves. He has found his other power, but not the one of flight. He checks DM, and then me. "I don't think you should do that again for awhile."
I look inside myself my Hero Voice agrees, but indicates that I may have to, it won't be as well controlled the next time. There is something building in me that isn't entirely part of me. My heart races, but I don't feel any of the OUTSIDER. I calm back down.
The OUTSIDER has reconfigured itself. I can tell anything but a direct hit with my power will have no effect on it at all. I will have to be touching it. We are too tired to lift DF off the rock, "Leave me!" he shouts. His voice, it is the Hero Voice. DF shrinks to the size of a Cat and launches directly into the OUTSIDER's path. I race to the far edge of the mesa, feeling the burn begin almost against my will. I try to get the OUTSIDER to follow me. DF is trampled, if I can use that description to describe two airbourne beings colliding. She shifts again and rolls away as though injured, I can tell otherwise, but the OUTSIDER laughs and lunges at me. Ignoring for the moment my siblings. I lead it on a chase, looping and dodging in the sky. It is drawing closer, trying to draw the fire out of me. I know why, the more I fly, the less control I will have when the fusion releases. At some point I will have so little control, I will fuse parts of myself. That won't take much to destroy me. I can also tell that I cannot touch the armored front of the OUTSIDER, and at this point, it is not even clear that I will be able to injure its previously unprotected side. Things are getting desperate. DM shoots back into the fight, joining me and easing my burdon by grabbing on to the back of my shirt.
DF tricks it into turning its back on us, by running to the edge of the Mesa like a demented AOL logo, on odd illusion that completely entrances the OUTSIDER. DF shifts from Yellow to Blue as he heads for the rocks below. DM drops me and races to him, he shouting at us to escape, but her Hero Voice urging otherwise, as does mine. I dive onto the OUTSIDER's back and roll under where it is still soft. The power ripples, it laughs at me as it reaches my brother and my fission is doing almost nothing to it. My power rages out of control, I feel the clothing flash away from me and my hair burns down to the roots in an instant. There is a groan from the OUTSIDER. My brother absorbs it's protective cloak into himself. The OUTSIDER cannot fly any longer. DF rolls away to cover DM as she plummets towards us. As his borrowed cloak enfolds them I release collapsing atoms from the air around me, and from the OUTSIDER. The heats melts the rocks, the sea below us rapidly begins to boil. I am enveloped in the OUTSIDER as it tries to become one with me. So I wait until we are under the water and my siblings are behind the island. We fuse, but not, I think, in the way the OUTSIDER had hoped. There is the burn and the flash, and I am momentarily more than whole, but not whole. There is no OUTSIDER, there is no me other than my awareness of not me, and the shock of my siblings who also feel the me that is becoming not me. DF flings the cloak and the ability of flight at me with Heroic Force, he tumbles towards the sea until his own ability to fly manifests, his fear forgotten. I reach for his offering, but the connections are thinning to this world. I try them on, I try to hold them. They are slipping from me. Then I look for the Voice. "Let it go."
I do.
The fire of the sun fills the hollow of the cloak. I feel no burn I feel nothing. I know I am bouncing on the surface of the ocean like a helium balloon grown slightly too heavy. But there is no control, no touch of the outside save the presense of my siblings. They tow the echoes of me home with them.

Interdimensional Space Transport
Hard Landing
Midge and I and a crew of about 5 others are forced to land hard when a lift motor goes haywire and shreds itself about 3300 meters above the ground. We bounce around a bit no one is injured, just our vessel.

Trading for Supplies and Parts
We make contact with the landowner, who luckily for us just decides to charge admission to "see the crashed spaceship!" and calls it even. We manage to make some trades with the folks we'd originally come to see. Their gear was not damaged by the hard landing. We did have to unload a bunch of other stuff as dinged and dented. I managed to get some spares and traded for some pharmaceuticals that, though not rare here, would bring us enough to buy more cargo at our next stop.

Makeshift Repairs
The quality of the parts I was able to assemble left a bit to be desired. We had to take apart a couple of flow regulators and use their parts in the broken engine. It meant that we had no failsafe on three of the four engines, but we would be able to limp along on one once we were back in space. There were space stations where we could trade our cargo for repairs, although that would leave us empty without a cargo, and only the option to haul passengers. Not the most lucrative jobs available.

Back into the Black (Thanks Joss)
We manage to pick up a few passengers, they liked what they saw for some reason and trusted us to get them out there. (And we were half as expensive as anyone at the actual space port.) We climbed out of the quarry, and roved over to the laser booster for an assist into orbit. (Thank you passengers.) Only one of the fuel regulators failed, and we were thinking we could fix that in transit.

Pizza and Beer and Doggerel and Poetry Show.
Redreamed parts of the conversation with SV and AH at Killer Pizza from Mars. Only this time there was a group of about 5 poets and 4 actors.

Nan at the Market with the Ever Growing List
Started without any basket because we just needed to stop for "a few things." I couldn't hold everything she'd collected so went for the little hand basket, by the time I found her again, she had too much for that, so I went back for the larger basket, again, getting back and there was too much stuff. I went for the final time and brought back the largest shopping cart I could find.

Cats Walking

Ginger and the Muffin family were out in the park walking, but they weren't supposed to be there with us. Jolly time rounding them up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Midge Turns onto the Wrong Freeway

On the way back from a day trip to spend the second night in the same motel, an idea I was against from the start. (I wanted to check out so we'd have the option of staying near where ever we ended the day.) Midge took a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of a hilly desert area, climbing up into some mountain. She woke me by nearly driving into oncoming traffic to avoid the cliffs on our side of the road. Finally I got her to pull over into a wide spot so I could drive. I opened the door, and we were only a couple of inches from the edge. I told her to just get into the back from her side and climbed over into the driver's seat without getting out of the car. I gently rolled us back onto the road and started looking for a place to turn us around and head back. Midge was complaining that we would have to drive the rest of the night to go back that way. I pointed out that I didn't have any idea what, if anything, connected to the north of us, as our map did not go this far south. I drove a few more miles until we found an exit. I took the exit and it turned out to be one that didn't have an on ramp headed in the opposite direction. I headed up into the hills towards what was supposed to be a town. There were no lights, and no traffic. After about 10 minutes of winding narrow road, Midge started to get nervous. "What if there's nothing in this direction, what if it is just a ghost town, abandoned, there's lots of them around here." After a couple more minutes of that conversation I decided we could turn back and continue on our original path. I told her I didn't think we'd find a connector north until we were out of the mountains on the other side, and then we would have to cross them again to get back to wherever our hotel was. We didn't have a cell phone, and we didn't have a map that showed anything but the route from the hotel out to the mining town we'd gone to visit. "Keep an eye out for a rest stop with telephones." I was hoping we could call the hotel and someone there would be able to look at a map and tell us where we were, and how to get back there, or at least find us a place to stay for the night until we could get back tomorrow to pick up our luggage. "Just think of it as an adventure." I kept telling Midge. I think the adventure had worn off when we'd been unable to find anyplace to stop for dinner and had finished off the Fritos and M&M's instead. We were also down to two half liter bottles of water. A rest stop would be a good thing. I passed a sign that said 16 miles to the summit. I figured there would be a rest stop near the top so knew we'd be able to refill the water bottles and there would probably be a junk machine, and maybe even a map and phones.
At least I was doing a better job of keeping our Prius on the road in her own lane, except when I had to dodge the fallen rocks in the road. Midge moved back over behind me, she didn't like looking over the edge of the cliff on the passenger side. There seemed to be a lot of missing guard rails, missing, or the road was so little used there were none. I was betting on the latter, as many of the state road markers were so rusted out you couldn't read the route information, and there were sections of the road that didn't look like they'd been resurfaced in years. In many places the castor bean plants and creosote were overhanging the road, or growing from the cracks in the roadway, making me think there wasn't really much traffic of any sort. We'd only seen about 4 vehicles since nightfall, about one an hour. Three of those were 4 wheelers with a couple of hunters each in a convoy, the other had been a beat up pickup camper. Midge had taken a corner tight and we'd nearly collided, fortunately they'd seen our lights and had honked before starting around the corner, so Midge had jerked back into our lane before they lumbered around the bend. Their light (only the far one was working, and there were no running lights) was pointed into the brushy hillside, nearly invisible.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Really Bad Show and How I Escaped During the First Act

The Musical was more than usually miscast. The students hardly looked like High School age students, let alone adults. I know they were making due while their own theatre was being renovated, but this was particularly distracting, they could have put together a more period costume collection. Set pieces kept tipping over and I could see the stage hands struggling with rickety stage braces. The audience space was far too crowded for the cast to come through the house onto the stage, it just wasn't working with the horrid acoustics. I was relieved when they finally got all on the stage. Broken stage equipment and a really poor production prompted me to leave the multi-purpose room to find some tools in the shop to make repairs that could be installed during the intermission. I found the shop unlocked and there were a couple of kids stuffing their pockets with tools. I shooed them away after making them turn out their pockets. I then went to work, frequently being interrupted by other tool-thieving intruders. Finally I managed to fix the door so it could close. Back to work, shortly I was interrupted again. This time I made them show me how they were getting in. There was another door from another classroom, neither one was closed. I got them all sent on their way and was taking a bucket of tools back to the tool crib, which was now completely empty. I stepped into the main shop. There was a night class going on. The teacher was grateful for the rest of the tools. I told him about the other entrances. He promised to talk to the principal about it. The class fixed the stage braces I'd brought over as learning opportunity. I thanked him and his students and took the parts back to the MPR just in time to make intermission. Nan wanted to know where I was. I asked her if it had gotten any better. I could tell from the pained expression on her face that it had not. I braced myself for the second act, after buying Nan several cookies for being such a trooper.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Three Fragments

I was finishing a patio greenhouse, three sides glass and the roof as well. It was a second story above the back patio running almost the entire length of the house.

Adopting another black and white kitten, who had swallowed a huge fur ball and needed to be saved from choking. He was mostly black with a white swoosh that went from the center of his tail, around his tummy and up his chest and nose as well as the left lower part of his face and the back of his left ear. He was about 10 weeks old or so when we rescued him. Very vocal once the obstruction was removed. Ginger immediately came running and started cleaning him up.

I was assembling a team of folks for an investigation of some sort of subterranean paranormal event. (At least that was the title on the briefing folder.) There were to be five of us, and there was going to be a need for some moderate to heavy physical activity to get into the site. I was wondering if I was up to the challenge myself.
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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Living in Alaska

Came out of the hills out side of Ketchikan because I needed to see civilization for a bit. As I entered town from the east I went through a park area where there was a group of folks dressed all in black and looking somber. I doffed my hat as I made my way through into town. I came to the farmer's market, and again there was the nearly all black display. I then realized it was Halloween. I checked my shadow, Very bushy hair and beard, figured I could pass for a werewolf without fussing about a change. I had lost track of time living alone in the hills. There was a small "wishing" cauldron for a local health care clinic, so I dug down into my pockets and started tossing in the change I found there. I only had a few dollars in change so just tossed it all in but a silver dollar and a quarter (the Wright Brother's Flyer on the back.) I then wandered with the crowd for a bit, finally heading down the street to a place where I smelled some sort of rice custard. Stepping into the historical looking house, I tucked my three colanders on a chain fruit drying basket under my arm and put my wool cap in them. The women were dressed in turn of the century clothing that reminded me of Renaissance garb. I told them that and one laughed, she did that during the summer in California. I told her I used to live there. I looked at the cast iron stoves and how the chimneys were arranged. Very nice, efficient and durable I remarked. The laughing woman told me this was the Aurora House and all the fixtures were authentic. I mentioned that my stove was just like it, but I had a different chimney arrangement as I had to preserve as much heat as possible. She showed me over to the dining table which was set for dessert, they had just set out the rice custard with whipped cream and raspberries on top. I pulled out my dollar and a quarter, this is all I had money wise. She gave me one "on the house." It was delicious as it smelled. I then looked around and noticed a couple of broken wires that were preventing an electric signboard from working in their gift shop. I offered to fix it for them. I took it back into the manager's office and after a few minutes with a leatherman and my butane soldering torch I had the thing back together. The two foot long LCD sprang to life and we plugged in the memory stick with the display on it and it began to loop through the display, music and all. The owner of the house asked if I knew anything about movie projectors. I answered that I was an AV technician back when 16mm projectors were all the rage in schools. So I got the tour of the antiques in the back of the house. Many items needing repairs, some major some minor, some with their only hope being hand made replacements as there were unlikely to be any spare parts. I was able to make a couple of the projectors complete from the three she had. They wanted my phone number but I didn't have a phone. I have a radio, I told them, and email. So I gave them that. They fed me dinner and gave me gift certificates, which I later discretely traded for cash which I used to buy rice and corn and beans and sugar which I loaded into a pedi-cab and hauled out to the edge of town where my dogs were waiting with the dog cart (Sled on wheels.) I had treats for the dogs as well, they seemed happy to see me and we made our way back up the trail.
My house was tucked into a hill with some openings for windows and the door. Solar panels and a couple of windmills were hidden in a clearing screened by oaks of some sort. I had a vegetable garden that had been pretty much harvested out and a greenhouse, which I had just finished not to long ago, that was also where the sleds and the snowmobile were stored. Inside was a nice three room living area, kitchen, library/dining/den and the master bedroom with a rather luxurious hottub style bath and multi head shower. That is where most of the "extra" wattage was consumed. I had a couple of root cellars and a smoke house as well as a guest room and computer/radio room "up the hill" my emergency generator and extra fuel was stored "up the hill" as well. I had a couple of 100 lb propane tanks stored in a bunker, and they provided cooking and climate control when there wasn't enough sun and wind (No sun much of the year, but the wind usually made up for it. With enough to run the flash heater on the hottub, very nice in the winter.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Driving into the Construction Detour, Again

I'm driving on a road that is under construction and detours through a freeway interchange. It appears that I am being directed in the opposite direction of where I want to go. I know that I will eventually be able to turn around, but not until I've driven all the way up the mountain pass and down the other side, about 9 miles one way. There are a bunch of construction roads, most empty. So I find myself wondering if I can cut through some of those, and just make my way over to the side of the freeway that is headed in the direction I actually want to go. I also seem to have the option of just getting off the freeway and staying around here for a while.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lion headed Sea Serpent

Swimming among the icy passages of some new world we were exploring. Came across a large sea serpent, injured and old looking. She was just giving birth and the sea serpent babies dropped out of her into the deeper waters below us, all black and silver, except for one golden maned serpent, smaller than the rest. It was having difficulty swimming so I broke from the rest of the party and helped it get clear of its mother, who curled back on herself to look at her smallest baby, then at me helping it. Then she herself sank into the deep. It was a an emotionally satisfying moment for some reason. I swam back to the group and the golden maned serpent swam with me. It tagged along with us for a while, than dove deep. I didn't expect to see it again, but a couple of crevices later it swam up to us with a long sturgeon-like fish in its catlike mouth. We examined the fish, took lots of photos and the serpent took it back and ate it. We got back to our research vessel and the sea serpent swam into the docking room with us checking out the room by rearing its head out of the water and looking around. It seemed to be able to recognize me and whistled, mewed, mostly at me,'til I came over to it and petted it on the head. It seemed like it was trying to communicate with us.

The other dreams were mostly just random images of my day: open computer boxes, sound device driver settings, sections of Ted Williams Parkway and I-15, the ivy in the back yard with a really huge spider web, Ginger Muffin rolling around on the mail pile, and one of two tall towers made of translucent blue crystals stretching out above a dark green forest canopy. That last image wasn't from my day, but was stuck right in with the daily montage for some reason.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Future News Story and The House

Monitoring Venezuela on the Internet as it socially and politically melts down. Interesting new feeds and some folks doing their best to post from the cities that still had power and phone connections. One of the news web sites had a pin map showing where the RSS feeds were coming from. One of our last feeds from the country said that China had offered to police the country because of "the longstanding cultural similarities that make Venezuela a traditional member of our social and political family." Our own president Clinton welcomed the Chinese "humanitarian" effort. It looked like only the US was going to remain in the world as a Democratic semi-Capitalist nation, though not for very long.

Was working on something electromechanical in the West kitchen of the The House. I took the parts outside where one of the swash plates was knocked off the porch railing by a cat (Black and Orange, like a calico, but with no white in it.) As I was stretching out to get under the porch to reclaim the part I heard a couple walking along the trail by the house. The gentleman commented on my hippy pants. I looked down and noticed the pants were faded purple and yellow and orange paisley, but the insides of the paisley were famous quotes. "That's because I am an old hippy." I said as I crawled out with the swash plate. "Just making some repairs, we're always finding something odd in this place."
"We didn't even know anyone was living here." he said.
"I thought it was haunted." she added.
"True on both accounts, I only spend a little time out here, but hope to move in when I retire."
"But it IS haunted?" she asked.
"Yes, most of the spirits are pretty interesting, a few useful and only a couple are dangerous, if you aren't prepared for them."
They looked at one another, turning to leave.
"You're welcome to keep walking on the property, the house likes you. When we get everything together you'll have to join us for lunch or dinner some time."
"Thank you," they looked startled that I'd been nice about them being here. They continued up the path, commenting that I couldn't be a vampire after all, because I'd just stood in the sunshine while talking to them. They couldn't seem to figure out why I was only there at night.
Oddly enough, I knew immediately why. Because I only seem to be in The House while I am sleeping here, and day and night seem to follow pretty closely the same schedule as here. I slept in late this morning, coming back to bed after feeding the cats. It was morning light outside just before I woke, much like in the dream.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Civil War Zombie Attack, Virginia Beach North Bethune House Zombi Bug Attack, Filling Station Video Ambush, and how I redreamed every one of them.

I was awakened by a messenger from the division HQ. There was a valley 10 miles from where we were encamped with some unusual activity going on. A patrol had gone missing and I was to Recon and Rescue if possible. "Take your darkies and try not to screw it up." was the flavor of the message. I couldn't help notice that the valley was on a line almost 90 degrees from a march into the planned battle area. I was upset that, once again, my troops were being shuttled out of the way. I stepped out into the cool morning air, I could smell spring hiding out behind the grits and porkfat cooking. I called together my officers and seargents and revealed our orders. We all exchanged glances. I could tell my Lt's were actually relieved, they were both terrified of what the Confederate soldiers would do if we were to be captured. We knew it would be bad enough for our troopers, all black men in one of only three units of "colored" troopers. But some of the messages about what would happen to us officers was disturbing. My seargents, all black, felt differently. "We will get our chance, just not today." I said to prevent the usual arguments. "Stand'em up and lets go rescue those lollygaggers."
"Yes, Sir!" chorused the seargents, and we marched out. Only myself and the Lt's.s had horses. Even my dispatch riders were riding on their shoes. I at least had managed to get them shoes. Half of my troopers didn't have real boots, just whatever we could "requisition" from the towns we'd passed through. Some of my troop didn't have uniforms either, they were escaping north when they came across us. Some were so moved they stayed on to handle the kitchen and baggage train. I didn't have the heart to turn them away. I did make it plain that if they were caught or over run they could expect a gruesome death at the hands of their former owners, and that I could barely feed them let alone pay them. Still, they marched with us.
We reached the valley, more of a hollow it was so small, and still. That was the first bit of weirdness, it was spring and birds and insects had chirruped us a happy spring medley for almost ten miles. Now, nothing. The air was thick with a tinny smell that made the horses nervous. I dismounted and gave my horse to the first messenger, "Skirmish line in thirds, fall back to the loaders if there's anything to fire at." The messenger was off. Soon the LT's took up the left and right skirmish lines. I went to the front of the center skirmish line. We advanced into the hollow. I had the loaders hold at the tree line and took the first group down into the hollow. There were Confederate and Union bodies everywhere. All of them in ragged clothing, blood stained. Groups of soldiers were mixed together where they fell, no sign of weapons or packs. Only a few still had canteens or powder horns hanging from straps. I had the bugler signal a halt. Nothing.
The dead soldiers stood up. They were dead, that I could see. Some of my men swore, some fainted. A couple fired. Body hits did nothing, a head hit dropped the undead horror. They charged us and I tried to have us fall back to the tree line after the first volley. They were sinfully fast. Bayonets and rifle butts. They were slaughtering us in hand to hand combat and shooting them did no good, unless you hit them in the head. By the time I figured that out I had hacked so many limbs off with my saber that I could barely lift my arm, still more of them kept coming. My flanking support melted into the trees, I tried to get the message out to shoot for the head and just keep them from biting or clawing you, but my messengers were dragged out of their saddles. The tide of undead reeking flesh eventually bore me under.
I was awakened by a messenger from the division HQ. There was a valley 10 miles from where we were encamped with some unusual activity going on. A patrol had gone missing and I was to Recon and Rescue if possible. "Take your darkies and try not to screw it up." was the flavor of the message.
I sat bolt upright, my aide asked if I was alright. "We're alive yet, aren't we?" was my cryptic reply. I called my troops together and gave them some orders that I'm sure chilled them. But they went with me. Bayonets fixed. Loaders right behind, every one of us in a tight formation semi-circular like a plug in a bathtub. I gathered as many pitchforks and poles as possible. "Head shots only, or you don't even fire."
When the dead rose to greet us there was a sudden hush over the troops, they understood. "He knew it somehow, he knew it!" rippled through the ranks.
"Hush! Concentrate! Pray if you know how! But don't let them bite or scratch you, or I'll take your head off myself." I sent my Lt's to the left with orders to use the saber and lance to keep the flanks clear, I took the right with our standard bearer to do the same. We fought for what seemed like hours, the stench of the dead was great, when we were finished I called in the chaplain to say words over the piles of dead parts and we began digging graves. I sent the messengers back, "Many war dead, from both sides, unburied, unshriven, we'll be another day taking care of the formalities." was all I wrote. Over 300 dead when we finished.
"We've been to Hell together, men don't get any closer than that, said one of my seargents."
"Yes Mr. Sears, when this is over, every blessed one of you has a place at my table just for the asking." As tired as we were, not a single man, even the injured, complained about the 10 mile hike back to where I knew we would likely wait out the rest of the war.

Next I was in the house I remember best from growing up in Virginia. Upstairs. Strange cootie like bugs zoomed out of a wall socket in the hallway then went skittering down the hall into my siblings and parent's rooms. I caught the one headed for me in a glass jar and slapped the lid on it. As I was trying to figure out what it was my family began to walk towards me arms out in the classic zombie pose.
I was back in the hall, grabbed the glass jar and slammed it over the wall socket just as the bugs slithered out. I missed one and grabbed it in my folded up hankerchief. I struggled with it a bit and managed to wrestle it into the jar with the others. I screwed the lid on tight and went to wake everyone up. "We got to get away from here before the neighbors get bit!" I'm sure my parents would figure I was crazy, but hoped the odd bugs with human arms and legs would convince them otherwise.

Lastly I was filling up a new hybrid at a gas station where the price was $9.579 a gallon. There was a flatscreen monitor tuned to a live feed from soldiers in the forests of Lebanon. I saw the telltale red of a laser site hit the soldier in the chest who was center screen then there were dozens of shots and soldiers falling everywhere.
Dream restarted, by now I was not surprised. I linked in and sent an IM to the cameraman to get down and toss out the smoke grenades. The troopers dropped on the screen and smoke surrounded them. You could see the smoke particles fluoresced under the lasers of the ambushers, pointing back to their locations. Our troops opened fire and took only a few injuries.
I got an IM back. "Thanks for looking out for us."
One of the Gas station attendants looked at me and said, "How did you just do that?"
"Just lucky, I guess. Gotta look out for your former students."
"That Captain is a former student?"
"No, the camera woman is."

It was a very odd night. I was quite amazed when the first dream reopened, then a little with the second. The third I was just looking at it and thinking, OK, what is my brain trying to tell me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Crash Landed and Hotel Just before Midnight.

I was part of a crew salvaging the cloaking device from a large crashed vessel. We were installing it in a cavern to cover up our repair attempts. The rest of the ships complement was living in the nearby village and helping make life better for the original colonists. We were apparently at war with another race, they didn't want this particular world, but also didn't want us flying around the system getting in their way. They seemed to stay happy as long as we didn't have any technology (transportation) above that of the early 1900's. During the installation of the cloaking devices we had a power outage. I knew the aliens would detect our ship power source. I quickly organized a group of volunteers to take out one of our shuttle craft and outfit it with a reactor of the same design. We would take a big joy ride and collect as much of the old crashed fleet as possible before the aliens showed up and blew us out of the sky. We'd bail out before the missle strike. Sure enough, about eight trips in the aliens arrived, we raced back towards the continent, but not towards our work area. We bailed out and set the autopilot to maximum evade and try for orbit. We floated down into an uninhabited forest and watched the ship climb out of sight. We never heard an explosion, so for all we know the shuttle escaped detection. The aliens flew over head for the next three days. They didn't seem to find what they were looking for and we saw no sign of them on the fourth day. We figured we were about two weeks from home, so set about to make a couple of boats to take the river.
I was staying in a hotel where there were tons of college kids at some sort of theatrical or dance convention. Just before midnight I kept hearing thundering footfalls racing up and down the hall followed by lots of giggling. I opened my door to see what was going on. There were three young women in bathrobes who pulled up short outside the room. One of them flashed me. Very cute. They giggled and thundered away. I could tell it was going to be a long night.
"Did you see the size of the cat!" on of them shouted to the others.
I looked back into the room, Little John was leaning out to see through the doorway from the end of the bed. He was even bigger in the dream than he is in real life. The Lumpkin was hiding behind him peeking out over is knee.  Both, "chirrup?" and I just shrugged and closed the door. I'm sure they'll be back. Head bonks from both of them and I stretched out on the bed and started rolling through the channels to see what was on.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Midnight Train, or, Bus Perhaps

I was on a train with Dan from work and the Director from MC and a bunch of student theater technician interns. We were headed to a festival somewhere North. As night fell everyone pulled out blankets and pillows and reclined their seats for some shuteye. I stayed awake and therefore got to see the transformation of the train car into a bus. We stopped at an old warehouse outside a delapidated theater. The watchman told us the place was going to be torn down, so we could take whatever we needed. There were several lighting and sound instruments so Dan and I loaded them on the bus. We then woke the interns and everyone started going through the old sets looking for ideas and for hardware to salvage. Much of the scenery was wire and mache, much was not usable in the least. Dan kept pulling out this 5 foot long twisted 2 by 4 and putting it in the keep pile, I kept moving it to the firewood pile. Finally I asked him what he wanted it for. "It just looks cool" was his response.
"OK, perhaps we could use it as a propellor." I put it back in the keep pile. Eventually we loaded up the luggage areas under the bus with costumes and boxes of drawer pulls, switches, casters and hinges, stage brace cleats and curtain trucks. We continued North.

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Desert House with Abandoned Tunnels

I was in the desert, digging the hole for an underground house I planned on building. I had windows and roof beams set up and slabs of pre stressed concrete to put in position. As I got to about 8 feet down I broke into a tunnel. I followed the tunnel and discovered that it would make a good addition to the house, with little or no modification, it was very geode like. I did find a thin spot in on floor area, and when I poke through it I could shine the flash down into a small cavern with boxes of books and magazines from late 1800's. I realized that this meant the tunnel complex had to come to the surface somewhere. I lowered a pry bar on a rope through the small hole and pulled up a wooden box by its handle to look at the contents. The pulps were only slightly yellowed and didn't look brittle at all.

I then found a bucket with an international orange colored egg, it looked like a sea snake egg. I swirled the bucket around, then added some small fish (Who knows from where.) The egg hatched into a bright orange snake, swam around, completely ignored the fish, then launched out of the water at me, and splayed its ribs as it flew. I ducked and turned to follow its movement, right into a rock wall, and through it, leaving only a little splotch of wetness.

"Whoa, didn't know it could do that." I said.

"There's more of them buckets down here." said my brown haired companion, whose identity seemed a bit fluid throughout the course of the story.

"Maybe we should leave them alone, some species of creatures hatch due to tidal agitation."

"Well, lets hope we never have a big earthquake then."

I poked my head down through the opening to see what she was talking about. There must have been over dozen rows of nine to ten buckets in each. Every one of the buckets in the rows looked to be nearly full of the bright orange eggs. I started to have a very uneasy feeling.

The Emporer of the Reed.

Dreamed I was an emporer of a small nation on a new world. I was master of some sort of martial art involving a long reed. The purpose of the reed was to show that thin and fragile could still be dangerous. Sometimes by bending in the direction of maximu flexibility/weakness we suddenly find our strength.Like the reed I used that had been notched out in the final contest. When bent into a circle it made for a very strong sheild, then a ring to capture and disarm my opponent, allowing the woman I'd chosen to test for emporess to lead the rest of our team to safety.

I was sparring in the common room of an inn with one of my soldiers when I overheard a woman complaining that she would be a better leader than the current emporer. So I listened, she had some good ideas, but seemed to lack one essential element, experience leading people. So I arranged for her to be brought to the residence (there really wasn't a palace.) She was very frightened at first, but soon as she thought there was no getting out of it, an intermediary gave her leadership of an exploration group, of which I was a member, and to all appearances the weakest of the group. She thought she was being sent to die. My captain explained that he'd been on several of these mission, the first of which he'd commanded, in fact, and nearly everyone had survived. He explained that he was not the leader of the mission, she was, he'd learned that while he had skills, he was content with his current command. He was just no a big picture kind of guy, after all was said and done. The emporer would not have asked this of you if he didn't think you were able. She then thought it was because the emporer wanted to bed her.
"Yes, but only if you are everything you say you are" he joked.

There followed about a half dozen scenes of exploring, training in the reed and other arts, her discovering that I had very extensive unarmed and improvised combat skills, trapping and hunting skills, and was the group's sniper. She also began to have very strong feelings for me and the group as a whole. At one point she caught her captain reporting something to me, I quickly covered by saying my curiosity got the better of me and I wrangled it out of him. I ended up helping the captain dig and cover the latrines as I had gotten him into trouble. But at least her disipline was fair, given what she knew.

At the edge of our explorations we came across a race of giant sloth like creatures, who seemed to have some form of communication and used tools. We were attacked and she had to decide to fight it out, or o run, running won out, as the empire needed to know what was found. She had to decide who to leave to delay the pursuers, and how many. I volunteered, along with one of the younger soldiers who'd showed great promise. She overrode the younger soldier, but asked me to delay then follow immediatly along a different route, lead them away into a nearby canyon. She sent someone ahead to leave me a rope and to cover me with the sniper rifle. It was a good plan so I went to face the sloths with my collection of reeds.

I actually defeated several of them with the reed circle and pole, disarming and tripping them. poking hole in their arms and legs where I hoped there would be no permanant damage. Eventually one of them appeared and pulled the others away. He sat on a rock opposite me, putting down his obsidian blade. And sitting unarmed. I set the ple down and released the circle so it hung limply then dropped it. I didn't have a place to sit other than on the ground so just squatted so we were at eye level I then drew a figure of myself on the ground and said my name. There were mutterings and sounds I knew were language. He gestured to himself said something, then his tribe and said something else. I did the same. I took off my necklace and pointed to the direction we came from and handed it to him. He did the same and we both stood and ran off in the direction we had come from. I caught up with the team as they were making their way to the pickup point, the captain arguing that we should go back and rescue me. Not needed, of course. There were many hugs all around. And several of the younger team members forgot the ruse and saluted. Give my emporess credit she picked up on it an asked "who are you, really." and "You were testing me." and "I fell for you."
I game my name, "Yes" and "Me Too, from the night I heard you in the tavern." Being who I was I didn't want to make a big deal about it at the time. I needed to know that she was able to genuinely lead and love the people as I did. Democracy will come, people will demand it in time.

She was angry, but she was also proud of herself. I told her she was going to have to get over it, she had a lot to do, because I was going back to visit and negotiate with our new found friends, lets hope that eating the ambassador is not part of their culture.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Chicken Ranch Soccer and Sick House Sitter

Soccer Game at the Chicken Ranch

The chicken ranch had been turned into a day camp of sorts. There was still a set of very cooplike outbuildings and the large chicken warehouse had been turned into an indoor soccer field. I was on the blue team and didn't really recognize any of the players from the white team, the referees or even most of my teammates. After running around like chi...ildren. I realized there didn't seem to be much point in the game, there were more soccer balls on the field than team members, different colored balls scored different points (and different for each team as well, so you could focus on blocking your opponent's high scoring color while trying to score more with yours.) After the whistle blew for the first period we grouped up on the sidelines, and I realized that I was supposed to be the team captain/coach. What I really know about soccer would be shorter than this entry. We democratized the team at that point and held a referendum. We decided to all switch positions and each of us would focus on one ball color. Meaning that two of us had to keep track of two balls each. There were only five players on the field plus the goalie. I think we had only 7 players on our team. I subbed out about 5 minutes into the second period, mostly because I wanted to go look at the old style chicken coops.

JB sick at Mom and Dad's Couldn't make 911 work.

One of my former students was house sitting for my parents who'd gone to be with Dawn and her family for some unknown crisis. Nan got a call at work and came to get me. We went to my parent's house, rang the bell, no answer, so we let ourselves in. Fluffy was very thin but eager to see us (not a normal state of affairs.) Her water bowl was empty so I filled it and she almost dove into it. I pulled out the food and she raced over to that as well. From the guest room I heard Nan call me.
I found her trying to prop up a very weak and dehydrated JB. She wasn't feverish, but I could tell she was very nearly gone. He skill was pale and dried taught over her face. Her hair was dull and brittle looking. She wasn't able to talk anything but gibberish. I sent Nan for some water and grabbed the portable phone from the bedstead. It was dead. I went to the master bedroom and dialed 911 from the handset, it wouldn't go through. I tried the 9 prefix, I tried 0 for operator. Nan got JB to sip some water. I went out to the old dial wall phone in the dining room and it wouldn't dial out properly. The 9 wouldn't roll back smoothly enough to be counted correctly. I did finally get the operator on that phone. She couldn't call 911 for us and hung up before I could ask her to connect us to the paramedics. I was waiting for the operator when I woke. As I woke I realized I could call information and have them connect me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

My Mother is Mary Pane

Started out with a strange car chase. I was just sort of floating around when I witnessed a car driving the wrong way on a short connector street between two houselined streets. Another vehicle was going the correct way, so the driver started driving in reverse. The woman in the car driving correctly began to panic a bit, because the other driver was certainly behaving in a random fashion that was vaguely threatening. Suddenly, for no apparent reason the backwards driver seemed to panic, and floored it, racing down the street and shooting out of the neighborhood into a junkyard. I followed along. The woman, and several others gathered at the yard, watching the driver as he passed out from his injuries. They all went into a shed and down many flights of dilapidated stairs until they were in a large underground chamber. As each woman entered they took a 1 inch square blue tile and placed it on a table. I was corporate now and standing next to the table. My fiancee was one of the women in the group. There were also several other men I noticed, husbands and sons it looked like. The tiles were laid out in double rows that snaked across the table. A woman handed me a bunch of markers that looked like Cheddar crackers. Most of them were square but a few were a square and a half. I was considering that. "Just use them the same, they are not different for our purpose."
The group began to chant, "My mother is Mary Pane," at the conclusion of each phrase the woman and I would each put four markers on a tile. Someone was copying out the chant near us in calligraphic pen. The chanting continued, the chips began to pile up, there were still a great many uncovered when I realized this was meant to summon their grand-dam to this meeting, and suddenly I had a very bad feeling about it.
"She is near," said a voice.
"There are too many uncovered!" quivered another.
"Quickly, bring in the stallion!" hissed another. Several folks broke free from the circle to lead in a large chestnut horse whose eyes had been covered with what looked like a blood soaked rag.
"Faster, My mother is Mary Pane!" the chanting grew faster and faster, but when the air soured and everyone extinguished their candles there were still a couple of dozen uncovered tiles. There were a couple of sobs in the dark.
The hag appeared in the middle of a glowing mist, she hovered over the horse then spiraled around the circle, many whimpered. She stopped at me, hovering.
"What are you, then?"
"My fiancee,"
The Hag hissed at her. then turned to me, "Not one of the family yet, I see."
The menace in the voice was plain. "Still, something."
I felt the lighter in my pocket and pulled it out clutched hidden in my fist. "I am just a man."
"Yes, and a non believer. I have not had an ordinary man in many years." She drifted closer.
"Non belief is based in not seeing, I certainly see you."
She hissed, pulling up short. "You are not afraid, I need your fear, give me your fear!" she demanded.
Then I knew, she had been drowned as a witch four generations ago, but still held firm control over her increasing clan of witches. I also knew that there was a reason for their being no torches and no candles. Four generations ago, the village had chosen the wrong fate for this witch. I lunged forward grabbing the hag by the dessicated and crumbling neck. She screeched and tried to pull away. The chanting suddenly stopped. I'd had the butane feed open for a few seconds and as I brought my other hand around to her wispy dried clothing I snapped the lighter and a ball of flame erupted around my fist. Strangely, no one tried to stop me, but I could feel her terror. "My mother was Caroline Crover, now Nicoll," I said.
"Spirit Rider, be gone," she croaked,
I was hurled away, out of the dream, but knowing it was too late for her. Still I was shivering and was awake for over an hour with the echoes of the chant still in my head.

There were other snippits this morning, looking at bikini babes on the computer, then rushing off to work, later flying around in a broken down space ship that would only roll to the right.

I was also in another place where the light of day never came, but wanted to get back to my previous dream to make sure the children and other innocents were OK (Like the horse, for example, and the fiancee of my host.) I couldn't seem to re-connect. I felt the power holding me at bay fading, the terrible thing behind it gone, but that was the best I could do.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cavalcade of Weight Bearing Trusses.

I was meeting with DSmith and going over all of the platforms and Special Effects platforms we'd rigged over the years. I had the pad of 17 by 22 inch paper out and was making quick sketches of everything. I started with the scaffolding rig we rented for Oliver over 20 years ago, though not for his production. I then drew out the bed for Once Upon a Mattress, the balcony, both versions for Romeo and Juliet. Smith reminded me of the fallen tree that swung out over the orchestra pit I built for Midsummer Night's Dream. There was a flying window, and a steel cage for Dracula, the entire stage revolved for The Importance of Being Earnest, By the time we were done I'd added a number of special platforms from The Secret Garden, and the yellow brick road from The Wizard of OZ, the stage extensions and traps for various shows, the 18th floor of a 20 story building for Delusions of grandeur (Also done twice.) If I were to do it again I drew out a design for a half story below where the action takes place where we'd see a cubicle worker working away completely unaware of what was going on just the floor above. Smith then reminded me of the set for What the Bellhop Saw, with window ledges upstage and the passage from behind the bed to the WC and off stage. (There was a comic chase where folks would appear to come through the same door repeatedly, then everyone would appear and run into the center of the room from doors they "couldn't have gotten to, as in just about every Scooby Doo episode.)
The stack of paper was getting pretty thick by this time. We started to go through the stack looking for solutions to the original problem we had set out to solve. Smith wanted to have a raked stage that cantilevers out over the orchestra area by about 6 feet. I was trying to explain how the standard wooden 2x4 construction we used for stage floors would not support his sets and actors safely, We would need to go to some sort of truss and counterweight design to achieve his goal.

Nan and I were crossing Lake Hodges on foot using the new pedestrian crossing. The crossing wasn't finished yet, so we had to detour onto the bike bridge. In doing so we had to jump a 1 foot wide gap. Unfortunately the gap is about 30 feet from the lake, and Nan wouldn't jump it. There was only a rickety span of chainlink below the gap for a "safety net" and chainlink handrail high fence across the gap. That seemed to make it worse than having nothing at all for Nan. I offered to walk her back to the freeway on ramp where she could wait for me to come back and get her. Finally she just closed her eyes and stepped over to me. We made our way to the other side and climbed down a tree to get to the marshy ground rather than stay on the bridge, which had become just an open grating for the last forty feet. Nan didn't have any trouble climbing down the tree, in fact, she's the one that suggested it. I'd have rather stayed on the bridge and not gotten all muddy, but there was no way Nan could have made that walk with the breeze moving all around. Even with her eyes closed she could tell we were well above the ground. We made our way back up to the parking area, then realized the car was on the other side of the freeway, at the trailhead. I ended up taking a shortcut across the foundations of the bridge pillars. I drove around and picked Nan up. She was hungry so we went for lunch. The dream was pretty much a normal Saturday or Sunday afternoon at that point, and I started wondering when something weird and dreamlike would happen again, but it never did. Just driving, lunch, buying cat litter and food (Left the coupon behind again.) What became just truly odd and a little bit trying was just how numbingly normal it all was. I kept worrying about the mud on our feet, but Nan was oblivious to it, as was everyone else but me. At one point I took off my shoes and wiped them more or less clean in the grass of a planter. Yep, pretty much just a normal weekend afternoon once we got off the bridge. I woke up tired again, fed the cats and laid back down for a couple of hours.

That dream was in the "I'm frozen, something is sitting on my chest and I can't make a noise either." mode. In our house I likely did have something fuzzy on my chest, like T-Rex, Miranda, Chloe Lumpkin, or Ginger, perhaps even more than one of the above. T-Rex came to my rescue by tapping me on the nose with his six toed paw, demanding to be let out, his kitty legs had been crossed long enough. One of the butlers forgot to clean his pans last night, and he is fussy about his litter pans. (Go figure, an animal that will root around in the stinking garbage for a snack or a toy is fussy about a litter pan that another cat might have used recently.)

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