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Fermius Firefly

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

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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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gnome Twins, Night Terror

       I dreamed a couple of dreams. In the first I was running the male half of a pair of green-haired gnome twins. As the dream progressed, I became the gnome. We were making our way through a heavily forested area, well off the marked trail. It seemed like we were clawing our way through the ferns for quite some time before we came across a stretch of vine covered ruins. Something about them was very familiar. It took some time, but I finally figured out that we were in the ruins of a local shopping mall. The top floors had collapsed into the lower ones, but the terrain around the parking lots, and the general layout was unmistakable. I quickly ran around to the east side to verify my suspicion.
       The large concrete staircase was covered with vines, but was still there, still usable. The slab of the food court had broken and fallen into the store area below, so the stairs went up to a relatively narrow flat area with retaining walls on the east, and an opened on the west into a large pit full of broken masonry, vining plants and small trees and ferns. We sat, resting and eating, and trying to figure out if we should climb down to harvest any broken glass or other items we might find useful. I stopped to ask if it was normal to remember being someone who used to shop here.
       “No!” was the answer, “You're being haunted by a spirit of the past.” With that my twin spoke several powerful sounding words and waved a wand of some sort over me.
       The dream faded away.

       Now I was back in my own bed when I heard a crash out in front of the house. N and I went to the front door and looked out. Our neighbor's daughter, across the street, had crashed her car into the bushes in front of her home. I realized it was just a dream when I saw that the house was painted light pink with teal trim, and seemed to have grown a third story.

       I was back in bed, again, when I heard a loud crash. N was up this time, and met me at the door. Again, the neighbor's daughter had wrecked her car in front of her home. This time wedging it in between two of the palm trees that lined the path up their front walk. The house was now yellow, and there seemed to be two additional buildings involved. Again, I realized I was dreaming.

       I was back in bed, yet again. There was a loud crash. N was no where in the house so I stepped outside to see what was going on. N was all ready out in front, dressed like she was going out on a date. She looked twenty years younger (like when we met) and looked miffed that I had come out and caught her.
       “I'm just going for a walk,” she explained.
       “I could use a walk.” I said and took her hand and walked over to where our neighbor's daughter had run her car up against a concrete pillar, like the ones used in malls to prevent cars from entering. Our neighbor was fine, just a little upset about denting the car, again.
       The house was now a condominium complex with small shops on the bottom floor. It retained its yellow and pink colors from the previous two incarnations.
       As we walked I could tell N was not happy that I was with her, and as time progressed she became more an more agitated.
       “So, who are you seeing?” I finally asked.
       N started an angry denial, then got a relieved look on her face. The dream ended before she could spill the details.
       I woke from that dream unable to move, difficult to breath, sweating, all the night terror symptoms that have been greatly reduced of late.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Skimming the Moonwell

        I had a World of Warcraft dream last night. I guess I havent played enough lately so I have to play in my sleep. I was in a remote and lonely glen, the trees were turning red and gold and there was a chill in the air. I was approaching a vine-covered moonwell with caution, as I had seen something moving in the underbrush.

        When I arrived I pulled a long pole-arm off of my back, attached the skimming basket, and skimmed the leaves and bugs off of the surface of the moonwell.

        What are you doing here? a Night-Elf Priestess asked me, readying her staff to do battle.

        I am the Pool Boy of Elune, I said.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random Fantasy World Images

        I dreamed all over the place once I finally fell asleep. From hills covered with purple leaved trees to a huge beach that was made from pink quartz sand. There were giant eagles in the air and centaurs roaming the forest. Sometimes I was in the dream as an active participant, chanting with the group, or hauling up on lines which ran out into the ocean. Other times I was just a disembodied presence watching the behaviors of the creatures and people without truly understanding what was going on.

        I found myself in a blue mechanics overall with tools and parts in every pocket. I was working on some sort of semi-organic aircraft, it looked a lot like a dragonfly with an undercarriage attached with steel straps. Although it wasnt really alive, many of the parts seemed to be made of living muscle and nerve tissue. In the dream I understood where everything was connected, and had materials to patch up and repair the tissues involved. I could see the nerve impulses on a small scanner like device and then could inhibit or encourage the growth of various neural clusters to fine tune the performance of the aircraft. The repairs or modifications would take several minutes and sometimes involved the precise injection of various hormones or other chemicals. Part of the time I felt like the thing was alive and aware, even thought it wasnt supposed to be.

        I worked on the flying machines, but never got to fly them. I had a unicycle with a muscle motor assist that kept the thing balanced, and added to my motions to make the thing go about twenty miles an hour. Plenty fast for being eight feet above the ground on one wheel. You had to feed the thing regularly to keep it working. It sat in a stand with the wheel able to free wheel while the muscles idled. I called mine Tarabelle, and had created a sort of armor around it to keep the sun and rain and insects off of it. Mine was the fastest around, and didnt seem to like to work for other people too well. Again, I think the little muscle motors were more sensitive and more alive than the other mechmedics gave them credit for.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Building Spare Parts Online

Last night and this afternoon I had the same basic dream. I was working on Spare Parts, writing the database parameters and testing them in SQL. Odd dream, shifting between playing the Paper and Pencil version of the game, and then running a very basic text on-line version of the game.
Last nights version was full of repeating sequences of database table dropping and adding, testing access speeds and indexing speeds. Lots of writing down actions that players in the P&P version were taking and then trying to figure out how those action would affect the playing of the game in the interface and the way data would need to be stored and accessed.
This afternoon was more focused on a group of us “playing” the game, trying out various actions and checking the rate at which skills increased and wealth accumulated. There was a rudimentary 3D interface with a sort of control panel centered under the character.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beach Costume Contest

        I dreamed than N and I, as well as several other couples we know, were at a beach near a dock. There was some sort of Fantasy Faire going on and we were all dressed in different costumes. R and M were a Gnome warlock  and his Succubus. They won the contest hands down. What was funny about that is that neither of them play World of Warcraft, and N and I had made the costumes for them. (We came in third with me as an Undead Mage and N as a Dwarf Hunter.)

        Sadly, I dont remember who came in 2nd place. As the contest closed we all went out along the beach for a barbeque, and the water came rolling in, forcing us to retreat to the boardwalk.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Crash Survival, Emergency Wing

        I dreamed that N and I along with several of our friends were making our way down the ridgeline overlooking a small stream. I had the impression that we had crashed on the mountain and were making our way down to what we hoped would be civilization. We were trying to stay under the cover of the trees as much as possible, as there were alien invaders flying around in this part of the world. (I believe that is how we crashed.) I didnt have the kind of panic that I get in some of these running from danger type of dreams. As we picked our way carefully along the game trail near the top of the ridge, we heard a whoosh from above.

        A silvery glowing shape soared overhead. Then crashed into some trees not far from us, down into the river valley. We ran over to see if we could render assistance. There was a man in a flying squirrel-like contraption stuck in some willows. I climbed up and helped him out of the flying wing, S and A helped get him safely to the ground. I then took the time to work the craft out of the willow and we lowered it to the ground as well.

        The man was a pilot, and the flying suit was a new test escape vehicle for our newest fighter craft. It was based on alien technology, a flying wing that was also a super light heat shield. You could bail out even at sub orbital heights and survive re-entry burn. Which this pilot had actually done. We helped him fold the thing up and used some of the cords that I had in my bag to tie it all together as the packing case was long gone.

N asked if I was going to try flying it later. I wanted to, but I also was more concerned about getting us down out of the mountains to safety as a group. We attended to the pilots injuries, splinting what looked like a broken leg, and then took turns towing him on a makeshift travois, keeping his leg elevated.

        The pilot verified that there was a town at the base of the mountains that straddled the stream we were following. He traveled with us for some time until a thrust vectored military vessel arrived to rescue him. He left the flying wing with us, as a thank you for rescuing him. Unfortunately there wasnt enough room for all of us, and they were pretty sure to attract alien attention if they came back for the other two. I volunteered to stay behind, as did S. We helped the rest climb up to the military vessel. They promised to drop A and our wives off in town before heading back to their base. The pilot kicked out another of the flying wings to us, warning us that there was a cliff and a waterfall, so it would come in handy. Aim for the lake, he shouted as they pulled away.

        S wanted to try to use our cord to climb down, but I was actually looking forward to gliding down to the lake. I found a sloped meadow for us to practice on and we did a couple of gentle glides, practicing the slowdown flair and drop at the base of the meadow so we wouldnt hit the water too hard later. It took longer to figure out how to get into the thing than it did to actually learn how to control it.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You, Kids, Git Off My Lawn. Paper and Apes

        I dreamed I was performing in a comedy quartet. The stage we got to was without a microphone. There was an audience of about 700, and I knew that things would be tough for my co-members (An Asian man, a Black woman and an Hispanic man.) I spotted some microphones off to the side of the stage, so ran over to them.

        I pretended the cables were too short to make it all the way to the center of the stage. So I pretended the wire pulled me up short and did a pratfall. Laughs everywhere. I pulled one of the mikes off and handed it to the Asian man, who seemed to be the groups leader.

        Wireless, I spoke into the other mic.

        He took the mike and looked at it, held it to his lips.

        Really? He asked, and I actually said into the other mic in a really fake accent, “rearry?

        More laughter.

        He looked at me and turned back to the audience. I proceeded to mimic them doing their introductions, getting a ton of laughs. When I got to the last one I switched over to really bad Spanish. The other two glared at me.

        I dropped the nine or ten hoops of mic cable on my microphone, offering it to my last victim. Gales of laughter. He took the mic, pointing me to the corner. I left the stage and brought out a ream of 11x17 paper and a stool. I pulled out a sheet, turned my back to the audience, and made a quick dunce cap. More laughter.

        While the three of them did their first routine, which I knew would end in them acting like kids playing statue maker, I made several other paper props. (A samurai hat, an apron a bishops miter, and a GI style flat cap.)

        You, kids, Git off My Lawn.

        Huge amounts of laughter from the audience. The three stopped, shocked. (Well fake shocked.)

        I switched to the bishops miter. Blessed Children all full of innocent laughter, I said in a gentle voice, GIT OFF MY LAWN OR BURN IN HELL!

        I switched to the samurai hat, apparently we were in Japan or somewhere with a large Japanese population, the audience laughed for about three minutes, every time they would start to die down I would start with Eeeee! and the laughter would start up again.

        I then said You, kids, get off my lawn! in Japanese. (I had learned it by rote along with several other Japanese non-sequitors.) The audience said it along with me. Apparently they knew this part of the act.

        I then switched to the apron. You kids, milk and cookies? I held up three paper cylinders. Theyre not poison, really.

        The three of them shrunk back in terror.

        I took off the apron and stuck out my gut. I just got a new kitten, you wanna come inside and see? In my most pervy voice.

        Now thats just wrong! the black woman chided me, pointing back to my stool. I put on my dunce cap and sat down with my back to the audience. More laughter. I started folding as they did their next bit.

        Lots of audience participation and at the point where they were doing their war movie satire, I switched back to the military flat cap and threw a paper airplane out towards the audience, rat at at at at at, I made machine gun noises. The plane flipped over, releasing a handful of confetti and then spiraling out of control into the front row.


I saluted my partners. Mission accomplished, sir.

More laughter.

I pulled out another paper airplane to throw at the audience.

        No, youll put some ones eye out! and

        We dont have enough insurance.

        I crunched it up in a little ball while they were yelling at me and flipped it out to the audience from behind my back.

        All three of them pointed to the stool when I pulled out yet another plane. I started back to the stool and then turned back and tossed it at their backs. I turned around, feigning innocence.


        The plane looped up into the air, flipped and came back, striking me in the head. Another pratfall. More laughs. I slowly go up, sat on the stool, turned around, and put on the dunce cap. The Asian came over and stomped on the plane. I mimed sobs and when they were fully ensconced in their next bit I slipped down and recovered the plane. I smoothed it out and when the next bit was done tossed it at them, they ducked and it sailed all the way out to the last rows of the theater.

         Oooh! and Ahhh! like the audience was watching fireworks.

        That was the best one yet. The woman said.

        No blood. I responded.

        Mom, lets go see the monkey! the Hispanic gentleman said in a childlike voice.

        I quickly wadded up paper and stuffed it into my over-sized back pockets. Then the gorilla impersonation, complete with big butt sticking out to the audience. The troupe teased me for awhile; I did the beating on chest thing, the puffing out my cheeks thing, and finally I reached behind me and took out a wad of paper from my back pocket and threw it at them, they ran off screaming. I then beat my chest at the audience and did the same. I climbed up on the stool and tossed some paper airplanes into the air around my head, swatting them out of the sky.

        Huge amounts of screams and laughter. The rest of my troupe came out in safari hats with big nets and dragged me off.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Law of the Sea, Fractal Wings, Spare Parts MMO

        I dreamed I was piloting an auto gyro along the route of a large convoy of ships crossing the Atlantic ocean. I was trying to keep the group apprised of vessels that might be having difficulties, and I was also ferrying medications and dropping them from the my craft on a long rope, then using the same to pick up other items for transfer to other vessels.

        During one trip I came across a pontoon helicopter that had flipped in the choppy ocean. I had to threaten to not deliver things to a nearby ship to get them to divert. What ever happened to the Law of the Sea, I found myself asking over the radio.  I flew low and dropped my life preserver down to the helicopter, hoping there would be a survivor or two who could use it.

        I then dreamed that I built a fractal box-kite that had as much lifting surface as a regular glider, but fit in a pair of 18 inch by 30 inch box kites mounted across my shoulders. They made quite the humming noise as I glided around the neighborhood.

        I dreamed I was helping test the Spare Parts MMO, and the graphics were still in a very crude state, but good enough to get folks juiced up about the game. Lots of character issues were coming to light, and everyone of the testing group had a long list of things they felt they should be able to do in the game. I knew we couldnt do many of them without a large game master presence.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pixelated Dreams.

        I dreamed that N and I were avatars in a MMO that seemed to be some sort of mix of science fiction and crime drama. We were in a car that sped up for no apparent reason and slid sideways into a large block of pixels, which I understood to be a department store. I zoomed out and saw that we were being targeted by a UFO. It was firing little yellow blurps of pixels at our car, each one accelerating it in the direction of the building.

        We jumped and rolled out of the car, N firing some sort of laser at the UFO and I summoned up something from the road below it with hundreds of slick purple tentacles. The UFO was held in place and Ns laser made short work of it. Neither of us was hurt, but the boxlike car was a total wreck. We had to walk to our destination, which was a flying building of sorts. We stepped into a column of light to be whisked up to the reception level.

        There was a part of my mind, while this low resolution madness was going on, that was monitoring the game mechanics in the background, determining how the game play and the character stats were interacting. I was trying to determine whether the outcome of the various encounters felt proper based on the mechanics. We re-ran the whole scenario in different modes, we survived in the Anime Mode, barely survived in the Heroic Science Mode and cleaned house in the Urban Fantasy Mode. We didnt fare so well, died in the car wreck, in Gritty Realism mode and in Crime Drama mode. (Both of the last two modes looked pretty much the same except for the player stat restrictions.) All of the systems used the Spare Parts core, just with different limits on attributes and resources, and the character point meta abilities. (Lucky SOB and Cheat Death were two of the meta abilities in Crime Drama mode, for example.)

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Farming, Solo

        I dreamed I was throwing large sacks of grain up onto the back of a stake-bed truck. I was working under a dark gray sky, there were rumblings of thunder in the air around me. I ran past the cab of the truck and grabbed another sack to toss up into the bed as the truck rolled by. Then tossed two more and repeated the activity.

        I noticed there was no one driving the truck, it had its wheel tied down and a rope trailed out behind the truck, tied to the gear shift. It looked like I could pull the rope to take the truck out of gear.

        I looked around at the field, there were still several rows to put in the back of the truck, and I was the only one around. I found myself wondering if it would be worth creating a rotating hook mechanism to snag the bags from the back of the truck, then I would just have to unhook them and stack them behind me, rather than throwing them up onto the truck. The bags were fairly heavy, about 30 pounds each, perhaps a little more. With the right sort of hook, I figured I could double or triple the size of the bags, making this part of the job much faster.

        As I ran from sack to sack I found myself calculating how many days of food I would be able to make from the bags of grain, and realized the harvest was not particularly large. I would have to do a bit more hunting to get through the winter. Perhaps I would be able to find more blackberries in the forests at the edge of my property.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Low Space Game Day

        I dreamed that we were having a game day, and for some reason we were running the RP game on the seat of my rocking chair in my office, rather than on the floor, or on a desk or table. Because the chair is not perfectly flat the miniatures and scenery were always on the edge of toppling over. We did also have a card game running on the floor, one that I had created, apparently.

We had to take turns going into the room and taking turns in the various games because there is only room in the office for two to three people at a time. I dont know why we werent in the living room and front room.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Flu Dreams

       I have been quite sick, and that always leads to some interesting dream. Unfortunately, that is also coupled with no desire to sit and record those dreams. Here is what I remember, though, from the past few days.

       N and I were walking along a narrow bit of blacktop in an eerily abandoned seeming bit of woods and broken down homes. The air was still, no sounds of birds or insects, some small bit of heat coming from the roadway kept the chill in the air from being too severe. As we strolled I spotted a bright orange cone sticking out of the roadway. The cone was small, about three quarters of a centimeter across and a centimeter tall. As I drew near I saw that the last couple of millimeters of the cone was silvery. There was a sudden crack! Simultaneous with a zing! The crack was the cone bouncing past my ribs and lodging in my shoulder blade. I think I experienced the crack first as it was inside my body, while the zing was outside.
       I fell in a hump on the ground, consciousness fading away. N leaned down over me to see what was the matter. I couldn't catch my breath to warn N, I could see that there were dozens of the little cones on the road in the direction we were headed.

       A couple of nights later, I dreamed I was trying to get across the stage in between acts of a talent show. I would wait for the lights to dim, and then make my way to another set piece. It took me a couple of acts to make it across the stage. When I got there, I was greeted by some visiting dignitaries, and my boss. I described the recent improvements to the theater, and suggested that we could walk around outside to get to the dimmer rack and the new stage manager's tablet workstation on the other side of the stage, as the students were in the middle of a performance.
       "Nonsense, follow me," my boss said and led the group across the stage behind a dance routine/air band performance.
       I apologized to the assistant stage manager and went around the outside during the catcalling and laughter from the audience. When I got there my boss was angry that I hadn't warned him that there was an audience. I could tell that he really felt he hadn't been warned, but the rest of the dignitaries seemed to look at me with understanding. The stage manager was one of my former students, now in her mid twenties and with that slender but solid adult look that teens can only wish for. She greeted me warmly and demonstrated how she was in contact with the control booth in the back of the house to call the shots for the lighting and special effects queues. My boss wanted her to show off the special chase effects and the computer program used to create the light queues, but both she and I reminded him that there was a show going on. (Now there was a dramatic scene being performed by lip-syncing dialog read by audience participants.) I could tell my boss was disappointed. I had recommended against this particular timing in our planning meetings.

       This morning's dream was much more abstract, all shifting planes of various blues and greens, with a bright orange and yellow ribbon that wove around and through a multitude of the planes.
       There was music, the "Macarena" I think it was, and the sensation of other beings flowing along the ribbon with me, all looking to debark into their own particular blue or green plane. I had no idea how I was supposed to locate my particular plane, or even if I was moving in the right direction. A fellow traveller, or perhaps a passing thought, indicated that the ribbon was infinite. With some anxiety, I realized that it would be very easy to go too far in a direction. Though, thankfully, the ribbon seemed to be pretty much one dimensional, with no directions to go but forward and back. I could see indications of other ribbons woven through the planes, but knew, or was told, that you had to enter a plane to transfer to one of them. So I should easily be able to get back to the right plane simply by zig-zagging back and forth a little further afield each time on this same ribbon. I was fairly certain that I hadn't gotten off the ribbon I'd started on. I turned around and the "Macarena" got louder, so I felt that I was now headed in the right direction.

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