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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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mesa Evacuation

       Random dream images. Most have faded, and remember the one with a plot, or at least an identifiable sequence of events.
       I have returned from Comic-Con with a flu-like illness that has made sleeping and dreaming difficult. I did dream rather extensively, but everything is in a jumble.
       I was in Little Red driving on twisty mountain roads, until I made it to a high valley. I was returning, so knew things were going to be crowded. I pitched my tent underwater in a small stand up pool like my brother's. I then went and found where people I knew were camped and helped them stake out a claim to a campsite in a very crowded cafeteria. I had the impression that LH was being evacuated, as were hundreds of other people. I was not, however, and that is why my campsite was in the pool. We couldn't hold on to the campsite against the crush of people, so I had them follow me out to the pool where we could easily see my tent sitting on the bottom of the pool. We swam down to it and entered through a double flap that kept the water out, and importantly, the air in.
       I had to make up some sort of tech mumbo-jumbo to explain how it worked, and how it was large enough for three people to stand up side by side and walk around in, even though the tent fit completely under water in a four foot deep pool.”The fact that it's dry in here wasn't odd enough?”
       I jumped in Little Red and made my way down the winding road off the mesa and into the night time desert. I called up a topo map, it was centered on the mesa and I carefully looked at the terrain, finding another mesa several miles away with several undercut sections, just the sort of place one might have a secret hideout. It was high and there were no roads around it.
       I highlighted where I wanted to go on the map and Little Red went. There was a lurching falling sensation and I cleared the map from the window. We were hovering in the air above a huge futuristic city. There were huge billboards and large completely enclosed pyramids whose transparent walls showed them to be full of trees and crops growing in the pyramid themselves. There were tall spires with advertisements for movie studios on them. Most were still working, animated, but I noticed that there were dozens of signs and whole buildings, for that matter, that were greyed out, no power, their facades shattered or stained, their glass dulled. It was towards one of these that I drove/flew.
       I stopped at the fourth floor from the top of a likely building. Or at least I tried to. It seems that Little Red wasn't particularly designed to fly. It was more like falling, without style.
       There I was helped into a dentist's chair. I kept telling the orderlies that I would be OK, giving lie to the large quantities of blood running down my face and covering my shirt and kilt. The doctor's there had marked up the wounds on my face and neck as to which was the most important to stitch up first. I told them to skip the neck wounds, and when I looked in the mirror next to the operating table, I could see that they were almost gone.
       “You have a white (Unintelligible Mumble) around each of these wounds. You should have yourself screened for (More Unintelligible Mumble) soon.”
       I looked at the doctor as he approached for the third time with yet another smaller suture. “Why can't you run that test?”
       “I'm not licensed.”
       “Then why am I letting you stitch me up.”
       “You aren't, each puncture wounds is now just small hematoma, We should still open it up and clean it out, but...what are you?”
       I opened up the blue tent, and quickly had everyone step out the tent door into the empty ark (one of the large pyramids, now abandoned). L volunteered to help the evacuees all make the dive into the pool and his brother R agreed to stay at this end of the tent to help them with their stuff.
       People streamed down into the abandoned ark awed by the number of fruit trees still growing. Several people came to me and asked if they could go to the power room because they were engineers. They wanted to get the geothermal plant back on line.
       I found myself swimming in the pool, wondering how I could transfer the water to the building, that was one resource we might run a little bit short of with well over 10,000 people leaving the evacuation center. I was distracting the authorities while people queued up behind them to jump into the pool. L was having them each take a closed bottle of the pool with them as they made their way into the tent, several kids were bringing bottles by the bagful from the recycling bins. Apparently the pool was hooked up to some sort of automatic filling system, as the level never got any lower, even with thousands of 20 ounce bottles and some not small number of one and two liter bottles being taken out as well. I filled a plastic trash bag with as much water as it could hold (about ten liters) and made it back to the ark. I jumped back through with several handfuls of empty bags.
       Later I found a control room, mostly intact, and set the window surfaces to be hydrophobic. When the morning dew collected, the water would wash off the ark's windows and roll down into the collection basins at the base of the ark. I knew there would be a muddy sludge to deal with, as the self cleaning cycle for the windows had long gone dormant. We would have to find a use for the micro fine ashy debris that would be washed down.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Undead Head, GR and Wilderness Party, Terrorists Attack in China

       Before the first dream with any sort of a plot there were dozens of twisting random images, little vignettes drawn from my past, both real and fictional. I had the random Yellow and black warped checkerboard patterns that typically mark the onset of a headache. (Feeling OK so far. I did sleep 13 hours though, so I may just have slept through it.)

       In the first dream I was with a group of archaeologists and soldiers were guarding us. I was there with a considerable set of lights and cameras to document their find. The forested area quickly gave way to a dead scar of a hole in which there were several large stone walls with images depicting feather and bead wearing warriors in battle with skeletal men and beasts. I commented that these were laid out like a warning, blocking progress to the cave like hole at the back of the scar, rather than lining the way, as much of this style of architecture seemed to do in other places. The archaeologists argued about that as I set up my solar powered light kits to take photos of the first monolithic carvings. I did a walk around with the HD steady cam first, and then settled in to taking shots in high resolution stereoscopic vision of the details of the monolith.
       I was not present when the accident occurred. One of the porters tripped over some old jaguar bones and fell into a vine covered hole. If it weren't for the stone pillars at the bottom of the pit he might have survived. We gathered for a memorial, after which I found a stone which depicted this place. I showed a head deep under a pile of large stones in the back of the cave, and showed the victorious army hauling away the dead from around this place. It was odd that for what the archaeologists thought to be a necropolis there were so few bones, the jaguar not withstanding. I suggested that this illustration explained where the bones were all buried.
       I promised in the morning to take the helium balloon up and see if I could spot the location on the carving.
       In the night, we were awakened by the clang of pick against stone. “Antiquities thieves,” was my first thought. The soldiers were running towards the noise, weapons drawn. The team leader was yelling at them not to shoot, the carvings were too precious. There was a yell and then several shots were fired. I had brought my night shot camera and was able to see the soldiers clustered around one of their own, and the body of the porter long before the narrow madly sweeping beams of the soldiers settled on the scene. I fired up one of my portable instruments, flooding the cavern with a diffuse cool light. The porter's body had several bloodless bullet holes in it, a soldier lay dying with a pick stuck through his body armor directly through his heart.
       Quite the argument ensued, with the lead archaeologist insisting that their man had somehow injured himself and they had shot the dead porter to cover for him. The soldiers insisted that their dead comrade had waken them and then run into the cave mere seconds before themselves, some weren't even properly buckled into their body armor, they had suited up so quickly to follow him. They felt that the porter had been faking his death and was really a thief. Neither story fit the elements of the scene before us, and a couple of the archaeologists and myself took the time to look at some of the stonework in the cave, it was dramatic, showing the funerary practice of decapitation and them crushing the skulls before taking them far away from the other remains. And all of it taken far away from the cave where a single crushed skull was buried.
       Seriously creepy. I asked if any of them had ever read comics or watched horror movies, because “this sure looks like a big red and yellow international 'get out of here and don't leave any bodies lying around' sign to me.” I snapped some photos of the crime scene, as I was sure there would be some later inquisition. We went back to the main group, who decided that a live jaguar must have dragged the body of the porter down here and the pick must have fallen on the soldier when someone panicked in the dark and dislodged it from above. I refrained from pointing out that the above part of the cave was some 30 meters from where someone had obviously been digging. A foot thick layer of ash and cave dust had been thrust aside and the pick had scored several chunks out of a fired clay dome. I immediately saw what had happened here thousands of years ago. Whoever had commanded the enemy army had been dismembered and his crushed skull had been mixed in with clay and then a huge fire had been set on top and all around to harden the clay.
       The lead archaeologist agreed with me and the team started to carefully dig out the over sized bust of a large skull. They X-rayed it, and found that there was indeed a skull in the center of the fired clay, or at least a skull shaped cavity, they were pretty sure the skull itself would have been reduced to ash in the firing of the clay. I wasn't so sure just based on the thickness of the clay.
       “Someone really was afraid of this guy.” I said as I documented more of the carvings and the clay skull itself. “They did everything they could to make sure he was absolutely isolated in his afterlife.” I thought that if they'd had enough stone they would have filled in the opening of the cave. Then I realized, that if they had filled it with loose stones, the native population would have long ago looted them for their own construction projects.
       Another night, another interruption. This time the dead porter and the dead soldier were at the scene. Fortunately there had been no other casualties. The three foot diameter clay skull was destroyed. The skull which had been encased in clay was free. Two picks were on the ground.
       Several of the guards crossed themselves, as did a couple of the archaeologists. No one wanted to touch the bodies to move them back to our makeshift morgue. Finally we drew straws, even the archaeologists participated. Only the military captain and the expedition leader excused themselves. Not very sporting of them, I thought. I drew one of the short straws along with a young soldier. She looked terrified. I suggested that we go get body bags first and then move them in the bags.
       Back at the morgue and storage tent, we discovered the remnants of their previous body bags. Neither of us said anything, but we were both thinking how pointless this was, and that no leopard or jaguar tore open the body bags and then took the bodies out and down into the cave.
       “Please, let's just hurry up and get this done!” the soldier's voice quavered as she encouraged me to stop looking over the bodies before putting them in the bags.
       “Just looking for claw and tooth marks.”
       “I don't want to know. I want to get back to the campfire. Surround myself with high explosives and automatic weapons. We're sleeping in our body armor the rest of this trip. I feel sorry for you guys.”
       “OK. Thanks. If we do have walking dead, shoot for the head.”
       “Is that something you learned in archeology classes?”
       “No, Zombie movies.”
       That made her laugh, an uncomfortable laugh, but a laugh.
       We finished our chore and used a day's ration of water to clean up afterwards.
       The team lead and a couple of his anthropologists were still up looking at the skull. They were discussing how best to preserve it from the moist jungle air. It looked like the dessicated flesh was becoming soft in the moist air. They didn't have a freezer, but did have some large zip seal bags. I offered them some of the desiccant packs I used with my camera gear. They bagged the skull, after I took a few shots, and tossed in nearly all my spare desiccant packs. I fell asleep working out how to rotate my remaining stock to keep my equipment and media dry. I moved all of the media into a single pouch. I would have to plan my shoots more carefully but that would save some space and allow me to rotate packs by drying some every night by the fire.
       I awoke to another commotion. The Team lead was yelling at the Captain and vise versa, both accused the other of moving the bodies during the night. Soldiers and archaeologists gathered behind their respective leaders. The porters and I making a sort of loose third grouping. I snapped a shot of the argument and both pointed at me and shouted in unison “Put that thing away!”
       “Is the skull missing, too?” I took the moment to interject my personal fear.
       “You and your monster movie logic.”
       “Is it?” asked the Captain.
       Turns out, it was.
       I had a really bad feeling.
       The soldier who helped me move the bodies was talking animatedly to her comrades until their Captain called them to attention. “That's enough, soldier.”
       The attack started almost immediately after the Captain entered the specimen tent.
       Old moss covered and mostly headless skeletons poured over the edge of the scar and stumbled towards the camp. Bullets did little unless there was a direct hit on bone. Grenades were better. There seemed to be little coordination to the skeletal movement and they collapsed readily if you hit them hard enough. I realized that our two expedition members were not amongst the attackers.
       “This is just a diversion!” I yelled at the Captain.
       “Well, it's working. We're penned in here.”
       “Stop shooting at them and just hit them. He doesn't know what guns are yet.”
       “Who he?”
       I pointed up to the top of the scar at the only point that overlooked our entire camp. There was the porter, holding up a nearly fully fleshed out skull that looked like it was looking out over us. I didn't see the soldier. “Your soldier, get to his tent, make sure it doesn't get his gear.”
       I ran to the soldiers compound, smacking tottering skeletons out of my way with my heavy tripod. The compound was empty save for a couple of randomly moving skeletons. I looked around, wishing that I had the helium balloon ready for flight. I spotted a couple of porters trying to run for it and called them back. Too late.
       They fell under a mass of flailing limbs and a few moment later stood up and shambled to the supply tent and ducked inside.
       “The supply tent.” they're in the supply tent.
       None of the soldiers or others wanted to move out of their defensive circle. The three recently dead left the supply tent with arm loads of axes, picks and other hand tools. They didn't seem to have any guns or grenades.
       “Shoot them in the head, the head is the only way to stop them!”
       “Stand down! We're not shooting our own.”
       The headless skeletons collapsed, and the porter and his grisly burden vanished back beyond the forest's edge.
       “They're dead, Captain, they aren't on our side any more.”
       The Captain refused to believe that they were actually dead. “It's some sort of jungle disease, made us think they were dead.”
       “Hello, bullet holes in the porter, your platoon shot him up after he was dead the first time. No bleeding, any of that ring a bell.”
       The Captain still refused to fire on his people.
       “I have photos.” I offered.
       The Captain pushed me aside and called his senior staff to him. “We'll call to evacuate the rest of you until this can be sorted out.” He watched the two porters and his former soldier retreat behind the brush at the mouth of the scar. Through the afternoon we could hear the sounds of digging on what I had called skull hill from the illustration on the first wall as we entered the scar. One squad of soldiers moved the skeletons out of the compound. I was stunned by the amount of flesh that was on them, ligaments, threads of muscle, it was disconcerting. “How could there be any flesh left on them, they've been in the dirt for hundreds of years?”
       No one had an answer.
       “We should cremate them,” one of the soldiers offered. “they aren't going to get up and walk around after that.”
       I agreed, but the bone guys fought the idea. “look at what we can learn from this!”
       “You're all leaving, we will take care of this.”
       The helicopters arrived. I put my media on with a research assistant, who wouldn't stop crying, and I strapped on my heaviest tripod and the dead soldier's body armor.
       “I'm officially embedded with your platoon, Captain, it's a pleasure to be your photographer.” I showed him my press credentials.
       “Shit. Just what I need.”
       As the last helicopter full of scientists and porters left I turned to the Captain, “Let's get those bones cremated.”
       He looked at me, looked up at the helicopter, then looked back at me and smiled. I had all ready put my camera bags down and was pulling on work gloves.
       “Get to it.” He called out to his platoon sergeant.
       We piled bones, some still moving, and some kindling, everything was too damp to light.
       “Phosphor grenade.”
       The bright white hot grenade burnt down through the bones and caught the damp wood ablaze in just a few seconds. The pile was still burning when the first group of skeletons came down into the scar, wielding axes and picks taken from the supply tent.
       “Fall back to the cave, that will concentrate them.”
       I was thinking that would do the same thing to us, but knew better than to interrupt the command. I was no longer a voting member of the team, I had only one function, to record these events for history. I took that seriously, running and uploading the first images of zombie attackers. Every bunch we knocked down was replaced by another bunch who ran inhumanly fast, pickup up the weapons and renewed the attack. We were pushed further back into the cave. In one lull in the action I ran out and wrestled a couple of axes from still struggling undead grasp. One of the sergeants joined me and we managed to bring a half dozen weapons back to the troops.
       The next group of attackers was even faster and had more flesh on their ancient bones. They swung harder and we took some injuries. I caught the whole thing on video.
       “We have to keep cremating them, reduce their resources,” the Captain called for his troops to spread out and drag the still wriggling corpses back to the cremation fire that was still burning.
       The dead necromancer threw everything he had at us, several soldiers were buried under flailing undead.
       “Shoot the head, shoot their heads!” the woman soldier shouted above the din of combat.
       I found myself wishing I was armed, as I didn't expect that there would be any prisoners taken here. I knew there was a hunting rifle in the supply tent, so I slipped off to get it. Upon leaving the supply tent I spotted our original porter. He was up at the tree line, holding up a fully regenerated head that was now perched on a ligament covered skeletal frame. I sighted the head through the camera and took several photos. I ran back to the Captain and pointed out where the enemy commander was located.
       The dream became more disjointed at that point. I started shooting the hunting rifle, shattering skulls and occasionally ancient obsidian swords. We had to fall back to the cave again after taking several casualties, and then having to kill them again. We could tell the undead entity was trying to figure out the guns, so several of us risked pulling the dead soldiers back to the cave with us, taking their arms away and using plastic cable ties to secure their hands and feet. The freshly dead weren't as strong and fast as the long dead. Several of the dead had old carved masks on their skulls. Bullets bounced off of the masks and we had to hit them from behind with the axes to do any damage. Frequently the only way to get them to slow down enough was to wait for them to attack someone else and strike while the tried to wrench their weapons free.
       Eventually the undead leader made his appearance in the cave, he was not easy to dispatch, he was faster than I could follow with the camera. We pushed him back and the flash from a stun grenade slowed him long enough for one of the soldiers to get off a head shot. All of the undead in the cave slowed to a crawl and we managed to dispatch them easily. I made my way over to the undead head. The bullet damage was already mending.
       “It's regenerating!”
       “Not on my watch,” the Captain stepped up with a Phosphorous grenade and shoved it in the still moving jaws. “I don't want to hear anything you have to say.” He pulled the pin and we all pulled back as the skull exploded and burned.
       An unearthly moaning filled the air and in the place of the burned skull was a gem encrusted mask with gold and silver feathers splayed upwards over the eyes for nearly a foot and a half of decoration.
       “Where did that come from?”
       “I don't know, never saw it before.”
       “Don't touch it.” I offered. Everyone turned to look at me. “It's hot.” I pointed to where the phosphorous was still burning nearby in a pool of rocky glass.
       I kept shooting video from the HD strapped to my shoulder, but took out the still camera to get shots of the mysterious mask and the remains of our victory.
       The mask faded as the head turned to ash and the grenade cooled.

       In a later dream I met up with GR, he had a new Humvee that he'd gotten for a very good deal, and he drove me up into the hills to meet some friends of his. There were places where the road wasn't actually as wide as the vehicle and I commented that we should have taken Little Red (my Honda Insight.) Somehow during the party I got very wet with some sort of sticky food-like substance. The hosts only had women's clothing, and nothing like pants that would fit. I agreed to wear a T-shirt and a sarong while my own clothing went through the wash.
       GR said I should take off the T-shirt and juggle burning torches. We went out to the pool deck and I juggled for a bit. I only nearly burned myself a half dozen times before I managed to find the rhythm.
       I stayed in the sarong because the women somehow “lost” my pants. “That's the biggest thing that's ever vanished from our dryer. It happens sometimes. We usually get something else a couple of days later. That's how we got this kilt and that sarong.” I asked to try on the kilt, but it was just a bit too large, it fit GR just fine, though, and he changed into the kilt.
       An obviously Polynesian woman came up to me and rearranged the sarong so that it covered a good part of my chest and went over one arm. “That's another way to wear it when it gets a little cooler at night.”
       We danced for a bit and she tried to teach me some Polynesian moves, though not the ones I was really becoming interested in. She smiled, “Later, baby.”
       GR similarly found himself the center of attention of a pair of busty redheads.
       My new Polynesian friend offered to take me back to her place, and then home to the city in the morning. I decided that I didn't really seem to miss my pants. Her place was also in the mountains, but we rode in a tiny little smart-car sized vehicle to get there, so the roads seemed plenty wide enough. Her house was decorated in yellows and browns. I explained that yellow was one of my favorite colors, and the browns almost exactly matched my Hawaiian shit. I pretended I blended into her walls.
       We were talking over tea when GR showed up to take me home. “She's a he, man.” he whispered in my ear. I thought about it a second, and decided that it didn't matter, I was really enjoying myself.
       “I'll get a ride down the hill later. Enjoy the girls,” I waved to the redheads who were both in the front passenger seat.
       GR grunted good night and drove off.
       “He told you I'm a man, didn't he.”
       “Yes, and not a problem. I'm enjoying our visit.”
       “Its not true,” she showed me her breasts, berry sized nipples and firm natural shape. “I have female bits down here, too.”
       She did, and also small male parts. I asked her how she kept so slender as most hermaphrodites tended to a certain largeness.
       “Good genes, weird, but good.”
       We resumed our chat and our tea, and dancing. “When you agreed to wear the sarong, I knew you were someone I could talk to. I just had a good feeling about you.”
       “It was all the magic sarong.”

       In a still later dream (I slept 13 hours for some reason.) I was watching television in the lobby of a large hotel in China. I had won some sort of contest and was at the Olympics for a week. The lobby exploded into a confusion of flying glass and body parts. After I unburied myself I found myself facing a Chinese man who was crying and holding his shoe out to me, with his broken off foot still in it. I almost passed back out. I move the table off of me and gently took the foot from him and set it down in the box he was sitting in. I managed to get the attention of some police but they only wanted to take me out not help the man who had his shin bone sticking out of the remains of his leg.
       I stopped and went back to the man taking off my belt I threaded it under his thigh and improvised a tourniquet. The police let me finish and then half carried me over the rubble. As I went by a part of the bar mirror, still against the wall, I saw that half my own face was hanging and my scalp was on crooked. No wonder they were trying to get me to the ambulance, I looked pretty bad.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Time Door, Sirocco

Time Door

       I dreamed of a duel direction sliding glass door. The dream was interrupted and then continued when I returned to sleep. The early portions of the dream are sketchy now.

       The door was in the back wall of a house like my parent's house. Plain, single level, four bedroom (rather than 3) and a couple of baths. It was on a low rise surrounded by trees and fields (long fallow) when the dream began.

       For several of the jumps, Red Paw was with me. Short jumps into the future, the “Where have you been gone?” sort of jumps. Coming back and finding the furniture dusty and not much else has changed. Finding a child of about eight, who'd been missing for years wandering in the back yard, crying because this was his house, not ours.

       A ferret, but much larger than a modern ferret, and calico. His collar was also a camera and highly futuristic. Red Paw found him wandering on the patio I build outside the door. They became friends in a very short couple of days.

       Jumping to the past, delivering the missing child, changed the future. Pure blind luck we arrived anywhere close to the right time. The kid's parents had abandoned the house, thinking it was haunted, and because of the slight recession and people moving to the big city, the house was empty when we landed. Their contact information was on the front door, though, and we were able to call and leave the kid for them. We were within about a year of when he vanished. Red Paw and I didn't stay around to answer questions.

       I appeared outside the house after dropping the kid off. I had to break into the house to jump again, there was no longer any contact information on the door. The former owners didn't answer their old phone number. Red Paw and I jumped slightly into the future again. The house was completely boarded up and I had to break in to allow us access to the door mechanism. We oversleep and the jump landed us far into our future. The current owners of the house don't even know there is a door there, as it has been covered.        Red Paw and I tiptoed out of the back yard and greet the woman of the house, she was gardening in the front yard. I explain that we were taking a walk and “We've gotten ourselves so lost, we don't know what year it is.”
       The woman tells us the year, enjoying the “joke”. I should've been 99 years old, and Red long dead. We talk a while. The woman invites us in, we meet her father and husband. The husband comes back from the study with a framed photo. It is of Red. “He looks just like this cat!”
       “He is that cat. We used to live here.”
       Everyone laughed.
       “There were more photos upstairs. Just a second. The husband ran up into the attic with a jaunty bounce. He returned with several photos and paintings. Frowning.
       “Just what is going on here!” he demanded, putting the photos and paintings on their table. There was a photo showing me and Red with N and several other cats. I emptied my wallet, credit cards, money everything was from the past.
       “There's a bored time machine under the house. I know it would be more convincing if I was from your future, but it is what it is.”
       He turned over the photograph. “It is what it is” was written on the back in my handwriting.
       We all sat looking at one another in stunned silence.
       We took out the pony wall to reveal the old sliding door frame behind the wall's footer. It was marked in increments about half a centimeter apart all along its length. Numbers on the one side, and numbers with plus and minus on the other. I had trouble figuring out what they might mean. “These weren't here when I jumped. I get the feeling I will eventually figure out how to operate it, and when I do, I'll try to leave instructions. I can't imagine we would sell the house without the instructions, unless that's why this is closed off. I hope I figure it out.
       We became friends, in large part thanks to Red Paw, who was a little charmer. It took a couple of days, but we were able to clear the wall. I set the thing for what seemed like would be a relative jump to my home time, and stepped through after suggesting they wall the thing up when I was gone. I think that is the only time in the dream there were witnesses to us walking out of the door and just vanishing.
       Jumped to a future where there was no house, and we were on the remains of a landfill. The house and its doors were buried beneath a layer of composted trash. And the junkyard dogs were robotic and fortunately a little bit intelligent. I managed to convince them that I needed one of the digging cranes to come and uncover “my property.” They were bored and so arranged to dig me a trench. There were no more glass doors, just the frame with its evenly spaced scratches barely visible below the scratches from being the floor of a dump. I took a bit to reveal the whole thing. I was tempted to have the crane pull the foundation up, but really didn't want to risk being stuck here. I found some strips of metal to drop into the tracks and set them to the reverse of what had brought me to the future. I made note of the company names and logos on the junkyard crane and robotic dogs. I knew I'd be investing if they existed.
       I didn't think it odd that the dogs were so helpful until after a cold night with Red Paw curled unhappily against my chest. He'd not had any dinner and only a little water. The robot dogs had taken turns watching over us during the night. In the morning, I stepped across the threshold and felt a little tug as I crossed over. The yard was still green but browning a bit.
       “N left again, I was gone too long last time.” I heard in my own voice.
       “I think I can figure this out...” and the world shifted radically. Memories of two time lines merged in my head. The two universes collapsed into a common one like soap bubbles. None of the missing alternatives were any the wiser. Only I retained the memories of both worlds. Red Paw was gone. No not gone, he was with N. I called her to make sure he was all right. She was testy about it, not even realizing that he hadn't been with her the whole time. She accused me of running off with the ferret girl. I had no idea what she was talking about.
       I decide to run an organized test. What I discover is that time jumps are determined by how far the door is open and which side governs forward or back, as well as how close and how long a person is in the vicinity of the door when it is open. (Partially why there were so few disappearances, the room had almost always been a study, and when it was a bedroom the door was either never open, or only open a little bit. The real time device was buried beneath the door frame. The controls were missing so the AI used the sliding doors as a sort of “control substitute.” Or at least that was my guess. During the test I borrowed a meter stick from a neighbor and marked the track in either direction every half centimeter. In so doing I found that I seemed to connect to something deep under the slab. I put a door stop on the thing to keep it closed. Oddly, that seemed to work pretty much like an off switch. There were no jumps if the clip was anywhere on the track, inside or out. No matter how long the door was open or how long I was exposed.
       During my testing, the ferret returned. I put a note on his collar about how the door worked and in so doing discovered that he already had a note with the settings that were used to send him through. I reversed those settings, to the best of my understanding, and jumped forward with the ferret.
       There was a ferret girl. She was a very bright teen, and very methodical in testing the door. She had uncovered the slider frame and convinced her parents to put the sliding door back in place. It had motors to control the opening and she'd managed to convince her parents to keep the original track with the markings on it. The numbers were still in my handwriting. She showed me the pictures of Red Paw, N and myself. “I knew you would be there sometime. Tell me how it works.”
       “You caught the wrong one, I'm only just working it out.”
       We spent some time fiddling with the settings and that was when we discovered that exposure to the settings was part of the equation. She'd done a ton or research on missing kids and other anomalies, she'd collected a couple of volumes of my photographs (Flat Memory media that she slipped into a reader on her wall and, well, I recognized many of the photos, but not all of them.) “You should have been a professional, full time.”
       “I was sort of busy...”
       “I suppose so.”
       On a more serious note. She said she found a sort of maximum back end, sometime in 1953. She didn't ever try it, as she was afraid to run into the folks who'd originally installed the time machine and would be just another one of the four vanished kids.
       Her story made me feel a little bit queasy about the possibilities of how the thing might be used by the wrong sort of person. I decided that I would have to go, but to do so would require me to stay in the room near the device with the door on the left all the way open for about a week. Her parents weren't too keen on the idea, but because they knew their parent's story about meeting me, had my photographs, and there I was again, unchanged, over twenty years later, they found the time travel story rather believable..
       The parents were also a little concerned that other kids had gone missing in the past, and that there I was in their house, with their daughter. I explained to them what I wanted to do, how, when I met myself earlier the time lines had collapsed together like a soap bubble. I wanted to fix the missing children and I thought I knew where they all went. To the beginning. They had all vanished before the house had central air, and all from the hottest part of summer. They didn't go all the way to the beginning of the time machine, just close, about a weeks worth of hot days close. Ferret girl lent me her ferret, Chester, and taught me how to operate his GPS, though I reminded her there wasn't any GPS system in 1953.
       I jumped to 1953 and found the local sanitarium was home to three missing children, and two adults who knew enough details of their time to convince me that they were from the actual future. I don't know how I managed to break them all out, but I did, and we made our way onto what was a farm at that time. The house that covered the time machine hadn't been built and the time machine itself was difficult to find. I rolled out a tape measure where the door frame would eventually be, and set metal rods on it in the position to take the first missing child back home. We jumped early the next morning, and reunited the kid with his family. They had completely boarded up the room, so we had to get the family to open the room up for us. The family promised to shutter the thing when we had jumped. I felt several things shift in the multi-verse and once they did I only had two missing folks to return home. One was a child of about 11 or 12 and the other was an old woman who only admitted to being above retirement age. They barely remembered our other travelers.
       Each of the missing one returned also caused a shift in the universe, as we knew it. For good or ill, I couldn't really say. Chester vanished on one of the remaining trips. That made me sad. I was surprised that I remembered him, in fact it seemed I could recall a lot of things that were changed. I wondered what would happen if I never bought the house, how would I have fixed all this, then. Then I was alone, in the boarded up house and I planned my jump home, hoping to make it before N left. I really didn't want that to be over.
       I arrived, and the Ferret Girl and Chester were there. FG was explaining that they were just looking for me, and there wasn't anything going on. That wasn't exactly true. As I stepped into the house the universe shifted, and I suddenly remembered FG from 1978 and changed my personal history by becoming one of my early girlfriends. A girlfriend who introduced me to time travel by sneaking into an abandoned farm house a couple of hours away from home.
       I could feel that the time machine needed my continuity as I was most connected to it, having traveled in time both as an adult and as a teen with FG. Talk about complex. I had memories of both of them in my head. FG was still a teen, though, and I was still old. The universe shifted and N vanished from the picture, as did the cats. FG was also gone. My new continuity was settling in without either of them, but I still owned the house. I jumped back hoping to merge with myself at 25, just before meeting N. Only, the memories didn't go away, I still had three or four time lines worth of memories. I realized it was going to be tough to live through it all again without trying to fix the mistakes and to take advantage of missed opportunities. Turns out I needn't have worried, at least about that. We didn't merge, our time and existence were separate enough not to even meet. I jumped back home and put the slide lock in the door. N didn't know who I was. I had lost FG somewhere in time, a jump where we both ended up in different places, and I hadn't been able to find her, either going forward or back.


       I was in a desert environment, investigating a ruin tucked into a small rocky semicircle of former reef along a desert coastal inlet. The site was a three color high contrast scar in an otherwise vast expanse of sand and sea. As I climbed out over the dunes to get a good vantage point to take some photos of the entire site for an over view, I heard a roaring behind me, like thunder, only it never stopped. I looked back to see a wall of billowing sandy brown clouds bearing down on us. I packed up my camera gear and ran back to the camp, “Dust storm!”
       The lead archaeologist looked up from an old Samsung monitor he was measuring and detailing to ask “How much of the horizon?”
       I ran out of the tent and climbed on top, the tent was apparently some sort of modern electrically stiffened material. The cloud wall was slightly more than half the horizon and closing in. I could feel the heat and wind speed picking up. “We have to get to cover and fast.”
       We ran around, finally deciding to take the pallets of monitors and cover them with our tent material, and then to use the same material to stretch out a roof over us. I undid several battery powered pieces of equipment and rigged them to supply current to the tent fabric surrounding our “artifacts” but the storm got to us before the six of us could rig up a roof and get power applied. We all dove into the lee of the rocks between the ancient black coral and the pallets of equally ancient monitors. (Which I had visions of stacking in a previous life time.) The world became all roaring and dark and gritty and brown. We all had respirators, and we stretched the remaining tent material out over us trying to maintain some breathable space.
       If we don't report in, someone will come for us, we just have to keep enough air around us to survive until the storm passes.
       I was working to try to get to the electrical contacts with the batteries from one of our food processors to stiffen our cover, as I could tell there was going to be more sand on the tent than we could hold up by hand for any length of time.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Green, Poltergeist Romance

       I dreamed that I was visiting S and C and C was wearing a Kelly green turtleneck sweater very much like the ones N and I used to have. I found myself wishing that N could visit with me.

       I dreamed I was in a wedding dress shop, helping fix their POS systems when the shop was getting ready to close. A young woman came in, I recognized her, probably a former student. There was some issue with her dress, it wasn't ready, they still needed several items to complete it. (This part was definitely inspired by World of Warcraft's crafting rules.) She seemed relieved rather than disturbed that the dress wouldn't be ready.
       The YW visited with me as I finished making the computer systems talk to each other. I was re-configuring the network. Apparently the sales terminals had lost their IP addresses by connecting to a neighboring store's wireless network. I set them to only use the dress shop's wireless and set them all to static IP addresses. As we talked I realized that she wasn't really ready to get married at all.
       The Folks in the dress shop were beginning to act strange, talking about opening the portal and needing more icing. They were all leaking icing or wax from under their jaw lines. One of the larger women went past me into their small kitchen (where the wireless router was located) and opened up their freezer to pull out a gallon tub of white icing. The tailors began to gather around and eat the icing right out of the tub.
       There was the sub-element of some sort of ritual going on with the eating. I finished my job and invited the YW to stop for dinner with me, as I was planning on eating from a restaurant in this same little mall. She agreed.
       I was preparing for work when the YW showed up on my doorstep. She had a digital photo of something she found painted in makeup on her bedroom mirror. It was an image of us intertwined on her bed. Around the “painting” were several rather derogatory comments about the YW. Interesting, as my memories of the night were that I had left her at the restaurant and we had gone our separate ways.
       YW explained that her apartment was haunted with a ghost, “Can you do something about this?” she asked as if it were my fault.
       “What do you want me to do? I can banish it.Or you can tell your fiancée that you have a mischievous ghost and that I wasn't even at your apartment..”
       “I want it out of my apartment. He won't believe me, he'll kill me.”
       I agreed to help banish the ghost, but I told her I was disturbed that her fiancée made her so afraid.
       When we got there, there were more “paintings” around the place, including one of us hugging and kissing right on her front window. Inside the place every single glass surface had makeup or soap if vertical and salt and pepper and brown sugar if horizontal. I had my camera and started taking pictures of them. They were all quite artistically generated.
       “What are you doing?” YW asked in a panic.
       “These are amazing, you have a lot of talent.”
       “I didn't do these. I told you this place is haunted.”
       “I'm sorry, but I don't get the feeling that there is anyone else here.”
       The original “painting” in YW's bedroom had been wiped out, but as we entered the makeup and soap flew away from the mirror into the bed. YW jumped onto the bed after them. “No!”
       The part of the new work on the mirror was a bust of the YW and I inside a heart, the word “Please?” repeated about a dozen times all around it.
       I looked back at the bed. YW was on her knees, facing me, trying to hold the makeup brush and the soap in one hand and her skirt down with the other. “Oh, no. Help me!” Her hair looked as though the wind were blowing it all about her face and up into the air behind her.
       I looked back at the mirror. I reached out where she could see me touch the largest “Please?” on the glass and, waiting until I was sure she was looking at me in the mirror said “Yes.”
       Her squawking stopped. The wind stopped, her skirt fell down around her knees. She rapidly bent over to pull it up and tumbled toward me. I caught her before she dove headfirst off the end of the bed.
       “What did you do to make it go away?”
       “I answered your question.”
       “Its question.”
       I could hear activity beginning again. I mentally gathered strength and flung the presence outside the bedroom window. I was going to crush it out of existence until YW raced to the window after it, so concerned that she allowed her skirt to fall to the floor as she leaned out over her dresser after it. YW was wearing under skirt shorts, the black Lycra sort.
       “I was right the first time, it's your question, it is part of you.”
       I pulled the ghost back to YW and let it go. She scrambled to pull her skirt up off the floor.
       “Yes. This is probably a bad idea,” I said, “but, yes.”
       “You must think I'm a...”
       “No, four years and then yesterday, plenty of time for first impressions.” I said, “You're adorable, always thought so.” After seeing her lovely shape I really thought so.
       She finished buttoning up and took a step towards me. The bed spread snaked out and tripped her, causing her to fly into my arms. I pulled her up to me, kissing her on the forehead.
       “But, I'm engaged!”
       “Yes, you'll have to figure out what you want to do about that. If this event, I indicated the images around the place, is any indication, you're looking for an excuse to get out of it. I'll be your excuse, with no other expectations.” I looked down into her coppery brown eyes, and noticed that she hadn't let go. She was barely balanced and still holding on with both arms. I suspected that whether she told her boyfriend, or her boyfriend saw this place, it was going to be over between them. I just hoped he wasn't the violent type, though I suspected her poltergeist would be able to afford some protection.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

First Believer in Gets the Job.

       When I was younger I almost bought a step van to use for a movie. It wasn't quite the right price, so the movie never got made. I dreamed that I was driving a highly modded version of that step van. N and I were going to some sort of concert, and the parking people didn't want to give us a parking space. It looked like they were going to turn us away until I spotted them parking a Humvee. The Step Van wasn't any wider or longer than that, I pointed out, just taller. They relented and found us a place to park between a couple of card tables.
       There were card tables set up, two in every other parking space. The tables were being used for some sort of registration/T-shirt give-away. We met several friends there and went to the concert (which I have absolutely no recollection of.)
       After the concert I was driving us to a friend's wedding celebration. Alien spacecraft swooped in and strafed the streets leading to the wedding. I decided we needed to do something about it. The Devil was suddenly sitting in the chair behind me, asking who I thought I was, “God or something?”
       “Yes,” I answered and reached out to shut down the weapons system of the attacking spacecraft and then forced them to fly away where the fleet would be forced to recover them.
       We arrived and the Devil and I had a towel snapping fight in the public showers in the Y where the wedding was to be held. The Devil tried cheating by using his tail as well as the towels. I grabbed it the second time it snaked out at me and then pulled the Devil around by the tail with my left hand while using my right hand to repeatedly snap his backside unhindered. The gathered audience declared me the winner unanimously.
       The Devil demanded a rematch. I sighed not wanting to take a chance of losing. We jumped back in time to the point where we were approaching the wedding. I spotted the alien fighter bombers long before they unleashed their lethal attack, disarming them and causing them to all crash into a distant abandoned building. I prevented the life-pods from lifting off, holding them about three stories above the ground. Police arrived to take the alien pilots into custody. I'm sure the FBI were on their way as well. I suggested, telepathically, that we hold the pilots gently so as to not spoil the soon to be started release talks. I realized that the Devil wasn't really a devil, but one of the aliens.
       “This still doesn't explain your prodigious mental powers,” the alien griped.
       “I'm God, didn't I already tell you that?”
       “No, you're not.” Nan huffed and sat in the passenger seat, just behind the entry steps. The seat rolled forward over the stairs on rails to put her just behind the wind screen and next to me. She turned to our uninvited guest. “Who's that?” She pointed to the Alien.
       “He said he was the Devil, that's why I said I was God. Really, I don't know, he just appeared here, but I'm pretty sure he's an alien like the pilots of those attacking fighters.
       “What fighters?”
       “Those, oh, just look over there,” I turned down a side street with a view of the crashed spacecraft.
       “Where are you going. We're going to be late for the wedding!” She looked out where I was pointing, spotting the crashed tails of the alien ships thrust from the smoking building. We stopped at a traffic signal, I lowered the escape pods and popped their doors for the police. I smiled at the surprise they had in store for them. I'm pretty sure they weren't expecting red-skinned horned and barbed tailed aliens from another world.
       “Darned that Prometheus, who knew you'd come so far in so short a time.” The alien slumped in the back passenger seat, munching on my bag of Frito's Corn Chips. “These are good.”
       I turned left to get us back on course for the Y and the upcoming wedding.
       “Eww,” N's disagreement was plain.
       “Time for a re-match.”
       “No time, we're going to be late. How are we going to get him in without an invite.”
       “It's a Y, I don't think anyone can keep him out.”
       “Even if he is a devil? YMCA here, the 'C' stands for 'Christian,' remember?”
       “Yes, and the 'M' stands for 'Mens.' So what's your point?”
       “And the 'Y' stands for 'Young', which none of us are, relatively speaking.”
       N glared at the alien, with a look that said he might well be a devil if not the Devil. “Why don't you go back where you came from?” N's question was really more of a suggestion.
       “God here fixed it so I can't.”
       “Don't want them hopping all over the place causing trouble.”
       “But you don't even believe in God”
       “I didn't until the Devil showed up in our van. Then what was I to think?”
       “Yep, first believer gets the job.”
       N's confusion rippled across her face, chased by annoyance. “It doesn't work that way.”
       “Apparently it does,” the alien and I said in unison.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wheelchair Bound and N in Court

       I dreamed that I was in a wheelchair. Not because my legs didn't work, but because every step sent shooting pains through my body. I could walk when I needed to, but even the jostling of the wheelchair as I drove over the cracks in the sidewalk sent shivers through my legs. We were going to a courthouse. It seems some of N's coworkers sued N's companies moral boosting team with some sort of discrimination suit.
       I thought this was odd, since the group was all volunteer, and everything they did, they did with volunteers. N assured me that they had always sent out company wide emails asking for volunteers for their various acts and committees, and, as far as she knew, they never turned anyone down.
       We finally made it to the courtroom, the audience area wasn't wheelchair accessible, so I had to climb the stairs. I had a set of stair climbing treads on the front of the chair, but tried to talk the bailiff into letting my stand up and pick the chair up, as there were only three steps.
       The answer seemed to be “No,” and “If you can walk, why do you need the chair?”
       “I can walk about forty or fifty feet before I collapse from the pain, that's why the chair.”
       The procedure began, it was a jury trial, as the plaintiffs knew they hadn't a chance in Hell of convincing a single Judge they were discriminated against, but might manage to get nine of twelve jurors to think so.
       The prosecution went through several tapes of skits and speeches that didn't feature any of them, and then rested. The defense then presented the email recruitment letter that went out for each of those groups, as well as the event invitations, and then her company tech department pulled up the email responses of each of the plaintiffs indicating that they wouldn't be participating. That seemed pretty much like a clincher right there for me. The defense had one more tactic.
       The defense had managed to get the recordings of all of the previous events and invitations, dating back to the time of service of the longest employed plaintiff.
       The prosecution tried to come back with the argument that the Veteran organization hadn't invited any of the plaintiffs to join.
       On cross examination, none of the plaintiffs were Vets.
       The judge rolled his eyes. The jury started sporting small smiles. I didn't stay for closing arguments, as I was becoming very uncomfortable. The bailiff helped me out during the recess and N and I walked/rolled across the street to a park. I had some trouble getting around as there were several steps around the park, but my little fuel-cell powered chair seemed to be able to navigate them fairly well, especially if N stepped on the back of the chair to lighten the load on the climbing wheels.
       Someone stopped to ask about the chair. I explained that the fuel-cell was good for about 120 miles and took just shy of a gallon of alcohol to fuel. I could get far more if the area were hilly and I used the regenerative breaking, or I assisted by pushing with my arms.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Eye of Kaggath Will Protect You

The Eye of Kaggath Will Protect You.

       I was walking through a large electronics store, probably a Frye's Electronics store, when the fabric of reality twisted. Several large grey creatures shaped like swooshes poured from the rift. They moved so quickly that it was difficult to see what they actually looked like other than to have the impression that they had many sharp pointy legs behind the head of the swoosh that were folded up underneath as the grey blur rocketed through the overhead areas of the store.
       There was general panic as one of the large dolphin sized creatures landed on a person and began stabbing with its small legs and gnawing with a toothy mouth that was revealed as the head of the swoosh tilted back. In a few short seconds there was nothing but a layer of bloody debris under the alien beast. The folks who were around to witness that ran screaming from aisle, looking for cover. Me among them. I ran past the HDTV displays and as I did so the transmissions all changed to a grainy black and white image of a stylized eye with several alien looking runes or characters around it. I had the impression that the image was reversed, a negative or even possibly solarized image because of the way the shading around the illustration looked. There was some loud burst of audio that I didn't recognize but could tell was some sort of language, then the message repeated in highly accented English.
       “The Eye of Kaggath will protect you.”
       The alien words repeated, just a bit slower. I tried to copy them, but found the sounds almost impossible to repeat. I recorded them on my MP3 player, though. I grabbed a speaker dock and plugged in my MP3 player and started looping the recording. I aimed the speakers at the first alien swoosh I saw hovering in the air about 15 yards from me. It turn towards me. I envisioned the Eye of Kaggath (with uncanny ease) and muttered “The Eye of Kaggath will protect me.”
       The thing exploded into a thousand and one tearing bits of gray ectoplasmic ooze that evaporated before it got more than a few yards from the creature.
       I ran out into the store, finding that I didn't need the audio from the MP3 recording. I could just envision the Eye and say the phrase and the things would explode in a display of ectoplasmic pyrotechnics.
       When the police arrived, they arrested me, as I was the only one left at the scene of the murder. I went with them, not sure what I could tell them that would actually make any sense. I knew I would end up being held until they finally got the idea to look at the security video. (Which didn't show the aliens, of course, but did show that the person was being shredded while I was running away with everyone else. The broadcast of the “Eye of Kaggath” was visible on the tape, as was the explosions when I went around shouting “The Eye of Kaggath will protect me.”
       Because I'd taken the speakers and connected them to my MP3 player they decided to charge me with shoplifting. Which I told them was odd, as I left the speakers and my MP3 player in the store when I realized that it wasn't working.
       I was just falling asleep on the saggy cot in the holding sell when the Sheriff walked in and told the deputies to get me in a squad car and get to an address that he rattled off followed by “Lowes, parking lot.” One of the deputies was one of the ones who'd questioned me about the security video. On the way over there I told him to try to remember the Eye. He was surprised at how easy it was when he repeated the phrase.
       The two of us cleared up about half a dozen of the beasts. Again, you could see the ectoplasm explosions, but not the creatures themselves on video.

Leopards in the Yard
       Later, I found myself at my parents. They hadn't responded to repeated telephone calls so I was worried. When I got there I let myself in with their key and they were nowhere to be found. I stepped out into the patio, into a quarter inch thick layer of bloody goo. I started to get sick when I heard a growl from outside the patio.
       There, right outside the door was a leopard, and her two cubs. One of the grey swoosh beasts swooped at her, and she leapt aside, slashing at it, and knocking it about. A second one came from around the corner of the patio and caught her from behind. She hissed and growled. I tried to envision the eye, but it took a second, until I repeated the phrase, and then it was too late for the leopard.
       She looked at me, and I could hear her clearly in my head “save my cubs, teach them everything you can.” I stood in the goo, looking at the tiny terrified cubs. With her dying breath she told them to go with me. I understood her, even though that thought wasn't in English. They put their paws up on the ruined bottom of the patio door, obviously afraid to step into the goo. I bent down and picked them up. They were still only eight pounds each or so, very young. I looked in their eyes, they were bright blue, like a white tiger's eyes. They were crying. I could hear them in my head and told them to hang on tight, we were going to get the rest of the beasts.
       I could feel them learning how to envision the Eye as we made our way through the house clearing out the remaining aliens. By the time we'd gotten our fourth one, they were helping, one looking over my shoulder and the other tucked inside my shirt looking forward with me. They could spot them long before I could. They could summon the Eye, but not with enough force to blow them up, just enough to keep them away. I found myself wondering why their mother hadn't been able to do that.

Victorian RPG, Risus/Lego style
       I woke up when the kittens demanded breakfast. When I fell back to sleep I was still dealing with the alien swooshes, but now they were 4 dice physical, and one die psychic monsters. I was running a bunch of people through a scenerio at a convention of some sort and all of my illustrations had a decidedly “Girl Genius” look to them. I had a great set of iron, silver and copper dice three iron, black in color, two silver, nickle iron, really, and one copper. The dice were 2cm on a side and had a really nice heft and just hammered the dice tray when they landed. All of the character sheets were on parchment, and the players were using fountain pens to make any needed notes. I was in a waistcoat and wearing an ascot. I had knee breeches and riding boots as well as aviators goggles perched on my head.
       Funny part of this was that I had several cards with The Eye of Kaggath on them, and the phrase in both English and IPA for the original alien language. Every player had to memorize the phrase and tell me if they could see the Eye when they invoked it. The ones that could I gave another card with a web address that they could go and register as a member of the “Tears of Kaggath,” for free.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Creature from the Incan Lake

       I dreamed I was at an inland resort, with a series of large pools that had been purchased by a doctor and his research corporation. I convinced them to let me stay, partly by being pleasant and asking about their work, and partly by playing on the pity factor. I'd been the only loyal customer of the resort for years now, in fact owning one of the bungalow lots on the edge of the property. I had to go through their driveway to get to my winter home, which they'd broken into and assigned to a pretty and petite wheelchair bound research assistant.
       I agreed to let her stay, as my home was the only wheelchair accessible bungalow, and they would reimburse me for undoing the changes they'd made. I stayed in the main resort for the first time ever, until the assistant revealed that she wasn't using the main rooms of my bungalow, and she insisted that she would be fine in the main house. After walking back to my home with her, I found we had a lot in common, and I asked her to stay.
       Over time we became friends. She had some sort of muscular dystrophy type condition, and I though she was a bit too much on the thin side, so I tried to feed her some good solid stick to your ribs style home cooking. Pretty soon I had a large number of the assistants coming over for lunch and dinner. They found out that I was a writer, and we had a long discussion over the differences between television and theatrical scripts. I pointed out that with the advent of computers, it was relatively easy to use .xml to mark up your script, and then convert it into any style that was appropriate with the proper style sheet. I started taking photos and the head researcher himself asked me if I could document their findings. I only found it a little bit odd that they didn't have a photographer.
       It turned out that they were working on the remains of a creature that had been hauled up from the deep bottom of a South American lake.
       “The Black Lagoon,” I joked.
       Everyone laughed but the good doctor. He named the lake, but it was unfamiliar to me.
       The creature was a large ten or so foot long cartilaginous fish wish rudimentary bony structures around the head and spine. It was pretty interesting and somewhat unsettling. The team had dissected a couple of specimens that were in poor shape. They were looking at opening up the third, which had a single large whole in its side, but seemed otherwise ready to wake up.
       “Looks ready to put back in the water and swim away from this side.” I commented.
       Everyone just looked at one another uncomfortably, except my roomie. She had an oddly expectant look on her face, completely out of sync with the rest of the researchers and assistants. I resolved to ask about that later, if I could find a polite way to work it into our conversation.
       I must have taken well over 500 shots of all three specimens that first day, labeling each with the help of a scale placed in the photo by one of the research assistants and supervised by the good doctor himself. My roomie stayed and helped with the third most complete specimen, we worked a bit slower and she treated the large fish-like thing with great respect. I realized that I was becoming quite attracted to her despite her thin limbs and awkward movements. She had a sweet face with large dark eyes and hair cut into a very short bob that was never really combed but still looked stylish. Her lips were full and she had a delightful smile when one could coax it out of her.
       I came back over the course of several days to take progress photos. Each morning I would walk along with my roomie as she wheeled to work. Once in the main house she would switch to a manual wheelchair, as it was a little bit smaller and thus easier to get around all the desks and tables.
       In transferring the photos to disks I realized that the third specimen had several organs that had grown during the time of our investigations. I asked about this and the doctor tried to play it off as a trick of the light or perspective. Only, these were all photos with a scale in them, so I doubted that explanation based on both the scale and my own experience with the camera. I began to suspect that everything wasn't on the up and up.
       I managed to convince WG to join me in town one evening as her co-workers had abandoned us to go party for the weekend, leaving her behind. In town, over a dimly lit Italian feast, WG confirmed the apparent regeneration. She admitted that was the real purpose of their research, and the sole reason she was on the team. She was studying gene therapy to encourage nerve tissue to regenerate, for not entirely impersonal reasons.
       She admitted that she had not gone with her co-workers as she didn't want to leave me alone. I told her that wasn't really a problem, I was used to it (we'd had a lot of company lately as I'd become the unofficial company cook as well as photographer.) After a couple more drinks I asked if she'd like to model for me. She volunteered much more quickly than I thought she would. She pulled a folding specimen scale out of her purse, “Can I pose with just this?”
       That caught me off guard a bit, but since I'd planned on trying to talk her into a swimming shoot anyway, I figured I would go with it.
       I wish the photo shoot had been explored in the dream, but the dream skipped right over it to me looking at her photos in an empty lab, and then where we were in the specimen room and she was posing with the large regenerating fish. I noticed that the fish had a very full face, and its eyes seemed to follow WG around the table as she posed.
       I went to the doctor, with cropped photos of the fishes face. When I reached the lab I decided not to show him the photos, as the fish's face had been stripped of its flesh, and its eyes had been removed. I could barely hold down my breakfast when I considered what that meant.
       I confronted WG about it at lunch. She came home very late that night.
       Over the next few days she became more distant, yet scattered at the same time. She was out very late every night, and told me a story about “seeing one of the other assistants,” with an expression that led me to believe that she was making that part up. I framed several of the photos I'd taken of her swimming. She had an ethereal beauty in the water, a sleek naiad with a loving expression. I realized I was quite smitten with her.
       In equal parts jealousy and concern, I made my way up to the main house one night. It was mostly dark, I could hear the assistants playing gin in their bungalows as I passed by. I didn't really count, but it seemed that they were all accounted for. I let myself into the main house and stopped in her office, it was empty. As was the doctor's office, though his light was on. Perhaps she'd been lying about seeing an assistant because she was seeing the doctor.
       I almost turned around and went back to my home. This was very much none of my business. I made my way through the main lab. The specimen, which I hadn't seen in a while, was swimming in its tank. It pushed itself up on its fins as I entered startling me. We stopped, looking at one another. I suddenly felt very sad. I took a shot, long exposure because of the low light levels. The creature stayed still for the exposure. It swam to the glass, spreading its whiskers out flat against the pane. I stepped up and put my had against the glass. I could feel the vibrations of the stiff whiskers on the glass. One tap, then two, then three, then five. Then it waited.
       I tapped the glass seven times. Then it tapped eleven times.
       I tapped thirteen.
       It tapped seventeen.
       I had a sudden very sick feeling as it backed away from the glass. I saw a slender hand reach into the tank and the fish/being swam up to it. Another slender hand reached into the tank and stroked the back of the animal then picked up a spine and plunged it into the opposite wrist. I recognized those hands, only they weren't shaking and seemed firmer than I remembered. I was glad the specimen tank spanned two rooms, and that I was in the darker of the two rooms. I took another photo and slipped away, very confused.
       I waited up for WG.
       “Look, you aren't my father, I can see someone my age, can't I?”
       I held up the photos I'd taken.
       “It's intelligent, isn't it?”
       “What were you doing, following me?”
       “I was jealous, and concerned.”
       “Jealous of a fish?”
       “Um, no, you said you were seeing someone? Jealous of that possible someone, you're a terrible liar, though, so I became concerned about what I didn't know.”
       “It's helping me, I can feel a difference, the spasms are almost gone in my arms, look.”
       I saw the marks from many punctures on her wrists, but those wrists, and the hands attached to them were much steadier than I'd ever seen them. “I'd been getting worse, now I'm not.”
       “Does the doctor know?”
       “He's been working on refining the toxin. I convinced him to stop cutting up the fish. We don't need to do that.:”
       “I think the fish is intelligent, like not dolphin scale, like human scale.”
       “No! It's just a fish.” and she spun her chair and rolled into her room, struggling to get turned around so she could slam the door.
       Later in the night I awoke to the sounds of her vomiting in the guest bathroom, then cleaning up after herself. I thought I heard her sobbing.
       “Do you need some help,” I called out.
       A few moments later her door slammed shut.
       I made us breakfast, and stopped her from going out.
       “I'm not going to stop you but long enough for breakfast, and to let you know that I am worried about you. I have become rather fond of you and don't want to see you hurt.”
       She rolled out of the house without comment.
       The dream skipped ahead to a large gathering. One of the pools had been turned over to the specimen's use after hours. I had spent some time in the evenings trying to determine just how intelligent the fish was. I realized that the doctor was still cutting bits of it off, by comparing it to the other dead specimens I'd taken photos of earlier, I could tell that there were supposed to be four tentacle like manipulators on its upper jaw. I think the Doctor knew that his captive was not a dumb animal. I was glad the Doctor didn't know that I had a pool key. I began to bring the being foods to try and it let me know which it could eat and which it couldn't. I sent WG out in the mornings with some of it's favorites.
       I brought my laptop up and tried going through aerial photos of the world to try to locate where it actually came from. (Details were murky in this part of the dream.) The doctor admitted to me that the creature was alive, finally, and I took several photos for his big press release.
       Suddenly I found myself invited to a formal announcement. James earl Jones was there for some reason. There was also a couple of MIB that showed up. I spotted WG and she had a smile for me.
       Then all hello broke loose. When the lights went up on the tank. The words “I am a prisoner, help me.” were etched in the glass of the display tank The doctor tried to play it off as a joke by his assistants, but there were symbols written underneath in another language that looked remarkably like Incan writing. I started taking photos and barely noticed that WG had taken off her lab coat to reaveal that she was in a cheerleader's outfit. (!?)
       She backed her chair into the glass wall and it cracked. The creature pushed from the other side and she and it were washed into the pool. WG's chair sank to the bottom. I could see her holding her breath and pushing the forward control to drive to the shallow end of the pool. The creature swam back to help her, but she waved it away. I raced to open the gate and the creature swam and leaped out of the pool past me and into the marshy ground at the edge of the resort. I bumped a MIB as I ran back to the pool, spoiling his aim. I heard the creature splash into the stream as I kicked off my shoes and tucked the camera under some seat cushions.
       I dove into the pool as WG was struggling to unlatch her seatbelt. The fabric had swollen in the water making it difficult for her to manage. She was beginning to release air. I tore at the belt and pulled her to the surface. I stepped out of the pool, carefully smoothing her skirt down and cradling her in my arms so we wouldn't give the world a show. She wrapped herself around my neck and started sobbing. Soon other assistants were bringing me towels, but she didn't want to let go, so we worked them around her.
       “Please take me home,” she said quietly.
       I wanted to ask about the whole cheerleader outfit thing, but decided to wait.
       A MIB made motions to stop us as we left the pool area, but James Earl Jones stepped up and said “they're with me.”
       I don't know why that worked but it did and we started down the path.
       “Where are we going?” Mr. Jones asked as we walked down the path, him still in the lead.
       “Our bungalow, it's just down the road.”
       “My wheelchair!”
       “I'll get it later when I go get my camera.”
       “This camera?” Mr. Jones held out my camera and flash rig.
       “I didn't think you would want to leave it behind.”
       “How did you become involved in this?” I asked Mr. Jones.
       “Investor. Promises of youth, only more scientific. Still, pretty gullible, yes?”
       “No, I think we may have that,” WG pulled her face out of my beard.
       “That would be nice.” Mr. Jones looked at WG's rail thin form. “ Either it works well, or he's quite the cradle robber.”
       I started to speak “She's just a...”
       “Cradle robber.” WG quickly filled in and then giggled. I wasn't sure I like the mood swings I was seeing. Then she pulled herself up and kissed me on the cheek. “But regeneration works, too.”
       Mr Jones laughed his booming deep laugh. “Good news, then.” We walked a bit, looking back for signs that we were missed. There were none. Still quite a bit of noise and I could hear people shouting at one another.
       I marveled at how light WG was, and worried that I wasn't keeping her warm enough she was pressed so tightly around me.
       “So, what's with the outfit?” Mr Jones looked at WG, voicing my question from earlier.
       I could feel WG blushing, suddenly she seemed warm enough..

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Decommissioned Super Heros

       I had a dream about a decommissioned super hero team. We were being held in a summer camp like area, with each of us having our own cabin, or floor of a cabin as they were two stories. There were around 30 characters or so, but to be fair, a dozen or more of them were all part of Multiple Girl. There was a black man who worked the lunch counter in the camp cafeteria. He had the power to toast things with his hands, all that was left while he was in range of the disabler ray.
       We were only allowed to eat at the back counter in the kitchen. The other campers were told that is because we had been put on cafeteria restriction. (Most of us were about the age of the teen campers, only a few of us were post adolescent.) I had the impression that many of us were still secretly using our powers where we could. Our powers were severely reduced while we were in the confines of the camp, and though Multiple Girl had managed to sneak several of her parts out of the “camp” most of us were effectively trapped, either by the rays, or by our sense of honor.
       Multiple Girl (well, one part of her) was in love with one of the young heroes. That young hero found himself trapped in the old and now deeply buried and concrete filled headquarters. His recall device was located in the old headquarters and had somehow gotten activated. Multiple Girl had come to me to try to figure out how he had vanished and where he'd gotten to. I could still, if people were fairly close, see through their eyes. I really didn't let on to anyone that I had that ability, but, with the power of multiple brains MG had long ago figured out that I might be able to do something like that. Why she thought I could still function in the disabling ray, and with the chip on my head, I don't know, but she had somehow known. I found him in our old command center, deep under ground, and I had thought, fully cemented in. It was pitch black save for a few luminescent dials on some of the mothballed equipment. I could smell the rats in the old situation room where LB (Lover Boy) was located. I did a quick volume calculation and figured that there was only a few days worth of air in the space, presuming that there weren't more rats. I knew there had to be some air movement, as the rats were alive. We met to brainstorm ways of getting LB out of his predicament, but didn't come up with anything. I was sure the disabler ray was causing us to think less sharply than normal. At least that's how it was working for me.
       Plastic Manipulating Woman used her powers to try to make a chain of connected insulation down to where he was located, the efforts so wore her out that she had to go and take a rest. I found that I could use the chain of plastic beads as a sort of focus, unfortunately, without PMW to manipulate the end of the chain I couldn't communicate anything other than some short tugs.
       Back in my room I stripped to take a shower. When I got there, the shower, two shower heads like the one in our guest bathroom, was occupied. The water was hot and steam filled my bathroom. I turned to leave when a long arm shot out from the edge of the shower curtain and pulled me in. It was a couple of polymorphs; twins, who because of the ray couldn't do anything more than change their height and weight, eye and skin color. They'd discovered that with a lot of effort they could make themselves look different from one another and they liked to practice on me. I couldn't complain too much about that as I rather adored both of them. Oddly, I could always tell which was which, and actually found one to be slightly more attractive than the other. They had told me a secret, when they were only two, they decided that they each liked the other's name, so they switched. In the back of my mind I harbored a worry that they were really just two more aspects of Multiple Girl (who loved creating just this sort of character from herself), but shoved that thought into the back of my mind so I could enjoy the soapy sexy moment. (Normally this would be the end of such a dream as it would turn into quite the wet dream and I would wake. This didn't happen.)
       JR showed up (the only real person I know who was in the dream) so we had to vacate the shower. Both girls shortened themselves a few inches and made their busts really large, just to tease him as we tumbled out of the shower past him. I suspected that one of the MG would make it up to him. I tried not to worry about that, either.
       The dream continued into the next day. At breakfast, which we ate in our cabin common area, an elevated patio that connected six duplexes, we tried to come up with more ideas. Their had been one of us who'd been able to tunnel through the earth, but that power had allowed them to escape years ago. And had resulted in all of us being implanted with GPS tracking devices. (The “Counselors” didn't know that we knew about the devices.)
       We planned through part of the morning, then went to pretend we were happy campers. At lunch the counter man toasted (rather to the point of being inedible) my crackers to let me know how much of his power and control was back. “That's all of it, man, and it only works by the counter here.” He pointed at the arrangement of metal counters and stools, “Interferes with the ray, I think.”
       Days went by, and most of the team gave up on LB. I kept tabs on him, helping him find rats to hunt and eat. I also located a working water fountain, barely a trickle, but enough to keep him going. People started to think I was making his survival up, as the “Counselors” kept telling us the place was solid concrete, there was no air, and LB was certainly dead.
       Multiple Girl managed to round up a number of her multiples on the outside, and made a camp aged child out of the parts of her that were in love with LB. (I'm not entirely sure how that worked, and thought that if we could rescue LB this could be a little weird.) The little girl was a young version of who I knew as the original Multiple Girl, complete with curly brown hair and a lovely green smock. MG came back into camp as the child to ask what we were doing. I asked Plastic Manipulator Girl to make the insulation chain hollow and firmer, then I managed to pull the chain of insulation tight enough that LB was able to use it to talk to us, like the old can on the string effect. We could barely hear him, and several of the heroes though I had gone crazy and that MG and I were faking it, or delusional. I realized that the only way we were going to save LB was to either tunnel down to him, or to kill the disabler ray to allow us to use our full powers. I knew that if I could remove the small disabler implanted in my skull I could trans-locate to where he was, and then teleport us back out.
       There was a small problem with this plan, I could only teleport to a few very specific locations around the world, to an individual, or I could switch places with a person. Once I had another person with me, I could only teleport to a location, not to a person. MG told me that her prime self had escaped and I could teleport to her, then switch with LB, then go where I wanted.
       The locations that the “Counselors” knew about had been cemented in, or had statues erected on their locations, anything to prevent me from using them. Apparently I was considered one of the gravest risks. I also knew that I was on the “kill on sight” list if I should ever escape. I had not only a disabler in my head, but a GPS device in my abdomen. Both of which would trigger my death sentence if they were tampered with. I had a brief flashback to the very emotional meeting that had taken place when we were “decommissioned.”
       Plastic Manipulating Girl felt that she had enough control to kill the GPS locater by shorting it out.
       I realized that the counter man had the rest of the solution, hot fiery and probably very painful but he could destroy the disabler chip in my scalp. I could teleport to LB and then take both of us to one of a half dozen secret jump sites the “Counselors” didn't know about. (I was glad that I hadn't fully trusted our government.) I felt that we had to move quickly, as I was sure that our conversations were fully monitored. I wondered why no action had yet been taken to separate us. I think we were being warehoused against the time when we might be needed again.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Back from Vacation, Surf Penguins

@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;I dreamed that I had just gotten back from a long vacation (which we did) and the house was empty. Everything had been removed, including the paint from the walls and the carpet and wood from the floors. All the door knobs and light switches were gone, too. When we went to reconnect everything, we discovered that the wire had been pulled out of the walls as well. I didn't go check, but am pretty sure all the copper pipes for the plumbing were gone as well. I was glad that whoever had stripped the house had atleast turned off the water.
@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;I told N that I didn't ever want to go on vacation again. It was at that point that I asked where the cats had gotten to, and why didn't our sitters notice?

@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;I dreamed I was a sea lion or perhaps a seal. I couldn't really see myself, but I was able to zoom through the water with just a flick of my body and feet/flippers. I met up with a group of three penguins. They were tired of swimming around, and wanted to try something different, so I found them each a two to two and a half foot length of 1" x 6" board. We then went to the breakers and I body surfed while they learned how to "hang six" on their surf boards.
@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;@nbsp;After surfing for an hour or so we decided to walk up the boardwalk and get some fish tacos. I had to buy because I was the only one with pockets (?) and cash.

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