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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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Island Paradise, Zombies, WoW

       I dreamed I was out on the archipelago again. The one with the heavily undercut main island, and the lush green crescent of vibrant green across the crater from it. There were a half-dozen families or so who lived on the island. I was visiting in my catamaran (I wish) and showing the local families how the boom structures and the out-rigger hulls worked to keep the boat upright in a storm. I could crank the outriggers up over the cabin, which would right the hulls and allow me to lift the cabin out of the water again. I hadn't really had to use them except to practice. I took bunches of folks on a tour of their island, and out to where we could watch the whales from up close.
       When we got back to the island, they showed me how to get to the docks under the overhang. There was a spot that was hidden from view from the ocean, you had to know it was there to make the turn around the spire jungle covered rock to make it into the cove. We paddled the catamaran to an open slip and everyone guided me up a long spiraling switchbacked stair carved in the face of the rock. There were a couple of places where you had to lean out over the cove, holding on to rope and netting handrails to hold your feet against the steps. When I made it to the top, I noticed an elevator there, and several of the women and younger kids were stepping out of it.
       “We had that put in for the tourists and the young ones. It's much better than the old basket,” explained a woman.
       “Except when the power goes out!” A little girl about 11 or so giggled and ran up the slope to the village center.
       The last time I'd been here I'd climbed up a chain ladder hanging from the cliffs overhanging the lagoon. (I'd been on a cruise ship that sank, I think, and our lifeboat had drifted into the lagoon here. I'd made friends of the locals, and promised I would come back for a visit. It had taken me a couple of years to liquidate enough stuff to build the catamaran, and then I couldn't convince N to come with me.
       I told my tale, and they told theirs. Every hurricane I'd worried about had missed them, they explained that the island was charmed that way. Not to say that they didn't have their rough surf and wet weather. It wasn't the sort of life for everyone, but they made a bit of money on the tourist trade, so had computers and high speed Internet as well as television. (which I knew from the last time I'd visited, as I'd talked them into letting me email my folks to let them know we were OK.) I met the folks I'd been emailing back and forth with, turns out those 9 families were pretty much everyone left on the island.
       “We lost our sheriff and the doctor only stays through the winter now. We made a deal with a couple of the cruise lines, and we get to use their doctors in an emergency.”
       “Plus we have a plane if we need to fly someone to the hospital in Palou,” one of the women added.
       “Most of us wouldn't trade this little island for anywhere else in the world, but it's isolated and not for everyone.”
       I was thinking that once you had the internet and a camera, you pretty much had access to the world. I'd brought several for them. There was much glee from the kids as they opened my gifts.
       “So,” I found myself saying, “you have a job opening for sheriff?”
       “You'd have to double as postmaster.” Said the Mayor of the island.
       “And you'd be welcome to stay in my house if you don't want the apartment above the station,” added one of the women, “I know how to cook more than coconuts.”
       This allowed me to identify her as one of my frequent correspondents. We'd had a running Gilligan's Island conversation that had gone on for most of the year. It had started when I'd answered the 'Mary Ann or Ginger?' question with “Some of the 'native' girls who showed up were pretty darned attractive, and I'm almost old enough for that Lovey gal, if she weren't married, you know.”
       “There's not much in the way of pay, but then again, there's not a lot to spend it on. The job is yours if you want it. You mostly get to hold on to cruise ship shoplifters until the helicopter from the mainland comes for them.”
       “Sounds like a pretty cushy job, to me.”
       “You're welcome to stay after the cruise season, of course, but there really won't be anything to do after that.”
       “I brought my computer and my boat, I'm pretty sure I can find something to do. Besides, I hear there's going to be fiber run to this island, so you won't have to worry about outages during the monsoon season.”
       “How'd you know about that?”
       I knew about that because I'd sold my house to be able to afford it, but I wasn't going to tell them that, I was saving that as a New Years surprise. I'd also known that the Sheriff's position was open, as he'd recruited me before he retired to the mainland. He missed the city, just as I knew I would after a time. But I knew I could always sail to the mainland (admittedly a few days away) and take a plane back to San Diego during the winter months if I really needed. Besides, I had Internet camera access to every one of my friends back home.
       It really didn't take long to get me and my two cats settled into the apartment above the jail, much to the, I assured her, temporary, disappointment of my Gilligan's Island friend.

       Soon I was handling the mail and running tourists out to see whales on my catamaran, or off to the reefs for snorkeling. We got to design and make our own postage cancellations, so I made sure SCV got all our first day covers.
       One evening I was out riding on a basking shark, or some similar creature, when it spooked and headed out to deep water. I was tangled in some netting I'd been trying to cut from its back. The pressure was starting to hurt my ears, and I didn't know how much longer I could hold my breath. I managed to cut the last of the nylon net free and swam as hard as I could to the surface. I looked around in the twilight to get my bearings. The island looked an impossible distance away. I had my waterproof cell phone, so called the island to let them know where I was. Then I started swimming. I angled myself for where I thought my boat should be, but couldn't see it. I could feel the oppressive heat and moisture of a monsoon building. I called and told them to get out to my catamaran first, it could survive the rough seas that were sure to come soon. The water was already choppy where I was.
       A large shape swam below me, stirring the bioluminescent plankton in its wake. This I didn't need, as I was certainly prey size for some of the sharks that roamed the deeper waters. I swam, also creating a smaller wake. I angled myself for the larger wake, hoping to use it for cover. I wasn't the only one. Several large (my sized) fish were all ready following along the wake. They quickly passed me by.
       I looked back along the wake and realized that even as slow as the large fish was that made the wake, I wasn't going to be keeping up. The luminescence was fading. The waves grew choppier.
       As I crested one, I spotted a large glowing patch of ocean, It looked like an ancient ships wheel about the size of a football field. There were smaller bright spots as some critters splashed and jumped in and ever tightening spiral into the center. One of the spokes lengthened, directly at me. I stopped my backstroke and held my cameraphone up as high as I could and snapped a few photos, sending them to GI girl, who had stayed on the phone with me. My connection was spotty, but the cell tower was on the highest point of the island, and reached several miles and even a little bit under the water. (Isn't technology wonderful.)
       The head of the spike was a large whale-like animal, I couldn't see spray as it skimmed the surface, but I could see flying fish, bronze and black in the fading daylight. They were riding the bow wave. I started pulling with all my might to be ready as the large animal passed. (I hoped it was not targeting me.)
       I felt the pressure wave and it lifted me and carried me forward with it. I kicked to bring myself in closer and body surfed along side the large animal. I could see the dark scars left behind by nylon netting. I was positive this was the animal that I'd cut the netting from. It slowed, and veered towards where I had originally found it.
       “Its...bringing... me back.” I spoke on the phone every time I rose out of the water for a breath. I had no idea if GI girl could hear me, as the noise was terrific.
       We swam out of the luminescent patch, for which I was grateful, but the animal still glowed where the plankton clung to its skin, a sort of blotchy bluish green pattern that faded. My legs were exhausted, even with the bow wave making it easier, it was still a long hard swim. I could see my catamaran, and I could see the lights of the launch from the island. The great fish reached the surface and dove, rapidly gone from sight. I slowed after the final push and only the flying fish kept me company.
       I reached my boat only a couple of minutes after the lights came on.
       “Hey, you show up on the fish finder!” GI called to me over the phone. “At least, I'm assuming that's you in the middle of all those fish.”
       I had to keep dodging the flying fish, none of them had taken a nibble yet, but I feared that was coming. The flying fish stayed with me even as I climbed up the ladder onto the deck of my boat. Several of them leaped out of the water and sailed around my reunion. The Mayor and GI were waiting for me with open arms and in GI girls case tears.
       “You are never going out alone again.”
       “I sailed across the Pacific to get here on my own. I think I can handle it.”
       “Handle it, you could of died. I'm not letting you go alone any more.”
       I was a little shook up. If it had been any later and the sun had been completely down, I might never had gotten my bearings to get back within cell range. It had been close. Much closer than I wanted to admit. GI girl was still hugging on me and sobbing.
       “Hey there, I'm fine.”
       “The ocean never gives back what it takes.” Only she didn't say “ocean” but the name the islanders used for the monsoon ocean.
       “The fish I cut free from the netting brought me back, so perhaps this is a sort of repayment.”
       “Let's get back before the tide makes it impossible to dock,” the mayor piped up and headed for the wheelhouse. I unfurled the storm spinnaker, as the winds were quite gusty and I wanted to be under way before letting out the mainsail.

       This is the first long happy (mostly) dream that I've had in a long run of “warehouse full of zombie, race for your life, aim for the head” dreams. The only other variation was a World of Warcraft dream where I was Axel, tossing fire from my hands and trying to keep the group from breaking up. N didn't want to run the whole instance, though and took the shortcut option of buying off the boss. Yes, it fulfilled the quest, but with no loot for anyone, and very little experience earned. I came back with two of the original party and we redid the boss fight. It was dicey without healing, but we managed. Then we ran it again with Fetch. Then as Axel I ran again with some others. N came in and asked, “why are you running that again? You did the quest.”
       I popped out of character and opened up my inventory screen to show her the nice new epic chest piece that had dropped. “Now I'm returning the favor for the others. We're going to do this until everyone gets what they want out of it, or until we're sick of it, whichever comes first. You're welcome to join us, there's a couple of different things that would be good for a druid.”
       “No, I'm sick of it after the first time. I'm going to the auction house.”
       “Ok.”

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