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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.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Golem Engineer

              I dreamed a convoluted mix of Diablo II and World of Warcraft. In this particular episode, I played a human golem master. Closer I suppose to Diablo II than to World of Warcraft, as far as the character goes. The setting, however, pure Plaguelands. I found myself, two adventurers and my goblin assistant, in a large bombed out chapel. We were scrounging up parts to repair my powered armor, and the war golem. There was no clicky interface after a couple of minutes, just tools, carving and forging with some small bits of magic thrown in. Nearly all of my combat effectiveness was tied up in the golem. I had a rifle and some fairly heavy armor, but almost no martial skills otherwise.
              I had a fairly sophisticated remote for the golem, and it had some minor autonomous operational capability, but not much. My goblin assistant had, as far as I could tell, no combat effectiveness, except that she could reload my weapons and make field repairs on armor and gear for my party members. In the dream there were two other members of my party. A little red-haired dwarf with a huge bear, N's dwarvish hunter, I think, and a high elf mage (not a currently playable race and class combination.) I have no idea who the tall elf would be in my daytime life.
              The four us us were all working feverishly to make repairs, cook food and to scout out another location. We knew the chapel wouldn't be safe for long, but we'd risked the stop because of the potential for scraps of metal and gear that I would be able to make repairs with. The party was tired but mostly healthy. My golem had taken the brunt of the damage in our last encounter. I found myself using a hack saw to remove fused control rods and bent armor plating. I had to dismantle a couple of the special attack modules, as I didn't have what I needed to make them operational again, but I could use the parts to build some replacement modules. The replacement modules were different in their effects than the ones I was replacing, but not really any less powerful. Much of the gear bolted into the golem was situational at best. I was adding a spell containment though, something I hadn't done last time and wished I had. I used up some of my precious stones to make the casting time instant. Then, I had the elf cast a portal spell into the device.
              “If things look bad, we can retreat,” I explained.
              “But won't you lose the whole golem?” the dwarf asked. She hugged her bear close.
              “Possibly, depends if there's time to jump him through before I jump.”
              “Don't yer risk it, we'd rather work ter buy parts than look ter replace you.”
              “Thanks.” I knew that it would take a hellishly long time to replace the golem, even in it's currently beat up shape there was several months worth of accumulated gear used in its construction, not to mention some expensive enchants and even a couple of uncommon magic items. It would be a severe loss to not only me, but the group if we had to abandon the golem. I knew there were combat engineers who specialized in lots of small assistant type robots, and others who focused on weapon and gear enhancements, but I found the need to run around keeping a dozen pieces of gear tuned to optimum performance a difficult dance. I liked having one main focus, though I knew I could fall back on my rifle and field enhancement to stay somewhat useful to the group. I also had the materials for thrown barrier wall, but didn't expect that it would last any longer than it did against the crypt fiends we'd dodged to escape to this place, but even an extra three seconds would be enough to get both the golem and myself to safety. I wasn't worried about my goblin assistant (51 point talent) as I knew she would be the first one through the portal when it popped..
              While I was finishing up the new installations and pondering whether I'd gone the right route in my engineering career, the mage fired an icy blast into the air, bringing down a pair of gargoyles.
              “I needed to test these systems, I suppose.”
              I turned the activation key on the back of the golem and sent him in after the gargoyles, hitting a steam powered shrapnel cone as he neared, hoping to take their attention off of the mage.
              It worked. The gargoyles jumped onto the golem's frame, tearing at my new construction, trying to get at vital components under the hastily repaired armor. I checked the steam pressure and the static build up. Tossed one and shocked the other. The battle was joined by the bear, and the dwarf unlimbered a huge rifle (modified by my less than stellar skill in that area) and she unloaded a cone of flaming shot at the gargoyle still convulsing on the frame of the golem.
              I spotted a third gargoyle still high in the air. I pulled my rifle out, trusting the golem's AI for now, and lined up a long scope enhanced shot. Electricity arced from the gun to the gargoyle and back down to the ground. The gargoyle changed the direction of its dive, heading for me instead of the mage.
I painted it and activated the rocket intercept boots. The golem and the gargoyle collided in mid air with a cracking wet thump. Not the most gentle of landings, but the golem was back on its treads and hammering away at both gargoyles. I nudged him over closer to the bear and his target, then unleashed a field of ground spikes. It was a sort of sonic attack, that I have no idea how it could miss the bear, but it always did. In a few short moments all three gargoyles were dead.
              I managed to pick up some interestingly shaped stones that I could use to charge the Earthen circuits of the golem.
              “What'r yer picking up that junk fer?” The dwarf asked.
              “They'll come in handy later, you'll see.”
              She snorted and suggested that we'd better “skedaddle” before something worse came along.
              The mage agreed, summoning up a large flightless bird with bright purple plumage. The dwarf mounted her bear and I climbed aboard the golem, Helping my cowering goblin assistant into the rear facing jump seat.
              “How come I gotta ride backwards all the time?” She pouted, and I, not for the first time, wondered if it was really wise to bring her along on these sorts of adventures.

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