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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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bus to Danger, Radioactive Demolition Site

        I was attending a party at my bosss house, and decided to sleep over as we were leaving on a bus early in the morning for a department trip. The bus was a large charter bus, very plush and comfortable. I was sitting in the lower section just behind the bus driver (which, oddly, was on the right side of the bus rather than the left.) I had been talking when suddenly the bus bounced and canted to the right. The bus driver had been turned completely around in his seat involved in the conversation. It had been making me nervous, but the bounce panicked me.

        Watch the road, please!

        The buss left side had been driven up onto a low platform and the driver struggled to keep the bus moving. There didnt seem to be any choice but to drive off the platform and let the bottom edge of the bus support the weight as we slid back down to street level. The driver, however, kept on the platform, smashing newspaper vending machines and benches aside until we came up to another set of stairs down. We bumped down on the front tire, but the bus was so long that we still scraped the side until the back wheels also came down the stairs.

        The bus driver sighed in relief when we were finally going level, and then hit the cruise control. The bus was silent.

        Wow, that was stressful, the bus driver stated, then got up and headed back down the aisle to the bathroom!

        The bus suddenly got very noisy as we scraped our way down a ramp and into a subway station. My boss stood up to tell everyone to brace themselves against the seat in front of them and I jumped out of my seat to pull the handle of the emergency brake and grab the steering wheel to keep us from going off the platform onto the rails. I managed to avoid a clump of people and pulled myself far enough forward to also press the regular brake. I didnt think we would stop before we hit the wall we were headed for. I found myself hoping there was an airbag for the driver, as I had no time to put on the seatbelt. I figured from the rate of slowing that we would hit the wall about 15 miles an hour. I turned the bus a little at the last second so the opposite corner would hit first.

        I still got tossed against the shattering window.

        I dreamed I was inspecting the ruins of one of our schools with the thought of recycling some of the IT infrastructure. For some reason Fawn Lynn had come with me, and she was roaming around the ruins of the health office. I was on the phone with my boss and he was telling me to go to certain locations and report what I was seeing. When I was on about the fourth such jaunt I spotted several dozen trucks loaded with some sort of white rocks coming up the drive.

        I asked what they were.

        Oh, the site is radioactive, so theyre going to bury it soon.

        Radioactive! Why am I out here then?

        The line disconnected and filled with static. I ran over to the office area, calling for Fawn Lynn. She meowed back at me, but wouldnt come out of the cabinet she was hiding in. I found a plastic bucket with vents in the lid and dumped out its contents, figuring the plastic wouldnt hold too much radiation. I managed to grab Fawn and get her in the bucket and then high tailed it out of there. I ran to the waiting ambulances. After their Geiger counters registered that I was covered in radioactive dust, we started the de-contamination process. Helpers took my clothing and began shaving all my and Fawns hair off. Poor old lady. She was not too thrilled about that and the helper gave me the electric razor so that I could shave the poor cat. I cringed as a crane loader buried my car under a few tons of crushed rock.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Zombie Attack, Carmagedden, Blue Movie

Zombies Attack Jupiter III

              There were about a dozen of us at work when the news came in that Zombies were attacking the city. I was wiring the ship's internal video network, a mix of thin copper and fiber-optic cables. I looked over at the slender brown-haired woman who was one of two women I worked with on this project. We both had the "What did she just say?" look on our faces.
              The other woman was back in the Main Distribution Feed calling out the pair colors for us to terminate at each tap point. She told us over the radio that the city was being attacked by zombies. The infection had just suddenly boiled over and reached the tipping point. "This is a different strain, they're saying, very fast acting." She told us to tune to a certain channel when we hooked up the next station's tap.
              My partner asked me to finish up so she could go to the staging room and pick up the thin panel.
              "I have to see what she's rambling on about now. Sounds like she's watching a horror movie, not the news."
              "Right, because we haven't had zombie attacks in weeks," I stated rather matter of fact.
              "That's right, everyone was cured or rounded up," she raced down the curved hallway, shouting back "and stop calling them zombies!"
              I had forgotten that her own parents and sister had been infected in the last attack. I picked up my cell phone and called N. She didn't pick up, so I left a message; "Get to high ground and lock yourself away from everyone else. I'll figure out how to come get you."
              I then called the construction manager to ask him if the site was securable. Again, no answer. I crawled out of the crawl space and hit the intercom button on my phone. "Hey, has anyone else heard about the zombie attack, like, from security?"
              Both the gals on my installation team called back with "no" but there were no other answers. "I've got a bad feeling about this," the one in the MDF said, and then yelped. "Oh! My god! They're in the building, heading up the access stairs!"
              My partner arrived and began hooking up the panel. "There's some of the engineers running ahead of them, it doesn't look like they're going to make it."
              "Lock yourself in, Clair, don't let anyone else into the MDF, you hear me!" I shouted.
              As I pulled myself out of the crawlspace I looked at my partner, who was standing transfixed and trembling looking at the monitor. I read the crawl and froze.
              "Thousands of recently innoculated display New Terrifying Symptoms. Rapid onset, ravaging hunger. Statewide quarantine imposed. If you've been innoculated, lock yourself in. All National Guard units activated, call..."
              N had insisted on being innoculated, despite the vaccine being inadequately tested.
              The crawl continued running underneath footage of bloody-faced people in packs chasing through the streets, throwing themselves at cars and store front windows. Several buildings were seen where the rooftops were a milling mass of feeders, and those being fed off of. I knew, for some reason, that the zombies would climb after prey, but only rarely would they head back down once they had climbed somewhere. I had a locker on the floor just below us, and in that locker was a gun and about two hundred rounds of ammunition. I had stopped carrying it in my tool harness just a few days ago. My partner started switching through the ship's security cameras. There was no one on board but my construction crew. The locker room leading into the ships access way was empty.
              "Clair, I'm going to close the door to the locker room, I have to get something. Can you see the ship's controls from in there?"
              I heard the alarm sound and the ships internal bulkheads began to close. I told my partner to "Get to the control room and lock the doors, don't let anybody in."
              I didn't hear anything from Clair. I tried to remember if she had been innoculated. I knew that the brown-haired woman hadn't, she'd been terrified that this very thing would happen to her.
              "We have to save them," the woman pointed to the security camera image, a group of engineers and designers was racing towards the locker room and the access ramp of the Jupiter III (which wasn't a space ship, but a dirigible.) I noticed that the group was not panic stricken, like one would expect. I realized that they were all infected, and running towards what they knew was a likely source of nutrition. Us.
              We both ran for the access way. I only had one plan. Beat the much younger woman to the door, close and then lock it down. I grabbed the young woman by the back of her shirt. "Get to the bridge, fire up the hydrogen jets and heat up the lift cells. You were better on the simulator than me."
              She slowed and turned back to head for the control room. I heard thumping from inside the MDF and when I got to the plexiglass windows I dove and slid along the floor under them. I looked back to see Clair hammering against the door with bloody broken hands. I was thankful that she hadn't unlocked it before turning completely. I was a little bit worried that she might damage equipment needed to control the Jupiter III, but saw that all of the cabinets were closed. I was never more glad that Clair was compulsive about keeping things neat.
              I reached the access ramp and the guard station was empty, from what I could see, the locker room was empty. It was really just a long hallway full of lockers for folks to put their street clothes in while working. There was a long partition down the middle and there was a men's side and a woman's side. The door at the end of the access ramp was closed but not latched, and was always locked from the other side. I stepped quietly down the ramp and was just thinking of heading into the locker room when the guard appeared on the womans side. He had a handful of women's clothing held up under his nose.
              We lunged for the door together. I managed to pull it shut with a click just as he grabbed the handle from the other side, and pushed rather than pulled to try to get through. I knew he'd been infected.
              "Clair's locked in the MDF and the guard was also infected. He's outside the ramp room though." I rummaged through the guard's desk. quickly skimming through the security cameras. There was a dead body on the woman's side of the locker room, I hadn't been able to see it through the tiny windows in the doors. It only took me a couple of moments to find the external door locks and I closed off the hanger bay. Too late, it seemed. There were several people running across the hanger floor, followed by other infected ones.
              I grabbed the microphone on the desk. "Get into the secure cargo lockers, one per locker. You should be safe there until we come to get you out!" I shouted at them. Some of them looked around to try to see where the voice was coming from. That was a mistake, their pursuers closed the gap to almost nothing. They wouldn't have a chance to enter the storage unit and close it now.
              There was a shotgun locked to the side of the drawers of the desk. I looked in the top drawer for keys. I found ammunition for it, but no key to unlock it from its mount.
              "The hydrogen is preheated, we can get out of here when you have everyone on board."
              "They're loading themselves into the storage containers now. I'm trying to find the roof release."
              "It's not there, its in the hanger control booth."
              "Oh, shit."
              I thought a moment, that being difficult because of the guard banging on the door. I loaded the shotgun and tipped the desk back. I ripped off the security panel. I turned the desk so the shotgun was pointing at the door, and fired.
              Just as I'd hoped, the zombie ducked down to look at the new hole in the door, and I fired again. The hammering and clawing stopped. I pushed the other door open and discovered that the guard wasn't wearing any pants. So much for getting his keys. I went to my locker and grabbed my bag. I found the guard's pants, gun and keys on the bench and took them, too. I locked the door, but realized it wouldn't take a group of zombies long to worry the door apart, now that it had a hole the size of a fist in it.
              "Fire the jets!" I shouted as I prepared to open the door behind the guard's desk that led into the hanger.
              "What? That'll kill everyone in the hanger!"
              "There's no one left in the hanger but zombies."
              "Stop calling them that!"
              "I need to get to the control room to open the hanger and release the clamps."
              "I can do that from here. Get on board."
              Through the small window I could see dozens of other zombies enter from various doors in the hanger. The people who'd managed to lock themselves into the storage containers weren't going to be safe much longer if we didn't get off the ground.
              "Our passengers need us to be off the ground, soon." I shouted into the intercom as I raced up the ramp. I hit the ramp retract and jammed the joystick into place with a leather something from the guard's belt (Pepper spray holster?) and then leapt across the gap into the dirigible's entry way. Zombies were attracted to the noise and movement and began to move towards the opening. (The opening was only about 8 feet above the ground, very climbable for a zombie.)
              I managed to swing the shotgun around, but held off firing in the hopes that one or more of them might not be infected, "Yet" I mentally added.
              The dirigible suddenly lurched up a few feet, nearly spilling me out into the hanger below. I dropped the guard's belt, losing the extra side arm, radio and ammunition. I scrambled back away from the edge of the entry, then swung the door closed and spun the hatch shut.
              "What are we going to do about the roof?" I asked from where I sat on the floor.
              "They've got it."
              "Who they?"
              "The people in the control booth, they're waving at me, we have to find a way to get them out of there."
              "Get them out of there?"
              "They're trapped. We have to help them."
              "Tell them to open the doors and then you can fly over. We can lower a cargo pod to them."
              I heard her relaying my instructions over the radio. Just as I suspected, there was no response.
              "They won't open the doors. They just keep waving at us."
              "Can you turn us in place so I can see them." I stood up and went to the window of the Embarkation Lounge. "I'm at the window of the lounge."
              "I think so, just a second."
              I felt the ship begin to turn, really though it looked and felt more like the hanger rotated around us it was so smooth.
              Just as I thought. The people in the control room crew were a mix of live and undead zombies. The live ones were faster and clever, with some reasoning abilities as well as the ability to navigate in places they were familiar with in life. The dead ones, pretty much follow noise and movement, hoping for whatever it was they needed to keep going. Oddly, though both types would eagerly chase prey, only the live ones would chase prey down stairs. Deaders wouldn't step down stairs unless you were right ahead of them. City dwellers had sometimes been able to save themselves from undead packs by leaping the rails into subway access stairs or even dropping down into sewer access tunnels. Of course, that didn't work if there were live zombies in the pack.
              I really didn't know how my partner could possibly have thought they were anything else. I realized that we were stuck here unless I could convince her to let me shoot the people in the control room, cook the zombies in the hanger, and then make a dash for the control booth to open the hanger doors.I would need to do this before the power went out. After several hours without food, hungry zombies would begin to chew on electrical cords, even ripping up drywall to get to wires with power in them. I was concerned that after making all that carnage, she would then just leave me stranded there.
              That was when I realized we had a time bomb in the MDF. Clair, in a few hours, would be ripping into the UPS in the MDF for a little snack. The voltage would probably kill her, and then a couple of hours later she would revive to finish ripping out our power network.
              "They're all infected, babe," I said as gently as I could, "some of them are stage two." I resolved to avoid using the word "zombies" in an attempt to bring her back to reality a little bit.
              "Clair, too?"
              "How about the passengers?"
              "Some of them are probably infected and haven't shown yet. That's why I asked them to take separate containers."
              "Oh god, oh god oh god oh god...."
              "Babe, keep us in the center of the hanger as best you can. I have to shut some more hatches." I had just noticed more infected workers racing up the stairs of the catwalk that surrounded the hanger, and they were jumping for the disk shaped envelope of the dirigible. They were missing, and becoming snacks for their fellows below, but it would only be a matter of time before we drifted too close and they would be able to jump to us. I started racing through the ship, trying to make sure I shut every access hatch I knew of, and every one I could find.
              As I closed the last one I knew of I went by a window and saw that we were floating out over the city. "How'd you get the doors open?"
              "I just kept asking over and over again, one of them finally pulled the handle to open them. I don't know that he really knew what he was doing, though."
              "Maybe there was enough of him left to know to do the right thing." I knew I said it just to be comforting. I remembered reading that none of the research that had been done on the infected from the first outbreak seemed to indicate that anything of an original personality survived. There were still hundreds of them being stored in warehouses around the nation.
              Looking out over the city I saw that many fires had started all ready, this outbreak looked like it was going to be bad. I wanted to ask to head over to the Submarine base to look for N, but knew that if this outbreak really started amongst the innoculated, there wasn't much hope.

              Later, I dreamed that I was with an older woman, she had long white hair, down to her waist, the last few inches was a light blonde color. We were following a pair of vehicles that were racing in a flood control channel. There was a wood-paneled white station wagon like MS used to drive long ago, and a black and green stake bed truck with at least half a dozen people in the back. The station wagon was also full of passengers. They cheered and hurled insults at one another as they dodged the large boulders and parts of houses that littered the channel.
              I was recording the whole thing. Stopping only to interview the woman about what was going on. This was what we in the media were calling an "Apocalypse Club" and this particular one was called "Carmagedden" by its members. They raced with a complete abandon and an apparent disrespect for life. The woman corrected me on that particular. "No, we love life, but have come to understand that the demons come for us all, and you don't know when they will show up, or where, so you might as well live large, every day, it just might be your last."
              I went back to following the action from the dirigible (two dirigible dreams in one night!) and managed to get the camera settled just as the white station wagon tried to dodge a house shaped stone, that I soon realized. as we got closer, was a stone facaded house. It fell into the drainage channel and the truck swerved, two of its passengers falling out and ending up under the crumpled home. The station wagon rolled up onto the sloped side of the channel as the house passed just in front of them. A stone fence work tagged the front passenger side and the station wagon flipped and rolled.
              We looked around, but didn't see any demons. We swooped in to check on the condition of the driver and his passenger. Several of the passengers had climbed out and were all ready rolling the car over. The driver was in bad shape. The woman jumped out of the dirigible, dropping the last ten feet to the ground. She staggered over to the man and injected him with something.
              "Thanks." The drivers eyes almost instantly dilated.
              "Can you drive?" the old woman asked him.
              The driver held up his arms, both were a mass of compound fractures, bone and blood glistened in the hazy light. I imagined my news editor would have to censor that image before it replayed during the dinner hour. (It was going out live, now, though.) "No, Dolly, I don't think I can drive any more. It's time." Before I could wonder what would happen to him in a world in which medical care was nearly unavailable (demons seemed attracted to large groups of humans so hospitals and schools were a thing of the past) Dolly had taken out a gun and shot him in the head.
              Other cars began to arrive. Taking on the passengers and then taking off. "Get out of here, it's too crowded." Dolly started waving them off.
              From the slope above a leathery demon, batlike, swooped down on Dolly, the talons at the forward bend of its wings pierced her shoulders and it ripped her head off with its hands. I handed the camera to my sound guy and brought up a shotgun, blasting the demon. The flaming blast ripped its flesh from its frame, but the skeleton just leered at me and it crouched to jump for me. A second blast shattered its head. I immediately started scanning the sky, "Get back in the lift, before more of them show up."
              The club members of Carmagedden raised their intoxicants to us, beer, wine, pipes and needles of various sorts and sent us off with a cheer as they raced off in different directions. As we climbed out of the flood control channel, I watched as club members restarted the station wagon and drove it off as well.
              I signed off. The sound/camera guy looked at me, terror still written all over his face, "that's got Pulitzer written all over it."
              "That's got luck written all over it. Now I'm going to have religious nuts to deal with all afternoon."
              "Do you need more ammo?"
Blue Movie

              I was directing a film about two middle aged women who, in order to fight their depression, join an erotic dance class. They form a fast friendship, and end up in a furious romance that takes the form of them recording one another dancing, initially for their husbands and then eventually realizing they are dancing for one another. Finally they record themselves dancing together, this leads to more (not shown in our film) and that film is found by one of the womans' husbands. He feels that the other husband has to know what is going on. A serious complication, the second husband finds it quite exciting. The relationships, to one another, to their husbands and families explode, some to the breaking point.
              We had just finished a day of shooting on the erotic dance numbers, and the respective actresses found themselves fielding offers to help them "take the heat off." I had to send the crew out, finally.
              "My husband isn't going to know what hit him," one of them quipped.
              "I'm wishing I hadn't gotten rid of mine," smirked the other. She turned to me, "What are you doing tonight," she purred, "this is all your fault, you know."
              "I think you'd better call my wife and ask her," I pulled my cell phone off my belt for her.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Leaf Flotilla, Saving Goblins

              I dreamed I was sitting along the edge of a small pond accompanied by some of my nieces and nephews. In the dream, they were all Gnomes. I had found a green leaf that was perfectly shaped for a hull. With a little tearing and bending, I was able to mount a sail in the middle of it and set it down on the surface of the pond. A few moments later, a gentle puff of wind filled the little sail and the boat headed out on its adventure across the pond.
              One of my nephews reached up to pull off a fresh leaf from a nearby tree. I stopped him. "You can only use the leaves that have fallen. It was a long winter, the trees need every leaf they can hold on to."
              "Sometimes you sound more like a druid than a wizard." One of my nieces complained.
              Soon a small two masted schooner and a lateen rigged sloop joined our little flotilla. I began to wonder what the smallest nephew was doing that was taking so long. I turned to make sure he wasn't in any sort of trouble and spotted a four masted ketch with a spinnaker and spanker. Soon it had caught up with our little flotilla and barged through the midst of them and headed rapidly for the far shore of the pond.
              "Pretty amazing for a guy who hates to take time to prepare for anything."
              "This is shipbuilding, you can't just slap anything together..."
              "Like I did?"
              "Uh, oh...." At least my nephew had the courtesy to blush.
              I later dreamed that I was flying on the back of a dragon, swooping through the air, enjoying the thermals and the conversation with the dragon when we heard shouts for help.
              My dragon tucked his wings in tight and we rolled over into a dive. There were four goblins in a dirigible being harassed by black-clad raiders mounted on griffin back. The dirigible was flying neutral colors, and I couldn't tell who the raiders were.
              "Protect the goblins, She requests it." The dragon roared over the wind.
              I popped a spell that yanked me out of my seat, and as I drifted on an interception course with the dirigible, I righted myself, and began to cast "living bomb" on each of the raiders as they flew into range.
              I missed the dirigible, but it was soon falling with me. I managed to hit a couple of the goblins with slow fall, one jumped ship in rocket boots and I fell next to a couple of others. Cancelling my own spell to catch up to them so I could cast slow fall on each of them. Unfortunately, that put me perilously close to the ground. I didn't have time to slow myself again, so felt the frozen depths of the nether and encased myself in a block of nether ice. I felt nothing when I slammed into the ground. I tilted a bit where the ground gave way beneath me. I saw the goblins drifting in closer, and a couple of the raiders diving after them. I felt the Living Bombs go off and felt the echo of their heat. I released the nether ice and used the heat to send blast after blast after each of the remaining raiders. At this point I could feel myself hitting the keys to play the game (World of Warcraft) and soon I was watching the action on a computer screen rather than living it. Kind of a let down that pulled me out of the dream pretty quickly.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Roses and Rattlesnakes

              I dreamed that I was walking out in the Rose Garden of the Dream City. It was much like the rose garden in San Diego, except that it had thick forest on one edge and the bustling city on the other. It was also full of the warning buzz of rattlesnakes.
              NotN (my companion for this dream was a petite brunette with short strait hair and a generous figure who was somehow close to being N, but not really her) was concerned that the rattlesnakes were a danger, so I stepped into the garden to see what they were agitated about. It seems that someone had cast a spell that created little rodent sized heat blobs, and those blobs were enticing the snakes into striking at empty air, or at the people at the edge of the park. The snakes were confused and frightened, and thus were rattling out their warning to the world. I managed to use a little bit of magic to cool down the snakes I could see, slowing them to the point that I could pick them up and move them across the ravine into the forest. I carried about a dozen snakes out of the rose garden before we came across a terrified homeless woman.
              The woman sat on a small utility box, wrapped in a blanket and sitting next to a blue tarp. The blue tarp moved slightly, obviously inhabited by a large snake of some sort. I made my way around to the other side of her, tracking one of the warm blobs as it landed on her shoe. I snatched a striking rattlesnake just behind its head.
              "Don't move, there's more!" I told the woman.
              She froze. "I didn't even know there were snakes in the Rose Garden."
              "Not usually, these were lured here," I explained, "some not so practical joker has tricked them into infesting the garden and walks. They're frightened and starving."
              I noticed the five inch thickness of a coil of large timber snake in the folds of the blue tarp.
              "Can I borrow your tarp for a minute?"
              "Sure, can I move yet?"
              "As soon as I take the tarp away." All through the conversation I was wresting with the small rattlesnake, and the effort was preventing me from focusing on making any sort of spell. NotN brought over one of our canvas shopping bags and I dumped the small snake into it. I had the time to admire the intricate pattern of its scales and wonder what species it was, as I didn't recognize the almost blue-grey and brown pattern from any snake I'd ever seen.
              I wrapped on of the handles of the back around the opening, tying it off. I turned to the tarp and felt the words of power forming in my soul and being echoed out in the world. A chill ran through the tarp and enveloped the snake within. As I was shaping the spell I could feel the enormous size of the snake. I waited for its movements to slow and then bundled up the tarp and ran for the ravine, NotN close behind with the shopping bag held out at arm's length.
              The homeless woman got up to run, but I shouted back at her to wait, "I'll bring back your tarp."
              "Tha's okay, you keep it!" She shouted and ran out of the garden into the city.
              There was more rattlesnake roundup after that, as well as carefully breaking up the decoy spell. I didn't like the decoy spell part. Messing with other people's spells is an invitation to trouble. This time the caster was long gone, but it was obvious from the spell that the homeless woman, and others like her, were the actual targets of the caster's wrath, and there was plenty of that in the making of the heat decoys. I could feel it leak out from each decoy that I unknotted as I traced my way to the funerary urn that was the focus of the spell.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Not the Mad Bomber

              I dreamed that N and I were being chased by a remote control car wielding mad bomber. We were sitting together in a car when I spotted someone using a remote control across the parking lot. I pulled out my gun (?) and fired twice at the person. A car just a couple of spaces closer suddenly pulled out and raced away. I immediately realized that I had shot the wrong person.
              I had N call the police and ambulance, and emptied my gun, watching the two empty shells bounce against the other four bullets on the leather seat next to me. I started preparing myself to surrender to the police, even though my instinct was to run for it. I was incredibly upset that I had actually shot an innocent person. N insisted that it was an accident, because they had a remote control, but in my heart I knew otherwise.
              As I woke, I wondered why I couldn't have missed like I usually do in dreams.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Calico Afro-Cat

        Last night N and I adopted a momma cat and her three kittens. The kittens were all marked like bobcats, but each was a different color, red and white, black and grey and black and white. The mom-cat had a 14 inch leopard spotted halo of hair around her head. The hair was thick and soft, and you could just barely find her little face and ears tucked away behind the hair. The cat also had the unusual ability to grow huge mushroom like clumps of fluorescent hair off of her tail. She would grow one every couple of weeks, they would separate from her and we could plant them and they would continue to grow, up to about five foot tall and three foot around. After a time they would begin to give off a mild prismatic light.

        N would unweave a short bit of the growth and put it in a glass of water. It would glow brighter for a week or so at a time. The growths didnt seem to bother the momma cat, so we just let them grow, potting them when they shed and giving them to friends.

        The kittens fixated on Little John, and he soaked up the attention. They were larger footed and headed than him, so I was glad they were all getting along because I knew they were going to be the three largest cats we ever had. The momma cat indicated to us, not exactly sure how, that she didnt want her family broken up.

        I began to suspect she was an alien.

Ad astra per technica,


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Spare Parts Online

              I dreamed again of play testing Spare Parts Online. This time, however, the scenario was set in a sort of Jules Verne arcane technology world. Players were scattered across the game world in small clusters as their great colonial star galleon broke up in the upper atmosphere. As players progressed in making their way in this new world they would come across the sleeper pods that held the colony's trade and craft personnel.
              Like many previous dreams it wasn't long before I was a character in the game rather than sitting behind a keyboard playing the game. I was a juggernaut jockey in the game. I had built and maintained a powered suit made of leather, iron and bronze. The game mechanic was a sort of plug and jack and arcane circuit placing exercise which used the items and materials that were found or created. In the dream, however, I was able to see, with the aid of a pair of goggles, the arcane circuitry that was wired, etched and painted on my equipment. I was able to shave down the wooden handle of an ax I had taken from a fallen foe. I carved a rather intricate pattern into the stub, and then fit that into a socket on the outside of my left arm. A few brass rods welded around the thing allowed the arcane engine and the external drive chain to spin the ax in an arc of defensive iron. I now had a powered shield capable of defecting thrown weapons as well as melee as I faced my enemies. I suspected that it would make a good improvised weapon as well.
              All the while I was in our makeshift camp workshop I had the game mechanics running in the back of my head. Using the enchanting and crafting UI to alter the ax from a hand weapon into a shield. Living with the durability hit the system imposed because of a botched set of arcane casts, etc. Still I could listen to the conversation around the fire, the speculation that the ax wielding native was only part of a larger whole, that we should try diplomacy rather than the brass fist of Manifest Destiny in a headlong march to repeat the mistakes of our fore bearers.
              I could smell the wood fire, the ozone from the welding rig, smell the oil that kept the leather of my machine running smoothly. As I worked I could see my companions had tattoos that allowed them to interface with their gear and weapons, a slightly different path than my own, more an emulation of the native in its origin.
              Our camp had several servants dashing about, assisting with repairs, tending the fires, cooking our dinner. It was a very elegant, in a way, method of adventuring. I found myself wondering how I could capture that in the game engine.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Rocky Returns, Alternate Reality

        I dreamed that Rocky returned home. I was very excited at first, and then realized that shed be 18 years old. She looked pretty spry for an ancient cat. She didnt seem to want to come in, though, more like wanting me to come out to her. Thats when I heard another meow from the yard, and saw Penelope waiting with her. Penelope looked pretty good for a cat thats been dead 12 years. The shock pretty much jolted me out of the dream.

        Before waking up this morning I dreamed I was part of a massive science fiction epic. I was the captain of a large assault ship, like a heavy bomber. I had a squadron under my command, about a dozen of us total. The ships were long and improbably narrow for flying wings. Copulas and turrets bubbled from nearly every angle. The crew were all in place, ordinance loaded and our fighter escort had arrived.

        The odd thing about this fleet is that we were all technically dead. The maneuvers the ships were capable of would cause a live person to black out almost the moment combat was entered. We were all neural net enhanced, poly-carbonate filled shock hardened undead constructs. We had our former bodies and personalities, but were so altered as to not really qualify as living any more. We fueled up rather than ate, and the activity of modern combat was really handled by our implants, of which we were merely the guiding conscience.

        Still, I was me enough to thrill at the sight of our twelve sleek behemoths rising above the smoking city in near silence. Id all ready looked at the attack pattern of the latest alien incursion, and found that the vectors of the attackers came from a heavily forested area. Their targets were completely random, and it was only a few moments to figure out what the attack algorithm was, and what the actual random number seed was that was being used. (Apparently wed captured some rather valuable equipment earlier and were putting it to good use.)

        I vectored my bombers in towards the beach head portal, expecting some heavy resistance as we got closer. About half way there, our fighter cover spotted a bunch of alien fighter craft and tore away to intercept, as they were headed for a heavy population center. The effectively stripped us of our fighter cover. I wasnt happy as I watched them peel away after the alien assault boats. I began to correlate the feeds from the various defense units to try to help my gunners stay on top of the current alien tactics. The feed was somewhat disturbing. Apparently the alien ships were making a straight line run to each of their targets, no evasion, no combat offered, just a hit and run flat out attack and then we were cutting them up as they wheeled to turn back to their starting point. It was all very odd.

        I spread out my bombers so we were still covered by one anothers defense grid, but instructed my gunners to preventive fire into the vectors that the random number generator were indicating. We prevented any more attackers from even getting out of the forest.

        I looked down to see a huge column of refugees marching through the forest, the line was about a hundred people across, and they were making their way towards the city. Software began scanning the faces and recognizing people. The people tried to hide in the forest when they spotted us, but there were far too many.

        One of them was N. I broke from the formation and picked her up. She was bedraggled and worn, carrying a couple of bags and a makeshift satchel. I knew there was something amiss at this point. She made her way to my bridge and was shocked when I turned around. It was like I could read her and knew I had just plucked her away from another version of me. I had the scanners find me in the crowd, and went to pick me up. The other me didnt want to come until I spoke to and had N ask.

        Turns out that I had lost my N in an early alien attack, and that was why I had volunteered for the transmutation program. Id been made commander simply because the neural net of the fleet had wanted me for the job. We still didnt really understand why, and it did cause problems for some of the pure military types whod been passed over for command positions. From them I learned that the city of San Marcos resistance had managed to take a portal and were evacuating the whole city to what the aliens referred to as a hostile stronghold world. They each were carrying some data from the raided world in hopes that it would help us continue to resist. They had also disassembled one of the portals and were bringing it through in pieces. I immediately stopped my fleet and told them not to blow the portal back yet. Let the people through and watch for further automated attacks. Apparently the alien fighters were exercising some sort of corrupted failsafe program, and not intentionally attacking. (Which would explain why some attack vectors had taken them to the middle of a lake, for example.)

        I also used the ships loud hailer to direct the refugees towards the main road, where the neural defense net had all ready begun to dispatch emergency transportation. (Our ships could take only a hundred or so, and then only if we left our ordinance behind.)

Ad astra per technica,

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The World Hangs by a Marked Thread

              And the dream in which this line occured was all sorts of cartoon maroon and deep purple with shiny particle effects whose purpose and interactions were the result of a crafting attempt in an RPG I was testing out. This is one of the whispers a player's character can hear when they look into the crystal ball. I will have to include this if I ever get to make my Spare Parts MMO.

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