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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.

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?"
              "Yes."
              "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.

Carmagedden
             
              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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