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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, January 19, 2011

Polymorphic Problem

        I was rushing around with a couple of friends, climbing way back in a storage container, looking for my  pocket vest and light cargo pants. We were preparing to jump through a rift to go visit a huge festival in a sword and sorcery universe, and I wanted lots of emergency supplies, since it was best to be prepared.

        We hopped through the portal and met up with a couple of other folks wed travelled with before. Our room at a local Inn was ready for us, and we dumped off our non-essentials and changed into appropriate clothing to attend the festival. That meant very ornate robes for me and leather and linen for everyone else.

        We ate our way across the festival grounds. At one point we stopped to say hello to the court magician. He gave the guy we called Angry D a vial of potion and myself.

        Go ahead, drink it! He grinned at us.

        We both took a sip.

        In only a few warped feeling moments, I shrunk down to Angry Ds size and he grew to mine. It was great being young and healthy, but I wasnt too thrilled with being short.

        Angry D looked very pleasantly surprised and was busily adjusting his vest and trousers to fit his suddenly taller and wider frame. I hiked up my robes and tightened my belt. I took a couple of steps and then stopped to roll up my pants legs.

        In the noise and confusion I didnt hear what the Court Magician said next. Angry D smiled and thanked him, however, so I figured I would find out later.

        It didnt take long for Angry D to get separated from the group. We watched a few worlds class performances, having fun spotting the other Rift Travelers in the crowds.

        Back in our Inn, wed had visitors to our room. Everyone was upset, until I pointed out that theyd left us paper money and a couple of pins from their worlds. I made my way over to their room and returned the compliment.

        The occupants were lounging around, obviously as worn out as we were. One of them was a tall elf looking fellow and another was light lavender skinned. I didnt have any badges for them, though, so left them with some bills and coins. One of them recognized my name, but said I thought you had brown hair?

        And Im much taller, I showed them the potion and explained that Id temporarily traded forms with Angry D.

        Turned out they were from a future world and had actually found out about this festival from my blog. (Which was, in their time, thousands of posts long.) They looked at one another and there were whispered comments of should we tell him? and the like. The evidently decided that telling me, whatever it was, was a bad idea.

        I went back to my room, the group had hired some women to come in and bathe and give them massages. As I prepared to join them, I noticed that Angry D, whose reflection rather shockingly greeted me in the mirror, didnt have naturally black hair. The roots were definitely brown. The stubble of my incoming beard was a dark reddish color though, I figured I would just let it grow until we switched forms.

        The massage was wonderful, the woman, delightful, speaking in highly accented English, we joked and shared stories of our lives. She was also a very attentive and gentle masseuse. I remember thinking I could live here quite happily, if only they had computers and the internet. Being a fantasy world with lots of magic, the population wasnt living in squalor and filth like many such worlds. The standard of living was actually very high for such a low technology world.

        Angry D arrived, laughing in my voice, asking So, hows your girlfriend, or mine, rather.

        It turns out that Angry D had been spending a lot of time in this world, and my masseuse had learned English from him.

        He admitted that hed grow cool on her, because she wouldnt put out without a commitment. That made me like her even more. Our conversation was fairly fast and Angry D seemed to be stretching it out, taking forever to make his points. The woman, though, managed to follow along, finally breaking in and asking how wed changed bodies.

        The Court Magician had us drink these, I showed her what was left of the potion.

        Oh, no, thats permanent if you dont drink the second dose together!

        What?

        Sucker! Angry D bolted out of the room, grabbing my robes on his way out the door. I was glad I didnt have anything in the pockets of the robe.

        What happens if I drink the rest of this and he doesnt? I asked.

        No one knew the answer. I took the chance. Change rippled through me, but I didnt grow any taller and my beard didnt come back. I was still young. The only thing that seemed to change was my skin and hair color.

        Hes heading for your Rift! one of my companions yelled.

        Get him!

        Hey, youse, where do you think youre goin, a gruff voice rumbled in my ear. The owner of the voice picked me up off the ground. One of the local bosses, underworld like, walked up to where I was being held.

        It only took showing him the potion bottle to convince him of what had happened. Apparently the woman was related to him in some way, daughter, niece, I couldnt quite make out as I didnt know the local language all that well.

He sent his men after Angry D, but the Rift had closed.  I got hit by another change, this time growing to my normal height. My hair was still brown without any gray in it and my beard had grown back, fully reddish brown instead of white.

This could be a problem. My face had also sort of changed back, but was thinner and the eyebrows thicker and my eyes were now dark green instead of blue. I could tell that the magic of the potion had worn off, and that this was pretty much, without finding Angry D, what I was going to look like.

I turned back to the woman, asking if she would like to see my world. (Normally this would not be good Rift Traveler protocol, but Angry D would take some finding.) She agreed, and the underworld boss pointed to two of his bruisers and said, Take them with you, for luck.

Uh, okay. Let me bring them back some clothing, though, that armor isnt going to fly where Im from.

My friends had all ready packed up their stuff and werent too happy when I explained that we were taking the bruisers with us to help find Angry D.

At least you almost look like you.

        Lets hope the jump through the Rift bumps me a little bit back to normal. Low magic world where Im from. I explained to the woman, who translated for our body guards.

She leaned in close as I opened up the rift home, Its okay with me if we dont come back here. Id like to stay with you if I can.

I hadnt really thought about that, but found that I kind of liked the idea. I just wasnt too sure that I would be able to resume my old life if we didnt find Angry D and get him to drink the rest of the potion, which one of the bruisers had found on the ground by the portal as we stepped through. Luckily the vial hadnt been smashed on the wood floor.

I could tell there was going to be lots of explaining by their wide open expressions at my home. There was no sign of Angry D. My coin collection was gone, however, as was my check book. I hopped online and moved my money into another account. I started to realize that I wasnt probably going to find him and get my old pain filled body back. I decided that I was okay with that. I wasnt sure what was going to happen, but liked the team Id managed to collect to deal with the problem.

I think we may need to pay your Court Magician another visit. One of my friends told the woman. Perhaps there is something to make him look like he used to.

Why in the world would I want to be fat and old again?

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